Monday, November 28, 2022

Magical Season Is Here

It has been pretty cold here, in the 20's and 30's, and the main heater in the house doesn't get the back rooms, so my brother installed two small heaters in the bedrooms.  The workers were here last week, and it's a process, but they're almost finished.  So, one day I wanted to get out of their way, as they were working in the house, and I went outside with my coffee.  Yes, in the cold, but my neighbor was out there sitting on her bench, and it gave me a chance to talk with her.  I told her they were putting heating units in the bedrooms.  She said she has never seen the inside of this house before, and I said to her, "it's small, but charming."  She said she will have to have me over for coffee sometime.  My house isn't elaborate or from a magazine.....nor do I want it to be.  It's comfortable and cozy, and I am grateful.  Here are some pictures of Christmas around the house.  It's really the same as last year, but I tend to move things around until it looks right to me.

I hold my heritage deep inside my heart.

I recently sent my cousin, Sheila, a picture of the kids, and she wrote back and said, "the dark-haired one looks just like you!"  When Nel sent me this picture of Mia looking so grown up in her boots, I smiled and thought, this little face looks just like me when I was a child.

And this one's smile warms my heart.  There is a place in northern Cal called Apple Hill, and Jess visited there recently.  It's always a fun time going through the craft fair, visiting the duck pond, bringing home an apple pie, and just spending time in nature.  They have everything apples - apple pie, hot apple cider, caramel apples, apple donuts.

Here is one of my favorite poems about home that I wanted to share with you.

Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule.

~Federick W. Robertson

 You know, there is another reason why I love home so much, my friends.

It keeps the wolves out.  ; )


Monday, November 21, 2022


We spent the last few days of our UK summer family adventure exploring a very magical Edinburgh, Scotland. On the train from Durham, we zipped along stone viaducts past seaside villages and sprawling green pastures dotted with white and purple wildflowers. 

Arriving in Edinburgh, we climbed endlessly stretching stairs into the Old City and stumbled upon Victoria Street, which is widely believed to be the inspiration for Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. 

In the Princess Street Gardens, Mia made friends with the owners of an ice cream truck. We bought two cones every day before making our way through the park to admire the view of Edinburgh Castle perched atop craggy cliffs tipping toward the North Sea.

On the last day of the trip, my husband stopped in the world famous Whisky Shop and bought a "nip of the Buckie Road" (a local nickname for Aultmore single malt whiskey). Back at the hotel, we toasted to an amazing trip and many more adventures to come. 

Thanks, friends, for coming along with us on our travels through London, Durham, and Edinburgh! Have you been to these cities or others you love?


Monday, November 14, 2022

Just Because

I haven't done a "just because" post in awhile, and there's nothing exciting going on this week, so I'll show you a little of this, a little of that.

My brother-in-law came over and brought me lots of goodies - a turkey and all the sides for Thanksgiving, and four New York steaks.  Living in the mountains, the weather during the winter is harsh, and all the little things he does to help I appreciate so much.  This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for family.

I have already decorated for Christmas.  I know it's early, but if you knew how much I love the Christmas season, you would understand this "decking the halls early" thing I do.  I will forever love the candle my best friend gave me, and will put it out every year, or at least until there is no more wax left.  ; )

I've never liked the grey pumpkins, but I thought this picture that Jess took was so pretty.

Francesca in the maze.

I wanted to say good-bye to a friend who passed away.  He was a great guy, full of zest, always had a smile on his face when I saw him.  He was a senior, and made friends with this freshman girl.  May you rest in peace, Ed.  Thank you for being so good to me.  A young girl never forgets things like that.

Christmas at Disney!  The magical kingdom is already decked out for Christmas.  This was a special pic, cause Mia got "Jingles," Walt's favorite horse.  The horse is apparently hard to get.  Jess said the gingerbread cookie was sooooo good.  I miss seeing Christmas at Disney, but the kids' faces light up when they visit during the holidays.

And my new Christmas cup I bought.  It's big, but lightweight, which suits me.

I like to get a new ornament every year.  I still keep the cherished ornaments and the homemade ones my kids made, but when I saw this fellow, I had to bring him home.  There's always something to smile about.


Monday, November 7, 2022

Last Minute Road Trip

I took a road trip with my son last week.  It was only for a couple days, and it turned out to be a pleasant one.....except for the driving.  I got off the highway and onto the freeway for a little while, and as I was driving it started to rain.  Then it started to pour!  My least favorite thing to do, and it starts to pour, what?  Well, that was a bit scary for me, but we needed the rain, so I was thankful and uneasy at the same time, and just did the best I could in a bad situation.  I got us there, thank God, and it's always good to get off the mountain once in awhile, and I got to visit my favorite places on our stops along the way.

Smallcakes.  You really can't go wrong with chocolate and mint, one of my favorite combinations.

Oh, I have to say that there will be a lot of food on this post.  It makes the road trips much more pleasurable when we enjoy good food on the journey.  We ate at Mimi's Cafe for a late lunch, and I had French onion soup, and half of a turkey salad sandwich, and we shared a pumpkin muffin with our coffee.

The next morning, it was very early when we left, and I looked up and saw a dreary sky with clouds.  I wasn't sure how the driving would go, as I thought there would be more rain.

After driving for awhile, we made a quick stop at Black Bear Diner for some pie.  This place always reminds us of my son-in-law, Brian, as he enjoys eating here also.  I got a piece of blackberry pie, and my son went with the chocolate cream pie.

On our last stop and before driving up the mountain, we went to my favorite cafe with the orange lanterns.   I needed some greens, so I got a big Cobb Salad with blue cheese dressing.  My dad used to love blue cheese dressing, and he introduced me to it.  I've liked it ever since.  Every time I come here, I want to take a picture of this sign, but never can, cause people are always sitting next to it, but I finally got a chance to take one.

It has been very cold here lately, and November has given me a chill, so these pot pies hit the spot one dreary day.

Uncle bought some goodies from Francesca's school fundraiser.  The SRIRACHA peanuts were spicy and so good.

Francesca had a Pirate party, and Nel made the cake.  She has such a talent decorating cakes and adding fun touches to make them special.

And you need some pirates to go with a Pirate party.  ; )

 Every now and then, my son makes specialty coffee drinks.  This one he made with white hot chocolate, pumpkin spice creamer, whole milk, and coffee.  Oh my, it was good.

 There is one more dish to share, just cause this is my favorite meal.  I made a big pot of spaghetti, and along with it, some roasted veggies with butter and garlic salt.

Well, I did mention that this was a food-filled post.  But November seems to be the month to eat good foods.  We are supposed to get our first snow this week.  And do you know there was a deer right on my front porch?  I looked out the window, and there she was.  She walked through and stood in my yard for awhile.  Didn't take a picture.  I just gazed and smiled.  : )