~ Take heart!~

New year, and new thought, or theme, or words to live by... whatever you want to call it.....

    ~ For me, the word of my new year, or phrase of my new year is "Take Heart"
*image from Pinterest
Inspired by the following scripture:

 John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

What a wonderful and encouraging message!
 We have no need to worry or fret because our Savior and Redeemer overcame this world!
This is the year to focus on encouragement, keep on keeping on, service, a cheerful heart, a smile, a kind deed, etc.

We have been doing a whole house re~fresh. It started with the painting. We gave every wall a fresh coat of paint. Our color choice: Polar Bear, by Behr paint.

The color that was on the walls already was a soft beige color, but as we began painting, it became obvious that the soft beige color was absorbing so much light in our home, and lightening up the walls made such a huge improvement!

The above picture is the 'Before" picture...
 During: What a major difference in the color. 

We also added beadboard wainscot to the entryway.
So much more light floods through the entryway now, and everything feels so light and fresh.
With the beige walls, carpet, tile, etc.. in addition to our home having a Dutch hip roof, not all the light filtered into our home. 

Now it does!! 
We are constantly thinking that one of us left a light on.. .*smile*. 
It sure feels happy and bright now.
We really went all out, including getting new carpets.
We were going to wait a few years but decided that with all the new paint that new carpet was needed as well.
 Our previous carpet was original to the build of this house thirteen years ago and had become dingy and worn, as carpeting does. 
No matter how often I shampooed the carpet, it just never was nice a clean.
After riping up the old carpet, we found literal piles of dirt on the subfloor. I think it was from when the house was constructed, and no one thought to vacuum before the carpets were installed.....go figure!

  We also bought a new sectional.
Some friends asked for our previous living room furniture, so it worked out nicely.

We took all of the old carpeting and padding out ourselves, as the installers wanted quite a pretty penny to remove the old carpeting and padding. In some of the rooms, we had carpet coving, and so when we removed it, and after the new carpets were installed, we put in new baseboards.
One of my favorite re~fresher projects was this hoop and doilie wall. I had seen this idea and loved the sweetness of the look. Hand crocheted doilies aren't really a thing anymore, but they are so pretty, and of course, anything like doilies takes a great deal of time and the workmanship is beautiful.
For about a year now, I've been collecting various doilies with this project in mind. An acquaintance of ours had quite a few doilies her mother-in-law had made, and I was able to buy them for a good price.
I scoured the thrift stores for old wooden embroidery hoops, including a hand quilting hoop as one of the doilies was quite large.
Yep... I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. 
I still have one very, very large doilies that I need to scout out a large hand quilting hoop for.
        Next on the list... finishing the master bathroom, in addition to installing a barn door between the master bedroom and bathroom.
Lastly, I'll leave close with some nice everyday things...

Pomegranates. Once every few weeks, a man comes to town and brings produce from California. Pomegranates, oranges, avocados, etc. 
We bought one bag of poms from him and ended up with cups and cups of juicy and delicious pomegranate seeds. I froze most of them so that they wouldn't go bad.
Winter sunsets. With the cold temperatures at night, it's hard for me to remember to step outside and take a picture of the sunrise or sunset, but when I remember I am always amazed at the beauty of nature.

Homemade beeswax candles, scented with lemon cookie fragrance. 
Ocean sunset. From our kids' vacation in Florida.



~ A few of my favorite things~

 A Scottish Highland cow and calf.
This sweet little mama and calf are in a field at the end of our subdivision, and we sure enjoy seeing them on our walks. 

An old trunk: a gift from my husband's cousin. It belonged to a great, great-grandma.
I just love the stamped metal on this old trunk...such a sweet pattern.

"Our mountains". When the days are mild and warm enough, we go for 'scooter' (side by side) rides all around the trails in our mountains.
It is an absolute blast to go exploring the trails and see all the beauty right in our own backyard.

Home refresh.
We are getting ready to paint. We have painted quite a few rooms since moving here just over two years ago, but we are going to finish painting the rest of the rooms, and then after Christmas, we are having new carpet put in. 
I love, love being able to refresh our home.

Sea holly still blooming.
I love gardening, and even though I'm not spending time in the yard currently because of the colder weather, it's still fun to see what is hanging on in terms of plants.

This week:
Painting, painting, and more painting.
Continue to organize and fill donation boxes.
Dehydrate more pears and apples.


Harvest Homestead

Natural hot springs... we ride up to the hot springs, dip our feet in and enjoy the view of the valley as the sun rises.
Dried yarrow. 
Over the summer, I harvested our yarrow, dried it, and stored it in jars.
 I made a batch of yarrow balm and added essential cedar oil, and it is a really lovely balm for tired, dry hands and feet. 

My little Garden Cottage.
This picture is from the summertime, obviously, but I wanted to share my little Garden Cottage with you.
My sweet husband ordered it and had it built for me, then he customized it further by adding the sweet little pergola onto the front, and placing the old, shot-up galvanized cupola on the top. I've been packing that old cupola around for years!
Years ago, I saw it lying in a field and fell in love with it. My sweet husband tracked down the owner of the field, after many months, and was able to secure that old piece of cupola good junk for me!

 Where I store all my gardening treasures.... pots, soil, tools, etc.

And a final thought of encouragement: