Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cozy Winter Days - In the Sewing Room

Hello, Dear Friends, as we say goodbye to January, 
I've been trying to stay cozy during these 
seemingly endless winter days. 

It's been cold and wet here - or what I like to term, 'Murky'. 


Every once in a while a stray sunbeam sneaks through 
and leaves strange reflections on the wall. 

This crazy reflection is from the wood-stove air-vent pull. 
(That little dangling coil)

These sorts of things catch my eye......
It was dancing and flickering. 

It doesn't take much to entertain me, apparently :)

Kai agrees with that.....

Although these two have not been very entertaining lately. 

Whitey Bear and Kai have been doing a lot of hibernating. 

I can't say that I blame them. 

I've been cooking a lot of comfort food these days. 

Here, I've tried Tuscan Tortellini Soup
from  Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. 

Instead of making it in the slow-cooker, 
I made it the traditional way. 

I paired it with Irish Brown Bread

A healthy favorite and so easy.

While I wait for Ramblin' Man to get home
for dinner, I will spend some time in
my sewing room.

My Happy Place.

I've found some fabrics, hankies and doilies
to make pillows for Valentine's Day decorating.

I look for vintage hankies and doilies whenever
I go to a flea-market.

This pretty, linen fabric has ribbon rosebuds :)

I hand sew this hankie to the fabric along the
scalloped edges.

This wonderful doily is hand-sewn onto fabric
from an old chenille bedspread.

A 'Fairy Garden' on the windowsill to enjoy
while I sew.

My comfy chair - a slip-covered office chair.

I made the pillow from a favorite old tee-shirt.

You can see more of my sewing room Here.

I collect Victorian children art for this room.

This room was once shared by my two daughters.

The art brings back sweet memories.

I once had a little sign that said,

'Childhood days go swiftly past -
Enjoy these moments while they last'

It was so true.

My dear Sis-in-law sent me the metal advertising
sign for 'Singer' sewing machines
as a gift for Christmas.


I enjoy these winter days of cooking and sewing and hanging
out with the pup-dogs.

(When I am not babysitting this little darling)

(Or looking forward to seeing this precious little one)


Next time I will show you the pillows I made
for Valentine's Day.

Time to set the table for dinner.......

Thank you for stopping by, dear Friends!


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Living a Wild Life

As all of you that follow me regularly know,
I live in the foothills of the Cascade mountains
overlooking Mt. Rainier, here in western Washington State.

We have lots of wildlife and once in a while I get 
lucky and remember to snap a photo! 
Most of the time I am surprised in the moment 
and forget, but my brain-fog lifts every now and again,
and I remember to grab my camera.

 I would like to share some of these moments with you! 

Recently, we had this visitor for a couple of weeks. 
He liked to sit in this tree and hunt. 
I could see him from my living room through the glass doors.
Not much happens out my windows except for the weather
and the occasional small plane, so I am always
excited when we have wild visitors. 

He arrived looking rather thin....
maybe from a long migration. 

Definitely hungry....

Looking around.

Pretty coloring. 
I think he is a Red-Tail Hawk.

You can see how thin he is.

We have lots of rabbits and squirrels,
so hopefully he found a meal.

Kai spies a squirrel on the other side of the fence.

Look at that concentration!
You can see my garden cart and rake waiting for me.

The squirrel nonchalantly digs around, knowing full well
that Kai is on the other side of the fence :)

Such a tease......

One morning I was driving up 
the driveway and had just arrived at the gate 
when I saw movement out my rain-streaked windshield. 

(My plastic enclosed newspaper leans against the post.)

It was a Ruffed Grouse. 

I had heard his drumming for a few weeks. 

He notices me and decides to fly off, and when he did, 
another flew off with him. 

Hopefully there will be little grouse come spring :)

Isn't he pretty? He blends into the landscape so well!

This year we have been blessed with a small herd of elk
that are wintering nearby. 

It's always a thrill to see them. 
They will stay for the winter and once
the snows melt in the higher elevations, 
they will move to higher ground.

These are large animals that can weigh about 400 lbs.
when fully grown.

We drive carefully and slowly, especially
at night.

I recently told you that a pair of Bald Eagles had 
arrived in the area and I was hoping to get some photos. 

I had my chance just the other day.....

A real beauty. 

So graceful. 

Soaring back and forth....

And quickly gone. 

This little Towhee is a favorite of mine.
He lives right near the house and scratches
for insects under the cedar trees.

He and his mate nest on the ground and he sings a reedy song
all spring to announce his territory.

We have these large Band-Tailed Pigeons that live here, year-round, too.
They are as big as a chicken - not like those wimpy
city pigeons! :) They live in large flocks and like residential areas
and parks with big trees to nest in.

This is a female Varied Thrush.
The male is a striking orange and black.
They are about the size of a Robin, but a little stouter.
They winter here and scratch for insects under leaves and
in the fallen needles under evergreens.

They have a very reedy call and are prone to window strikes,
so I have special decals in my big windows and it has
solved the problem.

And who doesn't love hummingbirds?
This little Anna's hummingbird is our year-round resident.
His dark head and throat glows ruby red in sunlight.


We are blessed with a mild climate here year round.
The average temperature is 52 degrees (Fahrenheit),
and it rarely gets hotter than 80 degrees in summer,
and colder than 46 degrees in winter.
(Daily high temperatures)
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule,
but this is the average.

Once in a while we get snow in the lower elevations,
but it doesn't last very long.
We live at 1200 ft. elevation. Mostly the snow
level stays higher than 3000 ft. but because
we are in the foothills, we can get snow
when other areas don't.

Sunset on the Cascade Mountains.

We do get a lot of rain - about 38 inches a year,
but that is mostly in winter and spring.
Summers and fall are surprisingly dry.

Mt. Rainier forms it's own weather and sometimes the clouds form amazing swirls nearby.

Although it can be sobering to realize how
truly wild this life I lead is,
(when coyotes are howling and Ramblin' Man is away
on a business trip)
 I wouldn't trade it for any other place on Earth.

Except, maybe, for a stone cottage in the Cotswold's :)


Thank you for sharing this wild and crazy life with me,
dear Friends! It's all of you who keep me
from being that lone voice in the dark.


Today I am linking with:

Saturday's Critters

Won't you join the fun?

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