Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Marigolds and popsicles

Look who came over yesterday. We had spaghetti and meatballs for supper, and then planted some flowers in pots on the patio. We planted mostly marigolds. They are bright, cheerful flowers, and sturdy enough to withstand the enthusiasm of little hands pushing them into the dirt and then dousing them with "one more drink" of water.

Afterward, we had popsicles while sitting on the porch swing and talking to Dan on Facetime. He comes home tomorrow!

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Daybook

For Today . . . Monday, May 13, 2019

 Outside my window . . . Blue skies, sunshine, budding trees, and green grass. Our temperatures this week will hit 80 degrees! the first time in seven months. No wonder I've been missing warm weather and craving springtime.

I am thinking . . . about how excited I am that Dan will be home on Wednesday, after five weeks in California! He accomplished a lot and I know that he had a great time working with his sister and just spending time with her. I'm so glad I got to go out there for a few days and join him. 

I am thankful . . . for being blessed with three beautiful people in my life who call me Mom. 

One of my favorite things . . . when my daughter-in-law sends me pictures like this one. Siefer is playing T-ball now, and Sawyer is her biggest fan.

I am creating . . . a travel plan for our trip to Wisconsin in the next couple of weeks. We'll be driving out again, so I'm looking for a slightly different route to see some new parts of the country. I'm looking for a new book on tape and some podcasts to listen to. 

I am wearing . . . capris, navy long-sleeved v-neck shirt and flip flops.

I am reading . . . a novel about two sisters who leave their small village in Ireland in 1958, and come to the United States to begin a new life. 

I am hoping. . . 

I am learning . . . lifelong lessons. So many lessons do take that long! Some things just aren't going to change, and that's okay. There are so many things in this world to learn and soak up and enjoy. We aren't all here to change one another.

In my kitchen . . . it's been fairly quiet in there for the past month! I don't cook much when it's just me. We had a family dinner here on Friday -- lasagna, salad, Italian bread -- and I found a delicious assortment of cupcakes at Whole Foods for dessert.

In the garden. . . day lilies, lily of the valley, cone flowers, peonies, poppies and pansies, are all making an appearance. Butterfly bushes and rose bushes are slowly leafing out. I planted squash, lettuce bowls, cucumbers and some more herbs.

Board room . . . I'm looking at color pallets to paint the master bedroom.

Shared Quote . . . 
The world belongs to the enthusiastic. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A moment from my day . . . 

For more Daybooks and instructions on how to write your own, visit The Simple Woman blogspot here.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Spring Favorites


What a week it has been with rain and snow every day. Today, spring is slowly waking up again. It's a bit overcast with the sun coming and going. Beautiful weather is in store for next week. Hurray! In spite of the weather, the week held some bright spots.

Seeing the garden come to life -- Last weekend we had some nice days and I took the opportunity to work in the gardens, cleaning up the raised beds and perennial bed. So many plants are sprouting up -- cone flowers, shasta daisies, daylilies, Easter lilies, columbine and sweet William. My favorite to watch are the lilies of the valley, as they start out as little green spears and then slowly unfurl.

Breakfast with people I love -- On Sunday morning, Joe and Sam, my dad and my niece Brandi all came for breakfast. I made sour dough pancakes, Brandi made the bacon, and afterward we went out in the yard to dig up some herbs for Brandi to take home for her garden. My oregano went nuts last year, so I gave her some big clumps, along with a nice bit of chives to plant and strawberries, too.

Golf and a sunny morning -- Afterward, the guys and Dad and I all headed off for a round of golf. My new clubs put me in the lead! I'm having so much fun learning this game.

Reconnecting with a favorite cousin -- On Wednesday, my cousin Jackie and her husband Pat came over. They are visiting from the east coast, and on Friday we had a family dinner so everyone could see them. Some of you may remember my Aunt Riz who used to blog at Gifts from the Sea. Jackie is her daughter. Our moms were sisters, so we have lots in common.

Seeing Wicked with Joe, Sam and their friend Lexi. Oh what a wonderful show! I had such a nice time with these three. I loved listening to their conversation and points of view. Their enthusiasm for theater and take on the play, it made for such a fun evening.

Linking up with Friday's Fave Five!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday's Fave Five

I took a little blogging break in April. I wrote about my trip to California in my last post, along with a little update on life at the Backyard Fence. Now, I'm ready to jump back into Friday Fave Five.

Counting five blessings from the past week:

Waking up to sunshine on Thursday following three days of clouds/rain/snow. The weather in California was gorgeous, and in fact it wasn't too shabby here in Colorado before I left for my trip, with sunshine and warm days. I returned home alone (Dan is staying behind for a couple of weeks) to snow and rain. On Thursday, I woke up to sunshine, and it was wonderful.

Good news from a young woman I used to mentor. It was so good to hear from her since it's been a year that we last met. She wanted me to know that after facing so many obstacles over the years and, out of necessity, putting her family first, she earned her diploma!  I'm so proud of her, and so happy she shared her news with me.

A good book.  Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey. My niece recommended this book. It's a historical fiction about Micaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. It's a fascinating tale about how they lived in the same city while creating two of the world's treasures, the statue of David and the Mona Lisa,

More books.  I received a gift card for my birthday to Barnes and Noble. One rainy afternoon earlier this week, I bought a mocha latte and browsed the store for an hour coming home with two brand new books.  I love the covers and can't decide which one to begin with. A good 'problem' to have.

A nice transition home. Dan is in California for a total of five weeks. I knew my few days there would pass quickly, and that coming home would be a bit of a let down. Before leaving on Sunday, we made the most of our last day and had a wonderful lunch with my sisters-in-law at a neat restaurant in Sutter Creek. When I finally trudged in the door at home just before midnight, there was a surprise waiting from Joe and Sam -- new golf clubs:)  Back story: while I was gone, they house sat and Joe asked if he could use my golf clubs. He texted me later in the day and said, "Your golf clubs are as old as I am." I texted back: "Older. Dad bought them for me right after we got married, 35 years ago!" I'm not a serious golfer, obviously. Hence, the new set:), a birthday gift.

Looking forward to a weekend working in the yard! It's going to be gorgeous! Happy Friday to all,

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


As I started writing this post, it occured to me that I never wrote about the happy turn that life took back in January here at the Backyard Fence. So, before I tell you about the amazing time Dan and I had in California last week, first I should say that for the past few months my husband has been temporarily retired. This comes about a year before we had planned for it (big companies seem to have plans of their own), but we are making it work and it is turning out to be one of those blessings in disguise. For the time being, Dan is happily doing odd jobs for family members, as his brother starts a new business and his sister's winery is starting up. The latter has taken him to California for five weeks.

Five weeks! I haven't been alone this much since I lived by myself in college. It is quite a stretch of time, so last week I hopped on a plane and joined my hubby for a few days.  I wrote about Bom Vinho!, the vineyard and winery that my sister-in-law has a partnership in, back here. The vineyard was purchased a few years ago, and this summer they will be opening a tasting room for their wines. Dan is out there helping with the construction.

I arrived last Wednesday, which happened to be my birthday:), and it didn't take a lot of coaxing to pull Dan away from work for a few days, along with Carol and Sonia.

Through the magic of travel, one morning I left beautiful spring weather in Colorado, flew over winter in the Rockies, and arrived to see spring again in beautiful El Dorado County.

Dan and I spent the next few days exploring neighboring vineyards, taking a day trip to Lake Tahoe, visiting charming little towns, and taking Molly (Sonia's 1952 Packard) out for drives.

Between the fabulous restaurants and Sonia's cooking, we feasted on good food. And wine. Lots of wine!

We went to a barn sale and a flea market, where treasures were found for the tasting room. I had to behave myself and only purchased a few things that would fit in my suitcase to take home. A few books for the grandkids and a set of S&P shakers for my stove at home. It was an exercise in self-discipline for sure.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this little cherub at the pioneer cemetery up the road.

 Most afternoons -- okay, every afternoon -- ended at a different winery. The vines are just beginning to leaf out. By fall they will be laden with delicious, juicy grapes!

One evening we were treated to jazz music at the neighboring winery, complements of the owner and his friends. Along with brick oven pizza, baked in his handmade oven.

Carol and Sonia -- LOVE these sisters-in-law <3

Paul and Vickie, the other half of BomVinho!

I got home late, late Sunday night to cold temperatures and snow on Monday:( It felt a bit like the scene in Mary Poppins, when the rain washed Bert's chalk paintings away. Dan will be in California for another couple of weeks. 

However, while I was away, Joe and Sam stayed to watch the house and Lilly. When I dragged my suitcase in the door after midnight, this birthday present was there! along with a planned golf date on Sunday with my two guys. I think I'll make it through the next two weeks just fine.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Hello, April

Hello and happy April!

It's been almost two weeks since I've blogged. Here's what's been keeping me busy:

The lawn is greening up and yesterday when Dan and I were sitting on the back deck, we commented on how the trees are starting to bud. I am coaxing spring along with some flowers for the front step. (that's Lilly peeking out the door). 

I'll have to take them in later this week, when snow is predicted for a day or two. That's the nature of spring. But, the Easter wreath on my front door will stay, a reminder to Mother Nature that the calendar does say spring.

I had a visit from my bestie Pamela! We did some shopping, watched movies, Dan took us out to eat a couple of times, and we got lots of good visiting in. Pamela and I have been friends since junior high (I'll let you do the math), so she is practically a member of the family, and of course the family wanted to see her while she was in town. Together, we made a dinner to die for. We might have enjoyed a glass of wine or two;)

In honor of springtime, I got a shorter haircut! I love that it takes less time to dry. And I've been going to physical therapy for my knee, and it has worked wonders. The best part is getting a massage! It has really helped with the swelling that remains. I only wish they would treat the other knee, poor thing. 

Baseball is back! Dan and I are going to our first game this evening, hoping the Rockies will get a win and avoid a sweep by the Dodgers. It's 70 degrees out right now, so it should be a nice evening at the ballpark.

After struggling to find a book to get into, I landed on this one yesterday. It's been sitting in my TBR pile for at least a year. I'm loving the story told in letters between two women during World War II. One is a young mother in Massachusetts with a toddler and a newborn. The other woman lives in Iowa, and her 18-year-old son has just enlisted. Both women's husbands are also soldiers in the war. It is heartfelt and beautifully written, a story of how the women become friends through their letters.

Dan and I are much anticipating the arrival of our 5th grandchild sometime in May. In the meantime, it's hard to believe that these two are another year older! Their birthdays are six days apart, so they've been sharing the celebration for the past few years. This year the party was at the local rec center, where they each had their own cake, opened presents, and then went swimming with their cousins.

It's wonderful to be three. . . 

And fabulous to be four . . .

More flowers -- alstroemeria. They bring such a nice splash of color inside and they are so inexpensive. Best of all, they last for several weeks.

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Daybook

For Today, March 27, 2019

Looking out my window . . . I am anticipating a beautiful spring day. I'm going to enjoy it to the max, because after today the temperatures will drop considerably and snow is predicted on Friday.

I am thinking . . . that if I could have three wishes, one of them would be to have someone clean my house. It is one of my least favorite things to do.

I am thankful . . . (okay, now so as not to appear ungrateful) . . . for my lovely home.

One Some of my favorite things . . . English muffins for breakfast, packages from Amazon that contain books, Bentley's sticky-faced hugs.

I am creating . . . an afghan, still.

I am wearing . . . jeans and my favorite old sweatshirt from Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ.

I am reading . . . mostly magazines, as I'm in between books.

I am watching . . . very little on TV these days. I finished watching all seven seasons of The West Wing, and I'm going through withdrawals. I miss it so much.

I am hoping . . . that I don't find another series to binge on, because it is way too time-consuming.

I am learning . . . so much from an issue of Smithsonian magazine I came across: about Winston Churchill and the U.S., diaries from the holocaust, and the American bison, of all things.

In my kitchen . . . the kitchen is closed today! In honor of our day of spring and 74 degree weather, Dan is grilling burgers:)

In my garden . . . my birthday flowers are up! My friends gave me a planter of daffodils and tulips for my birthday one year. I planted them in the front garden, and every year they are the first thing to pop up.

Post Script
I used to do a lot of sewing, and lately I've been reading blogs and Pinterest boards, looking at patterns and sources for fabric.  I love this lady's blog and her creations. 

Shared Quote
Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse. (anon.)

A moment from my day . . . Springer Spaniels love springtime . . . 

"Did you really just say that, mom?"

Happy Wednesday,
* For guidelines to create your very own Daybook, hop over to the Peggy's blog here.