Sunday, January 26, 2020

Which Side of Winter Are You On?

If there ever was a season that was disliked, no doubt it would be the season of Winter.  And for good reason... Winter often arrives early, stays late, and while here, creates so much extra work for those of us who live in the north.  Winter driving is mentally exhausting, stressful, with constant challenges. Shoveling snow off porches, roofs, walkways and cars... remembering to start the car to warm-up before you leave... white-knuckle driving in white-out, icy or slushy conditions... yes the difficulties of Winter are many, but for all its negatives, there is a beautiful positive side to Winter, and I'd like to focus on the positive side of Winter with you today :)

Mister Simba just may agree with most of you about the Winter season.
His expression shares perfectly his disdain with Winter! He likes to perch on top of cars where he is high and dry... lol! 

Winter days... sometimes the only sunshine you see is in the sunrise or sunset hours.
It is worth walking early... or late to see the views!

An unfortunate duty of winter is all the shoveling that has to be done... of roofs, porches, and cars. 

Wintertime allows soups to take center stage.
I made this Chicken Tortilla Soup after a morning spent shoveling snow.
It was soo delicious!  


With a sprinkle of Cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream... you couldn't ask for a more delicious treat! 

Some have asked me for the recipe, and I'd love to share it with you.  It comes together so quickly, in about 30 minutes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 chicken breasts
6 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp Fajita seasoning
1/2 cup Velveeta, cubed
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 can white beans (rinsed)
1 can Ranch style beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can corn
1 8­oz jar salsa
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
Tortilla chips, sour cream & Cheddar Cheese to taste

Place chicken breasts in a large pot, season with Fajita seasoning, and cover with broth. Cook for 15 minutes or until chicken breasts are tender. Remove chicken and shred meat. Return meat back to broth in pot. Add beans, tomatoes, corn and salsa. Stir well. Mix in Velveeta cheese and simmer over medium­low heat until cheese is melted. Serve over crushed tortilla or corn chips with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled Cheddar Cheese on top.

Personal Notes: If chicken broth not available, add 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon seasoning to water. If salsa is not available, add a can of diced tomatoes, and 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning. Any combination of canned beans can be used.


We had dinner guests one Sunday evening, and I was just getting ready to start cooking dinner, when the power went out.  So, the menu changed to tuna sandwiches with chips, enjoyed in the ambient lantern light and my LED lights.  It was a special time enjoyed by all! The power came back on shortly after everyone left  {smiles}

Walks in the snow are what makes Winter so special for me, but especially Annie.  She is a snow-loving dog! 

If you want the truth about Winter... just ask these two! 
A little bit of love along the way makes all the difference! 

This stately barn sits tucked into the valley with its beauty shared with all who pass by. 

The first full moon of the decade rose with skies clear enough to see it. 


As the dogs and I walked, the moon rose as the sun was setting; it was an incredible sight to see! 

Sunset and moonrise all in one breath.  

Enjoying some beautiful flowers adding extra color into our world. 

Miss Riley, the snow queen having fun in her favorite season. 

Having fun in the deep snow. 

Annie-girl with snow on her nose. 

Below are a few winter scenes that I have captured these past few weeks, mostly on our walks during the evening sunset hours or early sunrise.  It is remarkable to see the beautiful colors in the skies as we walk!








Thankful for the snowplow operators who have kept our road in such great condition all winter!









Lots of feathered friends gathered round our yard during the winter!

I have several Downy woodpeckers who frequent my bird feeders. 



We had a beautiful day of bright sunshine, and I went for a little drive to capture some of the glorious scenes with such pretty skies, and the trees decked out in fluffy white brilliance.











These two buffalo stared at me curiously as I captured their picture. 

A local buffalo farm on this bright day of sunshine. 

I love the quaint beauty of this old barn. 

It was so beautiful to hear the water flowing and see the beauty of the snow gracing the limbs of the trees. 


This little cabin actually sits backed up to a large rock outcropping, but it does look like it is part of the rock! 
Such a charming little spot! 

The dogs and I went for a ski together.  It was a beautiful crisp cold day, yet the snow had not packed enough,
and as I was breaking my own trail, the three of us grew tired quickly  

You can see how deep the snow was here at the edge of our property line. 

A tree bowed over with the weight of the snow arched in front of us. 

Riley was glad for the trail we had broken that she could walk in on the way back! 
Walking/skiing in deep snow without it packed and crispy enough, is hard work. 

My neighbor's horse came out to see us as we skied by her.  

She would have been an excellent trail breaker! I think she wanted to come with us... :) 

My neighbor's fence line on this glorious bright sunlit day. 

I hope you've enjoyed these glorious winter scenes that I've shared with you!  Since the last photo was taken above, a weather system moved into our area with fog, rain and warm temperatures.  The rain has washed away much of the snow, although there is still snow left.  However, with the temps continuing into the high 40s this week, it is doubtful if much of the snow will be left.  We often get January thaws, and still have February ahead of us.  But I've learned that when we have a "Blue Sky" day in the winter, to get outside and take advantage of it. 

Soon, before we know it, snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils will be making their appearance, especially if we continue the warming trend we are currently in.  I am one of those who dearly loves Winter, but if Spring chooses to come early this year, I certainly will rejoice!  Are you still enjoying the season of Winter, or are you over it already and ready for Spring? 

Do share your feelings about Winter... and I hope I've helped you to see the beautiful positives of Winter, and perhaps you can understand why it is my favorite season... that is... until Spring comes along :)




70 comments:

  1. You have shared some of the most beautiful photos of our part of the world. You know I don't care for winter, (the living in it part), but I really do appreciate the beauty that comes with it. I do. If I could just observe it from somewhere I didn't have to shovel, plow or drive in it. LOL It's strange. Most of the snow is gone from our back yard but the front still has over a foot in it! I'm not sure why because the shade seems to be the same in both. Personally, I'm glad it's been raining and not snowing. Can you imagine how much snow we would have it had been snow?
    I do appreciate the photos though. It reminds me of the beauty that God has given us in His creation.
    Wishing you a lovely Monday Marilyn.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. I know that winter is so hard, especially the shoveling and driving part! I can't imagine how much snow we would have had all this rain been snow, lol! Snow is so beautiful, but it is so much work too. There is a cause and effect about it all! Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  2. Beautiful winter views I like this winter period is cold and fascinating.

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    1. I love the winter too Agnes. I really do. However I know it is a lot of work too. It does have its positives and negatives. But I choose to look for the beauty! Blessings to you :)

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  3. All of your photos are gorgeous, Marilyn, but my favorites are the moon at sundown. Simply stunning! No snow this winter yet in Georgia, but there's always February to keep hope alive. We get so excited down south when the white stuff decides to make an appearance.
    Blessings, my friend, and thanks for sharing your winter views!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Martha, I'm glad you can enjoy our snow from afar [smiles] Perhaps I can arrange for some snow to be shipped your way... :) Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  4. I love looking at your beautiful pictures of a winterland I'm glad I am not experiencing firsthand as intimately as you do, on a daily basis complete with chores. Thank you for sharing the glory.

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    1. I'm glad you are enjoying the pictures from afar :) Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  5. I like to go out and about on the sunny winter days too.

    In the photo of the two hens, I can just imagine them sharing the latest gossip. Beautiful photos all, Marilyn.

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    1. There is always lots of gossip in the hen coop, you know it! {smiles} Blessings to you Marie, your visits and comments are always enjoyable!

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  6. Thanks for sharing the beauty you are seeing. Winter does have so much beauty.I love the snow and all that, but I don't much care for the -20C or more temperatures .

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    1. There is really so much about winter to dislike, I surely agree. Focusing on the beauty helps days pass easier :) Blessings to you!

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  7. I so enjoy seeing where you live, it's a glorious gift. Always beautiful except for the rain that made the beauty slush.

    Always enjoy seeing your winter walks. The pups are a joy to watch frolic in the snow.

    Feel bad for the birds and chickens sure they're not fans.

    Cindy

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    1. Thank you Cindy, winter is full of lots of beauty, but there are the downsides too. I'm just trying to look at the positives! Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  8. I love the horse! The soup looks delicious and thank you for the recipe! We are having a mild winter but sometimes winter comes in March around here!

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    1. Yes, here too my friend! Last year, our worst part of the winter was in February. We will see what happens! Blessings to you :)

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  9. I absolutely LOVE winter! Having grown up on the Puget Sound it has been so wonderful getting a "real" winter living here in North Idaho. I hope we get cold and snow again but if the weather stays like it is then I would prefer for spring to go ahead and get here. :) Your pictures are so beautiful! And your dog's name is Annie!!! :)

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    1. This has been an unusual winter Annie, but then again, perhaps a typical winter would mean snowstorm after snowstorm, lol! So, I just try to find the positives where I can, as winter can really drag on. And yes! Our sweet Husky/Shepherd's name is Annie, she is a sweetie, just like you!

      Looking forward to Friday :) Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  10. I really enjoyed seeing winter through your eyes and the critters’ eyes, especially the little biddies. Thank you for the soup recipe. It looks and sounds delicious. Thanks also for the substitution suggestions, which may be the route I take. You live in a beautiful winter wonderland.

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    1. I know winter is a tough time of year for all of us in the north, and I just try to find the positives to focus on. Today it is raining here, not so pretty to see, as I love the beautiful snow. Praying for you friend! Much love to you :)

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  11. Wow! The photos are just stunning!
    I love the beauty of winter, but I always look forward to Spring.

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    1. I love winter, but certainly I am looking forward to Spring too! Much love to you :)

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  12. How could winter be anymore beautiful! Wow!

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    1. We certainly have an abundance of beauty around us! Thank you for your visit and sweet comment! Blessings :)

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  13. My goodness such beauty I had to go back and scroll down again to take another look. Such a beautiful time of year with all the snow. Sadly there is no snow here just high winds and rain not conducive for a stroll out so I am a great fan of Spring here. Although sitting by the stove with a craft on my lap is always good on a winters day.

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    1. I love sitting and doing some crafting in the winter too! Winter is such a beautiful time here, and yet, it can be miserable too. I just try to find the beauty where I can. Many blessings to you sweet friend!

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  14. Wow, these are wonderful captures of winters' beauty. Thanks for sharing. Living down here in the sub-tropics of s.e. FL we don't have much in the way of winter weather, and in all of the years I've lived here, since 1960, it lightly snowed once, and we missed it as we were sleeping. It melted quickly. We have had a few days this month of really chilly weather for us, in the low 40's at night. I'm hoping to get outside today to do more work in my gardens, which are overgrown. Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. It would not be fun for you to get snow down there where you live for sure! I enjoy all the beautiful flowers you share. Truly there is beauty to enjoy no matter where you live! Sounds like chilly weather for you, and I had heard about the falling iguanas! I can't imagine something that big falling out of a tree! Enjoy your time in your beautiful gardens!

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  15. Your photos are so beautiful, Marilyn....award winning I dare to say! Breathtakingly beautiful!!!
    Winter here has been on again, off again. In between storms, we get melt offs, rain, ice, and then more snow. We are in for another arctic blast next week. The ice on the lake is very unstable, and we've had people going through the ice the past two weekends....vehicles, and snowmobiles. People don't heed the warnings!! Winter is not a favorite season for me, but I am plugging along. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe, and also your cheery look on what can be a brutal weather season. Debbie xo

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    1. Thank you Debbie, you are so kind, and I'm thankful to share the beauty of my world with you! I know what you mean about the dangers of winter melts, we have had avalanches here, and it is important to heed the warnings, but many people don't, its so sad. I do try to find the positive Debbie, and winter can at times be a challenge, but I am always up to the challenge! Blessings to you sweet friend!!!

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  16. What beautiful pictures! Also, I found you again:-) Seems some blogs that I used to follow disappeared so glad to make my way back around the mountain.

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    1. Oh how wonderful! I'm glad that we could connect again! Looking forward to visiting with you again, blessings to you!

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  17. i am stuck in winter's doldrums due to dental work that just doesn't stop, friend. I keep my eye on one day at a time and take satisfaction in just completing a few tasks each day.

    grace, grace.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that! Dental work is SO miserable! One day at a time does work. I try to find positive wherever I can, and winter can be a challenge at times. Praying that things get better for you soon!!!

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  18. Oh my! What beautiful pictures. Stunning winter scenes! Girl...you need to have an art store and sell your work. So very stunning. That soup looks sooooo good! I need to make that! Well for us there isn't really much winter. I call what we have "cold spats". If it gets below 80 degrees us Floridians put on jackets and boots you know. I honestly wish we had more cold weather but I would love to see our SEASONS actually be seasons, you know. I am sure If I lived in that snow I would change my mind quick like! Hope your week is good. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you sweet Cindy, your comment blessed me! I am considering some options for my photography! I had to chuckle at your cold "spats". I love that. Here in the north, we get hot "spats" in the summer, lol. I think there is beauty in our world, no matter where we are at. Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  19. O, I love all your winter pics. So nice.

    In winter I love soup too. Traditional Dutch Split Pea Soup

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    1. OOH, we love split pea soup too Aritha! I'm making it for my husband this weekend :) It is one of our favorites too! Much love to you, appreciate your visit and sweet comments!

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  20. Oh I love your snow/winter pictures so much. It is such a lovely view, from a distance! I would love to visit for a spell, but I am thankful I don't have to deal with the ice, shoveling, plowing, scraping, keeping the fires going part of it. Your soup sounds wonderful. I wish I had all the ingredients handy to make some now... I may have to add that to the list for another day. Sounds so good. I made a Lentil soup last week with a hambone that I had left over. It was good, but yours sounds better. Have a beautiful week, and stay warm and safe.

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    1. The soup is so yummy Pamela, you will love it! Such an easy and filling recipe too. The lentil soup sounds wonderful, and we love split pea soup too! Thank you for your kind comments, and its true, winter is a lot of work. I do try to find the positives where I can :) Hope you don't have iguanas dropping on your head there! That has been in the news here! {smiles} Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  21. You definitely have a beautiful winter! I love all your pictures. I'm not usually fond of winter as we don't live where we get hardly any snow, just cold and rain, which is not fun...at all. The best part are the sunrises and sunsets. They are glorious any time of year! :-)

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    1. Cold, rain and wind is not fun at all, and I know winter gets a bad rap. I love the beauty that we do get to see here with the snow and sunshine! Although, we haven't had much of that this winter, it has been a winter of a lot of fog. But, I do try to focus on the positives. Much love to you sweet friend!

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  22. Your pictures are absolutely stunning! Winter is growing on me as I get older. I love it when it snows but all the dark, gray skies are dreary. Spring and Summer are my favorites.

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    1. There is a side of winter that is rough. I love so much about winter, but it sure can drag on, so I am trying to find the positives! I am looking forward to the blooms of spring and summer for sure! Much love to you sweet friend!

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  23. It's no secret that winter is not my favorite season. I live on an island and in summer it's warm, green, sunny and filled with surf and sand. In the winter, there's not a whole lot to do and the grey snow and slush isn't nearly as pretty in my suburban streets as it is in your neck of the woods. Of course, there are snuggly indoor nights spent by the fire that I enjoy during winter, but firefly and star filled evenings with the smell of salt air wafting by are definitely my favorite. Now maybe if I lived in your glorious snowy area, I might feel differently, because I do find myself getting lost in your amazing photos. Thank you for sharing them!

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    1. Winter is a tough season to appreciate, I do understand that. There is so much natural beauty around us here, but even still, the fog, rain, sleet, snow and ice are tough to deal with. I just love it though when the sun comes out and the snow is beautiful. I love the cozy evenings of winter too. Much love to you sweet friend, spring should be on its way soon! :)

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  24. Oh, those photos!!! Just breathtakingly beautiful!! I loved them all. I truly love winter - there is a sense of quietness and stillness that can't be found in other seasons, it seems. I don't like driving in the snow, though. It makes me so terribly nervous. I like to hibernate in those kinds of conditions! It was so wonderful to visit with you tonight, sweet friend. You are such a dear blessing to me and so many others! God bless you richly, in return!

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    1. The part I love about winter is the stillness, the quiet, and the cozy. There are the sides to winter that are not fun at all, yes the white-knuckle driving I can do without, lol! I agree, hibernation is a good choice when its like that outside! Much love to you sweet friend, continuing to pray and believe the Lord for you!!!!

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  25. Thank you my friend, I love your pictures so very much and each of your descriptions make me feel like I am right there! Love you bunches & thank you

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    1. So thankful that the Lord orchestrated our paths to cross sweet friend! I love and appreciate you, and am so thankful for the fun times we have together! Much love to you :)

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  26. Oh Marilyn your "sky" photos are just marvelous! Wow.. the skies there in Idaho are just the best. When I lived in LaPine, OR south of where I live now, and at a higher elevation, we had some gorgeous pink and lavender skies there. We don't get them much here for some reason.. guess we're further from the mountains. I'm on the side of winter that isn't so much into snow anymore! I like a little bit, but not so much that it has to be shovelled over and over and over again! or that it gets to high on the roof that it has to be scraped off! I lived with that 20 years ago and I've done with it! We do get plenty here now and then.. but I'm on the side that is saying... "hey where is spring already?".... but.. then spring also brings more work... so I may be on the side that is saying "hey.. no more work for me!". Ha.... as I get older, I'm just not so much into all the physical work the different seasons entail. Makes me sad as I always loved it.. but now I'm more prone to just want to be in my craft room, or sit on my front patio and watch the leaves blow by! Don't know how much yard work I'll be doing this coming year... less will be all I want, but I sure love looking at your beautiful bit of country.. and I can reminisce of how it was for me. Hugs.. Marilyn

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    1. I know you miss the beauty of living in LaPine Marilyn! I wish I could bottle up some of this beauty and send it your way! But you are right, the older you are, the harder it is to deal with the challenges of winter. Winter often becomes a season of challenges for sure. I look for the beauty, and I know that it can be found, sometimes we have to look a little harder, lol! I enjoy being in the craft room during the winter, as there is not much that I can do outside. I'm glad that you can enjoy the beauty here through my pictures, I'm glad to be able to share them with you :) Many blessings to you sweet friend!

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  27. Beautiful winter scenes, Marilyn! I love the snow and wish we had a little more of it here. But I'll take what we can get and enjoy it. I don't mind winter here on the Island because it's mostly very mild and doesn't last very long. It's a time for coziness and for making soups, like the one you just wrote about.

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    1. I enjoy seeing how mild your winter is Lorrie... it has been a bit of a strange winter here, and we still have February to get through, and then I may start really thinking about spring, lol. I enjoy the coziness of winter so much. Blessings to you :)

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  28. unlike you area summer arrive early here and stay until October :) temps swing between 30 to 50 plus ,i shared so you can feel better about your weather dear Marilyn :)

    your images are splendid and captivating indeed ,worth watching long irresistibly :)))
    thank you for sharing the enchanting glory of your area
    i agree winters and summers both have problem of their own kind ,specially when they stay longer it is hard to stay positive about extreme weather
    yet i can see how amazingly you walked and captured magic of snow around you
    power absence can bring some delightful changes specially when you are having family or guest ,more time to spend with each other than cell phones or t,v lol
    wishing you more happiness in February my friend!

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  29. Well...you make winter look real good. Beautiful winter shots. Good for you for getting out in it to enjoy the beauty. That chicken tortilla soup is calling to me. I hope to make it soon. Here in NE Washington state we still see snow on the ground but there are lots of clearing under trees, etc. The roads are completely clear. Blessings!

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  30. Hello Friend,
    I do enjoy winter, for many of the reasons you share. As you know we enjoy skiing and snowshoeing. Spring, Summer and Fall I am so busy in the garden, I do love that too, but sometimes I don't stop and rest as often as I should. Winter makes me do that, I read more, do crafts more and sometimes just sit and rest more. LOL

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  31. Hello! What a lovely time of year winter is! I know there are challenges, but it has so many wonders to enjoy! I love that you had a lovely dinner regardless of the power outage. :) I would love to join you on one of your many outings in the snow...thanks for sharing the pictures. I'm so glad you have such good companionship as you go about your days.

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  32. Not so sure about Winter. I have a love / hate relationship with it.
    I love all your pictures! I think I've said this before but I'll say it again. I would love to be your neighbor. I think I'd appreciate Winter so much more!

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  33. Ohhhhh so pretty. Fall and winter are my favorites. There is just something special about the crisp cold weather.

    Ohhhhhhhh how I would love to be your neighbor, smiles.

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  34. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful...all of them! and would make a pretty picture book. You make me ashamed as I complain about the cold weather here. Actually we have had a very mild winter. It did get down to 27 degrees this morning. The soup looks delicious.

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  35. Thanks for posting all those absolutely lovely photos!! The snowy ones are especially pretty.

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  36. I am so blessed to have you as a blogging friend.
    My visits to your blog always uplift me … your photographs are a joy, our world can and does look so beautiful.
    Wow! That Chicken Tortilla Soup looks delicious!

    Wishing you good February days ahead.

    All the best Jan

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  37. Our winters are so mild compared with yours that I'm not sure I'm entitled to voice an opinion. But I do love winter. I LOVE your gorgeous photos. And I would love a bowl of that soup.
    Amalia
    xo

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  38. Strolling through your sublime photos of your beautiful wintry world, Marilyn, could almost make me love winter. Wish oh wish I could love the freezing temperatures. I just need heat to warm dem ol' bones. =) Your landscape is breathtaking and to witness God's awesome handiwork must make the soul sing. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous world, lovely Marilyn.

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  39. Although I am sitting here freezing in the RV as I read your post, your gorgeous winter images have somehow warmed my heart! Oh my, so much beauty you have shared here. Our winter here in TN has consisted of rain, rain and more rain! Getting some snow would surely have been a improvement...lol! I must admit that I am SO looking forward to spring, the sun and being able to get out and about to explore the new surroundings a bit more....AND the best part of all is that we will begin building the farmhouse withing the next few weeks (we hope!) Thank you for sharing this magnificent beauty of your world, Marilyn! Hugs! And Happy Valentine's Day!

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  40. Your picture are absolutely gorgeous! I do appreciate a beautiful winter scene and you have plenty of them! I'm looking forward seeing more!

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  41. Winter is magical in your world, Marilyn! Thank you for sharing your photographs with us!

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Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!