Monday, November 26, 2018

Hanging Garlands on a Beautiful Day

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you had a lovely weekend
and a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Today is a rainy, stormy day, but yesterday was mild 
and sunny, so I took the opportunity to hang 
Christmas garlands along the deck rails. 

As you can see, I had a little help. 

Whitey Bear keeps me company and is always on alert. 

Along with Kai. I don't think I could live here, 
on the edge of the wilderness, without 
my two loyal guardians and defenders of their kingdom. 
Ramblin' Man is not always around.......
although he wishes he could be.

It was such a beautiful, late autumn day, with long, 
golden rays of sunlight shining through the trees. 
The sun stays low this time of year, even at 'high noon', 
here in the Pacific Northwest. 

The dappled sunlight brought back sweet memories 
of lovely summer days, 
but every little breeze reminds me
 that Old Man Winter is not too far away. 

I stay warm in my late Father's wool flannel, 
with gloves and a thermos of hot, steaming coffee. 
Starbucks breakfast blend. 
My fave. 

Flocks of little birds twitter in the trees ..... 
Chickadees, finches, towhees and nuthatches, 
with sparrows that break into song every so often, 
just because.

 Hummingbirds buzz me in my red plaid shirt,
and scold each other with strange, scratchy voices.

I can hear distant crows and the affectionate calls 
of a pair of ravens that have decided to winter here this year. 

They have several vocalizations, including a 
deep croak and a peculiar 'clucking' call that 
sounds like tapping on a hollow reed.

Curiously, bald eagles have the same call. 

I've read that ravens are known to follow predators,
such as coyotes and eagles to feed on their kills. 
Are the ravens 'calling' for eagles this way? 

Nature works in mysterious ways.

I'm in love with these tiny 'Christmas' trees, 
and have been bringing them home 
to replace summer flowers. 

They live happily in pots. 

I just transplant them into larger pots as they grow. 
You can see one that has grown quite large, 
against the house to the right. 

My 'Glacier Pansies' are blooming, still, 
and I've filled every available container with them,
while they were still for sale at the market. 

These will continue to bloom sporadically all winter, 
and then put on a show this spring. 

Don't you just love those sweet little faces?

My fairy garden stood empty when the fairies 
flew south for the winter :), 
but this little elf had to stay behind. 

Maybe he will set up housekeeping here.......
and decorate for Christmas! 
I'll let you know. 

It's hard to believe that I still have so many blooms 
at the end of November! 

I know that some of you already have snow. 
We are getting snow in the higher elevations, 
and it is only a matter of time before we get some here, too. 
We are at 1200 ft. 

For now, I am enjoying this reprieve! 

A view below.

All the leaves have fallen off the large maple tree
and I no longer have to sweep the deck, 
but now I need to do some raking.
Not too much....only where necessary. 
I love the natural look. 

The garland is finally hung, as the sun gets low. 
 I can hear a far-away chain saw
  and catch the sweet-pungent scent of wood-smoke. 

The flock of crows noisily fly overhead on their way to roost 
in some quiet, secret place, high in the darkening hills. 

There is a definite change in atmosphere as the sun finally sets.
A damp, earthy stillness sets in as temperatures rapidly drop
and dark shadows fill the forest.  
A tree frog croaks, and a robin impatiently lectures his 
friends as they all settle in for the night. 

Another day is left behind, as I gather my things 
and head back inside. 

The days are short and I am glad for my 
 cozy woodland cottage as I turn on the lamps 
 and light a fire to warm my cold fingers and toes. 

I think I will make a beef stew tonight, with fat little dumplings. 
Comfort food to warm the insides and soothe the soul. 

I hope that you are finding comfort in this world tonight, Dear Friends.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Gratitude is the Attitude

Hello, Dear Friends, in this season of giving thanks, 
 come along with me on a late autumn drive, 
as we ponder the true meaning of gratitude 
with some favorite quotes of mine. 

As we descend the foothills that I call home, 
we see bright, glowing cottonwood against 
 dark evergreens. These stately trees are the last 
to loose their leaves and are putting on 
a final, luminous show. 

Mornings are frequently sprinkled with frost. 
The rising sun illuminates the trees 
creating silver and gold. 

I am out early 2 days a week
to help with my 3 little grandsons 
who I'm very grateful for. 

"Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. 
It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation."

- John Ortberg -

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues
 but the parent of all others."

- Cicero -

"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that 
would be enough."

- Meister Eckhart -

"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

- Seneca -

"If you aren't grateful for what you already have,
what makes you think you would be happy with more?"

- Roy T. Bennett -

"So much has been given to me; I have no time
to ponder over that which has been denied."

- Helen Keller -

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."

- Aesop -

We've had a string of lovely, late autumn days,
with mild temperatures and gentle rains.

Of course, that could drastically change.........
So I am enjoying each and every day.

"This is a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before."
- Maya Angelou -

I have driven past this pasture for 37 years.
It has not changed, but I can't say the same for me.

We climb the foothills road to home.

"True forgiveness is when you can say, Thank you
for that experience."

- Oprah Winfrey -

We take a left here.
"Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."
- Doris Day -

A carpet of cottonwood leaves.

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty
and gratitude, then animals are better off than
a lot of humans."

- James Herriot -

The woodland lane to home. 
"I was complaining that I had no shoes
till I met a man that had no feet."

- Confucius -

"Let us be grateful to the people who make
us happy; they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom."

- Marcel Proust -

Thank you, Dear Friends for coming along with me.
I am so grateful for your friendship.

Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving.

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