Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - September 29th/The Aspen Loop

A lovely Wednesday to you!

My family and I spent our Family Night on Monday evening, driving the Aspen Loop from the famous Sundance (actor, Robert Redford's ski resort) over the mountains down into Alpine, Utah.
We were a little disappointed that the aspens were not at peak color yet.
A number of other trees were turning.
And here and there a patch of golden aspens were seen.
The leaves are lovely, but don't you think their trunks are also wonderful, ghostly white and mottled with black. They are a sight at night.
The above vista is looking back towards Sundance, near Timpanogas Peak.
Here a mosaic of golden aspen leaves shine in the late afternoon sun.
A precious, little stream makes its way down the mountain. When I was a little girl, traveling with my family I called these "trinkletaries". :)
On a rock near the stream...
We found this little jar, with a note inside...
It said, "I am just a napkin. Thanks for finding me!" :)
I hope that you enjoyed our drive through the mountains.
For more Outdoor Wednesday posts, please visit A Southern Dreamer HERE.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cats on Tuesday - September 27, 2010

Whew, what a workout!

Would you like to see how Sunny (above) alerts me to the nearing emptiness of his feeding bowl? He hops up on the bathroom counter, retrieves one of my daughter's hair twisties (or an emery board, or headband), deposits it in either or both sides of the dish and then waits for me to notice it.
What a smart pussycat!

For more Cats of Tuesday, please visit Gattina HERE.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Pleasures of Family: A Bumble Bee Has Her Birthday

On Saturday, everybody's favorite bumblebee, Willow, (my sweet little grand-niece) had her second birthday.
Family and friends gathered at Willow's hive for the celebration.
As soon as we came in the door carrying a big, colorful present, the sweet little bee was buzzing all around it...
She carried that huge thing all by herself to the kitchen, looking for help to open it...
Who will help me open this box?
Aunt Kelly tries to help...
Willow is very adept at getting the paper off...
but it takes the help of daddy Isaac to get through all the tape.
Gracious, what could it be?
It's a horsy to ride and play with!
Here is sweet Kelly bee (my niece).
What a yummy birthday cake!
Here is Queen Bee, Emily, and the little bumblebee herself.
Time to sing "Happy Bee Day!"
"I want to cut the cake myself!"
Some cake to sooth the Bee Day girl.
Yum, yum!
I got so caught up taking pictures of Willow, I forgot to take many of all the guests. What few I did take didn't turn out well. I'm sorry family!

Thanks to Isaac and Emily for putting on such a fun party and for inviting Uncle Mark and Auntie E.


Have a Bee-autiful day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Simple Womans Daybook, September 20

Outside my window... is a gorgeous blue sky, bright sunshine and lovely mild temperatures.
I am thinking...of organizing, cleaning, airing, fluffing, and beautifying.
I am thankful for...the possibility that my husband might have a good, new job. Since his unemployment two years ago, he has worked seasonal jobs, etc. This new job for which he is interviewing would be permanent and well paying.
From the kitchen...I am cooking Slow Cooker Pepper Steak for supper, waffles for tomorrow's breakfast, and chopping to freeze garden produce (peppers, onions, zuchs)
I am wearing...very comfy workout clothes. I just want to be comfy today.
I am creating...Actually I would like to create more...I read some wonderful blogs where the talented ladies behind them come up with all sorts of fabulous ideas that just take my breath away. For instance, visit Miss Sandy, at Quill Cottage and see what she did with an old, plastic frame, some paint and art supplies and a flea market chandelier.
I am going...to work in my home today and bless it despite the fact that I am really not feeling too well. Sometimes, when I become really engrossed in a home project, my mind drives me to keep going when my body would give up.
I am reading..."Standing Like a Stonewall" about Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate, Civil War General. He was a very devout man, self-made man, which I really admire. Of course, he was fighting for the wrong cause (I say that as a Southerner), but it is inspiring to read about how he tried to elevate himself above the circumstances to which he was born and to better himself.I am hoping...my husband gets this job....!
I am hearing...talk radio in the background. I can't work around my house without listening to something...books-on-tape, music or news.
Around the house...the laundry is sorted into piles for me to wash, the kitchen counters are crowded with food for me to cook, my cats are asleep on various chairs and I am at work.
One of my favorite things...is to hang my laundry outside to dry. I wrote an earlier post about that, but I find it a very peaceful activity. Taking it back inside and folding it is also very peaceful.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Canning and freezing, freezing and canning...and...canning and freezing.


For those of you who are wondering what we are having for Menu Planning Monday, please check out this great link that provides menus for you every week...
Yahoo Food

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spicy Dill Pickle Recipe

Hello, Friends and Visitors!

Greetings! Is anyone out there canning their brains out like I am? I am very busy. But I would like to share with you the wonderful recipe that I am using for pickles.

Spicy Dill Pickle Recipe - For Canning
I am even using it to pickle some garden zucchinis.
What are you doing with your garden produce?

Hopefully, I can get around to visit everyone today.

Have a great one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beginnings of Fall Nesting

Hello, One and All! I am a little late getting my act together due to some recent illness at our house to join the fun Fall Nesting Party over at The Inspired Room. However, here are just a few accent pieces with much, much more to come. My hutch is beginning to look a lot like Autumn...
I love the colors in this floral bunch below... They will be repeated throughout the house, ...
...as you can see from this arrangement hanging from my curio cabinet.
Please join the party, or just enjoy what others are doing HERE.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Parable of the Cat and The Glass Door

As some of you know, I have two cats, Timmy and Sunny. For a number of years, they were only indoor cats. It always seemed the best option to keep them in since our house faces a relatively busy street. But for a long time I felt really bad that they were cooped up in the house, always looking out the windows. Every living thing of intelligence longs to be out of doors. It is only natural. My heart was filled with compassion towards my little animals, so this Summer I began to let them out in our backyard.

Much of the time they would lay out on our porch, or in the green grass that they love so much...

or under our tree...
I was so happy, because they were obviously so at peace and happy.

For a long time, they remained in our yard, but then they began to jump the fence and go over into our neighbor's yard. There, they would lounge under their bushes on hot afternoons. This was okay. But their longing for adventure, drew them to other neighbors' yards and, before we knew it, they were wandering the neighborhood.

Then, this passed week, we caught them going across the busy road in front of our house. They had expanded their territory to include a road that has already taken the life of an earlier cat. So, with much regret, we closed the door to our cats' outside adventures and they are once again only indoors.

Now, they stare through the glass door that use to allow them entrance into the green world they adore. They stare and they meow and they put their paws on the glass, but the door doesn't open, not for them anymore.

The other day I was watching my cat mourn for the things he cannot have - green grass, the warm sunshine, breezes that blow through his fur, yummy mice and the occasional bird (!). These are all good things for a cat and he wonders why he can't have them. And suddenly I saw myself at different times in my life, staring out of the window of my life, longing for things, intangibles, that could not be mine. They were all reasonable even good things that I desired, and why they never worked out seemed incomprehensible to me. Why would God stay His hand when my desires were neither selfish or worldly?

Then, I saw the answer. Just like how my cat is totally unaware that the reason for the closed door is that along with the green grass, gentle breezes, sunshine and animal life outside, there are also unseen dangers. I am protecting the animals that I love by keeping them safe inside. They cannot know that, but this is exactly what I'm doing. Likewise, I believe that after all we have done, the praying, the fasting, the working towards something good that we desire to be ours, whatever it is, if the door remains closed, it is because the Lord sees things that we cannot see. There are dangers lurking or temptations we couldn't turn down, or even, lessons He may have promised to teach us that we can only learn denial and the withholding of some of our longings.

A day or so ago, when Sunny was staring out that door, longing to go outside, I sought to comfort him with a pat and he hissed at me! I pulled back, laughing.

"I know what you are feeling, little friend."

How many times, have I pulled back from God and would not be comforted because His ways were not mine? We "bite that hand that feeds us."

"Well, little friend, you can hiss at me, but you are still NOT going outside and...I love you so very dearly."

Is that how it is for our Heavenly Father? He watches our anger at Him when our lives don't go the way we desperately desire, with love and understanding and maybe even at times, a little humor?

So, the door is still shut, but I am trying to remind the pussycats what it is about inside that they use to like and little by little they are remembering - curling up beside "Mama" for a nap, finding a patch of sunlight on the floor in which to bask, playing with their toys.

And I am learning from them that it is only normal for us to look out the window and long for things. If we never longed for more, nothing more would be achieved. But when in Life a door is shut, and it remains shut, I hope to remember this lesson:

Our Heavenly Father sees more than we see; He knows more than we know and doors are NEVER shut without a really good reason. We need to trust in His reasons.
Then, we need to remember all the other good things we have and go on with our days, trusting.

That's what I recently learned from my cat...(and the Holy Ghost who will use anything to teach a lesson).

For more Cats on Tuesday, please visit Gattina HERE.

Have a great one!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Show and Tell Friday - September 3rd

I haven't done a Show and Tell Friday for awhile, but I have wanted to share this ever since I got it a few months back...

My mother's first love was a young man named Emery. She met him in 1942 at a dance in Fayetteville, NC where he was stationed with the army. This young man from Pennsylvania was very taken with my red-haired, very Southern mother and they began dating. One year later, they married in April 1943 (interestingly, when my husband and I wed on April 17, 1993, my mother later told me that I had gotten married 50 years to the date that she had married Emery). This wonderful young man was shipped over to Europe in 1944, where they followed the wave of soldiers into France shortly after D-Day. They made their way, battle by battle, deep into enemy territory. On the weekend of January 13th and 14th, 1945, Mama made her peace with the possibility that Emery might not make it back home, like so many other brave, young soldiers. Why did she remember the exact weekend of this experience? Because on Monday, January 15th, Emory was killed in a tragic accident. He was returning to the front after some rest, in a jeep at night during blackout conditions (which means every vehicle was driving without their headlights on so as not to draw enemy fire). At the same time, a quartermaster truck was racing away from the front on this small country road and they met head on. The men in the jeep were run over.

This was a terrible tragedy for my mother and she always remained close with Emery's family. Several months ago, Emery's sister, Molly, passed away. As she was childless, my sister helped with her a lot and received some of her belongings. Among these items was a teapot which she sent to me. We believe it was sent by Emory to his mother or sister during the War.
See the inscription on the top. It says, "For England and Democracy". Emory was in England before they shipped across to France.
On the bottom it says, "World War II, Made in England."

To my knowledge, everything my mother had with Emery, all their personal belongings and keepsakes, were burned in a fire that occurred sometime after Emery's death, so having the teapot which may have come from him is very meaningful.

Thank you for sharing my Show and Tell with me. For more posts, visit Cindy at My Romantic Home.

Have a great day!