Monday, January 30, 2023

She Will Not Fall

I noticed some Quail that were in my neighbor's yard looking outside my window.  They come in groups, and you can see how funny they are, gathering, and following one after the other.

Another day, I noticed a different group of them.  The California Quail spends most of their time on the ground.  They usually fly only short distances when they need to reach shelter or to escape danger.  They feed on the ground, and you can sometimes find them feeding at the sides of the roads.  These were very plump ones, and look like they are pregnant, but they are males, which you can tell by their distinctive feathers on top of their head.

The road workers do an excellent job here when it snows clearing the paths for drivers, on the highways and in the neighborhoods.  One got stuck right in front of my house, and he was there for awhile trying to get out.  I felt so bad for him sitting in the freezing cold.  I was about to bring him a hot cup of coffee, when he maneuvered his way out, and was on his way.

The sun came out, and it's always so pretty to see the snow sparkling from the sunlight.

Remember the pork roast my brother-in-law gave me?  I cooked it like my mother-in-law used to, covering it with oil and spices, and it turned out delicious, until the very last bite.  Baked beans on the side.

I made her potato salad too, and added six eggs.  I know eggs are pricey right now, but it's just not the same without the eggs.

I love pink and red around Valentine's Day.  I saw this coffee at the store, and brought it home.  Sooooo good.

It was a nice surprise to see these chocolates at the store, and they were calling my name.   Hershey's Roses Kisses!

When I was in grade school, I used to love to send out and receive the little Valentine cards on school days.  Through the years, I would send them to my kids, even when they were grown, and now I get to send them to my grandkids.  This year, I went with Bluey cards, cause they love Bluey shows!  The box came with the cards, stickers, and hearts, so it will be a fun project for the kids to work on.

And I came across these Valentines from when I was in grade school.  Yes, I keep old special things.  They must be over 50 years old.  Is that vintage haha?

There were two men outside the grocery store selling wooden plaques with Bible verses.  Some of them were small, and others were large, and I ended up buying a large one.  There were dozens, and I was there for a long time browsing through them all.  It seemed they were getting a bit impatient, and wanted me to just buy one.  But I wanted to get just the right one, so I kept looking.  Finally, I found the one that spoke to me, and bought it.

My Valentine dresser

No words are needed for this pic.  ; )

Welcome, February!


Monday, January 23, 2023

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year was yesterday!

My brother-in-law came into town last week to get some groceries, and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch.  I suggested Chinese food.  We went to the local restaurant, and the food was really good, as always.

It was a nice time visiting and catching up.  We talked about many things.....about grandma, and her life in the mountains.

I told him that I miss grandma, and he said, "me too."  As he was getting ready to leave, he handed me two big pork roasts that he just bought at the store.  He told me the way his mom used to cook a pork roast, coating it with oil, and adding different spices.  I'll have to give it a try.

A few fun facts about Chinese New Year!

*In China, each year is linked with a different animal.

*The celebrations last for 15 days.

*Guo Nian Hao means Happy New Year!

*Children receive red envelopes with money inside.

*Chinese New Year ends with the "Lantern Festival."

*Lion and Dragon dances are very popular around this time.

*Fireworks will be set off at midnight! 

After every Chinese meal, I always look forward to my fortune cookie.  This was a good one I thought, and words to live by.

I wanted to show you the doll that Nel had when she was a little girl.  Her dad brought it back for her from San Francisco when she was around 3 or 4.  It's still in pretty good shape after all these years, and it's nice she still has it - I love how Nel and Jess keep old things from their childhood.  Now, it's in HER daughter's room tucked away with many of her other beloved stuffed animals and dolls.

Time passes so quickly.  It's almost February, one of my favorite months.  ; )


Monday, January 16, 2023

Rain And Snow And Netflix Movies

You've heard of all the flooding happening right now in California.  There are heavy rains and high winds in the valleys, and mud and rock slides in the mountains.  It's been a dangerous couple weeks for some, living in the areas that have been affected.  Fortunately, we haven't got much flooding in the mountains of northern California where I live, but we've had an incredible amount of rain.

I spoke too soon with my last post saying we had a light snowfall.  The next day we got hit pretty hard.  I had to go to the grocery store, and got stuck at the top of the hill on my street, and had to back up.  My neighbor advised me to go around the neighborhood and out the next street over, which I did.  I made it home safely, but swerved a little as I was turning onto my street.  Oh, those roads are slippery out there in the snow, and one has to be so careful when driving them.  This was taken on garbage day, and you can see how pretty the snow is.

 Well, with the weather being like it is, I've been staying inside this last week and cooking and baking a lot.  I made a strawberry cheese cake, and it was so Yummy.

Then, my small heaters in the bedrooms weren't running properly.  It went into defrost and just got stuck, so the heat and air guy had to come out to reset it and work with it, and I now have warmth in my house once again.  It's really frustrating getting workers out here, but my brother does an amazing job getting a hold of them to take care of any issues that surface.

January for me has been getting items that I need around the house, you know, the ones that make your life easier.   I call them essentials.....a new calculator for my bills, batteries, and pens to write in my calendar.

Me and Jess have been watching Harry and Meghan docuseries on Netflix.  Harry is sweet, but rugged, and seems to always tell the truth.  Meghan speaks well, and I like the classy choice of fashion that she wears.  The episodes show clips of Diana also, who I love and miss.  I am enjoying watching the series.

Then, Francesca and Jess and Brian got the dreadful virus.  They are all doing fine - Jess said she felt like a truck ran over her the first day, and she still has some fatigue, but feeling better each day.  Brian just had a mild case, and Francesca is feeling better and back to her old self.

There is a house around the corner that still has their lights up.  They are all blue, and they really are pretty.  It makes me smile when I go outside and see them.  Well, needless to say, the start of the new year hasn't been the best for me, but there is light that always shines through on those troubling days.

More rain and snow to come here this week.  Say a prayer for us here in California, won't you?

*photos from internet


Monday, January 9, 2023

Gratitude Journal

While I was at Jess' house one day, I noticed Nel was writing something in a book on Jess' table.  I asked her about it, and she said it was a gratitude journal.  I thought that was a nice idea, and I was pleased to hear she was working on this project.  Here is what she said about it.

I started a positivity challenge this Christmas season, and this journal is where I kept my gratitude list.  Through the month of December, I started every day by writing 10 things that I was grateful for.  The list could include anything, from my health and all the functioning body parts keeping me alive, to my career and all the rewarding things I get to do with my work, to being able to provide food for my family, or having access to clean drinking water, to aspects of my home life like a working dishwasher, festive decor at Christmastime, or time to spend helping Mia learn her alphabet.  I found that starting every day with gratitude was a really powerful way to keep up my positivity throughout the day.  Even when things went wrong or I was frustrated or saddened by something, it was easier to get back to a positive mindset.  Now that December has passed, I'm still working to incorporate daily gratitude into my life.  "Thank you" is a wonderful phrase with a lot of positive power.

We live in a society where we want more more more.  And today, I will join Nel in being thankful for the big things and the smallest things, like a hot cup of coffee.  I found the McCafe' Premium Roast at the store, and made some at home.  It was really good.

A chocolate cake sounded just right for the new year, and I saw this fun cake kit and decided to give it a try.  I didn't put the cocoa pebbles on top, cause it's just too sweet for me, but Duncan Hines always makes the moistest cakes.

You know how much I love gnomes.  I found the cutest Gnome Kit for the grandkids to each make a gnome of their own.

Yesterday, early in the morning, I heard thumps on the roof, and didn't know what it was and went back to bed.  A while later, I woke up and looked out my window and saw a blanket of snow.  We had another snowfall on Sunday.  I know there are many who don't like the snow in the Wintertime, cause it's bothersome to deal with the conditions that it brings.  Don't get me wrong, friends, there is much you have to prepare for during these Winter months here, and I do my share of scraping, shoveling, and clearing, but I do love it just the same.  This was a light snow, but sometimes we can get up to two feet.  I thank nature for bringing this lovely white powder around my home, and my neighbor, J, for giving me my first shovel.  I'm learning.  ; )


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Silent Snow

Hello, and Happy New Year!  There are so many storms going on in the country right now, and I've been thinking of all the people who are facing fierce weather conditions this Winter.  We've had rain, winds, and snow here in northern California, and the winds were so strong one night while I was driving, that I felt it move my car.  Another night while driving, I saw three big deer.  They had just crossed the road - it was dark, and I could barely see them, but I was only going 40, so was able to slow down, and noticed they had crossed safely.  We are still seeing some Autumn colors, along with snow, and there always seems to be a stillness when it falls, a silent snow.

We have had a week of rain!  And the creek is filling up and overflowing.

The clouds looked so pretty one day when I visited the creek.

Our mountain had fog surrounding it, it looked so beautiful when I was driving down the road to go home.

It's been very cold outside, but warm inside, as my brother had two heaters installed, and they finally completed the work.  I'm so thankful for this, as it's much warmer now in the house.  Some hot chocolate sounds good on this cold Wintery day.

All my Christmas is put away, but the spirit still lingers, so I made a little Winter display with blues, and brought out my Thomas Kinkade painting, blue cobalt vase that a blog friend gave me, and my snow fairy.

A felt red rose buried in the snow.  

I love January's quote on my new calendar.

The statues at my church are drenched with rain, and dear Saint Francis is looking on.

When I went shopping with the girls, at one particular shop there was a bunch of red glass hearts that were displayed on a table.  In the middle of all those hearts, there was one purple one.  It was so lovely to me, and my favorite color, and Jess bought it for me.  It reminded me that it's ok to be different, and to not let others sway you from being who you are, the person you were meant to be.

Mia is getting very attached to her new kitty, Felix.  She is learning to be gentle with it, and she loves him so much.

Chinese food sounded perfect to ring in the new year, so I ordered some take-out.

Nel and Mia got their nails painted green for the new year.  Such a fun mother, daughter thing to do.

Have a bright New Year!

I will leave you with these delightful paintings by a very talented artist.  They enchant me, just like my silent snow does, and remind me how much I love the Winters up here.

*paintings by Anna Speshilova