Sunday, October 28, 2018

Keeping up with Life - Another Year Older

Hello, Dear Friends, can you believe that October is almost 
a memory? 

Where does the time go? I know that I say that often......

I'm taking a break from our little tour of Italy
to catch up with current time.

It's such a beautiful time of year. 

I am now another year older and I can tell you that 
I am definitely feeling my age these days. 

'Achy and Pain' seem to be my new best friends :(
 I'm most definitely slowing down, 
but I am fighting it. 

My daughter, Jennie and husband, Steve,
 hosted a lovely party for this 
month's birthdays. 

There was a wonderful chili bar with all the fixin's, 
including baked potatoes. 

I loaded my plate, as you can see!

There was a cider bar, too :)

Cinnamon sticks and apples float on top. 

Home-made maple brownies for dessert. 


I was definitely spoiled with gift-baskets
 full of lovely fall goodies.

Oh, how did those get in there? 

Ramblin' Man gave me these beautiful roses. 


And a sweet and special gift with itty-bitty hand-prints. 
My first refrigerator art from the tiny beans.

We've had a long stretch of mild, sunny weather, 
so we have been very busy getting ready for winter. 

The lawn's been mowed, hopefully for the last time this year, 
 and the water ditches are now cleaned out.
These will need constant upkeep until all the leaves fall. 

I have been trying to catch up on clipping and trimming. 
The blackberries take over if I don't stay ahead of them. 

The rain-gutters and chimneys have been cleaned, and 
the wood-box has its first armload of the season.

My son, Dustin delivered 3 loads of firewood, all split, 
 from a large tree he had to take down on his property.

We will burn approximately 6 cord of wood
over the winter - sometimes more.

The dogs had their last outdoor bath of the season, too. 

It was 70 degrees in the sunshine - the last warm day, 
 and I hauled hot water by hand so they would be happy. 

Kai and Whitey Bear love their baths and offer no resistance. 
I have to keep them tied to the deck rails in the sun 
while they dry out a bit, (with a 'chewy bone')
or they will roll in the dirt. 

^^    ^^
* *  * *
>o< >o<

Whitey Bear is getting on in age, too. 
I think he is about 12. He was a rescue dog, 
so I am not exactly sure. 

We are both slowing down.

I've been bringing home flats of 'Glacier Pansies' from my local 
market every week for the last few weeks. 
 I have to squeeze them into my grocery cart, but I am determined. 
This variety will bloom all season and sporadically all winter, 
 then put on a show this spring. 

I found these oval, galvanized tubs there, too. 

Ramblin' Man drilled drainage holes for me
and I planted purple grape hyacinth bulbs below the pansies. 

I used 'Cactus Mix' potting soil in the bottom third 
for good drainage around the bulbs, 
then used regular potting soil on top. 

My antique baby-bed, turned bench, has been stripped of its cushions 
for the winter. It looked so bare that I decided to use it as 
a 'flower-bed' for the season. 

The white flowers are alyssum,
and have survived one winter already, 
much to my amazement. 
They like this sheltered, sunny spot. 

The deck always looks so bare when we take down 
the umbrellas and put away the cushions, so I 
try to always keep something blooming. 

We generally have mild winters, here in Western Washington State,
but we can get fierce storms from the North every 
now and again. 

With neighbors like Canada and Alaska, it is bound to happen, 
although the warming waters from the South Pacific (Hawaii) 
and the moderating influences of California 
usually keep the weather mild, although wet, in winter. 

Look at what we found at the pumpkin patch! 

The sweetest 'little punkins'! 

We had so much fun! 
My Daughter, Heather and Son-in-law, 
Eric have their hands full!


We filled two wheelbarrows with
pumpkins, gourds, apples and other goodies.

It's so fun to decorate with the bounty. 

But all good things come to an end and our rain 
has returned. 

The leaves are falling, and the temperatures, too. 

And our first snow has fallen in the higher hills. 

So as time marches on towards the cold heart of winter, 
 we try to enjoy every precious day of this beautiful season. 


You cannot do a kindness too soon, 
for you never know how soon it will be too late. 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson -

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