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Close To Home

I've heard it said that winter sunsets are the best, and who's to argue with this for a good one?
Unlike the sunset I posted the other day, this one I took after sunset, and was I ever rewarded with a breathtaking spectacle. Although Baxter was waiting by the side door, I knew I needed to rush down there before it was over. If you've ever witnessed Baxter taking a walk, you'll understand why I scooted out the back gate without his noticing!

Generally, this is where you will find Baxter, either sleeping, or watching the world go by.
Another winter happening around here is the migration of the robins. Tuesday morning, because some of the windows were open (yeah!!), I heard a lot of birds, except when I went outside to investigate, they were flying around so fast in a dingy sky, I could not make them out. That said, because I've witnessed this amazing happening for a few years now, I knew it had to be the robins. Miraculous really, that a hundred or more robins stop every year to gorge on camphor berries found on the neighborhood camphor tree. This is but a few of them:
Here's one going solo:
It seems to take them but one day to eat their full, never to be seen until next January. Astonishing that they even find the tree, isn't it?

We've had rain off and on this week, however today is cold, bright and sunny! Love.

This hibiscus is stingy with it's blooms; so happy to finally see one in the backyard!
Returning from a chilly bike ride, I got a clear shot of Mr. Cardinal having a mid-morning snack:
No sooner had he had his fill, then Mrs. Cardinal came along for hers! Isn't her little mohawk adorable? 
I was going to do a post entitled, "Brilliant Bread, Act Two", however, I suspect your interest in my bread baking efforts cannot be sustained for two posts. Just the same, I must say that I did indeed make the bread again. Having learned from my mistakes, I made sure the yeast was fully dissolved, and took his mantra--wetter is better--to heart. Here's the dough before shaping:
This time I cut the dough into two pieces. Why? Well, for one thing the previous loaf was too large to fit into the toaster and if there's one reason to bake your own bread, it is toast. Nothing like homemade bread toasted. So, all went very well and I'm pretty proud of my "crumb" from this effort.
For those who've kept their bread recipe reading to a minimum, the crumb is basically the texture and if there are holes in the finished product. There are holes aplenty! This time it is delicious. I told you it was probably my fault!

In spite of my earlier pronouncement that Matt and Tom were marrying in Chicago, plans change, as have theirs. Planning a wedding from across the ocean proved somewhat challenging, so here's the latest: they will marry at the Hackney Town Hall in late March, very close to their home. You know who is going. In fact, we'll be in the UK for fourteen days this trip. Mrs. Camera Crazy has spent time either with her guidebook,
or on the computer poring over sites like TripAdvisor, and airbnb. I was telling Matt that airbnb is quite the education on how people really decorate their homes, unlike what most "home" websites show. During hours of searching, I think one of the things that surprises me the most is how many people have bare walls. I can't understand how they do it! Because we've been to London four previous times, we are making plans to head North, following the wedding, to York, and Scotland. Maybe Dublin to the west? Still planning how to enjoy such a long holiday. Then there is the matter of Baxter's care in our absence. Bill is hard at work remodeling the home he purchased and will be living there by then...maybe that will be his home away from home.

After ten wonderful years, I've retired the fabric on the left, replacing it with the turquoisey fabric. I hadn't done a chair for a while, instead Bruce has been doing them, but this time I took on the project, and it was pretty darn easy. Highly recommended to give new life to old chairs!
I'd like to take photos a litter further afield, but interestingly enough, close to home provides new opportunities daily. We shall see what happens next, close to home.

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