Tuesday

~ Quack Weather ~

 Oh, this winter certainly has me feeling out of whack!
Evidently it's quack weather!
Two nights ago, we heard quacking.
Looking outside, there in the dark , on the front lawn were ducks.
As soon as the dog started barking, they took off.
Fast forward to yesterday morning.  As I was about to let the dog outside & right on the patio stood the ducks.
Poor quackers. They were trying to get out of the deep snow. And, deep snow we have.
Yesterday we ended up with about  a foot of new snow.
 
 
 They were swimming through the snow and trying to find a dryer spot to nestle down
How cute they were... waddling through the snow.
 They took off, around the woodpile and headed for the meadow.
I thought that was the last we would see of them.
 When my sweet husband came home from work, I mentioned that the ducks had visited again, and were trying to snuggle up against the house and under the patio heater.
So, my husband went outside and took a look around to see where they had been and then he sticks his head in the door and tells us that the ducks are back, and in fact they had fallen into one of the basement window wells.
 Poor things.
My sweet husband took one of his large fishing nets and fished them gently out of the window well.
He put them in a tote and took them back to the neighbor that he thought that they belonged to.
Well, a sweet little girl answered the door and with much relief thanked him for bringing back her ducks. The hen practically jumped into the little girls arm.
An older brother of the little girls mentioned that the ducks had been missing for a couple of days, and they had tried to find them, to no avail. He also told my sweet husband that they had 4 ducks, not just 3.
So, being the wonderful and sweet and thoughtful man that he is, he drove back home and took another look around. He heard some rustling in another window well, and discovered the last lost duck. He scooped up the last duck and returned it to it's proper home.
Later in the evening, the doorbell rang and there stood a mother and her three young children.
She told my husband, " I hear that you are the duck rescuer and that we have you to thank for returning our ducks".
The kids had made a sweet candy~gram thank you for my husband.
Not necessary, because he's just the most generous and thoughtful person, and he didn't need a thank you. ... but, it was kind of them and he appreciated their thoughtful gesture.

Such a happy and bright spot in a cold and stormy winters day.

~Reasons to smile today :
* The snow storm has subsided and I was able to stay on top of the new snow yesterday. I am grateful that my health is good and that I could get outside and shovel, scrap snow, salt sidewalks and driveways. It took a few good hours out of the day, but I am so grateful that I am healthy and able to do the chores that needed to be done.
*New bedspread. Yesterday while shopping, I found a really bright and cheerful bedspread for out master bedroom. Just the ticket! It's cheerful and bright, and I love that it feels 'summer~y'... especially now that we've had months of snow.
*Reason number 3 to smile today: Cute craft ideas that I'm going to make and a batch of chocolate chip zucchini cookies. Staying inside where it's cozy and warm today.

What I want to say is....

 It is still very much winter here.
Snow..... and lots of it, covers the ground, meadows, mountain... and lawn.
One of the worst parts of winter, in my opinion, is the wind.
When it blows, it blows that freezing air off the mountain tops and there is no escaping that frozen air.
Brrrr.... just brrrrr!!
 I try and take Rowdy out for a walk every day.
We wait and watch for the sun to come out and for the day to warm up a bit.
He loves going for a walk, and I've been letting him off the leash for part of the walk.
When we walk past the fields, and there isn't any traffic on the road, he gets to walk along with out the leash, and he loves it.
He cracks me up!! He walks along and sticks his tongue out as he's walking and treats himself to a "snow" cone.
He loves munching on mouthfuls of snow.
Too funny!!
 We walk around the college.
The sidewalks are kept cleaned off and so it's a nice place to walk in the winter.
This building is just one of the old building that we walk by each day.
 I have fallen in love with the blue on the door. So much so, that we bought a similar color of paint to repaint my sweet husbands office.
We've been working on indoor projects. Painting, putting up wainscot, etc...
It's a great time of year for indoor projects!!
Believe me, when it's warm enough to be outside, that's just where we'll be !
 Staying busy with projects and crafty ideas helps the winter pass more quickly.
On Pinterest, I saw a tutorial to make colored glass out of recycled bottles.
Gathering up old salsa and jam bottles, I followed the tutorial and ended up with a bunch of colored jars. I rather like the way that they turned out, although I admit I splurged on store bought ModPodge and used it instead of my homemade Modpodge on this project.
It called for glossy modpodge, so I used that.
 I love that the turquoise blue jars ended up being an almost perfect match to the turquoise blue jar candle that I recently bought. The jar with the wire bale on it is the purchased jar and the smaller jar to the left of it, is the one that I made.
Along with turquoise colored jars, I made olive green ones and pale orange jars.
 For Christmas, our daughter gave us some balm from Trader Joes. It's a head to toe balm, and it's wonderful for dry, chapped winter ravaged skin.
I found another Pinterest idea to make some homemade balm, and so I did!
Beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, and essential oil.
It made one and a half tiny jars full, and above it's been poured into the jars and set to cool.
As it cooled it turned a pale, pale yellow color.
Turns out, it works just as well as the Trader Joes variety, and considering that the closest Trader Joes to us is well over 90 miles away, I'd say that the DIY balm is spot on!
Lastly, I'd like to say that spring will come.
Each and every day draws us closer to spring.
Warmer temperatures, greening grass, and daffodils and tulips and pansies in bloom.
As I looked through my pictures from last spring, I was trying to gauge when I'd see green grass again.
This picture is from late April. SO, my heart is full of hope!!!
Oh, and as we were going through our favorite catalog to order seeds from, it dawned on us that we planted garlic last Fall.... so there is that to look forward to this summer too!!

~Things making me smile today ....
* We were supposed to get another big snow storm yesterday, and most of the moisture we received was in the form of rain. Yay! I'll take the break from shoveling, thank you very much!
* Our order is on it's way from Bath & Body works. Again, we live so far from a B&BW that when they have their semi~annual sale, it's just easier and more affordable to order on line.
*This coming Friday, we have reserved ticket to visit the Provo City Center Temple.
That building was our tabernacle when I was growing up and holds a special place in my heart. I am so happy and grateful that it is now a temple and that it could be saved after the fire.
To read more about that temple, click the link : http://newtempleinprovo.blogspot.com/

Wednesday

~ New year... new opportunities! ~

 Hello friends,
Can you believe how quickly the new year is approaching?
Never in all my years, can I remember a year that has gone by as quickly as this past year.
Maybe it's getting older..... I've often heard that as we age, time goes by faster.
Hmmmm.... it's something to consider ....
I have big plans for the coming year.
 In years past I've tentativly made 'New Years' plans, or resolutions, whatever term you want to use.
But, last year I put 8 strips of paper rolled up in a tiny little bottle.
Eight resolutions for the new year.
A few days ago, I took the cork out of that tiny little bottle and I read over my goals for this past year.
Happily, I accomplished each of my eight goals!
Maybe there was a little genie magic in that little bottle!
 What ever it was, having that little bottle filled with those slips of paper was just the reminder and just the motivation that I needed to work on my goals this last year.
Guess what? Tommorrow night, I'm going to write down some new goals for the coming year on little strips of paper and put those little written reminders in my teeny little bottle.
  Just a little reminder in the coming year of the things I want to work on.

 Also, I took a few minutes and downloaded some pictures off of my little camera:
* Deer in the meadow. They are still digging through the snow and munching on a few of the pumpkins left over from Halloween.
 *Pictures snapped on the way back home from Santa Fe.
In the Monument Valley area of Utah.
Gorgeous red rocks.

 * Near Moab Utah.
Love the turquoise color of these rocks.


*Hole in the rock.
Gosh... we should have stopped.
I saw a sign here advertising  ~ Camel Rides.
Oh well.... maybe next time.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!!
Hope that this one is the best New Year yet.

~Reasons to smile today...
~The days are getting longer now, and that means more sunshine each day!  Perfect for a girl like me that is 'solar powered'!
~ Having my sweet husband home for a few weeks. Nothing better than spending time with my best friend and sweetheart!
~Buying paint and trim... getting an office and the family room re~painted and decorated. Love the fresh clean feel of a newly painted space :)

Thursday

* Merry Christmas*

  My Christmas wish : Peace, Happiness and Health for each of you.
       Enjoy this wonderful season filled with blessings.

  See you all in the new year!

  {{hugs}} ~ Kerin

Wednesday

* Santa Fe, New Mexico, & Snow *

 Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Have you ever been?
My daughter and I just returned from a trip to Santa Fe.
It was on our bucket list.
I joked that crossing off that item on our bucket list, almost caused me to "kick the bucket"!
 We left on a snowy morning, at 4:00 am, for what was supposed to be a 10 hour drive.
We spent about an hour and a half at a Denny's waiting for the snow to stop falling and for visibility to increase.
Finally, after talking with some truck drivers that were headed up this same canyon, we decided to get going again.
Bad decision.
We slid off the road and into the emergency lane, and gratefully, we did not slide off into the barrow pit!
Let me tell you, it was scary and tense!
That canyon drive, which was about 100 miles long took us hours and hours and hours to get through.
At one point, we were pushing the car up the mountain road, in the snow.
We didn't see a single plow, and as you can see by the picture above, even semis with chains on their tires were sliding off the road.
Frightening, to say the least.
Finally, we got up through the canyon, and on the other side of the canyon the roads were wet, but not snowy, and we got on our way.
 We finally got to Santa Fe 16 hours later. It was dark in Santa Fe when we finally made it there.
The next morning, we went sight seeing, and exploring.
In the snow.
It snowed in Santa Fe almost the entire time we were there.
It was beautiful though, and with the luminaries glowing at night, it looked magical.
 The two above pictures are from the old square.
 Our beautiful daughter, Brooke.
We had breakfast at a little place and watched it snow in Santa Fe.
 A snowy view.
 A snowy street, and a view of the cathedral.
 Another view of the cathedral.
 Shop windows decorated for Christmas, in silver and golds.
 We spent a morning at the Farmers Market.
That was so much fun, and definitely worth visiting.
 Decorated chili ristras.
 All kinds of treats and pastries.
Many pastries included green chilis

 More of the market...
 another view of the market....
 inside the market....
lots of wonderful venders and goods.
Handmade grass baskets.

I bought one of the grass baskets.
Truly beautiful craftsmanship!

~ Some of the market pictures are from Google images, as it was windy and snowy on the day that we went, and unfortunately I didn't get a lot of pictures..
Anyway, you can see how the market is set up and how many wonderful booths there are to shop at.

We ended up cutting our trip short, because of storms and road conditions. If we had stayed for our entire planned time, we would have gotten stuck for another week and that would have been a very bad thing. Our daughter has a kidney transplant and has to take anti rejection meds 2 x a day.
Of course, she packed extra, but not another weeks worth.
So, we ended up getting up at 3:30 am Sunday morning, and driving back home.
Gratefully, the roads were safe, even though they were snowy in places, and we made it back home in about 10 hours.

We loved visiting Santa Fe, and we are planning another trip there for next year.
We will not go in December, however..... **smile**!

If you've been to Santa Fe, then you know how beautiful it is, and if you've never been, I would add it to my bucket list if I were you.

One thing.. I wanted to buy chili ristras and never had a chance to, so I found a great company on line that sells chili ristras, dried chilis etc..
Just in case you want to buy your own chili ristra here is their link :http://www.newmexicochileandristra.com/


What ever plans you have, or where ever you may be traveling, I wish you safe travels and a very healthy and Merry Christmas!!
~ Attitude of gratitude:

* I am eternally grateful for answered prayers!! I know many prayers were said on our behalf as we traveled to Santa Fe, and I know that we were blessed beyond measure.
We arrived safely, and traveled home safely.
* I am grateful for our daughter!! She is an amazing, intelligent woman. I awarded her " Best driver in the Family" after she drove for a total of 27 hours on icy, snowy, slick roads and on a route that we have never ever been on before!! Amazing!!
* We are so grateful to be back home, with our family, and blessed to celebrate this wonderful time of year.
* Grateful for Christmas, and all that it means.

Tuesday

~A new view ~

 Things are looking a little different here at Mill Hill Meadow.
I have a stash of old windows in the garden shed, and now that the weather is cold and blustery, and it's too cold to work outside, I've been working inside.
 I've been bringing in my old windows, one at a time, and cleaning and sealing them, and most importantly ... decorating with them.
 Many of them are really in bad condition, and very old.
We bought most of them at one yard sale this past summer. We were told that they were out of an old city building in a near~by town.
Some of them look to be from the 1930~40's, but a few of them look to be even older.
Wavy glass and all.
The above window has 9 panes. As I was cleaning it, 2 of the panes just dropped out. So, each and every pane had to be caulked in with clear caulk and stabilized. As you can see, almost no paint remained on frame.
I painted the frame a soft sage green color with chalk paint and sealed it with varnish.
 Here you can see the finished old window frame, hanging in the living room.
I love it!! And, our family loves it. My sweet husband loves it, and he loves the character and the history of the window too.
He even loves that I didn't try to replace the two cracked window panes, and instead I just stabilized the panes and left them cracked.
Oh, and that 'new' green~gold chair? It's a find too! We bought two matching chairs second hand from an estate sale. The upholstery is in new condition, and the chairs are very well built, and very comfortable.
Perhaps we will have them re~upholstered..... perhaps not.
 Another old window. This one hangs in the laundry room, and is the same window that shows the close up in the very first picture on this post. This window was scrubbed and then sealed with varnish. I like the old paint, and the old patina on this window.
 A little glimpse at the t.v stand.
I painted it a beautiful yellow color. Goes so well with our 'new' chairs and 'new' windows.
 These doors at Gardner Village were the inspiration for the color I wanted on the t.v. stand, and on the blanket chest. The blanket chest that used to be painted white {4th picture in post} is now the same yellow as the t.v. stand.
That yellow reminds me of marigolds in the summer. Loving it!!
 The early morning view from our motel room in St. George.
Brooke and I went to "Time Out for Women" in St. George at the first of the month.
It was a wonderful event, and a super fun weekend! We enjoyed the presenters, then we shopped, and went out to eat, etc..
So fun to get away to a warmer city, and have a girls weekend!
 Speaking of 'girls weekend', last weekend we had Girls Craft Weekend.
It is something that a few friends and I have begun to do every other month.
We get together, and all of us bring a craft or two plus the supplies to do the craft, and we all spend the day crafting together. One of my crafts that I shared was wood blocks painted with snowflakes on them.
I found the craft on Pinterest.
All together, we each did eight crafts, and we had a lovely lunch, and lovely gift bags provided by two of our friends.
Our next Girls Craft Day will be in January.  I'm really looking forward to it!
 A new view : Snow.
It's official.. winter has come to our area. It has snowed several times, and the temperatures have fallen.
The picture above shows the last snow storm that we had. Huge, fluffy flakes of snow fell, and covered everything in a blanket of white.
 Oh, and one day, as I let Rowdy out to go potty, I looked across the meadow and noticed that someone is building a big new home.
I just noticed it, although clearly they've been building it for some time!

 And, look who stopped by for lunch!
The view outside our windows always includes the mountains and the meadows, and once in a while the deer.
Now that there is snow on the ground, we see a great deal more of the deer.
They found the left over pumpkins from Halloween, and have been munching away.
There are still quite a few pumpkin and squash left, so I imagine that this will be my view for a few more weeks.

What ever your view is, or whom ever you share your view with, here's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and a week filled with blessings and goodness.


~Attitude of gratitude :
* Feeling grateful that the phone call that came just after 5:00 am this morning was a phone call that wasn't from any of our kids. You know when the phone rings at that time of morning, your heart turns a bit cold... as it is usually bad news.
Thankfully, it was a co~worker of my husbands that had broke down in town and needed a ride to work. OK. That is do~able.
*Feeling so grateful that our son and his wife will be able to spend Christmas day with us! Previously, he had to work on Christmas, and wouldn't be able to come until the day after. He switched schedules, and now they will be here on Christmas... yahoo!!
* Grateful that most of our family will be here for Thanksgiving. We are a small group, but we always have such fun together, and make warm and happy memories.
*Thankful for our beautiful home. It sure makes me happy 'fluffing' our nest, especially when it's too cold to be outside. This is the time of year when I do my painting, cleaning, organizing, crafting, sewing, baking, cooking, etc.....