Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fall's Changing of the Guard

How can it be the last day of October?

Wondering where this month went to, and then... I know! It went by so quickly because every moment was spent enjoying, and soaking up the colors around us.

This October has had its share of excitement!

Two carpal tunnel surgeries, one on Oct. 5 and the second on Oct. 19.
Both went very well, and my recovery has been wonderful.
So thankful to everyone who prayed for me, for those who brought food
and for everyone who helped in every way they could.  I am so very blessed!
I still have weakness in both my hands, which makes doing much with them harder, but I have no pain!
For that I am so very thankful, both surgeries so far a success!
It will take 6 months to a year for me to have a full return of strength in my hands.
Patience will remain a virtue I'll need lots of!

I had a tea party one afternoon with a dear friend.

As we shared our lives with each other, such a beautiful presence of the Lord was with us,
as we enjoyed hot tea and simple finger foods.
During our tea, a strong wind came up. We prayed that the wind would not cause damage.
Shortly after my friend left, a neighbor came to tell me an out-of-control brush fire was headed towards our home.
Family and friends began to pray!
A scary few hours ensued, but thankfully these brave firefighters put the blaze out and all was well and safe! 

A birthday dinner for my husband was enjoyed at our local Mexican restaurant. 

I had ordered a large box of tulips, crocus, and snowdrop bulbs from Breck's and they came the day after my surgery,
so one afternoon my husband planted them for me, while I watched.  So thankful for his help
and we will enjoy the efforts of his hard work come springtime! 

Because voles in my garden are a problem, I am trying a new tactic.
I sprinkled sulfur over all the bulbs, covered them with some dirt, and sprinkled some more sulfur over the top of that.
I am hoping the nasty taste will deter the rodents, and keep them from snacking on these bulbs during the winter months!

Riley and I have enjoyed many walks since my surgery. I can't do much around the house,
but I can walk!  So we have been enjoying the gorgeous days outside walking. 

 I rode with my husband one day as his work took us along a gorgeous route full of fall colors. Amazing colors and views we enjoyed together. 

An afternoon drive captured these gorgeous sights.  

Sometimes I pinch myself that I really do live in this beautiful place!
I have a video to share today that I compiled of most of the pictures I took this October.  It is much easier to share all the pictures in one little show than to post each individual one here. You will see many of the pictures I've shared on the blog in this video, and some you haven't :)

With the closing of this beautiful month of October, my heart remains thankful and oh so joyful that we have had such a glorious month of color and sunshine.  Looking forward, we are forecast to get our first snowstorm of the season this weekend... and so as one season falls to a close, another one comes in, I am reminded that this is why we love living in the four seasons here :)

Sharing with Jann at Share Your Cup and Sherry at The Charm of Home

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fall's Slow Dance along the Train Tracks

Fall's season passes so quickly, as the leaves begin their slow dance to the ground after expressing their brightest colors.  One must just get out and enjoy them while you can!  

I could walk these tracks into forever, enamored with the beauty of each step forward...

The train tracks follow the river's meandering path. 

Sometimes I think I'd like to hop on a train for a ride around the country,
the views are always incredible from a track's point of view!

Every bush and shrub contributing to the explosion of color this fall season.

A deserted beach now, but often frequented by fishermen and swimmers in warmer weather. 

You can see the fall colors along the riverbanks reflected in the calm water.

I'd love to follow this little path, but it is marked private property, so will leave it be,
but what a lovely way to enter your home sweet home!

A favorite spot for fisherman, yet deserted today in the cool misty air. 

Nary a fisherman to be found in this quaint little fishing spot. 

The outlet of the marshy area trailing off to the river below.

Trees beginning their song and dance, colors not quite turned,
but the show has begun! The finale is yet to be...
Back at home, the cool air outside was perfect for hot raspberry leaf tea and biscotti.  
I took the tea outside to the back porch overlooking my blazing red maple...

....and was joined by a rather furry trio of beggars.
Oh those faces! How do you resist?
And so, that is how tea with the trio went, a piece for me,
and three pieces for them.  I didn't get much...
but I enjoyed the tea in my new gorgeous teacup,
sent to me by a dear friend in a tea exchange (will blog about it soon!) 
My left hand carpal tunnel surgery went very well, and several days of rest ensued.
Of course, the one who knows best about rest showed me just how to get 'er done... lol...
Master Simba enjoyed every quiet moment of rest in my lap. 

Most of the mornings in this October, the fog has settled in around us. 

Though shrouded in fog and mist, the colors of the flag still shine bright!

Losing its leaves, a few at a time, hanging on to its color tenuously.

And when the fog lifts, the show is on! Come one, come all! It's free for the taking....

Beautiful flowers from my sister the day after my surgery,
the bright pinks a favorite of mine. Thank you Sis!

Apple Pie Cups made by a dear friend for us

We have been humbled and blessed beyond measure as a train of food has come to our home in the wake of my surgeries.  Friends and neighbors have brought homemade meals that have allowed me to rest, and not worry about duties in the kitchen.  Enough food for a small army!  A dear friend came over the day after my last and final surgery to braid my long hair, and then she made these melt-in-your-mouth Apple Pie Cups.  We used the apples that we had picked from the wild apple tree a couple of weeks ago.  Simple to make!  Want the 2-ingredient recipe? 

2 pkgs Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
1 can apple pie filling (or 1-1/2 cups homemade apple pie filling)

Roll out cinnamon roll dough to 1/2" thick, cut dough with a large drinking glass (about 3" in diameter) and place circles in buttered muffin tins (we used a 12-muffin cup pan).  Press dough in to form a cup, and fill with apple pie filling.  Bake at 400 for ten minutes or until browned.  Drizzle with icing... eat warm!
Note: This recipe was found on Pinterest if you'd like to see more pictures of it there. 

And as this Fall season continues its slow dance of falling colors, I pray for each one of you, my dear readers, that the "meditation of Him shall be sweet" in your hearts, and that you will be "glad in the Lord".  Psalms 104:34

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall Adventures

This has been a particularly lovely year for Fall colors.  I have a few special spots that I like to go to each Fall to see the glorious colors of the season.  Year after year, I never tire of seeing these Fall colors. While we don't have as many of the vibrant colors like the Northeast, our trees and shrubs still manage to put on a gorgeous display this time of year. There are an abundance of pictures, so grab a teacup or your coffee cup and settle in for some northwest Fall colors :)

Two geese swimming in sparkling waters

A favorite view of mine, the still waters a reflection of color.

Cool skies overshadowing the yellowed grasses. 

Hiking the short trail down to the river.

The reds and oranges of the maple trees backdropped by the purple mountains.

An old railroad bridge framed by the brilliance of the maples.

A late afternoon break in the clouds brought sunshine's warmth to the river. 

A cloudy day turned glorious with a burst of sunshine in late afternoon.

A closer look at the railroad bridge

An elderberry tree

A lovely spot to sit down by the river

A beautiful ending to the day

The colors of this sunset were magnificent, and after the cloudy day,
the brilliance of the sunset was wonderful to see. 

A favorite place of mine to visit in fall.  Once again, this little place of business has failed to remain open,
and is now deserted again. It was last a pizza parlor.  

I think a cozy little sandwich/coffee shop would be a much better fit here. 
So much character in this building and location.  

On another afternoon, the rainstorm passed just at dusk and left this moody scene. 

A home across the river was having a bonfire just as evening shadows were falling. 

The road that leads to our home, decked out in fall brilliance.

Sunsets in Fall are magnificent. 

A quaint little spot to have a picnic lunch! 

Rocks adorned with the offerings of the nearby maple tree. 

Walking in fallen maple leaves... 

Rose hips now fully ripe, bursting forth in reddish delight, adding to Fall's color mix. 

We found a wild apple tree along the train tracks, with fallen ripe apples covering the ground. 

We picked as many as we could, filling all our pockets with them.

What a delightful treat they were too, firm, sweet, and yet tart. 

The railroad bridge at sunset. 

A late afternoon storm left behind this radiant rainbow in the skies. 

Rich colors of fall abound on every corner. 

I will be having my second carpal tunnel surgery this coming Thursday on my left hand. I know a little more what to expect, and yet I wonder what it will be like to have two hands that are weak and unable to do simple things.  Should be interesting!  I can already tell a difference in my right hand, with no pain, numbness or tingling any longer and it is already so worth it to me to have the surgeries done.  My family and friends have been such a blessing to me through it all.

My son showed me a neat "trick" that has allowed me to keep in touch with friends and family throughout this time, since I can't type.  On my smartphone, on the little keyboard where you type your message, beside the space bar, there is a little microphone.  If you tap that microphone, it allows you to dictate your text message.  It is called Google Speak.  I've found it to be remarkably accurate, and it allows me to dictate my text messages and even do my blog posts for me.  However, I do have to edit the message, because there are many words it gets confused on, lol! But at least it does most of the work for me, without me having to text with one finger!

It may be a week or two before I get another blog post out, with two hands not able to do much. However I hope that with the quick healing that I've experienced with my right hand, that it will be the same with my left hand. My Dad is healing well from his surgery as well, and so we are just very thankful for all the many blessings of the Lord, and His great care of us.

Our hearts continue to lift in prayer for those who have been affected by the hurricanes, floods, shootings, and fires, so much sadness and tragedy on every hand, and it reminds me that the little things in life (such as my hand surgeries), are nothing compared to the heartaches and loss that so many have faced this year.

So thankful that our trust in the Lord remains a foundation and a pillar of strength for us. May the blessings of the Lord abound in your life, and may His strength and joy become yours each day.