Sunday, November 15, 2020

November Gratitude and Grandma Edie's Apple Harvest Cake


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are safe and well, and finding 

sweet and simple reasons to count your blessings. 


I know it is not easy and we are all struggling to make sense of 

life right now, but we must try to remain stoic. 

As our British friends, (and hopefully, still our best allies)

 across the pond love to say, 

"Keep Calm and Carry On",

"Pull Yourself Together",


"Stiff Upper Lip and all that". 

Can you see the tree aura in the photograph?

This world is a gift, full of magic and mystery 

and we must not squander our divine privilege to live here

with division and hate. 

I recently celebrated my birthday - it was a milestone birthday - 

but a lady never divulges her age 💜


My daughter brought over these lovely fall flowers. 


I have two, dear daughters and they spoiled me with a 

beautiful gift basket full of wonderful goodies, 

including this cake dome and plate. 

It's so perfect in my retro kitchen. 

A sweet tea-towel from my Sis that says it all. 


I have two wonderful sons and the younger came by with his wife 

and a gift card so I could get another beautiful pot and tree

for the front of the house. 

This is one from a few years ago.

It's especially pretty this time of year.


My eldest son gifted us with a leather chair 

for the new library. He and his wife 

are updating, so he asked if we wanted it. 

Heck, yes! 

I'll show you when we are done with the room. 

Here's the view from that room with another potted

Japanese Maple that was a gift from them

some years ago.

I managed to pot up my fall bulbs, too. 

Here I have miniature daffodils and crocus tucked 

safely under the eaves. 

The pots by the tree are upright Fuchsia,

which are hardy and come back every year. 

The Mr. got me a beautiful shawl and treated me to 

Chinese take-out and flowers. 

I was thoroughly spoiled. 

My Sis sent out this darling 'Captured Fairy' that she made. 

The details are so sweet. 

There's a little green frog with a crown, 

mushrooms, tiny flowers, book and picket fence.

And even a little jar full of glitter, 

labeled, 'dreams'. 

It has a battery tea-light that fits under 

the stand.

So enchanting...


I made this sign a few years ago. 

I painted the pre-cut wood panel cream. 

The letters were vinyl press-on letters. 

They were black and I didn't like how it looked, 

so I lightly brushed over the whole thing with watered-down

gray craft paint, rubbing some of it off, 

then spattering it a little bit to give it that old, weathered look.


I try...

The Mr. had this old clip-board and since he is now retired, 
asked if I wanted it. I thought it would be perfect for 
this vintage-style graphic that I found in a Country Living magazine. 
The colors match the sweet sign
from my Sis. 

  A great quote! 

Another gift from my Sis on the front door. 

They know I love our now classic, 2005 Ford Ranger 4x4. 
Ford stopped production of the Ranger in 2011, but recently 
started making them once again.
My Dad always had an old pick-up truck to perform 
hauling duties. He grew up on a farm, and 
the old farm truck was part of the family. 
When I was a teenager, he had bought an old hand-crank 
pick-up truck, which he named, Old Rusty. 
He had to turn the crank on the front
to get the engine started! It wouldn't go faster than 35 mph. 

For two summers, when I was 14 and 15, I babysat 
all day for my 2 little cousins. 
My Dad would drive me over early in the morning 
on his way to work in the old truck. We took the back roads through 
the beautiful New England apple orchards and blueberry farms,
the mist rising over the fields as the sun came up. 
We would see lots of wildlife, including, once, 
a whole family of gray fox cross the road in front of us. 

He would talk about his days growing up on his Grandfather's farm. 
Stories, like the time his Grandfather's huge Belgian work-horses with 
feet as large as dinner plates, would work the fields, and how one of them
at feeding time after a long day of plowing, 
stepped on my 8 year old father's foot in the stall, and wouldn't move. 
His Grandfather, a gentle soul, had to resort to punching 
his beloved horse in the nose to get him to move. 
Luckily, the stall floor was soft with straw, 
and my father suffered no lasting harm. 

My Great-Grandfather operated an 800 acre 'truck farm',
with apple, pear, peach, and nut orchards,
along with every kind of fruit and vegetable, to take 
to the market at Fanueuil Hall in Boston
at the weekend. He had the old Farm Truck, 
with wooden rails and a canvas hood, filled to the brim with 
crates of produce. Beside him always sat his beloved little white dog. 
In those days, (the 1930's) the circus would give away the surplus puppies
of performing dogs to the first contenders.
This breed was the fore-runner of 
my own two American Eskimo dogs.
Life, full circle. 

I miss my Father and his wonderful memories and strong, 
but gentle ways. 

Some little fall vignettes. 

The pear is vintage velvet. 

The 'pumpkin' is carved from
 a solid block of wood. 
A gift from my daughter last year.

I used to love making decoupage trays with pretty napkins as gifts. 

I saved these for myself and use them in the fall. 

Craft styles come and go.

So do cooking styles...

Here's an old-fashioned recipe from my Grandma Edie,

 (my Dad's Mom) that is soooo good. 

Grandma Edie's Apple Harvest Cake

Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


2 cups flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup softened butter

2 tsp vanilla

4 cups peeled and diced apples (4 medium apples)

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add

to dry ingredients. Stir, just until mixed. Fold in apples, raisins and nuts. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes 

or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. 

This recipe can easily be halved. It's rather sweet and the sugar could 

also be reduced, I think. 

Enjoy! I call this 'ugly cake', but it's beautifully delicious. 

It's a nice treat to have after spending time in the brisk, autumn air. 

I've been trying to get outside for a bit each day, weather permitting. 

Raking and sweeping leaves are keeping me busy. 

Here you can see the dogs on the front lawn. You can, also,

see the slope of the land. We are always walking uphill or down. 💚

The native Big-leaf Maple trees turn a beautiful gold. 

The reason why they are called, 'Big-leaf'! 

These are very large trees. You can see the ivy 

is out of control by the tool shed. I have some work 

to do here. 

Some scenes along the driveway. 

Black cottonwood at the top of the driveway. 

The boys. We have to wear our Pendleton

jackets during hunting season.

The Mr. now sports a beard since retirement. 

He is enjoying his life of 'leisure', although 

he says that he doesn't know how he ever found time to work. 


 Upturned mushrooms from squirrels. 

Cottonwood stand in the foothills. 

We have snow in the higher hills now. 

You can see the stand of cottonwoods from the previous photo. 

It won't be long before we see our first dusting of snow

down here, too. 

You can see we live on the edge of the wilderness. 

We've had a bald eagle sighting and a family of Ravens. 

Some scenes from the bi-ways...and some quotes on gratitude. 

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones

which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."

-Henry Clay, statesman-

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget 

that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, 

but to live by them."

-John F. Kennedy-

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;

remember that what you now have was once among the things

you only hoped for."


"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing
that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.
And because all things have contributed to your 
advancement, you should include all things in 
your gratitude."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,

but the parent of all others."



Due to the overwhelming resurgence of Covid 19, our state (Washington) is now 

in another lock-down. Because of this, we, as a family, 

have decided to forgo our usual large holiday gatherings. 

I do hope that the people of this country realize 

that we are our brother's keepers and 

try to think of others by wearing masks, social distancing, 

and not gathering in crowds until we can work together 

to get this virus under control. 

We agree that we must wear seat-belts, not drive drunk, 

not smoke in public places, not drive through red lights, etc. etc. 

We should all agree that these measures should fit into this category. 

All of us deserve the 'constitutional right' of Life. 

Without that, there is no 'Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness'. 

Just sayin'.....


I hope that all of you have a Thanksgiving filled with 

gratitude for all the blessings you can count. 

I hope there are too many. 



  1. Such a beautiful post.
    Full of lovely news, wonderful photographs and a delicious recipe.

    Belated Happy Birthday Wishes, I love the fairy :)

    Here in England, UK we are currently in lockdown again!
    I really do not know what Christmas will be like this year, the Prime Minister will be reviewing the situation early in December.
    At the moment all of our family contact is being made courtesy of the internet, it's not the same, we all miss the hugs and closeness but it is what it is ...

    Stay safe and well.

    All the best Jan

  2. Happy Birthday, a bit late I know! I really enjoyed your post of reminisces, the wonderful countryside and even a delicious recipe too. Your new room looks great with all your pretty bits and pieces and so much light. Here's hoping the new vaccines will help our lives get back to how we used to be eventually. Stay safe x

  3. Good Morning Karen,

    Your "blessed" tea towel is very nice, I really like that. The potted tree with the red leaves is beautiful and so Fall looking. Happy Birthday to you! The Chinese take out sounds like such a treat. Oh, how I miss Chinese food and have been craving it. The little captured fairy and words is darling. What a special gift that was. I love those old clip boards and they are handy for this and that. The velvet pear is sweet, and pears used to be my favorite fruit as a child. You have decorated so nicely in soft colors for Thanksgiving. Grandma Edie's Apple Harvest Cake looks scrumptious....and moist. The Black Cottonwood trees stand so tall in your area! I always love visiting and seeing what's happening in your world, Karen. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. And I appreciate all your gratitude quotes.

    Take care, my blogging sister.


    1. that picture of you on the side bar. You look so cute in your warm hat. : )

  4. Hello Karen,
    Happy Belated Birthday, your gifts are all lovely. You are blessed with a beautiful family and a happy home. Wonderful memories of your Dad. Your photos and words are lovely. The quotes are inspiring, I am thankful for all I have, hubby and I will have a small dinner for two on Thanksgiving. I wish you health and happiness. Take care and stay safe! Have a happy day and week ahead.

  5. happy birthday karen, you have such a wonderful attitude and home, you have a real way with decorating your. your autumn color are so lovely!!

    the cake sounds so good, something my family would love!!

  6. Happy belated birthday Karen. It sounds like you had a nice birthday. I enjoyed looking at the photos and the cake sounds just perfect with tea or coffee. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Thank for the blog visit. Take care and be safe.
    Julie xo

  7. Karen, I could just come and live in your world, the only difference the leaves wouldn't get raked, the ivy wouldn't get trimmed and probably the house would fall down around my ears, but what joy I would experience. Such beauty in the photos you take and the words you write. You say you live on the edge of wilderness, I say you live on the top of a mountain, either way it is just beautiful. I hope you have the most glorious Thanksgiving and all of us have a lot to give thanks for even in these times. The winter will be a hard one with ones who will have a hard time getting through it, but with hope and love as our guides, we will come out on the other side..Stay well, my friend..xxoJudy

  8. Happy birthday Karen! What a special day you had, and such precious, sweet and thoughtful gifts from your family! I just love seeing the beauty of the world around you, the mountain scenes are glorious, as are the barn, and hillsides. We have already had several snowstorms here, but thankfully the snow has melted this week. I pray you have a blessed and very special Thanksgiving!

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  10. Beautiful post, such great words for us to remember. Yes we will be just the two of us for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but with all the covid going around right now I think that is a small price to pay for the nurses and doctors working over time to try and keep people alive.
    So enjoyed all your lovely Autumn pictures and a very Happy Belated Birthday to you, such lovely gifts you were showered with, there is nothing more precious than the love of family!

  11. Hi Karen!
    Happy belated bday - it sure sounds like it was a blessed one, all things considered with what's going on in the world. That fairy your sister still my fairy loving heart. That is so adorable and magical.
    I always love seeing the cozy of your home. Hearing stories about your youth and your family. That story about the horse probably wasn't funny at the time. But picturing it getting punched in the nose to move made me think of a cartoon. Lol I love your tray and I still love classic vintage styles much like you. And that cake recipe sounds so perfectly Fall cozy! 🍎
    I agree with you so much about folks just doing what's right for the sake of saving lives. It's so frustrating. I pray that you and your retirement loving hubby stay safe and healthy and have a blessed holiday season ahead. xoxo

  12. Happy Belated Birthday wishes are sent to you, Karen! It looks like you were treated royally, by all your wonderful gifts from your family. I always love seeing your home inside and all the beauty on the outside. The cake recipe sounds like a perfect one for Fall and Winter. Thank you for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving blessings to you.

  13. Liebe Karen,
    ich weiß gar nicht wo ich anfangen soll...dir ist wieder einmal ein ganz wundervoller Post gelungen!!! Die Sprüche zur Dankbarkeit, der Aufruf mit Rücksicht, gegenseitiger Empathie und Respekt allen Menschen gegenüber, und das auch oder gerade in Sachen Covid 19 zu leben, all dies ist so wichtig und so richtig!!! Und es tut meinem Herzen gut, dass hier bei Dir zu lesen!
    Von den herrlichen Bildern und den wunderschönen Aussichten bin ich ganz begeistert! Es ist berauschend so am Anfang der Wildnis wohnen zu dürfen. Mir würde das auch sehr gefallen...
    Jetzt noch zu Deinem Geburtstag - auch von meiner Seite die allerherzlichsten Glückwünsche!!!Mögen viele Deiner Wünsche in Erfüllung gehen, und mögest Du Dich noch ganz viele Jahre an all dem Schönen in Deinem Leben erfreuen dürfen!!!
    Fühle Dich so recht von mir gedrückt!
    Alles, alles Liebe

    PS Ich habe in Eurem gemütlichen Zuhause übrigens festgestellt, dass wir ähnliche Dinge haben und lieben...Es passt! Wunderbar!
    Dann die herrlichen Bilder

  14. How nice to have a family that understands you and gives the perfect gifts :-) Your home looks lovely, as always. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Happy Belated Birthday, love the post and pictures, it really captures the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

    Hugs Diane

  16. Happy Belated Birthdaydear Karen!Adorable post and stunning pictures. Best wishes!

  17. Liebe Karen,
    das ist jetzt fast einen Monat her, da Du diese Post geschrieben hast...Muss ich mir Sorgen machen? Ihr wolltet doch an Thanks giving nicht groß feiern? Oder habe ich da etwas falsch verstanden? Ich hoffe so sehr, dass Du und Deine Familie nicht zu den vielen Corona-Infizierten gehört!!!!!!!!! Bitte melde Dich - möglichst bald!
    Alles, alles Liebe und ein Riesenpaket Gesundheit schicke ich Euch aus Deutschland!!!
    Fühle Dich umarmt!


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

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