Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Grateful Thanksgiving

Hello, Dear Friends, I have missed you! 

While I was gone we had a new addition 
to our family......

Meet Gavin Eric, our new grandson, 
born to daughter Heather and husband Eric. 

We are so very blessed. 

We have been enjoying our new little 
bundle of joy! 

We all gathered here for our Thanksgiving 
dinner, feeling very grateful. 

I enjoyed decorating and setting up for our
family gathering. 

It's a wonderful excuse to get the whole house cleaned :)

Everything is tidy and ready for guests. 
All except for Ramblin' Man's newspaper,
slippers and remotes :)

I went to the 'Funky Junk' flea market with my 
daughter Jennie and found these green patterned plates. 

I love the scene on this one of 'apple picking time'. 

The sweet potted plant is a gift from my DIL, Erica <3

I finally have enough collected
 vintage etched wine glasses for everyone! 

I baked a giant apple pie. 
It took me all afternoon the 
day before Thanksgiving to peel
3 bags of apples and make the crust. 

I used my 'new' marble rolling pin
that I found at the thrift store for $5. 

I saw similar new ones for nearly $100
recently. I was pleased with this 'find' 
and I can tell you, it rolls the crust 
so nicely. It's really heavy, so 
I didn't need to apply any extra pressure.

It turned out rustic, but delicious. 
My 'secret' spice blend is 
cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. 

My eldest son, Gabe, made two pumpkin pies, too. 

He is an amazing cook. 

Here he is with his little one, Ethan, 
taking a ride in Gramma's laundry basket. 

Ethan is already 18 mos. old now, 
and talking up a storm. 

Waiting for dinner in the crocheted 
sweater I made for him. 

Here is Uncle Dustin holding his two nephews. 

Dustin is my youngest. 

Dustin and wife, Jen. 

Erica and son, Ethan. 

Auntie Jennie......

Sneaking a kiss! 

The new family, Eric, Heather and Gavin. 

I was busy cooking away! 

A twenty pound turkey! 

Everyone brought something to the table. 

Time to eat! 

And later we demolished the pies! 

All tuckered out and ready to go home! 

Now the house is suddenly quiet. 
This house that my four children 
were raised in. 

The dishes are washed and put away, 
the leftovers distributed.....

The wine gone, amidst toasts and laughter. 

It was a wonderful day, gathered together 
to count our blessings. 

I wish you many blessings, too, my friends, 
as we move forward into this magical season 
of giving. 


Monday, November 7, 2016

Taking a Break

Hello, Friends, It's time for me to take 
a much-needed break. 

I hope to be back soon! 
Sending hugs 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Take a Walk With Me........

Hello, Dear Friends, our beautiful autumn is 
starting to wind down, with cooler days and nights, 
and leaves falling with every breeze. 

I took a walk on one of those glorious, sunny
days when the sun so obligingly shines
through the autumn leaves, 
creating kaleidoscopes of color. 

Come along with me and we will
see what is happening
in the autumn woods. 

Kai leads the way. 

He looks so tiny under the tall trees. 

Whitey Bear and Kai explore the undergrowth. 

Ramblin' Man shows perspective 
next to a 100 ft. tall Douglas Fir. 

Douglas Fir are the main species of 
our timber industry in WA state. 

A wild hazelnut is late to turn color,
adding golden tones to an
increasingly bare woodland.

Western sword fern grows nearby.

A young big-leaf maple glows among
leafless alder and black cottonwood.

Big-leaf maple is a very large tree
when mature, providing an important
food source for the creatures of the woodlands
with its numerous winged seeds.

A mature, 100 ft. tree will yield thousands of
of these winged seeds, which are relished by
these little guys..........

The tiny Douglas squirrel.

Ganoderma oregonese mushrooms grow on a dead
hemlock. Hemlock is a fast-growing, short-lived,
 evergreen that has been decimated by
infestations of beetles in my area.

This one recently died over the last few years.

Eventually this tree will become a 'snag',
 providing a food source for woodpeckers,
such as this Pileated woodpecker.

We have a healthy population of woodpeckers
here in our forest of living and dying trees.

The cavities they excavate provide housing
for smaller birds and animals, such
as chickadees and squirrels.

Someday the hemlock will look like this.....

Nature always works together.

Each species dependent upon the other.

My neighbor's horse - dependent upon kind owners
to provide a lovely home, warm blanket and green pastures.

Kai greets the neighbor's dog through the fence, an Icelandic sheepdog.

Isn't he cute?

He keeps his eye on me........

I'm sure he is wondering what I am holding up to my face!
The camera can be a scary thing........

Time to say goodbye.......

An uprooted, half eaten mushroom.

Tiny 'Fairy Bonnet' mushrooms which
are very common this time of year.
These do not appear to be palatable
and grow undisturbed in groups or 'troops'.

The drooping seed-head of a volunteer sunflower.

Maple among the tall spires of black cottonwood
and a young Douglas fir.

Soft, filtered light.

Holly grows on the right.

This young holly is just starting to fruit,
catching the fallen leaves in its spiny boughs.

Only female holly bear fruit.

The trunks of  mature big-leaf maples
host beautiful, soft green moss.

Maple and holly, side by side.

Showing perspective.....

This large holly was only 5 ft. high when
we were contemplating buying this property.

This is where we stopped and turned around to see.......

Mt. Rainier rising above the Cascade range.

We were smitten.

After 4 years of 'roughing it'
in a 32 ft. vintage travel trailer
attached to that very small shed,
with 4 small children,
we finally moved into our hand-built home.

You can read a little about our journey, Here.

Now the view from the holly is our home.

But we can peek over the roof......

A lone black cottonwood stands out in
a forest of Douglas fir.

A spotted towhee guards the garden bench.

The deep river valley below us.

Can you see the Stellar's Jay at the top of the tree on the left?

Keeping watch.........

You can see the dark trunks of the black cottonwood trees;
hence their name.

Time to go inside as the shadows lengthen.....

The young Japanese maple brightens the way.

The days are so short now.....

Kai in his favorite spot - keeping watch outside,
but able to look in at me.

A short hop through the pet-door brings him back inside :)

A male Anna's hummingbird enjoying a late afternoon sip on the deck.

This one has an unusual ring around his eyes.

The end of a beautiful, November day.

Thank you for coming along, Dear Friends!


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Saturday's Critters

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