Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The first thing I made in the new place....breakfast

I will soon be picking all of the basil and other herbs in the backyard.  I'll dry some of them, such as the rosemary, and I'll make pesto from the basil.  But one morning recently, several ripe tomatoes were calling to me....

 I picked some basil and got out the big pan....Rod was upstairs working and could smell something delicious....a smell he hasn't experienced in a great while with all of our upheaval around here....It was time to get crackin' in the kitchen!
 It's not the stove of my dreams, but it makes food warm, so I'm happy....
a little olive oil in the pan and get things heated up

now for the egg whites

add the basil

and some organic cheese

some roasted turkey slices---

some of those fresh tomatoes


and serve with some fresh Colorado Rocky Ford cantaloupe, more fresh tomatoes, basil and a few black seedless grapes, even though they look like giant olives!  Rocky Ford, CO is known as the 'melon capital of the world!' It is known for its amazing melons.....and this one was awesome!!!

For the eggwhites, I LOVE Organic Valley Certified Organic Egg whites---they are nutritious and fat and cholesterol free....Here's their LINK: ORGANIC EGG WHITES

Oftentimes, I'll add other vegetables such as asparagus, mushrooms, onions, etc., but I haven't totally stocked the new place with everything yet---we've been so busy getting set up, that there is little time for cooking!!!  But, it's time to get going with things here, even if it's not all together yet.....healthy eating is important to me and I adore cooking and baking....

                                                 so, here's to finding the kitchen!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Making lemonade out of lemons

If you know me, you KNOW I love to garden and moving into this house did a couple of things for me:

1.  it made me super sad NOT to have a garden
2.  it offers me time to do other things if I'm NOT taking care of a garden
3.  It provided a challenge (not that I needed one)

It has NEVER been anything---no grass planted- deck never taken care of....nothing.

So, the first thing I did was tear out all of the weeds.  It was 4 or 5 HUGE yard bags full- you know, the big black ones that look like boulders when they're full?  Yes....I'm sure the trash man was very pleased with me.  After that, I power-washed the deck with a cleaner and stained it.  BIG IMPROVEMENT.  Then, I decided on what I wanted it to look like when I was done with it.  I bought three small shrubs for 10.00 at Home Depot and a 20.00 blue spruce to put in the corner.  It did have one burning bush in the corner that was hanging on for dear life---I only began to see it after I started removing all of the weeds.

Next, I laid several layers of 'paper' on the ground next to the deck to create a walkway....I then bought 10 bags of sand and poured that on top.  Next: rocks---I brought in large rocks, medium rocks, small rocks, all from a pile in our yard at the log house.  We had ordered 14 tons and I never used them I brought them in boxes, load by load over to the new place.

YES, I did this all of myself.  Poor Rod was dealing with being laid off and trying to find a job through this, so all of this kept me very busy and I practiced holding in my abs so I wouldn't completely throw out my back. 

Next: mulch

Then, bring in all of my potted plants from the 'ol place....that filled things in!

Laid rug on deck:

Brought in potting bench from 'ol place

Hung bird feeders

Fairy lights and other solar lights to add a bit of magic and VOILA! a mini yard

I know, you're thinking 'she's crazy; it's a rental house'

But I had to---I have to look at this every day and my surroundings make me happy....

so, the next renters will have something a little prettier....

OR, I'll pack up my rocks and take 'em along!!



p.s.  You twitterettes are my inspiration....I kept thinking of you while I work.  "They're gonna want pictures!" I tell myself.....

I should have taken more pictures of it 'before' so you'd really see how bad it was!
 And now?  A bit easier on the eyes....


some of the details:

I've put in some grass seed but it's late in the season....we'll see

brought some rhubarb from back home----it's coming with me!!

my pots, hanging baskets, cart filled up the empty spaces of the yard

the corner that had NOTHING is now BRIMMING and the birds love it!!

from an inside window----2 pots and 2 feeders---I'll feed them all winter long
So.....I'm making lemonade out of lemons and making pesto out of basil......I get grumpy sometimes, but I'm really very grateful.....and blessed.                         

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One box, One day, One Dream....

Just a quick update: Remember the crazy guest room with the green and black?
here's the guest room  2 weeks ago:

                                                            WELL....I've got one room done: check
                                         The bathroom next to this bedroom isn't done.....but hey, it's a start!

Behr's 'hummus' is the color on the walls- It took 2 coats after a coat of thick coat of 'cover it all stuff'

                                                Now, on to the next room!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moving Out and Moving ON.....

I took a few last shots of the log home as the last bits were being boxed up.  I cleaned all the bathrooms and Rod washed all the windows, inside and out....a full moon, too.....

Today, we received some really troubling news but so much has happened recently, that we're pretty numb at this point.  Remember the job I said Rod just got?  Well, his company just announced today that they are 'doing away with' that part of the company.  It won't just affect him, but approximately 50,000 other people.  I'm not even kidding....

So, during this crazy week of moving, when on his first day of a new job we couldn't find his socks and he had to wear a pair of dirty ones.....the job no longer exists and he's back looking for another.  We're both shocked but truly believe that we're on this roller coaster together for a reason.  I just got done giving this wonderful man of mine a good 'ol back rub.... I think I'm done with boxes for the night....

And to this wonderful log home we've loved for nine years, I hope you bring joy and love and peace to the new folks who have purchased it.....I know they lost their log home in a recent fire in good to them!

I hope they'll enjoy this view as much as we did

I sat in this chair the night before we left and just gazed at the moon and said a's the chair I sit at at my computer...

this 'was' the guest room....we called it 'the bed and breakfast room'

the master bedroom

the great room looking into the kitchen, which was the last room to get cleaned and boxed up....
Thank you all for following along on the journey.......

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A first look.....

Many of you know that we are in 'transition,' and sometimes transitions don't go exactly as planned.  You know the saying:  "Life happens while you're making other plans."  Well, that's the adventure we're on right now.  We've been looking for a bed and breakfast or land to build one on for several years.  It wasn't happening, so about a year ago, we decided that we needed to make a true effort to move in that direction and that involved letting go of our beloved log home.  AND I mean beloved...that's another story!

We wouldn't be able to qualify for a loan on another property with this one already attached to us AND, with the economy the way it is, it could take forever to sell it.  Well, life handed us surprise #1 when the first folks who walked in the door bought it.  Fortunately, we were able to stay in it until Aug. 15, even though they bought it in May, but between May and Aug. 15, a lot of twists and turns shook things up a bit. 

First of all, a home that we were very interested, IMMEDIATELY went under's still not sold, but we can't make another offer on it because it's a short sale and that's just the way Bank of America does their short sales. 

 Moving on, we had this piece of land in the back of our minds that is zoned correctly.  We made an offer on it, but the owner didn't even counter.  He just said, 'no.'  We asked the listing agent was he flexible at all and he said 'NO.'  OK....well then, we'll concentrate on finding a rental house and begin getting our household goods packed up.  This past Friday, the lot SOLD for 40K less than it's asking price.

Oh yes, and then, on July 11, hubster gets a call from his employer telling him that he's been laid off after 26 years of stellar service with the company.  OK, forget any future offers right now because banks don't like to lend money to people who are unemployed!!  Quite a twist in the plot....

 My youngest daughter was doing an internship in Ohio for the summer and they needed help with dog sitting, cat medicating and plant watering.....OK: check.  We had a brief trip to Ohio for a family reunion and to see daughter: check.  Visit Grandma Weber in nursing home----where she, by the way, tells us NOT to have a b&b because it's too much work AND tells us to move back to Ohio to be closer to her......We see her on a Monday; she dies that Thursday.

My middle daughter's back/disc situation became increasingly painful and so we accompanied her to several neurologists/surgeons who ALL said that surgery was her only option, so she had back surgery: check.

One of my daughter's dogs died while she's away in Ohio....

 Oh yes, and her cat developed a kidney problem and was in the animal hospital for 5 days.

My back went out for a few days and I've been 'baby-ing' it with a brace while we pack/move.

We developed a SEVERE grasshopper infestation at the log house and we've been battling that so that the property is not destroyed before closing. I'll be posting a video of this because you won't believe it!
OK, I've saved the GOOD news for last.  We made it through and I feel like I've been through the birth canal......really and here I am in a brand new world!!

middle daughter is doing great after her surgery....pain is diminishing and she's in physical therapy several times a week; she's also returned to work

Rod JUST GOT HIRED ---he starts this week, if we can find his clothes/shoes somewhere in all this mess--it's a long story but he spent EVERY day sending out resumes, interviewing, etc. and got a job within his former employer by a woman who was laid off many years ago, went somewhere else and then came back to this company, saw his resume, and made a place for him....thank you GOD!!

Youngest daughter who is in Ohio returns on Sunday or Monday....

Closing went fine and the people are in LOVE with their new home (so are we)

There's groceries in the refrigerator- can't find plates yet....but we have paper ones!

We have each other

We have our dreams

We are feeling blessed and thankful and grateful.... we're unpacking, we KNOW there's a plan out there for us....
In the meantime, here's a look at the new abode and I'll take pics of the 'box life' and then what I end up doing with the place----can't make too many changes as it's a temporary rental, but I'll be making it 'our own' as much as I can....thank you ALL for hanging in there with me. 

AND for my tweetlettes, many THANKYOU's!!!!!!! Honestly, I thought of you while I was sweating and hurting and so tired and I said to myself...I gotta keep going; they will want to see pictures of how this goes and I miss them so I've got to get this computer moved safely over there.....

I love you girls!!!!

Thank you to my family for their love and support through all of this and for believing in me and my dreams.  Thank you for the help, the love, the kind words and the trust in me....

I love you so much!!

So, here it is!!
This is the 'front room' as you come in the front door to the left.....

the 'family room' which is open to the kitchen

the door of the family room that looks out to the back yard....

upstairs computer is right by this window!!

laundry room

linen closet

master bedroom


master bedroom closet

'guest' room ---this room makes me laugh

AND.....the best part, is that on THREE separate occasion, on my way to driving to the rental home to bring stuff, I saw one of these.......

Guided by HIM.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One of the Most Fabulous things to do in Colorado....Red Rocks Amphitheater

About 4 months ago, I bought tickets to see Sarah McLachlan at Red Rocks Amphitheater....they were the 'cheap' seats....we saw here this past winter in a very small venue up close; this was about the experience of Red Rocks, not to see how Sarah's been doing age-wise!!  She looks magnificent, by the way!!  

As the day got closer, it was easy to see that our lives did not have TIME for the concert....a recent job loss, a huge move after selling our home, and a host of other 'minor' I offered the tickets to one of my daughters.  She, however, said, "Mom, you need to go; you LOVE Sarah....just make the time and go."  

So we did. 

It was a Sunday evening and as we headed south, the skies became more threatening....

Dark an open air venue?  Was it to be??

 If it was going to rain, we were going to be there with THOUSANDS of other people, too.....
 Red we are!!

 You can begin to see the huge rock formations that make up this
amazing venue....

 After finding a place to park, we began the HUGE climb to our seats....
 After finding our seats, we just looked all around us and were so thankful we had just taken the time from this terribly hectic schedule of ours to go....

 And.....there it was, THE COLORADO SYMPHONY....warming up, tuning up, prior to
Sarah coming out on stage....

 And here she walks out in a beautiful black evening gown that was flowing in the evening breeze....
 I've captured a small bit of her performance for you to all enjoy....
 And as the sun went down, the evening lights came on.....what a night to remember!!

There's a lesson in all of this; take the time to enjoy every minute of every day.  Be thankful.....Even when things aren't their best, make it awesome anyway.....
  • make a favorite dessert
  • take a nap
  • hug someone
  • tell someone you love them
  • be thankful
  • listen to music you love
  • be patient
  • have Faith
I hope you enjoyed my post....the next time you'll be hearing from me, I'll be in my new 'temporary' home....the place of inspiration for what comes next....I hope you'll follow along!!

xoxo  Joann