Tuesday, November 24, 2015


And so it begins ....

Nothing like a beautiful snowfall to get into the mood!

Sometimes I have a hard time getting my Christmas on.

The end of November is always so busy, dark and dreary, 
I struggle to keep up my energy levels.

In spite of myself .... I'm starting with the decor this week.

This special little Christmas incense smoker always helps to get me going.
A long ago gift from dear friends who were in Germany at the time.

Next is the living room mantel.
I used to load it with a collection of snowmen but have simplified this area considerably over the last few years.
I like it better this way.

The front hall banister gets the same old treatment each year.
The chalk board in the background says, 

"Let it Snow"
"Let it Snow"
"Let it Snow"

Oh yes, and the china cabinet!

The wall unit shelf  - the plate called Snow Angel - given to me by my mom
when my daughter, Becky was a little girl - it even looked like her!

Now she has her own little Snow Angel and I can hardly wait to hold 
that sweet baby again
 in a few short weeks when they arrive home.

This will be the best part of Christmas for us this year ....

I suddenly feel much better!!!

Tomorrow I'll work on the outside decorations - one day at a time.

Do Christmas preparations make you tired and anxious or do you feel exhilarated?
I shall carry on and remember the reason for the season!

Till next time ....... wishing all my American friends and families a very Happy Thanksgiving and the energy and spirit to prepare for the most important event of the year!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


.... All the people 
Living life in peace ...

John Lennon's song is going around in my head these days too!

This verse came to me this morning as I walked down our country road.

"He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."    Isaiah 2:4

Our hearts are broken and deep sadness fills our souls .... let this madness come to an end! Amen.

Praying for the world today!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Golden Gate City

A wonderful opportunity to visit
San Francisco came to us
via - the farmer's work conference.

What an interesting and beautiful city!

The first day there, after checking in to the incredible Fairmont Hotel,

and a quick trolly car ride

Yes this is a fake picture but we really "did" ride the trolley - smile!

We were privileged to have a group wine tour to the Nappa Valley!

The wine was delicious, the scenery was beautiful, in spite of the devastating and long drought they are experiencing there.

New friends were made ...

First time on a "party bus"!!!!

Our beautiful fearless leader!

While our spouses went to "work"shops, we went on several
city tours - what fun!

The first one was an architectural tour of the city - amazing...
the tour guide was so interesting as he pointed out many, many famous buildings and sites.

Can you spot the famous Painted Ladies?

The next day we ventured over the bridge and spent a few hours in Sausalito.
Sooo pretty!

And then on to hike the Marin Headlands ...

The evenings were spent with incredible conference sponsored dinners with our 
spouses and representatives ....... not the least of these, a dinner cruise to

This included a tour of the prison followed by a delicious dinner while cruising back
to Fisherman's Wharf.

The last "bonus" day in San Fran was spent at Fisherman's Wharf where we tasted the famous Ghirardelli chocolate and ice-cream, and browsed through the Boudin bakery where they serve up their famous sourdough bread bowls filled with delicious chowder!!!

And last, but certainly not least, the farmer convinced me that we MUST take 
a Segway tour. After a quick lesson, off we went with a guide zipping through traffic on the 
Streets of San Francisco!!!  I still can't believe we did this.

It was wonderful to be home again ....
the front porch mums were blooming at their peek

And it was time to get back to sensible eating!!!!

Thus, the overnight steel-cut oats for waking us up in the morning ....

This easy recipe is so rewarding to wake up to ...
2 apples diced
1 1/2 Cups Almond Milk (or Cow's milk)
1 1/2 Cups water
1 Cup Steel-Cut Oats
2 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter cut into 5-6 pieces
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1/4 tsp. sea salt
handful of dried cranberries

Grease the inside of your crockpot (I used coconut oil)
Place all the ingredients into pot and stir.
Set your timer for 7 hours and cook on low.
Go to bed and wake up to the aroma of delicious oatmeal for breakfast!

Garnish with nuts, maple syrup, and more almond milk.
Definitely worth the bit of effort the night before.

Till next time .......... getting back on track, resting our weary legs from climbing the hills of San Francisco, and enjoying the memories of a fantastic and privileged week.

P.S. If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair lots of layers (it get's unexpectedly cold there sometimes)!