Happy 4th of July, America!
God bless America!
I love November.
The scary stuff is gone. Pumpkins still hang out. Leaves whirl down and crunch underfoot. Nights and early mornings crisp any remaining plant life to bed. Birds flock and insects tuck in for the winter. November is perfect.
Also, let’s not forget Thanksgiving. When we lived in a house (bigger than the RV), I loved hosting Thanksgiving dinners. The good smells, tastes, and fun made the work all worthwhile. And after dinner, our traditional putting up and decorating a tree and watching a Christmas movie.
Notice I said “a” tree. Since I am a lover of Christmas trees, we usually had at least one in each room. Thanksgiving evening was just the harbinger of festivities in decor and traditional pastimes to follow.
AND November is my birthday. I’ve always had a fondness for my birthday month. So much fun anticipating not just my birthday, but also Thanksgiving with Christmas gaily tromping on its heels.
Apple crisp, pumpkin pie, juicy turkey, stuffed squash, toasty hot drinks. I guess I think and remember with my stomach. The nip in the air gives way to red noses and tingling fingertips. And if it’s to be perfect, the first snow falls. Just enough to whet my whistle.
November is also a time for me to focus on gratitude. Not only Thanksgiving Day, but each day of the month, I like to consider and remember the things for which I am thankful. God has been so good to me and my family. Giving thanks and naming the many blessings is the least I can do to honor Him.
Today, I am thankful for:
God and His provisions, my honey, my family, my veteran (our son), my RV (no matter how tiny), fall in all its glory, pumpkins, food, my health, friends, chocolate, our hunter kitty who keeps the fields free of tasty kitty morsels (mice and voles), warm clothes, music, and trees.
Which is your favorite month? How will you celebrate in November?
Blessings to you and your family.
There are moms, and there are MOMS.
And I’m not just talking about women who give birth to babies and become mothers. Well, yes, those sorts of moms.
But also, moms who have adopted, claimed, or otherwise taken in extra babies, children, and adults and made them a part of the family. Moms who have mothered others through tough times or through career choices. Moms who have taught more than just their own offspring, baked cookies for the neighborhood kids, shared/traded hand-me-downs and kid-paraphernalia, or tucked in all the littles who happened to be around at nap or bedtime. Moms who embrace the friendless, welcome in the newcomers, stand up for the picked-on. No nonsense moms who tell it like it is, teach how it should be, and show by example how to do it.
Moms not limited to birth or adoption or choice, but also by caring. Moms of fur babies, next-door-neighbors, or troops, clubs, or teams. And those dads. Dads who mother their children in so many ways, again by choice or circumstances.
Moms. All of them.
Thank you, moms (mothers, mamas, mommys), for all you have done, are doing, and will do to mother us! We love you!
This Mother’s Day, heaven has two new mothers. My mommy, Bonnie, passed away on May 7, and is up there rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus, daddy, and all of her loved ones. My other mommy, Carole (Kevin’s mama), passed away last June 7. I’m sure she was ready to welcome mom with a cup of coffee and lots of catching up. This was our first Mother’s Day without our moms. We be sad. But up there? The celebrating just jumped up a notch!
While our Mother’s Day took a turn towards the side of mourning, and we have mom-sized holes in our hearts, we KNOW we will see them again when it’s our turn to go. No more tears, pain, broken and failing bodies. Just love, joy, and reunion.
Peace to all who miss their mothers.
Welcome to the wonderful world of stamping!
Stamping is always a holiday of sorts, taking me away from the regularly scheduled program. Mixed media (stamps, inks, water colors, markers, patterned papers, trinkets, ribbons, glitter glue) form the foundation of creativity.
One other ‘most important’ component of rubber stamping and creating is engaging with a partner. The back and forth bouncing of ideas, materials, and suggestions energizes the joy and productiveness of the hobby.
In addition, two or more crafters mean combined stamps, tools, and resources! In essence, the community of supplies multiplies opportunities for creativity!
Besides, it’s much more enjoyable to chat and solve the world’s problems with a friend while I’m involved in a fun pastime.
I suppose this habit of working with a partner to be applied to nearly every pursuit in life: writing, rearing a family, hiking, building a career, preparing meals, cleaning, going to college, pursuing spiritual growth…
Thanks, friends, for joining my journey!
It’s been a rough year for my family, so we decided to switch things up. This year, we went off the charts for Thanksgiving.
We chose to:
-travel to the beach (off-season is awesome)
-cook our own little turkey breast
-decorate for Christmas
-begin our annual Christmas movie countdown
What really happened:
-beach plans were cancelled due to health issues
-went on a drive to the mountains to collect pine cones for art projects
-soaked by pounding rain
-did a little off-roading to travel up a steep, rocky, bumpy, muddy path
-met a wolf
-the wolf turned into a Husky, lost VERY far from civilization
-he loved us. And jumped eagerly into the pickup
-had to figure out what to do with a huge lost dog (wearing a collar, but no tags)
-Did you know everything is closed (pretty much) on Thanksgiving? Unless you are shopping.
-which was good, since we needed dog food
-by the time we got home, it was very late when our little turkey breast went in the oven
-spent all afternoon taking photos, hanging out, searching for lost dogs, and contacting friends and social media groups in efforts to find this handsome boy his family
-nowhere to keep a large, very large dog in the RV
-our daugther and family took Mr. Handsome home to sleep
-Mr. Sweetie (SO good with kids, pets, noises, crowds) hunkered down in exhaustion
-turkey dinner became our traditional leftovers meal: turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, sliced red onion sandwich (I had a salad)
-actually had a six-course meal. That’s what I told Kevin as we ate and drank different courses while waiting for the turkey to get done
-nearly sugar-free crustless pumpkin pie is delicious!
-decorated the RV. Put up our tree in less than 5 minutes. Done.
-put up the outdoor tree. Less than 5 minutes. Done.
-finished the Harry Potter movie marathon. Next, Christmas.
Our day was totally nontraditional. But we liked it.
Who knows? Next year we might go back for pinecones.
Or another lost dog.
P.S. More about our Mr. Handsome later.
I can’t stand it!
Two fresh pine trees outside, one planted and one cut, both decorated with white lights and silver stars and well watered. One potted artificial tree with blue lights next to the door. That doesn’t cut it for me, the lover of all things Christmas tree. The inside of the RV was too bare.
But with 2 kitties, lack of floor space, and no extra counter space, what is one to do?
Get a tree anyway.
Welcome little plastic tree, pre-wired and covered with plastic ornaments. Thank you for lighting up our indoor Christmas space. I know the kitties can’t hurt you, though they try, and you can’t (shouldn’t?) break.
So again, welcome. How lovely are your tiny little fake branches and your cheerful glow!
Outdoor Tree Update: The Christmas tree down count is 3 wind events, which equals 3 pick-up-the-tree-and-replace-the-stars outings.
How about you? How many trees do you have? Do you have to pet-proof your Christmas decor? I’d love to hear I am not alone!
Let’s catch up! It’s been that busy lately.
Blog? What blog? It’s more like suitcase? Where did I put my travel bag? Where are the luggage tags? Gotta do the laundry so I have clean undies. Need to remember to pack this and that necessity. Unpack, repack. Lists, lists, and more lists.
Pause. Bring out the teacups. Heat the water. Squeeze in a bit of honey. Choose a teabag. Pour. Steep. Relax.
How has life been treating you? Are you enjoying fall (or spring, depending on your hemisphere)? What plans do you have for the holidays?
We thought life in an RV would be simpler, less to care for, smaller requirements of energy, more free time.
That has not happened. Yet.
Indeed, it seems to take longer to live. Less stuff, but more thinking and decisions to be made regarding purchases, storage options, and mulitple use items. But enough about that for now. More later.
Life has been busy, so having a small space to place our heads at the end of the day has been wonderful. A few things we have been enjoying:
Disneyland. Happy anniversary to us! I’m sure I have everyone confused about the date of our actual anniversary, but we have gotten out of the habit of celebrating it on or even near the 22 of June. November? Sure, that’s a great time to head south with thousands of our best friends (and we thought we had an original idea – nope – crowd factor was quite high).
Rubber stamping. I know – hand crafts are fabulous! I decided to make our Christmas cards this year, since my stash of every day cards is quite high and I need to use some of them up before adding more. So off I went to meet the girls and co-conspirators. 94 Christmas cards ready to be used. Merry Christmas!
Grandkids. One of my favorite hobbies. I love seeing them and spending time with all 5 of our precious jewels. Photos have been taken, treats given, hugs and kisses enjoyed. Every day is an adventure with grands!
Amplify. We are headed into the busy season, as most churches are right now. Harvest Party, Thanksgiving baskets, Caroling and nursing home visit, Candlelight Service, and so on. Despite the bustle of the season, I adore this time of year.
Writing. Deadlines are among us. If I disappear for a few days (or weeks) and forget to answer emails or phone calls, it’s the deadline factor. I am blessed to have quite a few on my master schedule, so off to work I go.
Walking. Not so much when I’m home. But if I’m in, let’s say Disneyland, I’ve enjoyed upwards of 8-10 miles a day. Or with friends, 2-3 miles is a nice happy medium. At home, we are still working out the kinks of safely reaching a good walking location (without having to drive somewhere to walk).
Family. Keeps us busy. Grands, siblings, children, parents. It’s lovely to have all of our family close. That doesn’t always translate to seeing them often, but if something pops up, we are near and can help or attend an event or gathering. I don’t know of many families that have so many members this close. For that, we are grateful.
And coming up soon – birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the new year – the seasons of the year. Each is a gift from God.
How about you? Refresh your cup and fill me in. What plans are on the calendar? What’s been going on?
Have a blessed day.
Khloe with her Fourth of July flag ~ it was kind of heavy!
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell
Pinterest wins! This Fourth of July craft project turned out adorable.
The grands loved it as well, though they really wanted to just paint all over the old barn wood plaque. That would be a project for a different time. This time, Nana wanted some resemblance to a flag. It was on OLD barn wood after all, and that stuff is hard to come by.
That being said, use any wood you like. Or cardboard or a piece of canvas. With just a little help, you will be ready to celebrate the birth of our nation in style!
Audrey adding white stripes to her Fourth of July flag.
Fourth of July Flag Craft
Materials: wood, acrylic paints (red, white, blue), plastic containers to hold paint, paintbrushes, apron or old clothes, wire
Tools: saw, drill, wire cutter, broom
Donavyn is done with his flag and enjoying a freeze-pop on this nearly 100 degree day! UGH
1. Cut a rectangle from the wood. Drill two holes in the top for wire.
2. Use a broom to dust off the sawdust and dirt.
3. Squirt each color into a container.
4. Help do the handprint. I held each child’s hand and thickly painted it with blue paint. I also helped place the hand and held it down until I had rubbed it all over. Wash!
Hayden working on his white stripes.
5. We did red stripes first, making sure to leave big spaces for the white. For older kids they can pretty much be told where to start the stripe and they will be fine. My younger guys needed a little more assistance. Normally, I would just let them paint however they wanted, but these were on barn wood…
6. Add the white stripes between the red.
7. Dry. Loop wire through the holes and twist together to form a hanging loop.
Happy 4th of July, America!