Monday, April 25, 2022

Finally Spring!

 Spring has finally arrived here in Missouri and I am so glad!  We've experienced lots of showers and the temperatures have been downright chilly.  Here we are at the end of April and we are just starting to have consistently warmer days.  The gardens are just starting to awaken, too, and that really has lifted my spirits!


Muscari and double daffodils

Flowering Quince


Bleeding Heart

Flowering Magnolia


The kitchen herb garden.  Soon I'll be adding basil and rosemary.

The hostas are sprouting.  You can see some of my pots next to the rocks.  I'll be dividing some of these for our Master Gardener Plant Sale.

Some of my clematis are preparing to bloom.

Seeing my perennials regrowth in the spring is almost like seeing old friends who have been away all winter!  
Am I the only one who feels that way?

Another sign of springtime is "chicks in the coop!"  Yes, we needed some new ladies and they came this weekend.  We only have one old hen left and our pair of mallard ducks.  With the warmer temperatures, the ducks can stay on the pond and our old hen can forage during the day, leaving the little ones in the coop and kennel to grow and bond.  
They are still a bit shy.

J and I both had bouts of Covid a while back.  I got it first then, as my quarantine was ending, he came down with it.  We both felt kind of blah but thankfully didn't feel too badly.  We both have been vaccinated so we know that helped.  

With that behind us and Spring truly here, we are feeling so much better!

I hope you are enjoying some spring weather or at least some sunshine where you are!


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

A Fun February Finish

Our February flew by this year.  I was able to celebrate another birthday in the middle of the month.  A was able to join us.  M and her family hosted the party.  

What fun!

We got tickled while Jeremy was taking our picture because Jack was running 
back and forth in front of us.
Here Jack is trying to be just like Uncle A!  What a pair!!

Later that week, Jack's mom and dad took a ski vacation so Jack stayed with us.  He went to preschool on 
Valentine's Day just for his party.  He got loads of goodies from his friends!

We played Thomas the Tank Train
built LOTS of things with his magnetic tiles,
and played with his favorite Paw Patrol character, Rocky.
We had a LOT of fun!!

When they returned, we headed out for J's annual golf trip to Myrtle Beach, SC.  He's been playing with this group of guys for several years now.  I go along to enjoy the beach and some reading.  This year my cousin from Maryland came down to keep me company!  We had a really great time visiting, shopping and walking on the beach!  
The weather was nice and mild, perfect for playing golf and beachcombing!

Since we've been home, we are enjoying some warm weather and I'm looking forward to getting in the gardens!  I set out some of my plants that have been overwintering in the shed.  It looks like they are enjoying the bright sunshine!  
The ducks are happy to be on the pond, too!

Wishing you a warm and happy week!

Please join me praying for our Ukrainian friends as they battle to save their homeland and their independence.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Winter Doldrums

Hello, blog friends!  I hope you are enjoying January.  It has been cold in my neighborhood and I'm happy to stay inside and sew in my craft room.  I had a goal of finishing up 24 of the tri-fold notepad covers and 20 bowl cozies for our craft group to sell this next year.  I slightly surpassed those goals ending up with 25 tri-folds and 22 cozies!  Two things ticked off of my yearly goal list!

Do you set goals for the year?  I started doing this a couple of years ago to hold myself accountable for accomplishing things I really wanted to do once I retired.  I found myself putting things off, then never getting around to doing them.  As a former teacher, goal-setting was something I was accustomed to so I decided to incorporate it into my retired life.  It has made a big difference in how I use my time now and I really feel I am more productive!  Of course, since I'm retired, I only add things I WANT to do to my yearly goals but they really help me stay focused and happily busy!  It's also helped me create new positive habits, such as keeping in touch with family and friends, traveling and learning new skills .  

Another goal I have for this year is to complete an online genealogy course.  I've completed 2 of the 8 lessons so far and I'm enjoying learning to stay more focused on my research.  I'm also planning to purchase a new genealogy software program for my Mac laptop so I'll be doing some reading about all the different options available.  I use Ancestry and FamilySearch online programs but need something for this new computer.

Also, my son and his fiance' gave me a Cricut machine for Christmas.  She has helped me create a couple of cards with it but am looking forward to learning to creating other things, too.  Do you have one of these machines?  If you do, what fun projects have you done??

Finally, I hope to make 2 quilts this year.  One will be for our son and future daughter-in-law.  It will be a picnic size so I can add it to a picnic basket for their wedding.  Jamie wants something in blue so I'll be working on that soon.  I'm thinking of a simple half-square triangle herringbone pattern.  What do you think?  Any other ideas?  

Let me share just a few beautiful sunsets we've been blessed with this past week!  It seems wintertime brings the most vivid sunrises and sunsets.

Wishing you a warm and cozy week doing some of your favorite things!


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Cozy January Projects

 Hello, I hope you are enjoying the new year!  We finally had a bit of snow this weekend and it's been pretty to look at.  I don't think it will last long with temperatures that are supposed to be around 50 degrees F by midweek but I've enjoyed the change of scenery!

It's just a few inches of fluffy snow but it makes the world outside look so different!

January is the time for me to stay in my craft room and sew and that's what I've been doing!  Our retired teacher group as a craft club.  We sell the items we make at a fall craft fair to fund our group's classroom grants program.  There is a wide variety of things we make but I enjoy sewing the tri-fold mini legal pad holders and bowl cosies.

We sell a lot of these "trifolds"for kids.  They're just the right size to take along on car trips.  We load them up with a small legal pad, pencil, crayons and stickers.  We also sell some for adults as they're a nice size to take to meetings.

The bowl cosies are also popular.  These are great for microwaving your soup, keeping your hands cool, protecting your furniture and helping you look stylish while doing all three!  All cotton fabric, batting and thread are important when using these in the microwave! 

I'm using leftover fabric from other projects and it's challenging to figure out the best use of it.   

In the evenings, I enjoy crocheting.  I'm not sure who will receive this when it's finished but I like keeping my hands busy and staying warm as I work. 
I'm using leftover yarn for this project, too.  Isn't it amazing how much left over material we have?  It's good to set aside some time to use it up.

Well, that catches you up on what I've been doing since the holidays.  Let me know what you've been up to.  

Hoping you're staying healthy!


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Christmas and New Year's Eve 2021

 I'm hoping everyone had a wonderful and blessed holiday season!  We had wonderful weather and were able to spend time with most of the family this year.  

My mother-in-law hosted J's side again with all of us bringing in our favorite dishes to share.  Unfortunately, one of her great granddaughters tested positive for Covid and, as she had spent the weekend before with her cousins, those two families were not able to join us.  They were pretty disappointed but did join in with Facetime when Santa showed up.  Here is our photo with old St. Nick!

(Notice Jack's flashlight!)  
Here he is telling Santa what he wanted him to bring for Christmas.

I hosted Christmas Day again for my side of the family but this year we met at the local senior center so we could social distance better.  I believe we had 32, as everyone was able to come!  

One of my projects during the pandemic shutdown was to digitize old family photos.  Years ago, for our parents' 50th anniversary, I had made a photo album.  I decided to make copies of it to give to my brother and sister this Christmas.  They REALLY enjoyed them and I was so happy to be able to give them!  For table decorations, I made copies of some of our old photos (some were in the albums but most weren't) and scattered them around on the tables.  It was so fun to talk about these memories and share them with our younger family members.

The older kids had fun playing cards.
We were able to take photos of each family.  Here is ours.
We also took photos of ALL of us!  I was so happy to have these.  What a bunch!  I wish I could share them but we have several family members who are uncomfortable sharing their images online so you'll just have to trust me!  It was so good to be together again! 

For New Year's Eve, J and I continued our tradition of eating out for lunch then fixing something special to eat at home for dinner.  This year, we had seared scallops on parmesan risotto and Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream.  SO GOOD!   I'm including the ice cream recipe below.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your holiday and am wishing 
you a very happy and healthy 2022!  


Bailey's Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings
This recipe calls for 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole milk but I used 2 cups of half and half and we thought it was creamy enough.  Enjoy!