Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Fresh New Year

The winds of change are blowing.....
Can you feel it?

It's a brand-new year and I have been 
feeling the need for a fresh new start. 

A clearing of the mind, body and soul.

Mother Nature was feeling the same way!
Storm clouds swirled around and around.

In the middle of a moonless night, the 
 wind came roaring through the tree tops.

By morning, all was calm and the sun
was shining through the clouds, 
but Mother Nature left behind quite a mess.
Sixty miles per hour wind scoured the forest. 

The electricity went out. 
A large tree-top fell in the driveway. 
Every surface was covered in debris,
with branches, twigs, moss, and pine-cones everywhere.
It was a true wind-fall!
Nothing was damaged except a few dead trees.
We were lucky.
Many were not.

We had so much to do.  
Ramblin' Man took care of cleaning the debris off the driveway
  and I took care of sweeping the deck and walkways.  

It took us all day, 
but the sunshine was so beautiful. 
We have much more to do, but the
weather has been sunny and mild.
Perfect for working outside.

It's been surprisingly warm for January. 
Although, we did get our first dusting of snow 
the evening after the storm, but it quickly melted.  

We lost our electricity for two days, 
but kept warm with 2 wood-stoves 
and used our emergency water, candles and supplies.
We've been through this many times before. 

Surprisingly, these little pots of pansies stayed firmly 
on the deck rail through it all,
but the metal trash can lids
flew right off! 

I've caught up with the housework and the laundry
and all is back to normal once more.

I've also put away all the Christmas decorations, 
and am sewing new cushions for my daybed right now.
I'm so over the Grinchy green :)

One of my goals for this new year is to
find more time to sew.
 I love spending time in my own little space.
I had to wait 20 years and sacrifice two daughter's to get this room.

This was always the 'kitty' room, too.
The quiet place at the top of the stairs,
tucked away in the corner.
The perfect place for a cat-nap.
Or to sit in the window to watch the birds.

There might be a fairy here, too!

Since we lost our dear old tabby-cat,
Maggie, last spring, (she lived to be 18)
 I can bring Birdy-Boy, the cockatiel, in for a little visit
while I sew. He loves to sit in the window.

I've had my little buddy for 20 years.
He was a lost pet that I found on the roof!
He has his own palatial cage palace in my 2 son's
former bedroom next door. 

I made some winter arrangements with wind-fallen 
twigs and craft-store flowers to freshen things up. 

The pine-cones came in a beautiful flower
arrangement from my daughter on Christmas Eve. 
I wish that I had taken a photo - it was so pretty.

I've been having a love affair with red lately. 
Especially red gingham. 
It cheers up my rustic little kitchen.

I found the vintage hanging lamp in a local antique shop 
over the summer and the Mr. installed it for me.
(Sorry for the dark photo, but I wanted to show you the lamp)

I just found this handy electric tea-pot.
It's great for heating water very fast.
It has an eerie blue glow when it is brewing! 

It matches my red coffee maker and retro style radio. 

The radio is an 'emergency' radio, and can be charged 
with a built in solar panel, D batteries, or kinetic 
energy by turning a crank. It can charge a cell phone, too! 

We listened to the news channel during our outage. 
There were 800,000 people without power,
here in western Washington state. 

My hardworking little kitchen.....
Everything I need is close at hand.

I love to cook, but I'm getting bored
with the same old things. 
One of my goals for the new year is 
to try some healthy new recipes.
I'll share them if they turn out well! 

This is where the magic happens....
Well, most of the time.

A little touch of red makes me so happy 
on these short January days.

I am taking advantage of this unusually warm January weather.
to catch up on some garden clean-up, too.
I know from experience that this weather won't last.

Old Man Winter might be only taking a nap.

I've started collecting some interesting windfall bits for winter potpourri. 
I'll add some essential oils, (cedar and bergamot) some dried 
orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and other whole spices
that are too past their prime for cooking.

I need to find a pretty bowl or basket on my 
next thrifty shopping trip. 
I'll share it all when I'm done.  

Kai keeps watch while I sweep the deck. 

Living among tall trees is messy, but also magical.

Magical during a gentle rain on a still, silvery morning.
Magical as the autumn sun illuminates golden leaves.
Magical when diamonds sparkle on snow covered branches.   

At least I try to remind myself of all this magic
 while I'm sweeping and raking and picking up
dozens and dozens of branches. 

My New Motto: Life's messy - clean it up!  

It forces me outside for some fresh air and exercise.

It does clear the mind, body and soul.


I'm learning when to lean into the wind, 
and when to go with the flow.  


My New Year refresh includes 
repeating over and over......

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference. 

-Irish prayer-

Wishing all of you serenity at the start of this new year, Dear Friends. 


  1. Gorgeous pictures Beatrice. I can't believe how many wind storms we have had lately. We finally installed a whole house generator a few years ago because the power was going out all the time.

    Hugs Diane

  2. Hi Karen! Happy New Year to you. I love your new motto of Life is Messy, Clean It Up!! Your kitchen with my favorite red, is so cheery and cozy. I love your new red electric tea kettle. Aren't they the best? I'm looking forward to seeing some new cushion covers. Enjoy your time, seeing and cooking and baking. Hugs to you!

  3. The second photo makes me feel like a space ship is there! The 4th one with the light coming through is so lovely! I once had a cockatiel when I was young! His name was Popeye! Finding him probably saved his life!

  4. Your home is so cozy. But I bet it felt a little creepy with that wind blowing and when the tree fell -- so glad it just hit the driveway if it had to fall at all. The skies, though, were very dramatic.

    Love your pretty kettle -- it reminds me I am ready for a new one, should I find one I like. And your motto is one I should live by too!

  5. It is always a delight to read one of your posts dear Karen. I'm glad you had no damages from the storm, just reasons to get outside into fresh air for clean up.

    I love seeing your sweet home and the beauty of your countryside and lovely sky scenes.

    I'm trying a new recipe today, in the crockpot, a cabbage soup and the smell is driving me crazy. I can hardly wait to have a bowl.

    May you and Ramblin' Man have a wonderful 2019 ~ FlowerLady

  6. Sounds like quite a storm, Karen! Glad you didn't have too much damage, but losing power and tree clean-up are no fun! Your home is always so cozy...loving the red, especially with Valentine's Day soon approaching!

  7. Karen, I am glad that you and your husband are safe and sound from that storm and that you have your power back. Good for you for stocking up on water, food, and other necessities. It is always best to be prepared! I love all your red touches too. xo

  8. My goodness that was quite a storm. It would be a bit scary living with all those tall trees in a storm....but oh how glorious in gentle weather. I love touches of red too, especially red and white gingham, it is so cheery. May you enjoy a serene year filled with oodles of sewing and many, many fun memories made with your family. Those cushions you will stitch will look lovely on your sofa. Oh how restful and peaceful it must be to sit there in front of that door looking out on your deck and out to 'your mountains'.....sounds rather like bliss to me♥

  9. I'm so glad you didn't have any damage to your house during The storm although losing the power must have been a nuisance. If you have a nice bright day, it can be quite energizing to be out there in the fresh air clearing up and even better when it's all clean and tidy again. x

  10. Hello, I am glad you did not have too much damage from the wind storm. I do not like loosing power but we try to plan ahead in case it should happen. Your home looks so cozy and pretty, love the splashes of red around. Your cockatiel is beautiful and I love your dog Kai. The winter potpourri sounds like a great idea. I can find similar items around my yard. Enjoy your day and have a happy weekend.

  11. Stunning photos!!!!I have always loved your deck! I can't beleive that you still have pansies blooming1 We might get a foot of snow here...
    Your fur baby is so sweet and you know that I LOVE your Kitchen with the red accents so i love red too and have a red Kitchen!!
    Thanks for stopping by and for commenting!! Since Joe is now retired and works part time at Wegman's, he just stops over at the food bar and picks up something for supper!!
    Have a great weekend!!

  12. Hi Karen, I am so glad that you didn't have any damage to your house or cars from the storm. You have such a pretty deck and I love the pots and plants. I love the way you make your house look so comfy and homey. I hope you have a Happy Friday. Julie xo

  13. Karen, I first wanted to tell you how much I loved the story of your mother's desk and the wedding ring. You should do a post about that, it's such a special story and would love to hear the details. The sky pictures are beautiful, especially the one of the sun shining through. It seems the skies look lovelier after a storm. Oh my, sorry to hear you had all that clean up when the tree fell right on your driveway. And your pansies survived the storm! Your Cockatiel is such a pretty bird, and sounds friendly. That's a long time for birds to live; how nice that he's been a faithful friend all these years. Now, when I see your kitchen and all the red accessories, I want to change mine again haha. I have blue in there now, which I also love. Your electric tea pot, the coffee maker, the radio, the dish towels, and the cups all add charm to your kitchen.

    I hope you find time to do some craft projects in your little space. I can see why this room is so dear to you. It's overflowing with creativeness. I'm so glad that the new year has brought joy to you, Karen.


  14. I am glad you are safe,Karen!Love your adorable winter arrangement with pine cones.It is always a pleasure visiting your cozy and beautiful home!Hugs!

  15. Nice decor shots, cute dog! And the skies are marvelous!

  16. Wow sounds like you are having some major storms going through also, we had 8 inches of snow last week and maybe a couple more today, with high winds bringing in very cold temps, will feel like 0 in the morning they say, so to bundle up tightly when going to church. I am sorry about all the work you had to put in but so glad that no trees fell on your house and you are all safe. It is amazing that your pots made it through. Look forward to seeing your finished cushions and love the pop of red in your kitchen.

  17. Karen, your pictures are so pretty and that was quite a storm. I don't mind the wind and the rain when they happen, but it is the trees that scare me. We have a giant Sequoia redwood out by our driveway and it scares me to death every time it storms. It is very messy too, as poor Kai will attest to. Those things are just like foxtails. I love your country kitchen with the red. It always looks so warm and like I would love to cook in there. This is good weather for soup or stews..Happy Weekend and thanks for your visit..xxoJudy

  18. Karen, only you can make going through such a storm sound enviable! Really, you had me wishing the power would go out for two days! Love your photos and your writing and your fur-and-feather-babies.

  19. That did sound quite a storm, thankfully you and the house are all ok.
    Your photographs look lovely, I do like the red touches, it's such a warm, cheerful colour isn't it.

    My good wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2019.
    Take care

    All the best Jan

  20. Such a lovely post, dear Karen!
    Fortunately the storm didn't hit your area too hard, but it's tragic how much damage the unusual weather has caused recently.
    The emergency radio would be very useful here too. :)
    I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and safe 2019! xx

  21. Here's agreeing with you we can all do with more serenity, I think I'd have lost my calm though being without power for two days in the middle of winter! Look at Birdy boy hard to believe you've had him 20 years! Happy sewing!
    Love Wren x

  22. Karen, so pleased to see things going on in your corner of the world ..... for some reason my ' blogger reading list" had shown you inactive the past few months & I was heading over to leave a comment on an old post to see if all was ok ........ instead I found lots of posts! I apologise I haven't actually been over to visit & only relied on the reading list! Can't believe those pots of pansies went through a storm! Anyhow good to catch up with you again my friend .... I'm afraid I fell quite a bit behind when we had to say goodbye to Scruffy in Nov xo

  23. Hi Karen...
    Your place is so sweet...I always feel like I’m reading a chapter from a book...
    Crazy windy weather here too....and now we are buried in snow, and in the deep freeze��
    Travelling soon...hopefully to warmer places!
    Take care of yourself...
    Linda :o)

    ps....loved your comment about the horses nose and whiskers��

  24. That second photo of the clouds looks incredible! Whau, having debris all over is hard because someone will have to clean up. Love the photos of your house! The red gingham is so pretty. I must say that to be without electricity is a bit hard. We lived in Zimbabwe- Africa and we were lived without electricity. Have a wonderful new year in 2019 Karen!

  25. Hello! I love your adorable winter arrangement with pine cones and I like your electric tea-pot. Have a happy week dear Karen. Hugs.

  26. Love how you love your sweet little nest. ;) And add all of your touches. And red is my favorite color...I adore how you incorporate it through your home. And you make me yearn for spring with your beautiful flowers and lovely deck!! Love seeing your feather and fur babies too.
    Wishing you so many blessings in this new year ahead. And a wonderful week. xo

  27. the home looks great, cute and cozy as always. i like the touches of red, everything flows nicely together!!! it has been a warm winter here at the jersey shore too, until the last few days and we had a deep freeze, we are coming out of that now. those yard clean ups after a storm can be so time consuming but it looks like the porch cleaned up very nicely!!!

    your skies are amazing, what a view!!!

  28. Your house is so beautiful and comfortable.
    I loved the little blue flower, so beautiful and delicate
    In the last photos the sky is magnificent.
    Great photos.
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  29. your cozy beautiful house reflects your love and wisdom so nicely dear Karen!

    i loved the lamp ,new electric pot and arrangements of fallen twigs and flowers !

    i am glad that windstorm did not cause any harm except mess outside

    this great that you have alternative for electricity 's absence

    we run generators or U.p s to produce electricity when power goes off specially during rains

    i feel sorry for people to whom windstorm hurt more than just loosing power

    best of luck for daybed cushion and sewing in fresh new year and yes for new experiments in cooking :)

    i loved your positive words , this is must to keep in mind the lighter and happy side of any picture as almost everything existing here has both affects on our lives
    it is on us how we face and deal with them optimistically

    wishing a very happy new year filled with heath ,joy ,peace and prosperity my friend!

  30. The winds of change are swirling around our home too! I'm all about clearing and and gettind rid fo stuff! I started down in the cellar and I can't believe what a great feeling it was...Our homes are in our souls of who we are and how they make us feel. I can't believe you have pansies in Janaury. Tonight its dropping down to -30 degrees!!! we stocked up on groceries and hankering in! I'm glad you storms didn't cause any damage. Your home is beautiful!!

  31. Such beautiful pictures..SO glad that you had no damage, only alittle cleaning up to do ...You have such a wonderful view of nature ... How lucky to be ablt to experience the beauty. Your home is so warm and inviting full of life with your little cockatoo and fur baby ... Can't believe that you have flowers blooming...We're expecting another big snow storm tomorrow...so time to bundle up...ENJOY your week...Hugs

  32. I'm also excited about the new year (one month gone already!) and have so many things planned. I hope that you are all keeping nice and warm, I've been reading that the weather is quite fierce.

  33. Olá, espero que tudo esteja bem por ai. Aqui também temos tido muitas tempestades. Amei as fotos, sua casa é linda.
    Bjos e feliz 2019.

  34. I'm so impressed by your selection of pictures and sweet words to describe everything so poetically.


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

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