Monday

~* Autumn Blessings *~

 There is no other time of the year I love more..... for me, Autumn is the finest season of all.
The crisp morning, and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, rain storms, and thunder.
A cup of cocoa while sitting next to the fireplace. The smell of woodsmoke in the air, cozy blankets to cuddle under.
Crispy~crunchy leaves to walk through, football games to cheer to, and warm bowls of soup.
The list goes on and on... all things wonderful about autumn.
 Slowly, I've been breaking out the autumn decor.
Little bits here and there, and most can stay out throughout the autumn season.
Gourds, and twinkle lights.
Chalkboard signs......
Faux berries, and candles.
A wee corn husk basket...
 More candles, and a flickering candlestick.
 The picture stays up year round.. a tribute to my favorite season, it depicts a harvest season in a small mountain village... quite like the area that we live in, actually.
Colors of gold, and yellows, and crimsons.
 In the kitchen, a large galvanized tray holds a 'blessings' platter, a small lantern, and a pitcher full of glorious green faux hydrangeas.
 On the range, a new pumpkin.; porcelain covered cast iron pot.
 I've wanted one like this for ever...... one day while perusing Wal Mart, I spied this lovely thing, and promptly bought it.
I think it will stay on the top of the range for many weeks to come. Of course I'll cook in it!
Thinking about chili, chicken and dumplings, cowboy casserole, beef and barley soup....etc..etc.
 A beautiful metal pumpkin sits front and center on the buffet in the dining area of the kitchen.
A small bunch of faux bittersweet tumbles out of a grapevine basket.
 On the windowsill, little acorns...... found on a morning walk recently.
The 'Fresh Eggs' sign is a recent yard sale purchase, and sits next to a brown spatter ware pitcher, also a yard sale find.
 In the living room, on the blanket hutch a small bowl of 'ancient' coins, and two aged brass candlesticks.
The candlesticks and the coins were a recent purchase, found at a thrift store in Santa Fe.
They always will be a warm memory of a great trip with my sweet husband.
While I can't authenticate the age of the coins that I was told are 'ancient', I still love their patina and their shape, and they are certainly a topic of conversation.
 The last of the flowers fill a few vases around the house.
Lovely colors of gold and pinks and salmon.
Little birds flock to the last of the sunflowers and enjoy the last of the warm days.
*my sweet husband took this picture.
 Another picture that my sweetheart took.
What a sweet little bird.
 One more picture that my hubby took.... I do love this one, so much. I love that little bird perched on a dry sunflower. A perfect Autumn photo.
 Deer in the meadow.... grazing.
I love to see the deer, but I am dreading when they move into the yard and start munching on our plants.
The elk, higher in the meadow.
The elk are in the rut now, and bugling can be heard at all times of the day, and sometimes at night.
The elk farmer has already trimmed their antlers so that they don't hurt each other.
 The time to be happy is now.... absolutely!
Autumn is an especially happy time for me.
Hope you are all enjoying this wonderful time of year.
So, have you tried the "Pumpkin Spice" Lindt truffles?
Or the Pumpkin Butter that you can buy at Trader Joes?

~Attitude of gratitude
~Grateful for good health.
~Grateful for a wonderful husband and great kids!
~Feeling thankful that the lawns have dried out from last weeks storms and I can get the mowing done. I have always enjoyed mowing the lawns, and I'm grateful that I have the good health that allows me to do it.

Thursday

~ Catching up ....

 First of all, I want to wish everyone a very happy first day of Fall... yay!!!

It's been a while. 
Blogging took a backseat this past summer. 

We decided to enjoy every bit of summer and make time for traveling and spending time with family.

 My sweet husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 If you've ever been to Santa Fe, then you know how beautiful it is. The architecture, the colors... it's all wonderful. 
I love the old doors, and the blues, and greens, and turquoise colors against the adobe and stucco colors. Look at the brick detail in the above picture... simply beautiful.
Did you know that the oldest house in the United States is in Santa Fe??
 This is the oldest house in the U.S.A.
There is a museum in the house, and you can see the way that people used to live back then.
One of the best things about Santa Fe, is that right now is chili season, and everywhere you go, there are chilis roasting. The entire city smells wonderful and there are delicious meals with roasted chilis as a main ingredient.
We brought home four containers of fire roasted chilis. I deseeded them and cut the stems off and froze them. Looking forward to having those chilis this winter... thinking about the delicious breakfast burritos, and chili relleno casseroles, and blue corn and chili cornbread... yum!
Driving through Utah, we saw some pretty country. This area is in the Monument Valley region. Utah is a gorgeous state!!


Back home, we are getting Fall~ish weather now.
The grass across the meadow is all golden and dry now, and the Fall storms make for the most beautiful sunrises.
Fall is my favorite time of year.... absolutely!
Though, I will miss our summer flowers.
My sweet husband and I are staying pretty busy... .so much for slowing down as one gets older... **haha**!
  We are now working two days a week in the Manti temple.
We are baptistry coordinators and that's keeping us pretty busy.
We're still making time to travel a bit, and we are working on projects around the house.
I'll have project updates soon, and show you what we've been up to.

*Attitude of gratitude ~
~I'm so thankful for this season in my life. Being an empty nester is the best!! We adore and love our kids, but having time together without additional distractions and responsibilities is wonderful!
~I'm grateful for the rain we are getting. It is sorely needed, and although growing season is about done with, it's nice to have the moisture and to take a break from having the sprinklers on.
~I'm so grateful for our safe travels. Each time we've taken a trip, we have been blessed with safety. No vehicle problems, or health problems, etc...  so very blessed!!


































~ Iffy~

 My goodness.. spring has been iffy, at best, where we live.
We'll have a warm day, then a cold day when it's chilly enough that I end up turning on the fireplace. Also, we've had a lot of wind this spring. Tons of wind!
For a bit, I thought that I'd never see the brunella bloom again, or the tulips for that matter.
Now that things are greening up and looking beautiful, my heart is happy that spring is finally here and summer just on it's heels.
 We've stayed pretty busy.... we replaced the light fixtures in the kitchen. The previous light fixtures were a bit too contemporary for my taste, and the new light fixtures are more 'country' or 'farmhouse' and simple.
 I've been making summer crafts....
 and spring crafts......
 and making over furniture.
That little chest of drawers was given to me years and years ago. Our youngest son helped me cut the 'skirt' off of the chest of drawers and helped my add the 'feet'.
Then, I cut a piece of wood and replaced one of the drawer stops, and gave the entire thing a paint job.
 Distressed, and stenciled and sealed, it's a great additional storage piece.
The entire project, including the cost of paint, and the stencil, came in at under $20.00. A real bargain for a nice storage chest. The 'feet' we bought at ReStore and adapted them to use on the chest. Originally they were furniture 'feet' that were for couches, or side chairs I imagine. At just a dollar a piece though, they really were a great buy!

Also iffy... my ability to keep my blog updated. I have good ideas for posts, and then I run out of time, or fail to make time to download pics, and write and publish a post.
Guess I'm too busy soaking up the warmer weather, or maybe I've outgrown my desire to blog?
It's iffy.


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/