Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Good morning, I hope the beginning of your week has been productive and smoothe! Our trip has been good-we made it to Reno in 14 hrs and then our pace relaxed.  Our first day was spent in Nevada City, hubby spent time with Steve visiting his brother and Shelley and I went shopping.  Our visit with them was much too short, but it certainly brought back memories of wild fires when we lived in Ca.  There was a wild fire 15 miles from their house and there was almost evacuated; we had a plan in motion for evacuation, but we are so thankful that they didn't need to.  Sunday we had lunch with hubby's family and it was so much fun. His sister had the whole meal gluten free and it was delicious~no one seemed to mind.  We arrived at our friends home in Santa Rosa right around dinner time.  Unfortunately, Jim was dealing with a medical issue and not doing well. Yesterday they had arranged for us to go Zip Lining in the redwoods and Jim couldn't join us, but we had a wonderful time.
Although we've zip lined in the islands, this was totally different. It was so fun! Today, hubby is going golfing while Jim rests at home and Barb & I are going to a fabric shop abut 40 minutes from here.  WE feel so bad for our dear friend.  The two other photos I wanted to share aren't uploading, so here is two.  Canopy Tours in Sonoma County is a wonderful adventure; we loved zip lining and so thankful we got to do it here.  The second shot is of me coming in for a landing, breaking my speed and bracing my legs.
I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Friday to you.  This song started rolling around in my head last night....
California, here we come
Right back where we started from......

I can't pull up the rest of it and don't know where this song was from, but that is how we are feeling. We have 14 hrs ahead of us driving, I know we'll be exhausted by the time we stop for the night. 
Have a fantastic weekend my friends.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Summer Tea Party

Yesterday our two oldest granddaughters hosted a tea party and lunch for the girls in the family, little man was the exception. It was such fun and the girls, ages 10 and soon to be 10, prepared everything for us. This was a full luncheon, as well as craft time.
The food was fantastic~two different types of sandwiches, fresh fruit, muffins, rice crispie treats and tea or water. 

Our two girls decided they wanted to organize, plan and host this party.  As you may remember, we often have tea parties every couple of months and they are learning the skill of hospitality from their moms.
I meant to get pictures of the craft-they made Tutus for their American girl dolls.  They were so cute.
They even had goodie bags for the the younger girls.  So very precious and I am one very proud Nana.
Today we will be getting all our clothes out and doing laundry in preparation for leaving tomorrow.  Our drive on Friday will be very long, but it will be so worth it.  I'm not sure how much I'll be able to be on the computer, but I'll do my best to post and get around.
May your day be joyful.
Hugs, Noreen

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wow Us Wednesday

It's Outdoor Wednesday and I have a fantastic photo to share with you~our daughter's house backs up to open space and they have between 2-4 Owls that hunt and live in the trees in the canyon. When we got back from our trip, they borrowed our telephoto and got this shot; actually they got three shots but this is the best. They have two different types of Owls-one is a Barred Owl(I thought she was meaning Barn Owl,but I was wrong)and also the Great Horned Owl. Love it!

When they moved into their home a year ago, they really felt it was too big and just weren't sure about it; I am pleased to say that now they love it-especially with all the wildlife behind them.
Today, Hunter goes to the groomer and our two oldest granddaughters are hosting a tea for all of us girls.  What good training!
I hope you have a bit of nature in your day and a bit of love.
Joy to you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Cookout Birthday Party

Happy Tuesday to you all. Last Friday night our family gathered for an outdoor cook-out birthday party. In years past, we have all been camping and celebrated Mr. B's birthday around a campfire. This year, the family couldn't work out times to go camping together, so Mr. B decided to have his party in the next best thing- in their back yard. The weather was wonderful and we were told that the only time we could go inside was to use the bathroom.  Here sil is cooking the hotdogs over their fire pit.
The birthday boys-Mr. B turned 12 and Papa turned 63.
Little ones playing on the trampoline.

Rice Crispie treats and S'Mores for dessert.
Mr. B's haul, he is one happy boy.  After presents and dessert, many played frisbee on the lawn. It was a wonderful celebration and best of all, I didn't need to sleep on a air mattress. 
Today we are supposed to get rain.  Don't know what the afternoon will hold for me. 
Hope your day is filled with smiles.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Bridal Shower

Happy Monday to you! In a few weeks, the daughter of my dear friend Kam, is getting married. Four of us gathered together to throw her a bridal shower yesterday. Actually, it was planned while I was in Ireland, so I only did a minor amount of work setting up and helping. It was wonderful; so many ladies gathered to honor and bless the bride. We thought we'd have 30-35 gals, with some kiddos, but in actuality only 27 came. I didn't get a photo of the table with the veges and fruit kabobs, but here are photos of some of the other food and decorations.

Instead of giving out treats to the ladies who came, we set up a candy bar with clear bags so each gal could take home some sweets.  We had more than enough food, even though the gals whose home we had it in thought we might run short.  The bride was given so many nice presents and it was very special to see her surrounded with such love. 
This week will be a busy one as we get ready to head to California, to see  loved ones.  It will be a short trip-just one week and we will be bringing back some dear friends.   They haven't been here to visit in 7 yrs, so we will drive them home with us(an old fashioned roadie)and then they will fly home after a week or so.  It should be such fun!!!  I've got some staples to stock up on and gardening to do, but we are ready for them.  I'm also planning on finding fabric for my next quilt. 
I hope you had a nice weekend and have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Camping Fun at Nana & Papa's

Hello. On Wednesday night, we had seven granddaughters spend the night with us. Hubby and I try to do this every couple of months, but during the school year it gets difficult. The girls still love Papa building a fort for them in the family room downstairs; we decided to add the tent so there was more room for everyone to spread out at bedtime. We had a dinner of sliders and hot dogs, fruit and chips. Miss O, age 7, made these marshmallow pops-they were so yummy. Loved them! The girls watched two movies-Strawberry Shortcake and the new Annie. Bedtime always takes longer than I anticipate, we let them have time reading, talking or looking at books in the tent/fort. They all slept well and were up bright and early this morning.

  I hope you have a great Friday.
BTW- A BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY HUBBY AND GRANDSON MR. B,  who are celebrating birthdays today.  Hubby finally turns 63 and joins me,  Mr. B turns 12.  
We will have a family birthday party tonight with a camping theme.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

From My Kitchen

Happy Thursday to you. Years ago, when my girls were young, I had two friends(identical twin sisters)who were Italian. Their family had owned a well known restaurant in the city where we lived and the gals were great cooks. I had never cooked anything Italian before then from scratch, but soon grew to love Pesto on anything. One summer they shared their family recipe with me and I've been making it ever since. It is amazingly simple and the best part is that besides being delicious, it freezes really well.

I'm sure many of my blogging buddies have similar recipes and I've even tried adding different herbs to it, but I love is with basil. Here is it for your enjoyment.
 Pesto Sauce, yields two cups.
2 Cups fresh basil leaves, tightly pressed
1/2-1 Cup Olive Oil-just enough to process the basil
4 cloves of fresh garlic
 1/2-2/3 Cup Parmesan or Romano Cheese(I've always just used Parmesan)
1/2 tsp. salt(I decrease this to 1/4 tsp.) 1/2 tsp. pepper
~In a blender or food processor, fitted with a steel blade, combine basil, garlic, salt, pepper and oil. ~Process until finely minced
 ~Add cheese and process to mix
 ~Freeze in ice cube trays. From freezer, let thaw to room temp. Do not cook or heat.
 Mix with hot pasta and serve. I had made this and put it in ice cube trays, then when frozen transfered the cubes to ziploc freezer bags; this makes it easy to take out a cube or two for dinner. I also put in it freezer containers, as shown here, for a larger serving. I usually put out Pine-nuts for people to sprinkle on it. My hubby is wild about this recipe and will always help me make it. We've just trimmed our first basil crop today and we have a good amount of Pesto in the freezer.
We also put pesto on chicken or salmon and use it for pizzas.
 Hopefully, in a few weeks, I'll be making another batch. I hope you enjoy this!
 Joy to you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nature's Bounty

Happy Wednesday to you, or as the camels say on t.v. Happy Hump Day. I got my hair cut first thing this morning, it feels so much lighter and I'm happy. Looking through the photos on my IPhone and ran across these beautiful flowers we saw on our trip.  The poppy is glorious.

We've watched our slide show several times now and are still in awe of how beautiful Ireland is. 
I'm heading over to our oldest daughter's to pick basil; I plan on spending several hours making our first batch of pesto for the freezer.  This afternoon we have seven, yes seven, granddaughters coming for a sleepover-should be so much fun!!!  I'll probably be tired tomorrow though.
I hope you are finding beauty and joy in your life today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Greetings from sunny Colorado.    Yesterday our internet was on and off throughout the day, so between errands and having friends over to share our trip with-there just wasn't an opportunity to blog.  The day started out nicely, clear skies and having a walk with my bff Kam and her girl Lexie.  Hunter was thrilled; it has been almost a month or so since we had walked together.  By the afternoon the monsoon showers had started, but that didn't interfere with our friends visit.  Last night our girl and her family came over; the kiddos watched Disney while the adults played cards.  Have to say, I started out in last place but ended up winning our game. It was so fun; hasn't happened enough this summer!!!
 Today I have already walked Hunter, caught up with a dear friend and am getting ready to go to the pool to meet my girl and her five.  This afternoon I'm going over to see my new neighbor, talk quilting and have some ice-tea.  I'm really looking forward to that. Here are the fat quarters I got last week-though in these pics they look brighter than they are.  The are historical/civil war fabrics in muted tones.  I was so drawn to them and I should have bought the second bundle of matching fabrics. I'm actually thinking about going back down the road to get them.

This looks like a royal blue but is really a deep navy.  I'm planning on shopping with my quilting/travel/best friend when we are in Ca., for more blues and browns/neutrals. However, I may be going to some quilt stores with my new neighbor.  There is also a great quilt show in Longmont in August, so I'll probably hit that too.
Having finished my last quilt and knowing I won't start the next one until after our friends visit is over, it is hard in the evenings not to work on a project.  I've actually got so many books on my IPad, that I'm reading while we watch t.v. 
I hope you have a great Tuesday and enjoy whatever life brings your way.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Another Hit From Mr. Chewy

Happy Friday to you! We are very happy because not only is the sun shining bright and warm today, but we have a new air conditioner and Hunter received a package from Mr. Chewy yesterday. This month we choose to try the Nature's Variety Instinct Rawboost Mixers. He is always excited to see what is in the box.
The pieces are a wonderful size to use as a treat or just add to his food.

"Description: Formulated to mirror your dog’s and cat’s ideal ancestral diets, Instinct Raw Boost Mixers make it easy to add protein-packed raw to your pet’s kibble for health and vitality. Enhancing your pet’s meal with all natural, grain-free, freeze-dried Instinct Raw Boost provides pure animal protein for lean muscles and strong bones, natural ingredients for optimal nutrient absorption, and nutritious oils for healthy skin and coat – all in a convenient, safe, and delicious form your dog or cat will love.
 Key Benefits High quality, raw nutrition in a convenient and easy-to-serve form Pure protein for lean muscles and strong bones. Natural ingredients for optimal nutrient absorption Nutritious oils for healthy skin and coat. Freeze dried and all natural for an irresistible taste Grain-free & gluten-free. Free from artificial colors or preservatives."

I love this product because it has carrots, apples, squash, flaxseed, broccoli, blueberries,apple cider vinegar, oils, herbs, chicory.
Hunter is very picky about what he'll eat and I'm always trying to add veges and fruits into his diet; this does it for me.
We give it a rating of:
Mr. Chewy provided us with this product without any compensation, for our honest opinion and review.
The views shared here are mine and Hunter's.
Thank you Mr. Chewy for such great products.

Have a fantastic weekend.
Noreen and Hunter

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Latest Quilt

Hello friends, Happy Thursday to you! Today, I'm thankful for several things-firstly we are having our new air conditioner installed(before the hot weather returns and secondly I have finally finished my latest quilt and my phone is working-I'll share more of that at the end. Between recovering from surgery and taking our trip to Ireland, this has been a lengthy project. I would have to say it took me several months to complete the quilting(the piecing went much quicker); some of the reason is that I kept deciding to add a little bit more. Hand quilting is relaxing and a bit addictive. Now that I'm done with it, I'm not sure I'll do that much quilting in the future. This will sit on our guest bed and it is about a double bed size.

The vertical rows are 1/4" apart and much of the rest of the quilting is outlining.  It goes with the colors in the guest bedroom and I do love it's look. I think when you've worked on a quilt as long as I worked on this, you are glad its done. 
Yesterday, I mentioned that my Iphone was having issues and I couldn't get it on.  Well, when you don't have a land line, you tend to panic when your cell isn't working.  I called the store and they told me how to reboot it; once I did it and it came on I realized how it happened-you see on Tuesday I was at swim lessons with my grands and girls and we talked about my cover/case.  I took it off saying I needed a new one; apparently when I put it back on it was just a smidge out of the position it needed to be in and the soft plastic apparently was pushing down on the on/off button.  I will be buying a new, better case at Wal*art soon.  At least it didn't cost me a new phone.
That's it for about now; I've had a busy morning~met a friend to go over shower details for my girlfriends daughter and stopped by swim lessons.  Also, ran to the hardware store for hubby and then came home.  It's lunch time and I'm hungry.  We have our two oldest grandsons over for a sleepover tonight, should be fun.
I hope you have a wonderful day and find peace in the moment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Outdoors Wednesday-Don't Think So

Hello friends, Today feels more like a winter day than a summer one~we are not only experiencing the smokey skies from all the wild fires, but it is pouring outside today. Hunter has never minded the rain in the past, but for some reason would not go out this morning. I even went out and he stood at the upper deck just looking at me like I am stupid. Then I took him downstairs and let him out through the patio doors, which is right next to a covered area so he could use the bathroom, but nope he ran up the stairs into the house. So what's a momma to do, but take the little stubborn pup on a walk. Thankfully, once we got to the open space he went; I just didn't want him having an accident in the house. I got pretty wet, but will dry soon enough. Here he is-still wet.

Last night we had a lovely dinner with our friends and shared all about our trip. When I plugged my phone in last night, it didn't come on and I thought that was weird. This morning I tried to turn it on and it is dead. I've tried other plugs and outlets and nothing. I seem to have issues with phones. So we will call our carrier and see if they can transfer all my data over to my hubby's old phone-they same model I have. I'm hoping that it will be easy and I'll have a phone back today. When you are dependent on your cell phone, it's a bummer when there are issues. I hope you all have a great day and are experiencing sunshine.
Blessings, Noreen

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason Review

This story takes place in Long Island in 1911.  The O'Leary family own a horse farm, but it is close to financial ruin.  James O'Leary, a strong figure of a man and patriarch, has determined to wed his two daughters to prominent families in hopes of saving the farm.  Colleen is jealous of her sister and strives to make her life miserable.  Brianna, a quiet and intelligent girl wants to attend college, but her father has other ideas.  The story centers around the sisters following their own dreams or obeying their father's wishes, mending all that has come between them and sorting out their future.  Will Colleen grown in maturity  and learn there are other things in life beside fashion and pretense?  Will Brianna follow her dreams of going to college, thus leaving the home of her family and the one man she loves?  I loved the depth of the characters and the portrayal of Irish immigrants, since all of my grandparents came from Ireland.  Will Brianna work out her relationship with Gilbert and will Colleen marry Rylan?
I loved this story; it was a quick read, but especially enjoyable after I just got back from Ireland.
I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, just disappointed I have to wait until next year.  I would definitely recommend this book.  Susan Anne Mason is a wonderful story teller.
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing, provided me with this book; I received it in exchange for my honest review.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy July

Good Morning to you.  Here in Colorado, we've had a cold front move in and although our temp says 63, it is a damp cool 63 degrees.  I've walked Hunter and get to go hang out with a couple of grands this morning.  We had such a fun weekend; our welcoming party for the new neighbors was such fun.  Good food, good neighbors; hopefully this will be a start to a close friendship.  On Saturday we had a good day-hubby had to work during the day and then we went to our daughter's home for their annual 4th of July party.  They had 80 people and with their new landscaping, the yard held everyone so comfortably. In fact, they could have easily had 20 more people.  We staying until about 8:30 p.m., we had Hunter and Lily at our house and with the fireworks, I didn't want to take a chance on Hunter getting scared.  He never has in the past, but this year some of the really loud ones startled him.  There was such a variety of food at my girls house-hotdogs and every type of salad/dish you could ask for.  I was thankful we didn't stay for the fireworks because our elderly neighbors had grandsons over, who lit off some really loud ones in their back yard.  Hunter didn't freak, but was glad we were here to cuddle with.  Yesterday was a very relaxed day after a full week; we went on a 3 mile bike ride and just relaxed around the house.  I am please to say that I am working on the binding for my quilt and hope to have it done in the next day or so.  I'll be sharing it with you.  It has more quilting than any other I've done previously, I'm glad to be finished with it. For my next quilt, I'll really think about what type of pattern to do.  Tomorrow night we have our close friends over for his birthday and also to share our photos, maybe, of Ireland.  Barry grew up in Belfast and gave us some input on what to see...so we want to share our adventure with him.  I had a couple of photos to share here this morning, but they aren't coming through.
So I guess it will be tomorrow that I share them.
Blessings on your day!

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 about...so 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