Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving outing

Hoping you had a pleasant Thanksgiving!

I haven't been online much for the past 3 weeks.  My mom passed 3 weeks ago and all the confusion of my step-dad and his overwhelm, my fears of "all the stuff to go through" and knowing family would be coming I hadn't seen in 20 yrs, well...let's just say I decided to back off from being very social.  

Until Thursday!  My girls and sister-in-law
wanted to host this year and all I had to do was make my popular Pecan Pie made with maple syrup.  I can do that!!  So after mass Thursday we decided to start a new tradition and went on a short walk (some folks say a hike, but I'm not physically to that point - yet).
We took Max and he had so much fun.  On our way back my husband spotted purple catcus'.  I didn't know Colorado HAD cactus'.  He got some amazing pictures.  
Tiny purple cactus all over the hillside. Isn't my husband an amazing photographer!

Max wanting to know why we stopped.  We didn't get much past those shrubs ahead.  Bears are still out and about and it was early enough I didn't want to see any.

This cliff side was made of a bazillion rocks.  So fascinating.  

Daughter and grandchildren with her ducks.  I hear they are supposed to be Christmas dinner but not sure that's going to happen.  

Making the paper chain with nephew and grandkids.

I wanted to do a craft with the grandkids and thought of an Advent chain.  I was looking for traditional things to make that would be easy for a 3 and 6yo.  What was fun was both my daughters joined in, my nephew and my sister-in-law.  Everyone wanted to do a craft!  How fun ! So next year I may plan something for everyone - optional of course.  I don't see the guys in on this :-) 

Have a lovely week!  

PS - We went to a gathering of couples from Church and one couple bought a 30 lb turkey at the school auction, but the person that showed up for Thanksgiving was vegetarian!  So she thought of me and brought a whole bag of turkey. Yeah! I love leftovers and getting creative to use them. I hear Turkey enchiladas are very tasty.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

I don't even have to hunt for happy faces anymore...they just pop out at me.  Maybe you too will start noticing the simple things and remember - don't take life too seriously and always know you are Loved!

This little one was in zucchini I cooked up.

Last Sunday in church, I was telling a joke I heard to a fellow who is a natural joke teller (I am not).  He didn't laugh at my joke and I was bummed.  Only to look down at my feet and there on the floor was a smiley sticker. I love stickers! So a smiley sticker was a double blessing.  I think God liked my joke :-) Want to hear it:
"Need an ark?"......"I Noah guy."

This happy one fell into place when I was eating my crackers for snack. 

And this one, I will leave it to you. Do you see it?  It was in last month's Victoria magazine.  I just had to smile.

Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Embracing Rhythm

"You have set all the borders on the earth. You have made summer and winter." Psalm 74:17

Recently with the changing of seasons I have been thinking a lot about rhythm. God created a rhythm to the seasons.  And within each season there are herbs, plants, veggies that are available.  From my past years of studying herbs, there is a reason for each where and when you find them.

Such as root veggies.  These are typically more abundant in fall and winter.  This is to help our bodies store the nutrients needed for cold weather.  While we still need greens, they aren't as readily available.  Also root veggies give a comfort when roasted or mashed.

Here is another example: dandelions. These little gems are EVERYWHERE in spring.  Why? Because they are good for the liver and help "clean out" the stored stuff from winter.  Those foods that can create heaviness in our bodies in the spring and summer season. (And we thought they were weeds!)

I love to sit and ponder God's creation.  This brings me to the Rhythm of the Home.  I know many friends through the years that just "wing it". They don't bother with lists or they have a list but choose to not have a weekly rhythm that gives the home a feeling of "all is taken care of".

I have tried their way and found it's not for me.  There is nothing wrong if you are they type of person that can "wing it" and keep your homemangement...manageble.  I need rhythm.  There is a part of me that loves nature, loves to be in nature, loves to pick up a fall leaf and know - the earth is settling in for a long winters nap.

Through the years I have found my Temperament   and that I need lists and to be organized.  It's part of my makeup.  Now that I've learned this, I've stopped trying to embrace "others ideas" and learn to embrace my own.  It's part of my self-acceptance.

I have long been interested in the Waldorf system, mostly because the system uses rhythm and routines, nature and a less "structured" approach to educating children.  I also love several others, but that's not my topic today. I need reminders to not get too ridged - that too is from learning my temperament.

Learning and embracing rhythm, it's easy to follow a pattern in my homemaking day.  When I have a weekly rhythm my home feels more balanced (my Word for the Year) and my husband and I can find most anything because things are caught up and we know when something will get done, God willing.  We know when and where, just like the things God sets in the seasons.

I used to fight against rhythm, I wanted things exact.  People say rhythm feels stifling.  I say it creates self-discipline.  A virtue that I have let go in recent years...trying to follow others ideals.

My home is coming back to order and beauty and I am loving having a weekly rhythm.  I pray that we each listen to our heart and follow what method works for each of us and not what someone has posted is "THE" way to manage your home.

Have a blessed week.  Enjoy the next season...November brings much to embrace. What will your rhythm be as we enter into the last of the Fall season?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Smiles

While I haven't been posting regularly, I do think of many things I want to post.   This is one of them. Wordless Wednesday!

I have read about this on several blogs I have followed through the years. Since I love to capture creative Happy faces I would love to share.  I see them everywhere.  It's like God reminds me...don't take life so seriously, just smile.  :-)

Here are a few recent ones:

Most of the time the picture is just as I saw it...this is one of those times.

Love it! This was on the road.  Someone doing patch work did the smiley face then someone came by later and added the teeth.  I had to laugh out loud at this one. This is by far my favorite.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and that they inspire you to keep an eye out for ways God sends a smile.  

Have a blessed day!
PS Please don't copy my photos without asking first.  It is most appreciated.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Being Creative in the kitchen

I have always enjoyed making do with what I have. It brings me such great joy.  
Today was no exception.  

My husband likes apple cinnamon muffins for breakfast and since Fridays are usually my baking/kitchen prep days, this was on my To Do List.  As I prepared the gluten free batter and already had the butter melted...I realized I had tossed my muffin pan a few weeks ago because it rusted.  I was so frazzled.  

We don't live close enough to town to just make a run, so I got on the internet to do some searching.  There are so many creative women and blogs out there that I just knew someone has run into the same situation. had the answer.

They suggested using the rings from your mason jars!  I got so excited because I just knew I had plenty.

I was so excited my husband came out of his office to ask what the commotion was.  Being that I had the butter melted and batter ready and no pan, I was upset.  But now!  Now I discovered a way to make do with what I have and it worked!!!

Check it out...

I like to use the brown parchment cups, as they don't stick with gluten free baking.

They came out beautifully. I am so grateful.  

There are days I just curse the internet because the ways things are set up to get you to "click", I get lost.  Way to easy.  

I am learning and trying to practice one of the Fruits of the Spirit, Self control.  I will save that for another post, but I will say, it's tough.  

Anyways. I hope you enjoy this little tip for being creative in the kitchen.  It was so much fun to try.

Wishing you Peace,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tea Cup Exchange

Hello!  I am so excited to share of a wonderful Tea Cup exchange I got to participate in.  Below is the amazing gift I got from Denise.  She was so thoughtful and I love all the wonderful things.

Tea Cup Exchange hosted by The Enchanting Rose

This is the 10th annual Tea Cup exchange and though I had just heard about it, it was so much fun.  I shopped for the woman to receive my gift at the local antique shop.  The ladies there were so excited I had 3 of them hunting for a small silver spoon and doilies.  They even let me in before they were open, to help me hunt!

I must say, my favorite is the book Tea Time with God.  It is all about an afternoon break, with God, and resting and rejuvenating before the evening hours.  The amazing teacup and tea have been a wonderful treat to use while reading it.

And you see those cute note cards...she made them! WOW!

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love the idea of a teacup exchange, even if it's with someone at church or a couple neighbors.  I'm learning that women don't give themselves "permission" to enjoy the little things in life, like a beautiful tea cup and a quiet moment with God.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Cutivating Happiness

In recent days I am reading "The Joy of Living" by Orison Marden and the chapter that has caught my attention is called Happiness can be Cultivated.

I am so moved by this that I have pondered a lot about what he writes and am starting to put this into practice.  I have already seen a difference.  Let me share a bit with you.

Early on in the chapter Mr. Marden writes: One of the most difficult lessons of life is to learn that we are largely the product of our thought.  This got me to thinking of the phrase I've heard "Change your thoughts and you change your life" and "Changed attitudes can aid recovery".  Mr. Marden goes on to talk about how the brain CAN change.  Even if we were brought up with "stinkin thinkin" as I like to call it, we can practice and choose to look for the positive or happiness in daily events.

It's hard, no doubt.  But possible.

I love this thought that Mr Marden writes:

 "It is a curious fact that most people think that while they are obliged to spend many years preparing for and developing a specialty in there careers, happiness, which means more to them than almost anything else, should be a haphazard development that it should come with practically no training, no special study, while everything else in life is worth while requires such infinite pains.

It is a great thing so to cultivate the art of happiness that we can get pleasure of the common experiences of every today.  The happiness habit is just as necessary to our best welfare as the work habit or the honesty habit."

The habit of complaining, criticizing, grumbling, or wallowing is unfortunate.  And while most naturally tend to lean on the negative, it is of great virtue to practice looking for the blessings and happiness in things.

Our hearts get lifted and before we know it, happiness is the product of our work.

Today, as I said, I am practicing this.  We lost our beloved little dog Koda 2 weeks ago, and the same day my husband injured his back.  Now, with my physical healing still and limits, this was a lot to take in. I found myself over tired, overwhelmed and sadness kept trying to take over.  I found myself in sweats and wanting to give in to the sadness.

Then I read this chapter.  Um, finding happiness?? In the loss of my dog, and my husband injuring his back (and I had to drive all the time for about a week).  I struggled, so I turned to my husband and asked.  How? How do you do this?

My husbands says "Well, Koda is not in pain anymore.  He was very ready to go.  And my back, well, I get the chance to live a much slower pace of life and give praise to God for the days when my back is great.  There are many people who live with this."

I was stumped. Why couldn't I see that?  So I have made it my work.  To cultivate happiness.

Today I found I was in a lot of pain and wanted to stay in sweats all day. I did too much yesterday and my body is letting me know it. (Also learning to cultivate a slower pace of life)  But as I lay there resting, all I could think of was a pact I made with myself.  No sweats or lounge clothes from lunch on.  No matter what.  I am to get dressed and do something that makes me feel pretty.

Wow! What a shift in my thinking and attitude!  I immediately got up, showered, dressed, did my hair, and even a spritz of my new favorite perfume. And with it I have been able to look for the happiness in my pain and discomfort.

Making lunch for my husband and me.
You see, in my change of clothes, my thinking started changing and rather than focus on what I can't do or how much pain I'm in, I have been practicing looking for what I can do.  Like practice my new hobby of silk ribbon embroidery, or read the rest of this chapter, or sketch out some ideas of craft projects I am wanting to make, or even get the little crochet Easter baskets done for my grandkids.

I see happy faces in the oddest places, but they always make me smile.

You see, I could cultivate happiness.  But it starts with making the choice.  For me, today, that choice was to stick to my pact of no sweats by lunch.  (I usually change after my walking in the morning) And always make sure the laundry is hung to dry by lunch.  If I do those 2 things, it shifts my attitude.

We almost have a duty to ourselves, to our spouse, to our kids, but most of all to God to cultivate happiness.  To find ways to chase off the negative and give Him praise for all His gifts.

I will close by this quote from Abraham Lincoln (who I have learned in recent years is a relative!)

                "Most people are only as happy as they make up their minds to be"