Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy Thursday to you; today I am thankful for the blessings of grandchildren. Yesterday I had these precious girls over for our final sewing project; it is the same project the other two did on Tuesday. I love that this is a case for a throw pillow, but has a pouch on the front for a book or journal. All the girls made them for their sisters.


So today is one crazy day for me and I think I'll be tired by the time the afternoon rolls around. I'm starting the morning walking(unless it is pouring out), then on the way home stop and have coffee with two quilt friends. I will also be heading to Longmont to have lunch with my first blogging buddy. She no longer blogs, but is active in writing for women's devotionals and stays busy with her grandchildren. We used to meet every three months, but as life goes we've slacked off quite a bit. I think we got together last fall. It should be great to catch up! It's a bit of a drive for lunch, but that's a small price to pay when you haven't seen a friend in at least nine months. I had planned to sit in front of the computer yesterday and get caught up, but again time escaped me. I hope you have a wonderful day. It is hard to believe that Memorial Day is this weekend.
Blessings,
Noreen

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

End of the School Year

Good Morning to you! Yesterday was our last sewing day with these two grands and this was their project. It is a throw pillow with a pocket for their book or journal. They did such a great job and even made one for their younger sister. I think they'll make one for the littlest sister this summer. It has been such a joy to work on projects with them; they both love sewing and I know they'll have fun with the skill in the future.

Today I am walking with a friend and I hope we get three miles in. This afternoon I have sewing with the other two granddaughters to finish their pillows. I am so proud of all of them for the last two years of sewing; it's been pure joy to spend time with them and watch them grow.  I'm sure we will have other projects in the coming year, but their schedules will make it difficult to add one more thing in every other week. They know they have access to my stash and my machines whenever they want, so I anticipate some Christmas projects will develop.
It's a beautiful day here and I'm hoping that the storms that brought rain, hail and tornadoes east of us are gone for good.  This is a general weather pattern for the spring and if the rain hits in the evening, it is fine by me~just give me sunshine during the day.
Joy to you!
Noreen

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baby Birds

It's that time of year again and the birds are filling our trees; we've got Sparrows,  Blackbirds and Robins. Just Sunday while sitting outside, enjoying the warm day, we kept hearing a chirping in the tree next to our fire pit. Sure enough there was a baby bird there; at first I wasn't sure what type it was, but quickly saw a Robin-the dad swoop in and chirp back to it. Before we knew it, the mom was bringing food in. It's it so cute.


We also have a nest in our nesting box with four eggs in it, but the Sparrows haven't gone back for several days,  so I'm thinking they were dud eggs and maybe hubby should get rid of them.  The only downfall about all the birds having nests in our trees and in the neighbors trees is the horrible mess they are leaving.  I could hose off the poop twice daily and the yard would still be covered with it.
Yesterday I had a great time walking with the neighbors and I'm getting used to their pace-need to do it more often; it really gets my heart rate up, to the point that it is sometimes hard to talk. I also added four more plants to our back yard(I'll post photos soon)and I told hubby I was done for now.  I got two Ferns with hangers, a Bleeding Heart and a Geranium.  It feels good to have everything looking so good.
I'll be walking with Hunter this morning and have sewing with two grands this afternoon. Are you seeing baby birds in your area?
I hope you have sunshine today and joy in  your heart.
Blessings~
Noreen

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Growing Pup

Happy Monday to you! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Saturday I ran some errands and then hubby & I went to Lowe's for plants. I got 7 six packs of impatiens, some violets, a few misc. perennials and two pots-one with Pansy's for the back yard and a pot for the front porch near the door. On Saturday, our sil took Copper and Lily in for grooming. This was Coppers first time(other than at the breeders) and so she was a little unsure going in. She did fine though. I think having Lily there helped her. As I've mentioned, they aren't doing a poodle cut-just a puppy cut. I love being able to see her face again, she has the sweetest expressions. What do you think?

Here she is outside watching the family work on a landscaping project.  Normally she would be running free, but they had a tractor in the yard and were moving rocks so it was best to keep her on her lead.
She is such a sweet pup and starts training on the first of June.  Lots of work, but so much fun.
We had wonderful weather on Saturday, but yesterday, though sunny, was windy and brisk.  Hubby and I did some things around the house and then went out to lunch as well.
Today I'm going a couple of quilting friends and going to lunch.
I hope you found time for some fun this weekend and have a great day today!  Hard to believe Memorial Day is next weekend!
Hugs,
Noreen

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Friday to you!  Where or where has the week gone?  Each day I planned on sitting down, writing a post and then getting around to each of you; somehow those plans just didn't come together.
My week in a nutshell doesn't sound busy~Monday I had my friend over for lunch, Tuesday I had a quilt class at a local store and then a lunch afterwards at Pannera's, Wednesday I walked with Kam and had sewing with two granddaughters in the afternoon, yesterday I walked with some neighbors(let me tell you that I thought I walked fast, until I walked with them-I'm thinking they do a 11-12 min. mile), then had sewing with two other granddaughters in the afternoon.  Today I am off bright and early to our development's garage sales.  I'm hoping to find a office chair for my sewing room so I can give hubby's back to him for the garage; I also would love to find some outside decorations or pots.  This afternoon I've got to get Hunter into the vet for his yearly checkup; thankfully no shots this year.  Our weather has been nicer, with some warmth but also some clouds in the evening. I'm hoping it will stay warm today!  This weekend is totally open, so I'm thinking we may end up spending some time with our girls and their families.  It is hard to believe many schools are having graduations already; all I know is that we are ready for the warm weather to stay and the neighborhood pool to open.
I hope you find some time to do something you enjoy today and this weekend-something that makes you embrace and appreciate life.
Blessings~
Noreen

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Quinoa Salad

Several friends asked me to share my recipe with them, so here it is.  Firstly, for those who aren't familiar with Quinoa(pronounced keen-wa), it is a ancient grain with a nutty flavor and is a complete plant-based protein.  I discovered it here in Colorado and loved its nutty flavor and versatility.
Secondly the recipe I'm sharing makes a huge amount; I've taken it to large pot-lucks in the past and this time cut the recipe in half. I will share the full recipe.  Even cutting it in half made a large amount-enough for 6+ servings.  I hope you enjoy!

Quinoa Salad
Ingredients:  Quinoa Ancient Harvest brand.  1can of black beans, 1 can of garbanzo beans,
1 purple onion, 1-2 cucumbers, 2 large tomatoes, 2 limes, olive oil, feta cheese, ribbons of fresh basil, salt and pepper.
2 cups of thoroughly rinsed Quinoa, add to a large pot and add 3 3/4 cup chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.  It will look translucent.  Pour off any excess liquid and spread Quinoa on cookie sheet to cool.
~Dice up 1 purple onion, 1-2 cucumbers(scoop out seeds), 2 large tomatoes.
~Drain and rinse 1 can of black beans, 1 can of garbanzo beans. Add to a large bowl, dump in chopped vegetables.  Cut ribbons of basil.
Add in cooled Quinoa, the vegetables, basil, lime juice.  Add in less than 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Mix gently, add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with feta cheese.
I find that the lime juice and olive oil marry the flavors well, especially if allowed to sit a bit before serving.

Someone else asked about the dessert I prepared and it was so simple-I just slice fresh strawberries, added in blueberries and blackberries.  We love Noosa brand yogurt, so I took two large tablespoons of Coconut yogurt and mixed it into the berries. I sprinkled shredded Coconut on top.  I actually served this dessert for neighbors last night who came over for cards. I also have to say my hubby isn't as health conscious with his eating as I am and he loved the Quinoa salad.  On Monday night we also added chopped chicken to the salad and it was wonderful.

Hope you enjoy!!!
Blessings,
Noreen

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Time With Old Friends

Good Morning to you! Last night on the news, the forecaster said that May is always our wettest month~so why does it seem that the rain has been falling every day and more than in past years.  I know we've had some nice days and starting this weekend, we are supposed to be entering a warm phase, but seriously it seems like we are in Seattle. Yesterday a friend came over, she is one of the first gals I met when we moved here over eight years ago. We did a lot of things together back then; her kids were still in junior high and it was a different season on life. Now she is preparing to move cross country. She had hubby and I over several times, years ago, but somehow it never worked to have her and her hubby over. I wanted to have a nice lunch for her to celebrate the times we spent together. I made this delicious Quinoa salad; it has cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, black and garbanzo beans, basil ribbons and feta cheese. The dressing was lime juice and olive oil. It's one of my favorites.

I put out baked Parmesan crisps, french bread with olive oil and pesto.  I also made a berry salad with coconut yogurt that was the perfect dessert.
We spent several hours catching up and it was delightful. I'm so excited for them and yet it is bittersweet~for although we didn't spend time together in recent years, it was nice knowing she was around.
I'm off to a quilt meeting this morning and then home to sew afterwards.
Stay warm and dry; seems like there is heavy rains all over.
Joy to you!
Noreen