Blue Skies and Melting Snow!

Monday, February 12, 2024

It's been a very unusual winter here! In January we had frigid temperatures, some of the coldest we've ever seen.  Then an incredible 60+ degree warm up within a day or so, with extreme melting of all the snow we've accumulated.  We are now comfortably into February, and the days are staying warm, and the snow continues to melt. We've even seen a few blue skies! 

Mostly in the mornings when I walk, the skies are gray and overcast, and sometimes later in the day the sun will break through and we will see the skies for a short time before dusk. 

But mostly - for the last several weeks, we've had a lot of snow fog, where the air is dense and thick with fog, and you can't see much at all. The days when we can see the sky, are welcome, indeed! 

This is my newest video - I created it to be a lovely background music to enjoy while working on other things.  It is a 1-hour long instrumental video with beautiful piano music by a local man in our community.  It is easy to listen to, with familiar hymns and songs that are played beautifully. 

I got together with my "stamping ladies" and we made these cards.  I made the one on the right.... it is always a blessing to gather with other ladies and create together :) 


My neighbor's new puppy - her name is Bejeweled! I will be helping care for her when my neighbor has to work until she gets a little older. 

She and Riley became friends instantly! 

My heart is smitten! 
Those eyes! 

Remember all the wood chips I had given to me last week? I've been giving them to the chickens to scratch and enjoy. Makes them happy!

My garden! I employed a high schooler to help me wheelbarrow 50+ loads of wood chips over to my garden walkways. We laid the chips down about 2 feet deep.  Hopefully, this will curb any weeds that have already started to grow! This was a big endeavor, and I'm so glad to have it done! 

I love the afternoon shadows brightening the garden - bringing my heart much-needed anticipation for the spring days ahead. 

Enjoyed a Girl's Day out with my daughters - precious to me! We enjoyed coffee and lunch together, and some shopping at local thrift stores. We are all thrifty shoppers :) I'll show you one of my purchases a little later in this post...  

I made Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas - a keto meal, so good!

I rubbed the chicken breasts with Fajita seasoning mixed with olive oil, then sliced 2 sweet bell peppers, one jalapeno, and sprinkled them over the chicken.  Baked at 400 for 30 minutes. Sliced up the chicken and served over a bed of greens for a wonderful chicken fajita salad (Or in a tortilla with cheese, salsa and sour cream)! 

A drink I am enjoying daily. It's so simple, and a wonderful way to detox your body. I cut up about a nickel-sized piece of ginger, peel it, and mince it into my mug. Half a lemon juice squeezed into my mug. Add a couple of drops of stevia sweetener and fill the mug with hot water - drink to your health! 

I found this book at the thrift store on our "Girl's Day Out". It is a collection of Christian poems, and oh my, some of the most beautiful poetry pieces from hundreds of years ago are found in this volume. It will be a treasured book in my library. 
 "A Treasury of Christian Poetry" compiled by Mary Batchelor 1995

Here are a couple of pieces that I've read - and reread 
I think you'll enjoy them :) 

A Psalm for Sunday Night
O sing the glories of our Lord
His grace and truth resound
And his stupendous acts record
Whose mercies have no bound!

He made the all-informing light
And hosts of angels fair;
'Tis he with shadows clothes the night
He clouds or clears the air. 

Those restless skies with stars enchased
He on firm hinges set;
The wave-embraced earth he placed
His hanging cabinet.

We in his summer-sunshine stand,
And in his favour grow;
We gather what his bounteous hand
Is pleased to bestow. 

When he contracts his brow, we mourn,
And all our strength is vain;
To former dust in death we turn,
Till he inspire again. 
Thomas Pestel 1584 - 1659

I loved this next poem as well.... such beautiful flowery elegant words describing the Lord's beautiful earth around us! 

The glorious armies of the sky
To thee, Almighty King,
Triumphant anthems consecrate,
And hallelujahs sing. 

But still their most exalted flights
Fall vastly short of thee:
How distant then must human praise
From thy perfections be!

Yet how, my God, shall I refrain
When to my ravished sense
Each creature everywhere around
Displays the excellence!

The active lights that shine above,
In their eternal dance,
Reveal their skilful Maker's praise
With silent elegance. 

The blushes of the morn confess
That thou are still more fair,
When in the east its beams revive,
To gild the fields of air.

The fragrant, the refreshing breeze
Of ev'ry flowery bloom
In balmy whispers own, from thee
Their pleasing odors come.

The singing birds, the warbling winds,
And waters murmuring fall
To praise the first Almighty Cause
With different voices call. 

Thy numerous works exalt thee thus,
And shall I silent be?
No rather let me cease to breathe,
Than cease from praising thee!
Elizabeth Rowe 1674-1737 

My heart echos the praise being spoken of in these poems I shared with you.  We can choose to focus on the things around us that oppress and depress us - but I choose to think upon the Lord, and the good things that He has provided for us! 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, 
whatsoever things are honest, 
whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, 
whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report; 
if there be any virtue, 
and if there be any praise, 
think on these things.
Philippians 4:8


  1. The second photo is a beauty, Marilyn. It is amazing how much of our snow disappeared today. Some is coming back tomorrow though.

    1. Thank you Marie - I get to see such beautiful scenes every day - the skies add such diversity to the same landscape. Always amazes me! Enjoy your snow while it lasts :)

  2. I agree: it's been an odd winter. Usually February is the coldest month in Texas, but we've had temperatures in the 50s to 60s. I'm so thankful for the sunshine today. Seeing cloudy, gray days got me down.
    Glad you were able to get the work needed for your garden!
    Aww, what a pretty puppy!
    Thank you for sharing those beautiful poems with us as well as the Scripture verse. Yes, I am working on keeping my mind on the Lord as it says in Isaiah 26:3.
    God bless you, Marilyn!

    1. The gray days are hard for us here too. I have to get outside, and the gray isn't so bad. Today, we can see peeks of sunshine, which makes my heart happy! The chips have been a wonderful gift, I'm so grateful! I am amazed at the beauty of the poetry found in this book, I have been so blessed by its riches! I love Isaiah 26:3 We can have perfect peace when our heart is stayed on Him! Blessings to you dear friend!

  3. Dearest Marilyn,
    The best photo is that of a happy you with two happy daughters!
    How precious that is.
    And Bejeweled is an extraordinary pup to have as a neighbor—even Riley knows that!
    Happy chicken and you used those chips very well—good luck with keeping those pesky weeds at bay.
    Your cooking is always so good.

    1. I agree Mariette, it was a special picture of the girls and I. I give thanks to the Lord! Sweet little Bejeweled is so precious, and her eyes really are so special! Thank you Mariette for your kind and wonderful visits and comments! May rich blessings of the Lord be with you!

  4. It's been a strange winter here, and we were having that snow fog last week. Now the snow is nearly melted so that is done.
    I used to stamp and make cards with my sisters. You brought good memories!
    Bejeweled is so pretty and those eyes are gorgeous!
    Your fajitas look so good!

    1. The fajitas are such an easy meal, and we were able to get 3 meals out of them - so that is a win-win for sure! Bejeweled is so precious, we are all smitten! So many good memories with crafting, indeed!

  5. An odd winter, indeed, Marilyn. We now have our daffodils ready to burst into bloom. Way too early!
    Thank you, too, for sharing these iconic poems found in a book at the thrift store. What a magnificent find! No matter how long we live, we can never have enough time to praise God for all His love and goodness toward us.

    1. It is way too early here too, but with the mild spring weather we are having, I have no doubt that the early bloomers will soon be doing the same! I am so enjoying the poetry book - reading one or two each day with my devotional. Such an encouragement to find dear hearts writing about the same things we are dealing with, but over 500 years ago - some of them! Amazing! Blessings to you dear friend, and praying that the Lord will minister healing and health to you and Danny!

  6. The name of the new puppy is perfect. Those eyes are definitely jewels. So pretty. How kind of you to watch over it while the owner works.
    We've had a very strange winter here too. After a couple of weeks in January of -40's wind chill, we've been in the 40's and 50's. I'm not complaining. I love it!
    Take care my dear friend.
    Blessings and hugs,

    1. Yes, it has been an unusual bitter cold, then extremely mild winter, lots of extremes. But, like you, we are finding ways to be grateful for it all! At least the mountains have gotten a lot of snow, so that is a plus! Blessings to you dear friend!

  7. Nice photos! Love the verse at the end. Yea, we have to think about what we are thinking about.

    1. I agree Sandi - it really helps to focus our thoughts on good things!

  8. Marilyn, your poetry book is quite the lucky and fun find. I love the poems. And to see the chickens out and about as your snow recedes. It has been an odd winter and I know climate change is bad and dangerous. But I have enjoyed about 10 days of some sun and dry weather here. What a load of chips
    that had to have been! Good idea to hire some help for that job. Your daughters are lovely.

  9. Oh i just LOVE that first photo!! and I'm listening to the video as I type this and plan on continuing to listen while I do some kitchen chores. I love all the hymns being played. Makes me want to sit at my own piano and play!! I think I will this afternoon!
    that dog has GORGEOUS eyes. What a cutie.
    I drink something similar although i use a dribble of agava as we don't buy stevia or even real sugar anymore. I prefer a drizzle of real maple syrup (from a local farm) in my morning coffee! That hot ginger tea drink is excellent for sore throats.
    OOH...thanks for the recipe! I'm going to make this later in the week....makes a good Friday evening dinner. THANK YOU!
    have a blessed week Marilyn. Your daughters are beautiful like you!!

  10. What a lovely post, Marilyn! I am enjoying the music as I work on other things, and thank you for providing it.

    That puppy's eyes do look just like jewels!

    And the recipe sounds wonderful. I used to make chicken fajitas back in the day, but never thought of serving the mixture over greens. What a great idea!

  11. That fog really has been something. We get excited when we finally see some blue sky. I enjoyed seeing all your photos. I was struck with the puppies eyes when I saw your Instagram photos, striking! That looks like a great way to cook up chicken. We love roasted veggies. A thrifting day with your girls sounds like so much fun. Happy Valentine's day to your and yours tomorrow!

  12. You certainly live in a beautiful area. The picture of you and your daughters is so nice. You all are beautiful inside and out!

  13. ๐Ÿ’˜ Happy Valentine’s Day, Marilyn!

  14. Hi Marilyn, it looks lovely in your world! Love your valentines and well done on the garden. The snow is pretty but I'm sure we'll all be glad for real spring. And that fajita casserole looks fabulous. Loving the chicks, too. Thanks so much for stopping by to see me at Marmelade Gypsy!

  15. Marilyn, what a bountiful post! I'm listening to the piano music as I type this. I know what you mean about strange weather... it's been that way most everywhere it seems! We had that snow and ice, then about a week of 60 degree weather and almost 70 one day! Lots of gray days too, and even fog, which Madras hardly ever has. We DO get air inversions, which we did get alot of. I now live in Astoria! I've meant to do a blog post but just can't seem to get around to it! I moved on Feb. 6th. Will write more via EM. Have had some nice days here, in this normally VERY rainy climate, especially this time of year! The puppy is so sweet looking, and aren't Riley's eyes that same vivid blue? No wonder they bonded right away. How fun to have a pup around! And how wonderful to have a girls' day out... very special indeed. Now that I'm moved, I've already seen my son 3 times in one week! Now that is a huge treat for me! I love love love it. I have so much unpacking to do! And I don't feel motivated to do it.. just want to sit and relax, after the last 8 months of chaos! Take care... love your garden dreams, and love your cards. I hope do get together with ladies here and craft, very soon! Hugs.. Marilyn Jo

  16. There are so many things to love on your post today, Marilyn. The chicken fajitas look delicious. I used to go to a little Mexican restaurant that made the best chicken fajitas, and I really miss that place. A day out with your daughters sounds delightful, and visiting a thrift shop, even better. This is a treasured picture you can keep forever and remember the day. That hot drink of ginger and lemon sounds good. I'll have to try that. Bejeweled is precious, and what a dear name that is. The skies are so pretty, especially with all that snow! And lastly, the verse you shared at the end is one of my very favorites. Thank you for letting me hear it again.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you, Marilyn.


  17. It looks like spring has come early to your neck of the woods, Marilyn...complete with baby animals and blues skies. It's been very warm here, too, until yesterday anyway. Winter came back and dumped tons of snow on us. I really hope that spring shows up here again soon. Happy Valentine's Day!!

  18. The photos of your garden are gorgeous! And these poems are like songs of praise. The fajitas look so good!!

  19. Beautiful scenes of the snow and your garden area. The sheet pan fajitas look amazing...I need to try this. Thank you for posting the poems. Very touching and I enjoyed reading them this morning. Bejeweled certainly is beautiful and I love the eyes....Have a great day...

  20. So much beauty, Marilyn!!! And I love the idea of those Chicken Fajitas...YUMMY!!! We are now following a ketogenic lifestyle with a heavy emphasis on meat! It is AMAZING what ailments can be healed by eating this way. Your Valentine cards are so lovely. I've been sick since Jan so VDay went right by us here. Oh well. Life is like that sometimes. xoxo See you on FB!!!

  21. Oh my, the Chicken Fajitas, I am copying that recipe down. :-) YUM!!
    I am so happy you had a girls day out and found a treasure too.
    Love, Carla

  22. It was so lovely catching up with you, Marilyn. I always love seeing what’s going on in your beautiful world. Seeing the smiling faces of you and the girls made me smile. Your keto sheet pan fajita meal looks so good and your detox hot drink sounds healthy . The book of poetry was a wonderful purchase and focusing on Our Lord is the best advice.

  23. Thank you for sharing your lovely photographs and verses.
    Your sheet pan Chicken Fajitas meal looks delicious.

    All the best Jan

  24. Marilyn, you have a real gift for photography! I especially like the "afternoon shadows" photo. Should be a magnificent spring this year.

  25. girls day out sounds a joy dear Marilyn :) your daughters are very beautiful so do you :)
    i am happy your garden wood work is done sigh of relief i can hear :)
    what an abrupt weather change you mentioned here ,weather expert tell such disturbed weather conditions occur once in a 70 plus year due to earth 's center activity .
    we humans add lots of bad to such poor weather situations as well according to scientists sadly.
    how nice that blue skies revealed themselves .all the images are awesome but two with afternoon shade are my very favorite just like you i find magic in before evening sunlight shades :)
    good to support your neighbor with pet care .
    your card is lovely!
    more blessings to you and loved ones

  26. Marilyn, your photography is outstanding! The sheet pan chicken fajitas look delicious. I enjoyed the lovely poetry of praise to our Lord! I will definitely listen the the music. Wishing you a lovely week!

  27. I love dogs. I love poetry and most of all, I love that Bible verse in the last part. :)

  28. I am way behind in reading and writing comments, so please forgive my tardiness. I have always enjoyed visiting here and I am sorry I have been remiss lately. Your photos are always so amazing to me! I love the sweet little puppy you are watching...she's a beauty...yes, those eyes are captivating! Love that you had a nice day out with your girls. That is a real blessing. And that chicken dinner looks so good. The poems are beautiful...and I can almost imagine tunes to go with them to sing them. I love that they are so old, and yet their message of praise of our Lord and Savior is timeless! Thank you for sharing them with us. They do lead us to worship. I hope you have a pleasant rest of your weekend and I know you are looking forward to spring! One day at a's coming!

  29. Such a beautiful post, as always! I don't know how I missed seeing it, but as I was working through my overflowing inbox this morning—there it was! A bonus visit from you! Your photos are stunning, as always. It is such a blessing to read this. Sending love to you, dear friend, and gratitude for all you do.


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!


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