Birds and Dogs

I can’t believe that it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted.  Where does the time go?

It certainly hasn’t been because I’ve been busy.  In fact, just the opposite.  The heat here in Arizona makes it difficult to be what you’d call active.  Hubby and I have been spending our early mornings out back watching the birds.  Yes, that’s about as active as I can be in the heat.  We have been having the very best time!  The weather is perfect early in the morning.

Sugar Plum insisted on waking me up at 5:15 almost every morning.  She just wants to play fetch and tug o’war.  After a few rounds of that Meeka is up and we go for a little walk.  I recently read about someone’s beloved dog dying and he said if he could do anything any different, he’d let his dog sniff more, that his dog always wanted to stop on their walks and sniff everything.  That really hit me so I’ve been letting them stop and sniff a lot more.

Speaking of the girls, here is a couple of before and after pictures, yesterday before the groomer and today after the groomer.  Since it’s so hot here, I asked them to trim them down quite a bit, but not so much that they could get sunburn.

Meeka before

and after

Sugar before

and after

You can tell they feel so good because they are running around in circles and having a great time.

Such cuties.

Yesterday we sat and watched a bird build a nest in the tree.  I can’t believe how patient these birds are.  She or he, whoever builds the nest, would fly down on our block wall, look around then go off to get one little scrap or twig.  She would then come back to the wall and sit for a few seconds and then go into the tree to place the scrap.  A moment later, she would come out to the wall again, sit for a second then fly off for another little tiny scrap, then back to the wall, as if to show us what she had this time.

I took pictures, but since I am NOT a photographer, they are not the best.

Here she is on the wall before she gets her scrap.

Here she is with a little scrap

She is building the nest in the tree right there, with each little tiny piece at a time.

We watched her for a good hour and a half.  I believe she must have been busy all day.

What fun we had.  Nature is a wonderful thing.

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Some Things That Make My Heart Smile

Just wanted to share a few more things that add joy to my life.

Backyard in summer time.  Ready for BBQing and swimming.

 

Backyard hibiscus

Roses in front yard of my son’s house.

 Next cake which is much much better than the last one.

 Flowers we learned in cake decorating class last week.

And my favorite.  This is my great-grandson, 2 year old Deegan and his Daddy, Ryan.

Deegan was misbehaving and is getting a serious talking to!  I love the look on his face, so serious, but listening to every word.

Hubby always tells me that it doesn’t take much to make me happy.  I think it’s because I’ve spent time in both “unhappiness” and “happiness” and  I must say,. happiness gets my vote.  It’s a choice I make each and every day.  Like I always say – Life is ALWAYS Good no matter what might be showing up at the moment.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day Tablescape

I’m very happy to make my Mother’s Day tablescape in honor of my mother.  She has been gone now 25 years, but I can still hear her voice and see her smile.  My mother was extraordinary.  Her life was devoted to her family.  She always tried to make things special for each of her children and grandchildren.  I remember her at the sewing machine for hours on end when I was a little girl, making all my school clothes and clothes for all my dolls.  She also loved the horses, racing that is.  She asked her minister if she could tithe her winnings.  He said yes, absolutely!  My mother was very lucky too, hm… interesting.

I am fortunate to have received her china.  I don’t know how old it is, but I remember it all my life and I’m 62.  It is plain, white with 24 carat gold rim.  Mother like to use color with her white china.  Today I’m using gold.  I picked it because gold is a treasure, just like my mom.

 

I chose a linen while table cloth to cover the table and then a delightful gold smaller table cloth that is so very beautiful.

It is one of my treasure I got from the Goodwill store along with the vase, the napkins,the gold chargers and the stemware.

You can’t really see the label on the dishes, but it says

Royal Continental from Germany.

 Of course I got both sets of my napkins at the Goodwill too.  The napkin rings are from Steinmart.

These gold napkins are simply gorgeous.  I couldn’t wait to use them.

Here is my Mother’s Day cake.  Not perfect by any means, it’s only my third cake since I’ve started cake decorating classes.

I enjoyed making it just the same.

I have been scouring the Goodwills for a beautiful cake plate and haven’t had any luck yet.

In the meantime, I have many beautiful crystal plates that were my mother’s so

of course I used this lovely plate for the cake.

I love fresh flowers on my table, but this time it’s just JoAnn’s fakery!

 They still are very beautiful.

 I’m very proud of my 5th tablescape.  I think I caught the bug!   I’m hooked on tablescapes!  I hope you enjoyed my very simple, but I think elegant table.

I will be celebrating with Let’s Dish at Cuisine Kathleen and

 Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life 

St. Patrick’s Day Table

Posting my second tablescape!  I’m so new at this – I know my pictures could stand a little work and my table, well it could use some work too, but I’m having fun with what I have and that’s all that matters, right?

I set a table for four.  Yes, I know the picture could be better.  I can’t believe I didn’t get it centered.

 My bowls, napkins, candlesticks, crocheted table runner and tablecloth all came from the Goodwill store (and the prices were right.)

My little bucket, flowers, beads and chargers came from Michael’s.

I made my napkin rings from St. Pat’s garland I had.  I added the little buttons because we were having house guests that included two little boys who I thought might like to have them.

I thought the table looked cute.  I made the little bows on the orange candles because I had some St. Pat’s ribbon.

 I made some goodies for the kids, cake pops and candy which they LOVED so that made me happy.

Mmmm, yummy!

I hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s Day.

What to do…

Little Sugar Plum has not been feeling well since last night.  Her only symptoms are that she is somewhat lethargic, and I think she is also nauseated because she keeps licking her lips.  She doesn’t want to get up and move around and she groans a bit when she does move.  She just looks so pitiful.  I even put on one of her favorite “necklaces” I made for her.  She still wasn’t very happy.

 She always wants to sit on my lap but not last night or today.  She wants to be left alone.

Late last night she was so listless, I was really worried.  We have lived here almost a  year, but as of last night I still didn’t have any idea where the all night emergency animal clinic was located or even if there was one near.  Then I remembered my new and improved IPhone.  I clicked the button and very clearly asked it the address and phone number of the nearest emergency vet.

The nice automated lady told me that she had two available for me and which one did I want.  Can you believe that?  I picked the closest and she automatically dialed it for me.

 

I got a chance to speak to the vet tech and was told what to watch out for.

It’s been a little unsettling since the vet called last week to tell me her blood tests were back and that she had a “severe” case of Valley Fever.  He said that she would be on her meds for quite some time or maybe forever.  He said it was not life threatening.  Of course I want her to have the best quality of life.  She also has a limp that he believed was from arthritis and not the Valley Fever.  He actually called my little baby a “Geriatric” patient!  When did all this happen?

Today she is a little better, but not near 100%.  She doesn’t even want to play “hide the rawhide” with Meeka.

 She just sat and watched.

Poor little Meeka had to play all by herself.  She just didn’t know where to hide it.

 Oh What to do!  Maybe over here in this mess.

Come on Sugar, help me!

I guess I’ll just hide it in this blanket for now.

Here are some of Sugar and Meeka’s “necklaces.”  There are actually two of each color so they can “dress” alike.

 These little ones really do bring  joy in my life.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  I hope it’s the best ever.

Valentine’s Day Table

I love reading all sorts of blogs.  I read blogs on dogs, blogs on farms, blogs on beautiful homes, blogs on food and recipes, blogs on crafts and hobbies, and I have recently become interested in reading blogs on tablescapes.

  During the holidays, they are incredible.

So being the type of person I am (a bit copycat, a bit adventurous), I decided I needed to try this.

 First of all, the difficulty I found was that I only had a set of white dishes, besides my Spode Christmas dishes and my mother’s white china.  I noticed people  seemed to have a set not only for every occasion, but for almost every single week and in every color and pattern.  So being the type of person I am (a bit copycat and a bit thrifty) I headed down to my new favorite store, the Goodwill.

So, presenting my first tablescape!

Tea for Two Valentine style

I love candles.  I had to make and tie bows around the white candles because one had broken.  The bow holds it together nicely.

Oh, by the way, the red table cloth and the white lace table cloth were both wonderful finds at the Goodwill.  I also found the blue vase there.  I already had the cute little pink roses.   I had the red napkins, but I didn’t have any napkin rings that would go here.  I only had them for  Christmas and Thanksgiving.  I did, however, have these blue ones so I thought, why not put in some blue, hence the napkin rings and the blue vase.

 So now since I only had the white plates,  I realized I had to go to the Goodwill.  Look at these adorable blue-flowered bowls I found!  They were 99 cents each and they were beautiful!  I got six because you never know.

I had looked for some place mats but just couldn’t find anything I liked until I went to Walmart and found these lovely red wood chargers.  I loved them so here they are.

I guess I could have done a better job of showing my stemware.  They are from Princess House.  I used to sell it in the early 1980s.  I still have quite a bit left.

So pretty.

I’ve had this little tea set forever.  It is not complete, but I still love it.

I added this simply because I think it’s cute.  I put a red candle I had into my little crystal heart dish.  I collect these little figurines and thought that this one was the perfect Valentine’s Day piece.  Then I just pulled out my tin that sort of matches.  It makes me happy every time I look this!

 

 Well, that’s it!  My first (and very amateurish) tablescape.  I only hope they will get bigger and better and more beautiful as I learn this lovely craft.  I had fun.  I worried if you would like it.  Then I decided to just go for it and enjoy myself.

I already bought a cute tablecloth and place mats for Easter.  Yes, at the Goodwill store.  It’s going to be so much fun.

Life Lessons and Other Stuff

I don’t really have any special photos that go with this blog post, so I’m just going to drop in pictures that either make me happy or make me feel at peace.

 I had one of those days Thursday that thankfully come few and far between at this point in my life.  I was just mad at the world.  Nothing was going my way and everything and everybody irritated me.

Even these two little sweeties.

What made it worse is that I know how my attitude for the day affects my day,  and I still couldn’t shake it.

Turns out, it didn’t matter where I went or what I did, a couple of life’s lessons were waiting for me.  Now don’t get me wrong, I already thought I had learned these lessons (she says sheepishly).

I WAS BEING JUDGMENTAL!

I thought I had that one completely under control, ha ha.  But the Universe wanted me to realize that I was completely out of control by putting things right smack in front of me that I needed to see.

 (Ah, now there’s peace to me.  Our front yard in Missouri)

Anyway, I was just running around judging everyone and especially those judgmental folks that kept popping into my life.  I went to a class at church and lo and behold, it was on the perils of being judgmental!

Okay, so now that I’m irritated at everyone, I’m not feeling very loving and kind – which is my normal nature.  I’m even disgusted with myself at this point.  I’m not being very forgiving either.

I tell Hubby, it’s not you, it’s me, but please just don’t speak to me because you irritate me!  He knew it wasn’t him so he just left me alone so I could work this out.  He’s really good that way.  He doesn’t take it personally at all.  Of course that irritated me at the time because I really did want it to be all his fault.  (Oh my!)

(Freshly baked cookies always make me happy.)

Okay, so now I decide to go through the checkbook and I find a $122 error and NOT in my favor.  Well, it doesn’t matter what else happened, just know that it wasn’t a great day.  My attitude was NOT shifting!  I was on the downward spiral and sinking fast!

Anyway, I decided to read and wouldn’t you know it, I picked up one of my spiritual books which was just sitting there by my chair.   Without realizing it, I opened to the section on Love and Forgiveness.  Oh my gosh.  I wasn’t ready to give up my lousy attitude at that point – but I had NO choice!  The Universe was yelling at me!

I succumbed.

I read, I felt myself mellowing.  I was feeling better but yet still bruised and battered from my day.

I told Hubby that I think some comfort food is in order.  He asked me what I wanted because he so wanted me to be happy again.  (Did I say he is great?)  He is naming off things like a big juicy hamburger, maybe some chocolate, maybe pizza?

You know what I ended up getting?  You won’t believe it, McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies.   Before you laugh, have you tried them?  You would think your mother made them.  Really!

I”m feeling much more like myself again.  I have learned, however, that I do not graduate the course “Getting it all Together.”  It’s just an ongoing process that never ends.  You know, that’s okay.  Feeling pretty much at peace right now.

Home Safe and Almost Sound


Finally home and back to normal – at least what I call normal.

First of all, we had a great time in California visiting family and relatives, notwithstanding the miserable head cold and sinus infection I was battling, and still am a little.  We stayed so busy that I just didn’t find the time to blog and to keep up with all the blogs I follow.  I didn’t know how much I would miss keeping up with my “friends.”

All in all, during our time in California we went to three Christmas parties, a play on New Year’s eve (It’s a Wonderful Life), several dinners out with friends and family, at least three “game” nights, a few lunches, mini trips, oh my I could go on and on but you get the picture.  Even little Sugar and Meeka were kept quite busy while staying with our granddogs, Luke, Goldie and Biscuit affectionately known as “Bizzy” because she is always in to something.  In fact, this will show you what I mean.

Here she is “bizzy” with a green pen. Look at her little paws all green.

Here she is after playing in the backyard.

Anyway, I believe out trip to California was a success.

I was so sick when we got home, it took me days to take down “Christmas” which I didn’t bother to do before we left.  

Enough of that.  Today is a new day and I’m feeling much better.  The new year has begun and as before – I know this year will be even better than the last, which I think might be hard to beat.  I always think that, and then I’m always surprised at how great life is.  I know it’s a matter of my attitude though.  I am in charge of making my life just as great as I want it to be.  

Don’t get me wrong, crappy stuff still happens, I still get in bad moods or angry at Hubby.  I just don’t stay there as long as I used to.  I don’t dwell on the crappy stuff.  At my age, I have certainly learned that it comes and goes and I don’t have any control over that.  What I do have control over is how I react to it or how I handle it.   I also choose to look at life through the eyes of my heart.  It makes for a beautiful world.  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I an always making goals to feel better about myself.  Right now I’m working on accepting others and not judging.  To be honest, I’ve been working on it for awhile.  I thought I had the “non-judgment” thing down pat.  Wrong wrong wrong.  I’ve been judging all of those I see “judging.”  I have found myself getting angry and upset that everyone isn’t as non-judgmental as I am!!!  What a laugh, right?  Who do I think I am???  Talk about getting hit upside the head with a giant board!  Sometimes I crack myself up.  Oh well, it’s the journey, right?

I also have some other things lined up that I’m excited about.  I have another sewing lesson scheduled and I’m going to make a quilted wall hanging.  I’d really like to make one for each season and just use one or the other all year long.  I’m going to try to get better at cake decorating.  I don’t see that happening without going to more classes, but I haven’t set them up yet.  I’m also going to check back with the local elementary school and see if they are still considering me as a volunteer.  I think that would be so much fun.  Most importantly, I’m open to whatever might come my way.  I’m sure there is something I haven’t thought of doing.  Ah, the adventure of it all.  

I think I’ll just quit here and go have some fun catching up on all my blog buddies.  

I hope you all have a very happy, prosperous and blessed New Year.