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Archive for the ‘All around the house’ Category

Edited Note: Um… I just realized I forgot to actually LINK this to BooMama’s site yesterday! So I’ll wait to add another blog for another day – just in case I get some people popping over!! Honestly. I wonder about myself at times!

It’s my first time to be on the BooMama’s Tour of Homes. And I’m kinda excited. I took all my pictures last night. But waited until this morning to post. Why? Because well, I just did. But it looks like I”ll be something posting #300-something and I like high numbers!!!  So here goes: Welcome to our 5-Acre Woods -inside the home, of course, because nothing screams lack of Christmas cheer like a bunch of leaves that haven’t been blown yet!  I’ll spare you the details.  It’s quite embarrassing. Enjoy my little rendition of the tour.  I’m posting a favorite recipe of December Cider later – so maybe you’ll come back for a visit!

‘Twas the nights before Christmas and I worked through rains and fogs

to make our home look like the Season and didn’t even disturb the dogs.

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The greenery how cheery, the deer at peace….

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But the manger scene is missing the Holy Family – good grief!

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But what to my wondering eyes should appear?

A Christmas rabbit rug – Oh, please watch your step, dear!

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Your eyes how they’ll twinkle, your lips how it will smile

when you notice our collection of Byers’ Choice Carolers – they’ll welcome you for awhile.

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Fall into our pillows with a cup of hot tea,

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You might even watch a Christmas movie with glee.

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Over our bed we wouldn’t know what to do…

without our sign to protect us, “Angels Watching Over You.”

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But the best part of this Christmas tour of my home

is the tree full of ornaments, ribbons and lights that are shown.

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Merry Christmas, from our home to yours.

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“Rudolph got ran over by a Grandma…hanging out in our yard the other night…”

I’m so blessed to be married to SB. He’s a wonderful decorator of the backyard, of sorts. We have a couple of deer stands hanging in some of our trees – for target practice only, mind you.  You see, he likes to bowhunt – ANYTHING – so we have nothing short of a Cabela’s catalog hanging around our house and in our backyard. If you ever need to see a bow target such as a deer or turkey, up close and personal, feel free to come on over.

For a couple of years now, we’ve had this lifelike deer target standing among a few of our trees. And he’s had his fair share of arrows thrown his way.  And you know, he’s weathered a lot of thunderstorms and squirrels running to and fro around him. In fact, about 3 days ago, I walked right by him in his upright self while I was chasing walking Sadie in the backyard, and thought, “I can’t believe this thing is still in this great of condition.”

The next morning, as I looked out at all the rain coming down, I noticed the deer wasn’t there – or at least I didn’t see him.  Then I looked harder and realized, the deer target was in a pile. On the ground. In several pieces.  And I thought, “Oh my. What in the world happened?”

Here’s what I saw:

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I’m hoping Rudolph doesn’t get cold feet about visiting our home this year. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure the rest of the reindeer would have his back if he was unfortunately met with the bully deer that wreaked havoc in our yard the other night.

Fa la la la la!!!

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Last night I was standing in the kitchen preparing a yummy raspberry sauce to serve over the broiled duck I was cooking for SB and me.  The dogs were in the kitchen too – underfoot and hoping to get some morsel that might fall from the countertop.

As I was stirring the sauce, I heard this very loud and audible piece of glass break. I surmised that it had to be an ornament that had fallen from the tree.  It’s not unusual that we lose at least one ornament each year since we have terracota tile throughout most of our house.  If I had a dollar for every dish or glass or ornament we’ve dropped and broken on this floor, I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a job these days!

So I sauntered into the den, broom and dustpan in hand, to sweep up the lastest ornament fatality.  Alas, there was none. I crawled on my knees around the backside of the tree and there was nothing. Zilch. Nada.  “Hmmm,” I thought.  I made my way through the back of the house thinking something evidently had fallen from a shelf or from a chest, but I found nothing.  There are seemingly no windows broken and no new pieces of tile broken.  But I KNOW I heard breaking glass.

It puzzled me and still does this morning because there’s no evidence of glass anywhere in the house. And then it occurred to me.  This next part of the blog will require you to stay with me because I promise… I AM NOT CRAZY!!

Since we bought this house, I have determined that we have a ghost living here.  Until we bought this house eight years ago, I’d never had any encounters with ghosts and quite frankly thought people who spoke of them were a little of the dramatic, embellishing kind.  But I’ve experienced enough encounters in this house that would make a believer out of even the greatest of skeptics.  And they always happen when SB is not here.  Such was the case last night.

I’ve woken in the middle of the night to see dark auras standing next to our bed. I’ve witnessed those same time of movements outside my french doors. I’ve heard noises, people, more than just the regular “it’s just this worn out house” noises.  Things have been moved. Water has been turned on and left running.  It’s the stuff that you read about.  And I have to say, though these things have caused me to feel a little strange, I’ve never been scared.  And I hope that doesn’t change because I don’t like to be scared.  And I’ll have to inject here that SB thinks I’m crazy or that I’m making this stuff up because he hasn’t experienced it for himself.  But a woman knows, doesn’t she?!

But I’m left wondering things like:

Did I really hear that glass break?  I mean, I know I haven’t been fully in the Christmas mood lately, but really? A ghost of Christmas Present?

What is going on and who wants to remain in this house with us?

Is it really a ghost and what does he want?

And why are you choosing this time of year, Mr. Ghost of Christmas Present?

I’m all about closing chapters in one’s life, but shouldn’t that happen while living?  And I’ve already claimed there is no room for spirits – especially evil spirits – to dwell here in my home.  So this whole ordeal has gotten me to thinking about the spirits that try to finagle their way into our lives day in and day out.  They’re noisy, tempting, mysterious, elusive, and confusing.  But the fruits of the Spirit – the One true living Spirit – are love, joy, peace, patience, kindnes, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galations 5:22)

These are the what I pray for to exist in my life and in my home. These are the things that are worthy of breaking glass over -testifying it to the world through celebration.

“And this is how we know he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” 1 John 3:24

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When I was in college, one of our sorority sisters announced one morning at breakfast that her mother had always told her, “One is not considered a grown up until she learns to drink coffee.”  Well, I made it through college and a good part of my early adult life without drinking or liking coffee.  That is until I discovered french vanilla and hazlenut and all the other wonderful flavors that make coffee a great warm drink, and I learned to LOVE coffee! Until.

I learned my brain gets addicted to caffeine.  Surely you all remember from an earlier post that I cannot drink coffee now. 

And now I’m faced with the question, “Am I really still a grown up?”  Crazy, I know.  But now I’ve realized that one is not really considered a grown up until she’s actually made a Thanksgiving dinner!

I’ve never had to do that before because we’ve always gone to relatives’ homes and taken a dish here or there. So I’ve never baked a turkey or made dressing!

But today… I’m officially a grown up in my own right.  I’m 39 years old and have reached that milestone!! Today I made dressing – it’s my mother-in-love’s recipe… very simple but very yummy and it reminds me of my grandmom’s dressing she used to make.

The twist here is I have 2 dogs that stay in the house with us and just a little while ago, I took them on their afternoon walk and Sadie had trapsed through a muddy ditch.  (I promise I’m getting back to the dressing) So when we got back to the house, I let Lily in and marched Sadie to the outside hose to wash off her paws.  It took all of 1.5 minutes!

I got back in the house and noticed “someone had been eating my porridge”!  Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I fried some bacon to sprinkle on top of green beans for tomorrow as well and it was cooling off next to the dressing.  When I realized a tongue had made its way into my dressing, I turned around and saw Lily just sitting there with her ears tucked back.  Poor thing. I couldn’t get mad at her, she just wanted a sample too.

But I thought I’d share the finished dish with you – complete with a tongue impression!

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Notice the crumbs off to the side.

I thought I was officially a grown up, but now I have to explain to my family how my dog ate the dressing! No extra credit for me!! 

But Happy Thanksgiving to ya’ll.  From my dressing to yours!

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For quite some time I have been agonizing because I lost my Bible sometime in the Spring. I don’t know what day it happened because I had been using a smaller Bible for referencing some things and study. I don’t know why I was using that one at that time other than the fact that it is red and has a neat little magnetic closure and it fits in my purse or in the side of my 4Runner door for quick grabs!

But when I went to get my Bible – the one that has all the wonderful yellow highlights and underlined scriptures and notes in the margins from sermons or Bible studies – it was no where to be found. I looked everywhere – multiple times. I’ve asked people to look in their cars. I’ve prayed over it – lamenting about it. I’ve had other people praying about it.  SB kept telling me that I’d find it, but I feared it was gone forever. I feared I had left it in a hotel room during one of my training sessions where I was teaching.

Finally Big D (my father-in-love) declared I should have a Bible that had just “appeared” at their home and no one had ever claimed it.  Oh, it is a nice Bible. Thick, black, crisp pages – a clean slate, if you will.  But I longed for the pages of my Bible because I knew where every book was just by the feel of it. I yearned for some of my notes and to see the dried up daisy pressed between the pages of 2 Samuel. My junior high best friend had picked it for me from the “gardens” of Glorietta during our last youth summer trip before I moved away. I wanted the yellowed slip of paper that quoted 1 Thess. 5:11 that my 8th grade Sunday School teacher had prayed over that we would each have what the Lord wanted us know especially for our lives.

Week after week I was tormented about losing my Bible. How in the world does one lose a Bible?  Well, in my house, it’s pretty easy between all the hunting equipment and clothes (we could ALMOST run a Cabela’s outlet) and the room o’junk and clutter that belongs to me, sometimes things get sucked up in the oblivion we call home.  And I’ve had enough.

For several months, the Lord’s been moving in my heart and my mind that I’m being “called to order.” That has been involving almost every aspect of my life from quiet times, to workloads, to home organization, etc.  I used to be a lot more organized and orderly than I have exhibited in the past 2 years, but we won’t go there analyzing all the whys and why nots. 

Having order is quite biblical. From the beginning, God ordered the universe into motion and it was methodical and intentional. Through the pages of scripture, parable after parable and verse after verse, we see history and the perfect plan all ordered in perfect harmony. Jesus taught it and the scriptures played out just as he said.

So heading into 2009 and beyond, I spent my weekend tackling a huge organizational effort. I’ve decided to start cleaning out and getting rid of the junk and clutter in my home and in my life.  I cleaned out a mud room that had become like a landfill except without the stinky smells. I’ve made separate places for things to sell and things to donate. 

And as I was cleaning out, I bent down to pick up something that had fallen under my handy Container Store gift wrapping station and it was as if the heavens had opened up and all the voices of the angels in unison sang out, “HHHHHHAAAALLLL LE LUUUU JAHHHHHHHHH”!  There it was.  Somehow my precious Bible had gotten pushed or kicked under my gift wrapping station.  I picked it up and twirled through the laundry room and into the den. No one was home to see me, but I didn’t care. It was a moment of completion.

How appropriate to find it under the GIFT WRAPPING station (like a gift) AND after I made the decision to begin to bring order to my life.  God showed up and showed out in my life, and I just wanted you to know it too.  When we claim order in our life, we open ourselves to receive that which stands the tests of time.

I’m off to clean out some drawers – maybe I’ll find that $20 I know I didn’t lose!!!

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Mighty Mole

A couple of years ago my neighbor and good friend D (whose kids we adore) mentioned to me they were having problems with a mole or moles in their yard. I don’t remember much more of the conversation because it was approximately 5:54 in the morning on our walk, and I’m sure I was thinking about something else like a warm cup of coffee or my warm shower.  I’m sure she probably mentioned their plan of attack of how they were going to rid their yard of such nuisance…aka…turn their cats out on them.  But I’m not sure. I should have listened better.

I do remember her joking about sending them over our way because I was practically glowing with pride at how we’ve managed to stay “mole free” for over 8 years we’ve lived in the Five Acre Woods.  In fact, I’ve never even seen a snake – thanks to the execptional prowess of Casper, their glow-in-the-dark white cat!  We did find a snake skin under a wood pile in our backyard last summer.  I didn’t stick around long enough to find out if it was poisonous or just a “chicken snake”.  If you ask me, snakes CAN’T be chicken.  They’re too slimy and sneaky… and well… they’re just snakey….ewwwwww.

So anyway, a couple of months ago, you can imagine my horror when I was out playing with the furry angels and noticed a series of tunnels through my yard.  I began marching up and down the yard stomping what little grass I have back into ground.  I even stuck a stone in the apparent entry hole I found.  That will teach him!

And after eleven forty days of stomping, I started investigating ways to rid one’s yard of moles. And people, let me tell you – there’s NO EASY WAY TO DO THIS! I have no desire to trap the little sucker because well, what in the sam hill would I do with it once I caught it? Send it back over to D’s house? I don’t think so.

Can’t poison the little thing because…hello? I have 2 wonderful, precious, adorable, fun, beautiful Labs who frolic in my yard and I don’t want them suctioning up anything that “may or may not be involved with a dangerous criminal.”  So we’ve just resigned ourselves to the “stomping of the mole divets” sometimes twice a day!  Mighty mole is mighty busy and I’m about sick of it!  Seriously, don’t they hibernate or something like that during the winter?

The only hope I have at this point came this morning when I was walking Sadie down the driveway. Once I got down toward the ditch I noticed the little digger had somehow made his way down by our ditch. Praise the Lord! I’m hopeful he’s munched up whatever it is they munch on in our yard and has decided to take his family and be like George and Weezie – “we’re moving on up” – and that he gets his little mighty mole self out of my yard.

Otherwise, if he sticks around that part of our property too long the owls are likely to swoop down on him and well…that’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing.  Bye bye Mighty Mole. Your days are numbered!

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I started this blog on Saturday but has taken me a few days to find the charger to my camera so I can post these pictures!!!  So pretend you read this Saturday!

OK. Let me just preface this blog with the fact that I’m not a natural cynic. I pretty much can find the bright side of life and find positive bits of encouragement in most discouraging situations.  But last night, I fell into a pit of self-pity.  And I had me a fit of hysteria. And tears. And panic.  But somehow got by with a little help from my friends: Ann, Arma, Kim, and Pinot Noir. In that order.

But it took some digging deep because I’ve been walking a thin line lately between hope and reality. In my previous entry When He Reigns, He Pours, I was feeling a lot more optimistic and stronger in my faith. Yesterday at exactly 4:32 p.m. I got an answer to my petition but it wasn’t necessarily the answer I had been praying for.  I mean, I had honestly been praying for the Lord’s will, not mine, but still hoping that things would go my way.  And in all honesty, I am having to defer to God, because well, I’ve been known to mess things up a little if left to my own decisions.

But I digress from the point of the matter.  While we were waiting for the yummy Vidalia Onion & Cheese Dip to warm in the oven, we heard this REALLY strange noise in the kitchen. It actually sounded like a gas burner doing its click, click, clicking, but since I don’t have a gas stove, I knew something was amiss. I walked into the kitchen and over to the oven and while I was standing there with my hands on my hips, thinking “WHAT is that noise?”, a splat of whatever hit my head.  I turned my head up and… SPLAT – right between the eyes. Water was coming through the vent in the ceiling.  Did I mention it was raining outside?

So I did what anyone whose husand is in remote Montana would do. I called him… and actually got him on the cell phone.  Here’s how the conversation went:

K:  Um, well, I think we have a leak in the roof. There’s water pouring out of the vent in the kitchen.

SB: Um, well, there’s not a form thing I can do about it right now. (It obviously wasn’t as high on the priority list as dragging a mule deer across the prairie land. Hmmm.)  If it comes busting through the whole ceiling, I can’t do a thing about it right now!

K:  Maybe you didn’t understand me.  THERE IS WATER POURING INTO THE KITCHEN.  ALL OVER THE FLOOR. AND IT’S RAINING.  Who do you want me to call?

SB:  I’m sure that means it’s leaking all the way through the attic. (I married a genius!)

K: I’m pretty sure that it had to come through the attic to get to the vent, SB.

SB:  Well, call Don and get them to come out next week.

Whew. I’m glad he cleared that up for me. Because you know, I don’t think this adds much to kitchen decor:

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I really am beginning to feel like the Morton’s Salt girl. 

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And this time I’m ready, you know, in case it comes busting through the whole ceiling.

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