Bird House Love

Since it's been pretty wintry out, I decided to do a fun search for a few minutes this evening and check out some bird houses for ideas on what to look for come Spring time. 

There are some really cute houses out there! Here are several I think would make an adorable addition to the bird house (below) that was erected on our property back in March of 1976 (carved in the concrete at the bottom of the pole) by the previous owners. I absolutely love it!

© K.M.C

This one's so cute, I want to live in it!


Kind of a log cabin-ish feel! Perfect to set along the edge of our woods.


Oh, my goodness! This is perfectly suited for my very own Chickadees and Tufted Titmice.☺They are the most frequent visitors to my tray feeder!

I just love whimsical designs like this one! And, it has ladybugs, too, which are our very special bug for Becca. ♥


Last, but not least, are these really clever and unique bird houses that would add a dash of cuteness wherever they were hung! 


Just can't wait to get out in the yard this Spring!

What gets you excited about Spring?

Jello Cake Joy

Last night, Dean finally got his long awaited Jello cake, topped with a light, refreshing strawberry Jello Cool Whip frosting! 

This has been a topic of discussion for dessert for at least a month or more. Well, last night, he sure was a happy camper! He says he had these growing up, and my mother says she used to make them all the time ~ 

I found it to be a nice change from the usual old cake and frosting. And while it tasted good last night, today it was even better! Setting overnight allowed the Jello cake to chill and firm up completely, and the same for the Jello Cool Whip frosting. 

Dean's secret for the frosting is this: mix one box of Jello with 1 cup of hot water, but only 1/2 cup of cold water. Let it come to room temperature. Then, in a large bowl empty one regular size container of Cool Whip, and about 1/2 cup of the still liquid Jello mixture. Carefully fold the Jello in with the Cool Whip until it makes a creamy, but not too loose, frosting. Add more or less, to gain the right consistency. Don't forget that the Jello will firm up the frosting once it has completely cooled. Leftover Jello can be refrigerated for a tasty treat later.. :)

Just in case you've suddenly become in the mood to make your own Jello cake, here's a link for the recipe! 
Gelatin Poke Cake 

Count Me In


I came across an interesting diagram the other day that showed 7 meals a nutritionist would eat, and they only take 5 minutes to prepare. 
Wow! I'm all in. Simple, healthy and relatively inexpensive. Who couldn't use a few ideas for a meal like that every once in a while?
Now, granted, you may not get your children (or even my husband for that matter ~ lol!) running to the table or clamoring for more, but hey, you never know.... They just might like at least a couple of the choices! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I always say.
I love this idea of picture recipes so much that I think I'm a bit giddy over the prospect of finding an entire cookbook of picture recipes. I think I saw one once. And you know what? I think it was for men. Hmmm... They just might be onto something here! Basic. Easy. Healthy. Done!


So It DOES Matter To Them

....To my children, that is! As any parent will tell you, there are many, many moments when we speak to our children, and we're sure they haven't cared a fig about what we've just said! 
As a matter of fact, when Becca and Charlie were younger, there were days when I was so frustrated for all the talking I had done, only to hear them burst out in uproarious laughter over something I had apparently said or done that was funny to them. Some of those moments they still talk about today, and of course, now I can laugh at them, too! 

The other evening, I actually had an "ah-ha" moment during a family discussion around the dinner table. And boy, you could have blown me over with a feather, I was that surprised at what I had heard coming out of the mouths of my two!! I thought, "Wow, they actually have been paying attention!!"

Apparently, while at a friend's house, Charlie had been asked a question by their mom that was simple enough to answer, but he knew that being truthful might have brought about some offense. So he relayed to us that in those brief seconds following, he hesitated and was contemplating just how he should answer. Then he gave pause, and we were all waiting to hear the outcome, when his sister laughingly piped up, "So you wondered, what would Mom do in this situation?!" To which Charlie immediately replied, "Yeah, and I was thinking to myself, Mom would NOT want me to say that!" laughing along with Becca. Whoa! Did I really just hear what I heard??! These are the golden moments in life; when you realize that something you've taught your children really did sink into their heads!! 

 I was so proud to know, now that they are older, there are more times when "Mom's wisdom" echoes in their minds as they are making decisions from day to day. 

And, as any parent would, I like that! It makes my Mom heart happy! ☺

Morning Moments

My lovely fire this morning

I don't know about you, but I need some time to myself first thing in morning before my day begins! While most of the family is still in quiet slumber, I enjoy some peaceful time in front of the fire. As I wait to hear the faint whistle of the teapot, I watch the flames as they dance to and fro. Once the water has boiled, I make myself a soothing cup of tea in one of my favorite mugs. As it steeps, I quickly set my kitchen to rights in preparation of the activity that is sure to go on within it once the household has come to life.
Then I nestle back down in front of the fire, contemplating a bit of this and that, but mostly seeking a quiet, reflective time that all but escapes me once I move into the day. 
 I have found that there is much to be discovered when a body can simply sit.  Alone.  With no demands, no noise and no distractions! So I sit and ponder the little things that cross my mind..........
 Quiet morning moments certainly help to start my day off right, and they give me an inner peace that an otherwise hurried morning steals away. As the fire crackles and daylight begins to creep in, I'm able to embrace the day. I'm ready to face the challenges, capture the memories, and begin another day with a song in my heart!

Kitchen Splendor

I've never been so thrilled with a room in my house as I am with my newly painted and decorated kitchen!!
For the longest time, I've wanted a yellow kitchen, and more recently, a Tuscan feeling kitchen. The shades of yellow have varied, but once I got the feeling of this house, and more specifically, the kitchen, I decided my choice of yellow had to be one with warmth and personality. Dean so graciously poured over paint samples with me until we settled on a color that we both liked.

For him, the dilemma was having a yellow that didn't seem too "industrial" - in other words, it can't look like the color of a piece of machinery, he told me! For me, I simply couldn't have a shade of yellow that felt on the cooler side. I wanted it to have some depth and a welcoming feeling, much like the colors of Tuscany. Additionally, one of the first things I noticed about my lovely, old fashioned, front kitchen was that it was quite lacking in natural light! (And I was surprised to discover this, because I have a rather large window over the sink, in addition to a smaller one on an adjacent wall.)

Anyways, this past week, Dean literally transformed our kitchen into something I didn't think could possibly be mine ~ but it was! And it looked so beautiful that I couldn't stop smiling the more it came together. We absolutely love the warm glow of the walls, the way the color changes depending on the light source, and the way some of our old things now "popped" against the new "Honey Locust" painted walls. (Fluorescent lighting tends to make it look the least desirable, and most like Crayola crayon yellow, however, in the daylight, and in the evening with our floor lamp, it simply glows like golden honey!)  SIGH......The transformation is amazing! So, without further adieu, here are some before, during and after pictures of my now fabulously warm and inviting Tuscan kitchen!!




These last 2 pictures actually show more of the golden glow that we see most often, as we rarely use our extremely bright, fluorescent ceiling light, which Dean had to use while painting.

Yesterday we had a fun shopping trip to pick up some new pictures, floor rugs and a cute little accent piece, which is the lantern to the left of the stove. Dean first spotted it, and, after seeing it, I could  hardly resist adding the adorable lantern as a finishing touch to our now absolutely lovely, full of personality, Tuscan kitchen!! And I'm still smiling........

Loving My Feathered Friends

Elation is probably the best word that comes to mind when I saw our lovely yard and realized just how many birds I could lure to my feeders here at our new home. Setting up a spot for my feeders was one of the first things I did after we gained access to the house. After a few days, I spotted our first Hummingbird, and was surprised to see the different birds arriving at my other feeders little by little.

Much to my delight, I spotted Chickadees, Nuthatches and Tufted Titmice joining in with the Sparrows and Goldfinches that showed up almost immediately. Soon I heard the coo of Mourning Doves, chirps of Cardinals and cries of the Blue Jays! Then along came a variety of House and Purple Finches, the Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, and even a few Red Headed Woodpeckers, too! As Autumn arrived, I spotted some Juncos coming to check things out, and even a little flock of Blue Birds dropped by every now and then.
Since my desk is at a window, I decided to try hanging a feeder tray just outside of it from a hook I managed to secure into the soffit (the underside of the overhang) above my window. The feeder hung there for a week, and I had yet to notice one bird come in for a landing. Needless to say, I was a bit discouraged.
Then, almost at once, a variety of birds began to come, and what a delightful experience it was to see each bird just the other side of the glass! I began to wait patiently with my camera, so I could take pictures of all the birds who dropped in for a visit. Below is a collection of photos I've taken so far of my lovely bird friends who bring me such joy day in and day out ~








Goldfinch and Chickadee

Finch and Nuthatch





Blue Jay

Downy Woodpecker


 Stay tuned for more future photos of my feathered friends!

Everything New

If you've been looking for me over the last several months, don't worry. There are many days I was looking for myself, too!! ~SMILE~

Well, where do I start? First things first.

This is a brand new year. Happy 2015!!!
I wish each and every one of you a year full of every good thing that fulfills all of your wildest hopes and dreams.....and everything in between! I think top on my list for personal desires would be a year that is peaceful, for Dean's business(es) to be comfortably busy, but not crazy busy, (there's a huge difference I've learned in this last year) and most importantly, for all to be well with every single one of us in this big family of mine. I just want the Hand of the Lord to be with each and every one of us, and yes, YOU, too!

One of the main reasons I have been missing in action here on my blog is due to the fact that we've moved! While I had been looking to move earlier on in the year, that idea had come to an end when we kind of hit a roadblock. Then, near the end of the summer I happened upon an ad for lovely home that Dean, Becca, Charlie and I fell in love with......AND here we are!!
We have spent a great deal of time cleaning, moving into, maintaining and now, finally, beginning to do a bit of indoor work we've been anxious to start on! Little by little this unattended to house is now being tended to with lots of tender loving care and becoming a beautiful, cozy home for my family and I. Oh, and all the animals! Which is where the next big change comes in. And one more animal.

A huge blessing, and answer to prayer, came about quite unexpectedly. Kind of like our move. (I guess 2014 was a year for the unexpected!) My son, Charlie, who had previously chosen to live with his father, after 3 years, decided it was time to come home. How wonderful! But oh, so many changes. And court. And attorneys. And money. BUT OH, SO INCREDIBLY NICE!! And we inherited another dog. Lovely, sweet Joanna came home to live, too. ~SMILE~

Here is Charlie, and his first true love, Joanna. He just adores her! And he is her whole world. Their relationship is such a beautiful thing...... ☺

Well, my post will have to come to an end for this evening, but I have so much more to share with you! I hope you won't get tired of pictures, because taking pictures is a big part of what I do here in our new home! Our yard is just so lovely ~ all 2 acres of it. (In spite of the 2 hours it takes to mow it!) And the trees. And the birds. And the wildlife. And our home ~ both inside and out. Oooh, the ideas and dreams I have for making this house into our sweet and welcoming cozy retreat! I hope you'll enjoy this adventure with me.

Goodnight, my friends! I'll meet you right back here real soon! ♥