A Place To Call My Own ~ October 25, 2017

As the summer breezes turn chilly, and leaves dress in their Autumn attire, my insides begin to crave peaceful, cozy spaces indoors.

Several months back, Dean and I transformed our 3rd bedroom into a sitting room, complete with brand new furniture and pictures, lovely Citrus Punch painted walls, a beautiful "ocean" view and my very own (electric) wood stove!

A body needs its own space once in a while, don't you think? Whether it be myself, or another member of the family, sometimes a personal place of retreat is all it takes to set the body to rights again. Just to be able to close the door on the world, and find your happy place....

What I love about my sitting room is that it has a tropical theme. Morning sunshine spills through the window, giving the room a beautifully cheerful glow. In the evening, mood lighting sets a soft tone throughout the room, and the flickering flames of the "fire" seem magical. 

As I enjoy the space this evening, I thought I would share a few pictures of the room with you. Despite the fact that the room is one of our smallest, it is, by far, one of the coziest in our whole house.  No matter how large or compact your house may be, there's always room to find a nook and transform it into your own personal, peaceful, happy place!

 ~ ♥ ~

Deer, Oh Deer! ~ October 21, 2017

We are so blessed to have nature right at our doorstep. I never tire of seeing various wildlife passing through our yard, and late this Summer into Autumn we've certainly had a treat with all the deer we've had visiting us. Especially bucks.
Just look at this handsome fellow! I was amazed to see on more than a few occasions several bucks running together this year. And what a special moment I happened upon when, one day on a walk, I spied this beautiful scene as I peeked through the hedgerow to the field behind us.... 
A fawn and buck exchanging a sweet moment together! Never have I seen a loving exchange between a fawn and buck before. This was just a priceless moment to behold. Behind the bush is a doe and her other fawn. This mama came to visit our yard frequently with her fawns. Here they are, late one afternoon, in yet another sweet moment I 
was able to capture a picture of. Just so precious!! Every year we see at least one set of twins, and a doe or two with just one fawn. They all travel together it seems, and everyone gets along looking out for one another. Nature is just the most beautiful thing!
Here are some bucks eating pears that had fallen from our tree. Try as I might, I just could not get a picture of these two together, but not in front of one another. ☺ Just look at the size of their racks, though. These bucks are definitely mature males. One even had some gray on him.
Here is a better picture of two bucks that came for some pears on another day.... Look at that one reaching up to grab the fruit right off the tree! I'm sure if I were an orchard farmer, this would not be a very welcome sight. But lucky for them, I am not! They can be quite destructive, unfortunately.
Here is a fawn having an afternoon meal in a bit of tall grass. Isn't it just so adorable? And look at those eyelashes. Not one beautiful detail was left out in the creation of this precious fawn! 

Last, but not least, are a couple of pictures of a doe I took using the recently discovered "vivid" feature on my camera. She cooperated so nicely for her photo shoot, if I do say so myself! ☺ 
 Isn't she a gorgeous girl? She is standing under our chestnut tree, and was in the middle of having quite the feast for lunch as the chestnuts have been in abundance this year!

Wishing you happiness, my friends, as you enjoy the beauty of nature wherever it is that you call home... 
~ ♥ ~

Back In The Kitchen ~ August 23, 2017

Sometimes I go through a period of time when I'm not in the mood to be in the kitchen much, outside of the necessity to make our meals for the day. But as the fruit trees bend under the weight of all their produce, and hints of Autumn are in the air, I'm getting the itch to do a bit more these days. 

So I got out my Magnolia Journal magazine, and followed the directions for their Apple Butter recipe. 
As is common for me, I never quite follow everything exactly as I should. So, while this recipe is for the slow cooker, I cooked it down in a sauce pan right on my stove. Can you imagine how wonderful the house smelled with apples, cinnamon and cloves stewing in the pot?? Mmmm.... I thought for sure Autumn had arrived! I really enjoyed it's sweet, clove infused taste. 

Next, I moved on to a recipe using peaches. I gathered a bucket of our own peaches from our small tree, and set to work on making a peach jam. I just used the recipe straight from the Sure-Jell box. 
Oh. My. Goodness! The smell as they were bubbling away in the jam syrup brought me right back to the days of when I used to feed my babies jarred peaches! Isn't it amazing how some smells just resonate with you?? ☺The jam turned out perfectly, and tastes absolutely delightful on toast and those delicious Town House crackers! I think it's been years since I've made any type of jam..... But, look at how lovely it is in the jars now!

My last extra little something I spent time on in the kitchen was a tasty, green bean salad made with fresh beans given to me by my neighbor that were grown in his garden. I cut the ends off, steamed them gently, then added some oil, vinegar and seasoning.... Ooooh, they were fresh and tender! A little remained for me to nibble on the next day, and they were even better having set over night.
I'll have to remember that if there's a next time that my neighbor brings me over some beans.......

I hope this post finds you enjoying some things you've finally gotten around to doing again, or maybe just simply enjoying the continuation of some really nice summer weather! It won't be long before our next season is upon us....

Take care, my friends. Wishing you well in your part of the world! 
~ ♥ ~

Hints Of Autumn?? ~ August 5, 2017

This morning I awoke to glimpses of the sunrise just below the tree tops, and our room felt much cooler than it has in recent days. Yesterday's rains are responsible for this significant cool down, but I don't mind it terribly, so long as we have sunshine. The breeze is certainly significant today, though.

Once I head out of the bedroom into the rest of the house, the first thing I do is open the curtains and open every window. This is what I love most about mornings during our warm weather months..... airing out the entire house every day, hearing the leaves rustle on the trees around us and watching each beautiful bird flit here and there as they come in search of breakfast. But I know many people prefer the quiet solitude of the indoors, even so much as to not open a single curtain! Which are you ~ a window opener or quiet solitude kind of person? 

I've done a change up in my bathroom. I'm not sure how long it will last, but I know for now I really like it. I removed all the soft, fuzzy, debris catching throw rugs and simply laid down color coordinated towels that match my decor. (Well, at least they do on most days!) I just get so tired of the battle with trying to keep those rugs clean because their shaggy pile tends to hold things, even in spite of using the vacuum cleaner on them. Surprisingly, the towels make it so much easier to keep the bathroom floor clean! Especially since it's our only bathroom, therefore it gets a lot of use. How nice it is every couple of days to simply shake off the towels, throw them in the wash and lay out a new set of towels to step out on after our showers and while standing at the sink. If I like it well enough, I think I just might buy some appropriate colored towels that are used specifically for that purpose. I know I certainly don't dread keeping after the bathroom floor now! ☺

The Baltimore Orioles have started migrating. I'm glad at least I know what is going on with them now. Since I wasn't very familiar with them, I couldn't figure out why they were no longer coming to the feeders last year about this time. This year I decided to do a little reading up on them, and discovered that they have a very short breeding time here in Eastern North America! They arrive between April and May, and leave as early as mid to the end of July for their wintering grounds in Florida, the Caribbean and Central America. You could have blown me over with.... a feather!! Ha! I would have never guessed that. I almost wonder why it's even worth their long trip up north, but I'm so glad they do come as they're such a pretty bird. It certainly makes me appreciate the much longer stay of the delicate Hummingbird. Last year I saw a Hummingbird as late as the 3rd week in September!

Hard to believe it's not even 9 o'clock, and here we are with dusk falling upon us. I think we just might have an early Autumn if it stays as cool as is predicted for our month of August. My son mentioned this morning that, as much as he loves the things associated with Autumn, he really hates to think that Summer is passing quickly by! I know just how he feels..... How about you?
~ ♥ ~

Dog Days Of Summer ~ August 3, 2017

I trust this post finds you well and everything right in your world, my friends! Summer is in full swing, with all its beauty that I enjoy so much ~ lovely flowers, sweet birds, bright sunshine and tropical temperatures of late. However, we continue to have our fair share of rain. As a matter of fact, another thunderstorm is rolling through as I write this post, which I did not expect any rain today really! It's in the forecast for the next couple of days, though, so when I awoke this morning, it was on my mind to get the lawn mowed today. And with this afternoon's storms, it's a good thing I got to it earlier than I usually do. If it were let go any longer, I'd have rakings to tend to, and I always try to avoid that! With our very large yard, that becomes a big chore. Maybe that's why so many people these days just hire a mowing company to come in and take care of their lawn. Do you mow your own lawn or have the professionals do it? Right now I prefer to handle the job myself!

While mowing, I love watching the Swallows swoop down. When they first started doing this, I thought it may have been because they actually were trying to follow me and play while I mowed...... But that was not the case at all! Upon further assessment, I realized it was because the mower stirs up tons of bugs that are hiding in the grass, causing them to take flight for safety. THEY are what the Swallows are after ~ and what a sight it is to see these graceful beauties swooping down to catch a quick snack.

Romeo recently had 2 small cysts removed, and an unanticipated teeth cleaning, but I'm glad
he's in tip top shape now. During his pre-op assessment, the vet determined it would be best to clean his teeth while under anesthesia, since they've never been professionally cleaned in all his 8 years. He's coming on the age where he'd start to have problems with infection from abscesses and teeth falling out from rot. Since I certainly don't want that, I opted for the cleaning now. The poor little boy was seriously high when he came home due to the pain killer they'd given him! We were thankful to see him return to his old self within a few days. He just got a bath and nice groom at the salon, so he's looking very handsome, and reminds us of a little lamb. It's hard not to spoil him when he looks so darn cute and cuddly!

Last week we had our road chip sealed. Have you ever had that done to your road? While the process went smoothly and quickly, its after effects aren't so great. With all this rain, it helps to keep the dust down, but that noise...... ooooh! Nothing can help that but time! We, and all our neighbors, slept so poorly the first night or two from it. Since we don't live in a small neighborhood or on a side street, rather on a semi-primary, kind of part country road that seems pretty popular, we have traffic all night long. Not heavy, but still, it's traffic. And sometimes it even sounded like cars were pulling into the driveway. I guess we have at least another week before the sweeper will come down the road to remove the excess "gravel". Then they'll spray the lines on the road. It'll be nice when that time comes!

Well, I'm so glad I had the chance to visit with you, and share some of what's been going on in my world. As I always say, I truly miss my visits with you and not posting for long periods. Come nicer weather, I do so much more outdoors and I generally don't really sit down til mid evening. (And here we are with darkness falling much sooner than before!) Then I have the problem of needing toothpicks to keep my eyes open!! ~ Lol! But I'll do my best, and until the next post, take care my friends! 

 ~ ♥ ~

Outdoor Space ~ May 21, 2017

I can't say as we've had an early start to our warm summer weather like we have in years past. But we've finally been able to have some mild days in which to enjoy our screen room!

When I began clearing it out of all the yard and garden things we store in it throughout the winter, it was still quite chilly outside. Despite the calendar saying spring, I was still in my autumn getup which is long johns under my jeans, fuzzy boots and a jacket other than a windbreaker to keep me warm!

Last year I had really wanted to jazz up the screen room. Some of my favorite outdoor furniture is wicker. But, after talking with Dean, we decided that it just didn't seem practical to buy new things, when what we had was still perfectly good and useful. And there was no sense either in changing what is already for all intents and purposes a very suitable and useful as it is outdoor space. However, I did need a few extra sitting chairs for the space, and I was able to find some really nice looking, comfortable tan lawn chairs that fit the bill nicely. So I went about setting up the screen room being creative with what we already have in the space that's already there.

Well, except for the latest new addition of a comfy green rocker chair that my father found at our local Goodwill, and, after seeing it myself, I felt it was just too comfortable of a chair for just the right price to pass up! In fact, as I type this post, it's exactly where I'm sitting! I've always loved a cushioned chair that swivels and rocks, too.

The morning started off mild and sunny, but it has since cooled some, and rain has passed through. Listening to the raindrops on the roof was actually quite nice, and the fresh smelling air is helping to clear out my head. Add to that listening to a yard full of bird song, and watching their busy flights from nests to feeders and back again, it makes for one of the most enjoyable things I can think of doing now that some warmer weather has come our way....

In fact, enjoying time in our screen room is one of the best ways to start my day! If we were closer, I'd love to have you join me! How do you enjoy starting off your day?

~ ♥ ~

I guess you could say it's "A Room With a View"!

Birds Upon Birds ~ May 8, 2017

Life is going well! Looking forward to getting my flowers planted in the flowerbeds and pots, but the weather has just been too unpredictable and chilly! Soon, I shall....soon!
In the meantime, I truly enjoy the many birds that visit my feeders each and every day.

Saw my first sighting of both a Hummingbird and an Oriole back on May 2nd! Today is only the second time I've spotted a hummer, but I know sightings will continue to get more frequent as the days go by. The Oriole has only been back once more, but soon they, too, will be eating me out of house and home. They devour grape jelly by the jar fulls when they're here in full swing! ☺
Here's wishing all is well in your corner of the world, dear friends! What has your weather been like, and what is your favorite pastime? Here are a few of my favorite bird pictures of late.
~ ♥ ~
House Finch
Baltimore Oriole
 ~ ♥ ~

Tip-Toeing Into Spring ~ April 29, 2017

Up and down, around and around, through a variety of weather patterns, we are slowly getting there!
The sun is finally waking early, the days continue to grow longer, and countless birds fill the air with their songs of cheer. 

The Goldfinches are once again golden, the Cardinals are scarlet, and the Grosbeaks have returned. It won't be long before I see my first Oriole. I hung out a dish of grape jam to lure them in sooner! :) Then shortly, it'll be time for the Hummingbirds to arrive. I look forward to their return all winter long!

The bushes and trees are pushing out buds and blooms, Hyacinths sweetly scent the air, the daffodils and tulips bob their heads in the breeze. Lilac blossoms are gently and cautiously taking a curious peek at the world.

Yes, Spring is surely unfolding each and every day. Little by little, my yard and flowerbeds are getting back into shape. I mowed for the first time a couple of days ago. The smell of the freshly cut grass is just as I've always remembered it. Funny how some things never change.....

This evening several deer were roaming through our back yard, as have foxes, ducks and this year, surprisingly, rabbits. You'd think with all the opportunities for foraging in and around our yard, rabbits would be in abundance. But until just last week days we've never seen even one!

As night falls and I settle in for a rest from my endeavors, I feel a happy contentment to be back outdoors, experiencing all the lovely things that nature has to offer. Me, myself and I - and my trusty camera in tow! 

  ~ ♥ ~

Taking It All In - April 22, 2017

Hello Friends!

Have you opened your eyes to a beautiful sunrise lately, or blinked at the incredible beauty of a sunset, or watched a magnificent moon in the night sky?

 Have you gone outdoors and heard the sweet chorus of birds, or perhaps a gurgling brook?

 Have you been tempted to buy flowers and just can't wait to plant them? (Or, maybe in your part of the world you already have!)

Did you have a joyous Easter, and did you happen to see crosses out of the blue? 

Have you been well, and happy and enjoying the coming of Spring, my friends? Has it's message of hope, and rebirth filled your heart with promise of good days to come - despite hardships and battles that sometimes come our way?

Oh, I truly hope that you have, and just wanted to share the beauty of all these special things that I've seen and cherished throughout the past many days as my life has unfolded. 

Wishing you happiness and all good things, and the strength to move through when the going gets tough!

 ~ ♥ ~

Beautiful Skies ~ March 24, 2017

Lately we've had some sunsets to rival any I've seen since last summer....

Often I'd be at the kitchen sink, washing dinner dishes, when I'd look up and see the most beautiful sight as the sun sank lower in the sky.

Gorgeous masterpieces unfolded one right after the other. I couldn't help but to quickly dry my hands and grab my camera to capture the beauty before me!

I was so blessed to see this cloud with a silver lining!!

  "Sunsets are proof that endings can often be beautiful, too."

 ~ Beau Taplin

Wishing you beautiful sunsets wherever you are!
~ ♥ ~

Handsome Buck ~ March 17, 2017

Every so often we're fortunate enough to get a glimpse of something beautiful in our back yard, like this magnificent buck!

February 2017

While taking a gander out the back windows, Dean spotted this fellow grazing as he was wandering through our territory. 

My husband was quite surprised as this is the biggest rack we've seen on any buck in our yard! He really didn't stay overly long, as the bucks tend to stay in the background, but I'm so glad he stayed long enough to pose for such a lovely picture of himself!
~ ♥ ~

Winter and Wind ~ March 16, 2017

Hello, my friends! Thinking of you and wishing you well. :)

I got a good chuckle when I found this image on Google the other night:

With the way Winter has recently roared through the northeast (and given us all of winter in about one week's time), I definitely am so ready to hang out with Summer now! ☺

In the meantime, besides dealing with power outages from strong winds, and shoveling through mounds of drifted snow nearly 2' high, I've been sticking close to home, literally tending the home fire, and putting in overtime feeding my feathered friends. 

You'd think that when the weather is at its worst, the birds would stay hunkered down, but exactly the opposite happens. They flock to feeders in droves!

These are just a few of the several feeders I have out. When they're full, you can look up into the branches of the trees above, and see handfuls of birds waiting to dive down for their turn at a feeder!

We've enjoyed feeding cardinals, tufted titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, house finches, goldfinches, sparrows, woodpeckers, bluebirds and a host of new birds who recently migrated back ~ probably thinking differently about having done that now! 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last few days:

The one nice thing about a late Winter storm, is that I know it cannot last for very long, for Spring is certainly right around the corner being just 5 days away. Even though I know the snow and wind may not up and disappear immediately, it helps to know that there's more of a chance for warmer weather ahead with each day that we get behind us!

And it wasn't more than 2 weeks ago when I took this picture of my beautiful bluebirds, on a mild, Spring-like day enjoying the treat of peanut butter on my homemade suet log. ☺

Yep, Spring is just around the corner, and while March may have come in like a lion, it's sure to go out like a lamb!

~ ♥ ~