Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy New Year & Free Gift For You!

Happy 2015! I hope it will be your best year yet, filled with blessings and every bit of love, peace and joy your heart desires.

My year end review template is my free gift to you to thank you for your support! No email address or strings required. It's a Google docs spreadsheet. Just save it as a different name so it goes from the shared template to your own personal version and enjoy.

May God bless and guide you in this new year and always! As I said last year, "If you are grieving or suffering in any way as you read this I pray that God will ease your pain and that you will feel His loving presence in your heart. If you would like more information on God's great love for you, I recommend visiting Peace be with you, dear friend!"

Note: Here's the full link to your free gift:

Related posts:
New Year haikus:
New Year prayer haikus:
2014 New Year wishes:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas & National Tree

2014 National Christmas / Holiday Tree, Washington D.C.
"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

Merriest Christmas wishes to you and yours! May Jesus Christ's love and peace that passes understanding rest in your hearts and minds!

My husband and I went to see the National Christmas tree at the Washington D.C. mall today. As you can see, it's a big tree. According to the sign in front of the tree, it's called the "U.S. Capitol Christmas tree" or the "People's tree." Each year the tree is donated from a different state and this year marked the 50th year of this Christmas tradition. This year's tree came from Minnesota and is an 88 year old, 88 foot tall white spruce with a trunk diameter of thirty inches. "Minnesotans sent 10,000 ornaments from the land of 10,000 lakes to decorate" the magnificent tree. I'll share a few of my favorite ornaments with you below.
National Christmas tree flower ornament
This pretty poinsettia looks like it was hand crafted from birch bark and I love nature crafts.
Assorted national Christmas tree ornaments
I liked all three of these ornaments for different reasons. Both my mother and my mother in law love snowmen so I think of them every time I see a snowman decoration. Joy, as you can probably guess from the title of my blog, is very important to me, and I liked the poinsettia topped skis too.
Canoe ornament with signatures
This canoe ornament with what I presume to be the signatures of those who helped make it is adorable. I think, like the first poinsettia ornament above, it is hand crafted from birch bark.
Minnesota state and mixed ornaments
There were many creative ornaments in the shape of the state of Minnesota but I liked this multicolored one with the silver glitter cross the best. I hope you enjoyed this mini photo tour of our national Christmas tree! Merriest Christmas and happiest New Year wishes to you!

Related posts:
2013 National Christmas tree:
Smithsonian Christmas tree:
Christmas blessings:
Funny Christmas cat photos:
Longwood Gardens Christmas:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cute Dwarf Mongoose Enjoys Pumpkin

Cute dwarf mongoose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy November and harvest time! My dear husband took me to the National Zoo so I could see the cute animals enjoying their pumpkin enrichment time. I thought the dwarf mongoose was especially adorable in her pumpkin house.
Dwarf mongoose macro: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 Three of these cute critters took turns jumping in and out of the pumpkin.
Dwarf mongoose in pumpkin: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 But this one stayed the longest.
Dwarf mongoose pumpkin house: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 She could watch her peers running around the rest of the habitat from her window.
Cute dwarf mongoose feet: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
See her tiny little feet? She jumped out right after this shot. I thank you for visiting and hope these photos made you smile. May God bless you in this new month and always!

Edit/note added 11/5/14: I am prayerfully going to take an estimated two-month break from the blog, but, God willing, will be back with brief holiday messages and regular posts in the New Year. If there's something you'd like to see or read more about for 2015, please comment below or email me at May God bless and keep you!

Related posts for you to enjoy:
Cute Halloween cats:
Cute baby monkey:
Funny Halloween cat:
Cute rabbit photos:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween Cats and Flowers

Cute Halloween cat: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy Halloween and harvest time! Unlike easygoing Moose the cat, my feral born cat (Baby) doesn't take well to costumes so I usually just place props around her for photo sessions. As promised in Wednesday's post, today's post includes viking and cowgirl Halloween cat photos too. Enjoy!
Harvest/Halloween flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Because Halloween also falls on floral Friday, I thought I'd include these pretty Halloween inspired flowers my dear husband bought me. 
Moose the viking cat: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Moose looks fierce in this photo but really she was just eyeing the bag of post photo session treats.
Baby the viking cat: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Baby looks even fiercer but she was just yawning. She eventually fell asleep with her head resting on the (totally safe) battle axe prop.
Moose the cowgirl princess cat: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
My husband bought this blonde wig and cowgirl hat for Moose and I thought this was a funny photo. She got extra treats for this one.

I hope this Halloween brings you many treats and no tricks. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Funny cat in sombrero photos:
2013 Halloween funny cat photos:
2012 Halloween cat photos:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Moose the Cat Rocks a Sombrero

Moose the Cat in sombrero: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Welcome to the Halloween edition of wild Wednesday! I hope you enjoy these cute and funny photos of Moose the cat in a sombrero. She's nineteen years old and mostly likes sleeping but she knows if she lets me take photos of her she'll get treats so she plays along.
Moose the Cat's sombrero stare: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 I thought she had a good stare off face in this photo
Moose the Cat in sombrero 2: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Here she was looking up at our other cat but you can see the sombrero's colors best in this shot.
Sombrero siesta: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
And here she was settling down for a little nap.
Moose the Cat stretches in sombrero: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
But before dozing off she stretched out one paw dramatically. I had a whole red background photo session area prepared but when the cat is willing I take photos wherever she is. These were on the floor in our living room. She was enjoying the sunbeam on the carpet before (and after) the photo shoot.

Keep an eye out because we have a viking warrior, cowgirl and more funny Halloween cat photo shots to come. Happy early Halloween! May God bless you and those you love!

Related posts:
2013 Halloween cat photos:
Halloween squirrel:
Halloween orangutan:
2012 Halloween cat photos:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Echinacea, Pansies, Rose Petals and a Dahlia

Purple coneflower (echinacea): Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden." The cooler autumn weather has killed a few of our plants but there are still spots of floral color to be found. The echinacea (purple coneflower) above is a volunteer from one of our original plants. It seems that the oldest plants bloom earliest but we're still getting new flowers from the youngest plants.
Blue and white pansy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Thankfully, the pansies my husband bought earlier in the season survived the various heat waves we've had since planting. I love this blue one with white, violet and yellow accents.
Strawberries and cream rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
I was pleasantly surprised to find this strawberries and cream rose. I thought the weeds and morning glory vines had killed the bush. I love the white edging on the petals.
Burgundy and yellow pansy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The pansies not only survived but they're putting out fresh buds. Hopefully they'll continue blooming through next spring.
Yellow and white dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The dahlias are still blooming, although their flower production has slowed a bit.

I hope my flower photos made you smile. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Wheelbarrow pansies:
Pansy patch:
Spring pansies:
Spring poem and pansy photo:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monarch Butterfly on Pretty Chrysanthemum Flowers

Monarch on chrysanthemums: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy wild Wednesday! I love butterflies and the monarchs have always been special to me. It was fun watching this one on a patch of chrysanthemums in the National Arboretum's Asian gardens. 
Monarch wingspan: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The butterfly only opened its wings fully a few times so I was thrilled to get this image.
Monarch on chrysanthemums 2: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
It flew from flower to flower.
Monarch and moth on chrysanthemums: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
And even shared space with a colorful moth (near the far right side of the photo).
Monarch on chrysanthemums 3: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
But didn't seem disturbed by the company of the moth or many bees also enjoying the chrysanthemums and sunshine.

I hope my photos made you smile. Happy autumn! May God bless you and the world's butterflies!

Related posts:
Monarch butterflies on tithonia:
Butterflies and dragonfly:
Butterfly garden:
Butterfly art: