Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Patriotic Gift

My friend, Cindy from http://www.consideringitalljoy.com  recently had a give away and I won!
If you don't know Cindy, you should go say hello-she is one of the sweetest, kindest woman I know!
She sent me a beautiful card, a small red Patriotic clock, two dish towels that I love, flag note cards and a Fresh Scent packet to add to your vacuum or just put in a closet for a wonderful smell.
I have made the dearest of friends here in blogville and I'm so very thankful for each one of you.
Thank you Cindy for such wonderful gifts!
Blessings to you on your day!
Love, Noreen

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

To all those who have served our country and dedicated their lives for our freedom and have given so much~                               
                                                 WE SALUTE AND THANK YOU



With Gratitude!
Noreen

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

                  Celebrate, Honor and Remember

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Trying New Recipes

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a great weekend and got to enjoy some time doing some of your favorite things.  Our weather reminded us of Northern California and especially the coastal areas-lots of fog and drizzle.   Yesterday was a quiet day, with the same type of weather.  We did some  housecleaning and I even made a new recipe for dinner.  It is a gluten free and a low carb Orange Chicken.  My daughter makes Orange Chicken all the time and this recipe looked pretty easy, so thought I'd give it a try.  Instead of using regular flour, it called for Coconut Flour which I use regularly; I will say that I'd try another gluten free flour next time as I thought the texture was a bit grainy or gritty.  I also forgot to get Sesame Seeds at the store, so substituted Sesame Oil and it was fine.  I served it over Jasmine Rice and the sauce really worked well.  I will have to tweak this in the future, but it is a good alternative to our regular chicken dishes.
Today I'm having a friend over for lunch; she's moving to Pa. to work for Cure International with her hubby.  I'll be making Quinoa salad, with chicken and also have fresh berries.  I want to get all caught up on their move; it will be Harrisburg's gain and our loss.
I hope you are getting some spring weather, because this week it will be raining and cold here; however by the weekend, spring should be back.
Blessings on your day!
Noreen

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Gratitude

Hunter here; mom said today is Thankful Thursday so I decided to hijack the blog, because I want to share just how thankful I am for my mom and dad. Dad was up early the other day and woke me by taking a picture of how comfy my sleeping quarters are. When I came to live with my parents, my mom wanted me sleeping in a crate, but my dad said no-I was just to small and needed to be on the bed with them. I made sure I kissed him after that. So each night I get to snuggle up with them and keep them warm. Mom doesn't understand why I had to have my leg on her head and my bum right there too; she said can't you please keep your head up near the pillows.

I know this takes a lot of love to let me sleep like this and I'm so thankful for them. I have the best family ever. I really love my cousins-and of course the kids are good too. I can't imagine life anywhere else. The two things I don't like are going to the groomer~she's really nice, but I don't like it. I also don't like going to the vet, nope not one bit. Mom says I should be thankful that we have enough money to go to both.
 I hope you have a lot to be thankful for!
Hunter

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sins of the Past Review

You all know how I love to read and last weekend I got a new book to review from Bethany House. A bonus was that there were three novella's from a couple of my all time favorite authors. It was a win-win situation! They were all fast reads and just such great plots.  Let me share their descriptions of the stories and my honest opinion.

Dani Pettrey is an author I only discovered in the last year or two, but I love her stories because most of them are set in Alaska.  Her characters are rich and believable as well as charming.  You know I fell in love with Alaska years ago, but only got to visit there three years ago.  Dani takes you into the surroundings and keeps you captivated by the unfolding suspenseful storyline.  
Shadowed by Dani Pettrey
Dani Pettrey returns to Yancey, Alaska, introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. 
Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of a open water swimming competitor and possible Russian defector. Turning to a college friend of the woman, the two begin to try and solve her death.

I have been a long time fan of Dee Henderson and have read all of her series. She always kept me on the edge of my seat and I loved her stories.  However, her last book wasn't quite up to par, so it was wonderful to see her writing closer to what she started out with.  I always felt like her characters were family or friends and the plots were mysterious.  This story is the same; kept me going until the very end with twists and turns. Well done, Dee.
Also featuring Missing by Dee Henderson — Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.
I was not familiar with Lynette Eason stories before, but I enjoyed this story equally.  I could identify with the characters and loved the romance that weaved through the storyline.  I will definitely be looking for more of her books.
And Blackout by Lynette Eason — the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found–but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?
I would highly recommend this book!  I received it without any compensation, from Bethany House, for my honest review.
I would give this book a 5 star rating.
Noreen

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Honest Kitchen Proper Toppers

Happy Monday. Hunter and I are sharing a new food item with you today. As a # Chewy Influencer, we are always thrilled to try new products out. You wouldn't believe how excited Hunter gets when the Fed-Ex guy drops the box at our door. 


 



  • Love the size and they are so easy to break up!



The Honest Kitchen Proper Toppers let you top off your pup’s meal with crispy morsels of real meat and delicious whole foods with their Grain-Free Turkey Recipe Dog Food Topper. Each bite is filled with 90% cage-free turkey meat and the superfood power of apples, pumpkin, chard and blueberries plus added vitamins and minerals. These dehydrated clusters can be added as a topper to your pet’s usual dinner or served on their own with a splash of water for a complete, all-natural meal.
Key Benefits
  • Makes a great grain-free topping or treat
  • 90% real human-grade turkey
  • Contains no by-products or preservatives
  • No corn, wheat, soy or GMO ingredients
  • Made in the USA

    Ingredients

    Dehydrated turkey, dried apples, dehydrated pumpkin, dehydrated chard, dried blueberries, tricalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement.

    Hunter loves these morsels and it is the first thing in his dish that he eats.
    I will definitely be ordering more Proper Toppers; I feel so good knowing he is getting rich supplements and natural products in his kibble.  
    WE love Mr. Chewy  here: www.chewy.com
    You won't regret shopping there.  We were provided this sample for our honest opinion and review; we received no compensation from Chewy.

     Noreen and Hunter

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

Copper at 4 Months

Happy Friday to you! Yesterday afternoon I went over to my girl's house to visit and enjoy the incredible day. I wanted some new pics of Copper, because she is now 4 mos old. She is still a beauty and full of puppy energy. I couldn't get her to stand in one spot(without being leashed), so forgive the first pic. She is growing quickly and still will relax as long as she can see her family.  Hunter was with me and the day was so warm that the dogs didn't play tag like they normally do.
Trying to get a photo to gauge her size.


The family is looking for dog training classes for Copper and that will be fun too. They are also talking about Agility; I would love to participate with Hunter~I never thought about him doing agility, but have seen a Bichon in competition and it gave me some hope. It would be great to set up a course for Copper, Lily and Hunter.
I was awake this morning from 3:00-6:00 and am low on energy right now.  We have a few things we need to do today, but I'm thinking it's going to be a laid back day!
Hugs and Happy Weekend.
Noreen

Thursday, May 5, 2016

America Wake Up

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful that our country was founded on Christian principles. I am thankful that each year many Christians gather to pray for this great nation. I am thankful for the freedom to gather and pray in public places. More than ever before in the history of our great Nation, we need to pray for our country.


We are in a time when the outcome of the Presidential Race will determine which way our country heads. I'm not going to talk politics here, but I am going to remind those who consider themselves Christians to pray like never before. In the past, Christians are often apathetic~we can't afford to be apathetic any longer. We don't need to go to a gathering today, but can spend the day prayer where ever you are, over our country and its leadership.
Humbly,
Noreen

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Outdoor Wednesday

Greetings from Colorado! It's a beautiful spring day here today and I've already walked a bit over three miles, but have to go out later and take Hunter.  Our weather this week is incredible, at least until the rain returns Friday.  So I've been spending as much time outdoors as possible.  I don't have a lot going today, other than a six month check up at the dentist. Oh joy, it will be fine if they don't find any issues.
I will be around to visit you this afternoon-
until then, TTFN
Noreen

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