the view from my kitchen window

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Please accept my invitation to stop in and have a cup of mulled wine or hot coffee on this Christmas Day in southwest Colorado.  We are enjoying a relaxing, refreshing day with family and praising our God for the significance of this Blessed Celebration . . . the gift of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

I've just posted photos of the different things I've used to decorate my house for the holiday, some new, some family heirlooms, some antique/vintage, some fun and funky . . . just because I enjoy Christmas so much and enjoy decorating! 

Thank you all for visiting, for your encouragements, prayers and friendship through the year.  Trusting God to bring us through 2013 in His Grace and Love!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


This apple tree is in our neighbor's orchard across the road and I just smile every time I look at it's little "bobbed haircut" look
It has been decades since I've had the decadent pleasure of actually savoring September!   I have worked in teaching and school jobs for many years and, as many teachers and school know, September is incredibly busy.  And, there is usually the bounty of harvest to tend to with cleaning out gardens, picking fruit, canning, freezing and whatever else one does to "put away".
For the past four years I have been working as a caregiver for my sister, and at the end of August, ended my career as her caregiver.  It has been an incredibly difficult journey and I know that I now just need to be her SISTER.   So, I'm trusting the Lord with our finances and what retirement we receive and the money I earn from my little "Farm Fresh Aprons" business.
We didn't plant a garden this year for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that we had such poor snowfall last winter we knew that irrigation would be an issue. For the first year in many, we just didn't plant . . . very out of character for me!  I love gardening!

Treasures from our farm and orchards where we raised lots of apples.
I am a power walker and have been for a very long time, so that is part of my daily routine . . . usually 4-5 miles each day.  I live in the country on part of what used to be our family farm and when I walk I enjoy the canal bank that takes me around the back side of our property and other neighbors.  I get to see deer, coyotes, geese, ducks, blue heron, rabbits, rock chucks and all kinds of other critters.  In the winter time I've seen elk and there are bear out and about, especially during the fruit harvest time.  And, of course, the less desirable furry creatures such as skunks and porcupine.

Old scale my dad used on the farm

My canine pal, Bramble, loves to go with me on our walks and to be outside on our place. So, we are out and about quite a bit and I am actually SAVORING September.   We are blessed with clean, fresh mountain air, gloriously clear and brilliant blue skies and I'm just loving that more and more.
Fall is my favorite season anyway, but this year I'm just grateful for the gift I've been given to not be harried by a busy, hectic job and not being able to get outside.  I'm grateful for the fact I don't have to slave over the stove with fruit peelings and pulp up to my earlobes.  While I enjoy the harvest and having all that wonderful food put away . . . I, honestly, am grateful to not be overloaded . . for the first time in a very, very long time.

Another scale my dad used, along with old wooden boxes and other goodies. In the picture below in the little red
basket are all the old stamps there were used to stamp the cardboard apple boxes with variety, size, etc. before
they went for sale.

The temperatures have cooled off, the scents and "feelings" of fall are in the air.  I finally had time to clean my house and put out my fall decorations and start lighting my fall scented candles . . mmmmm!   We are still in the midst of our Farmers Market season so I'm still sewing aprons for that and then it'll continue for some Christmas Bazaars, so my sewing machine is still busy.  But it's happier because I'm pulled in fewer directions and not so "hot and bothered" with the summer heat.
Yes, I'm savoring September!   Sweet, sweet September!!!
Thank you Lord, for September and for the TIME you've given me to slow down, drink . . and breathe . . it all in and just wrap myself in its sweetness!  And wrap myself in YOU, your grace, your love and all you are! 
 Thank you!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


There's nothing like a nice hike in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and it's even better when your daughter and your favorite doggie pal get to go with you.  I'm soooooo grateful for the opportunity  to strike out with my daughter, Robin . . . aka "Birdie" . . . on the Calico Trail this summer.  My sweet doggie, Bramble, is such a fun companion and we enjoyed her company so much!

Doesn't "Birdie" have a beautiful smile?   She's just beautiful all over and especially inside.  She is my only daughter, my best friend and companion and partner in our glamping adventures . . we are the "4871 GLAMPING FARMGIRLS".

And Bramble is ready for us to stop goofing off and get back up the trail!  THANK YOU LORD for
my "BIRDIE", BRAMBLE . . . and the wonderful creation of the Colorado Rocky Mountains!
   THANK YOU for hiking trails and fun times!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FAMILY . . . fun, funky . . what can I say?

Back row, lt to rt: Kerry and Tim Gardner, Mike Benedetto, Dan Beaver, Chris Lehman
Melanie Danbrook is on the the lt. in front of Kerry.
Front row, lt. to rt: Jan Milner with Skittles, CJ, Robin Armstrong-Miller, Danaya Benedetto, Lynnelle Beaver and Brittany Lehman.  The cutie in front in the pink bathing suit is Emma Lehman.

We have a pretty big family and I don't think we'll ever ALL be in the same place at the same time.  But we try to enjoy the daylights out of times we have when we can be together and see each other. My family is scattered from British Columbia, down into Oregon and clear across the entire U.S. of A. to North Carolina.  My daughter and I were on a road trip recently all over the State of Colorado, which included working as crew members at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Rocky Mountains event.  Two of my nieces were part of our crew and then we went into Denver to the home of one of those gals for a bit more family fun.  Shopping, sitting around chatting, a family BBQ. . . general silliness.  This pic is of that group of family members, taken June 25, 2012.
Thank you Lord for family!

My daughter, Robin; myself; my niece Melanie from British Columbia, and; Lynnelle, my niece from the Denver area. We had finished our work for Day One of the event and were at the Wellness Village, in Frisco, Colorado. 
It was such an honor and privilege to work with these girls . . . all family . . . on the crew for tthis event!

Friday, June 15, 2012

ahh . . the SWEET FIELDS of HOME

Sleeping Ute Mountain in the background, on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian reservation, tucked into the
southwest corner of the State of Colorado

There is nothing like the fragrance of fresh cut grass or alfalfa and just last week we were able to savor the experience of that with the first cutting of the season.   We no longer own the farm but I still live on part of it and this alfalfa field is just out my door.  This is what it looked like earlier this week just before the stacker came along, scooped up the bales and the irrigation side-rolls were started up again.  My dad never baled the hay until just a few years before he went to his heavenly home.  He always chopped it into big wagons, and then offloaded the hay into the center section of the barn for winter feed.  He also used some to go into the silage pit to make silage, also for winter feed.

I so cherish the sounds, sights and smells of farming!   One of my favorite smells is that of freshly turned dirt . . yes, dirt!   Call me crazy but I like that smell.  I also like the smell of fresh cut hay or grass.  I also like the sound of the sprinklers on the irrigation side-rolls . . with their ch-ch-ch-ch sound and it causes me to be grateful for water!   I enjoy hearing the farm machinery, the rhythmic sound of the swather, the baler, the tractor . . all of it.  I was raised on this farm and I never tire of deriving pleasure ouf ot the sights, sounds and smells!  I'm thankful, LORD, for this gift!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

for the love of a Kitty Cat!

Skye . . very exhausted, but happy to be home safe and sound! May 28, 2012

What is it about our pets, but for the purpose of this reflection, a soft, fuzzy, itty-bitty kitty cat that just makes us melt?   This is the face of my cat, Skye, a 17 year-old tortoise-shell feline friend who is sweet, friend, cuddly and has been reigning as the "queen of everything" in our house since she was about 10 months old.  This is also the face of Skye who had just found her way home, that very day of May 28, 2012,  after an adventure that caused us great concern . . she had gone missing for about 1 1/2 weeks!   We feared the worst and were ecstatic when she found her way home . . . very, very grubby with "ground in" dirt, all over; a bit thinner than she was; very weary and clearly glad to be HOME!!! 
 HOME!!!!   She has been doing well, eating normally, behaving in her usual manner and getting back to her normal kitty-cat life!
I know she is just a cat, but she is God's creation and I believe He gives us room in our hearts and lives for loving and caring for them, for making them part of our "family", for not wanting anything to happen to them.  
The odds for survival and getting back home, safe and sound, were actually heavily stacked against Skye but God performed a miracle for her . . for us . . and saw her safely home.  We are so grateful!  She's back to her usual "plastering" herself in my lap in the evening when I'm relaxing in front of the TV . . . she curls up, settles in and sleeps.   I'm glad!   I'm also glad she isn't very big so she's not so heavy on my chest.   Whatever adventure she went through required her to exercise her survival skills  . . . if she could only talk "people" so we could know all about it.

Picture taken in late March of the "queen" soaking up some sun

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Happy Mothers Day" . . from Jeremy

My son, Jeremy, brought me these stunningly beautiful roses today for Mothers Day!   He was so proud and so happy to present them to me.  He is 38 years old, has Down Syndrome and lives his own life with a 24/7 caregiver.  He lives just a few miles away so we see him on Sundays and other times as well.   He has been a true treasure and gift from God!

When I think of Mothers Day I think of those other moms who are or have raised disabled children, those who have lost a child, those who are hurting for their kids for some reason or another. And for the kids who are hurting for or really missing their moms.  Being a "mom" isn't about all the pretty stuff you give your kids or all the fun and wonderful times you have with them.  It is about the relationship, about the time you spend with them, the time you spend on your knees before the Throne of Grace for them, for nurturing and loving them!   It's about holding them close but letting them go . . . into the arms of the God who created them and who loves them FAR BEYOND what we can love them!  Trusting Him with them and their lives and their hearts . . . our children are a GIFT to us from GOD!   THANK YOU, DEAR GOD, for the gift you have given me in my children!  THANK YOU FOR ROBIN!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Lovlieness of LILACS

Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers and I just love that they are one of the first flowers of spring . . . bringing that glorious scent and heavenly beauty to the canvas of our Creator.
These are my lilacs . . yes, they are white.  But they are no less wonderful in their scent and beauty.  This is the first spring that they  have actually bloomed because the bush is quite young and I was so totally excited when I walked out to see them in bloom.   I've been waiting and nurturing them through to see their first blooms!   I am rewarded!  THANK YOU, LORD, for this wonderful Spring Reward!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

and the WINNER for the Giveaway is. . . .

KRISTY THOMAS is the winner of the "Stitching and Crafting Giveway" as described here.  CONGRATULATIONS KRISTY!!!!  I do have your address in Melvern . . unless you've moved.  If you have, then you'll need to email me your new address.
I'll finish getting the package together and in the mail by the end of the week.

THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who posted comments here.  I wish you all the fun, fabulous creativity possible in all your projects!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Our Creator just does the most amazing and beautiful things with green, flowering and growing things!  Even though I've known that about our God and Creator all my life I am still in ABSOLUTE AWE at the things He blesses my day with!   Now is the season for all the fruit trees to be blossoming and I'm surrounded by fruit orchards . . . cherries (sweet and sour), apricots, plums, peaches, pears and many, many varieties of apples.  I step outside and the sight is all around me and the fragrance on the air is heavenly!   But it is also the time when I see new green growth coming up in my flower beds which means I have to get out and start getting my "gardening" muscles back in shape after their winter rest.  There is a lot of work to be done to get the old plant/flower matter out so the green, fresh and new can blossom and grow.  The first flowers to show their gorgeous faces are these yellow irises, which I believe are a variety of German Bearded.  I have other yellow irises but they are different and come a bit later.  THANK YOU, DEAR GOD, FOR THE "CREATION CANVAS" YOU PAINT FOR ME . . FOR US!!!!

Blossoms on our cherry tree, which are sour/pie cherries

One variety, and the earliest, of yellow irises that grace my garden every spring

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo Book - "TENT GLAMPING"

Shutterfly offers exclusive layouts and designs so you can make your book just the way you want.

STITCHING and CRAFTING "Surprise" Giveaway

I will post the winner tomorrow,
Tuesday, MAY 1st.  Thanks to all for "playing".  Enjoyed reading about all the fun things you're up to!

I'm going to give away some Stitching and Crafting goodies, but it will be a surprise package.   Possibilities are books, including recipe books, papercraft supplies, sewing notions, other craft supplies  - who knows what it will be.                                                          TO ENTER: please leave a comment here telling me if you went shopping for Stitching and Crafting supplies, what are TWO things (please just tell me TWO) that you would want to purchase.  DEADLINE to Enter is: APRIL 30th.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Farmgirl "KINDRED" Spirit

Marilyn, Debbie, Sharon and CJ at "The Farm"
There is nothing like the kindred spirit that draws us together.  The spirit that speaks of friendship, fun, farmgirl-ish lifestyle, laughter and a heart!   I had the extraordinary privilege of spending time with my farmgirl friends last week.  We had the best time!   We met for lunch and wore our aprons . . . and sharing lunch, laughter and love.  My friends, Marilyn and Debbie, visited for a couple days from the Colorado Springs area.  My friend, Sharon, lives here and I get to see her frequently  . . . which is such an honor.  I'm SOOOOOOOOO grateful for these friends and the time we share together!!! 
Marilyn, CJ and Debbie and Branble

Sunday, April 8, 2012


"JOY is the flag you fly when the
is in residence in your heart."
Wilifred Peterson

Saturday, April 7, 2012