~ Monday this and that....

New dishes, in Autumn colors. 
Walmart had a set for four on clearance for under twenty dollars. I bought them online.
 I'm so looking forward to cooler temperatures.
Looking forward to Autumn thunderstorms.
~ Pumpkins, crunchy leaves, cool mornings, and hot cocoa.

This past week was a whirlwind. 
Our son and his adorable family were here for a few days. 
After almost six months apart because of the military, he was able to reunite with his darling wife and sweet baby boy.
We too hadn't seen him or his family for nearly six months, and we too were so happy to be reunited. 
Hugs all around!
They are gone now, and we miss them already so much. 
Though now they are just a few days drive away, so it's better now to know that we can see them more often.

Life goes on, and there are household chores to be done today. 
I put some pears in the dehydrator and will do chives later on this week.
Laundry is getting caught up.
Text to our kids are going out, and there is a quiet peace in my heart that all is well.

An attitude of gratitude:
~I feel so thankful that we were able to travel not once, but twice to the Salt Lake City International airport in safety.  It's a two-hour trip, one way for us, and on the second trip up to pick up our son, we had winds and rain to contend with that made it nearly impossible to see the lane lines. Prayer and faith saw us home safely.
Nearly 3:00 am, we pulled into the driveway. As soon as we all got into the house, the rain came down so hard that the rain gutters looked as though we had turned on a firehose.
~So grateful we had a chance to see our son and daughter in love, and our Grand. 
~Feeling thankful and hopeful for the rain that is in the forecast for this week.
~Grateful to have the good health and strength in order to work in the borders and prepare them for winter. Cutting out leggy plants, weeding, trimming perennials, etc. 



 Improving skies.
Much less smoky and murky skies these past few days, as some of the wildfires closest to us are becoming more contained. 
Very thankful for all the incredibly hard working firefighters.
Very thankful for their families and the sacrifices that they make in order to let their loved ones go out and fight and contain these wildfires.
 Once again, as the sun rises we can see the gorgeous mountain tops.
So much better!!
 Driveway improvement. 
On the bottom right portion of the above picture is the driveway. 
It is much improved after spending a good amount of our weekend on it.
 Powerwashed, primed with cement primer, then painted with an epoxy paint. 
It is a much better-looking driveway now!
Some years ago, due to the frost, snow and salt damage that the cement had suffered, we resurfaced the driveway. 
One winter was all it took to make the resurfacing crack and break. 
Sans digging up the concrete, and pouring a new driveway, this is our attempt for getting a few more years out of the concrete. 
We have a north facing home and live in Utah where we get LOTS of snow.
 Concrete, snow, ice and ice melter make for a messy mix
If we ever have to repour the driveway, we will have low voltage warmers placed in the concrete, in order to melt off the winter snow and ice 
 My second attempt at bleaching out the pinecones resulted in a much lighter pinecone.
Still, these pinecones aren't as white as the ones that I've seen on magazine covers, Pinterest, etc.
I wonder if it is a certain brand of bleach that should be used, or have those photos of the super white pinecones been enhanced?
Still, I'm quite happy with these pinecones and the color that they are. I will absolutely use them in my Autumn decorating. 
Today I will place the pinecones in a box, and add some cinnamon oil to them. 

 The very large frame that I bought at the thrift store is now a new chalkboard.
It is a more substantial size than the last chalkboard that I had in this location.
The other chalkboard was made from an old cupboard door, and I gifted it to our younger daughter in love.
She was tickled to have it.
I was happy that she wanted it.
Even without measuring, I knew when I spied this large frame that it would make a better chalkboard than the cupboard door chalkboard for this space.
Another thrifty shopper asked me if I was an artist and if that is why I had the frame in my cart... **smile**. 
I told her 'nope, but I have big plans for this frame!'
This is the section of wall that is between the garage door and the laundry room door. 
I'm so pleased with this new chalkboard, and it's generous size.

Attitude of gratitude:
 ~ Thankful to wake up to clearer skies. Grateful to have less smoky air.
~Grateful for sweet summer garden produce.
 It's not a ton.. as we only have a few plants, but I'm thankful that I was able to pick a few squashes and a couple of peppers this morning; they'll be used for dinner.


* Sunflowers, Sea Holly and pre~Fall mini Haul

 Sunflowers and Sea Holly arrangements...
A buttery yellow Zinnia and Sea Holly
 Gathered enough Sea Holly, and Sunflowers and feather tops from asparagus that has gone to seed that I made three...
 sweet little arrangements to place throughout the cottage.
 Not real wood. 
Simple faux wood signs from the Dollar Tree. 

 This little faux wood sign I'll attach a  wooden stake to the back,  and then place it in a pumpkin display on our front porch, once pumpkin season arrives.
 A newly acquired thrifted find. 
Sunflowers, leaves and an acorn on one side...
 Pumpkin and sunflowers on the opposing side. 
 A flameless candle {scented too!} small plaque, metal 'Gather Together' sign, and a thrifted flat back basket that hangs on a peg. ~ the above items were from Hobby Lobby.
 Hello, Fall wooden cutout, also from Hobby Lobby.
 A work in progress: Bleached Pinecones.
Bleached Pinecones, after the first attempt. I used 1/2 bleach and 1/2 water and soaked the pinecones for 48 hrs. 
Currently, the pine cones are on their second soak in the bucket. This time, I'm using 100% bleach and hoping that the pinecones bleach out more this go~round. I'll keep you posted. If you've bleached pinecones before, leave me a comment and let me know how well it worked out for you, and also how you used the bleached pine cones in your decor. 

Attitude of gratitude:
~ Thankful for a super fun date with my husband; fishing at the lake and a picnic dinner.


~ and then ...

 In the middle of the night,  smoke drifted through the windows, waking us up, and then we realized that there must be a wildfire burning nearby.
In the light of the morning sky, we looked across the meadow, seeing the smoke filling the valleys and obscuring the mountain views.
 And then, we spent the day digging out the old rock edging and replacing it with a scalloped metal edging. We bought the metal edging at Walmart in the spring.
Additionally, we pulled out nearly all of the Brunnera that had gotten crazy~overgrown and cleaned up the beds.
Cut back the bleeding heart, cleaned out the window boxes, etc.
 And then,  we decided to clean out the potted annuals and transplant those annuals into the border beds to make them easier to water and maintain. 
We are currently on watering restrictions in our little town.
Finished the front border bed and then we will continue to work around the house, getting all the border beds cleaned up and we'll thin out the leggy overgrown plants.
Even though cold weather is a little ways off, it will feel great to get the beds and borders ready for Autumn and winter.

 Sunflowers growing like crazy.
Sea Holly.
 This is the second year for this perennial in our border. 
The sea holly was a birthday gift for my husband two years ago. 
It has become one of our favorite plants.
I've seen Sea Holly pared with sunflowers on Pinterest and would like to fill a vase or two with the pair one of these next days.
Dowels drying in a wire basket on the window sill. 
We have a monthly "Dinner Club" where we get together with other couples and then have a themed dinner party.
This past Sunday we met and one of the menu items we made was 

" Italian Bread Twists". 
There is a Utah restaurant that makes bread twists and they are delicious. We did a copy~cat version of the bread twists.
 The dough is wrapped around wooden dowels, and then baked hanging over a cake sheet as to not have a flatted side of the twist. 
Here's the link, if you would like to make the recipe:
We've had string bulb lights on the front porch, though they were the style that had the brown wire between the lights, so we took off the old lights, and then hung up new lights with a white wire.
 A lovely glow for a summers night.
And then, we awoke to a new fire this morning. 
This fire is closer than the last one.
 More smoke-filled air, more murky sunrises, and sunsets. 
Many prayers for everyone that is feeling the fear of wildfires creeping closer to their homes. 
Prayers for brave firefighters. 
Prayers for rain.

 ~ Update: August 7th, 2018 12:24 pm 
                                    Hilltop Fire ~ Sanpete County Utah
                                     *picture via
                                    Our local newspaper
The fire has grown from 50 acres yesterday evening, to over 1000 acres currently. Two structures have been lost and over 150 homes are threatened.

~Attitude of gratitude:
We received an awesome text early this morning. 
Our daughter in love and Grand are coming back to Utah!! 
They will be home this next week.
She and our Grand have been in Brazil, visiting her family for the last 5 months, while our son (and her husband) has been in the language training school for the military; he's learning Mandarine. 

Feeling grateful for a date night with my hubby tonight. 
Picnic dinner in the mountains, and a bit of summer fishing.

So thankful for sunshiney~ summer days. 
Thankful for fresh flowers. 
Thankful for a wonderful husband that works side by side with me on projects.


* Seriously*?

 It's been said that as we age, time passes more quickly.
It is certainly true in my case. 
I cannot seriously believe it has been so long since I last blogged!?
Busy days that meld into weeks, that meld into months, and before I knew it, time flew by.
 To be frank, it's a little, or a lot frightening how quickly time flies by...

 Nearly a year ago, our youngest son got married. We have a 'new' daughter in love.
 They are head over heels in love and looking forward to celebrating their one year anniversary at the beginning of next month.
 Liam. He is our very heartbeat. 
He just turned one year old! 
It's true what everyone told me... being a grandparent is the absolute best!
As one of my sweet friends told me..."makes you glad you didn't kill your kids when they were younger, doesn't it"! 
Grands are the best!! 
After waiting for our eldest son and daughter in love to have kids, the six-year wait was SO worth it!

 Summer is just cruising along. It's been a hotter than usual summer.
We recently celebrated Pioneer Day, here in Utah. 
The day our state celebrates statehood. 
We decided to get up into the mountains, away from the heat, and to get close to the water. 
  Here in the valley, we are on water restrictions.
We are allowed to water twice a week.
 Of course, the sunflowers don't mind the heat and lack of water.
They just continue to grow happily along... blooming and adding sunny yellow to the borders.
 Most of our flowers are fine with the drought.
That was all part of the plan when we planted nearly four years ago. 
Can it really be that we've lived here at Mill Hill Meadow for just over four years now?!
 The master bathroom makeover was high on my priority list, tho it has taken four years for me to actually dive in and get it completed! 
 Finally took the time to get it done this summer, and I'm so happy that I did.
 Sure enjoying the charcoal countertop and the white vanity.
Black and white accents can easily be switched up for a new look down the road if we so desire. For now, the simple cottage look is perfect.
 Do y'all remember my friend that owns the cute old gas station/shop? 
This summer I spied this cute 'married' hutch in the shop and bought it for our dining room.
 Decked out in the Bee dinnerware that I've been collecting for a few years now.

 Still doing a lot of thrift shopping. 
I love a great deal and the thrill of a great find!
Recent finds... the 'thankful' sign. It's quite large and perfect for Fall decorating, but really I could display it all year long.
Another find; this giant rustic frame. 
Soon to be fashioned into a large chalkboard. 
It will replace the cupboard door chalkboard that I've had for years. 

Have a happy day.

Attitude of gratitude:
 Feeling thankful to have overcast skies this morning, as it will make cleaning out borders and flower beds a more pleasant task.


~ Country Style Weekend ~

How we do weekends in the country :
We go to the drive~in movie.
The Basin drive~in theater has a new movie showing, about every weekend.
This past Saturday, we saw ' The Zookeeper's Wife'.
We had a mini convoy to the theater, including our son and his fiance, and some dear friends of ours.
The theater is also famous for their 'Basin Burgers' , and we had a delicious burger for dinner.

My sweet hubby and I took a ride in the early evening on Sunday.
We drove by the 'Old Pea Factory' in Manti, and there were a couple of rock chucks hanging out on the old dock.
Can you see that critter on the dock in the below picture?
 It rained off and on all weekend.
Gray clouds and rain throughout the valleys.
 All those clouds sure made for some gorgeous sunsets.
This is the sunset that greeted us on Friday night, as we left the temple.
On Saturday, our youngest son, and his fiance worked on his yard.
He recently had a new water main installed.
The old pipes had corroded and his water pressure was low and weak.
Once the new water line was installed,  now he has great water pressure!
The operator covered the line up, of course, but now Spencer needs to rake and replant lawn, and remove the rocks from the yard, etc.
I finished giving the kitchen a fresh, new look.
I painted the kitchen and decorated the kitchen.
Below is a little glimpse of the new wall color and a bit of decor.
I love thrifting!
 Yard sales, and thrift stores yield some of the greatest finds.
The above shelf, two of the plates, the small vintage rooster salt shaker, the sign, and the wreath are all thrifted finds.
I did a makeover on the shelf, of course, but the design of the shelf was just perfect for my "Cottage ~ Farmhouse" style. It cost a mere three dollars.
This past Friday, we also went to look at this old house.
The county records show this house being built sometime between 1885 and 1900, though there is not a specific date registered.
The house was for sale and some dear friends wanted to look at it, to buy it.
They wanted our opinion, as we have renovated old homes for over 25 years
There is work to still be done here, but all the hard and 'not fun' work has been done here. The updated electrical, insulation, HVAC, etc.
 A view of the kitchen.
The floors have all been redone with wood look tile, which is very easy to maintain, scrub and family friendly.
 The mudroom has built~ins and the washer and dryer and lots and lots of storage. There is plenty of room to have a pantry in part of the mudroom, as well. The lower boxes in the built in are on rails, which make sliding them in and out a breeze.
 A glimpse of the the living room and the front door, that the current homeowner made.
They took out the transom window, and made a door with four panes in the top, but the door is super tall and makes up the space of the transom.
 The kitchen. Floor to ceiling cupboard, and enough counter space to prep a meal, and work on.
*All pictures of the house were taken from the listing.
Dining area.
  The house is adorable, and all the hard work is done, though there may be color changes and decorative changes that our friends want to make.
They put an offer on the house,and it was accepted! Sans any hiccups, they will be the new owners of this darling old cottage!
They hope to close by the end of next month.
We are very happy for them, and excited for them to have an old house.

~Attitude of gratitude :
* So grateful for good health. My back gave me a few twitches and twangs this past weekend, and while it slowed me down, just a bit, it didn't take me out. I am so grateful that we enjoy good health.
*Thankful for the rain that we received.
*Feeling thankful that I found a darling skirt and top for the wedding. I looked at lots of dresses, and skirts, and finally found just the right style for me, and the right color for the wedding. Our future daughter in  law has chosen to have mauve, and blush for her colors. Mauve colored clothing, and accessories aren't as easy to find these days, as it was in the 1980's!

~On the list :
*Paint the hallway, and get started on the livingroom
*Scrub and re~stain the fence rails and finials.
*Plant seeds... sunflower, zinnia, morning glories, Italian flat leaf parsley.
* Plant tomato plants and basil and peppers