Sunday, February 4, 2018

Passing the Winter Days

Winter certainly can seem to drag on, and last endlessly.  I've found that to combat the endless weariness of gray days that I need to get outside regardless of the weather.  Rain, snow or shine, I've been getting out every day to enjoy the overlooked beauties of winter.  We've had a few days of sunshine, but mostly clouds and rain.  However, that hasn't stopped us from getting outside.  I really think that is the key to beating the winter doldrums, is just getting outside whether the weather is friendly or not.


One Friday afternoon, a friend and I decided to ski up a local mountain road.  The road had been groomed and while it was pretty much uphill, the grade wasn't too difficult for us, and we stopped plenty of times to laugh and catch our breath. 

We came to this lookout and enjoyed the view of the mountains on our skies. 

I didn't bring Riley because my friend brought her dog, and we didn't want to have to keep up with two dogs on an unfamiliar trail.  Copper was a great companion and stayed close with us as we skied.  

A view through the trees of distant mountains.

The scariest part of all was skiing down the road. Our cross country skies were like greased lightening going down the hill.  Doing the "pizza" all the way down was more of a workout than going up!  But we both made it in one piece, and we had some great laughs along the way! 

Riley has learned to get very excited when she seems me getting on my skies.  That means more adventure for her! But at the end of a ski, she gets tired too, and we both stopped to rest in this picture, lol! 
As we skied on the tree farm, I noted that the slash pile that had burned dangerously out of control this past fall was still smoking, and this after all the rain and snow we've had!  I hope the loggers bulldoze this pile once spring arrives, as it is still smoking in the dead of winter. 



There have been a few days of sunshine in January, and when they do come, you get outside to enjoy and soak up that precious sunshine!

I know there are some of  you who dislike winter immensely, but there is just something
about these snow-laden trees, with the freshly fallen snow in the thick of the forest that
if I could take you with me, I think you'd change your mind :) 

These three love getting out in the woods with us.  My husband comes along when he can to snowshoe with me. 

We decided to try a little outdoor cooking too!  My husband got the dutch oven set up, and I added the chicken, potatoes and carrots to the pot.  He took care of cooking it, and did a fine job! 

Here you can see the chicken cooking happily away, out in the snow! 

It was quite fun to cook outside in the snow.  


The chicken was cooked perfectly with a hint of smokiness, crispy and tender.  

Served up on our tin pie plates, there was delight in every bite!

We've had a fair amount of fog this winter, but none more so than on this day when it hung quite low to the ground,
giving the world a rather mysterious appearance. 


And then there have been days with bright sunshine too, and when those days come,
I just want to spend the entire day outside!
 
I've cross-country skied as often as I could, because our snow is melting fast. 
It has become a ritual that I walk in the morning, and ski in the afternoon, weather permitting. 

Loving those bright warm rays of sunshine and the blue shadows. 
 
On our walks, often our neighbors' horses come to the fence to greet us as we walk by. 

Such sweet girls they are!
Eye see you... 


This is a panorama shot of the afternoon skies one evening as I walked. 

The heavens declaring the glory of the Lord!



Down at the river, the lonely park bench beckoned to me as the evening
shadows lengthened and darkness settled in softly. 
 
Such wonder in the skies!  I never, ever tire of the color palette offered up with winter sunsets!
 
To behold such glory in the skies, sometimes it makes my heart ache with the immense beauty of it all. 


And so the winter days are passing by us, slipping away like pearls on a strand... and spring is beckoning in the shadows with whispering anticipation as the days lengthen.  Our snow is melting, and I am sad, because I love the delights of winter so. 

I feel sadness at the end of every season 
for missing what was, 
but then I feel joy, 
for what will come in the next season.  

And so, that is just as life is for us too. 

There are seasons of our life, 
they never last forever, 
and there are joys and sorrows with each one, 
but none last forever... 
the clock keeps ticking away.  


The day is done
The sun has set
Yet light still tints the sky
My heart stands still
in reverance
For God is passing by.
~ Ruth Alla Wager ~

Psalms 36:5-10

 Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; 
and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
 
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; 
thy judgments are a great deep: 

O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! 
therefore the children of men 
put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; 
and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
 
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; 
and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.


Even as clouds often obscure the sunlight for a short time, and seasons come and seasons go... we realize that nothing lasts forever, or is eternal, except for our souls and the One who created us.  How grateful I am to know that the eternal destination of my soul is with the One who created this world in all its majesty.  It is a comfort and a joy to walk through the seasons of life with that hope! 

Look up, up into the skies, and see the mercy of the Lord that is in the heavens, 
and his faithfulness that reaches unto the clouds.

And so... to live life to its fullest, look up to the skies... there is your answer, the heavenlies declare the glory of the Lord, and with each sunrise and sunset full of the majestic array of colors, we can keep our eyes focused on the light, and there can be joy in each moment, for each season of our life.  :) 

78 comments:

  1. Ah, so beautiful! Yes, I know how gorgeous it is, especially out in the countryside. Here in town, the snow gets ugly and dirty so quickly. We went to the lake yesterday and hiked in from the main road that was plowed. It was SO quiet and serene. I might feel differently about the snow if I lived there year round. Thank you for taking us with you today and for the scripture verses and reminders.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the virtual walk Betsy :) I would love to walk with you someday soon, Lord willing when I get down your direction :) Stay warm and cozy today with all the new snow we have gotten! Hugs!

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  2. So many beautiful photos here, Marilyn. Your meal cooked outdoors was a great idea. You are making the best of winter!

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    1. Since winter is such a long season, I've determined to find ways to enjoy it to the fullest :) Hugs to you today!

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  3. My goodness such beauty, you certainly live in a beautiful part of the world. I love the idea of cooking outside, your meal looked amazing.

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    1. Since winter is such a long season, I've determined to find ways to enjoy it to the fullest :) Hugs to you today!

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  4. My goodness such beauty, you certainly live in a beautiful part of the world. I love the idea of cooking outside, your meal looked amazing.

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  5. My goodness such beauty, you certainly live in a beautiful part of the world. I love the idea of cooking outside, your meal looked amazing.

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  6. Dearest Marilyn,
    yours is Winter, a true Winter, the Winter I love!
    For a few years we're having mild Winters, which aren't good for the health of our plants ... and that of all of us too, we need cold and snow during this season.

    And what an amazing dish you've prepared in the oven outside with your hubby's help, thank you sweetie for sharing it all with us!

    Wishing you a most wonderful remainder of your so lovely Winter,
    I'm sending blessings on your way

    XOXO Dany

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    1. Hello sweet Dany, yes we've had a wonderful winter here so far. It has been mild, but there has been snow too. Today we are getting snow on Valentine's Day, which I Love! Since winter is such a long season, I've determined to find ways to enjoy it to the fullest, cooking outside with the dutch oven is a lot of fun:) Hugs and blessings to you today!

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  7. A beautiful, beautiful post, Marilyn. I felt like I was right there with you on your walk/ski abouts. You took some beautiful photos, too. I haven't been on skis in years- I had an issue with my ankle a few years ago and although it doesn't hurt now-I can't ski or ice skate anymore.

    I would have loved to be part of that outdoor cooking! Lucky you to live in such a beautiful place. Like you, I seek to live life to the fullest everyday. Blessings- xo Diana

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    1. Oh yes I can understand an ankle injury keeping you from skiing, it is hard on the joints! It is snowing here today and I hope to get out for a ski this afternoon. :) Thank you for the sweet Valentine's card, it really was beautiful! Many blessings to you today :)

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  8. Beautiful "postcard" worthy photo's. I love the horses!

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    1. Thank you Sylvia! Always appreciate your visits! Since winter is such a long season, I've determined to find ways to enjoy it to the fullest :) Hugs to you today!

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  9. What beautiful photos! I’m particularly fond of sunset and sunrise photos.

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    1. Yes me too, I haven't seen a sunrise or sunset yet that I didn't love :) Have a blessed day!

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  10. Oh my goodness!
    Such beautiful photos!!!
    Winter looks lovely in your part of the world. : )

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    1. Thanks Billie Jo, we are blessed to live in a place with beauty in all seasons :) Appreciate your visit very much, have a blessed day!

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  11. I love that we're both writing about winter today, Marilyn. The difference is that you've focused on the splendors of this radiant season while I am burrowing inside!

    ;-}

    But oh, that horse ...

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    1. Thanks for your visit Linda, I am with you on wanting to burrow inside some days, but I am making myself get out, lol. Today it is snowing, and I'm hunkering inside until things quiet down out there! Hope you have a lovely day :)

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  12. This is a beautiful post, and your pictures are breathtaking!! It really does look cold there. Some days when it's really really cold I will dread taking Eli out to walk and play, but once I get outside and start moving, I feel so much better. It actually makes me feel good.

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    1. Yes, it's true, sometimes I don't really feel like it, but once I get outside, I feel so much better to be moving. Hope you are having a lovely Valentine's Day :) Happy hugs to you!

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  13. Oh yes! There is much beauty in winter and in all the seasons. I agree that the sky holds a never ending array of beauty.Those snow laden trees are magical and so beautiful.God is so good.Thanks for sharing the beauty in your part of the world and thanks for your visits and comments on my blog.

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    1. There is so much beauty to be enjoyed in winter, I do love it so. I always appreciate your visits Ruth, and the gorgeous pictures you always share! Indeed we are so blessed of the Lord to be able to enjoy the magnificence of His creation! Happy Valentine's to you today :)

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  14. The sunset pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your visit :) Have a blessed and Happy Valentine's Day :)

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  15. You live in such a beautiful place, Marilyn. I think it would be hard for me to stay inside, too, when all that beauty is beckoning. You have shared some wonderful thoughts and scenes. Love the sweet dogs and your sense of adventure. Your outdoor meal looks wonderful, too. xo Karen

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    1. It is true that getting outside makes it so much nicer, something about the fresh air! Always appreciate your visits Karen, and want to wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day :)

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  16. Marilyn, what glorious pictures! I can certainly understand why you are sad that the snow is melting. Your chicken supper must have tasted extra delicious from cooking it outside on the fire. xo

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    1. We got more snow Gina, and I couldn't be happier, and it looks like more will be on the way! I skied today, and it was soo gorgeous out. I do love wintertime when you can get out and enjoy the snow. Always appreciate your visits sweet friend!

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  17. The Chicken and Potatoes look amazing. Wonderful post. Lovely blog.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Pam! The chicken and potatoes were delicious. I need to make them again :)

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  18. Oh, my, what a beautiful post! I LOVE seeing all the amazing photos, and I always feel like I am right there, walking alongside you...I say walking, because I am way too uncoordinated to try skiing! LOL! You would spend all your time helping me up off the ground! :) But, what beauty you see and capture SO perfectly on your camera lens!!!! Oh, my, the pictures of the horses, especially, are just breathtaking. But, they are ALL just amazing. You are such a dear blessing to me and to so many others...you and your photos and blog and all you do is just such a huge gift to this dark world! Sending much love and many hugs and blessings to you, my dear friend!

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    1. Oh no dear Cheryl, I think you would love the cross country skiing, it really isn't that hard, and with such beautiful scenery around us, it would be a delight indeed! Oh how I would love that! Your friendship is such a blessing to me, always encouraging and uplifting in our fellowship in the Lord. I give Him praise for allowing our paths to cross! Warm blessings and hugs to you today :)

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  19. Reading your blog makes me want to get out every day and take pictures and go for walks... Your pictures are stunning and the landscape is just breathtaking!

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    1. There is just something about getting outside that seems to shake the cobwebs off the mind! I enjoy it so much. Glad that you found some inspiration :) Hugs to you today!

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  20. As one who is not a fan of Winter, you could almost make me love it, lovely Marilyn! Your wintry landscape does uplift the soul. So much of God's beautiful handiwork to be seen in every photo. I think I too, would go outside every day to drink in those glorious sights. You truly do live in a most stunning paradise. A most sublime post! Bless you, lovely lady!

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    1. Oh there is something about getting outside that seems to clear the mind, and restore the soul. I know it is harder to do in the winter, but I think of you often down there enjoying such beautiful sunshine, and sharing the beauty of your world with us. I never cease to be amazed at your creative talents, always an inspiration! I always appreciate sweet visits from you, like warm sunshine to my soul :) Hugs to you today dear friend!

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  21. Beautiful pictures! It looks so cold, brrrrr. I think it's exciting that instead of a walk, you go skiing!

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  22. Beautiful post, Marilyn. Seeing winter through another's eyes and locale is interesting. I tend to moan about it. I love that you get to ski. Great exercise. I have tried to use it take care of somethings I wouldn't want to do when it is warm here. I think part of the hate of winter here is we don't have clothes for it. Y'all have the right gear!

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  23. Beautiful photos, Marilyn. You certainly have great models. Love the dogs and horses and especially the beautiful skies. From someone who doesn't get enough snow, your photos are so pretty..Happy Tuesday..Judy

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  24. Just lovely, Marilyn, I think we are on the same wavelength today with our posts! You must be in fabulous shape with your morning walks and afternoon skiing....good for you, I seriously wish I had time to get out more! Someday...

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  25. What a delightful post. We had snow here today. It lasted about 2 hours and then all went! We get so excited when we see half a dozen flakes!

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  26. Oh my...now THAT's how to take advantage of winter's beauty...just glorious! The chicken dish looks absolutely scrumptious!

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  27. Oh, yes, joy in each day and in every season of our lives, all because of our loving and faithful Father. Marilyn, your photos, as always, are stunning! You have almost convinced me to embrace winter. Lol! Seriously, I do love the snow when we get it, but in the South, we are not as prepared as you are to actually get out in it.
    Blessings!

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  28. Absolutely beautiful. I honesty would love to come ski with you, you do my kind of exploring.
    Happy February to you,
    Carla

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  29. I love bright sunny snowy days, and walking in the snow. You live in such a beautiful area. In winter here, it's rain and more rain. Once in a very long while some snow. Getting outdoors in all weather is a healthy way to live. Your outdoor cooking looks delicious.

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  30. SO SO true (I'm one of those extreme Winter-Haters) that we need to get out no matter what the weather. We've just gotten our first 'big' snow of 6 inches and are expecting 3 more today and then 10-12 tomorrow night. I love all of your pictures - I enjoy taking our dog for walks in the nature center and preserves (no mountains sadly) but we still have a good time tromping through the snow. It's just been too too cold for her to be out in this though so hopefully the temps will cooperate and let us get out this weekend! LOVE the meal you cooked outside!! THAT looks amazing!! I grill out all winter on our gas grill but that doesn't have the ambiance of YOUR fire haha!

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  31. Having spent a major portion of my life in Utah, snow is something I love.
    If you don't love it in the state of the "Greatest Snow on Earth", you are in trouble ! ;)
    Your photos bring back memories for me. I love being able to bundle up during icy winters and just walk and see nature all dressed in white.
    This was a beautiful post.

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  32. There is so much awesomeness here, I can't even begin to address it all. I love your view of winter...It truly makes me wish I could join you on those "walks" in the snow. I've never snow skiied before, but I think I could try cross country style. I know it is hard work, but it would be great exercise. And so invigorating! Thank you for sharing God's beauty with us...there are no words, except for those you already shared so perfectly. Our God is an awesome God!!!!

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  33. You are definitely in God's Country as they say about your area of the country. It is so beautiful. We have some beautiful scenes right here in NY state but I would love to go west in the winter to see your wonderland. I used to cross country ski and I loved it. What a great way to enjoy winter!

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  34. Your photos are as amazing as always my friend! I can't believe all the snow you still have. We have had nothing but rain and localized flooding down this way. It's getting old very quickly. I long for a good snow, but with all my trees budding out already, I also know that could do lots of damage.

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  35. Your pictures are wonderful, Marilyn. Those horses are beauties, aren't they? I just want to get on one and ride away in the distance. It's so nice that you try to get out every day and enjoy your surroundings, even when it's cold and dreary. We've had sunny days here, but I don't think Winter is over for us yet either. Those sunsets are so pretty, especially that last one with the snow. Nature is truly amazing.

    ~Sheri

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  36. I am breathless on the way to the mailbox in this bitter cold. I am envious of your stamina and in the face of winter. I loved this post, I have to say, you do winter right!! xo

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  37. Beautiful captures of your beautiful world! And cooking outside! How wonderful!! I also enjoyed that you were published in a magazine!! Congratulations!

    Hugs, Nancy. I am @nance_endless_summer on instagram. I too have a blog.

    Www.twotrailsoneroad.com

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  38. Marilyn, your pictures are always gorgeous...and those meals (especially the one cooked outside) look heavenly! I'm sure they tasted wonderful! It has been fun watching Riley grow up...what a beautiful dog she is!

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  39. Beautiful! As usual!

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  40. Wow, winter is really outside your door for sure. Those last several photos filled with light and color and horses are so fabulous! I'm going to show my hubby the cooking outdoors with the dutch oven. We've been on the lookout for a good dutch oven. Beautiful scripture and quotes. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  41. I admire you for getting out in the snow and cold...at one time, so did I....
    now, at 80, i love staying inside cuddled in with a warm blanket, hot drink and something good on TV...haha...I am such a big baby!!
    Your photos are beautiful and the meal looks amazing

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  42. Wow Marilyn, what gorgeous photos! You are amazing to get out twice a day. I've been trying to do it daily and still miss it sometimes. There definitely is beauty in snow! I enjoy all four seasons. The weather in Utah has been unusually warm this year. Our ski resorts are suffering. We have not had to shovel once. It was record warm yesterday and I actually worked in the garden. If we have another winter like this next year we will be in dire trouble!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  43. What a stunning post!Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and adorable!I thought I didn't like Winter( "your" cold winter with snow - actually I have never seen snow!)but admiring your photos I am changing my mind...Such beauty...Maybe one day!Thanks so much for sharing!Hugs,Maristella.

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  44. Oh my, Marilyn, I soooo enjoyed my outdoor adventure with you, from the skiing, to the outdoor cooking, and fabulous meal. Your photos are truly stunning, and certainly highlight the beauty of God's magnificence!
    Happy weekend to you in your beautiful outdoors!

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  45. I'm so glad to read that you have been enjoying the weather. And getting out in it too! That's so good for us. Good for the soul.
    Your outdoor cooking looks fun and that chicken looks divine!! ;) I have chicken in the crock pot, does that count? Ha!

    I hope you have a cozy filled weekend my friend.

    Hugs, Amy

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  46. You take the most incredible photos. I love seeing the fog on a snow covered scene. We've had some fog early in the mornings here lately but it 'burns' off quickly. Love the horses! Enjoy your weekend!

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  47. I savor your posts! The story, pictures,and the subjects all are worth every minute of your time spent writing this post. Bless you!

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  48. The winter is just beautiful with all the lovely snow, but I have fallen on ice a couple times and my cousin died by falling on the ice so it scares me and that is why I am fine with a short winter :) Your sunsets are just beautiful, the glory of the Lord shines forth in each one. How wonderful to have those outings with your friend and enjoy the beauty all around you.

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  49. what a fine camera you have and what brilliant art of photography you are blessed with
    each shot is enchanting
    Loved the horses specially!!!
    sky shots are BEYOND MAGICAL ,i am still under the spell .thank you sooo much for this stunning trip with your friend and pets!

    this is amazing positive spirit you own that keeps you move on during such slow days my dear friend!

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  50. cooking in snow must be great adventure and how sweet of your hubby to cook for you ,dish looks appealing :)

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  51. What a beautiful post, such lovely skies! You are so wise to get outside and enjoy the beauty, getting exercise and fresh air. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a sluggard in the winter. xo Deborah

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  52. I must say you embrace winter far better then I do. I am one of those that could go all winter without snow & be perfectly happy. - I think it's great you were able to get out and on ski's (I've never skied in my life) and even cook outside in the winter. Which by the way that food looked yummy. The sunsets there are certainly gorgeous and glorious. We are expecting snow this week and I am so not looking forward to that after our unusually warm January this is so not what we want now so close to spring.

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  53. You are so full of adventure! I used to do that.. hike through the snow when I lived in SW Washington up in the mountains...oh it was lovely for sure and SO QUIET as I walked along under the snow laden trees. I truly miss that.. and seeing you and your stunning photos makes me miss it even more! Your skies there are truly magical and awe inspiring.. so hard to find words to describe the feelings those golden and pink colors bring out in me.. I think it's nostalgia and sadness in a way, because I don't get to enjoy those colors much anymore. The skies where we live just don't seem to get very lively, and if they do, we miss them most of the time because our house has no west facing windows.. and we don't tend to go out and walk much in town. The ski trip down the hill looked a little frightening! I always wanted to cross country ski but never have. I could just hear your laughter. Loved the horses, and of course, those skies.. oh those skies and the snow covered trees. What I wouldn't give to be up in that country for a couple of weeks (at least) during the winter. Cooking outside too... what fun and what adventure! Have never done that either.. I HAVE camped out while hunting in the winter and camped in January, but there wasn't any snow, except for the hunting camp.. there were a few inches on the ground and that was a very memorable campout. Thank you so much for sharing your photos.....I was at least there with you for a few moments..... hugs... Marilyn

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  54. WOW is the best way I can describe seeing all the images in this post. Thank you so much for sharing your ski trip which made me feel like being along for all the fun. And those sky shots and the panoramic view were outstandingly gorgeous. We haven't done much snow shoeing this season and with warmer weather and fast-melting snow here in Nashua, we may not get to any this season. The outdoor cooked chicken looked as delicious as it must have tasted too!

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  55. I can imagine winter getting to be a bit much but it does photograph well :-) We've had a very lukewarm winter, high temperatures and not much rain, and we are already being treated to early spring - the wildflowers are out in force. Keep warm!
    Amalia
    xo

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  56. Just so you know...while you are passing the winter days I am missing seeing you and hearing what you have to share. xx

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  57. Beautiful post! Your blog is awesome!
    Following you ♥ Follow back?

    http://colourfulmadness.blogspot.com/

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  58. Oh what an absolutely beautiful post. Not just the photos but how you describe being out in nature, in the snow, how you feel, it's almost like I was right there with you. And I love all of the scripture you used, too. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up. Hope you have an awesome weekend! 💜

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  59. Really great photos and amazing post. meal look so delicious. Horses are beautiful. Nature is great. Photos open my eye of the heart :)

    By the way i follow your blog and waiting you for follow back :)

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