Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Wednesday to all of my friends and loved ones!  Today is a special day in my life~I've officially reached Medicare age.  You know you are getting older when Social Security and Medicare are milestones.  I'm excited about my health care being cheaper!  Our health insurance had more than doubled from the time we moved here and I'm excited that now hubby pays less than half of what it was up until this month.
I started my day off hearing from my daughters~we celebrated last Saturday and it was such fun.
This morning I had our neighborhood bible study and my close friends had a card and a gift card to take me to lunch once we get back from Ca.  Tonight hubby and I will be going out for dinner, to our favorite restaurant- Bone Fish.  I can't wait; I should be walking right now, but have to many things to do to get read to leave tomorrow.  I've heard from my brother and looking forward to spending time with them as well as seeing our friends in Santa Rosa, even though the reason for the trip is not pleasant.  I'll be out of contact for the weekend; but hopefully will have some pictures of beautiful Sonoma County in the spring to share with you next week.
May blessings cover you today!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Tuesday to you! We woke up today to dark, dreary skies; reminds me so much of Sonoma County in California. So here are my feelings about it.  Rainy Days make me want to stay inside and sew or read, even possibly take a nap.  We desperately need the rain and to be honest I prefer the rain to snow, but my heart is dreaming of warmer days.

I love Tulips; we have lots of bulbs in our front beds~but not enough for me.  I do need to plant some more next fall.
Daffodils have always been my favorite flower; in fact, on our second date my sweet hubby stopped by the side of a road and picked some wild daffodils for me-be still my heart.  He definitely had me then.
Thankfully the weather in northern California will be really nice and warm this weekend and I'm looking forward to it.  It will be a sad occasion-a Memorial Service for our sil's mother; lots of cleaning out of her belongings etc while we are there.  However, we get to spend three nights with our best friends & traveling companions planning our trip to New England this fall, this will be so fun after a bittersweet day.  We will also get to spend an afternoon and night with my brother and sister of my heart-which will make it all the better.  I know we will see lots of Daffodils by the roads in Santa Rosa and Windsor, which will make my heart sing.
Hope you have a great day, regardless of the weather.  For those in the south and east please be careful if you are having those awful storms we saw on the news.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Year Older

Happy Monday to you! It's hard to believe we are at the end of March-where do the days go! Hubby often says that with 11 grandchildren, we have a birthday a month; not quite, but there are several overlapping. This month our oldest grandson turned 16 and our granddaughter turned 7. Her birthday was yesterday, so we had a family dinner Saturday night to celebrate her birthday and mine this coming week. We were entertained by our two oldest granddaughters; it was good practice for an upcoming recital. The dinner was so good-Cashew Chicken, Rice and Cabbage Slaw.
After presents, we had desert~Irish Tea Cake with Strawberries and whipped cream.
Since this granddaughter's birthday is three days before mine, I gave her a ring my parents gave me-it is Aquamarine in a pretty gold setting.  What I didn't know is that it would fit her perfectly.  She was so touched by this gift, which made me very happy.
Today my BFF here is taking me for a pedicure-yeah!  She'll be getting one too; I always love getting one in the spring and since we will be heading back to warm northern California this coming Thursday, my feet will look nice for the sandals I'll be wearing.
I hope you have a great Monday.
Make someone smile today!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Friday to you!  Spring is here, but so is our very changeable weather!  We were supposed to get some heavy rain today with snow, but so far we are just having wind gusts.  I'm off to DMV to renew my license~apparently, when you hit 65 you are no longer able to renew online.  Afterward, hubby and I have an errand to run and then I'll spend the day working on finishing my table runner.
Yesterday was busy~I went to my quilting buddy's house for a bit of help and she showed me a technique that was so much easier than I was trying.  I also found out that often I handle a skill like I'm left handed-must be how my brain processes the info, because I'm not left handed.  We had a lunch with our financial advisors, for my birthday next week, then spent time with grands and ran errands afterwards.  My days are just flying by and it seems almost impossible to get to the computer. Life is good and I'm just enjoying every minute.  The weekend will find me sewing as well as a birthday party for one of our granddaughters.  She is sharing her party with me-so much easier than having to have two family parties in one week.  With big families, our girls don't throw birthday parties for friends unless it is a significant birthday.  We have 17 in the family and that's a big enough party.
I hope you have a wonderful day and fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Three Peas in a Pod, Minus One

Happy Wednesday to you. Although it looks like spring here in Colorado, the temp is only 38 degrees. This photo was from last week when Hunter was sporting his Irish bandana.
Here's Lilly, she's starting to show her age-10 years and lets the pups know when they need to back off.
Copper is such a good dog, most of the time she is really mellow.  You should see her run in their yard though; when Hunter is playing tag with her, she actually grabs his tail in her mouth~something she learned from Lilly.
The one pup missing is sweet Petrol....I'll have her tomorrow and Hunter will enjoy their play time.
I'm taking a neighbor to lunch for her birthday and then hope to do some sewing.
I hope whatever you have planned today includes something that makes you smile.
Noreen and the pack

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

I have always loved Tracie Peterson's historical novels.  Her writing draws me into the story, with accurate portrayals and rich characters; this book was no exception.  Set it the mid-1800's, a young woman finds herself caring for her two sisters after her parents have died.  Leaving her family home and marrying a minister out of convenience, she find herself on a wagon train heading towards Oregon.  I appreciated the main character Grace, for her wisdom of herbs and the healing properties they offered.  On the trail her husband dies and she stops at the Whitman Mission until they can proceed to Oregon.

From the Author:
 " Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.
Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in “Oregon Country,” she decides to stay rather than push on.
With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbors, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills–or her presence–and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible."

After Grace realizes that the native peoples are not the demons some people portray them as, she seeks to help them as well.  The white people were also equally vicious on their attacks of the natives. The story is fascinating and suspenseful and I did not want to put the book down; the only thing I found difficult was waiting until this summer for the next book in the series.  I would rate this 10 stars, out of 10.  If you like historical fiction, look for this book~it won't disappoint.
I would like to thank Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book.  I was provided this book in exchange for my honest opinion; I received no compensation for my review.


Monday, March 20, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

Happy Monday to you! We are having beautiful, spring-like weather and I'm taking advantage of it. I'll walk in a little bit and then I"m sure my day will include some outdoor time. Later this week we are supposed to get rain-which we truly need. For now, this Irish gal is very happy! On Friday our oldest daughter Carrie hosted a St. Patrick's Day tea & luncheon for all of the gals. Hubby took the three boys out to lunch, but didn't get any photos. Carrie set a beautiful table with her China and even some of the Belleek pottery that I bought her in Ireland. She had sandwiches, cucumbers with avocado and capers, cheese, crackers; I brought green fruit and Kim brought dessert~an Irish tea cake. Here are both daughters with all of the granddaughters; be still my heart-love my family to pieces!  Everyone knows they have to wear green-even if it is jewelry or just a little bit.  Even the boys had green on.

After lunch, the kiddos all went outside to play in the sunshine.  The schools were off last week for winter break, or maybe it was spring break so the girls were able to be outside during school hours.  Typically, they stay inside during the regular school hours.
Not much on the agenda this week~a couple of meetings and I'm taking a neighbor to lunch on Wednesday for her birthday.  Oh yes, I have to go to DMV to renew my license, for some weird reason(maybe I've never had one in this county before) I have to go in person and couldn't do it online.
I hope you have a spectacular day!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Primal Treats Beef Liver Munchies from Chewy

Hello friends, It's that time for another great product review from Chewy. As a #Chewy Influencer, Hunter is able to sample treats and food in exchange for our honest opinion. WE LOVE CHEWY! Hunter loves Beef Liver, so I was anxious to see how he liked these treats.
He's already trying to get the package open and telling me to hurry up with the photos.
These treats are the perfect size for him, either added to his kibble or just a treat. They are easy to break as well.
Can you tell how much he wants it? He absolutely loves this liver munchie and I'm beginning to think about adding some of their other freeze dried products to his daily kibble. I've mentioned it before, but Hunter is the pickiest eater we've ever had. It can make life challenging at times, but we love him!


Wholesome, human-grade treats that are packed with flavor and protein are the kind of treats dogs and
cats can rally behind. Primal Beef Liver Munchies Freeze-dried Dog & Cat Treats are produced using
 beef raised in the United States without antibiotics or added hormones, and contain no preservatives,
grain or gluten. These treats get their concentrated meaty flavor and high-density nourishment from the
 low-temperature freeze-drying technique. As a single source protein, Beef Liver Munchies offer a
 healthy snack for cats and a nutritious training and obedience reward for dogs.

Key Benefits

  • Human-grade treats for both dogs and cats are crunchy and have an irresistible flavor
  • Made with a single source protein and without preservatives, added salt, or added sugar, they are the
  •  kind of snack dogs and cats can rally behind
  • Produced using beef raised in the United States for a high protein and healthy delicacy
  • Treats get their concentrated meaty flavor and high-density nourishment from the low-temperature
  •  freeze-drying technique
  • As a single source protein, Beef Liver Munchies offer a healthy snack for cats and a nutritious training and obedience reward for dogs
I love the fact that this is produced here in the U.S. and natural, without added preservatives.  WE rate 
these 10 Stars for the quality and company standards.  Hunter is always up for just one more.
WE want to thank Natalie and all of Chewy's staff for this wonderful program.  WE order many 
food items from them and also like that you can have things auto-shipped to your door.  You can
 check out these treats and many more
Noreen and Hunter

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I want to share a little bit of my Irish decor with you.  On our dining room table, I have a Maple Leaf Dish that I gave to my mother when I was very young; I got it at our local department store and loved the design.  That's all I knew about it, until I turned it over last year and saw the Beleek Emblem on the back-I was shocked.  I probably only paid a few dollars for this candy dish, but to see it was Beleek made my heart sing.  Beleek is pottery made in Southern Ireland and very expensive.  Now this dish holds plastic Shamrocks in honor of my mom(who always wore plastic Shamrock earrings.

 This little plate isn't Beleek, but I love the sentiment.
This was one of the pieces we bought at the Beleek factory two years ago.  I got my girls some pieces too.
The tall vase in the back came from the factory as well, but years earlier when my brother and sister of my heart were there.  I love it.  We purchased the bowl in front of it when we were there two years ago.

Today is a very special day in our family and we celebrate it in style. When our daughters were little they would wake up to find gold glitter sprinkled across their dressers and treats, not only gold wrapped chocolates, but other things such as ribbons and socks laid out. We always wear green and I recount the stories of Ireland I heard while growing up. My mom always wore a green plastic hat to work as well as green plastic Shamrock earrings. My dad always sent her a bouquet of green Carnations. For dinner we always had Corned Beef, Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes-the same meal we eat every year. My sweet hubby never had this meal until he met me; if it weren't for the high sodium content of Corned Beef, we'd have it much more often. That said, when we purchased ours at Costco last week, we bought two-one is in the freezer. Today I'll be wearing the green and having lunch with our daughters and granddaughters. Hubby will be taking the boys out to lunch. We will be taking our meal over to one daughter's house and spending the evening with them; Hunter will stay with them while we are in Ca. for the Memorial Service in a couple of weeks. We feel that he needs time over there to get used to their house and yard; he's never stayed with them before, but he'll love it with all the attention from the grands.
I truly believe that for many in the U.S. they become honorary Irish for the day.  I hope whatever you've got planned for the day includes eating something green.
Irish Blessings to you!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Did you figure out which President it was I referred to in yesterday's post?
I love the photo below-it was everything about Ireland I loved-rolling hills, sheep and cattle and homes from decades ago.  This picture was taken from the cemetery where my great grandparents are buried.
We will have a girlie tea party tomorrow and then a traditional Irish-American dinner tomorrow night.  I grew up eating Corned Beef and Cabbage and thought everyone in Ireland did as well-the answer is it was something available for the immigrants and relatively inexpensive.  In Ireland you are more likely to have Lamb Stew, Fish and lots of Potatoes.
Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Ross

Hello again, The photos below are where my paternal grandparents were from; it's in Southern Ireland and a previous President's family were from there-can you guess who? I've mentioned it previously that there was a good chance we were distant cousins.

This doorway led to a church, but residents reside there so we couldn't disturb them.  The cemetery was intriguing though-we didn't find any relatives headstones there.

May the sun shine brightly on you today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Emerald Isle

Hello lads and lassies, As promised I'm sharing more photos of our trip to Ireland two years ago.

If I'm not mistaken these were all taken at Kilkenny Castle.  Every time I look at them, I think of my family and how both parents loved the heritage we have.  My brother embraces his Irish genes as well, love it about him-he reminds me so much of my mom.
I hope you have a great day.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy 16

Good Morning to you!  Our oldest grandson turned 16 on Friday~I wonder where the years have gone!
We had a wonderful party for him and because he's got such a great sense of humor, we made him wear snow gloves to unwrap his card and presents; this is a game I play at the Women's Fellowship Christmas party each year.  It is so hard to do and I told him, no teeth, knives, feet etc. could be used, just his hands.  It took him quite awhile, but I know he was pleased when he realized what he got.  On 
Saturday all the guys in the family headed up to Estes Park for an adventure~they rented an extended ATV and went off roading in the snow and mud.  They all had a great time, despite the cold weather.  It is so fun that they can do fun activities like the girls do.  Actually all the girls went out to lunch and then did a little shopping afterward.  After I got home, I headed out as I needed a new top and shoes for the Memorial Ceremony at the end of the month.  All in all everyone had a great day!
I hope you had a fun weekend as well.  Tomorrow I'll be posting more photos of Ireland-to get you in the mood for St. Patrick's Day.
Joy to you!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sunset Skies

Happy Thursday to you! It's a day to give thanks and I love being thankful for the beauty of God's creation~in this case a glorious sunset. Hubby captured it this week while I was fixing dinner; our winter and spring skies are breath taking.  I am so very thankful for the wonderful man that I've shared 38 years of marriage with and have been with for over 40 years.  I am thankful that he is a true artist in every sense of the word.

I love the details on both these photos-the top ones shows the buds on the tree right off of our deck and the bottom ones shows a tree blooming in the space between our fence and the cart path at the course.  Thank you my beloved for taking these for me, so I'd having something to blog about.

Thank you friends for the kinds words of sympathy you shared with me concerning the passing of a family member.  It's been a sad week here and we grieve the passing of Carrie's mother in law.  It was unexpected and such a shock, without time to say goodbye-but she knows how deeply her two sons, two daughter-in-laws and 11 grandchildren loved her.  She was well loved by the community and the many, many students she taught over the years, as well as her church family.  A breast cancer survivor, she encouraged so many.  She was a good friend and I will miss her!  I am thankful to have her son in our family and to have shared life with her. Well done Jan, you are now with Jesus-I can only imagine!
Cherish every day!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Happy Wednesday! When we finished our travels throughout Ireland, I really felt that we had seen it all and didn't think we'd go back~but seeing these makes me realize just how beautiful the country is.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Just a touch of green~Enjoy!

Off to see my doctor this morning, such fun!
Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Family Origins

Good Morning to you! This month is a special month for our family, because my roots are from Ireland. Many of you have seen these photos(two years ago), but I wanted to revisit the birthplace of all four of my grandparents. This doorway was seen in Dublin.
Fell in love with the countryside, especially southern Ireland.
In my family, we celebrate being Irish all year, but March is a very special month indeed.  I have two grandchildren who were born in March, St. Patrick's Day and my birthday all occur this month. I will be posting many of my photos this week and possibly next.
I'm off to a quilt guild meeting this morning and hopefully will walk this afternoon.  Hope you have a great start to the week.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Happy Happy Friday to you!  It has been such a different week for our family~news of a member of the family passing away unexpectedly has taken our focus off of our normal daily routines and caused us to reflect on family relationships and focus in on the future, as well as comfort lose who are mourning.  Through it all, our eyes have been on Him-who holds us in the palm of His hand.  Our days are numbered and should be counted as precious.  We will be heading to our old town, at the end of the month, for a Memorial Service.
This morning Hunter went to a new groomer and we are very pleased with her care of our little guy.  He even got a new bandana-yeah!  We had several negative incidents with his previous groomer of almost 5 years and decided it was time to make a change, especially since service was going down and prices were going up.  Doesn't he look handsome!
After I dropped him off, I met four quilting friends for coffee and a catch-up~something I felt I needed.  My quilting has been just done in the evenings and I'm feeling behind.  There are seasons for intense sewing and quilting and seasons when life just gets in the way, or that quilting gets in the way of life.  It was supposed to be warm here today, but we've got wave clouds and cool temps; I'm ready for some warmth that makes it more inviting to be outside walking and gardening.  Of course, here in No. Colorado we don't actually do much gardening/planting until after Mother's Day.
I hope that you have a wonderful day and weekend and love those family members!  Life is short, seize the moment.
Noreen and Hunter

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Good Morning to you.  I hope your week has been productive and you've gotten time to relax and rest as well.  This has been a busy week with some complications, so I haven't been able to get creative with posts.  It is sunny here today, but very cold.  I'm walking in a bit and then have a haircut after that.  We've got sick grands again and we are hoping that once this cold is over that they don't catch another one for several years.  It seems that every few years one family gets hit really hard all winter~such is life with large families.
May you find contentment with all that your life holds.