Sunday, January 20, 2019

Walking the Dog

January doesn't have much to offer. I seem to start the year the same, especially now that I am retired, by going on a cleaning binge, which doesn't seem to last long. The house gets stripped bare to put up all of the Christmas decorations and then when it is time to put the decorations away, I leave it pretty bare with out putting out all of the decor that I usually have out the rest of the year. I like the uncluttered, simple look. The mood to decorate came over me this morning, so I dug out my shoe box sized tub with the Valentines in it. Before I was obsessed with the dollhouses, I'd occupy my time with various craft projects, and one year I made Valentines. Using odds and ends of scrapbook paper, button, and spare ribbons I made a Valentine bunting that I drape across the mantle of the fireplace. I put it in place then I went around the house gathering up my favorite red and pink things to put on the mantle to make it look festive for Love.

By noon I had a couple of loads of laundry done and the Valentines were hung and I was ready to go for our walk.

As a child, I liked Valentine's Day. My mom always gave us a bit of chocolate as her gift of love. I liked writing out the valentines for my classmates and loved the Valentine's parties each year that included seeing who gave me a Valentine.

My youngest daughter made this table runner for me. 

One year when the girls were small they enjoyed making Valentines--for grandma.

I even made some cloth hearts. The sugar bowl holds plastic hearts instead of candy, which is too tempting.

I lit the candles too.

Don't look too closely or you will see that they are fake candles, battery operated.

Brody, now ten months old, has been with us for five months. We were told that he was shy and timid, and he is. To make life even more difficult for him, he lived in a dog run until we brought him home. Because he was at a hunting dog training and breeding facility and the trainer decided because of his timidity he wouldn't make a good hunting dog, he was pretty much left alone--we think-- not worth the effort to train. I suspect that he didn't do what was expected of good hunting dog.

So Brody hasn't done a lot of things that dogs his age will have done; he hadn't even been in a house or gone on a walk.

Our favorite walking path is the Poudre trail that runs along the Cache La Poudre River. We park at in the parking lot at dog park and then begin our walk. 

It's a busy trail used by hikers, bikers, and even roller blade-ers, now of whom Brody liked. By the end of the walk, he wasn't barking at bikers anymore. 

I took this distant photo of a nest that I am thinking is great blue heron's for there is supposed to be a rookery along the river. I expected to see more nests, but perhaps we didn't walk far enough.

The weather was great, too mild, actually for this time of year. The snow capped Rocky Mountains always make a spectacular view.

The Canada geese have found a perfect winter refuge. They were busy preening, cleaning, and napping, unconcerned that we were near.

It is just so satisfying to walk along the river and enjoy nature, taking in the fresh air.

It was good day. Brody learned a little more today. It's a big world out there for this young dog to explore. 


The biggest thing that happens in Colorado January is National Western Stock Show. It has been years since I've gone. We used to go every year. So Jennifer and I are taking the girls the rodeo. I'm excited to watch them enjoy the horses and livestock. I'll take pictures to share next week.

Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your  visits. 

Linking up with Angie for Mosaic Monday. Join us there. 

PS I'm on Instagram now, look me up there, too. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Things to Do In the Winter When You Can't Garden

I didn't used to be a coffee drinker, but somewhere in my 50s I decided that if I added enough milk and sugar to it, it was palatable. Nor can I tolerate much caffeine, so I limit myself to once cup a day, unless I think I need a cup of coffee in the late afternoon then I fix a decaf coffee pod. The Head Gardner, on the other hand, drinks a lot of coffee. Providing space for coffee making then can get complicated. For some reason brewing coffee is not as easy as it used to be: a coffee pot and a tin can of coffee nicely stored in the cupboard. Now coffee drinks have so many choices. Just look on Pinterest and find a plethora of coffee brewing machines and the accoutrements that go along with the habit of coffee drinking. Along with all of the flavored coffees and blends and roasts, there are choices for making the coffee taste less like coffee such as the flavored syrups, powders, and liquid creamers. All of which has to be stored.

 For my one cup a day, I seem to have gone to a lot trouble; however, it is not all about me. The HG loves his coffee and drinks plenty of it on some days. I ended up with two coffee makers and coffee and creamer and so on taking up real estate on the kitchen counter, and I hated the mess.

Worse, the steam from the 10 cup coffee maker was beginning to damage the finish on my wood cabinet, so I needed to make a change. You can barely see it on the lower edge of the door, a whitening of the finish.

I came up with the idea of creating a coffee bar in the wasted space in the kitchen. I've spent two days on the project looking for a suitable cabinet. Yesterday the HG and I when to two furniture stores look for such  a cabinet. They were either outrageously prices or just didn't have the right look: Early Marriage Hand-Me-Down.

(Visitors come to the house and admire my antique furniture. I laugh and tell them that when we were first married we were so poor that we scavenged any discarded pieces that family had parked in garages, spare bedrooms, and barns. Today these pieces are family heirlooms and some of them are priced out of my budget in the antique stores.

Then my daughter called this morning. She, too, is on a clean, organize, and purge campaign in her house and she offered me a little dresser that she says I bought off of Craig's for one of her babies and it is perfect. In fact similar dressers appear as coffee bars on Pinterest. So FREE is the best price. She was happy to get ride of it, and the HG who goes for coffee with his friends every Monday was in her neighborhood and brought it home to me.

Everything coffee is stored here, now; including tea. I even have more storage now for table clothes and aprons and sundry other things. Moving my teas has freed up space in another drawer for utensils.

I store my coffee, decaf and regular in quart Mason Jars so that I don't have dig in the pantry every morning and the powdered creamer that I buy in bulk is also stored in a canning jar.

On the left I have Trivia with sugar on the right, and some sweets left over from Christmas in between

My coffee pod maker along with the coffee bean grinder and my special Chi tea bags.

And empty space on the counter. I like my counters clear with as little as possible stored on them and the coffee bar was simple solution to an over crowded area that I needed to clean up.

This wasted space has been home to a variety of different pieces of furniture. I used to keep a child size cabinet full of make believe children's tea sets for them to play with, but they are all outgrowing the play space.

I even worked on this cabinet today. Now this is one those discarded,  stored in the barn pieces that was in my grandmother's house down in the basement in the coal room. Then it was in my mother cellar, now it holds family treasures, including my small teapot collection. I took out the miscellaneous things today and organized my tea pots. On the bottom shelf is the set from my mother's wedding china. On the next shelf is my snowman set, a birthday gift last year. I love the large cups that I use during the winter.

The third tea pot is a Lenox that I found in an antique store then I went on and found the sugar and creamer set. The top teapots have the cardinal on them. So now I have my little collection nicely displayed.

So that is what one does on a winter's day. Clean, organize, and purge.

Looks like I need to do the same with the pet supplies. 

Thanks for stopping by the Garden Spot. Hopefully there will be some gardening going on sometime soon.

I'll be joining Angie for Mosaic Monday. See you there.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, Friends

Mo say's "hi" too.
So glad that the holiday rush is over and I can quietly sit and read or blog or piddle with my little projects. I am NOT taking blog break; it's just that there isn't much to write about here right now and sometimes my photos and my musings seem so repetitive. August 2019 I will celebrate my 10th year as a blogger. The end of February we will have been here at the Garden Spot for 10 years, so I have so much to be thankful for, and especially for you my dear friends, some who have been with me nearly since the beginning. 

We all seem to go through phases with our blogs where we lack inspiration and cool things to write about, but we carry on, don't we? Calmly. If you want to know what's going on,  you can visit me at Ann's Dollhouse Dreams. That would be nice. In the meantime, I've posted from there for Mosaic Monday. See you over at Angie's. 

A Rose by Any Other Name

Jackson and Perkins roses have been in the garden for at least 10-12 years. This year they have been spectacular. The bushes were taller and...