New Year's Eve ~ December 31, 2015

Amazing, but true ~ Welcome 2016!

Just relaxing here at home. ~ smile ~

Dean and I are beyond the point of enjoying
crowds and chaos!

Tomorrow we'll wake up to the New Year, and I'll try to remember for at least the next month
that I no longer am writing 2015!

~ ♥ ~

In the meantime........

An Invitation to Life

"I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love [is put into action]. It doesn't come in an envelope. It's ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It's the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day." ~ Bob Goff

I absolutely love this quote for it's 
frank and simple truth!

~ ♥ ~
Our outdoor birds bring me joy all year round, but especially during the winter months. Just knowing that they're perched waiting in the trees and bushes nearby for their daily treats is all the incentive I need to brave the cold and fill their feeders!

©KMC 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts

This year, my neighbor and I exchanged kitchen "treat" gifts with one another.  

While she gushed over my plate of molasses cookies and toffee bars, I have to say that her cute, simply decorated jar of cinnamon sugar walnuts, were insanely more delicious than my cookies, not to mention addicting. I've eaten nearly the entire jar myself! 

Realizing that the jar is almost empty makes me very disappointed. So, I've decided it's a recipe I must have. ☺ After all, there are worse things a person could snack on, right? (Walnuts are actually prostate and breast cancer reducers, and promote heart and brain health, among a few other positive benefits recent studies have revealed. Now, that makes them worth snacking on!

Christmas ~ Here and Gone Before I Knew It

Christmas was a flurry of activities, that came and went in the blink of an eye! Every year, after Christmas, I think of how hectic and crazy things were, and determine to make things better the next time around. It never happens! Yet every year, I make this same promise to myself.... I imagine one of these years, I'll actually follow through! Maybe....

Thinking About Christmas

Just sitting and relaxing this evening, thinking about Christmas. 


Just what is Christmas?

Sprucing Up The Bathroom

It's amazing what a couple coats of paint and some decorative upgrades can do to make a room look 100% better. It may not be perfect, but it'll still be better!
This is what our bathroom looked like when we first moved in a year ago this past July ~ very bland, complete with a bright white toilet seat on a dark maroon toilet, and a way beyond dirty tub with an equally disgustingly dirty set of sliding shower doors. At least this picture was taken after a thorough cleaning and floor mopping!
Fortunately, we were able to get a gently used, "new" replacement for our tub and wall surround, and got rid of any sort of shower doors! While the dark maroon toilet and sink are not at all what I would have picked, they're in great condition, so I'm making do with their color and worked that fact into my paint choice for the walls.
Over the last year, I've been able to put together items toward my bathroom theme, which is a kind of an Antique Rose best I can figure. Not everything matches perfectly, but most everything is quite similar....

This theme, together with the sink and toilet color, played the biggest part in why I chose Pink Whisper for the paint color on our walls.

O Christmas Tree

Last weekend Charlie and I set up our Christmas tree. Every year I think that maybe I should have gotten a bigger, fuller or taller one, but then, as we gently put all the branches in place and fluff them up, the tree takes shape and I change my mind, again. Then I think of how hard it would be to get rid of the first tree Dean and I bought for the first Christmas we ever shared as a family. So I lovingly begin to set out decorations to hang on it's beautiful branches. This year, my folks were also here to share the moment ~ and that makes it special, too. They were there that first Christmas when we brought this very same tree home, and decorated it with the children. I like when moments and memories carry on. ☺

Here is Charlie placing the branches on the "trunk". 

Becca and I decided on a bird theme this year. She and her boyfriend got me started by surprising me with a few ornaments they bought me as a gift. Here they are.....

Simplicity is Good

More and more lately I find myself longing for simplicity. I'll even go so far as to say I long for it in every facet of my life.

But I think simplicity suggests a negative connotation, and the condition of lack or insufficiency to many people. I suppose I may have thought that at one time myself.

Yet, I've begun to realize that simplicity actually allows one to have more than enough on many levels. Having moved several times in the last decade has really driven home the benefits of simplicity to me. 

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Here it is, December 3rd, and miraculously we have no snow. A thing for which I'm thankful!

But a dreary, cold, rainy day such as we had today (and yesterday, and the day before),
does bring one's spirits low, despite the rejoicing of having no snow!

Thick, gray clouds rolled through all day long.

Raindrops gathered on the windows.

It was a perfect morning to enjoy our cozy fire!

 For a while, not a bird or a critter dared creep out... Until this little Sparrow decided to pop out from his shelter under our front deck.

 Then, one by one, others ventured out from their hiding spots, too.

Tis Tuesday Evening

....and all through the house, 

every precious fur baby is sleeping, 






except for one who wishes she could find a mouse!
 But this tantalizing feather toy
will just have to do!


 ~ ♥ ~

Delightful Decorations

In the recent unusually warm weather of November, Joanna and I worked on getting the lights strung outdoors. Well, I worked. She relaxed and kept the strings untangled for me. 

And now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I have given in to letting those little lights shine! 

 This year I actually broke down and purchased battery operated flickering candles to put in each of our windows. Since they're LED lights, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that these pretty little lights will give me over 10,000 hours of use. Yep. So that's what sold me on the purchase of these cute little candles! So far, my entire family is loving the cozy look they add to our house at night.

Now for some snow ~ just a little bit ~ to make things even cozier looking!
Indoors, I've begun a few bits of Christmas decoration here and there.

I think my favorite is this big jingle bell ornament which I paired with an oversized golden snowflake, and a beautiful red "believe" ornament. 

 I love all the colors up against the backdrop of my Tuscan yellow kitchen wall. 

Next are some of the wrapped "gifts" I have decorating the living areas of our home. But these aren't just any wrapped gifts, they're pictures I already had on display, but are now wrapped as pretty presents! It was a neat idea I recently saw on a decorating segment of a show I was watching. My family has given a big thumbs up on this new idea. ☺

And, of course, there's my lighted pine garland, pretty white lights strung under the kitchen cabinets and some strands beautifully lighting up the shelves of my corner hutch.... Everything is coming along nicely.

However, Charlie has informed me that all his friends are already putting up their Christmas trees, and apparently feels we're not "keeping up with the Joneses"! BIG GRIN. So, here's to getting our tree put up soon, and more on its decorations coming up in a post on another day!

~ ♥ ~

Newly Fallen Snow

Autumn has reluctantly given way to Winter.....

Today was our first snowfall of the season.

I have mixed emotions. 
 I'm far from a winter loving, snow adoring fan!

But for today, I enjoyed the beauty 
 Mother Nature shared with us.

I have to admit ~

there's just something about that first snowfall.

A burst of snow temporarily darkened the sun.

~ ♥ ~

Mailbox Admiration

I'm not sure what exactly it is about mailboxes, but I have a fondness for them. Especially ones that are along a country road, or decorated prettily for the upcoming season or a holiday. 

I guess they kind of make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I see just the right kind of one. 
Maybe it's because I get a glimpse of memories of the days when I used to wait so expectantly for a letter from a relative, a pen pal or my best friend, or for cards at Christmas and my birthday.

Maybe they give me a feeling of down home, true America when life was much simpler, when families and friends stayed close through good old fashioned correspondence no matter how far apart they were. 
 Having a letter in your hand, reading it over and over, and knowing it traveled miles just to be delivered especially for you..... well, that's just something you can't replace with a text message or an email. 
There's something so special about having a tangible letter from someone, knowing they wrote it with their own hand because you're special to them. And you have that letter, in its envelope for years to come.... 

I have an old shoe box with letters such as that. And they're priceless to me. 

Yes, perhaps that's why I love mailboxes so much. ☺

Autumn's Splendor

Hello Friends! I hope you've been able to enjoy the beauty of Autumn in your neck of the woods! I'm always happiest when we have an Indian Summer of sorts, and this year much of our September and early October weather has been that. 

Last week my father offered to take me on a road trip down through the beautiful Naples, NY. We went specifically for a delicious grape pie or two! (The week prior, he and my mother had taken a trip down through Naples, and grabbed a couple of pies to bring back for the family to taste. We all unanimously chose one pie, which was simply bursting with grape flavor, gently packed into a tender, flaky crust. Mmmmm, just perfect for our now beginning to get cool and crisp Autumn weather!)

Not wanting to miss an opportunity on this road trip to use my new camera Dean recently bought me (and to do a little photo journaling with you!), I packed it to take along and hopefully snap some great shots. I think I was able to capture the absolute magnificence of some of the biggest variety in fall foliage you'll ever see in one place! It brought to mind a Bible verse that I've known since I was a child, "And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31

I hope you'll enjoy the view of this beauty as you look at pictures of what I saw through the lens of my camera on that enjoyable day!  

~ ♥ ~

 THANK YOU, Dad for taking me on the journey with you! ♥