Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th of July 2015

To all those who valiantly sacrifice their lives for our freedom, again I salute you!
After having returned from our trip to Ireland, we are again struck with the fact that America is the greatest nation on earth and I'm proud to be an American.
I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating our nation.  We will be at a big party at our daughter's
home; we've missed it for a number of years and it will be fun to see the kids all enjoying the fireworks and fun.  Good food, family, grands and fun and freedom-what more could you ask for.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Riches of His Blessings

"Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise."

Happy Thursday to you.  For many it is a short work week and tomorrow starts the festivities.  Recently, our oldest daughter Carrie and hubby Brent, had this family photo taken.  We just loved it and of course loved the sentiment below it.  We are so very blessed by both our daughters, sil's and their kiddos-our precious grands.  
Today, hubby is working with the two boys in this photo on the roof of a climbing structure.  Originally it was made of canvas, but in the high Colorado wind and heat, a decision was made to do it in wood.  They have been working on it this week, in the hopes of getting it done for their annual 4th of July party.  I think they will have it finished.  Tomorrow, hubby and I are having a gathering of some of our neighbors, to welcome a new couple onto the block.  We are hoping it won't be too hot, because murphy's law took effect this week when we found out our a/c was broken.  Ugh!  This morning we ordered a new one, but it won't be here until next Thursday.  I've dusted and straightened the house, need to vacume and polish the floors besides getting food together tomorrow.  It will be simple-wine/tea/water and appetizers.  Right now, I'm going out to dead-head my roses and other flowers and then will polish the floor later.  I hope whatever you've got planned for the 4th will bring a childlike wonder to your spirit.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Just A Few More

It's outdoor Wednesday and I'm enjoying our nice warm weather; didn't go to the pool today, had to help a friend with wedding decorations for her daughter. My days are so busy, but not a huge amount of things to blog I keep going back to our photos and pulling ones I didn't share while we were on the trip. Hope you enjoy!

Below is peat-which they used in past years to heat the houses; some folks still use it today.

As we shared out photos from the trip with our family last night, it was like reliving it again.  Simply loved the land, the people and the animals.  We have numerous photos we'd like to have enlarged and hang; just need to decide which pictures to use. 
Hope you have a fantastic day and find time for a joy!
Hugs, Noreen

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wild Rhododendrons

When we lived in California, two of our favorite bushes were Azaleas and Rhododendrons, we had them in our yards all of our married lives. You can imagine how disappointed we were when we moved to Colorado, only to find out that they didn't do well here. I'm sure there might be areas of Colorado where they grow, just not in our area. Bummer! We'll we had previously seen photos of Wild Rhododendrons growing on the walls or side of the road in Ireland. It took us days of driving, going on adventures before we finally spotted some. OH, they were glorious. Many were the shade of purple that we had in Sonoma County and we also saw Azaleas. Be still my heart.

It was quite surprising then when we were on the Horse and Cart ride at Muckross House that the fellow told us they are taking over hillsides and trees and killing some of the landscape.  Really?  We saw hillsides that had a purple tint and it was from the Rhododendrons.  I really didn't realize they could be so invasive and destroy other trees and plants.  I guess many things in life are like that-it might be something good occasionally, but too much of it isn't.   I  still love these plants and the beauty. 
It's like the Oregano that was growing in my flower bed-a good thing if you use it for cooking, but it totally took over the bed.  Then this weekend when we were gardening, I sat pulling it up from the area between each piece of flagstone-it was a pain. 
Well, I'm off to walk Hunter and then to join my girls at the pool for swim lessons, lunch and more swimming.  I hope you have a fantastic Tuesday.
Joy to you.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Little More Of Ireland

Good Morning to you!  I hope you had a great weekend, filled with relaxation and enjoyment in some of your favorite activities.  Our weekend was production~we got the new plants put in the garden, cleaned up the patio, cleandc up our upper deck plus a little R&R.  Hubby and I actually hit the pool Saturday afternoon, alone, which is pretty unusual for us.  I always prefer to go with the grands. There were some fun things we saw in Ireland that I thought I'd share.  Love this sign, especially it being in the colors of the flag.
 Got to love this one!

 I didn't get to enjoy any of these treats, but had enough desserts to last a lifetime or maybe just a month.  I'd love to say I didn't gain any weight, but I gained a couple of pounds-which just means that I have to get out and exercise it off.
 Love these door signs.

 This was in a pub-loved that it was authentic.
 Such an incredible salad; can't remember where I had this, but I think I could live on this salad for a week or two.  One of the best salads I had while there; in fact, once I ordered a Caesar and it was mixed greens, cucumber and Parmesan cheese with no dressing. 
Some of the funny expressions were Pancake=Popcake.  Amach=exit, Traffic Calming=reduced speed, Slip Road=Expressway.  A typical Irish breakfast included Scrambled Eggs(sometimes fried eggs), Bacon-but there bacon would be our ham slices, hash brown potatoes, sauasage, broiled tomatoes, mushrooms, plus an assortment of pancakes/breads as well as yogurt and an assortment of fruits. I found that if I asked many of the hotels had gluten free bread; in southern Ireland they referred to anything gluten free as Celiac, but in northern Ireland/Belfast it was simply Gluten Free.
  One cute business we saw, but I couldn't get a photo from the car was
Paws Tea Room-a pet friendly tea room.
Well, that's about it for today.  I'm off to walk with Kam and then to meet my girls and grands at swim lessons. It is supposed to get up to 90 today, so maybe I'll be at the pool this afternoon.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What A Summer Storm

Happy Friday to you. Here in Colorado, we get summer storms and for the most part every afternoon we have thunder and a bit of rain. Seven years ago, we had the tornado that destroyed much of our town and since then hubby and I always seem to be away been there has been a bad storm with hail etc. However, last night we were home and wow is all we can say. The thunder and lightning started in the afternoon and followed its typical pattern. We went to bed and were awakened by my cell phone receiving emergency alerts about the electrical storm. Now I am not one that is undone by lightning and thunder, unless it is followed by large hail. There has been a few tornado sightings and touchdowns here in Colorado this week, so I always watch for large pieces of hail. We had so much lightning last night-it was crazy! Our girl and I were texting and she had a lightning strike on their street. Of course, we had rain and hail too, but it wasn't too big. The storm lasted probably 1-1.5 hrs. I wasn't sure what to expect this morning when I went out to investigate; of course yesterday was my morning that I ran to the nursery and got plants. Before I went out, I figured they were toast. You can imagine how thankful I was when I saw that they were no worse for wear. I figured my rain gauge would be toast with the hail, but was pleased that it wasn't. Will you look at how much rain we got in a short time. Of course, I know many areas of the country are having storms that make this look like a shower.
Our Dogwood bush is normally upright and tall, not this morning.
The same with our tree-the limbs never reach the grass.
 My new Hosta and Hydrangea weren't impacted at all.
I did notice that the mosquitoes are really bad this morning, so I've already sprayed myself before taking Hunter for his walk.  Hubby and I get our eyes checked this morning and then the rest of the day will be misc. jobs. 
I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
Joy to you~
Noreen & Hunter

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Good Morning to you!  I pray that your week has been blessed and filled with love and joy.  There are so many things to give thanks for each day and it is often so easy to just let our gratitude slide.  So here's my list:
I am thankful that we are back home after an incredible trip.
I am so thankful that hubby gave us this trip; it was such an incredible adventure, once in a lifetime.
I am thankful that I was able to see the land where my grandparents, great grandparents, ....up the line, lived and dwelled.
I am thankful for the protection, though unseen, around us while we traveled.
I am thankful to be able to come home to loved ones and a pup that makes our life so much fun.
I am thankful for the beauty of our area.
I am thankful for grace poured out on me.
I am thankful for life!

Today I again woke up at 3:00 a.m. and was up at 5:30.  I'm hoping that my body rhythm gets back into sinc soon.  I am heading to the garden store today to get some bedding flowers and a few plants.  I could not believe how much all of our plants have grown while we were away-probably the combo of rain and heat.  While I was gone, my daughter texted me that we had blueberry bushes-I thought "what?", but apparently there are also blueberry trees-and if she is correct, we have three in our back yard.  It would be so fun to have the berries, make some jam or just use them in salads etc.
I don't remember them being blue last year, but we were gone for a week in August and it might just have missed my attention. 
So, I keep trying to get around to everyone, but life gets in the way-know I'll get there soon though. I'm off to walk Hunter now.
Consider yourself hugged.