06 Nov

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.I’ve enjoyed reading all my favorite blogs each day even though I haven’t had much time for commenting or new posts.

I’ve been busy with getting ready for winter in Minnesota. We’ve been raking leaves, putting away lawn furniture. taking out the boat and boat lift from the lake and winterizing all of our toys against the cold Minnesota winter.

Yesterday when I was mulching leaves with the lawnmower so I wouldn’t have to rake and pick up any more leaves I noticed this apple. It was the lone apple left on my tree. It was too high to pick from the ground, too high for the deer to munch from the ground and it had stubbornly clung to the branch on the tree after all the leaves had flown away in the cold winds.

I am very much like this apple in the fall. I try to hang on to anything and everything that reminds me of the summer and the fall that I love so much not wanting to give into winter. There is always the hope that there will be just one more nice day for a motorcycle ride or a ride in the car with the top down. The chances are not that great for most of my favorite activities. There is snow forecast for tomorrow evening in our area.

Today I filled my bird feeders with sunflower seeds not wanting my feathered friends to have to search beneath snow for their meals. They give so much entertainment during the long winters that I enjoy enticing them with the choicest seeds. Only their favorites.

The hardest part of this season for me is the darkness. I get up and go to work when it is dark and it is dark when I return to my home. My favorite part of my day is when I can take a long enough lunch time to drive the four miles home and see my surroundings while it is still light. I don’t think that I would mind the cold as much if only it weren’t so dark so much of the time.

Each winter I try to find some new interest to learn about or a new hobby to take up some of the long winter evenings instead of just watching television. I am open to any suggestions for favorite books others have read or new hobbies you are exploring. Last winter I spent learning about my new camera and the Photoshop program. The winter really did seem to go faster and I actually learned something worthwhile by the end of it.

I would love to know what some of you do to pass the winter days and evenings.


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26 responses to “Clinging

  1. planejaner

    November 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    lovely to read a post. 🙂 I, too, struggle with the darkness. It’s amazing how much more vibrant I feel when there is LIGHT.

    I need a hobby, too…seriously.

    I can recommend “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller. EXCELLENT book.


    • flyinggma

      November 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      I will have to check out Blue Like Jazz. I just returned three books to the library yesterday. I definitely need something new to read.

      I don’t know what will catch my interest as far as a hobby this year. I’ve already done quilting, photography, sewing, reading. I thought that maybe I should try something like cross country skiing or snow shoeing. Both activities would be good exercise and get me outside, the only problem would be the lack of daylight and I would actually have to get outside.

      Perhaps I could learn a new language online or take some other online class. There are so many options online these days.

  2. Carole

    November 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Good to see you blogging again, Jeanne. I’m lucky enough to work at home, so the darkness doesn’t bother me so much. You’re right, there are so many classes on line now. I wish I had time to do more of them.

    Have you thought of doing a photography book? There are lots of companies on line who offer them. I’ve heard Blurb has great quality. You can do anything you want. I’m hoping to scan a lot of my old negatives and doing a book for each son. It would also be fun to do your own coffee table book.

    • flyinggma

      November 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      Thanks Carole. I wish I could spend more time at home during the day. I enjoy the days I make it home for lunch but not much time then to do much more than eat, sometimes an occasional photograph. Your photography book sound like a fun idea. I had looked into doing a day planner with some of my photographs for relatives for Christmas. Doing a book for each of my four kids would take some time but would be fun. Great idea!

  3. Thomas Stazyk

    November 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t envy you! Our days are getting longer and I love it!

    I’m not sure how hard it is for you to get to community education classes but those would be a great way to get out and do something different (plus they usually have flourescent lights which I hear are good for SAD). Something like a Pilates or yoga class might be good too–calming but also an activity. I think getting out and breaking up your routine makes the winter pass more quickly–assuming you can get out and about safely!

    PS–There’s always a return trip to Florida!

    • flyinggma

      November 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      Thanks for the ideas Thomas. Something with some physical activity would be a good choice. I always put on a little weight in the winter without some activity. Last winter I had my Photoshop class. Only problem with that was the driving a hour to the class on questionable roads and two of the classes cancelled due to snow and ice.

  4. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    November 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I will be doing my camera thing even more. . .I love it too much to put it aside, and there is so much to learn! Oh, so much! I might finally start to work with Photoshop, though – at least the GIMP version (basically the same thing, but free!).

    As far as reading goes – the other thing that takes my time along with photography and blogging/writing, I have tons of recommendations. One, however, that I will mention is one that I have not been able to get others to read, but it is hands down one of the greatest YA books ever written – and it is definitely not just for Young Adults. Us older folk are also a target audience for this brilliant book. I learned a great deal from reading it about US History that I had never considered much before. It is called “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, by M. T. Anderson. There are two volumes so far – I’m not certain if he is working on a third or not. The book is a prize winner and deserves a much larger audience than it has had. You will not regret a second of tthe time you spend in reading this extraordinary work of history.

    • flyinggma

      November 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks so much for the book recommendation Paula. I am always looking for a good book to read and recommend to students. I put my name in for subbing at school this fall but with my hectic schedule at work I had to remove it almost as quickly as I added it.

  5. nrhatch

    November 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Hang in there, Jeanne. Try to get out for a mid-day stroll in the sunlight as often as possible.

    • flyinggma

      November 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm

      Thanks Nancy. Last winter I tried to leave about ten minutes before Dean and started walking back to work and he would pick me up along the way just so I could get some exercise and fresh air. Always good for the soul to have some thinking time outside.

  6. pattisj

    November 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I’m not much help. Hibernation would be my preferred activity. I bought everything to try needle felting by hand, maybe I’ll try that this year. I also have tons of photos and some empty scrapbooks. 🙂

    • Linda

      November 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      Be super careful with that needle felting needle!! That thing is crazy bad. I stuck myself once and thought I would die. Very interesting hobby but watch your fingers.

      • flyinggma

        November 7, 2011 at 12:03 am

        Sewing can be a bit dangerous too. My friend was talking a bit too much while sewing at a quilt retreat and ran her finger right under the needle of her sewing machine which resulted in a trip to the ER to get the needle removed.

      • pattisj

        November 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

        Thanks for the warning, Linda. Sticking a straight needle in a finger hurts bad enough. I can’t imagine the damage one of those barbs would do. I see you’re typing, that’s a good sign! 🙂

    • flyinggma

      November 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

      I haven’t tried needle felting before. I did take out my knitting needles recently and resurrected my sewing machine to help my daughter make a quilt for a friend. I now have a couple of sewing projects in the works. I haven’t tried scrap booking yet. I might have to get a little more organized with my photos for that.

  7. Linda

    November 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Books I that I have enjoyed:
    Their Eyes Were Watching God
    Chang and Eng
    Incidents In the Life Of A Slave Girl
    The Birth House
    My Stroke of Insight

    Anything by Miss Read. She wrote the best books ever! The Christmas one is really good.

    I have just started reading, Miriam’s Kitchen. I think it would be a good winter book read.

    Have you tried beading? That’s something new I have taken up and there are certainly unlimited possibilities there. And a lot of trips to Michaels Arts and Crafts Store.

    I have a really hard time with the darkness. I hate the time change. At least we don’t have snow except maybe once a year.

    • flyinggma

      November 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

      Thanks for the reading list. So many books and so little time but I’m always reading something. I hadn’t thought of beading. I made a beaded garter a couple of years ago to match my daughter’s prom dress. She couldn’t find one she liked that matched her dress so I made her one. It was a fun project that I just made up as I went.

  8. barb19

    November 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Have you tried making jewelry? It seems to be a growing trend, and if you get good enough at it, you can sell it! My friend in the UK started doing it as a hobby to fill in those long, winter evenings, and got so good at it that she has now turned it into a business – selling online and offline!
    Just a thought – if you like that kind of thing and have the patience.

    • flyinggma

      November 7, 2011 at 12:08 am

      Sounds like fun Barb and lots of possibilities. I don’t where much jewelry but there are plenty of people I know who do that I could make jewelry for as gifts. It would be a creative way to spend the winter.

    • flyinggma

      November 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

      I’ve never tried making jewelry before because I wear so little of it. It would be an opportunity to be a bit creative. So many possibilities and it would definitely help fill some of the long dark evenings.

      • barb19

        November 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

        I reckon there will always be a market for jewelry Jeanne, even if we don’t wear it ourselves – lots of other people do – both men and women! If you have the patience, I’d say go for it!

  9. flyinggma

    November 7, 2011 at 12:45 am

    thanks for the encouragement Barb. I need to keep my mind and hands busy and especially with soemthing that I can see something for my time even if its a finished book.

  10. Meanderer

    November 7, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I share your dislike for the dark mornings and evenings during Winter. For me that’s the hardest part of Winter too. I tend to get my knitting needles out during late Autumn – Winter and set targets for making warm things: hats; gloves; socks and so on. I also like to make presents for people and so have a set time to get things finished. I would suggest using daylight bulbs though for this or any other close activity. I taught myself crochet two Winters ago – something I had wanted to learn for years 🙂

    • flyinggma

      November 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

      I haven’t tried anything like gloves or socks. They may be just the challenge I need to pass the hours. I haven’t tried daylight bulbs before, something to look into for this winter.

  11. CMSmith

    November 7, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Lovely post. I love photography and can you ever learn enough about photoshop? Are you familiar with the Adobe Classroom in a Book series? I have one on Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver. Depending how technical you are, you could learn about making websites with Dreamweaver. That would keep you occupied for quite a while.

    I know a lot of people who scrapbook. And I’ve made one or two, but like most of my projects, once I learn enough to say I did it, I tend to move on.

    Of course I always love to crochet, knit, or sew. Applique baby quilts are fun.

    Then, let’s not forget, there’s always my memoir to read. 🙂

  12. flyinggma

    November 7, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I haven’t checked out Dreamweaver. I am like you in the fact that once I learn something enough to say I did it I like to move on to new things sometimes coming back to the old like photograph. It was a passion for me nearly 30 years ago but it is so much more affordable now and the possibilities are endless.

    I will definitely have to check out your memoir. I know it will be an interesting read.


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