December 27, 2011

outside my window-winter edition

Outside my window.....everything is brown and dead.

I'm not a huge fan of dead. Or brown, for that matter.

I'm anxiously waiting for some snow to cover up the ugly, but in the meantime, sunsets like this one will have to hold me over until the white stuff makes an appearance.

I am thinking.....that sometimes, modern technology can be pretty darn amazing. On Christmas day, my three boys spent a couple hours playing a game together on their X-boxes. The amazing part is that one of the boys was in Montana, one was in New York, and one was in the Middle East. They were able to talk to each other like they were sitting side by side, and it almost made me want to grab my very own sniper rifle (the virtual kind) and join in the fun. Unfortunately, my video game skills haven't progressed past the old school Mario Kart level, so I've got some work to do before I'm allowed to play with the big kids.

From the kitchen.....these enchiladas on Christmas Eve, egg nog French toast Christmas morning, and prime rib for Christmas dinner.

I'm still full.

I am reading.....nothing. I just finished The Hunger Games yesterday. It was my first read on my Kindle, and I think I am officially a Kindle fan. I would like to make one tiny improvement though.

The Kindle needs a remote control.

Stick with me here.

Our upstairs is arctic in the winter. Think Siberia on a cold day. The furnace kicks on in the morning, but the rest of the day we heat the downstairs only, so by bedtime things are a bit icy up yonder. We all have fleece sheets and approximately forty pounds of blankets on our beds, but my exposed book/Kindle holding hand gets very cold during the bedtime story hour.

I'm thinking that if I could prop the Kindle up on a pillow, and then have the remote control page turner under the covers, I'd have the perfect, cozy wintertime reading scenario. Ideally, when I fall asleep, the remote would automatically turn off my light as well.

Dear Amazon,
Please make a remote control page turner for Kindle.
Thank you,

I'm now going to stray from the designated Outside My Window format, because I have a couple other things to tell you.

First, my middle son, our desert soldier, got his package on Christmas Eve. I can't even believe it. I take back every bad word I've ever said about the U.S. Post Office, the military mail system, and the customs department of any country, anywhere.

Major guilt trip averted.

He shared that his roommates mocked him on Christmas Day as he put together the miniature Lego set that Santa had us send to him.

Obviously, Lego jealousy knows no age limit.

Additionally, he told me that he has absolutely no memories whatsoever of the Christmas card picture taking fiasco of 1995, which is good because he was by far the one that was the most traumatized by the incident at the time.

One more thing. It just happens to be his birthday today.

He's been gone since April, and I think that's long enough, don't you?

Happy Birthday, buddy!

We miss you!

Come home soon!


  1. Wishing your son a very happy Birthday and a thank you for his service. My husband and second daughter were born today as well. (As a side note my oldest son just got his first set of legos - and loves them.) Rebecca from Heartland Farmhouse sent me over here. I love the photos. My favorite is with the circle of open water.

  2. I hope your son has a very Happy Birthday! I love your sunset images, the Kindle remote idea (our bedroom is nippy at night too!), and if you need lessons, I can teach you how to play Battlefield or Call of Duty...just sayin'!

    Kat :)

  3. Happy Birthday to your son! I think it is wonderful that the boys could play together!! That part of modern technology I like. Lovely sunset views....good luck getting the remote,

  4. Wonderful pictures and a very Happy Birthday to your son and I want to thank him for serving his country. Yes, he has been gone long enough.

  5. Beautiful photos. And a warm wish for a Happy Birthday to your son. You must be so proud. It is indeed time to come home. Happy New Year to you.

  6. Beautiful photos there Teresa. Love the circle of water in the lake with the rest ice. My daughter's birthday is today the 27th she is here visiting from Kodiak and just turned 48. My grandson Dallas from the University of Fairbanks is here too he is 18. I have two Kindles, one the new Kindle Fire.
    We have the opposite of you, our wood stove heats well down stairs but our upstairs is open and a loft so heat rises making us too hot up there and we open the window a crack. We also have a lower level on an entirely different heating system. My daughter is down there and likes it not above 65 as she is used to cold rooms in her bedroom. My other grandson we are missing this Christmas in the military in VA in the USCG a brand new post to him he just got there. Take care Love Nan

  7. I wish for you some snow. Meanwhile, practice your virtual gaming skills so next time you're ready :)

    Stay warm with your Kindle, wear a glove?


  8. The pictures are beautiful. We too have such beautiful sunsets in the winter. So glad your son got his package and love the lego idea. I can't imagine how hard it must be for him to be away. :( Our bedroom is chilly too and our son bought us an electric blanket for Christmas. It is heavenly!! Why hadn't I ever gotten one? Oh yeah, the ugly wires. Oh well, it is staying. ;)

  9. Love the pictures and love that his box made it in time!

  10. Hello, Teresa, I enjoy reading your blog and your beautiful pictures!

    Might I suggest a heated mattress pad?! I live in an old house with a very cold upstairs. Best thing I ever bought at Costco was a heated mattress pad. With the HMP you only need flannel sheets, one will never want to leave your bed... trust me. :)

    Happy new year

  11. What a lovely view!

    Take Kat up on her idea of private video game lessons ... that girl can PLAY!

    It's great that your son received his package on time. Our son in law is in Afghanistan, and mail is a big deal for everyone. Our daughter sends cookies and cupcakes ... naked cupcakes, and a container of icing that her husband and his buddies apply themselves.

    I think I may have to check out the heated mattress pad idea. This old house of ours gets nippy at night.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Teresa
    Happy Birthday to your soldier! So glad he received his Christmas on time! My son in Alaska didn't, so I'm still ranting about the mail service.
    The photos of the lake/pond? sunsets are gorgeous. You'll just have to keep focused on its beauty until the snow comes.
    This is the only Christmas in the 23 years I've been on Lake Superior that we didn't have snow.
    It teased us for an hour, then melted the next.
    It's teasing again, so we'll see!
    Have a Happy New Year! Kimberly

  13. This is a very low tech option but have you considered fingerless gloves ... while indoors, in bed? :-) Maybe you can find some that go with your blankets. Glad to hear the package made it. I shipped loads of packages via USPS this season for my etsy shop, all around the world, without a single problem. Sadly, none contained legos or cookies.

    And now back to my regularly scheduled leftover Christmas cheesecake break.

  14. Happy Birthday to your son Teresa. May he read our comments, and know how grateful we are for his service to our country. Thank you.

    HOW AWESOME that his package arrived on Christmas Eve. God is great, (and okay, the USPS ain't bad either...)

    Around here, everything is dead, but the grass is still bright green. Weird.

    Hugs to you Friend. ~Sal

  15. *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to your son from Oregon! I hope he comes home soon. Hubby kept saying, as I showed him your freezing lake.. "Where is that?". Beautiful.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  16. Dear Teresa, Happy Birthday to your middle son! Glad his pkg got there in time.

    Enchiladas for Christmas Eve? You are awesome!
    Pretty close to our tamale dinner on Christmas Eve. And our Christmas breakfast... scrambled eggs with tamales! I still have some if you and hubby want to swing on by : )

    Blessings, Julie
    ps...hope your remote wish comes true.

  17. what gorgeous views! I hope he has a happy birthday and that he comes back safe, sound and soon!!!

  18. loved this sweet, sweet post. and the photos are spectacular! how gorgeous is that? (: merry Christmas!

  19. Birthday blessings for your son...thank you/him for his service. Praying for a safe return, sooner than later :) laurie

  20. Happy birthday wishes for your son and hope that he will be home soon. I appreciate all he does for our country and our freedom. So happy that his Christmas package arrived on time.

    Your images are stunning! What is up with the lack of snow?

  21. oh my heck! A remote control! Perfect! Because I too have the same exact problem. Except I do have a heated mattress pad and it is heaven... And when it snows, can I come visit you?

  22. I really should stop feeling sorry for myself that my whole family wasn't here on Christmas morning... since I did get to see everyone in person, just a bit late. I think the USPS must read your blog and wanted to show that they CAN actually get their act together when need be.

    YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE YOUR KINDLE! I carry mine everywhere with me... I actually had to change to a bigger purse so that it can go with my like my electronic security blanket. Growing up I always had to have something to read, even just the cereal box would do, now with the Kindle I'm am never, ever without a "book" :) And the cold hands/arm issue? Well after 2 years I've become an expert at holding the Kindle and turning pages through the blanket... I just keep my arms and hands under just the top blanket :)


  23. How lucky you are to have that view with or without snow. I agree, technology is crazy. How wonderful those boys got to share that. I don't blame you for wanting to sharpen your skills. The cold upstairs is a hoot; thought I was the only one who might have a room like that to offer the bad guest. I think I'll name our room Sibera too. Happy B-day to your boy. I know you're one proud mama. Send him a big howdy and thanks from the bottom of my heart from N.C. I am so happy he got his present for Christmas; how special is that!

  24. Photos are beautiful!! We are longing for snow too... too many dreary rainy days lately.

    I've been thinking abou whether I should try the Kindle, and also The Hunger games. You liked it?

  25. oh I want to come sit on those chairs! so beautiful!!

  26. Love your photos . . .
    Really cool that Santa sent "middle son" a Lego set . . ., Happy Birthday "middle son!"
    I don't like the brown around here either. Is everyone in this country experiencing odd weather this winter? Whatz up with this . . .?
    Happy 2012 . . .

  27. Hi Teresa

    Everything looks cleaner with snow, bright and fresh, it is like a mud bath here! My little boys favourite toy is always Lego I hope and pray that your big boy is home with you soon

    Take care


  28. Happy birthday to your hero of a son....he has my utmost respect and admiration for the amazingly brave, unselfish job he is doing along with thousands of others. May all his wishes come true!
    I love all your pictures...never has "brown" and "dead" looked so beautiful and serene and calm. I feel calmer just looking at those pictures!
    Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

  29. I'm so glad your boy got the package on time! Isn't it just like God to make sure we have even the tiniest desires of our hearts?
    Your pictures are beautiful as always. I'm glad your Christmas was a merry one. And I especially like that your boys can still play video games together all over the world!

  30. Our son's share the same birthday. Mine turned 17 this year.. I hope yours comes home soon!

  31. It's my 16 birthday too! Funny! I don't really know many with my birthday...

    -Anna Rose

  32. Have you seen these gloves? Just saw them on Pinterest this morning and thought of you :)

  33. I agree he needs to come home. I thought of him and prayed for him Christmas morning. You are a tough mama.
    One day I hope to sit on that dock and while away the hours. Jayme can sit on the dock...I want one of the chairs now that I think about it.

  34. I hope your son had a good birthday so far away. I definitely agree that it's been too long. I laughed at your cold finger concerns. I have the same problem, but live in southern California, so have no real excuse.

  35. I recently stumbled across your blog and it's so lovely...and wow you have stunning views from your home!
    p.s. you're never too old to get lego :)

  36. You can come to our house next year. We played Mario Kart and Super Mario Bros :)