Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Piano Recital

Happy Tuesday friends! Last Saturday afternoon, two of our granddaughters had their very first piano recital. What are proud grandparents to do but go watch them and take photos. They did an excellent job and we are so very proud of their diligence and effort. Here they are before their recital. In true Colorado fashion, the weather was raining and snowy which precipitated a change of clothing-no sandals.

Miss F looks so much like her mom, Carrie, here. 
Both girls were very pleased with how well they played.
Two other granddaughters will begin taking lessons too, Miss O above and Miss M will take Violen lessons. Two different family's and two cousins as close as can be. 
Music has always played an important part in our family~ I played guitar, our girls played piano and their girls play piano until now. 
I hope your week has started out well!  Today a friend came over to walk; after that we sat outside in the warm sunshine and visited and then went to lunch.  We have Carrie's crew coming over any minute and then have a dinner to go to later.  My days seem filled.  All of it is good though.
Hugs,
Noreen

Monday, May 2, 2016

Miscellaneous Monday

Happy May to all of you! It certainly is hard to believe that May is upon us, especially with the weather we've been having. However, the forecast looks good for this week and I'll take it! This weekend was fun; firstly our youngest and her family went to S. Dakota and we dog sat for them. Doesn't Petrol look so cute! She and Hunter have a ball together; this time I could tell she was missing her family though-she kept wandering around looking for them.

This is Hunter's favorite spot to sit; he loves watching out the window. Petrol pretty much stayed with me or hubby during her vacation with us.

This is the house where I was born; we moved when I was about six months old(I think). After we were married and lived near Palo Alto, we'd drive by~however it never looked this cute or charming then.  For those who aren't familiar with Palo Alto, it is the home of Stanford University and a very expensive place to live.  Hubby and I both grew up there, when it wasn't expensive and have fond memories of it.  Both of our families homes are gone; many people come in and tear them down and rebuild estates in their places.
This is a 2 bedroom, one bath and if you are interested the price is $1,595,000.  Yes, I did type that correctly. I'd have loved to see how they fixed up the inside; the value is the land and a high percentage of buyers are from Asia.  They buy the homes for cash and then have a residence for their young children for when they get ready to go to Stanford.  Crazy I tell you; I can't imagine buying a home for 1.5-2 million and then tearing it down. 
Well, my to-do list is calling so I'd better get going.
Joy to you!
Noreen

Friday, April 29, 2016

On Wings Like Eagles

Happy Friday Friends! One of the many things I'm thankful for concerning winter in Colorado is that Bald Eagles nest here. I am always in awe when I see Eagles soaring over us. That is one of the joys of living here in Colorado and I never tire of the majesty of the Eagle. In spite of my whining about the lack of warm sunshine, I was again reminded of the joy of winter when my daughter texted me these photos. Last evening as they were heading to Costco they spotted this beauty and her hubby pulled over to get the following shots. Not only did they thrill me, but I know that the five kiddos in the car were equally excited! For your viewing pleasure~



Here is our son-in-law getting the shots.  Hubby and I are so blessed by both our son-in-laws whom are more like sons to us.  They are incredible men, husbands, fathers, son-in-laws, brothers, friends and they both minister life to us.  We couldn't be more proud of them and are so very thankful! We are also very thankful for our daughters making such incredible choices for their hubbies.
I hope you enjoyed a bit of Colorado this morning. 
We will be getting lots of snow today and this weekend, so will be staying in.  Our youngest and her family will be heading to Mount Rushmore;  I will be praying for safe travels for them all.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Honor Flight Quilts

Happy Thursday from cold Colorado. The storm that was supposed to bring snow to us tonight, moved in early and it will be an afternoon spent inside. My walk today got cancelled and instead
Kam and I met for coffee.  We had a great catch up and on the way home I stopped at the friends house who is assembling the Honor Flight quilts.  Here is one on the tops  finished, she did a great job.

I have decided that I didn't like the Star I was doing, due to the Flying Geese~I just had too hard of a time making sure all my points were perfect. The middle block below is called Friendship Star and I may use it for future blocks for the Honor Flight quilts.
Here are the three blocks I turned in today.  One of my issues this week has been that my sewing machine is back in for repairs-had issues with the tension after just having had it tuned up.  I was ready to hand my machine down to my grands and go get a used Bernina.  That won't be happening any time soon, I still have to replace my IPad.  I do have to say that I love my Baby Lock and haven't had issues with it until recently.

On the square on the left is writing on the middle red square with all the branches of the Armed Forces and patriotic sayings.  I love that fabric the most.
I hope that whatever your day holds, you find some time to spend on something that brings you joy.
Blessings,
Noreen

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It's outdoor Wednesday and I've already taken Hunter on a 1.5 mile walk in the neighborhood. This afternoon we will be going over to have playtime with Copper; I know he'll love it! Yesterday morning when hubby asked me what we were having for dinner, I knew immediately~it was a dish I saw on someone's blog. It wasn't a recipe per say, she just told what she was putting in her dish. So I had some Quinoa noodles that I cooked, added lump crab meat and medium size shrimp, asparagus, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and green onions. Hubby cooked the shellfish and asparagus in butter, but next time I would do it in vegetable or chicken broth. The end result was that everything other than the noodles melded together, but without much spice. The great thing is that we got the crab in a can(I know, I wasn't sure how it would taste)right from the butcher and it was like having fresh crab. We don't care for King Crab, just like Dungeness Crab that we grew up eating in Palo Alto and that is the type we prefer.

I added some fresh tomatoes to the side and also garlic bread; it was good and we have left over Crab meat that we'll use in a salad tonight. Need to tweak this recipe a bit, but it was fun to just throw things together.
The clouds have moved in this afternoon and we will get thunder later on.  California, can you please keep the rain and storms-we know you need them and we really don't.  This gal needs some sunshine.
Hope you have a great afternoon!
Noreen

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips review


The Inheritance, by Michael Phillips: " Macgregor Tulloch was clan cheif of Whales Reef of the Shetland Islands community. He loved his nephew David. When Macgregor passes away, everyone assumes David was the heir to the estate that controls most of the island's land. However the will was nowhere to be found. Hardy is another Nephew who decides he should claim the inheritance. He is involved with an oil invester who will pay quite a bit for that kind of control. Many of the locals become financially burdened when the assets to the estate are frozen while the courts investigate the claims. Loni Ford was orphaned as a child and raised by her grandparents. She now works for an investment firm in Washington, DC. What happens when a mysterious letter is delivered from Scotland? The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale's Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch's heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David's grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island's land. And while Hardy doesn't enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate's assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island--and its traditional way of life--hangs in the balance. Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. ."

I haven't read many of Michael Phillips books in the last number of years, but fondly remember that he is a master storyteller, weaving history and character in his plots.  Michael is definitely a heart whose stories are poetic and lyrical.  I was immediately drawn into the story from the beginning and loved that he started with the early history of past generations. Although I haven't been to Scotland, his descriptions of the Shetland Islands took me back to the green hills dotted with sheep that I saw in Ireland.  I was intrigued by the current day lives of both David and Loni and wondered how they would intermingle.  Michael Phillips books have never been ones that you want to rush through, because they take you on a journey to another time and place.  There were a couple of deviations in the plot that I felt could have been left out, but all in all it was a captivating book.  I loved the way it ended and can't wait for the next book in the series which comes out in October.  I will definitely be following up on this series.  If you like stories that are historical and have depth to them, you'll like this one.  On a 1-5 scale with 5 being the highest, I would rate this 5.
I was provided this book free as a Bethany House Blogger review and received no compensation for it, other than my honest review.
  Take some time and read a good book!
Noreen

Monday, April 25, 2016

Summer Flip-Flops

Good Morning Friends, With spring upon us and summer growing closer I wanted to share a pair of sandals I got recently. You all know that I live in flip-flops, except for walking/biking, when the weather is nice. I have found a great style of slippa's(as they are called in Hawaii)and whenever there I search for a new pair. This year they didn't have my size or color in stock anywhere, so I waited. So glad I did. When my good friend Val and I went walking(I would call it hiking)I found that my slippa's didn't give me enough support if we were on boulders and I had a bit of a tough time. So afterward, I was looking at Val's and realized hers had a middle of the foot strap, like Teva's. I used to wear Teva's all the time, but found if my feet swell at all due to heat, they were too tight. Well, Val and I wear the same size shoe, yes I have big feet for being so short and her sandals fit me perfectly. What I really liked about them was that the mid-strap has velcro so you can loosen it if needed. That day I got on the computer and ordered some. I found that Koh'*s had the best price and they were so much cheaper than my Kauai slippa's I normally get. They weren't in color I liked, but I thought these were neutral enough to go with anything. I also loved the tread on them and the comfort too.
Now I don't think we'll be going back to the Islands this year, but we do hike here and walk quite a bit.  I was really surprised that Skechers made these~I've bought their tennis shoes before, but these are so great, that I will rethink their shoes in the future.  I give them a ten star rating. I haven't received anything in exchange for this review~just wanted to share a good pair of sandals with you'all.
I am off to take my sewing machine back in to the shop that tuned it up because I'm having trouble with the tension.  Thankfully I have our granddaughters machine, that we bought so they could sew here,
that I can use in the mean time.  I hope you have a great day today.  Our spring weather pattern in back-it's pretty in the morning and rains in the afternoon and evening.  Oh well, at least the plants and lawn enjoy it. I have Hunter at my feet whining and telling me it's time to walk.
Hugs,
Noreen