Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nature makes me VERY happy!

I used to walk 3 miles a day with my girls but then I stopped for some unknown reason but today we started again...all 3 miles of it too.  I took my camera to show you our discoveries along the way but let me tell NOT easy to walk 2 dogs on retractable leashes and take pictures at the same time!  Whoa Nellie!
But they are very well behaved and when I get "remote" I take Nitty off her leash and drop Annie's on the ground when I want to take a picture. 

I am lucky to live in an area where there are lots of roads but few people.  I can walk without seeing other houses or people....very isolated and so peaceful.  Yet I don't have to cut a trail through the's on both sides of me.  The best of both worlds!  I don't mind hiking through the woods but you'd better dowse yourself in Deet and watch for snakes so the fact that I can walk every day and enjoy it without taking a chemical bath for the ticks is very nice or put on my boots to protect my ankles from snakes.  This morning was perfect for taking pictures too as it was overcast but I did notice the knats and mosquitoes were out and about.  So, I guess I'll be needing my spray after all.

I have always been an outside girl and grew up loving nature.  It is one of God's greatest gifts to us and one we don't take advantage of often enough.  The benefits are many...lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your heart and your lungs and keeps your muscles from atrophying and keeps melancholy away.   The plants and flowers I'm showing you were not planted by anyone except maybe some industrious squirrels on occasion! LOL!  Like the Iris below in the middle of nowhere...but prettier than mine at home...maybe I need to hire some squirrels?
 I love daisies.....sweet smiling faces.........and did I mention how relaxing it is to sit near a little stream and listen to the water running over the rocks.......ahhhhh.......heaven!

I have no idea what this plant is but it's getting ready to bloom so I have to come back and see what it's like when it opens up fully........I'm thinking it's a young tree sapling that came from one of the many flowering trees down here.

The one below smelled so cherry blossoms so maybe it's a choke cherry or some member of the cherry family.  Another one I need to revisit.  I should tag them with a ribbon so I can tell where they are after the blooms fade and see if there are cherries or berries later.

There's color and flowers everywhere.........
Even in the mosses and molds growing on decaying trees.........I think they're beautiful and I would like to grow some at home and identify them.....add that to my "to do" list............

There are rocks everywhere and not just little ones either!  It makes it hard to garden, farm, and dig period!  I guess you'd call them boulders but they come in all sizes here.  This one is big enough to have a picnic on. 

 more wildflowers....I need an identification book.........

 You can smell this before you even see it......Honeysuckle which grows wild down here....lucky us!
 I love this picture of the woods with the sunlight filtering down through the trees.............prettier in person I must say.....the camera (especially mine) doesn't do it justice.

I'm not sure what these seed pods are but I should have grabbed some to plant.  It looked like a red bud tree with the heart shaped leaves but not sure they have seed pods like this.

Nature is such a great landscaper!  Look at that little meadow of daisies in a clearing.......

 Two different type of purple wild flowers.  The bottom photo looks like phlox.....

No homes, no people, no traffic................NO PROBLEM!  Heading back home now.....we're all tuckered out but it was a great hike and I hope you enjoyed it along with Nitty and Annie and I.....they're napping now, maybe I should do the same! LOL!  Have a great Saturday and don't forget to stop by tomorrow to take a Sunday afternoon spin with me.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Fabric makes me happy and the more the better!!!! LOL!

 In fact my credit card is sitting right in front of me and as soon as this blog is published guess who's going SHOPPING!!!!!  All of a sudden I am in the mood to sew.  It might be the high 80's temps we had yesterday that begged me to put down the yarn and crochet hook and pick up something a little think?

Anyway, I've been browsing for over a week now and really didn't have a project in mind until I saw a quilt that Helen Philipps  made and I was over the moon for it!  It is nothing I would have ever guessed I would be attracted to as I have been more primitive, lodge type in my colors and decorating but I had noticed a subtle change taking place since I'd been visiting the English blogs.  Helen just happened to put me over the top!  Thank you Helen!

 I never liked blue, pastels or florals much.........but I do now!!!!  I must admit the fabrics aren't really pastels but if they are they are saturated with color like I've never seen before.  I want to make a quilt for my guest bedroom and my whole decorating scheme is going to change!  Light and bright and colorful and the fabrics that I have fallen in love with will dictate how it all comes together...or not.  So, you see, fabric is making me very  happy right now but as you can tell by my "stash" it needs a "makeover"!

Off I go to "shop hop"!  Have a great Friday and show me your "stash"....I'd love to see your fabric and what you're sewing and if you're not a sewer whatever makes YOU happy! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book review......books were the beginning of my happiness!

I ADORE books and when I learned to read it was the beginning of a lifetime love affair.  I could go on and on about them but the main theme of them all is that there is an answer to everything in books.  They can solve your problems, answer your questions, make you laugh and cry, teach you so much, give you beauty and understanding and open your mind and your world.  I'm sure I've missed a few but you get the gist of how I feel about books.  They are some of my "bestest"  friends and they continually add joy and happiness to my life!

Now, on to the book review...............

I am a sucker for good covers on books.....they are the first thing that pulls me in and this one certainly did with old photos, women on horses and the fact that it was a true story.  I love real life adventures of real people.  The author is writing about her Grandmother and her Grandmothers best friend and their adventures as young women back in the early 1900's.  When I first started reading it seemed like the author was trying to make us aware of the wealth and position of her family.   She also happens to be the executive director of the New Yorker magazine.  I can respect her position and that of her family but I am not impressed by credentials but by character.  The first few chapters seemed disjointed and I almost put it down but if you know me I hate giving up on anything and regardless I will usually follow a book to the end with the hope that it will get better.  I am so glad I didn't give up on this one!  It was a wonderful tribute to her Grandmother and her friend and also a history of the west and the east that I would have never known.
After I read it, I came to realize that she had written this book over many years, from journals, diaries, historical artifacts both written and material and from exhausting research and travel.  I have nothing but praise for how she managed to gather it all up and make sense of it all!
The sentence on the cover describes it best......"The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West".   This is what I call a "sleeper" and you might want to put it down yourself but DON'T!  You will be so glad that you didn't.  This is a true glimpse into the era of my Mother's day or maybe your Grandmother's that you will never get in the history books.  If you like non-fiction and stories of courageous and gutsy women and men, you will love this book! 
P.S.  I got it at my local library but I wish I had my own copy.  This is the type of book you could read again and again and learn something new every time.  Great job to both Dorothy's as that was her Grandmother's name too. 
P.S. P.S.    There are also more photos throughout the book which really make it come to life.
Have a glorious Thursday and thank you all for your comments!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy things!!!!

I have a few pics that didn't get posted yesterday......oh!  And I heard that my "Japanese" Iris are actually "Siberian" Iris...who knew?  All I know is that I love them! 
More rubber mulch too!

Then inside to get my mantel updated for Spring....thanks to Lucy and her crochet magic at Attic24
I'd been crocheting these little flowers that she made and decorated her mantel with and since I have no creative bones in my body I had no choice but to copy her idea!  She used cotton yarn but I had none so I used Acrylic.  I also haven't embroidered or embellished them which I might later.  I'm thinking maybe buttons in the middle.  We'll see but for now here is my Spring mantel!  (BTW visit her blog for the's free).

  I used my Mary Engelbreit pitcher to hold some bare branches on which I hung the colorful little flowers.  There are 20 of them.  I also brought an old mirror I've had for years up from the basement and managed to hang it above the mantel.  That's ME taking the picture back there!  This wall is so dark that I thought a mirror would reflect light and it does.  If I was staying here I would paint the brick a light color.
   The picket fence I've had for years and it has always signified the end of the fireplace season....goodbye cozy fires, for awhile, but I wouldn't give up the change of seasons for anything!  They each have their own joys and pleasures.
I embroidered the vase of flowers probably 30 years ago or more.  Back in the day when crewel embroidery was popular.  On the white shelf is my little cottage collection.  Most are from the thrift store but there is one that I bought that is from Ireland and worth a bit more but really you can't tell by looking at them.
I love "puttering" around my house and decorating while cleaning at the same time.  It's one more thing that gives me happiness!  Wishing you happiness in droves this Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cleaning and TRYING to make things look nice makes me happy!

In all actuality, it is not the act of  cleaning or clearing or whatever labor is involved that gives me that happy feeling although I do enjoy each moment and switch gears when I don't.  It is the RESULT that makes me smile when and if it works out!  Sometimes it doesn't! LOL!  Like my landscaping that I've been working on for the last 4 years or longer.  So much of the work went for naught as the Bermuda grass would still take over but persistence pays off and I feel like slowly but surely I am getting a handle on things again and that indeed makes me happy! 


I got 2 boxes of this edging at a rummage sale for $1.00 each and it is working out great between my yard and driveway/sidewalk to keep the mulch contained.  I checked out Wal-Mart when I was there the other day to see if they carried it in case I needed more and sure enough they do!  It was also $10.00/box so I really got a good deal on those 2 boxes.  It's easy to install with a rubber mallet and each piece hooks to the next.  This is a little project that makes me happy!

Another project that is finally starting to make me happy and give me hope is my rubber mulch that I found.  It is more expensive but the bags are easier to carry and it doesn't disintegrate.  I won't have to replace it every year and it doesn't get bleached out by the sun.  In otherwords, once I put the rubber mulch down in an area I won't have to redo it....ever!  Well, unless a tornado blows it all away or maybe a topcoat of very little once in awhile just from settling but other than that I should be good to go!  I am very happy about that let me tell you!  You can see below the cedar mulch from last year and the rubber mulch I am laying now.  
Big difference, huh?  Like I said it is more expensive initially but in the long run I won't have to replace  it every year so is it really more expensive?
 I also got a little cleaning and rearranging done yesterday and I'm making headway there........
After cleaning my desk last week,  I was on to the bookcases this week....

 I saw something on Amazon
where you can sell your used books.  I'm thinking I need to do that!  I have zillions! Ok, maybe not that many but CLOSE!  I am a happy camper as long as I keep moving forward and see results......what makes you happy?  People have asked me why I am so happy (most of the time anyway) as they know I've had my "trials and tribulations" also.  It is because I literally spent time researching what it was that made me happy.  There was a long time in there when I could not have told you what made me happy because I didn't know myself.  But when I would get those great feelings of joy that would well up inside me and make me grin from ear to ear, I started writing it down and taking notice.  So, if you don't know what makes you happy then try paying attention to those special times and you'll then know how to create it whenever you want!  Ta Da!   
Happy Tuesday everyone and thanks so much for your comments.  I truly appreciate the time you take and it's like a conversation...albeit in slow motion but none the less I love it!  Thank you all and those who just stop by too! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

A week or more of things that make me happy! FLOWERS!

This Spring has been one of the best that I remember....mild warm days, cool nights, birdsong, windows open, brightly blooming flowers....I'm really enjoying it!  I made some progress this weekend too....all kinds of things which in  my little world is the secret.   A little bit of this and that and I'm happy! So here goes! My Japanese Iris are blooming now..........

And the regular bearded Iris................

Tut tut....look at all the grass/weeds in there!

Moonbeam Coreopsis came back in a container no less!

Talk about "ramblin' rose" they are growing out onto the sidewalk!  There's little Orphan Annie guarding me in case there might be something in amongst all that foliage (and weeds).  Ummm...looks like that bench could use a coat of paint.  I'd better add that to my "never-ending" list!

My sweet little pansies and a marigold I just stuck in there.  I'll need more in there as once the heat arrives the pansies will wilt.  But for now they are enjoying the weather as am I.

 The primroses are becoming acclimated too.  I've never grown these before but I am loving their bright variety of colors.

So, I 've shared just one of the many things that make me happy.  What makes your heart soar?  Be sure and give yourself a little happiness today!  Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Better late than never............

It's Sunday and time for our spin around blogland to visit some nifty gals I've met!  Sorry this is a late post but since I didn't go to Wal-Mart the other day (in the cold and rain) I had to go today which as I've mentioned here before is an all day adventure!
First up is the sweetest and most talented gal, Tammy at T's Daily Treasures .  Tammy lives in Kuwait with her family and shares some truly foreign experiences with us who may never see that part of the world.  She has been to many places and her blog is very interesting with great food, beautiful photography and she manages to squeeze in a little time for crochet on top of her busy schedule!

Oh Tammy....this looks SO good!  YUM!

This looks like one of the dust storms they get moving in....

I told you she was talented......a crocheted teacup!  Unbelievable!  I love her blog!

Next we're going to stop by and visit Karen at The Vintage Bag Lady
Karen is a retired painting contractor and has a gorgeous home in Cheney, Washington.  Another extremely talented lady as you will see.  She has her own travel trailer she's redone and it's called Miss in "driving Miss Daisy".  It is SO CUTE!  I want one!

 Isn't it just the cutest?  I've been wanting to scale down and this could be just the ticket! LOL! BTW, she did the refinishing and decorating down to sewing the curtains and coordinating pillows!
She's also a crocheter and has that and more in her Etsy store..........

Oh!  pretty colors!  And she's a thrift store junky like most of us too and does she ever find the neatest stuff and unlike MOI...........she knows exactly what to do with it!  How cute is that little "vignette"?  

 Bye Karen....TTLY!

And last on our Sunday spin is Cathy over at Our Country Bungalow
This gal does it all and with such style!  I wish I was blessed with such decorating talent as she has and the ability to make each room cozy and inviting.  Just look at her that not magazine material?  I love it!

She also does so many  "hands on" recycling of anything and everything.  I swear this woman could take a rag and make it into something beautiful!  Look what she did to this cupboard and she also did a bookcase too!  She's amazing!
Oh how I love me a "before and after" and this one takes the cake!  LOVE, LOVE , LOVE!  You should have seen last week when she took some knit shirts that her daughter had outgrown and redid them into the cutest little feminine tank tops!  This lady is talented!
More of her sweet country bungalow.........
 Cathy, I hate to leave your cozy home but I had best get back to mine and start working on it so maybe someday mine will look as welcoming as yours. 
Thanks for stopping by everyone and please visit these ladies when you get a minute.  You will not be me.........they're MY inspiration in blogging, decorating, and many other areas!
Have a restful and relaxing Sunday!