Country Views

A trip out to the country always brings me pleasure. The air just smells so sweet, the birds flit about happily, and taking in all the beautiful sights and sounds brings such a peace to my soul....








Such simple beauty, but oh, so lovely and inviting!

A Little Something

While shopping at Wegman's today, I came across a beautiful, sturdy melamine dish set that instantly made me think of Italy and the Tuscan design that I would love to have in my kitchen. Much to my delight, they were slightly reduced in price, so I paired two pieces that look fabulous together to serve as an inspiration to start my Tuscan kitchen dream. Someday. 


I simply love them! While generally I'm not a bold color person, I do like that these colors send me an instant message of warmth and happiness as if it was coming straight from an Italian kitchen filled with delicious aromas and lots of affection! In fact, they're quite similar to one of my favorite pictures of a Tuscan kitchen that I have - using orange instead of red, but still just as lovely.


A room like this would always feel sunny, even on a gray rainy day! Don't you just want to step right in and sit at that table while enjoying the meal and the view you might imagine is there when looking out either window?

So, for now, my plate and bowl will be a beautiful decoration, and an inspiration to that dream of mine for a welcoming, cozy Tuscan kitchen. Someday. :)



Simple Beauty

PEACEFUL, WELCOMING.....


VIVID COLOR...
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BEAUTIFULLY INTRICATE....
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DELICATE SWEETNESS....
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SOFTLY SCENTED
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PRAYERFUL REFLECTION
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TAKE ME AWAY!
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Enjoyable Days

Sunshine, hot days, sweet smelling breezes and the song of birds....
I've been having some wonderfully enjoyable days!

Here's a few pictures to share:


 While waiting on a mulch delivery, I'm sprucing up the front walkway with potted flowers, and Becca's handpicked rocks from a trip to the lake a few years back.

Last year my bird bath started to leak water through a few cracks that had developed in the bowl. So I resealed the bowl, scrubbed the base and set it out once again along the sidewalk in its old, familiar place.


I've turned over all the dirt in the flowerbeds, weeded and raked everything back into place. It looks so neat and tidy, and very ready for flowers!

While weeding, I found 5 "volunteer" Morning Glories sprouting up from seeds of last year's flowers....I transplanted them into their special place near the front porch step where they can grow big and beautiful up a trellis, instead of strings this year.


Last, but not least, I took a moment to enjoy the faint scent of lilacs that are just beginning to open on our bush. 2 short years ago, this bush was a twig that insisted on pushing up through the soil year after year from roots of a previous planting that had never been fully removed by the former owner of our townhouse. We decided to leave it be, and as it has grown, I've pruned it to keep it into a tidy, manageable size. This has caused it to triple the blooms from even just last year. Mmmm, what a heavenly, sweet smell they have! 

And that about wraps up these last few enjoyable days for me.


~ Wishing you a bright, happy day today! ~

Beautiful Morning

I sit here this morning with my cup of tea in an unusual moment of utter peace and quiet. My windows are thrown open wide, to take in the delicious smell of a gentle, mild breeze. The air smells as clean as air found deep in a country meadow, hidden away and untouched by the pollution that is inevitably a part of life in the city.  Nothing but the sound of Sparrows chirping, the song of a Robin and the coo of a Mourning Dove can be heard, and truly these sounds are music to my ears. 

Mornings like these, when I can step unhurriedly into my day, renew my spirit, and offer a sense of well-being that all is right with my world, even if the world around me struggles to rise out of the many problems that plague it. My mind is free to wander aimlessly over thoughts that bring happiness and tranquility to my soul, instead of the stress that comes from a day begun with hustle and bustle the moment my feet hit the floor. Quiet, reflective moments bring relief and healing to the feelings of anxiousness and discontent that always seem to go along with stressful, chaotic days. They help to put parts of our life back into proper perspective, when things become totally skewed and off kilter. And while things may not always pan out exactly as we'd like in life, we're able to move forward and accept these differences more easily when we're able to find time to sit, digest and work through them in our mind.

I often wonder how much happier and more content so many of us would be if, regularly, we were able to enjoy peaceful moments of existence such as I am experiencing this morning. In today's world, finding this time can often only be done by deliberately carving out that time, just as we make plans to shop for groceries, pay our bills and any number of other things that we must pencil into our agenda to do from day to day. I'll be the first to admit that I don't work hard enough at doing this for myself. I truly believe life was not meant to be the fast paced, chaotic, so often interrupted life that we live today, no matter how nicely it is wrapped up in the guise of success and technological advancement. I know this because, when I am living moments like I am this morning, my body tells me this feels good, and I can almost hear it take a huge sigh of relief. 

I say all that, to say this ~ Wherever you are today, whatever you do and however it is that your daily life unfolds, don't overlook the importance of finding time for YOU. No television, no texting, no technology. Whether it's waking up a bit earlier to be alone with just you and your cup of coffee or tea, or slipping away in the evening to a quiet place as you look out over nature settling down to take it's own rest, find the time to do it. Will it solve all your problems? No. But I promise you that you'll come away feeling renewed.....rested.....rejuvenated. And that, my friend, is something worth far more than any time and attention you give to something that, in the end, can never feed your spirit, soul and mind the way a quiet, peaceful moment can.

Hugs,
Kimberly Marie 


Planting Pansies

A few days ago, Becca and I came across a deal while in the garden section of our home improvement store. Pansies were 50% off, and the display racks were loaded with them! We sorted through the variety of colors, choosing a few of the best of each, and headed to the registers with our flat of dainty, sweet smelling pansies.


 
I could hardly wait to begin potting them, as soon as nature would cooperate a little with a sunny, mild day to do so. 
 
 
And today was that day! It felt wonderful to dig my hands into the bag of potting soil, and smell that old, familiar scent of, well, dirt. And even the pansies, having been warmed by the sun, gave off a sweet fragrance I can't ever really recall having noticed before. But maybe that's because I've never purchased an entire flat of them before! 

 
 
  I began the potting on my glass side table, but quickly discovered it was less than adequate, not to mention uncomfortable for all the bending I was doing.
While I've had my eye on all sorts of fancy potting stations, immediate necessity and practicality won over today. Dean's little 4' x 2' resin worktable, waterproof and weather resistant, would do the trick ever so nicely. Grin. (After having using it, I don't know why I never thought of something as simple as that sooner! I don't think he'll be getting back his little work table any time soon... Even bigger grin.)


Feeling the sun wash over me while planting was healing. I think it was just the therapy I've been needing. No hustle, no hurry, no stress or anxiety. Just simple enjoyment that will result in simple pleasure as I admire our lovely display of pansies for weeks to come.



I found various places to set the pots, and even replanted in an old hanging basket from last year. 













 
I'm liking the look of our pansies.

I think the squirrel was pretty impressed, too, as it sat and nibbled a special mix of what is supposed to be for the birds! But, thankfully, he hasn't made a pig of himself at the feeder.

(Maybe dried cranberries just don't excite him.....?  ☺)

Additionally, I added my recent adorable early Mother's Day gift to the patio decor. I just love to hear the delicate trickle of the water!



I also found a bird plaque that I've had for quite some time, and have never put it out on display. 
 
 
Well, today was it's lucky day. And my lucky day. And the patio is coming along quite nicely, indeed!

One Determined Squirrel

For lack of anything better to do outside because of all our wind and rain, I've brought the outdoors in with yet, another, bird cam. (Thank you to my mother for this one!) Not only do I love watching the birds and various other critters that have stopped by this feeder site, but it also gives me a glimpse of the weather in other parts of the U.S. 

This particular feeder is based in Edmond, Oklahoma. Ironically, all the wind we've been having, they've been having, too. Well, at least that makes me feel better, because we're not alone in that regard! But they have been partaking in much more sunshine than we've had here in the Northeast, so I've really been enjoying seeing a view that practically feels like it's right outside my window, and, thankfully, it's sunny!

Today, I was quite entertained by one determined little squirrel! He so captured my attention with his tenacity to get every last little bit of peanut butter/suet filling out of the hole in a feeder log, that I took screen shots of the event as it unfolded. If ever you need to learn anything about "stick-to-itiveness", watch a squirrel at a bird feeder! Lol.

Here is where the picture story begins.....

Yes, there is a tiny morsel of peanut butter suet!

Mmmm, I can almost taste it!

Ah, well, I can try to dig it out with my paw...

This certainly appears harder to get at than it looks! 
Maybe standing up will help....

(Voice echoing from inside the hole) Ah, yes, there it is indeed!

Hmmm, I'll have to attack it from another angle....

Um, yep - it's still in there!!

 On second thought, this angle might be better....

 Phew... Hmm....this is quite a work out!

Speaking of work outs, perhaps a bit of acrobatics is needed, 
and I shall try the other hole again....Oooo, ugh....almost there.....

~ BIG GRIN ~

And here it was at this point in time, that the squirrel decided to take a break from trying to retrieve a snack from the feeder log. Almost as quickly as it had come, it hopped onto the feeder platform and scampered away.

But boy, I sure did get a bit of amusement today from this one determined squirrel!

Two Cuties = Too Cute

I guess there are some "ruff" (no pun intended!) days in a dog's life....

And I guess Romeo just really needs to hit the "massage parlor",
a.k.a grooming session, once in a while
for a little R & R....

Which I find absolutely hysterical.
And so does Dean. 

I mean, come on, how hard can a dog's life really be??!!

But, alas, this is what I came upon while puttering around upstairs, finally ending up in our room to put some clothes away.


And....the session continued....
While Romeo just laid there, relishing in all the attention.


Whenever Ziva isn't monopolizing Romeo's time, Missie is waiting there for session #2!!

The dog just does not know how good he has it!!

And one day, Ziva's tongue is going to fall out from all that grooming.

Resurrection Of Christ

This year, as with every Easter, I am so very grateful to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made on my behalf. On your behalf. On behalf of every single person in this entire world! He, who knew no sin, became sin for us, so that we might be made righteous....(2 Corinthians 5:21)

Never has so great a sacrifice been given.....

Never has anyone loved so much......

Never will anyone ever give such a sacrifice of life, that in turn gives another eternal life!

It is offered to each one of us, free of charge....with no strings attached.

We cannot earn it, we do not deserve it, but, praise God, His grace and mercy is greater than all our sin!

He is a good God, such a good God, to love each of us, unconditionally. No matter who we are. No matter what have, or haven't done.

His unconditional love gives me boldness to come before Him and lay all that I have and all that I am at His feet. And He will make it beautiful. He will make it worthy. He will make it however it needs to be, and work all things together for good! 

All because He loves me.....and you....and gave His life for us. But that isn't the end of the story! He rose again, He conquered death, and put all things under His feet. He rose victorious, hallelujah! 
 
 Happy, Happy Easter to all my family and friends!

We Believe - Newsboys

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, We believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, We believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He's comin' back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back again!

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
In the here and now, let love invade!
Let the church live love our God will see
We believe, We believe!
And the gates of hell will not prevail!
For the power of God, has torn the vail!
Now we know Your love will never fail!
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back,
He's comin' back again!
He's comin' back again!
We believe!
We believe 
In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, We believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, We believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He's comin' back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back again!

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
In the here and now, let love invade!
Let the church live love our God will see
We believe, We believe!
And the gates of hell will not prevail!
For the power of God, has torn the veil!
Now we know Your love will never fail!
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back,
He's comin' back again!
He's comin' back again!
We believe!
We believe
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/newsboys/we-believe-lyrics/#LUAFKRdlR9sKLGoB.99
In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, We believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, We believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He's comin' back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back again!

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
In the here and now, let love invade!
Let the church live love our God will see
We believe, We believe!
And the gates of hell will not prevail!
For the power of God, has torn the veil!
Now we know Your love will never fail!
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back,
He's comin' back again!
He's comin' back again!
We believe!
We believe
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/newsboys/we-believe-lyrics/#LUAFKRdlR9sKLGoB.99

Simple Pull-Through Scarf

Just a fun little sewing project I came across for a cute outfit accessory!

 

source

 

Materials Needed:

Instructions:

  1. Straighten out cut edge if necessary. Measure and mark a line 7" from the cut edge, running along the width of the fabric. Cut along this line and trim off selvages.
  2. With RIGHT sides of fabric facing each other, fold fabric in half widthwise, with cut long edges even and forming a long tube. Pin along long edges.
  3. Stitch long edge in a 1/2" seam. Trim corners.
  4. Pin one short end closed and stitch in a 1/2" seam. Trim off remaining corner.
  5. Turn the tube RIGHT side out through remaining opening in scarf, poking corners out gently as far as they will go.
  6. Fold the ends of the opening to the INSIDE 1/2" and pin in place. Slip stitch opening closed with hand sewing needle and matching thread.
  7. Press scarf flat. To wear, pull both ends of scarf through slide buckle (as shown in photo above).
Copyright for the pattern above belongs exclusively to Simplicity/Simplicity Creative Group.

Bird Song

Without many large, mature trees around my current home, I don't have the variety or number of birds that I'd like, but every year as the smaller trees grow, the bird counts are slowly increasing as they've come to rely on more shelter, along with my feeders and bird baths being available to them. 

At my previous residence, the house was literally in the middle of a farmer's field that had once been home to a grazing herd of cattle. Thus, only 1 large Hickory tree was on the property at the time of its purchase. I had immediately set to work planting quick growing trees and shrubs, and within a few years, the birds were finally starting to feel safe enough to venture into my yard. I was thrilled, to say the least!

Since our weather has gotten a bit warmer, the Robins have been very busy around the neighborhood. I've spotted them here and there, even perched atop my patio fence a time or two. By now, a "home site" has been chosen, their nests have been built and eggs have been laid. And I'm happy to report that I'm sure a nesting site has been chosen somewhere fairly close, because this morning what did I awaken to?

The glorious song of a Robin who was perched somewhere nearby my slightly opened window! Oh, how I love to slowly come awake from a deep sleep to the beautiful melody of a Robin's song! As it registered in my mind, the corners of my mouth turned up into a smile, and my heart felt happy for the experience of this very simple pleasure.

I've come to realize that sometimes what we cherish most in life is simply being able to enjoy quite ordinary things, in a most extraordinary way!


To The First Robin
by Louisa May Alcott, age 8
(1840)
Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing "Sweet Spring is near."

Now the white snow melts away;
Now the flowers blossom gay:
Come dear bird and build your nest,
For we love our robin best.