Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Sugar Coated World

I woke up to a sugar coated world this morning. 

The first snow of the season. 

When I opened the curtains I was so surprised!

Although, I should have known by the dramatic clouds
the night before! 

I love how the snow reflects the light
as it dances around the bedroom while I 
tidy up and prepare 
for the day. 

Dark clouds hover over the mountains 
as I bundle up to take my morning walk
and feed the birds.

Tiny footprints on the front step.

Champ finds a stick to play with.
He loves the snow and gallops
around like a pony!

Our cottage is snuggled into the snow covered trees. 
These windows look out from our bedroom
shown earlier. 
The rest of the house is hidden behind the trees. 

Lovely leaves of Oregon Grape. 

There was no newspaper this morning. 
Our mountain road is very steep and slick
when it snows and the carrier will not attempt it. 

We have 4 wheel drive and studded tires on
my little gray Ford Ranger for that very reason. 

Years ago, when my children were in school, 
I would have to drive them when it snowed, 
as the bus would not come up our steep mountain road. 

One unseasonably snowy day
before my 4 wheel drive,
 I drove the children to school in the old station wagon,
(4 children - 3 different schools),
but then couldn't drive back up the last 
 icy, steep hill to our home.

I had to park at the bottom and 'take a hike'. 
It was very still and bitterly cold. 
Back then there were no houses along the way
and it felt very isolated. 
I was halfway up the very slick road
when I heard a loud crashing in the woods
alongside me. 

There was nowhere to hide and with the road
so slick, I could not run. I braced myself
and kept walking, hoping that if it 
was a bear, I would be able to scare it off. 

As the crashing got closer, 
I said my prayers, heart thumping.....
and then I heard a mournful, 'Moo-ooooooooo'!
It was a lonely steer, thankfully
fenced off with barbed wire. 

I had no idea the fence was even there
or that there were cattle inside! 
I walked over and gave my new friend
 a pat on the head and he escorted
me up the hill from his side of the fence.

I wish I had a treat to give him :) 

Snow on Douglas Fir. 

 A lovely holly. 

Time to go in- 
Baby it's cold outside! 

Mt. Rainier peeks out from the clouds. 

My scrabble letters in the kitchen window. 

Ling Ling scurries to find a dry spot on the deck
after playing in the snow. 

My Mother's dancing verdigris frogs get a mouth full. 

My caged Angel stoically stands by. 

A frosted cabbage with frozen droplets. 

The end of a beautiful day. 

We don't get much snow here in Western Washington State, 
except in the higher elevations,
(but of course, now that I have said that, we will :)
and some years we get very little. 
When we do, it is a lovely surprise. 


I hope that all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, 
had a lovely day. 
Thank you all for your dear wishes. 
We had a wonderful day 
and I am happily exhausted. 
My Ramblin' Man and I have enjoyed
a quiet weekend in front of the fire, 
eating pie for breakfast
and leftovers for dinner. 
I am not ready to start decorating for 
Christmas quite yet, but I am thinking about it :) 

Wishing you a lovely, peaceful weekend, Dear Friends. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Preparations with a Grateful Heart

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year
and I have been busy making preparations.

I hung this little chalkboard in my kitchen
to get my just rewards :)

I also made this sign for the occasion.
I really love the message.

I used a transfer from the craft store
 on chipboard that I painted a soft cream.

I wanted to give it an aged appearance,
so I watered down some gray craft paint
and lightly brushed over it, using a paper towel
to remove excess, then I splattered it a bit.

Much better, don't you think?
My sweet Mr. drilled two holes for hanging.

Now I am ready to cook up a storm!
I am cooking for 12.

Not too many, but a crowd for my small cottage!
I love to cook and I cook to love.

I am determined to stay relaxed and do as much prep as possible
so I can enjoy Thanksgiving day
with the ones I love.

I am keeping things simple.

I made the centerpiece from my favorite vintage
box, some tall glassed candles
and a gathering of nature's bounty.

Viewed from above......

I've set up a small table in front of the daybed
to accommodate everyone. 

I like this so much, 
I might keep it this way....


I made the Autumn Leaves out of clay 
a couple of years ago. 

My hutch sits opposite. I will serve pies here. 

Scrabble letters spell it out.

One of my decoupaged trays in behind.

(I used pretty napkins)

I just found this little basket at my favorite vintage store.
There are 5 more nested inside!

The little drawers hold my art supplies.

I've set up a coffee bar on my kitchen queen.

Dishes are washed and waiting.

My Mother's flour sifter will be used tomorrow to bake
apple pies with the recipe she passed down.

It is during the holidays that we miss our loved ones the most.

Something to make me smile
inside the pantry door.

I stenciled this years ago
when my children were young.


With such a small house, I set up a wine bar
on my treadle sewing machine in my living room.

This is a good excuse to bring out my mid-century modern
wine and cheese platter.

I love the design.
Another thrifty find.

I mix all eras in my vintage cottage style.

The beautiful hand-painted tray was a recent birthday gift
from my sweet sis-in-law back in New England.
I love using pretty printed napkins.

And some just for fun. :)

A favorite Washington State vintage drink tray.

We are located between Puyallup and Wenatchee.
The Cascade Mountains separate the two.

Puyallup is a local Native American tribe, pronounced
Pyu-allup. Maybe the first one to write
the pronunciation mixed up the vowels!

Right now the Puyallup River is at flood stage
as we have had a very large amount of rain and expecting
more. We can hear the creek below our little mountain
 roaring with run-off from the mountains.
Mt. Rainier is closed to visitors as it has received
6 inches of rain
melting our recent mountain snows.
The weather system is coming directly from Hawaii
in a large stream of moisture called
'The Pineapple Express'.
We always get flooding in the river valleys
during these weather events,
but we are high and dry.

Spending time with loved ones - sharing good food,
laughter, and love - with gratitude for all of our
many blessings, is what Thanksgiving is all about.

I am also grateful, Dear Friends, to all of you
who brighten my day, lift me up, and
bless me with your sweet friendship.


Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 21, 2014

An Ordinary Day

The early morning sunshine streams in
as I sip my morning coffee.

Those first beautiful rays bring the promise of
a brand new day.

I am enjoying the morning sun
as we are expecting heavy rain and wind
later in the day.

Weekdays find me packing my Ramblin' Man's lunch,
ironing his clothes, and sharing some early morning chatter
about our day.

I kiss him goodbye, then it's time to feed the pets,
tidy up, and do a bit of laundry.

Maggie and Ling Ling get comfy after breakfast.

My sweet Maggie is 15 years old now and spends
her days finding the most comfortable place
 in the house to survey her kingdom.

Ling Ling prefers to be in front of the fire, and settles herself down
as I do a bit of crocheting while I watch my favorite soap opera.

*My one guilty pleasure*
(besides chocolate :)

I've been tidying up the deck for the winter season
the last few days.

I've taken down hanging baskets that have succumbed to our
recent freeze, and thrown pots of annuals into the compost.

I've put away my ceramic birdbath
and replaced it with my birdcage.

I can see her from my kitchen...

Even with the flowers gone,
I still have a bit of color.

I will look for potted ivy and tiny evergreens
at the nursery
to carry through until spring.

Having fun with my new camera here....
taken through the chair back.

Who needs flowers?

Whitey Bear is bored with all this fussing
around with plants.

The baker's rack holds herbs
and the smaller plant stand
holds winter pansies.
They will sporadically bloom
all winter, then put on a show in early spring.

Some pots of rosemary.

My empty pots are waiting for bulbs.
I am late in planting my bulbs
due to a delayed shipment and freezing
weather that kept me inside.

The Japanese Maple is putting on a show
before shedding her leaves.

My youngest son gifted me with all the turquoise
pots over the years, for various occasions such
as Mother's Day and my birthday.


I will pot up my smallest bulbs and bury them in leaves
under the cedar tree where they can stay warm and
dry until spring.

My poor angels need a good cleaning and so I have
put them here to remind me.

The window is one of 30 that my sweet Ramblin' Man
found for me on one his business travels.

They were skylights in an old warehouse and the workmen
were just throwing them down from the roof and smashing them!
He convinced them to let him have them
and he hired a U-haul to take them home to me <3.

Someday they will be a greenhouse.

I thought I could hang one in my window, but it was
 too big, so it waits to be put away.
It is heavier than it looks and I can't lift it.

This time of year, we can stand here on a clear night
and see the Big and Little Dippers:)

A bonus of isolation....
Sometimes it feels a little too isolated.
The rain has held off, and the deck is tidy,
so now I need to rake leaves,
especially out of the drainage ditch.

I have my work cut out for me!
I have been waiting for all the leaves to fall....

I did manage to plant 100 Camassia
and 75 fragrant Narcissi in my front garden.

Something to look forward to this spring.

The sedum are still adding a bit of color here.

So many leaves!

Champ supervises....
He loves to play in my neatly raked up piles!
You can see the drainage ditch behind him.
When it rains heavy, we have a little burbling brook.

I work until the rain starts.
I love working out in the fresh air, listening
to the birds.
We have a pygmy owl that whistles in the trees,
and we've seen a large grey owl in the evening
when we go out to get firewood.

We had a coyote trapped inside our fenced 5 acres
for several days before we figured it out and
left the gate open so it could leave.
The downside to fences :(

I knew something was lurking due to the behavior
 of my dogs and cats.
Even the wild birds were sounding the alarm.
It wasn't until the poor coyote cried in distress
for two hours one night that I figured it out.
All is well now.

Just an ordinary day.

Tiny crab-apples hang on.

Raindrops on cabbage.

Time to go inside and catch up on some housework.


Thanks for coming along on my ordinary day,
Dear Friends.

I hope you are having an extraordinary, ordinary day.

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