New Year's Escort in Style.....

I had a silly vision this morning that Jack would lead us all into the New Year! After all, he does have quite the reputation for celebrating the holidays in style. So, I stripped the mailbox of its rather garish silver garland and brought it in for Jack to sniff. With a little persuasion, he was soon fashioning this shiny stole and leash combo, and I was begging JP to play along. Luckily, all went well and my silly vision began to take shape. And, Voila ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR to YOU! I wish you and yours the best that 2011 has to offer. May it be filled with magic, shimmer and delight!

~ Johanna, Jack (and JP, our willing & ever-ready camera man)

* Jack leads the way to a prosperous New Year!...

* Jack looks up and questions my sanity..... :)

* He glances up once again, just to double check....

* A proud pose he strikes here with that shimmery stole! (He loves the attention)

* One more glance back to make sure we are headed down the right path...

* A swoosh and a jump, and he's ready for a break! Me too :)

Photography © 2011 Johanna Parker Design - Images may not be used without permission.

A New Day, A New Year!...

Happy New Year, one and all!... We rolled out of bed this morning a bit later than usual as we were up late with family and friends savoring delicious delights and enjoying their company. Once awake, we were blessed with the warm rays of the sun on this first day of the year. Here in Colorado, it has been bitter cold and unusually gray, so it was a treat to have the warmth of the sun greeting us. We decided that it would be a perfect day for a walk to our neighborhood lake. It's been so long it seems since I have treated myself to a brisk nature walk! But, first a cup of JP's ritual morning cappuccino was first on the list.... This is something I doubt I will ever give up :)


He makes the yummiest cappuccinos and sprinkles natural cane sugar and cinnamon on top! Delish! That along with a couple of slices of homemade chocolate chip banana bread, and we were set for our outdoor excursion.


As we approached, the lake was almost completely frozen, but the sky was a rich happy blue. We brought the camera along to document our first day of 2010....


"Stop and smile!" I said to JP. Off in the distance, folks were riding their horses and also savoring the sun. I must admit, we had to walk at a quick pace at first just to warm ourselves as the temps were in the 30s.... BRRRRR.....


Luckily, I wore black to attract more of those warming rays, and soon I was feeling great!....Hmmm, maybe I should do this more often.....


The contrast of snow, sky and earth were pleasing to the senses, and it was a joy to soak it all in and experience the fresh air, especially after a couple of trying weeks. But we'll get to that later....


I stopped to rest on a park bench, and JP snapped a quick pic of my new year's smile :)


"Quick, Look up!"... Geese were flying overhead making that haunting swoosh-like sound with their large wings. I pondered how far they had yet to travel to reach their destination...


A gnarled tree caught my eye, framing an icy lake landscape in the distance... You can see the front range mountains out west....


We stopped at a balcony overview and caught a glimpse of our shadows on the snow- covered icy lake below. "Wave your hand," I said to JP.....


Intrigued by the various animal prints that traipsed across the lake's surface, I had to snap another photo....


Before we headed home, I asked JP to stand near an old Cottonwood tree, but he had his own agenda! Silly guy!

What a wonderful way to start a new year! We were glad to breathe deep and enjoy the day. As I said earlier, the days leading up to this new year have been a bit trying to say the least. If you noticed in an earlier post, I mentioned that my dear cat Jack was recovering nicely from having 4 teeth pulled. Well, so I thought at least... On the evening of Christmas day he became ill, and all my Facebook friends who have been following along will know the story. So, I won't go into detail, but luckily, he is now officially on the mend! I am so very grateful he is back to his cheerful self, and he is eating again! Yay!! The poor guy lost close to 5 pounds in a couple of months which is substantial for such a critter. I was worried sick about him as he is such a dear. In fact, his doc proclaimed that he was the kindest, sweetest cat he had ever encountered in his 30 years of practice!.... I believe it! You've all seen how agreeable he is to my fanciful "kitty dress-up" days, right?! Anyway, I wanted to say thanks again to all who sent him positive thoughts of healing and recovery! It worked :) And now, we can enjoy a happy cheers to this new year!


We played "feather" with him after our walk, and he played along! Spirits are high, and we are happy!....(He doesn't look too skinny here, but well, he was over 19 pounds in the recent past - maybe it's a blessing in disguise as he needed to go on a kitty diet!)


.. And a big New Year's kiss for my Jack! .... Like it's the only kiss he got all day?!! Right!?! Haha!... So, we're overjoyed to have him back to his chipper self! It is amazing the impact our 4-legged friends have on our lives.....

Again, Happy New Year to all! Count your blessings and be grateful for ALL of your loved ones and the joys that bring smiles to your every day life.

~ Johanna