Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bird Bath Feeder/Bath Craft

Hello, Friends, Neighbors and Visitors!

I'm taking a break from putting in my vegetable garden - my back is demanding it! I thought I'd show you a fun craft I've recently had time for in between working in the garden. It's a bird bath or feeder idea that I found in the May 2009 Family Fun Magazine.

All you need to get started is
3/8" manilla rope
15" grapevine wreath (used two old wreaths I found at a yard sale last year)
two 10" terra cotta saucers (again, I used what I had and fortunately it worked!)
Artificial leaves and flowers, if you want to spruce it up (I didn't)

It's easy! Just fit the clay saucers in the center of your wreaths, like this...
Cut your rope into three, 5' long lengths, then knot them together at each end, like this...
Fit the wreath feeder inside the three ropes and hang, like this...

See how simple and pretty it is? I made three - two feeders and one "bath". The birds love them all!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Under our apple tree,......beautifully blooming,...
...there lies a tiny memorial to a tiny pet on a tiny grave...Can you see it?
Flowers for our sweet hamster, Pansy. Sleep well, little friend.
For more Outdoor Wednesday, please visit HERE.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Splendor In The Grass

Timmy enjoying some time outside with Mommy.

It is beautiful today, after yesterday's snow and I am feverishly working in the vegetable garden, trying to get the rest of the area tilled, smoothed out and ready to plant.

More pictures soon!

For more Cats on Tuesdays, see Gattina's blog HERE.

Have a great one!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Blast of Wintry Weather

Alright! Everybody together now:

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way....

Yes, it is snowing again! Woke up this morning and white greeted my eyes. It's a terrible time for it to be snowing after many people have put in their veggie gardens. Our no freeze, safe date is May 15th. A friend of mine lost 19 tomato plants Saturday night when it froze. Now, it's snowing...I was upset because I hadn't gotten in my garden yet. Now, I'm thankful.

Oh, my goodness. What a weather year this has been. We were heading for a drought by March, because of low snow pack. Now, we are way ahead and in danger of flooding if it warms up suddenly in June. Usually, we are at 60% pack by now, because of Spring thawing. The run-off is gradual. However, we are at 100% snow pack right now. Boy, it better warm up slowly.

Well, enough about the weather.

I am wishing you a wonderful beginning to the work week. Check back later and I may have my menu for the week posted at the bottom of this entry.

Hot chocolate and marshmallows, anyone? :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Found Him!

Hello, Sweet Friends!

Well, I finally was able to identify the brightly-coloured bird with the orange tummy and the black and white wings who has recently been visiting my backyard feeders...He's the Black Headed Grosbeak! I found a wonderful online site, What Bird, that allows you to input a physical description of the bird and then based on that, you are given several types of birds to choose from. When I found the name of my little guy, I then went to utahbirds.org and pulled up a larger picture of him (see above) and his birdsong. Yep! That's him!!

Isn't he a jaunty little fellow? After looking at so many precious sparrows, finches, black birds, doves, etc., who are all more subtly coloured, the grosbeak is a happy addition to my little backyard world of birds. Don't you just love him?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Best of Friends

Timmy and Sunny are not brothers. In fact, they are several years apart in age. But they took to each other like peanut butter and jelly. They snuggle, cuddle, look out for each other and occasionally squabble, just like real life brothers. They are the lights in our lives. Somehow their kittiness has made our house into a home.

For more Cats on Tuesdays, see Gattina's blog HERE.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook May 17, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Dove atop an old fence.

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... The sun is shining! Oh, yes it is!! Puffy, white cumulus clouds soften the sky and there is a lovely breeze blowing. It is neither hot nor cold, but beautiful temperate.
I am thinking... how glorious it is to be alive on such a wonderful day!
I am thankful for... oh, so many things...for light and warmth and Beauty, to be alive and still relatively young, to be very young at heart
From the learning rooms...Oooh, two mysteries now!
Black Water Rising, by Attica Locke. It's good, but I am sorry to see some swear words in it. Fortunately, there is no sexual material and nothing graphic about the crime committed. It's an interesting "period piece" about what the Civil Rights era and the ensuing years were like for some activists. I've learned a lot.

My favorite, Chasing The Devil, by Sheriff David Reichert, is the story of how a deeply Christian man had the terrible task of chasing down one of the worst serial killers in history, The Green River Killer.
It isn't a graphic book. Reichert is very respectful of his audience and deeply compassionate toward the victims I (mostly prostitutes) and their families. It is an incredible testimony of how faith can keep someone on a quest for justice over decades of studying the most of heinous crimes.
From the kitchen...I am ashamed to say that there are only dirty dishes, right now, but I hope to get bread baking before the young ones return. It's important to come home to wonderful aromas.
I am wearing...Exercise clothes. Haha. Haven't exercised. Hope to sometime today. rrrrrrr.
I am creating... Haha, again. I am concentrating on vacuuming, dusting, laundry and ironing today.
I am going... Nope. Already went. Walked to the bank to conduct some business. It was beautiful and lovely, lovely.
I am reading... Oops, I already answered this one above. As a family, we are still working on the scriptures (a life long pursuit) and a funny book for around the dinner table.
I am hoping... That my husband gets a job he interviewed with last week. He is currently working at a new sales position, but the job that we really wanted for him never called. Well, last week, they finally did and he went in for what he says was a wonderful interview. They told him they would be calling him at the beginning of this week. I am praying they do, it would be so much better for our family.
I am hearing... Bernadette Peters singing, "Something Wonderful". Music keeps me going and on task while I'm working.
Around the house...It's messy, folks. Yes, it is. But not for long. I am working really hard to get everything back in order. Whew.
One of my favorite things...munching on my lunch while peering out the window at the birds who are eating at the feeders. I love seeing new ones stop by for a snack, though I am stymied to find out the names of a few new ones that have suddently begun to show up since I changed the feed outside.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Oh, gosh, we HAVE to till the dratted veggie garden. It will be a HUGE task, which Mark and I will do together mid-week. There is LOTS of gardening to do. Most of it will be fun, if the weather holds.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My jokester, Sarah.
For more Simple Woman's Daybooks, please visit the link.

God bless!


Friday, May 14, 2010

My FAVORITE Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, you HAVE to try this wonderful recipe. Like you, I have made a number of different chocolate chip cookie recipes, but this is BY FAR the chewiest, most delicious result that I have ever had. The recipe is from the What's For Dinner? cookbook.



1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla (yes, that much!)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
2 c. chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet)

Beat together butter, sugars and eggs. Stir in vanilla. Add flour, soda and salt and mix until blended. Do not over mix. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

I think that's it is the brown sugar that makes it sooooo chewy. The recipe actually calls for 1 t. of vanilla, but I use 1 T. with wonderful results.


Another chilly, overcast day, with intermittent sunshine. I have the living room, glass door open for the breeze and to keep an eye on the birdies out at the feeders. I've changed the feed and recently have begun to attract birds I've never seen in my yard before. There was a black bird at the feeder this morning and just a short while ago, I saw a beautiful bird with a coal black body and orange wings. I will have to look him up in my book and find out his name. What a lovely surprise when what I mostly get are house sparrows, Mr. and Mrs. House Finch, Mr. and Mrs. Mourning Dove and Chickadees.

My garden lies fallow and overgrown with weeds. Beginning this evening when my husband returns from work, we are starting the arduous process of tilling the ground. It's backbreaking work, but needs to be done if we are to achieve our goal of urban homesteading. I will show you before and after photos soon!

Otherwise, have a lovely Friday and beginning to your weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Farewell to a Tiny Friend

Tuesday night, my sweet daughter, Sarah, came out of her room in tears. She had just found her little dwarf hamster, Pansy, curled up in her food bowl, passed away. Pansy was purchased around my daughter's 13th birthday, about a year and a half ago. Recently, she developed two large tumors, but was behaving like her spry old self, so we weren't that worried.

So, we held a funeral for Pansy on Tuesday night. I donated a small, decorative cardboard box for the coffin. My husband went out in the pouring rain to dig the hole out under out apple tree where lies two of our other pets. AFter burying Pansy, we stood together out of the rain on the deck and said a family prayer.

A tender moment for a tiny animal who is no doubt running free in the fields above, waiting for a sweet girl who loved him for 20 months.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook and Giveaway

Dear Friends and Visitors,

Check out this wonderful 600th Post Giveaway, over at Spun By Me.

It is a wonderful journal. Stop by and take a look at it!

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... a cold rain is coming down. The pink blossoms of my neighbor's cherry tree are a lovely contrast against the gray sky. The nearby mountains are hidden behind a thick veil of clouds.
I am thinking... quiet thoughts of home and children.
I am thankful for... being alive for another day, for still having my children with me (they are at school, so I mean this time of life when they live at home), for my two sleeping tomcats, for peace.
From the learning rooms...I am reading a mystery novel in the evenings when everyone is in bed. At the supper table, we are reading the scriptures and a funny book called, "I Love You, Miss Huddleston."
From the kitchen...only ideas, so far...freshly baked bread today and Shrimp and Asparagus Fettuccine, for tonight.
I am wearing...warm clothes. Our heat is off while workmen replace our water heater and air conditioning system. Brrrrrrrrrr.
I am creating... a warm and inviting home for my children to return to later in the day. I will be cleaning, baking and burning my favorite incense so that the house smells wonderful.
I am going... absolutely nowhere...Aaaah, the feeling of staying put, especially on a rainy day.
I am reading... the wonderful mystery novel I mentioned above, plus scriptures and various homemaking manuals and cookbooks. I love always having something wonderful to read. It expands my mind and heart and takes me places where I have never been before.
I am hoping... for a brighter future. The dear Lord understands and knows my longings.
I am hearing... the ticking of a clock, the movement of working men downstairs interspersed with silence.
Around the house...it is only I carrying out my household tasks and workmen below. I am so glad they are down there and I am up here, where I can still be alone.
One of my favorite things...being still and listening with my heart, being alone with my thoughts and the silent prayers of my soul reaching upwards towards God, having purpose, knowing where I belong, feeling loved and having many to love. There are things I am thankful for, too! :)
A few plans for the rest of the week: Gosh, I hesitate to plan much with this weather...More yard work (yard play - I love it!). I am cultivating beds and straightening up. Want to make a birdbath and a feeder (craft project). I would like to go on a walk when the weather turns nice. And we must TILL THE VEGGIE GARDEN (that will be work!). I also will thrift this weekend. There are several things I need that I hope to find! :)

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...no pictures today...I have not reloaded my photo program again since having my hard drive cleaned up. So, I send you lovely thoughts to brighten your day of Spring rains, beautiful tree blooms that liven a dreary sky, occasional chirping of wet little birds, braving the rains for a chance at the feeders and hopes and longings and peace.

For more Simple Woman's Daybooks, please visit the link.

God bless!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again!

Hello, Friends and Visitors!

After being unable to blog for almost two months, during which time my computer had just about everything replaced on it that could be replaced, I am back up and running and excited to be here in Blogland again.

First, for those of you who are visiting for Menu Planning Monday, a new menu just for you:

Monday - Zesty Chicken Meatloaf, Green beans and mashed potatoes

Tuesday - Shrimp and Asparagus Fettucine, Salad

Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Legs, Potatoe Salad, Corn and Salad

Thursday - Artichoke Pie, Salad and Artisan Bread

Friday - Meatball Hoagies and Salad

Saturday - Homemade Pizza and Fruit Salad

Sunday - Hm.m.m.m...not sure. Will have to look at other people's menus and be inspired! :)

Is anyone else out there excited about Spring? Especially those in my area (Northern Utah) should feel thrilled as we have had a L.O.N.G Winter. We have had snow on and off steadily since February. We need the water, but, enough already! Now, my apple tree is blooming and things are warming up. My favorite backyard birdies are making whoopee out in the lilac tree that hangs over our fence from our neighbors and some birdies have already settled down and made a home. Mr. and Mrs. House Finch are at our feeders, mornings and evenings, as are Mr. and Mrs. Dove and a group of Chickadees. Will let you know when the little ones begin mature enough to leave the nest as they are generally hopping around (will keep the cat in when that starts!).

What signs of Spring are around where you are?

A very late, but happy Springtime to you and yours!

Make it a great day~!