Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Sweet Hearts - Broken and Otherwise


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are keeping the faith 

and moving forward into this new year with courage and hope.

I have been thinking of you. 

I'm sorry that I have not been around much lately.


The truth is, my heart is a bit broken. 

We had to say goodbye to our dear and loyal companion, 

Whitey Bear, two days before Christmas. 

 This is the last photo I took of him, and my heart aches to think that he will no longer be by my side. My sweet, brave, protector, my funny little fluff-ball, who burped like a 12 year old boy, loved to rub his whole face in the grass, and so enjoyed going for walks and exploring with us, and his best buddy, Kai. 

Kai searched for him everywhere, for a couple of long, lonely weeks, but I think that he instinctively knew that it was Whitey's time to go. 

We were graced with his unconditional love for 12 wonderful years, after finding him as a traumatized stray,  and we are heartbroken, but grateful for our time together. 

I suppose we will search for a new companion for little Kai at some point, but I can't bear to think of that now. Kai seems to be coping well, and enjoying all of the extra attention. Just looking at these photos of Whitey Bear makes me cry. 

On top of everything that is going on with the pandemic, the country, and the world, it seems there is no end to the sorrow, at times. 

I know losing a dog is a very small grief in the grand scheme of things, but anyone who has loved a dog and has been loved by one in return, knows how I feel. 

Kai stays very close to me now. Sometimes he goes 

outside with Ramblin' Man, but he runs inside 

through his pet door every so often to make sure 

I am still here.


He especially loves when I stop for a cup of tea. 

He'll gather all of his chewie bones and put them 

in a pile by my feet. He's a sweet, funny little guy. I have 

to be careful not to give him too many treats.....

He's not getting as much exercise as he used to. 

It's been so cool and rainy, 

and our walks don't hold the same joy these days.  

We moved the daybed back into the kitchen, 

after we had moved it into the living room last fall to 

make it easier for Whitey Bear to use the pet door (behind the curtain). 

I've put out my Valentine's decorations to help cheer the gloom. 

Hearts, to remind us how fragile they are. 


I made this lace heart from a coat hanger, lace and glue

a few years ago. 

My 'Kitchen Queen' Hoosier cupboard likes to be the center of attention, 

so I gathered all of my hearts and valentines to display them here. 

Some sweet little things. 

Red gingham always cheers the heart :)

I felt the urge to do something with my time indoors, so 

I made a magnetic recipe board out of an old baking pan

and some scrapbook paper. 

 Ramblin' Man spray-painted the baking pan for me, 

using primer as a first coat. 

I applied the scrapbook paper with double-sided tape

so that I could change it if I wanted to.

 I put some of the stickers onto magnets. 

I bought them ages ago just because I thought they were so cute.

I painted a wooden heart red and glued a magnet to the back. 

The Mr. drilled a hole in the top for hanging. 

I didn't notice the little note he wrote me until 

I took these photos.

I wonder what he's guilty of...

Hmmmm...did he break another plate?  


He still calls me Sweetheart. 

I call him Honey.

I know that if he calls me by my name, he means business. 

I only call him by his name for the same reason. 


I am not really fond of my real name, Karen, these days. 

It has a bad connotation. 

My nickname was Kay, when I was young. 

I may go back to that. 

It's sad to be labeled, but this is the world that we live in. 

I feel sad for all of the victims of the bad Karen's.

I had so much fun making the baking pan magnetic board, so I 

decided to make one for my refrigerator, too. 

I had all of the supplies to make them on hand. 

I'm trying to use things that I already have, so that I don't

have to go into the stores, except for necessities.

 My daughter made these cute photo magnets of my 3 grand-littles

out of canning jar lids for Christmas. I thought they would look so cute 

on a round baking pan. 

Don't you love the 'neighborhood' scrapbook paper?

I used colors to coordinate with the photos. 

I used strong magnets to hold it onto the fridge. 


A little bit of humor and truth. 


I crocheted this itty-bitty sweater for my new baby grandson 

at Christmas. 

I sewed some lavender heart sachets out of vintage chenille fabric,

and crocheted some scrubby pads and dish cloths 

for a dear one as a gift.

I've been trying to stay busy. 

It keeps me grounded and sane in this insane world. 

A beautiful sunrise. 

Another beautiful sunrise. 

Can you see the tree aura?

After the beautiful sunrise, the day usually looks like this...

It's been a mild winter so far,  here in western Washington State,

and the 'Glacier' pansies have continued to bloom in my deck garden. 

The succulents have survived tucked under the eaves 

where it stays dry in our wet winter weather. 

I planted them in 

vintage enamel pans drilled with drainage holes. 

I baked some healthy oatmeal bars 
and they turned out delicious. 
Canola oil and applesauce replaces 
all the butter, and the sugar is reduced 
by adding raisins for sweetness. 
They are nice for a quick breakfast
or a snack at midday. 

Here's the easy recipe:

 Oatmeal Bars

Coat a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray

or use parchment to line the pan. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup canola oil

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1/2 cup raisins

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, applesauce, oil and syrup until well blended. 

In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, salt and allspice. 

Gradually beat into applesauce mixture until blended. 

Stir in raisins. 

Spread batter into prepared pan. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges begin to brown. 

Cool completely. 

Cut into bars. 


My hard-working little kitchen. 

This magazine graphic caught my eye when I was 

browsing through an old issue from 2009. 

I love my old clipboard. 

Some hearts are green with envy. 

My blue stair landing on the way to my sewing room

makes me happy. 

I haven't done any serious sewing these days, 

but that is something on my list. 

I've been doing a lot of organizing, purging and packing 

things up for storage, lately. 

We've been watching the new offerings on Masterpiece Theater, too. 

We are loving, 'All Creatures Great and Small'. 

I remember when the books came out - the first in 1972,

when I fell in love with James Herriot's beautiful memoirs 

of life as a country veterinarian in the Yorkshire Dales of  Northern England. 

As you can see, I've collected nearly all of them. 


"All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all."

- Cecil Frances Alexander -


What are you doing, reading, watching or cooking

during this long, long winter? 

I hope that you are finding peace, contentment and 

maybe a little joy, too. 

Please take care of yourselves, dear friends. 

I'll be thinking of you.


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