29 December 2011

Project Blizzard

18 inches

When life sends you a blizzard, throw snowballs.

Project Smile, a blog meme founded last year, appears to have died and gone the way of all projects classified under too much to do and not enough time to do it.

I tossed about the idea of trying to do a link party here on my own blog to keep Project Smile going, but I wasn’t the originator, plus, the name belongs to a very popular charity dental program I actually support. "Making Lemonade" and any remote form of the phrase is spoken for. Dang! Every good name is taken! Maybe I should just go with something brash like Grit Your Teeth and Pretend to Smile???

My blog seems to have a snowflake life of its own, so a blizzard analogy fits best. However, my own time constraints make me very wary of trying to take on more than I already try to accomplish. So I'll go it alone this month as far as a winter joy blog project.

I am trying to focus on unexpected happy surprises and things that go right during winter to prevent daylight shortages from ruining my mood and even my entire winter. After all, true snowflakes are created mostly in winter, right? Days are beginning to grow longer now, thank heavens, and I anticipate doing my own little version of Project Smile, henceforth and forever known as Project Blizzard, just one more time until next winter. (Although February might pop up, too, if for no other reason than a specific day that month provides treasured reasons to smile.) (You thought I was referring to Valentine's Day, didn't you?!?!) (Well, that day is pretty darned awesome, too.)

This winter, so far, has been the easiest for me to bear for as long as I can remember, which leads me to believe focusing on positive instead of fretting about negative improves my ability to cope with SADD. Friendship and companionship have added immensely to my cheer this winter, and faith, hope and charity probably are the biggest contributors to successfully chasing off most of my depression in late 2011. Add a good dose of creativity and imagination, plus two tiny sparkling drops of spare time, and I think I’ve got the prescription just about perfect.

So, on with December’s reasons to smile:

Christmas cactus blooms galore

My collection of Christmas cacti went crazy all month, and a few plants are still partying wildly.

the Two-Gallon mark

happiness abounds

many happy memories

The most recent addition to my pin quilt, received after donating my 16th pint of blood, is forcing me to think about making a new pin quilt. I’m almost full! One or two more pins, and I’ve filled my first pin quilt!

autumn's grasp

Autumn dug in its heels, even though winter’s stranglehold was and is formidable.

My chin hit the floor.

Took 26 months to reach a million page views. Two and a half months later, the counter hit 1.5 million.

This full moon didn't hide beneath clouds.

This month’s full moon didn’t hide beneath clouds, which enabled this ...

Playin' With The Moon

new snowflake stiffener, from scratch

Three days off at home during Christmas enabled me to finally make my own homemade glue.

Dark Flakes

The homemade cornstarch glue works! And does NOT smell like garlic.

Christmas lights always make me happy.

Christmas lights always make me happy.


All these boxes are filled with photos, negatives and CDs. Another tower of boxes wouldn't fit in this picture. I needed one specific photo for next Monday's snowflake post.


The Shelf Road photo was in the first box I opened!!! I'd even labeled the CD! I just KNEW that Shelf Road had left quite the impression on me!

a tiny December pepper

fresh peppers in December

Fresh peppers, indoors, of course, in December!!!

Brazilian sunshine from Ane shows off her exquisite needlework and perfectly compliments Colorado's early morning skies. Sunrises always make me smile.

Brazilian Sun from Ane

exquisite needlework

Late December Sunrise


  1. much to smile about! So is the stepping stone lizard hibernating under all that snow?

  2. Once again you brighten my day with beautiful photos! Hope you have a Happy New Year!

  3. Godd Morning. I am going to take down my Christmas tree with all the beautiful snowflakes this weekend. I would like to know how you should store your snowflakes? Hope you have a blessed new year. Connie

  4. You know what's making me smile right now? Going through all your old posts that you tagged "photography." I stumbled across your post about bokeh and it was perfect timing because the boy really likes photography and he had just been trying to do bokeh last week while I was with him, so... Thank you! (To be fair, I probably read that post a long time ago but it didn't interest me cuz I knew nothing about photography at the time...)

  5. Thank you Stratoz, Charlotte and YuLian!

    Connie, I keep my snowflakes in the airtight containers most normal people use for leftovers in their fridge. Stiffened snowflakes are subject to humidity, and if you store big ones on top of small ones, the big ones might need to be reshaped because they will droop over the smaller ones. So store them in short towers like those donut ring toys we used to play with as toddlers.

  6. The moon pictures are just awesome! However, I can hear your poor cactus, in that first photo, shivering clear up here in Washington! :)

  7. There is so much to smile about here! A veritable blizzard of vibrant color, creativity, light and joy just bursts from the screen with each photo in this post. I love that you're taking the Project forward and making it your own- it's a perfect solution.

    May winter continue to bring avenues for the sparkle that lives in your soul all year 'round!

  8. I love Christmas lights too. It's a sad time when the tree comes down and I can't have them on all day any more. But, like tomatoes, I appreciate them more because they're only around for a limited time.

    That moon photo - incredible! And the pin quilt is wonderful. How nice to need another one. What a sweet photo of you and the L.

    Homemade glue? Time for a tutorial...

    Project Blizzard is a great idea. (Plus Blizzard rhymes with another favourite word of yours.) Thanks for sharing your cheer with us!

  9. Which of your beautiful photos should I comment about? I think I like your Christmas Cacti.

  10. Thank you so very much for what you do for everyone. I smile each time I visit. You probably have no idea what an inspiration you are but you have made my life a better place to be. Thanks again and have a Happy New Year!

  11. Thank you, Marigold, Ti, Sue, Tulsa Gent, and Snow Angel.

    Snow Angel, I love that name, and you literally made my day. Thank you!

  12. Absolutely stunning photography. What a wonderful world world!Thanks again for sharing your gallery.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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