Friday, November 17, 2023

Grateful Heart


"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

- Lucius Annaeus Seneca -


Hello, Dear Friends, I've been thinking of you
and want to let you know how grateful I am 
for all of your kind words and sweet visits
over these many long years. 
I started blogging in 2011, and have had the privilege
of connecting with so many wonderful people. 
It reinforces my belief that the world 
is still full of kindness and generosity, 
despite news to the contrary. 

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

- Marcel Proust -


As we approach Thanksgiving, I've been thinking 
about gratitude, and how, sometimes we 
can take so many things for granted. 
I think it is important to remember, 
'But for the grace of God, go I'. 
 None of us are entitled to our blessings.
They come with a responsibility to honor 
them with reverence and grace, and to have compassion towards 
those who would dearly love to have 
the very things we so easily take for granted.  

"For each new morning with its light, 
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, 
For love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson -


We've had the prettiest sunrises this month. 
Since we have turned back the clocks, 
I've been awake to witness them! 
Although sometimes, I do go back to sleep! 


Beautiful roses from my dear daughter, Heather. 

"When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, 
everyone is blessed."

- Maya Angelou -

My sweet sister-in-law, Donna, 
sent me this little dish 
for my birthday. 

The heart at the top of this post 
was also from her. 

You can see her charming garden on my side bar. 

I added the dish to my fall vignette.
My dear daughter, Jennie gifted me the little plant. 
It seems to like it here with a bit of morning sun. 

Donna also sent me this cookbook holder. 

I hung it next to the stove. 

That weird little thing underneath is a digital temperature gauge. 

Lately it has been cold at night, in the 30's, 
and there has been ice on the deck in the mornings. 
It warms to about 50 degrees during the day, though. 

I recently went to a flea-market with 'the girls'. 
I spied this vintage Bauer pitcher and 
my sweet daughter-in-law, Jen bought it for me
as a birthday present. 

I found lots of treasures, and the girls bought most of them 
for me! 
I will share them when I decorate for Christmas. 

They also took me out to lunch. 
Love my girls. 

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts
are conscious of our treasures."

- Thornton Wilder -

The cedar trees have carpeted the ground with golden needles. 
Not only does it look magical, it fills the air with fragrance. 

"For my part, I am almost contented just now, 
and very thankful. Gratitude is a divine emotion:
it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it,
but not to fever."

- Charlotte Bronte -

Maple and cottonwood trees in their full glory with

little puffs of mist from the river that runs through the valley. 

Wing-nuts on the big maple tree by the deck. 

Our native Douglas squirrels love these. 
It's so fun to watch them scamper back and forth 
along the tree limbs, chattering at one another 
and scolding the dogs. 

Can you see it? Look on the lower left limb. 
They are tiny - a little bit larger than a chipmunk. 

We had a big storm last week which blew all the pretty leaves down.
(The evergreen branches belong to a cedar tree directly behind it).
The storm also blew a 'small' tree down next to it, 
which hit the deck rail with a loud, 'thump-thump'
at 2 a.m. which woke us up. 
Miraculously there was no damage except to an old 
half barrel below the deck which was crushed. 
"O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart
replete with thankfulness."

- William Shakespeare -

This is how it looked in all its splendor. 
This is a 'Big-leaf Maple' tree. 
These trees have leaves that can grow a foot wide. 
They need lots of room and are native to Washington State. 

I've had to sweep the deck several times. 
The dogs wait until I make a nice pile, 
then they race through it! 

They get a running start, then they slide into it! 
It's hilarious. 

"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, 'All Creatures Great and Small' -

I bagged all the leaves and stashed them by the compost. 
The Mr. pokes holes in the bags, then adds two or three
 shovels-full of dirt. 
Eventually it will make wonderful leaf-mold for the gardens. 

We have several of these large maples and have to rake the leaves 
off the gardens or they will smother the plants. 
We use them on woodland paths 
to keep them from getting grown over. 

Nature's recycling! 

Afternoon light highlighting the golden trees 
amidst a sea of evergreens. 


"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which
every man has plenty; not on your past 
misfortunes, of which all men have some."

- Charles Dickens -

Charlotte in her web. 
Aren't spider webs amazing? 

Tree mushrooms on a dead hemlock. 

Big Leaf and Japanese maples. 

Pretty views on my way home from the grocery store. 

"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 -

Majestic black cottonwood trees against blue skies. 

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which 
he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

- Epictetus - 


"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated."

- William James - 


I appreciate you, Dear Friends. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023



Hello, Dear Friends! 
Here we are, halfway through autumn, and I am 
just getting around to sharing my favorite season with you! 

Time is rushing by a little too quickly for me
and I am always hurrying to catch up. 

I've been busy with day-to-day life, 
something, I think, is so easily taken for granted. 
Many in this troubled world would be so grateful for 
the simple routines of daily living, 
and I am so very aware of how fortunate I am. 

While I was clearing out my craft room upstairs to 
convert into a guest room, I found a stack of old 
phone books on a shelf filled with pressed leaves and flowers! 

I had completely forgotten about them! 

So, I decided to arrange them in a pretty window frame.

The frame was a gift from my son, Dustin and wife, Jen
a few years ago.   

I made a little vignette with sunflowers, a candle from my daughter, Jennie,

 and a crow 'whirly-gig'

that my dear father made many years ago. 

My Dad has been gone 11 years now, but I still think of him 

nearly every day. 


He was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken man, 

but strong, dependable and an incredibly hard worker. 

He would do anything for his family, 

but never demanded recognition, 

even as he was quick to give it to others. 

He loved to tell stories about his childhood, 

had twinkly, bright blue eyes, and a wonderful, self-deprecating

sense of humor.  

The last few years of his life, he suffered with Alzheimer's. 

It was incredibly hard, especially when he didn't 

recognize us anymore, but the very last time 

we saw him, he miraculously remembered, and the Mr. and I 

spent a wonderful afternoon watching him smile 

and squeeze our hands, as by then he had lost 

his ability to speak. 

It was one final gift. 

Sunshine on a beautiful fall day. 

Blue and gold are a combo I've never tried before,
but I like it! 

My old hutch. 

I haven't done too much fall decorating, just 
a few little touches here and there.
 I also changed some artwork. 

Some dear, fall gifts from my sweet Sis-in-law. 
The wooden leaf was from my daughter, Heather. 

We bought a new refrigerator with a white enamel finish to match 
my vintage stove, but now my 'Kitchen Queen' cupboard looks rather 
dull next to its bright white finish. 

I might paint it, but want to research the colors 
of the 1930's, when the cupboard was built. 
I'm thinking a soft green, maybe. 
Any suggestions?

Vase, wicker ball, and basket was also from daughter, Heather. 

I gathered and dried a bunch of hydrangeas from my garden. 

They start out blue and with the cooler weather, 

they turn lovely shades of green and purple. 

I made my first fall soup; 
'Butternut squash'. 

So good with nutmeg and a dollop of sour cream. 

Here is the Recipe .

Some more gatherings from my garden. 

Allium and columbine seed-heads. 

The watercolor/ink prints are from the 50's, 

in their original frames. 

A lucky thrift store find. 


The urn was a lovely gift from my family 

on my birthday quite a few years ago, 

from Pier One Imports. 


Speaking of birthdays...

I recently celebrated mine. 

I am Scorpio with a Pisces moon sign. 

The phrase, "Still waters run deep"

perfectly describes Scorpio.

Scorpio gets a bad rap sometimes, and it's true, 

that if betrayed, we find it very hard to trust again. 

But we are true to our word and will stand by those we love, 

but don't dare lie to us, because we will 'know'. 

Just ask my kids.



"We are born at a given moment, in a given place,

and like vintage years of wine, we have the

qualities of the year and of the season

in which we are born." 

- Carl Gustav Jung -


What sign are you? 

A vignette on my mantel. 

The pottery bowl was crafted by my son, Gabe 

as a school boy. 

Speaking of loyal...

Guest bath vignette. 
The pretty tray was a lovely gift from DIL, Erica. 

Library shelves. 

Don't you love looking at the books on people's shelves? 
I'm nosy that way. 
I inherited the beautiful, leather-bound books 
from my dear Mom. 
She was an avid reader and we used to share books. 
Our own little 'book club'.
The lower shelf holds children's books that
I loved as a child and shared with my own children. 
The green, matching set, are Louisa May Alcott's
'Little Women' series. 

Did you know that some vintage green books are poisonous? 
They contain arsenic!
You can read more about this 1800's poisonous dye, here.

I collected the gray urns, birds, frames and plaque over time. 
The plaque depicts 'The Three Graces' from Greek Mythology. 
Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia
charm, grace and beauty. 

More children's books, in pretty, fall colors.

Fall color on the deck. 


Purple chrysanthemums. 

Winter Pansies.

You can see the faint outline of Mt. Rainier
amidst the misty skies. 


I planted the golden Russian ash trees as saplings
years ago.

The cedar trees lose their needles and carpet the ground
this time of year. 

I spent a sunny afternoon harvesting the mini-pumpkins
in the barrels by the playhouse a couple of weeks ago. 

My faithful companions. 

The 'harvest'. Lol! 

I planted some bulbs in the barrels for spring.
Daffodils and purple alliums. 
Two things that I know the deer won't eat! 

I harvested my tansy, too. 

Tansy in bloom - late summer. 

A nice harvest. 

After stripping the leaves and seed heads from 
the stems, (with gloves on) I ended up with two large baskets full. 

I brought them inside and dried the leaves 
right in the baskets. I 'fluffed' them twice a day, 
and they dried in 2 weeks. 
I will use the sharp, piney-scented tansy in moth-repellant sachets. 
I'm going to spread the seeds along the fence-line. 
Tansy is a drought and deer resistant perennial 
with yellow, 'button' flowers
in late summer. 
Tansy is not for internal consumption! 

Sunset illuminating the mist on the flanks of Mt. Rainier. 

Some local color. 

Full wolf moon. 


Thank you for sharing the autumn beauty with me, dear friends,  
here in the Cascade mountains of Washington State. 

I hope that you are finding peace and comfort in the small pleasures 
of everyday life, as we struggle to make sense of this 
complicated world. 


'The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken
and in heaps, is because man is disunited with himself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson - 

"A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just."
- Pope Francis -

"If you want to change the world, start with yourself."
- Mahatma Gandhi -

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