A gift for you..

 Happy Easter. 
What a wonderful time of year, and how blessed we are!
Because of Jesus Christ, death is not the end.
We can live again with Christ!!
A gift for you..... enjoy this beautiful video.

Wishing each of you a very blessed, and Happy Easter.


* Adjusting my sails *

Life just sails along most of the time.
All of a sudden, "WHOOSH".. a gust comes along, and blows you completely off course.
My oldest brother passed away.  Unexpectedly, very suddenly.
My heart is hurting. 
I've never lost a sibling before.  I've lost my Dad, and my Father in law..... but never a sibling.
It's a different kind of hurt.
I'm trying to re-adjust my sails and keep sailing along.
I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me, and for the comfort and re-assurance that the atonement of Jesus Christ brings to me.
I know I will see my brother again. What a happy re-union that will be.
I am eternally grateful that Families are Forever!!
our house is under contract and we are due to move by the end of the month, if not before.
IF everything works out.
SO much is out of our control .  The buyers need to do so many things on their end, in order for the sale to be finalized.
I'd really like to be done with showing our home, and dealing with "LOOKIE LOUS".
I'd really like to move into the home that we've chosen, start decorating, and making new memories with our family.
Like the old saying... ' it's not over, til it's over'.
Never the less.. the sale of our house, and the buying of another house is on my mind.
Yep.. it's a lot.
Grateful that the funeral is over, and I feel like I can start to heal. 
 Praying that all goes smoothly, and we don't hit any road blocks with the buyers.
Prayers on our behalf would be much appreciated.
There you have it.
The reasons for my blogging absence and the reasons why I may be absent a bit longer.
For now, I'm striving to live like this ~~
                                                              She stood in the storm
                                        and when the wind did not
                                                 blow her way,
                                          she adjusted her sails.
I'm adjusting my sails..........


Happy Spring to Ewe, and Yew, and You.

Happy Spring to Ewe.
Isn't she the cutest?!  Mama sheep found herself a darling Springtime bonnet.
The other day, my sweet husband and I went for a ride. Just to see some Spring time changes here in the country.
Of course, it's lambing season.
We happened upon the cutest flock of sheep, and such sweet baby lambs.
 Lambs always mean Spring time is finally here.
New life.
Don't you just want to rub their little fuzzy heads?!
 English Yew shrubs.
The evil Yews.
I had no idea that they were so miserable to remove.
Spencer had so many growing along the front of his house, that you couldn't even see the house.
We tried to yank them out with a cable hooked to the hitch of the truck. Bad idea.
Never, ever, try to yank a Yew shrub out....unless it's a teeny baby Yew.
So, the chain saw came out and he whacked them down.
The stumps will be dug out and cut again with the chain saw.  Any remaining Yew shrub stump will be covered up with top soil, and we will plant over them!!
 Spencer and my sweet husband also had to take down a huge dead tree that was in the front yard. The tree was so dead and hardened that it took them a long time to cut it up. 
Just with those two landscaping clean-ups done, his yard and home look 100% better. It's amazing what a difference it's made.

 Also... the endless painting.
Each free day and what free hours we have, we paint.
Sanding, caulking, and painting primer.  The ceilings are 12 feet, and I cannot reach them, even with an extension pole. So, Spencer and my sweet husband are the ones that have to paint the ceilings and the top parts of the wall.
I am however... a most excellent trim, and baseboard painter!!
In the process of painting, Spencer has been getting his whole house re-wired.
It's just about done.  Then, the insulation will be done. There is a company that sprays in insulation, and they are going to do the house.  Also, the plumber will get started and re-plumb the entire house.
We are big DIY-ers, but there are some things that we hire out. 

Wishing you all a very nice Spring. 
Hoping for you that you are getting all of your Spring projects done.
If I don't post for a bit, you'll know I'm working my fingers to the bone.. painting, landscaping, caulking, loading debris in the truck, and hauling it to the landfill, hanging out at the hardware store.... etc.. etc... etc...

Attitude of gratitude:
~I have so much to be grateful for... but I am especially grateful for Spring this day.

Milk jug mayhem....and sweet potatoes.

Milk jugs have been our preferred way of starting seeds in the Spring time.
They are in-expensive, and readily available and they work perfectly like mini greenhouses.
That is, when you remember to save them.
I'll admit, sometimes I'm just to pragmatic for my own good! As soon as the milk jug is empty, I crush it and put it in the waste can.
Too many times, I've been chastised about not saving the milk jugs.
I'm finally getting better at saving them. 
The above picture is an idea that I saw on Pinterest.  It is perfect solution for us and the way that we start our seeds. 
It solves the problem of where to place said milk jugs, and seed starts once you fill up a couple dozen old milk jugs.
This week, I'm determined to get a milk jug rack made.
It will be nice to corral the milk jug mayhem that prevails each Spring time.

 As many have asked about the sweet potato starts, I thought perhaps a bit more info. would be helpful.
These sweet potatoes are pictures of my starts from last year.
My goodness, I remember thinking after a few weeks had passed that the idea was not going to work.
Then, one morning as I refreshed the water, much to my delight I saw tiny little white root sprouts.
I had just about given up hope of the idea of starting my own sweet potato slips.
I'm so glad that I exercised patience.

SO,  this year.. I'm determined to be patient and keep fresh water in my jars, and keep the jars in a sunny window
Actually, I'm also going to begin some more sweet potatoes and do it just a bit different and see what idea works the best.
 I'll keep you posted.

Unfortunately.. I forgot to take pictures of the slips once they grew.  We ended up putting the slips in the garden and they grew wonderfully.   Then... the pumpkins took over and we never did check to see if we had sweet potatoes.  It was one of those things.
The point is, that the slips grew wonderfully, and beautiful vines formed. 
Perfect for planting in pots
That is my goal this time around.
To grow slips for potting and using in a decorative manner.

Attitude of gratitude:
~I'm grateful that we were able to get the Dr. orders faxed and Brooke's blood draw done.  She had a kidney transplant and once you have a transplant you have to see the Dr. and have blood draws like...........forever.
~I'm grateful for the rain in the valleys and snow in the mountains.  My Heavenly Father loves me so much. He knows I long for green grass, and that my soul cannot take any more snow! For now, I am blessed with  a winter break. 
I'll take it,  and be grateful for every single second of it!!
~I'm grateful for a kind friend that stopped by yesterday, and gave me her old dining room table.  So excited that I can have it for Spencer's house.  We're going to give it a make-over so that it fits in with his colorful, fun, and happy d├ęcor.


Spring Fever

There they are.... perched on a windowsill.
Sweet potatoes in old canning jars.
Guess you could say I've got a bit of Spring Fever.
Green, and growing things would be most welcome.
I'm over the white blah of winter.
 Looking past the sweet potatoes, you can see white snow covering the landscape.
We had a couple of new snow storms this past week; like many places across the U.S.A...... evidently, winter is not over!

Last year, I started sweet potatoes in March, and they never really took off very quickly.  I'm hoping that by starting them much earlier this year, they will get a chance to really sprout, and get growing.
Our daughter snapped this picture of the snow-laden trees on her way to work. 
Hence the somewhat blurred picture....
While the snow is pretty, and the winter-blue color is somewhat magical... I for one,  H8SNOW !!
{***next time I get a new vehicle.. I think I'll put that on my license plate }

Attitude of gratitude:
~I am so grateful for my faith.  This has been a week of remembering to trust in the Lord. To do my very best, and He will make up the rest.  I need to remember that every single day!!
~I'm grateful that while we have new snow fall for the growing months, that the storms have cleared out and the sky is blue.


Heavy heart. Fallen Officer.

The officer stood and faced his God Which must always come to pass...
He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you officer, How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?"
The officer squared his shoulders and Said,"No, Lord, I guess I ain't...
Because those of us who carry guns Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough.
But, I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here...
They never wanted me around Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod...
As the officer waited quietly, For the judgment of his God,
"Step forward now you officer, you've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

Last night, we received the news that a law enforcement officer was shot and killed.
My sweet husband is 3rd generation law enforcement, and our youngest son is 4th generation law enforcement. 
Incidents like this, hit close to home.
Brothers in blue.

Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and 5 kids, and his fellow officers. 
For their hearts are heavy.

For more on this story click the link :


My Secret Life as an Old House Renovator.

 Before and After:
 Spencer's new house.
Well, just about the best Christmas present ever!
Spencer closed on his house on December 24th, at approximately 2:30pm.
Since that time, we've been elbow deep in hot water, soap, dust-pans and brooms, Spackle and paint, dumpsters full of rubbish.
Multiple trips to the Home Depot, and hardware store.
Hauling 'new' second hand furniture that Spencer was lucky enough, and wise enough to purchase from a professional decorator that had recently re-married and combined households.
Sure, we had to go about 55 miles from home to the lady's house {one way}, but it was totally worth it!!

Above is a picture of the fireplace after countless hours of scrubbing.
The "After" picture.
 Brooke, took on the task of making the old fireplace sparkle, and uncover the beauty that lay beneath decades of soot and ash.
She is amazing!
On her hands and knees, bucket and scrub brush in hand and bottle of "Awesome"... scrubbing away.
Layer by layer, uncovering beautiful fired ceramic tile. Art Deco style and with a beautiful patina.
 "Before" fireplace.  So much grime, soot, and ash.
Such a shame really, that it fell into such dis-repair, and neglect.
 "Before" picture of the fire place. You can see that there are a few badly damaged hearth tiles that will need to be repaired, or replaced.
 After: Looking towards the sitting area, from the living room.  This room is really quite large.  Approximately 30 feet long.
You can also see the beautiful detail of the coved ceilings.
What a tremendous amount of work this space has been.
 My sweet husband, and Brooke spent hours and hours on ladders, scrubbing the soot off of the ceiling and pulling hundreds of staples out of the ceiling trim.  Then it had to be painted twice with high quality paint, with built in primer. 
Turned out amazing!
 During:  The above picture is of the built in China cabinet in the dining room.
Spencer has been working on it for a few days.
He really wants to get his sea-glass colored goblets in it.
 Sea-glass colored goblets.  Set of 10
"Hand blown" by his "dear friend" that cannot be replaced if broken, because "sadly his friend passed away".
That's the provenance that Spencer is sticking with.
He's put the fear of death in everyone, if they are ever break one of his goblets.

Even though, we were fortunate enough to find the goblets at a thrift store.
He is "wise beyond his years"!
He looks for bargains, and is able to see the value in recycling items, and saving the difference in price.
So proud of him!
Spencer , gingerly washing his favorite goblets.

I cannot wait to get started on his kitchen.  Of course we need to paint EVERYTHING.  Re-glaze the sink, put in a new faucet, caulk windows, re-surface his counter tops... etc.. etc... etc...

Of course there is a certain type of person that takes on a renovation. 
A person that wishes to bring new life to vintage homes,  to see an old home gain the respect and admiration that it once had.

" I am as susceptible to houses
as some people are susceptible to
other human beings. Twice  in my life
I have fallen in love with one.
Each time it was as violent and fatal
as falling in love with a human being"
            ~Katherine Butler Hathaway, the journals and letters of the Little Locksmith

To all of us who just can't help it,
who would still rather live in
and old house even after fixing one up,
remember the words of the poet:

"He who loves an old house
never loves in vain."
                ~ Isabel La Howe Conant, "Old House"

So, there you have it.
I will be working away.
Helping Spencer bring back the charm of his old house.
Of course, I plan on posting more pictures, and filling you all in on the detail.
In the meantime, we are still trying to sell our house, and close this chapter and begin a new one.

Love to all....

Attitude of Gratitude:
~How very grateful I am for the ability to reach, stretch and renovate still!!  Yes.. I feel it deeper in my bones, than I used to... but the ability to do so is a blessing of great worth, that is not lost on me!!
~I'm so grateful for my renovators best friends: diet coke and chocolate.  Bless you diet coke makers, and M&M makers ***smile**.