Thursday, December 9, 2010

Miscellaneous Musings

(photo courtesy of ehow) 

Several of you wondered what I was talking about when I mentioned having a toothpick tree growing up, so I thought I would show you what one looks like and even provide you with a link to a tutorial (HERE) in case you're interested in making one yourself!  

In the photo above they have hung the little ball ornaments from the toothpicks by hooks or maybe from the little loop where you normally attach the hooks?  The tree I had growing up had the ornaments attached in a different way.  My mother simply removed the gold end from each ornament leaving a hole and then slid the balls onto the end of a toothpick.  And we also didn't have a stand for our trees, they simply rested on the bottom set of toothpicks.  Either way you chose to do it, I think they are cool little creative trees, and I certainly loved having mine in my room each year.

Each year we have Tundra swans return to our creek, sometimes we have up to 12 pairs who spend their winters with us.  I love these beautiful, graceful creatures and look forward to their return each December, usually right around my birthday.  On Tuesday morning when I woke up, they were back, and Mr. Tide informed me that it took a lot of doing, but that he had made all of the arrangements to ensure they would be here for my special day.

You see, yesterday was my 47th birthday, so Mr. Tide was actually a day early on the swan delivery.  He waited until yesterday for the rest of my gifts, and boy what great gifts I received!   

I got the prettiest pink Cyclamen I think I've ever seen from my neighbor J!  My son gave me a card that made me cry, $60 worth of iTunes cards, and a package of cd's so that I can burn some new music to listen to in my car.  My daughter called me to wish me a happy birthday and to say she was sorry she couldn't be here, and she sent me the cutest e-card telling me that she is waiting to bring my present the next time she comes for a visit.  My in-laws sent me a check to put towards whatever I want,(it will go towards Mr. Tide's amazing gift).  And then Mr. Tide gave me another tear jerker card and some studio lighting equipment!!!

I've been wanting some studio lighting to be able to shoot the interiors of homes with really high ceilings, or at night.  And I've also been thinking about trying my hand at portrait work, so the lighting equipment he bought will help me to accomplish all of that!  As I sat and looked at it last night I thought to myself, wow I feel like a professional photographer...or at least I can play one on Blogland!

Studio lighting equipment isn't cheap, and I wish my family hadn't spent so much money on me so close to Christmastime, but Mr. Tide said I should look at it as an investment.  Did I mention that this man who I love dearly thinks I can do anything I want to do?!  

As if all of that weren't enough, or really too much, I also got fresh flowers and a homemade German Chocolate favorite!!  Mr. Tide made the entire thing from scratch and it was delish!  Mr. Tide doesn't bake much...ok not really at all unless I need him to whip up some brownies when I'm behind the 8 ball, so it was a real treat to have such a yummy cake made by him.  My son even called him Betty Crocker a few times while he was in the kitchen baking!

You could say I was a bit spoiled...ok a lot spoiled on the occasion of my 47th birthday, and the day was perfectly wonderful!  We had Panera salads for lunch and then pizza for dinner...yum!

The day ended with phone calls from family and friends. LOTS of puppy love, and an early bedtime.  When I woke up this morning, I didn't feel any older, and certainly no wiser.  I actually don't lament each passing year and think of it as a badge of honor really, it's a gift to still be breathing in the air around me.  Like my father used to say "having a birthday is better than the alternative!"  

I am truly blessed in so many ways and unlike some December babies, I don't feel like I miss out on having a December birthday.  If anything, I feel like I get to appreciate everything that's near and dear to me twice as much this time of year because my birthday is so close to Christmas.  Just don't wrap my presents in Christmas wrap...that's all I ask! ;-)

It's been awhile since I've shared a song with you so I thought I would end today's post with a song I found on a wonderful blog, HERE, that I came across thanks to my newest follower.  She is an artist and a very creative young woman it seems who hails from the city where my mother was born, Charlottesville, Virginia!  Thanks Danielle and everyone who follows LTHS, and thanks for introducing me to this song which sums up my love for all those near and dear to my truly is Brighter Than Sunshine!

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!!!


  1. Sounds like the most glorious birthday! What beautiful photographs--I think you ARE a professional photographer already, my friend!

    What a good husband to make you your favorite cake from scratch! He's a keeper!

    My oldest daughter is a December 22 baby, and, like you, she has never felt cheated either! I love that she loves her Christmas time birthday...very special. We even gave her the middle name of Noel...perfect!

    I hope today is just as wonderful as your birthday!


  2. Happy birthday to you!!!!!! My best wishes!!!! Kisses- Ag

  3. Happy Birthday Kat! Looks and sounds as though it was wonderful. You already are an incredible photographer, so it's only going to get better from here.

    Now you know I love all your photography, but every time you post a pic of the doggies, I just want to put my face on my computer screen and get covered with puppy kisses!

  4. Well, a late happy birthday, but if you are like I am I always celebrate all week long! The tree--made me smile. I have made the toothpick balls and had them out at Christmas time, but never made them into a tree. I got rid of mine when I was decluttering for a move!

  5. Beautiful double swan in flight photo!!.. and oh, that puppy FACE!... and oh, what a man, baking a german chocolate cake from SCRATCH??? My husband, for the first time EVER.. in 23 years!!!.. just made me a cup of coffee yesterday morning. I almost fell off my chair.

    Happy Birthday, Kat!

  6. Studio lighting? NICE

    I'd take age 47 all over again... Loved my 40's.

    Happy Birthday to you and many, many more happy ones.

    Oh, and look how stinkin' cute that pup is getting!

  7. You deserve spoiling Kat - I'm terribly impressed with the swans - Mr Tide must have pull!
    I gave birth at 1.50am on Boxing Day, so my son has an un-birthday 26 June. My husband's is 27 December - busy week!

  8. The 40's have been wonderful to me so far. Happy, Happy Birthday♪♫♪
    Studio lighting...Yayness!
    You are doing what you have a passion for and you do it very well!

  9. Happy Birthday Kat.! What a lovely and well deserved you appear to have had.

    And yes........keep that man!

  10. Kat,
    Happy, happy birthday! Sounds like a wonderful day full of love! And wonderful family - which includes the dogs!

  11. Happy birthday Kat! You sound like you had the best kind of birthday - warm wishes from the family, delish cake, and too much spent on presents. I think you would do an amazing job with portraits - maybe even pet photograpy. It's the perfect extension to your writing and home photography.

  12. Sounds like you had a most delightful day. And Happy Birthday! You are such a fantastic photographer already! I can't believe I've never seen one of those trees.

  13. Happy belated Birthday dear Kat! That Mr. Tide sure is a keeper, I was impressed with the beautiful cake he made and those beautiful daisies. But then he had to go and summon up those swans to top it all off. So excited for you getting the studio lighting! You go girl!! Hugs ~Lili

  14. Well Happy Birthday to you! Sounds like you had a great day and much love from everyone.

  15. Happy happy birthday to you! Sounds like you had a perfect day...with lots of love and happiness! Hugs to you, my friend! Wishing you many more happy times! ♥

  16. Happy birthday and as a fellow December birthday - thanks for the reminder to all we don't love Christmas wrapping paper!

  17. Happy Birthday to you -It sounds like you ahd the perfect day and the perfect cake :-) I love the pictures in your header

  18. I really like the pics at the top of your page. Draws you right in. And a toothpick tree...who woulda thunk?

  19. Happy Birthday, Sweet!! You deserve all those gifts and more. The camera equipment is are well on your way to becoming more than you thought you would be. And I am behind you. You will write and photograph your own book.


  20. HAPPY B'DAY, KAT! A fellow Sanitarian, eh? Excellent.
    Cool vid, too. Like the song.

  21. Kat, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY a day late you rat! I have been in and out all day and just getting to your post. You have the sweetest husband. He bought you wonderful gifts and made you a cake from SCRATCH!! If mine did that I would have to ask him what he did with my real husband. ha ha!! Hope you have many many more, my friend!

  22. Oh, yea, the swan photos are just magnificent! I love watching birds and those are stunning.

  23. Wow ---- your birthday sounds like it was as close to perfect as one could get, Kat! lol! German Choc cake is MY fav, too! Mmmmmm! I'm still just awwwwing over your sweet pup's face. What a doll!!! Happy belated birthday to you! :)

    xoxo laurie

  24. Happy Birthday, my husband's birthday is December 8th also! We celebrated by going out to dinner at our favorite seafood restaurant! Happy you had a wonderful day, were surrounded by family, friends and pups!


  25. I am so glad that they spoiled you, you deserve it!! What a wonderful day you must have had, tears, laughter and cake!!! :) I love what you said about your birthday being in December, I will have to share that with my son as he gets older. :) Hugs to you my friend and hopefully there was some left over cake to enjoy later! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!!!

  26. Happy Birthday, Kat! This really sounds like SUCH a wonderful birthday~ how sweet that your husband made the cake! It sounds like you received very special gifts and I know it will be fun to try the new photography equipment! Thanks so much for sharing the charming toothpick tree and the great music, too!

  27. Kat, Happy belated birthday!! It sounds like you had a wonderful day. Today was my husbands birthday and he got a german chocolate cake too...his favorite.

  28. Happy b-day, again, Kat!!!
    Sounds like it was lovely.
    I have fond memories of
    C'ville, as we lived there
    for two years and my youngest
    was born at UVA Hospital : )
    Off to listen to this song.
    I know I'll love it.
    xx Suzanne

  29. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! The cake looks delicious... makes me want to get baking!
    Thanks for sharing!


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