~ a few of my favorite finds ~

 Hello there, friends.
Is it just me, or has this entire summer, and even year, just flown by?
Fall is my most favorite season of all. Perhaps, that is due to the fact that my birthday is in the Fall... although it is still a little ways off.
I have heard that you love the season in which you were born, but I don't know if that's true or not.
For me it is !
I'll bet you've all been super busy.
I've been busy too.. you know, it is canning season, and yard sales are starting to wrap up for the season.
Wish I lived in a year round yard sale kind of climate....**smile**.
I've found some great things this summer at yard sales, and I've also found a few smart tips to help me out with canning.
So, lets get on with this post, shall we?
  ~ The above galvanized pumpkin is a new favorite find.   Found at a near~by gift shop.  It wasn't in~expensive, however, it will last for years and years and years, and it is quite pretty, and makes my heart smile .
 ~ See that 8 gallon pickle crock sitting under the console table? It was a yard sale find, from a few weeks ago. I hesitate to tell you what I paid for it... honestly, it was a steal. My sweet husband and I went to a yard sale of an older couple that had left the state, and a friend of theirs was selling the stuff for them that they no longer wanted.  Between my husbands finds, and mine, we made a package deal with them, and I would say that I paid a dollar {whoo Hoo} or less for that gorgeous crock!
 ~ A lot of candles found at a consignment store in St. George in the Spring.
I loved the sizes of the candles, not necessarily the scents or the colors.
So, I gave them all a make~over {ya'll know how I love to make~over stuff !} with extra wax, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and nutmeg.
I call them 'Cake Candles' , although that may not be the official term.
Love them now~ and they smell nummy too!
 ~ Another favorite find... sweet watercolors.
Just 25 cents a piece.
They are quite large, and older.
The top one, of the red mill, I framed for the dining area. I adore that sweet red mill and waterfall.
 ~They are all signed by Katie M Kinney... near as I can tell, and the date on each of them is 1952.
Perhaps they aren't great works of art, but I certainly love and appreciate each one of them, and I am happy to add them to our home.
 ~So, of course it's canning season.
Happily one of my favorite finds, has been fresh tomatoes on our little plants.
We planted just a handful of tomato plants this past spring, and did our best to keep the deer out of them.  Still, I just didn't quite have enough tomatoes to make salsa.
So, I stopped by a cute little farm stand in a near by town, and low and behold, fresh tomatoes!
I love that little farm stand in the Fall... for they have the best pumpkins, but I had no idea that they would have fresh tomatoes. Nice surprise!
 ~ Well, I just whipped up a batch of salsa pronto.
Much to my dismay, our pepper plant just couldn't produce enough peppers, and our local grocery store wanted a small fortune for just one pepper.
So, off to the dollar store I went, where I bought 7 one pound bags of all natural fajita mix... peppers and onions.
And, all the prep work was done! No tears from chopping onions, and no time consuming prep work for chopping and de~seeding peppers. Nope.
Just tossed a cup at a time of the fajita mix into the food processor, and presto.. chopped onions and peppers.
I feel like a genius! For just a dollar, all my peppers and onions for salsa!
 ~ A cute find... inspiration to make this sweet little hanger, via Pinterest.
There are such cute idea on Pinterest for Fall!!
I made  this cute little candy corn hanger in no time at all.  Just waiting for October to decorate with it.
 ~ Favorite find... polka dotted napkins on clearance at one of my favorite little boutique stores.
Just a dollar a package, for either the large polka dot napkins, or the small polka dot napkins.
So, I bought both.
Snagged a few recycled jelly jars out of my stash, a brush on of DIY modge podge, and a few other small embellishments, and VOILA... sweet little Halloween votive.
Gosh, I love 'em.
 ~ Favorite find, and favorite Fall activity..... "Swiss Days'' in Midway.
Love, love going to Swiss Days.
Lots of cute booths and cute ideas. Really helps me get in the creative mood.
Snapped a picture of this sweet sign.  {Sorry to the lady in the sandals and jean.. the booth was too crowded and I had to snap a picture as fast as I could }
What a darling up~cycled window frame.  Barn wood takes the place of the glass, and a sweet saying painted on the wood.
I just happen to have an old window frame laying around here... someplace....
 ~Another booth with cute accent pieces.
~Although, this had to have been one of the cutest things in this booth.
Simply, cute.
A round chalkboard, and a sweet saying.
Going to have to make me one of these!

~ Attitude of gratitude
~ Feeling thankful for sweet friends, craft days, and for all things Fall
~Grateful for my sweet husband, and wonderful kiddo's.  We all got together over the Labor Day weekend and had dinner. Thankful for those that had a ways to travel to be here, and I'm thankful that they made the effort.
~Thankful for a dehydrator full of pears, bottles of homemade salsa, bottles of homemade jam and a pantry filled with quick mixes. I am feeling more and more ready for falling snow days, each and every day, and grateful for a heart that feels that it is important to prepare and be a good steward over all that we have been blessed with.


~ Sweet Summer things ~

 Hello friends.
This has been a sweet summer!
In the meadow, the elk are grazing.
Look at those huge antlers on them this year!
Just a few days ago, I could hear a few of the elk bugling.  It is amazing to hear them bugle !
In a few weeks, the rut will begin, and then we will hear plenty more elk bugles.
 Our youngest son, Spencer, bought a small lathe {second hand}.
He's always loved working with his hands, and he wants to make pens, birdhouses, boxes, and bowls etc..
{He got that from my dad! My dad used to turn the most beautiful projects on his lathes.}
So Spencer turned on the lathe and grabbed a piece of left~ over fence post and turned a rustic candle holder.  It was difficult wood to work with. It was a piece of pressure treated and stained pine. Not the best wood for turning.
 Still, I LOVE the finished project!
I think this little rustic candle holder is the sweetest thing.
Spencer was going to throw it away!  He really didn't like the way that it turned out.
I on the other hand, think it's wonderful, and I am happy to have it!
 All the sweet sunflowers.
They are growing madly, and happily blossoming.
Out of the 10 varieties that we planted, about 7 different varieties have blossomed so far.
That's pretty good!

 Isn't it sweet when sunflowers just begin to open?!
The petals unfurl one at a time.
 The red variety is stunning!
I hope that they keep on blossoming, so I can have a big ole vase full of them.
 This one is a 'new to us' variety.
It was supposed to be purple.
It kind~of is, I suppose.
Although, it really is more of a burgundy color.
In the entire seed packet that was planted, only about 3 seeds germinated.  So, we'll save some seeds this year to plant next spring, but I think we need to plan on a low germination rate for this variety.
 I even love the sunflowers after the petals have withered, and all that is left is the seed head.
They are still beautiful to me.
I found this picture on Pinterest.
Such a cute way to display those sunflower seed heads, and very Fall~ish too.

Wishing you a sweet summer week.

~ Attitude of gratitude
~ Feeling grateful for the box of hot chocolate mix stuck in the back of the pantry.
It was down right nippy this morning! Just 51 degrees. We slept with the windows open, and I woke up chilled. That cup of hot cocoa really hit the spot.
~ Feeling so grateful that our daughter got a promotion with her company.
~ Feeling grateful for projects, and lists of projects. I look forward to each new morning and being able to work on something creative, or doing a bit of canning, etc..
   What a blessing life is!!


Newsflash * Raisins are not substitutes for chocolate chips!!


Hi there, friends.
By now, everyone has buckets and buckets of garden zucchini.
You know the old saying.." never leave your car unlocked in the summer, while at church".
Around here, the same could be said for leaving your car unlocked at the store, bank, or post office.
It's not that it isn't safe to leave your car unlocked in the summer time, it's just that you may get a few bags of zucchini deposited on your front seat~!

Anyway..... I've frozen zucchini, I've cooked with zucchini, and I've baked with zucchini.
This recipe has been a new favorite of mine, this summer.
The image is from the site, as our cookies didn't last long enough to snap any pictures of them.

The other day, when I mixed up a batch of these cookies, I found that I only had a cup of so of chocolate chips left.
Being the genius I am, I decided to mix in a cup or so of raisins.
I told our daughter about running out of chocolate chips and the reason that I mixed in raisins too.
She proclaimed , " Raisins are not substitutes for chocolate chips!" " Just call Martha and ask her!"

Duly noted.

     ~ Chocolate Oat Zucchini Cookies `
Zucchini-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: About 2 dozen
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 1 - 1 1/2 medium)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Add zucchini and with mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture. Stir in oats, walnuts and chocolate chips (I reserved 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips to press into the tops of dough balls before baking, just for looks which is totally optional).
  • Shape dough into balls, 2 Tbsp each, then transfer to a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 11 - 14 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  • Recipe Source: adapted with slight changes from Nestle

~ Soaking up Summer ~

 Hello friends,
It's been a wonderful summer.
My sweet husband took some time off, and we spent the time doing projects, and we threw in time for fun too.
We went to visit our oldest son and his wife. This adorable cottage is in a little town, near where they live.
Isn't it just precious~!
 Thanks to everyone for their well wishes, and for their tips on getting our sunflowers to grow again, after we had to dig them all up.
The above picture was taken shortly after we transplanted them back into the ground.
 And now, they are thriving.
I think that the shock of being up-rooted, stunted their growth a bit, but they are putting on quite a show, and surviving!~
 We planted about 10 different varieties.
So far, we think about 6 of the varieties have survived.
 These red ones are really stunning.
I am so happy that they survived, and I'll be saving seeds from these to plant en~mass next spring.
 A new flower to our gardens, is this Green Eyed Susan.
Isn't it wonderful~?!
I do hope that it takes hold, and next spring takes off!  I hope to have enough next spring to divide and put in several places in the borders.
 One of the things that we did while my sweet husband was off, is work on the fence. We now have one side completely done...~~ Yay!
We also bought new perennials and planted them in the borders.  This variety of cone flower, as well as a yellow variety, another variety of lavender, and we put in 4 trees! Two of the trees are maples, and one tree is an apple tree, and the other is an ornamental pear tree.
With the other variegated maple and the two plum trees we put in this spring, our yard will have beauty, shade, wind protection and fruit. It's a wonderful thing~!
 It's always nice to have fresh flowers in the summertime.
Cosmos are growing ~ seeds from a friend. Goldenrod ~ plant starts from a friend. Daisies, they were here when we moved into this house, and the Black Eyed Susans, I planted last spring, along with some tick seed.
 And, yes.. some of our beautiful survivor sunflowers are gracing our kitchen island.
The gladiolus are some that the stem snapped on, after a rain storm. I generally do not cut them, for I like them in the borders, more than I like them in a vase ~~ still, they are gorgeous! We planted them in the early, early spring this year.
 We bought a flat of raspberries.  Seven plus pounds.
We made the most delicious raspberry jam~!
My sweet husband helped me.... he is a wonderful pot stirrer.... in the best way~! He generally helps me with the canning, if he's home.
We made 3 batches of raspberry jam.
 We also bought some gorgeous, giant apricots at the farm stand. You can just see one peeking out of the yellow bowl.
I made 4 batches of apricot ~ pineapple jam.
I had to stir the pot all by myself though, as my sweet husband was at work.
He thinks I'm a great pot stirrer too ~~~ smile.
The jam turned out wonderful, sweet, and delicious~!
By the way........ have you ever had a pan fried potatoes and onions and topped it off with a dollop of apricot ~ pineapple jam??
It is a taste of heaven~ really!
Another project that we worked on, was to make a shed overhang roof for the ATV's.
We planned to add a shed overhang roof to the back side of the garden shed, when we first ordered it in the spring.
Once the shed was delivered, and we painted it, we knew the next order of business was to get the shed overhang roof built, before winter and snows descend on us.
My sweet husband, and our youngest son worked together to get the shed overhang roof done.
There is plenty of room for our ATV's, plus there is still enough room left over to stack wood next to the roof.
Just disregard the totes {they still need to be put in the garage} and the garden wagon {full of tools and supplies for the fence} and the birdhouse {still needs to find a home in one of the borders} and the charcoal grill { we only use it once in a while, and generally use our gas grill}.
I still need to get the stuff put away, and finish the posts, etc.  I'm debating if I want to stain them to look old, or paint them to match the garden shed.
The roof is old tin that was recycled from our son's old garage.
Hmmm..... guess I'd better decide soon, and get it finished.
When summer began, we had one hummingbird feeder, and one faithful little hummingbird.
We now have 2 hummingbird feeders, and we are filling them 2 x a day.
Last night as we sat watching them, as close as we could count... we now have over a dozen little hummingbirds.
I think they are trying to soak up summer too ~!
In one of our previous houses, we had 3 feeders and filled them multiple times a day.. we could count more than 20 hummers.
So, for now, we haven't set a hummingbird record.
Still, there is a bit of summer left, so one never knows.
Another fun thing we've been doing to soak up summer, is to go up to the lake.
This lake is just five miles from our house.
My sweet husband catches the biggest lake trout, and we've had some delicious dinners of lake trout with grilled veggies.
Tastes of summer.......
Can you spy that little town? That's our little town.
The winding road takes you up the canyon to the lake.
As you can see, we are blessed to live in a beautiful valley.
Mountains surround us, and fields make a beautiful patchwork like quilt in the valley.

I'm off to soak up some more summer.
Before you know it, it will be Autumn.

~Attitude of gratitude
~ Feeling blessed to have fresh jam on the shelves in the store room
~Feeling grateful to have packages of shredded zucchini in the freezer... enough to last throughout the winter, and to make cookies, breads, soups and chili's with.
~Thankful that we've been able to travel safely to our destinations, and back home again. What a blessing!
~Feeling thankful for great books and magazines that I've found at bargain prices this summer. I'm all stocked up for Fall and Winter reading, and for just a few dollars!
~I am so grateful for my life! I have a wonderful life, and I am completely humbled by how blessed I am. I feel favored by the Lord...


* Mission Possible : Sunflower rescue mission 2015

 Hello friends.
How are you doing?
Summer is just speeding by, isn't it.
It's hard to believe it, but July is half over.

Here at Mill Hill Meadow, we planted sunflowers in June.
 We waited a bit longer than usual because of our really rainy spring.
 We planted sunflowers at the edge of our property and the meadow.
Not only for their beauty, but also to give us a bit of a wind break.
The sunflowers were doing great!  We planted lots of different kinds of sunflowers, and some varieties had grown about 3 feet high already.
That is, until now.
You see that big orange reel of cable?
Well... that is fiber optics cable that a local phone co. is installing in the area.
Our subdivision is getting that cable all around it, and all the way through the subdivision to each house.
Except ours.
I politely declined to have our yard and sprinklers dug up, so that someday, sometime, when the company actually offers the service, that we could subscribe.
Currently, we DO NOT subscribe to this phone company's internet service.
 Today: The trenches are dug.
We spent time last night, digging up the most mature and healthiest of sunflowers in the hopes of rescuing them from the Ditch Witch.
 Two, out of the four sides of our house, have trenches running through them for the new fiber optic line.
 We rescued 12 large totes full of sunflowers.
We dug them up as carefully as we could, and filled the totes with water.
So far, so good.
Today, the co. is done with putting the cable in around our house, and the trench is filled back in.
Tonight, and tomorrow, and maybe over the weekend, we will transplant the sunflowers back into the ground.
I sure hope that they make it!
It would be great if at least 50% of them survive.
~Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this rescue mission will be a success.

~ Attitude of gratitude:
~ Feeling thankful for a wonderful family that is always supportive and helpful in all of my endeavors. Even something as trivial as rescuing sunflowers, they are right there doing what needs to be done.
~I'm feeling thankful for flip-flop weather. Sweet, calm mornings when I can sit on the porch and read or journal.


~ June: Junking and Jaunts ~

Hello friends.
Boy, oh boy.. it's another month that has just sped by, and tomorrow July will begin anew.
We've crammed a lot into June.
We've been to yard sales, and garage sales, estate sales.... we've been junking.

The above shelf was a yard sale find. Also the Quaker oats cans.. love them! I gave the shelf a little make over with some paint, and a bit of sanding.

I always find something great when I go junking.
Above junking finds: Shelf {gave it a make over with some black paint} bottles, plant, and the pig with the goose... affectionately referred to as "Petals" the pig, and "Gertie" the goose.
 Delightful mirror. 
We snagged it at a yard sale, only it wasn't actually displayed at the lady's yard sale.
She had it in her house, and they have been renovating their old house.
She asked me if I was interested in a really big mirror. She showed it to me, and the price couldn't be beat. I bought it on the spot.
 It also received a make-over {painted}. There is some hazing, and speckling on the mirror, but I honestly like the aged look of it. 
Isn't the scalloped edge on the mirror sweet?!
I imagine in it's former life, it was part of a mirror and dresser set.
 I painted our mantle white, and had been looking for a large mirror for the mantle.
 This mirror fits the mantle perfectly.
We took a jaunt to Park City.
It's always fun to take a trip to Park City.
We went to lunch and did a bit of shopping. 

 We managed to squeeze in a trip to the zoo in also.
 One of those summer activities that is always a lot of fun.
Lastly, our 'grand~dog' turned one year old.
Her name is Luna, and she loves water! Our oldest son and his wife live by a river, and they take Luna down to the river to swim, fetch and play.
Honestly, I was surprised that they got her to stand still enough to snap this picture!

So, what ever you're doing to soak up summer, I hope you're having fun!

Attitude of gratitude :
~ Feeling grateful for this day! I've been asking in my prayers for our Heavenly Father to help me find ways to serve.
Just this morning, I made a batch of naan, and took some over to my neighbors. It's not a big deal, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to foster goodwill, and show kindness.
Honestly, I am a home~body,and because I'm not out and about, and also because we live in a teeny tiny town, opportunities to serve just don't present themselves every day.
Of course, I always feel blessed to serve my family, but I am looking for service opportunities around me elsewhere as well.
A few days ago, traveling along the highway, we saw 2 elderly men trying to push a pick-up. We stopped gave them some help, and they went on their way. They were so grateful! Just for a teeny bit of help, and they thanked us profusely.
Yes.. I am feeling grateful for this new day, and for each new opportunity to serve.