Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Odds and Ends

Ron worked this weekend on getting things ship-shape. He got my walking paths all nice and smooth. The pasture is all nicely turned under and he keeps working our garden area and he is still turning the mulch pile under and it smells nicer and richer each time. It was a beautiful day. The grass is turning green and the meadowlarks are back. Though, I haven't smelled spring yet. It still smells like a deep freeze. The trees still seem pretty asleep.

 This is from the back, looking toward the house.  When I stand back here, I think of what it will look like when that windmill is out there. Makenzie came over and picked oranges, and lemons and blood oranges. She took six bags home. Ben and Megan came and picked bags of them too, and it still looks like we haven't picked a single thing. You know I believe that planting fruit and nut trees is one of the best things a person can do to plan for the future. When we planted those trees 15 years ago, it was for when the kids grew up and started their own families. So now when they come pick fruit it makes me so happy.

When we first got married and we lived in an apartment and we had tiny little patio with a tiny bit of dirt, we even grew things there. I loved my little bit of flowerbed in our first apartment. When we bought our first house we put in a garden almost before we painted the house. Our whole married life has been about growing and gardening. I still don't think I know anything about it yet. Every year, every garden we learn and change how we do things. One of these years, I hope we hit of a great idea to get maximum tomatoes. I still think a pack of seeds and a bit of earth is the most wonderful surprise in the whole world.

I had to really crop this picture but I wanted you to see our mountains with some snow. How green everything is and how blue the sky is after the rain. This has been such a blessing to have rain and snow and cold. To live in drought and then have rain like we have is just such a treat this year. I am so thankful.

This was a frosty morning as the sun was coming up. Isn't the grass just awesome? Already. This is next door. I love the white against the green. I just got back from my yearly eye exam. Its been three years since the Cataract surgery. What a gift being able to see is and how I am still amazed at colors. My eyes are in really good health. I just feel so blessed. I feel like I could jump tall buildings in a single bound.

Ron fixed my pictures on my computer and now I can finally blog. It had got to the point where I would sit down to blog and I would be on for hours trying to find my pictures and I would finally give up. Its so nice when things work like they are supposed to and pictures load again.

Yay for my programmer who fixes my computer after a long day at work and even my office chair.  So many things to be thankful for today. Also good by to January! You have been nice but ready for some red and white of February.

Have a lovely day,

“Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.” -Josephine Nuese

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rise and Shine

Its been a pretty wild week weather wise. Lots of rain, lots of wind. Now we are having cold and fog. Well except today. The sun is shining and it is sparkling crisp. Its hard to be in the house. The ground is so wet,  I am having gardening withdrawal.  I have been sort of looking at seed catalogs. Not really all in because I hate that January torture. When that pining comes on, then I start longing for spring instead of being content with winter. I also have been sort of looking at chick catalogs too. I need chicks this year. I like chick years.

Ron and  I started our spring training and racing to get things done before we are overtaken by weeds.
It feels nice to start. We moved our wood pile and got every thing clean and stacked under it. I have such nice wood for projects. I love that wood pile. Ben and Meg came over on Sunday and our grandsons were completely enthralled with that wood pile. It makes me so happy to see their minds working.

I have been cleaning up tumbleweeds for two days now. It was quite a wind storm. We have a giant pile now that we will have to burn. Some of those things are taller than me. I am five one. So big tumbleweeds.
Would you like to know how many steps I have taken since I got my fit bit five weeks today?

 365,796 steps. Five weeks of walking rain or shine. It has played havoc with my sewing and my hooking. I feel so much better though. Its worth it. Since a good portion of the kids have them its really fun to do challenges. I look for ways to take extra steps. Ron and I are planning our next get away so we can go hike.
Doesn't that sound fun? I thought it did. Five laps on my back porch is 250 steps. So I jump up and go do that because even though I have walked tons in the rain, sometimes it is just raining too hard and I have to walk on the porch.

Sasha is so sick of this walking thing that in the afternoon she hides and won't come out when I want to go for a walk. She even pretends she doesn't hear me calling her. In the morning though, she is ready to go and she is my walking buddy.

So that is what I have been doing. You know what is funny? The book on tape I am listening to when I walk is called 39 Steps by John Buchan.

Its time for my next red dot so should get off. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope your days are warm and sunny.


 "Grownups! Everyone remembers them. How strange and even sad it is that we never became what they were: beings noble, infallible, and free. We never became them. One of the things we discover as we live is that we never become anything different from what we are. We are no less ourselves at forty than we were at four, and because of this we know grownups as Grownups only once in life: during our own childhood. We never meet them in our lives again, and we will miss them always." ~ Elizabeth Enright

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Busy Bird Day

Today was a busy bird day. We have a week of storms coming in starting tonight. Another Atmospheric River event. I like the way those words sound as they roll off my tongue. It could be that this is the first winter in so long and it reminds me of when I was a girl and I lived on horse back and in the winter I was outside as much as I could be every day. This is  much like those days long ago. I was walking this morning and I noticed the hummingbirds fighting and fighting. That was my first clue. We have one main hummingbird who rules the roost around here. Best to my ability to count hummingbirds there were  six.  They fought all day.

My next clue was the flocks of Canadian Geese flying over in flocks and singles. There were Mallards. I saw two flocks of Cattle Egrets. All flying to the East. This evening as I was watching the sun begin to set and it was turning everything all gold and hazy. I noticed the blue jays sitting very still in the tops of the trees. Think of a circle with a beak and a tail. Fluffed out watching like me the sunset as well. They were very still and quiet. Even the mockingbird was sitting in a tree silent and watching. I noticed there was no wind. It is one of those coming storms when the earth holds its breath.

Not my picture, but I wish it were.
I think waiting for a storm is almost like waiting for Christmas. I have in the back of my mind, just taking of the fit bit and hiding it in a drawer so I can just sit. The kids keep wanting to do challenges and  I could say no, but where is the fun in that? Makenzie and William hiked Diamond Head yesterday and they won yesterdays challenge.

I have had about enough summer to last forever I think. I don't want this winter to end. Because you know when February gets here every thing thinks its time to wake up.
I hope you have a lovely Wednesday. Thank you for stopping by.
I was sitting and watching the sunset and writing a post. I thought I should just come in and write one for real.

Blessings from me to you,

"What is the scent of water?" "Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew. "
Elisabeth Goudge---The Scent of Water.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Odds and Ends

Not much is going on around here. The mulch pile is heating nicely under its plastic cover. On the weekend Ron takes off the tarp and stirs it up with his tractor. I receive so much satisfaction watching it steam in the air. It smells so nice and loamy. Ron was in a car with his boss driving to a job and they were talking and Ron was telling the man how nice that mulch pile smelled. His boss asked, " What does it smell like? What makes it smell good?" We were on a walk, as he was telling me this story, so we both pondered since his boss isn't a gardener apparently how do you describe the smell of mulch? Forest floor? Walking in the woods after a rain? How would you describe it?

We have had so much lovely rain. One of the things I love to so is pull up that tarp and watch that beautiful, cold and clear water pour off onto the ground. The pasture is so wet you couldn't get a tractor in it. We are ahead of our rain amounts. One of the weatherman I watched said we have another atmospheric river headed this way and its lined up past Japan. It should be here next week by Thursday or Friday.  Isn't that grand?

 Okay back again, just had to go for a walk to take some new pictures because I hadn't got my 250 steps for this hour. Then I was so close to the next thousand steps I had to go take a fast walk out in the rain. I have it bad let me tell you. Yesterday at Bible study I parked my car as far as I could away from the church I walked out to my car 3 times.  When we took a bathroom break I went down the stairs into the next building for more steps. I ended up with 13 floors yesterday because I went up and down steps so many times. I do feel so good with all of this exercise. Or it could be because the weather just energizes me knowing I can have a garden this year.

These pictures I just took. All of my flowers are so bedraggled. When I went out there I realized I haven't trimmed my roses and its January.

Its so cold this rose has been frozen at this stage. It might have been waiting for its picture to be taken. The air has that feel to it when it is snowing in the mountains. The air is so fresh and clean.

I continue to be mesmerized by raindrops. This is the feverfew that is going to town this year because of the rain. So are my bulbs. My iris bulbs and tulips are growing I hope they don't rot with all of the standing water.

Here is one of my flowerbeds.

The ground is so saturated that standing water is everywhere. Hopefully this weekend we get a break and it will have time to soak in before more storms come. It is nicer to have rain and water outside than  inside. I think we got everything dry this week using a heater to dry things. At least it doesn't smell like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. That was what I thought every time I came in the house this week.

 My poor ole Black-Eyed Susan's look like black-eyed spiders. I should have cut those back too, but it is nice to see them even if they are so wet.

I took Sasha for a walk this morning. Even the sheep wasn't out grazing. He is mine and Sasha's highlight of our walk. They must be going to keep him as a ram as he hasn't become a wether yet. He is very unique looking his head and to his shoulders and his two front legs are all black. Then behind his shoulders and his back half is white. I noticed too they had not docked his tail. You know seeing that lamb on walks sure gives me sheep and goat envy. Along with chick and cow envy. There is that pig next door now. I miss having more animals than I do.

I have to tell you this funny thing I saw the other day when I was out walking. I had my chickens out in the back yard. I am always on the lookout for hawks. I noticed there was a small falcon sitting in the top of one of the trees. I could tell by his hooked beak. He saw me long before I saw him. He very gracefully glided over to another tree. I kept walking. He knew I was watching him when he decided to fly to a tree in the back of the pasture. There was a blue jay sitting in the top of that tree and when he saw that hawk flying at him, he sort of just fell out of that tree with a scream. I just started laughing because it was so funny. The hawk, decided to fly on to a different place, and I never saw where the blue jay went.

Well should stop writing its almost time to get up and go get 250 steps. That hour flew by. Peter is on the mend. He looks like a little chipmunk with his cheeks full of seeds. I hope you have a lovely weekend. I hope to work outside this weekend if it is sunny.* Crossing my fingers.* The nettles in our last years garden is lush. I would like to cut it and dry it. I need some nettle tea this time of year.

Blessings from me to you.


I had not known before that love is obedience. You want to love, and you can’t, and you hate yourself because you can’t, and all the time love is not some marvelous thing that you feel but some hard thing that you do. And this in a way is easier because with God’s help you can command your will when you can’t command your feelings. With us, feelings seem to be important, but He doesn’t appear to agree with us.
Elisabeth Goudge---Scent of Water. My current read.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Twilight of The Day

The sun is hidden behind a bank of clouds. It makes it dark in the house before I am ready to turn on the lights. What better way to tell you about my day. As I told you I might be a little OCD about the Fit Bit. I knew I had a problem when this morning way before daylight I was out walking because today I knew I would be sitting in the dentist office while our youngest son had his wisdom teeth out. Then of course, once I got there and they took him back, I went and walked around the parking lot. Trying of course, hoping people believed I was looking for a medical office and not some nutty woman getting in steps.

I don't know what they give them these days, but that boy was so out of it and he doesn't
 remember a thing.
He was upstairs sleeping and I left to walk out to the mail box and when I came in and went to check on him he told me he had taken more pain medication. Which he wasn't supposed to for another couple of hours.

He came downstairs a bit later, and told me he needed pain meds. I said, "you can't you told me you took one already." He of course doesn't remember and I didn't see him when he came down stairs, so did he come down stairs? He looks better though than when I brought him home.( I counted them and sure enough he had taken one when I went outside.)

The funny thing that happened when I was doing my laps at the medical offices with my purse hanging from my arm.  This kitty found me as I walked. She was the really chatty type. She was just telling me how the world was and what she had been up too. I would stop every so often and pet her and talk to her. She is the fattest stray kitty I have even seen and she was so healthy so she might get fed from the offices around there a lot. A lady stoped and asked, " Is that your kitty?"
I said, " Oh, gosh no, she found me!." The lady looked at me like was some kind of nut because at that point the kitty was really talking and her motor was full blast. I had taken my hooking frame in the car and my current rug and I had downloaded lots of Charles Dickens to listen to while I waited. (The office is really small and there is so many people waiting I would rather wait in the car.) I was so antsy so it felt better to walk. They called me and told me when he was finished and I went back in the office. They had to bring him to the car in a wheel chair.

He told me he has no memory of coming home or even getting into the house or going upstairs.  The one thing he wants in macaroni and cheese. Which he can't have until tomorrow. I thought that was funny. He has been asking for it since I put him in the car to drive home. A chocolate milkshake from Wendy's. He wanted french fries too but not yet.

As always tomorrow will be a better day. Thanks for reading about my day. Its nice to share it.
The twilight is changing into dark, so should get off and shut the blinds and turn on the lights and get dinner underway.

Have a lovely evening,


“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”― Edith Sitwell

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rain and Floods

Since I got this Fit Bit, its really hard to write a post. I periodically jump up and go take 250 steps. I just finished. It was a good thing I had started this post and my Fit Bit needs to be charged so now I can try and write something readable.

I suppose if you watch the news you have seen all of the pictures of raging rivers, lots and lots of water. Rain. Stuff that normal places get a lot of but in California it makes it interesting because we just aren't used to it. Its rained and rained and I am so happy about it. I love seeing the pictures. I have to tell you about my own flood.

 Now mind you, I had my day planned. I was going to sew, then hook and watch rain. All day. Get a fire going and read a book wander from window to window staring at what the weather people call an "Atmospheric River Event." Which means lots and lots of rain.  It was six A.M. Ron was going to turn on coffee and we would begin our morning talking and looking forward to the storm. We had a different problem.

Ron says from the hall. " Kim there is water! lots of water." Me not believing what I am hearing and supposing Sasha had a accident, say, safely from my warm covers. " What kind of water?" He says, " lots of water!!!" Me thinking, as I look out the window and don't see any water falling from the sky yet, its not raining how can there be water? I jumped out of my warm bed, ran to the hall and sure enough, water, water everywhere. I ran through the water when I realize its warm water that is lapping at my ankles. I say, rather calmly because we never yell around here, " Its the hot water heater." Which I may add is only six years old. Ron opens the door to the water heater closet and sure enough water is flowing right out the front of it where water should not be flowing, ever. He turns the water off but water keeps flowing. He runs outside grabs a hose and hooks it to that little faucet on the front.

  I had started moving furniture to higher ground and I ran out to the garage and grabbed towels and started making dams to stop the water from going any further. All the while saying to myself, think! think! think! I remembered I had that handy dandy carpet cleaner that would pick up water. Ron took it and started vacuuming water while I was on my hands and knees wiping with towels behind him. We worked frantic for a hour. When I looked up and the floor looked okay. Yes the carpets and my area rugs were still wet, but I had that carpet cleaner.

Ron got the boys up to help him take the old water heater out. When he noticed this toll free number on the back. Since the water heater was under warranty, its supposed to last at least 12 years. He called.
They ended up telling him to take it back to Lowe's and they would replace it for free. He took it back and sure enough, they gave him a new one. What I loved about this story is well of course, the water heater was free. We still have two strong young men at home, who helped. We had a almost brand new floor cleaner that got the water up. I was able to keep drying things as they worked. The really nice thing that happened was just when Peter and Ron needed one more person to help get that heavy water heater in the truck, a big strapping man, says, " Hey you need help with that?" He helped them load it.
Peter and Ron and Elliot had the new one in by 2:00 that afternoon.  You know what else? I think this is one of those little miracles that happen when you least expect it. The rain never started until they got that water heater installed in the house. Then it rained and rained.

Yesterday it was warm, which allowed the area rugs I had outside to get dry while hanging on the swimming pool fence, so I could bring them back inside last night. My little wool rugs I made, they absorbed so much water, I was really so impressed with them. They dried fast too and look none the worst for wear.

So what could have been much, much worse ended up being a sweet day of reminders that even when hard or bad things happen God can turn them around for good. The thing is, you have to keep your eyes open for those little sweet blessings. Because, I tell you, I wanted to sit and cry many times I was so overwhelmed with the mess and the water. Just so you know, even though I have heat on the carpet it still stinks. But I wanted to tell you the good things all in all.
I am making bread today to try and make everything feel cozy.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read this long post. I appreciate it so very much.


“Could mere loving be a life's work? Could it be a career like marriage or nursing the sick or going on the stage? Could it be adventure?”
― Elizabeth Goudge, The Dean's Watch

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Compound Effect

For the last couple of years, Ron has given each of the kids a book that really helped him during the previous year. This year the book he gave every one is called the Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy. Its a tiny book filled with how you do one tiny thing and it will have a compound effect on the rest of your life. He gave one to me as well as I wanted my own copy to write in and underline.

Ron also gave me a present that still makes me cry, because well, its very special.

Last year at the beginning of 2016, he started a small journal about me. Each day for 365 days, he wrote something nice. Every single day. He gave it to me on January 1st. My first thought was how on earth could anyone find 365 nice things to say about me? But, he did. Reading though it, is like a time machine. Everything that happened, things I forgot. Things that were so horrible I still can't think about them. Yet even on the lowest days, he could find some nice thing to say about me.

Some are funny, some are poignant. Do you know, I never even found out? I never even walked in while he was writing. When he is home we are always together so that amazes me.
I have to tell you, though. When I read in the Compound Effect that the author did it for his wife one year. I being such a idiot. I told Ron, " I hope you never do that for me." He went pale, but soldiered on. I knew I had hurt him horribly. When on January 1st came and  he showed me the journal I just wanted to die. I really was afraid to read it. I don't know what I expected. So we read it together, me crying, well crying most of the time and laughing. We had walked that same path only he had recorded it.
As long as I live, I don't think I will ever again receive a gift that has blessed and yet overwhelmed  me.

In my other life, I was a marriage counselor. When women would come to me with their issues I always started with this, go home and make a list of all of the qualities you like about your husband. Every day I want you to pray that list. More often than not the next week they would come back madly in love with their spouse.
Knowing Ron did that about me, just humbled me. I guess that was why I was afraid. I don't like being humbled.  I want to be the one who out gives him and he just out gave me as our soon to be president says, "bigly."

I have thought about this over and over. Did I want to share it? It really is so personal. I thought I would just because its so sweet.

I can tell you that my 2017 is off to a great start. We have lots and lots of rain in the forecast. Not to mention having this very sweet man I married. I am so glad he has never given up on me. Even when I am an colossal


A new year ... a fresh, clean start! It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on! A day full of possibilities! It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy ... let's go exploring!”

 Bill Watterson