Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Outdoor Wednesday

 On the way to our youngest daughters home, we pass a home that has this incredible flower. I think it may be in the Hibiscus family but I'm not sure.  All I can say is that the blossoms are the size of a large dinner plate.  I am always blown away by the beauty of them and this year is no different. 
I decided that I had to show something to compare the size of the flower; just look at that baby. 
I also love the variegated colors; I realize that we won't have the flowers much longer-once the frost arrives,they will be gone.
Have a wonderful day dear friends.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fall is in the Air

Happy Tuesday!  Well, I would love to tell you that I've been up in the high places this week but this was taken last fall and I just love the Aspen's golden color as well as the photo of one of our 14er's.  For those that are not from Colorado, 14er refers to any peak that is above 14,000 feet and we have many.  There is something about the Rockies that thrills my soul  and even photos can refresh me. 
I think everyone needs a place like that; for my sweet man he would definitely say it is the Islands and that he'd live there in a heartbeat.  How about you?  Do you have a favorite place that offers you peace and brings a new perspective to you whole spirit?
If you can get out and enjoy the sunshine today, by all means do.   To those on the East Coast, know that prayers are going up for you each day.
Blessings, Noreen

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Monday

Good Morning dear friends,  I hope you had a delightful weekend filled with smiles, laughter and joy.  My heart goes out to those on the east coast and many are lifting you up in prayer. 
Our weekend was one of relaxed days and fun times; we met some friends that we were close to when our girls were toddlers and whom we haven't seen in 28 yrs. What a fun evening we had, catching up on our adult children and sharing life.  It amazes me that there were so many things I didn't know about this couple; we used to trade babysitting for weekends away-one month it would be their turn to go away and the next month would be our turn.  One year we even traded a week away, but as I recall I had to get home to my babies by day 5.  It was a wonderful arrangement that only lasted a couple of years and then they moved to our beautiful Colorado. I am hoping that our reunion becomes a rekindling of our friendship. 
Sunday was a very laid back day and I can honestly say I don't think I accomplished much besides laundry.
Hubby is off golfing this morning so I'm not sure what I'll do today, maybe go offer to hold some sick grandbabies.
The most interesting thing here is that we had rain during the night-I mean it poured.  So unusual for this time of year. 
Have a great day and no matter what the weather, find something to give thanks for.
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, August 26, 2011

Memories of Teen Years

When I was fourteen, my sister and her fiance took me out for a drive one Sunday to a destination that was a surprise to me.  I had recently lost the dog of my childhood and was terribly lonely; little did I know they were taking me to a kennel to look at puppies.  At the time, my dream dog was a cocker spaniel and although there were cocker puppies there, my sister led me away from them to a group of puppies that were terriers.  We were told that the puppies we were looking at were Cairn terriers and although they might have had Cairn in them I know that they weren't pure bred.  The kennel was what we would now refer to as a puppy mill even though it was somewhat clean and the dogs looked healthy, there was every breed represented.  We ended up getting a scraggy looking puppy who stayed by himself at the back of the run and although I wasn't sure at first, I fell in love with him quickly. I named him Aristotle, Ari for short.  My friends laughed at his messy look and even the dog trainer at our obedience class laughed at him and thought he'd never learn anything.  Boy, did Ari show him-he quickly became the star of the class and we even graduated early because he was such a quick learner.  I taught him agility before anyone knew what it was-except for service dogs.  Ari was so devoted to me and vice versa; he was a typical terrier in that when I left for a weekend he would stop eating.  He didn't like children, probably because he wasn't around them.  When I would go on bike rides I would have him heel next to the bike and he loved it.  I was very insecure and didn't have a lot of friends but I always had my sweet Ari to keep me company.  He would play hide and seek with me; as long as he was with me, life was good. When the first Benji movie came out, I couldn't believe that Ari looked just like Benji.  Ari lived to almost 15 and it was so hard to make that dreaded decision.  There have been many dogs in my life and I have loved all of them but there are three that really had my heart~my Ari,Sammy and our Sadie.  I am thankful for each dog that we've had, for they've all taught me something.
Sweet Reggie continues to hang in there with no signs of any brain tumor; we will continue to watch & monitor his behavior but for now we just enjoy his devotion.
Have a wonderful weekend friends.  Noreen

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greetings friends,  How are you this wonderful Thursday?   It is a beautiful day here and started out with cool breezes which made our walking very pleasant this morning.  Right now it is a warm 82.8 degrees with highs predicted to be in the high 90's today; we've turned on our a/c early because we have friends coming for dinner later today and we want to the house to be cool.  Usually I don't turn it on until the late afternoon but today we decided earlier is better.  So I am thankful that we have a/c; this is the first home we've ever had it in and our ceiling fan in our master bedroom seems to be having issues-actually we think the motor is getting really tired.  In lieu of that, a/c comes in really handy because I don't think I could sleep without some sort of cool air blowing.  I am thankful we live in the area we do and for each day.  I am thankful that I see a hint of fall in the plants and feel it in the air.  I am thankful for our dear friends who first grandchild is due next week, a little boy.  What fun they will have; I'm thankful for the internet so that they can send up photos since we aren't there.  I am thankful that I can clean wood floors with vinegar and water and not fuss with expensive cleaners.  I am thankful I get to get a hair cut/color done today-it always makes me feel good.  I am so excited and thankful that we are meeting some friends for dinner Sat. that we knew when we had young children and haven't seen in 27 yrs; they moved to Colorado and live about an hour from us and this is the first time we've managed to get a date on the calendar.  We've got a lot of catching up to do.
Have a day filled with gratitude-for the little as well as the big things.
Blessings, Noreen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I love flowers and Glad's are no exception.  My mom always had Glads inside because my sweet dad always planted them for her.  Before you get to thinking I'm a master-gardener, I am not and these were purchased at the market yesterday.  I love the deep purple color and they are in my mom's favorite crystal vase.  It amazes me how something so simple can evoke such memories and the older I get the more that seems to happen. 
To all those who were impacted by the earthquake, please know I've been in a major one and you will be fine.  Of course you haven't seen me when I'm in a mall and the floor starts to vibrate-I immediately start looking around for the exits. 
Have a delightful Wednesday dear friends,  Noreen

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Greetings to you,  Well it is another beautiful day in Colorado, with promises of high temps later today.  I began my day with walking approximately 2.5 miles and then doing strength training exercises with my friend.  I had hoped that once we established our routine the exercises would get easier or at least more enjoyable.  I can tell you they haven't but isn't that like any discipline, it will yield benefits in due season. 
My day is filled with normal errands etc., things like purchasing some baby outfits for our dear friends first grandson, housecleaning, grocery shopping, some quilting and maybe even some reading, that is after I've caught up with all of you.
My devotional this morning was so relevant that I have to share it with you.
From Sarah Young's Jesus Calling for August 23rd:  "Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care.  They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.  If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one-as well as yourself.  Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac.  I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship.  Both  Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father's undisciplined emotions.  I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.    When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.  As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.  My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.  This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me.  Watch to see what I will do."
I don't know about you but this really spoke to me today; do you have a prodigal in your life that you need to release to the One who loves them more than life itself?
At the foot of the cross,  Noreen

Monday, August 22, 2011

Puppy Love

This weekend hubby and I joined some friends and went to a large AKC dog show in a neighboring city.
I've been to some really small dog obedience trials but nothing like this show.  Apparently it is rated in the top 10 in the country and we spent the morning looking at all sorts of breeds.  The two dogs above are Border Terriers and I took this photo for my brother and sil because they have a sweet little Border.
Before you worry that something has happened to our Reggie, he is hanging in there, defying all the odds; we are grateful for his continued pain free days.

This is one of the breeds I had considered at one point, isn't he just adorable.  Can't say I've seen too many puppies that aren't but we have decided Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers are just a little too much for us. I sure enjoyed holding him though and I think my hubby looks so cute with him.
Sunday was spent working on the window well issue and hubby finally got the plumbing worked out and installed; next step is getting the sump pump and hooking that up, filling in the wells with all the dirt and rock we took out and then we will have worry free rainy days.
I hope you had a productive weekend but also some giggles and smiles mixed in.
Blessings to you this Monday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Happy Friday to you!  We had a delightful evening last night with five of our grands; they brought dinner(so mom and dad could go out), we went on a nice walk, ate watermelon outside on the sidewalk and had a great time together.  Such fun!!!! 
This morning I went out searching for treasures and bargains with my friend and we didn't find much; I got a shirt for .25 cents, a small crystal clock for our master bathroom-so I can actually see what time it is if I'm going somewhere, a Christmas decoration and a child's book.  Then on the way home we spotted a Farmer's Market at a small independent grocery store so stopped.  They had fresh corn, cantalop, watermelons, peaches, potatos etc...all locally grown.  I ended up getting my girl, Kim, a case of peaches because they were such a good price and now that she knows how to can them and they are so yummy, she'll get another twelve quarts done for their pantry.   The photo above is something I had never seen before and I'm hoping that it wasn't just a scam.  The Farmer's Market called this a Hedge Ball and said that it isn't edible or poisonous but it naturally repels spiders and other insects.  The directions were to put it in a bowl on your window sill or any area where you have issues with spiders; when all the green is gone you simply throw it out.  I loved the look of this and thought it was work a try, if for no other reason than it is interesting.
I can almost hear some of you laughing at what a gulible gal I am. 
This weekend should be a nice relaxed one; we are going out to lunch with some friends but other than that, I'm thinking we are pretty wide open.
Have a wonderful weekend dear friends.  Noreen

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Greetings to you this Thursday.  I hope you have all had a week filled with gratitude and joy, even in those tough moments.  I'm a bit slow this morning because yesterday hubby and I went on a long, I mean long, bike ride.  How long you ask?  Well we rode almost 21 miles and because we had ridden this trial before it seemed longer than the first time we rode it.  Of course, we rode a an extra two plus miles; it was a beautiful day, the weather was almost perfect until the end when it started to sprinkle on us.  The last time we rode this particular trial, we came home and collapsed due to the heat but yesterday wasn't so bad.  I'm just hoping that these legs of mine are trimming up a bit.

Just finished this library book and it was a good read.  I love all things Amish and always jump at the chance to read any books about them; this was an easy read and I think I'll read more in this series.
Today as I reflected on my life, I am so thankful to be able to physically go on bike rides, walks etc.  There are so many people fighting for their health and their very life, that I'm grateful to be able to be active.
I am so thankful that our daughters live in close proximity to us.  I am thankful to be able to share the joys of watching their kiddos grow up and to help whenever we are needed. I am thankful for abundant fruit to can and the fun in canning with our girls.  I am thankful they have chosen to live here. I am thankful that they are blessed to be stay at home moms and that they saw the value of homeschooling. 
I am thankful for all the many sacrifices my dear man has made, over the years, to provide for us and the sacrifices he continues to make for me.
I am thankful for another week of grace with our Reggie.
I am thankful for some new blogging friends I've gotten to know this week.
Blessings on you this day, Noreen

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Outdoor Wednesday

 One of the wonderful things about our area is the Pelicans that arrive in the spring and stay until fall.  We've wanted to get a photo of one landing but so far haven't been able to.
The numbers are dwindling but we spotted these guys on our bike ride the other day.  We also saw an eagle last week but didn't have our camera...bummer. 
I'm walking in a few minutes and then hubby and I will be going on a ride later this morning. 
Have a wonderful day!  Noreen

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peaches For Winter

 Yesterday my youngest daughter, her oldest Miss S and I put up our first batch of fruit this year, namely Colorado Peaches.  We haven't canned since we lived in California and although 3.5 yrs isn't that long, when you don't can very often you can forget a lot. With two of us it went well and Kim got about a dozen quarts of peaches; she is already talking about our next batch.
 At six years old, Miss S wanted to be right there helping every step of the way.

Once the baby got up from her nap, she just wanted to be held-oh what is a nana to do?
 The first batch...I can just taste them already.  My girl did such a good job!!
 The joy  of daughters and the blessing of them carrying on skills and traditions.
I had forgotten how much easier it is to have an extra set of hands to join in the work.  Of course the fellowship is incredible also. I imagine next our oldest, Carrie, will want to join the fun too and do some canning for her gang.  When I grew up my mom always canned Apricots but unfortunately I was never interested in learning the process.  It wasn't until two girlfriends, twin sisters, taught me how to can that it became something the girls and I did each summer.  I never did can vegetables, in fact they scare me a bit but I well remember Y2K~we canned at least 75-100 pounds of fruit, just in case.
Blessings on your day,  Noreen

Monday, August 15, 2011

From My Bookshelf

Happy Monday Friends,  You all know my mind has been on dogs lately and blogville lost another one of our canine friends this last Sat.  My friend, Kim at Life at Golden Pines, lost her precious golden Rudi.  Heart felt sympathy was sent her way this weekend; it is so difficult to face the end of days with a beloved pet.
This last week I read Betty & Tom's book, which has been out for many years and it was so touching; had me in the first chapter.  I have long known that Betty White is an animal lover and advocate and supports so many worthwhile organizations but this shed a new light on her home and her dogs.  If you are in the need of a good read, check this book out.
We had a relaxed weekend and even found time for a ten mile bike ride yesterday; the weather was perfect and we so enjoyed ourselves.  I'm hoping to get in another sometime this week.
Have a productive day today and remember to grab life with gusto for it passes us by too quickly.
Hugs,  Noreen

Friday, August 12, 2011

For  any of you looking for good videos to watch this weekend, I would highly suggest this one. Last spring, hubby and I watched this young gal, Bethany Hamilton, on one of the talk shows. I was impressed with her courage,faith and determination to continue on with surfing after a shark took off her arm.  Here's a confession for you~every time hubby and I snorkel in the islands I am constantly scanning the waters for you know what-yep a shark.  In fact, I'm sure I've missed some beautiful fish just being cautious. Of course the setting in the movie is in my hubby's all time favorite location, Hawaii. This is a movie even kids would like. 
Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you find grace in the moment.
Blessings,  Noreen

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today is Thankful Thursday and Laurie at is hosting our weekly gathering; please drop by and say hello.
Our geographical area is high plains and  we have many ranches and farms locally. Much of the corn grown here is for bio-fuel but in August, the farmers market sell sweet corn and there is nothing like it.  I always love driving past the fields and looking at the rows and rows of cornstalks.  Some are crowded while others are straight rows that you can imagine walking down. I think part of the orientation depends on what the corn is used for.  Monday as hubby and I came home from our daughter's, we stopped at a ranch and bought a dozen ears. Upon arriving home, I immediately cut the corn off the stalk and put it in heavy duty freezer bags for the winter.  We did this two years ago and loved having healthy fresh-frozen corn; at least it tasted better than something you'd get in the freezer department of a market.  I stopped buying frozen produce years ago, just due to the additives and in the winter the fresh vegetables are limited so this is a welcome addition to any meal.
I've already been walking and may ride my bike to the library to return one book.  I've still got two others that I'm halfway through. 
I am thankful for the abundant riches that He graciously pours out on His children.  I am thankful that hubby and I were able to get more dirt dug out from the window wells yesterday, in the cooler weather.  I am thankful that we are healthy enough to do manual labor.  I am thankful for prayers being answered in the lives of many.  I am thankful for family and friends and you!
Hugs today, Noreen

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From My Bookshelf

Last week I saw this book at the library and checked it out. You all know that I love anything about dogs so this is no surprise; I also got a book about Bette White's work with dogs.  Scent of the Missing is the story of Susannah Charleson and her golden retriever, Puzzle. The stories are true and show the bond and partnership between a human and a working dog and the intricate relationships within the search and rescue community; in this case they are out of Texas.  I have long been interested in SAR(search and rescue) but after reading this book, I have such high regard and respect for the work they do.  The training is much more intense than I ever knew and the work itself is taxing.  This was a book I didn't want to put down and one I'd highly recommend.
Reggie slept well last night which means I did too and I'm thankful for it.  Our day has dawned with overcast skies and we haven't experienced this is awhile; I know walking will be pleasant  this morning.
I hope you are all having a fine week and finding bits & pieces of time to stop and enjoy life.
Blessings, Noreen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A bright and cheery hello to all my friends~I have to say however, that I am not as bright as I'd like to be this morning; you see our old Reggie had a  very restless  night, unusually so, and panting heavily for over an hour(which seemed like forever).  He just didn't seem to be able to get comfortable but finally settled on his bed.  He has gotten up and walked around before but not like last night and that concerned me.  When he finally laid down on his bed though, he was out.  This morning both hubby and I were up and normally he'll get up as soon as he hears us but hubby had to wake him and then it took about 5 minutes before he came downstairs.  As I look at him this morning, he appears fine; he ate a good breakfast but doesn't like the natural, organic peanut butter that I hide his pill in. He prefers the traditional brands, you know the kind where it sticks to your spoon.  I don't know whether this behavior was just due to his age or if it was his body showing signs of his illness. 
On a more positive note, hubby and I are going to have a weeks vacation in beautiful Washington state in Oct.  We will be meeting friends in Seattle and then staying on San Juan island and Orca island.  We haven't been to this area before and it should be a great trip.  I have only been to Seattle once, so am now investigating sights to see among them is Pike's Marketplace.  If any of you have favorite places that are must see for either the islands or Seattle, I'd love to hear about them. It is still quite a ways off but a girl can get excited early, can't she?
I'm off to walk and then do strength training-got to build those bones up; for any who think this is a hard workout, I've got to say it isn't-just don't like it that much but if it helps my bones then I'll do it.
Have a blessed day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Monday

Greetings to you this new Monday, I had hoped to post this morning, early, but our internet was giving us fits so had to wait til now.  It has been a full day thus far; my walking buddy is back from her vacation so we hit the path first thing this morning.  After that I went to bible study and had a great time with just five of us ladies.  This afternoon I think will be spent on chores-laundry, straightening up etc. 
I keep running to the vets every week for more meds; I know it sounds silly but I only want to get a week-ten days pills at a time.  He seems to be hanging in there, no issues that we can see and until it changes he is enjoying a slow, lazy life. 
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, got some rest and maybe cool weather and are starting the week out fresh.
Until tomorrow, Noreen

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Friday

Yesterday hubby and I walked through a local sculpture park that we had heard lots about.
 Aren't these turtles just amazing!
 A surprise~a heron in the water next to the trail.
 This piece was incredible-the artist was amazing; it was so life like.

 I would love to have this fellow in my garden.

 I can see children grabbing the hands ready to play.
Loved this grandma sitting in the shade.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with smiles and laughter.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good morning friends,  Can you believe it is the first Thursday in August already?  Many of you have children starting school again, where did the summer go?  I well remember those days when my girls were in public school and how I dreaded the beginning of the school year.  You see, I was never a mom who relished my girls going off to school; in fact we always had bible study in the morning before school and I counted the hours until they returned.  I'm not saying that is because my girls were perfect, I'm just saying it seemed more natural to have them home with me.  I'm not saying I didn't enjoy my time with friends or the fellowship of others but in my heart of hearts I always felt that they needed to be in our home; in fact due to the strong willed personality of one of our girls, a friend told me it was probably the best for her to be home so that I could deal with it.  Our days of homeschooling were some of the sweetest years of our family and drew us closer than anything else.  To instill a love of learning, to find joy in the midst of struggles, to inspire excellence in all that we do-this was what it was all about.
So this TT, I am especially thankful for the years when our girls lived at home, until their marriages.
I am thankful for the years of homeschooling and the close relationships to each other that it fostered.
I am thankful that there are so many excellent educational activities that can be pursued, that they lacked nothing.  I am thankful that we were part of a private school and they had tons of socialization.  I am thankful for the fruit it produced in both their lives and how they are carrying the torch with their own families.
I am thankful that I have the privilege to be their mom and for the joy of being a nana.  I am thankful that learning isn't restricted to institutions.  I am thankful for living history.  I am thankful that I was able to nurture their individual learning styles and teach them things beyond the 3R's.  I am so thankful for the close bond we still share-they are my best friends, encourager's, helpers and incredible women of God.
So today, I am thankful for the precious role the Father graciously gave me.  I well remember I thought I wanted boys; He knew I needed girls but gave me two boys as grandsons. I am thankful that although I was certainly lacking in training for being a mom, He gently taught me all I needed to know.
I am thankful for more time with our Reggie and for the love and support so many friends in blogland have given me.
How about you, what are you thankful for today? Please stop by Laurie's place, and read more TT posts.
Blessings, Noreen

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Outdoor Wednesday

 We always know that August is here because all over our lovely town, sunflowers are in bloom and this year we even had two plants spring up in our backyard.
Our flowers have reached their peak and will begin to die back.  The Cicadas have arrived with their song and as old wives tales go, it will be six weeks til the first frost.  We have thunder showers more regularly and the humidity is up.
Hubby and I went on a 9.5 mile bike ride this morning, around our town lake and it was very nice.  Of course, I am dripping wet right now and a cold shower sounds really good.
All in all, life is good; our Reggie holds strong.
Stop and admire the beauty of your area.
Hugs, Noreen

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Passing on traditions

You all know that since childhood, I've always been interested in crafts-not very good mind you, but still interested.  I've done just about everything there is except weaving and spinning and my longest interest has been quilting.  I love hand quilting but never got good at applique; but my youngest girl not only quilts but machine quilts and does applique. It is no surprise then that her firstborn, little Miss S age 6, should be interested in quilting, applique as well as knitting.  Today when I was over, Miss S and I sat down and I was able to show her how nana quilts; this is the beginning of a nature scene.  I didn't realize that I need to formulate specifics when teaching the grands how to stitch but I do.  I'm so very proud of her work and if she is starting at this age, I think she'll have it mastered by her middle years-I see some fair ribbons for my granddaughters in the future for they all love to create with fabric.
Enjoy your day my friends,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy August

Where has the summer gone?  Part of the problem could be that the month of June was unusally wet but when summer did arrive, it arrived with heat.  Of course the month of July has been filled with the care of  our Reggie who seems to be handling life as it comes.  Each day is a gift with him!
Yesterday hubby and I and another couple went on an 18 mile bike ride.  It was wonderful; the path was paved and it ran along the river but I can honestly say that by the time we got home I was pretty exhausted-of course it could have been from the heat as well.  This morning I have bible study and then a girlfriend and I are going out to lunch.  Our week looks pretty open right now but I always think that. 
Have a blessed day dear friends,