Monday, November 18, 2019

Hello, again

For Today . . . November 18, 2019


Looking out my window . . . it's a clear, sunny day and the wind is kicking up. A storm is brewing for later in the week, but today the temperatures are quite mild. I have the front door open and Lilly is catching some sunshine.

I am thinking . . . about the Neil Diamond song from The Jazz Singer. "Hello, Again."  I loved that movie! I've been watching lots of movies lately. Mostly the Hallmark holiday movies, but also some oldies on Turner. Including my first Bette Davis movie - Now, Voyager. (That's right, I've never seen a Bette Davis movie. Where have I been?) I've set up the DVR to record several more.
  
I am thankful . . . Just a week ago, my aunt had a little medical situation arise. She is fine:) In ten days we went to five doctor appointments! It's given me plenty of opportunity to observe how different practices operate, and I've picked up some tips for my own workplace where I'm the office manager for a group of family therapists.  Number one: go to W@lmart and get a little fan to put on my desk that recharges on my computer. Isn't that the best? I'm also so appreciative of the people who checked us in and made us feel like we were the best part of their day. I wonder how often I've been on automatic and failed to do that with our patients? Probably more than I'd like to admit.

One of my favorite things . . . having supper around our fire pit in the backyard. It was perfect last week -- a little bit chilly, but nice enough to be out there with a bowl of chili and glasses of wine.

I am creating . . . a home to accommodate the Wisconsin crew when they arrive at the end of the week. They'll be here for the whole week! Luke, Miranda, Siefer, Sawyer and Ivy. It's been a while since I've had a baby crawling on my floors, so I'm cleaning up a storm. 😣

I am wearing . . . jeans, long sleeve tee and slippers. And, some new makeup:) 
 
I just finished reading . . . A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, and Snow in August by Pete Hamill. They were both excellent and I couldn't choose which one was better.

I am watching . . .  a variety of movies on television (see above) and looking forward to watching Season 3 of The Crown now that it's out on Netflix.

I am listening to . . . Christmas music. Already. I'm one of those people.

I am hoping . . . for good news on the job front for someone near and dear; for healing for another person near and dear.

I am learning . . . to hold everything - everything - lightly.

In my kitchen . . . pumpkin bread just came out of the oven, lots of new soup recipes, and a broken dishwasher! :( 

In my garden . . . a new compost bin (how I acquired it is a story for another day).

From the Board room . . . Adding lots of pins to my Christmas Pinterest board. I am so not a baker, but I'm drooling over cupcake ideas like this one:

From iambaker.net (here's the link)

Shared Quote
"It's impossible," said pride. 
"It's risky," said experience. 
"It's pointless," said reason.
"Give it a try," whispered the heart. 

A moment from my day . . . the sunset this evening.


Closing notes . . .  I am thinking about my friend Claudia, who passed away one year ago today. We met when our eldest kids were in kindergarten and we were the room mothers. Through the years our friendship grew strong. We co-chaired a young mother's group at our church together, did numerous Bible studies together over the years, carpooled each other's kids to school, and we were so thrilled to eventually become neighbors when she and her husband moved into a house around the corner from Dan and I. Our eldest kids remained best friends, and our younger ones formed a little gang of their own. Claudia taught me so many things about parenting and life and friendship.
 I miss her.
💓

Hope you all have a good week.

Karen

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

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Giving Thanks

"The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
W.B. Yeats
❆❆❆
I'm looking back at the past week, thinking of moments of gratitude and grateful for blessings that came my way.

❆❆❆Snow!❄❄❄ Yes, it was out of season, but I so enjoyed the snow days we had earlier this week. It was freezing cold outside and for two days snow sifted gently from the sky piling up in soft heaps on the ground and the fence outside my window. It clung to tree branches and the leaves that are still on the trees. It really was so peaceful. I kept candles lit, and the fall garland with tiny lights around the kitchen window looked so cozy. 

I finished reading an excellent book called A Place for Us by Fatima Farkeen Mirza. It is a story that has stayed with me for days.

Today it felt good to set things to order. We had George, our granddog, with us last week. He is the sweetest thing, but he sheds like a cat! This morning I vacuumed every inch of the house. Then, I rearranged some furniture in the living room so that the Christmas cactus (which is filled with buds) has a good spot and good light for the next month, and it is in a place where we can enjoy the flowers. 

I finally got my blog header back to the way I wanted it. I used to use Picasa for all my photo editing and to create collages. But it hasn't been available for a while now. I like being able to change up the header once in a while and put in new pictures, but I have been tearing my hair out each time, trying to figure out how to do it. Thanks to a blogging friend who shared another editing process, I can now play away to my heart's content;)

Seeing the grandkids have fun with Halloween was such a kick. They are all getting old enough to have fun with trick or treating and dressing up. Except little Ivy, who doesn't have a clue, but oh my gosh, did she make the cutest Raggedy Ann! And Siefer has discovered Little House on the Prairie and was so excited to be Laura.  The handsome cowboy in the middle is Sawyer.


And then we have beautiful Elsa . . . 


 . . . and Spiderman! who bears an amazing resemblance to Bentley:)


If you would like to share your favorites of the week with Friday Fave Five, here's the link!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday

Yesterday I sat on the back porch swing, barefooted and enjoying a cup of coffee in sunshine and 70 degree warmth.

This morning, snowflakes are dancing outside the window, the trees and shrubs are lightly covered in white, and I'm told we're in it for the long haul for the next few days with 4 to 8 inches expected today, and then another storm on Tuesday.



The pumpkins that were on the front porch are now sitting inside the front door. Fall candles are lit and the house smells yummy. George and Lilly are snuggled in their beds. It's cold and frosty outside, but inside, the Christmas cactus bears plump, pink buds, signs of good things to come.


It's a good day for working in the kitchen. I'm roasting vegetables for butternut squash soup, using a combination of recipes. It never occurred to me to roast all the vegetables at once, including the onions. I usually saute them with the garlic, but this is so much easier.


In the meantime, I boiled up some eggs for the week. My go-to breakfast with cottage cheese and walnuts.


And some cookie dough to put in the refrigerator. Later today, Brooklynn and Bentley will be over and by then I'll have cookies made up for them to decorate.


I see a quiet, tranquil afternoon in my future with a good book and multiple cups of tea.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Camera roll

A couple of weeks ago when I got my new phone, I was playing with the camera features one day, taking pictures everywhere I went. Today, I was going through photos on my phone, deleting stuff, and found these. Here's a day in my life in October 2019. 




Exiting the car wash, this is where Dan works. . .




I found a good deal on new car seats for the grandkids, for our car.





Saturday, October 19, 2019

Friends, books and phones



This is going to be a short, but sweet, FFF. My friend Pamela is visiting for the weekend, and we are heading off for a day of exploring and then meeting up with Kathy for dinner.

1. I can't celebrate enough the beautiful weather we're having. With the exception of that little snow storm that came through a week or so ago, Mother Nature has blessed us with a lovely fall. Last weekend was the perfect day for our town's annual marathon. My niece ran in it, and Dan and I and my dad stood on the corner of our street to cheer her on, then headed over to the finish line to join my sister-in-law in cheering Brandi through.

Dad and Brandi

2. Our book club met on Wednesday to discuss Defending Jacob by William Landay. I have mixed feelings about the book, but boy it made for a great discussion! Love these ladies, and book club is one of the highlights of my month.

3. I got a GREAT deal at K*hl's with my "cash" and coupons this week. I bought one of my favorite labels that is always a little bit more than I like to spend, for a song!

4. Brunch with friends on Sunday. Friends that become family. One of life's treasures.

5. Dan and I keep our phones until they literally die or fall apart. Mine was so old, someone thought it was a new model. Well, Dan's phone broke (won't say which grandchild dropped it) and he really didn't want to go with the new larger models. So, he took my old one and I have a brand spankin' new one -- not the latest model, but just a generation below that. I'm loving the larger screen for my pictures AND the fact that when I dropped it in the toilet (clean water) I learned it is waterproof! 

Happy Saturday all!




Monday, October 14, 2019

October Day book

For Today . . . October 14, 2019


Looking out my window . . . Mother Nature is calm again, after throwing several inches of snow at us last week. It was crazy. Late Wednesday afternoon, Dan and I were sitting on the back porch swing and it was warm and just a hint of a breeze. Within 20 minutes, the wind picked up, leaves were raining down on us and branches flew across the yard. I expected Mary Poppins to appear. By the next morning, we were covered in snow.

I am thinking . . . that 30 years ago Saturday, was Joey's "gotcha day." We couldn't believe the miracle of him, and that we got to be his parents. He is the first of our three adopted children. 
  
I am thankful . . . for sisters-in-law. Over the weekend, I saw two of mine and it was unexpected and so nice to catch up.

One of my favorite things . . . sitting on our back patio on a cool day, smelling the neighbor's wood stove.

I am creating . . . some sewing projects. I made this little table runner and have plans to make a Christmas one next.



I am wearing . . . jeans, sweatshirt and sandals. 
 
I just finished reading . . . The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. It is a delightful novella about the queen of England who, late in life, discovers the joy of reading. Her newfound passion for books changes her outlook on the world, her role as monarch, and bewilders the palace staff. If you love books, you will love this one.


I am watching . . .  Homecoming with Julia Roberts. It's very unusual. She plays a counselor at a center for veterans and years later there is an investigation into what happened at the place, but she has no memory of ever having been there.

I am listening to . . . country radio. One Man Band by Old Dominion.

I am hoping . . . to continue my streak of decluttering just a little at a time. I'm tackling one area a week. The biggest challenge is not letting things pile up again in those tidy areas!

I am learning . . . that I still have room for more books:) I went to the library book sale last Saturday and came home with a few for the grandkids, one for Dan and a couple for myself:) I was especially pleased to have found this one. I've had it on my Amazon list for a while, so at just $2 it was a great find!



In my kitchen . . . I made the first pot of chili for the season for Joe and Sam when they house/Lilly sat last weekend. Also, peanut butter cookies. :)

In my garden . . . the snow wiped out the last of the dahlias. Dan brought in a couple of our potted geraniums and I'm going to see if I can keep them going until the spring.


From the Board room . . . I have a Pinterest board called "Autumn". It has recipes, ideas, and lots of pretty pictures. This is one of my favorites. Wouldn't it be lovely to sit at a table like this one?

(Link is here.)

Shared Quote
The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.

A moment from my day . . .

 


Closing notes . . . My friend Pamela is coming this weekend:) A quick, spontaneous visit and I'm so excited! Also looking forward to book club this week, and the grandkids coming over tomorrow. I love that it's only Monday and I already have three things for my Friday Fave Five list;).  That is a good week.

Hope you all have a good week as well.

Karen

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

More October favorites


It's going to be hard to narrow down my favorites to just five this week. Dan and I went on a road trip earlier in the week, along with his sister Carol.

Spending time with these two ~~ The three of us had an amazing time. We did some leaf-peepin' and visited wineries on the western slope. The weather was so beautiful and we amused ourselves by trying to get selfies --three people of varying heights with all that gorgeous scenery in the background.  We laughed ourselves silly and should have had a video of some of our efforts!





Beautiful country ~~We started in Denver and drove through the Rocky Mountains over to the western slope to  Palisade, a small town in the heart of vineyard and peach orchard country. The colors were beautiful and the weather clear and cool. It was nice enough to sit outside by the fire at Maison le Belle. There are so many vineyards to visit. We went to just two and the second one was a smaller one where the owner did everything from farming to running the tasting room. We had a nice visit with him.


Eating out ~~ We stayed in Grand Junction the first night and had dinner at a pub in the historic district. It's always a treat to have dinner out, especially when it's casual and the food is delicious. (We might have stopped at one or two coffee shops on this trip, too.)



The next day we drove to another part of the western slope and visited a couple more wineries.

Taking in spectacular views ~~ This was one of my favorite spots, Azura Cellars in Paonia. I could have sat on this patio all day long, looking across the valley at the amazing view.



Off the main road ~~ But we hit the road again, driving over McClure Pass, and stopping in the mountain town of Dillon for the night. The next day, we (literally) took the high road home, going over Loveland Pass. It was cold and windy, but gorgeous! And did I mention cold?



**Happy to return home to warm weather ~~ Cold enough that snow making has begun at Arapaho Basin Ski Resort, laying down that first layer of white stuff, in anticipation of lots of snowfall in the weeks ahead.




**  We had our first snowfall on Thursday. What a difference a day makes! Thankfully we are returning to warmer weather this weekend!!

Happy Friday everyone.