Friday, September 13, 2019

Fall favorites

Happy Friday everyone! This week just flew by. I went to Wisconsin last weekend for a quick visit and came home on Tuesday morning. I could make a long list of blessings this week, but here are just five.

Seeing my son and his wife and family. I wrote about it in my last post, but basically I went for a quick weekend by myself -- I couldn't wait until Thanksgiving to see the baby again!

On Tuesday evening, a friend from high school was in town, so a few of us got together for dinner. I treasure these lifelong friendships. As the years go by, it takes all of us to remember what happened 40 plus years ago. And even then, the record is a bit fuzzy! LOL!

For years, I've been starting my day with reading devotionals. I have a favorite that a friend gifts me with each year, and then there are usually one or two others that I find along the way, all from different denominations and spiritual beliefs. This is one I came across a couple of months ago, and I just love it. I like that it begins the day with a scripture reference, then a reflection written by different authors each day. Then, a suggestion for the day.

Fall candles are my favorites. I found this one at a little shop last weekend, and it smells so delicious! When I light it I think about the day I spent with my son and daughter-in-law and grandkids.

I spent some time cleaning up garden pots yesterday, replacing the bedraggled summer flowers with mums. Today, I'm going to do more of the same, attacking the vegetable garden and clearing out dried up vines and plants. It's a good start to fall cleaning, something else on my list.

Do you have some favorite moments from this week?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Up north

This past weekend I took a quick trip up north to see my Wisconsin baby. And his babies.

I flew up on Saturday at the crack of dawn. And flew home this morning, also at the crack of dawn. I can't remember seeing that many sunrises in. . . well, I don't know when I last saw a sunrise. But they were sure pretty.

It was a wonderful weekend of just being with the kids (the little ones and the big ones) and joining them in their everyday routines. Holding Ivy and reading stories to Siefer and Sawyer. Seeing Siefer's kindergarten classroom and meeting her teacher. Having some of my daughter-in-law's fabulous green chile. Taking car rides to nearby towns and having them point out places they like and where they spend their days. And visiting a favorite store where all of the fall candles and decorations are out, and browsing with Miranda.

It felt like fall up there, cool and overcast. And that took a little bit of the sting away of having to leave, knowing I get to come home and decorate for fall. And get ready for their visit at Thanksgiving:)

I'm so glad I got to sneak in a little visit. Ivy is three months old already, and I just.could.not wait another two and a half months to see her. She is doing so many wonderful things! Laughing, and cooing and chewing on her fingers. Holding her hands together, like a proper little lady. And in the three months since I last saw Siefer and Sawyer, there have been changes in them, too. Siefer is loving kindergarten. Sawyer suddenly seems more grown up when he is 'the oldest' at home during the weekdays. He has become quite the conversationalist at three-going-on-four.

I don't want them to grow up too fast. But, I'm already counting the weeks until Thanksgiving.

Happy Tuesday.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Ordinary moments

This morning as we were finishing up our session at water aerobics, I was thinking about my five moments of grace from this week. Sometimes it's hard to zero in on just the little ordinary things for Friday Fave Five, but as I was relaxing into the final ten minutes of stretching, I realized I could count two in that very moment.

One, the feel of the water when it is calm at the end of class, all of us stretching out our muscles, the weightlessness of floating. Water is so miraculous, no wonder the call to the ocean is so strong for some people.

While stretching we listened to the theme song from Titanic. (The instructor admitted it might be a little weird, but assured us that we would all make it out of the pool). It's my favorite part of class, feeling thankful for healthy muscles, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing I did something good and the day is just beginning.

Other moments from the week -- the smell of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove yesterday afternoon. I love cooking on the grill during the summer, it's an opportunity to change up menus for the season, and take a break from the usual cooking. And it's nice to come back to favorite recipes in the fall. When Brooklynn and Bentley came for supper last week, I asked them what they would like. Hot dogs or spaghetti.? They chose hot dogs. And as they were leaving, Brooklynn said, "So, when are we having spaghetti?" So, last night they came over and we had spaghetti.

After supper, Dan and Marcus were working downstairs. ("We" are finishing our basement this fall.) The kids and I were outside in the backyard. I gave them each a little battery-powered lantern and they ran around the yard, casting shadows and and I soaked up the sight of them, light illuminating their happy faces.

Later, we had those push-up popsicles and there was much discussion about favorite flavors. They both opted for grape and I chose cherry. All of us crowded together on the porch swing, me ignoring the melting popsicles that dripped all over faces and chubby hands and my cushions. That cherry popsicle tasted so good.

I hope you found joy in your ordinary moments this week.

Happy Friday.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

What is a week-end?

I'm counting the days until the new Downton Abbey movie comes out on September 20th. For those of you who are fans, the title of this post needs no explanation.

 Since Dan started his part-time job at our local big box home improvement store, our days have taken on minds of their own. Up until January, for the 35 years we've been married, his job was 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, and much of that involved travel. Now, he most often works on the weekends, and I work three days in the middle of the week. Which is why, this past Monday, it was almost noon when I realized that it was not Saturday, as he had worked the two days before.

I kind of like this new haphazard routine, though it does take some getting used to. We are able to go places during the week when it's less crowded and it feels like a guilty pleasure to be playing on a weekday.

D is working long days today and tomorrow, and then we'll enjoy Monday together. My goals for the weekend are to give the house a quick cleaning and then tidy up the potted plants outside. I'm going to harvest the last of the squash and pull out the vines, then add some fresh soil from the compost pile, which is nice and black and rich and well-aged. Mow the front yard. Get some mums to replace the withering petunias on the front step.

This afternoon calls for some porch time and a good book. I'm reading Maeve Binchey's Echoes. And I have a little sewing project that I'd like to finish up, a table runner for fall.

Here's a chuckle: Brooklynn and Bentley were here for supper on Thursday. Grilled hot dogs -- their choice -- along with chips and fruit. I had bought a few new fall outfits for each of them, and included new packs of panties for Brooklynn, with her favorite cartoon characters. She hugged them to her chest and was so delighted. "I'm going to take them for show-and-tell!" she exclaimed. I guess when you're four, not much is off limits for show-and-tell, but we did convince her that her favorite toy might be a better choice!

I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend.

Happy Saturday,

Friday, August 30, 2019

Farewell, August

Lots of favorite moments this week, as August wraps up and we head into September! I'm linking up with Friday's Fave Five to share some late summer faves.

Dan and I went to a community gathering last weekend, a fundraiser for our town's Open Space Foundation. Local brewers came to share their wares, along with food trucks. There were educational booths that featured information on wildlife in the area, and some hands-on activities for the kids along with root beer floats. It was a gorgeous evening and the whole affair was located within walking distance of our house.

On Sunday, we took the grandkids to the Butterfly Pavilion, which is a zoo for invertebrates. They got to hold Rosie the tarantula and each earned a sticker for being so brave! They petted starfish and played with grubs (eeew!) and then we went into the botanical area where hundreds of butterflies flitted around. As gorgeous as the butterflies were -- and there were dozens of different kinds -- the kids were most impressed with the turtle in this area. 

Dan and I spent Monday doing a lot of chores around the house. With his work schedule, our weekdays often feel like weekends. We decided to have our big meal at noon, and I went to our favorite deli and picked up sandwiches and cream sodas, which we enjoyed outside on the deck, under the table umbrella. It is already feeling like September and the day was sunny but just cool enough to enjoy the outdoors.

This is the last full week of outdoor water aerobics. This morning we had a breakfast potluck after class, and the lifeguard turned on the water slides for those who wanted to 'play.' Some of us had races to see who could go down the slides the fastest. Such a fun way to wrap up one of my favorite summer activies.  

Soooo grateful to hubby for taking on one of my least favorite chores. Taking Lilly to the vet for her annual appointment! Poor Lilly gets so nervous, even though our vet is the kindest, gentlest man. It's always an ordeal for me (and Lilly), so I was glad to turn it over to Dan this year.

Happy Friday to all!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

August favorites

I just can't believe how fast this week has gone by! Thinking back, beginning with today, I found five things to be thankful for right away.

Extra pool time ~ This morning's water aerobics class was so relaxing, ending with some yoga moves that made it hard to want to leave the water. It is the last week that the pool will stay open during the day. Usually, by the time our class is over, there is a long line of families waiting to come in and swim for the day. This week, since most of the kids have gone back to school, there are only a handful. So, a friend and I hung out after class, caught some extra sun and pool time. It was heavenly. I think this duck appreciated the peace and quiet, too.

Zucchini bread baking ~ It is 'cool' enough today (only low 80s) that I didn't mind turning the oven on to bake some chocolate chip zucchini bread. It is my recipe from college and there isn't one healthy thing about it, except for a few shreds of zucchini. The house smells soooo good!

I have a really cool blender that somehow I lost the blade piece for. Truth be told, I think I might have been overzealous in cleaning out the pantry one day, and thought it belonged to another blender that I gave to ARC. My bad. Yesterday, I called the manufacturer for a replacement part. When the woman first quoted the price -- that included shipping, my heart sank. I commented that I might as well buy a new blender. She was very nice and said she would wave the shipping and give me the blade piece for a very discounted price. I really don't even need this particular blender, but hated the idea of having to throw it into a landfill because of my mistake.

Earlier this week, I was walking from my car to the entrance of the garden store. I could almost feel that exact moment between summer and fall. The heat of the pavement rose up, but simultaneously there was a cool breeze and the sky was that blue with that hint of purple that I only see in September.

I'm happy to have new garden gloves to replace the pair that have a hole in just one finger, but all the dirt manages to seep in that one spot;)

Happy Friday,


Monday, August 19, 2019

August Daybook

For Today . . . Monday, August 19th, 2019

Looking out my window . . . it is just about dusk and the sun is peeking through a bank of clouds hovering over the mountains. The colors are so pretty -- peach, purple and gold.

I am thinking . . . that I don't have a lot of pictures to put in this post!

I am thankful . . . for a beautiful, sunny morning and my favorite water aerobics instructor at the pool this morning.

One of my favorite things . . . stationery, post it notes, pens, "school supplies."

I am creating . . . a new blouse in the sewing room.

I am wearing . . . shorts, tank top, sandals.

I am just finished reading . . . The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. It's a beautifully written memoir about a couple in their 50s who become homeless just as they learn that the husband has a life threatening illness. They make the decision to walk the South West Coast Path, 630 miles through Devon and Cornwall. They learn much about themselves and what 'home' really means. It is a thought-provoking book and made me wonder what I would consider the "necessities" in my life.

I am watching . . . Designated Survivor on Netflix with Dan. It's soooo good! The series stars Kiefer Sutherland who unexpectedly becomes the President of the United States when almost the entire U.S. government is killed in an explosion. Kiefer has to rebuild the government and discovers enemies and allies along the way.  

I am hoping . . . to get an appointment with Geek Squad this week, so I can take my camera in and start taking pictures again.

I am learning . . . that I have to say 'no' to some things -- things that I might really want to do, so that I can allow time for the REALLY important things I want to do. There isn't time to do everything.

In my garden . . . cucumbers galore!!

In my kitchen . . . refrigerator pickles (see above).
{share your kitchen adventures, weekly menu, as well as recipes}

From my Pinterest board. . . I love anything sewing related, and this little sewing cabinet that is re-purposed for a planter just speaks to me. I love the yellow. I don't think I could put it outdoors though. It's just too adorable.

(Credit for this pin was not given).

Shared Quote . . . 
I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living. 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A moment from my day . . . when we Facetime with our Wisconsin grandkids, Ivy smiles at the camera!  I love it and I LOVE her!

If you would like to create your own Daybook, here is the link.

Happy Monday,