Friday, December 22, 2017

First Snowfall

We have had an extremely dry summer and autumn and beginning of winter. Lately it has been crisp and cold with sunny clear skies. Beautiful days, with no sign of a cloud. But I have been growing restive for some white snowflakes to make their appearance. Then this week, the weatherman said yes, it was going to happen! So....I have been going about my business, getting exited for that first glimpse.

And finally we saw the first fat white downy flakes falling on Wednesday morning. Not at night, while we were blissfully snoring our way through a winters sleep, but in the morning when we woke up so that we could see and enjoy it! Not a lot, just several hours of lightly falling snowflakes, coating the grass with a thin cover that would melt at the hint of a sunbeam. But enough for now. Enough to make me feel like Wednesday was a magical morning, a special time. 

And then the sun came out, and shone on everything and everyone. And it was beautiful. And now the weatherman says it will really snow on Christmas about that for timing! But it won't be the first snowfall, not quite the same.

And I will leave you with this poem by James Russell Lowell. Get a handkerchief ready...

THE snow had begun in the gloaming, 
And busily all the night 
Had been heaping field and highway 
With a silence deep and white. 

Every pine and fir and hemlock 
Wore ermine too dear for an earl, 
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree 
Was ridged inch deep with pearl. 

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara 
Came Chanticleer's muffled crow, 
The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down, 
And still fluttered down the snow. 

I stood and watched by the window 
The noiseless work of the sky, 
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds, 
Like brown leaves whirling by. 

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn 
Where a little headstone stood; 
How the flakes were folding it gently, 
As did robins the babes in the wood. 

Up spoke our own little Mabel, 
Saying, 'Father, who makes it snow?' 
And I told of the good All-father 
Who cares for us here below. 

Again I looked at the snowfall, 
And thought of the leaden sky 
That arched o'er our first great sorrow, 
When that mound was heaped so high. 

I remembered the gradual patience 
That fell from that cloud like snow, 
Flake by flake, healing and hiding 
The scar of our deep-plunged woe. 

And again to the child I whispered, 
'The snow that husheth all, 
Darling, the merciful Father 
Alone can make it fall! ' 

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her; 
And she, kissing back, could not know 
That my kiss was given to her sister, 
Folded close under deepening snow. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

All Things December

 Fun with Piano Students
After school one day in December, we had an impromptu 'tea' only with hot chocolate and molasses sugar cookies. This is Abby and Emily, and their Mom Carol and I are sipping out of sight of the camera, and keeping warm in front on the fire. Brrr- it's been cold for a couple of weeks now.

Here is another group of students, and the one with the guitar is Shayli, then Brinnay and Ella in the green Christmas t-shirt, along with Mom Kindi. I have known Kindi since she was Ella's age, so it is so much fun to teach her girls. The home school in the kitchen while each has a piano lesson.
JoAnn has been busy baking up a storm, and made some very beautiful sugar cookies that were a work of art!
JoAnn and I had a fun time too, decorating the tree this year. We had purchased a few new trims and I sat and got the ornaments ready for her then she put them on the tree. What a great idea! I was happy to be sitting, and she was happy having control of the placement. Christmas music was playing and a plate of cookies was nearby for the hungry (that's us)!

Well, we have done some fun things in December this year. Tonight we are going out to dinner with 3 dear friends and have a special Christmas dinner together. Then on Saturday is our Church Ladies Christmas Brunch and I am going with a friend and looking forward to it. 
Then of course I am fitting it the baking and Christmas cards as time allows. So nice to spend these days preparing my heart and home for the coming of the Savior!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Quirky, Beautiful and Amazing Critters

Last spring I posted some spring baby animal photos I had collected from Pinterest. I decided today to post some of my favorite winter animal scenes, collected from Pinterest as well. It is fun to see the critters out in the midst of a cold snowy winter in their natural environment. The photographers do such an amazing job of capturing these animals so close and quirky, fun and beautiful.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November Doings

 A fall treat I saw on Pinterest, and decided to try out. Chex mix with candy corn and candy pumpkins! 

 This was the month we got our piano tuned. I took the opportunity to take photos of the interior. It is so pretty inside. This old upright was made before 1885, by the Franklin Piano Company. My great-grandparents purchased it for my Great Aunt Minnie. She brought it with her from Iowa to Oregon, then Seattle by train. She taught piano with it for many many years until her arthritis was too severe. She gave it to my parents so I could learn on it, a wonderful gift! Now it resides in Bend, Oregon and I have continued the tradition and teach on it. So many years of wonderful pleasure I have received.

This is behind the bottom panel, with the sound board in the back. The funny black box is a humidifier, that I have to water every few weeks. We live where there is virtually no humidity, so to keep the piano and wood moist this is the solution.
Julie and family have a new addition. "Sunshine' has arrived to keep them all company. Isn't she a beautiful kitty?
 And finally, today is the day before Thanksgiving. I love the peace and fun of this day. Mom is here with us, and she and I are working on a few Christmas projects this morning. First experimenting with selfies. She is 95 and knows what a selfie is and how to take one. Wow!
 We are getting some ornaments ready for delivery, and having a great time doing it. Thinking and talking about each grandchild and great-grandchild. Hey kids, does this get you exited for December?

Friday, October 27, 2017

All Things Cozy in Late Autumn

I love to find seasonal photos on Pinterest and save them. I put them on my computer screen as wall paper, and then rotate them every few minutes to enjoy the scenes. I thought I would share a few of my mid-to-end of Autumn photos. I can't give all the photographers credits here, but they are some creative and talented people. 

Where I grew up in Seattle, we had a whole street lined with gorgeous chestnut trees. This was the season to pick up the pods that had split open and gather the nuts. There is a brown hard shell, with the chestnuts inside. Then there is a papery covering. My mother used to roast them over a fire in our fireplace, with little x's carved into the skins just like the photo below. Those would curl up and be easier to peel off. The chestnut inside was so worth the efforts, as they have an amazing buttery goodness!

I think it would be SO fun to live on Punkin Blvd, don't you?

That's what it smells like when you scuffle through the dried fallen leaves on the ground.

Have a delightful week-end, celebrating Halloween, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and all things cozy in November.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October: Snow, completed projects and gorgeous fall color!

 Well, October 2017 brought snow! That's early even for us. It snowed right on our fall colored trees and bushes. It was so much fun to watch, because they were wet, warm big snow 'bunches' as opposed to snow flakes. Nothing actually stuck, which is why that kind of snow is everyone's favorite.

 Other news of interest to my grandsons, is that Papa finally finished his shed, paint and all. He built it from his head and scrap materials, and it turned out so nice and holds lots of storage stuff.
 This was a sign that the grandsons gave him, and he's been saving it for just the right time. It now tells everyone who this shed belongs too! Looks great guys.

 This is the other shed, which we cleaned out and turned from a junk shed to a garden shed. Great to get these projects done!
 I will just leave you with a little fall color in the yard. The sedum which is lovely in the fall, and just keeps coming back each year in it's planters.
 A red wing maple tree, that is my favorite!
And a burning bush...which really looks like it is burning in the sunshine.
Have a great rest of October everyone!