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 -


  1. Happy Birthday, my sweet and wonderful friend! I hope this year is truly amazing and filled with many blessings.

    Your family pictures are just precious. How special to have them so close to you and oh, what sweet memories you are making.

    Time does indeed march on and the year will be over before we know it...Thinking of you, dear one, and sending lots of love your way!

  2. What a lovely post with all things autumnal! Wishing you a very Happy Birthday. x

  3. Congratulations on your birthday!

  4. beautiful autumn colors.
    Happy birthday.
    Greeting - Evi Erlinda

  5. Happy birthday! I am also experiencing rain and fall colors and falling leaves here in Oregon! The colors are so wonderful. Have not had much of a chance to get out with the camera as seems it rains on the days I plan to do so! Fall is just too fleeting. I wish the colors would last for several months! I love your photos.

  6. Hello, Happy birthday to you! Looks like your area is looking beautiful, I hope you are enjoying the mild weather too. Your family photos are beautiful, your grandchildren are adorable. They grow so quickly. Lovely post. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

  7. Happy birthday to you. Love all the fun pictures and the trees are so pretty right now.

    Hugs Diane

  8. Happy Birthday!! I so can relate to having 'achy and pain' as close friends. I like to remember that I am in good company, as I have many friends around the same age that feel the same. Now I can add you! It's comforting to have others share our pain! What a wonderful post! I always love your pictures. You are having a beautiful Fall on the other side of the country...not so much here in the Northeast. We have had rain almost every day in October. Maybe November will bring us an Indian Summer. Your flowers are beautiful!

  9. HAPPY B-DAY! That was an awesome party with all the decorations and food. Love your pictures.

  10. Happy Birthday to you, lovely Karen♥ Oh my goodness your family certainly knows how to celebrate in style. Everything looks fabulous. I can relate to you re the aches and pains as we grow older. Each morning there seems to be some new ache that wasn't there the day before. I always love seeing your fabulous deck. It looks like such a restful haven. Love all those little Pansies resting on that fabulous wrought iron cot. Love all your adorable grand children. The pumpkin photos are such fun. A lovely post filled with beauty, love, family and all things gorgeous. Sending you a basket overspilling with warm hugs, lovely lady♥

  11. Happy Birthday, it looks like a really wonderful party!!! I alway enjoy seeing pictures of your deck area, is is always so special!! Beautiful family too, life is good!!!

    1. i was heading off to bed when i read this last night, drifting off, i wanted to come back and enjoy it all again. i read every word and there are so many things i enjoyed in this post. the first picture is so beautiful, your refrigerator art so special...fall in your area is gorgeous. thank you for reminding me to plant my pansies!!!

  12. Happy Birthday, Karen! I have missed you! It appears my blog roll has not been showing your new postings since your break, but I clicked on your blog anyway and found this delightful post! Now I realize that I look forward to going back to catch up on all your news since your break. I am sorry for your aches and pains and pray they vanish. Thanks for posting and sharing your latest family Autumn adventures. Sweet! Also, I appreciated your gardening tip of planting bulbs with your Pansies. I just planted six little Pansies and don''t plan to plant more since our house is for sale, but when I am settled again I want to try your idea. Blessings on you and yours! xxxxxxx

  13. Happy Birthday, Karen. You can't be slowing down too much as it looks like you have a lot to do yet. Your flowers and your family seems to be flourishing and your setting is still one of the prettiest around. I will be slowing down with you next month, but as they say: Better than the alternative!..Happy Fall..Judy and thanks for your latest visit.

  14. Happy Birthday, dear Karen!!! I always love seeing how your family celebrates for the birthday months. It looks like Jennie and Steve had a wonderful bounty of food. The flowers on your deck look so pretty, and those darling punkins at the Pumpkin Farm look so adorable with you and your hubby. Love and hugs, Kitty

  15. What a wonderful party you had for all the birthdays. The chili bar sounds delicious. And the maple brownies look amazing. You received some really nice gift baskets. I think the hand prints from the little ones is the best present of all. It's always good to see the happenings around your house and the projects you're working on, Karen. It looks like you're all ready for the Winter with the firewood. That was nice of your son to bring it all over. And it's already raining there! These are cute pictures of the little ones at the pumpkin patch. I just went to one this last weekend, and to see Francesca looking all around and going on the train and carousel was a thrill for me.

    Happy Birthday to you, Karen. You look so lovely in this picture at the pumpkin patch. Happy November days ahead. : )


  16. Hello Karen, Happy Birthday wishes to you and thank you so much for sharing these delightful glimpses into your beautiful family and home-life. As always, your posts are so uplifting and pragmatic.
    Oh goodness yes, feeling the advancing years... aches and pains are such a nuisance aren't they. A lovely Physiotherapist is a treasure but I'm sure you already know that ;D)
    I do love all those pansies and other sweet flowers you've shown for the winter duration. They will certainly put a sparkle into any grey day.
    All your little ones are so cute and isn't it heartening when you hear their giggles! Cheers now, all the best and it's been lovely catching up with you :D)

  17. A very Happy Birthday to you and many more returns. I agree that lately here I have a shorter list of things that don't hurt than those that do, I try not to let it get me down. We just put away all our deck chairs, tables and umbrella on our deck and I so agree that it looks very plain out there. We keep the gas grill out because every now and then it gets warm enough in the winter to at least go out and grill :) How wonderful that you can have flowers all year around. Your grandbabies are just the sweetest, enjoy!!

  18. Karen, Oh I have missed your posts! A belated Happy Birthday to you! Your family knows how to throw a party! That food - oh my! And what lovely gift baskets! The babies and their older brother have grown so much and must fill your day with laughter. And how nice the dogs enjoy their baths and bones! I can hardly wait to watch your flowers grow. Hope through the winter! xo

  19. Gorgeous pictures,sweet friend!Happy Belated Birthday!Precious Grands!Xo

  20. 🎈happy belated birthday wishes Karen!🎈
    What a lovely party your kids made for you...lucky you!
    Those Pansies make me smile...
    Happy November to you!
    Linda :o)

  21. Wishing you a happy birthday and many happy returns although these are catch up greetings. So glad that you and family members had a lovely time in Italy. Happy November now that you're back home. Home sweet home! All is looking lovely in your part of the world.

  22. Many good wishes for your birthday :)
    Loved your post, especially the pictures taken at the pumpkin patch!

    All the best Jan


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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