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Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Fave Five

 
1. My favorite thing this week. . . cool mail!  I found this really neat blogger named Hannah and she promotes snail mail.  Not just any snail mail, but artsy snail mail.  Some time back, she offered to mail something fun to anyone who left a comment.  So, I did, and then promptly forgot all about it.  Imagine my surprise when this lovely package came in the mail last week, all the way from Australia.  Hannah wrote me a very sweet, personal letter and sent along a packet full of little surprises, including these cute, hand-made teabags.  I promptly set them up in my Halloween teacups!  If you're into 'mail art' (a whole movement I knew nothing about until recently), check it out on Pinterest.  The wonderful, crafty things that people can do will amaze you!
 

 
2.  My other favorite thing. . . I found ONE photo from my trip that I put on Facebook!  Pam and Jenny are showing off their flip phones! Time to upgrade, girls!  This is the lovely little cafĂ© where we spent a few hours at the end of a wonderful day. (I'm going to the phone store today to see if they recover the rest of my photos.  So much for being happy with just the experience.  I really want those dang photos!)
 

3.  Another favorite thing . . . we celebrated Dan's birthday on Monday evening.  His actual bday was last week, but we have found that Mondays are the best days to get everyone together due to busy work and school schedules.  Emily and her boyfriend baked him a cake, and I made a dinner that included one of his favorite foods -- twice baked potatoes.  I made it in casserole form, using this recipe from PW.  So easy, I don't know if I'll ever go back to stuffing all those little potato skins.

4.  I'm back on a walking routine with my friend Joan.  The fall mornings have been gloriously beautiful.  We marvel at the blue skies, the hot air balloons that linger overhead and the snow-covered mountains.  It's a lovely way to start the day.

5.  An evening out with friends from a Bible Study Group that we all belonged to when our kids were little.  Oh my gosh, where has the time gone?  It was so good to catch up and reconnect with dear friends.

Hope you all had a great week as well.  Thanks, Susanne, for linking us all up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Besties

I've been AWOL again.  Last week, my friend Pamela visited and we had a blast! She is one of my bestest, long-time friends since junior high school. (Yes, that was in the day before they called it middle school).  She was the kind of friend that had her own spot at our kitchen table many an afternoon after school, and she set me up to go to my first formal with her brother.  I was so shy, I hardly said three words (yes, there are those of you who will have a hard time believing that), and he was so sweet and kind and made me feel like a princess.

So, Pam was here for a week and we took a drive to Santa Fe for a few days. And since somehow I lost every.single.picture that I took of our trip! -- argh!! I can't tell you how angry this makes me and I am still seething about my iPhone/camera, can you tell??! -- I am telling myself that having the experience is far better than having a stack of photos. 

Pictures wouldn't describe the easy camaraderie we share, and we talked through most of the seven-hour drive to and from.  We talked about the kinds of wives and mothers we've been and the kind we want to be, what it's like parenting young adults and how you never stop being a parent, frivolous talk and serious talk. Plans for Christmas and gift ideas, and household budgeting (She told me about a terrific new budgeting plan that I can't wait to get started on). We covered it all.  Pam kept us supplied with snacks and drinks on the road, and it was like being back in high school when we went to the drive-in with our own cooler.

We stayed in Albuquerque one night, meeting up with my sister-in-law Jenny, and my niece Elsa.  We laughed ourselves silly at the University of New Mexico bookstore, trying on shirts, trying to find something to wear to Elsa's game that night.  We soon discovered that 90% of the clothing in a university bookstore is actually junior size.  This after multiple trips to the dressing room and trying to contort our bodies into dozens of outfits.

Santa Fe is one of the most beautiful towns I've ever seen.  Jenny joined us for a day of exploring some of the art galleries and a long, delicious dinner at The Teahouse, one of the sidewalk restaurants.  We saw some beautiful churches and took a trolley ride of historic Santa Fe.  If you ever get the chance, I would recommend staying at The El Rey Inn, a Santa Fe landmark that is full of charm and beautiful gardens.

After a few days we returned home for a couple more days of fun before Pam had to fly back east.  We celebrated her birthday with a family dinner -- all my kids were there, they love their Aunt Pam.  And we spent an afternoon with Emily, going to the pumpkin patch to gather up pumpkins to decorate for my front porch.  I'm really bummed that I lost my photos of this process!  It was a gorgeous day at the pumpkin patch, Pam and Emily traveled for acres looking for the perfect pumpkins, and then we came home to decorate with raffia and gold spray paint.  Here's the result:


At least I was able to snap a picture of the finished product.  As for the rest of our adventures, they will remain golden memories in my heart:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Western Colorado Girls' Trip

This will be a quick post, as I'm in between travels! But, I do want to document this past weekend.  It was the first "Girls' Weekend" for my stepmom, aunt, three sisters-in-law and me.  We spent a few days on the Western Slope where my brother Andy and his wife Diane live.  It's such a beautiful part of our state.  Here's a photo of Colorado National Monument.  We went for a drive and photo session.
 
 

Here's the view from the top, looking at Grand Junction, Colorado.



And, here's our group.   Andy, the token male for the weekend, took the picture.  He was also the cook!  And man, can he cook!

  Diane, Jenny, Carol, me, Aunt Ann, and Lois.
 
Andy and Diane
 
Andy and Diane have a beautiful little homestead, that they built themselves.  



The fall colors were magnificent on our drive over through the mountains.  Which made it all the more surprising when we had to take a detour home, because the highway was closed due to snow.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a single picture.  We drove the back roads, through gorgeous mountains.  It took us on a route that took us past Mark (my older brother) and Jenny's house, so we stopped in for a quick hello, and to see a new addition:

Mark, "Kimber" and Lois


Such a great weekend!  My niece, Sami, joined us for a short while, too.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of her:(   She is the prettiest one of the bunch:)

On Thursday, I'm off for another road trip with my BFF Pamela.  More photos to come!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mining for gold with Friday Fave Five

Okie dokie, this was a pretty tough week.  I won't go into all the sordid details. Let's just say that sometimes you have to really dig to find the blessings, but they are there, which is what FFF is all about.

1.  The week started off on a really good note, when Dan and I took a drive through the mountains.  The views were spectacular!  We grabbed some coffee for the drive, I took a bunch of pictures, and we had lunch in Breckenridge, once of my favorite mountain towns. 



2.  On Tuesday, I was able to get the lenses replaced in my prescription sunglasses -- after wrestling the salesman to the floor and telling him that he better, or else. . . not really, but he wasn't being very nice.



3.  On Wednesday, Dan and I went to dinner and a comedy show with our friends.  I love this group of friends.  They have been in our lives for as long as we've been married -- in fact, some even longer -- and when I think of the word 'friend', these are the faces that come to mind.  We're truly blessed to have them in our lives.



4.  On Thursday, I got to see #1 Son for just a little bit.  He gave me a pep talk that I needed to hear, and I wondered how it is that he can be so insightful at his young age. 



5.  Today, I took Lilly to the groomer, and she is all trimmed and pretty and doesn't smell bad anymore.  I am really grateful for that! (We still don't know what she rolled in:/)


Now, that wasn't such a bad week, was it?!

If you'd like to share your favorites for the week, link up with Susanne and the rest of the crew!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A grateful heart

Susanne is celebrating 300 posts! for Friday Fave Five.  Wow!  I wish I could say that I've participated in every single one, but I will tell you that I so appreciate her faithfulness in hosting each week.  It does my heart good to look back at the week and find so many moments and things to be grateful for.

This week, I'm going to list five things that fill my heart with gratitude, not specific to this week, but just moments in general.

1.  Naps. A freshly made bed with a soft comforter, cool cotton pillows and a fan.  I don't indulge in naps everyday, but when I do, it's like going to the Bahamas.  I'm grateful for the gift of rest.

2.  Coffee.  Not a morning person by nature, but I do love that extra time when I get up early.  The hardest part is getting my rear in gear and out of bed.  Just the thought of a cup of coffee makes it worthwhile.  I'm grateful for the gift of smell and the wonderful aroma of coffee.

3.  Springer Spaniel ears.  Are so soft and curly and silky.  Scratching Lilly's ears puts us both into a state of calm.  It's funny to watch her almost fall asleep sitting up.  I'm grateful for the gift of touch.

4.  Hearing the garage door in the evening, signaling that Dan is home from work.   I'm grateful that I get to share my life with this man. 

5.  Easy fixes.  I took my car into today to find out about the mysterious squeaking noise. The spare tire was loose.  That's it.  I'm grateful for the light hearted feeling that comes when I've worried about something needlessly.

Enjoy the weekend, and don't forget to look for your own moments of gratitude:)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An ordinary day

 "Every day is a blank page."
 
FOR TODAY, September 24, 2014

Outside my window . . .blue skies and a soft breeze.

I am listening to . . .the hum of the dryer, one of the dogs snoring, and the lawn mower next door.

I am thinking . . .how nice it is to have a day off with nothing on the calendar.

I am thankful . . .for my neighbor and her green thumb.  She just brought me a begonia plant that can 'winter' indoors, and then I can plant it outside in the spring.

In the kitchen . . .banana bread is baking in the oven.  Tonight we're having cod fillets, steamed green beans with bacon, and pasta on the side.

I am wearing . . .capris and tank top.  It is 82 degrees.

I am creating . . .a fall wreath for the front door.

I am going . . .nowhere today!

I am wondering . . .if I'll ever make it through the stack of books I want to read.

I am reading . . .War Brides by Helen Bryan

I am looking forward to . . .my friend, Pamela, coming for a visit just three weeks from today!.

I am learning . . .to be patient with people.

Around the house . . .I'm doing some fall cleaning.  Two rooms left!
 
I am pondering . . .the best way to reach out to someone.

A favorite quote for today . . ."You must do the things you think you cannot do." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

One Some of my favorite things . . .pistachios, writing prompts, old fashioned photos.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .Take one dog to the vet, the other to the groomer.  Take the car in to find out where the weird squeaky noise is coming from.  Attend the women's retreat at church. Go to my nephew's birthday party.  Take a drive in the mountains to see the fall colors.

A peek into my day . . .This was the view on my walk yesterday morning.

 
 
The Simple Woman's Daybook is hosted by Peggy.  Click here for the link to join in.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites

Time for Friday's Fave Five, a great way to wrap up the week! If you'd like to join in, link up at Susanne's Living to Tell the Story.

1.  Dan and I have been watching Ken Burns' The Roosevelts on PBS.  We both enjoy history, and the special is filled with original footage and photographs.  There's a story in our family about my great-grandmother and when she was a little girl, Teddy Roosevelt came to dinner at her house and she sat beside him.  This was before he was president.  It makes history more real, to hear anecdotes like that.  I was probably about her age when she passed away.  I would love to hear the story from her point of view.

2.  A good book.  Run by Ann Patchett.  I like stories that are character driven, and this one kept me reading until late at night.  It's hard to believe that this is the same author who wrote Bel Canto.  The books are so different.  I felt a connection to the characters in this book, and love the way she writes.

3.  I had lunch with a good friend this week.  We met as room mothers when our oldest kids were in Kindergarten.  They became best friends, and our friendship grew, and then their family moved in around the corner, and we became neighbors.  There's such a history between us, we spend a lot of time, "remembering when. . ."

4.  Spending time with my mother-in-law yesterday morning.  It's just in recent years that we've had more opportunities to talk, just the two of us.  She is such a smart, articulate, observant woman.  We have several common interests, including reading, sewing, and the well-being of one very special man who is close to both our hearts:)

5.  I made butternut squash soup this week (the squash is from our garden), with cheesy herb biscuits (a secret recipe), for supper.  Soups and stews and crockpot meals . . . just a few of the things that make autumn my favorite month of all.
 
Okay, here's the "secret recipe."
 


To all the other FFF bloggers out there. . . I hope you all had a good week!  Looking forward to stopping by and reading your favorites, too!