Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like Christmas!

It has been ages since I blogged. I just got busy and didn't take the opportunity to slow down and gather my thoughts for a post.

I have read a lot though and this next year it is my goal to continue to read and share my thoughts on my favorite books.

I have read a lot of books recently by Suzanne Woods Fisher who writes novels about the Amish. I have to let you know that her writing style hooks me from the get go and I am at a point where I am anxiously waiting for her next book to come out.  Up to now I  have enjoyed the Lancaster County Secrets Series and starting it all was a free offer for an e-book version of Lancaster County Christmas which I enjoyed back and forth on my phone and laptop last Christmas Season. Suzanne has a way to really make her characters come alive! I am getting ready to read Lancaster County Christmas again this season.

If you wan to slow things down this Christmas, try this book and let me know how well you like it. I am pretty sure you will agree, it is good reading and a nice 'quiet' way to spend an afternoon or evening. In the meantime, I will also wait until the next book in the new series The Inn at Eagle Hill Series is available.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

God Bless is July 4th 2013 !

In this time of my life our country is filled with strife. Our country was founded in times of great strife and the founders worked hard to address every issue possible to found a great country. We are a great country today and will become even greater as we work together to solve problems. We can begin at home, with our families. Families are the heart of America and returning solid values on built on a strong foundation is a good place to begin. Let us remember back to the first days of Independence. It took days to share the good news and it was received with shouts of hope and praise.  We have endured wars that threatened to tear down our country. We rose again. My parents lived in a time of Great Depression and we rose again. We have had our own recessions and we will rise again. I have great faith that we will.

God Bless America.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Postcard Friday...

This is a postcard of downtown Spokane from the 1940's picturing all the waterfalls and bridges our city is famous for. The big bridge in the foreground is the Monroe Street Bridge. It is a beautiful engineering marvel. It was designed by Kirkland K Cutter and John C Ralston. I don't know much about Mr. Ralston but Mr. Cutter was very famous for the design of some of our most prestigious buildings. I will post more about him at a later date. The bridge was restored in 2003 and reopened in 2005. It was rebuilt in keeping with the original design, looking much as it did in this photo yet stronger. It is beautiful. I marvel at the engineers over time who have touched this bridge from its beginning through today.

Spanning above the bridge and throughout town we had many railroad trestles to carry the trains along through the city to regions for commerce and leisurely trips across country. In addition to a rich mining history and agriculture, our town was a railroad town and the railroads were a major employer for many years. In addition to the overhead traffic, train tracks lined the streets. I grew up less than five miles from a major rail yard in Hillyard, there weren't many routes to take downtown where I could avoid at least seeing or hearing a train every day. My mother always said, "You lucky kids, You get to see a train!" To this day that is how I feel when I see one. I rarely have to stop for a train these days as most of the trains have gone. I think I would like to keep remembering that piece of our history lest we forget how so many people came to Spokane.

In the far right top of the postcard there is a clock tower that was part of the old Great Northern Railway depot. We picked up visitors and some of us departed from that depot. In 1974 Spokane hosted Expo '74 and in preparation for this, this central area near the river was revitalized. The trestles went away and the train depot was torn down. Only the Clocktower remains as a reminder of the glory days of the railroad.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Postcard Friday

Here is a look at downtown Spokane Washington on the corner of Main & Post. This postcard was taken many years before I was born judging by the cars but what a sight it is to see the old Pay Less Drug store, a favorite haunt for my mother. She bought her Breck shampoo there and browsed the sales.  She loved the after Christmas sale and purchased cards for the next year.

It is easy to spot the Pratt Furniture Store, a long time business downtown. My husband and I bought our first pieces of furniture there on their installment plan. It was a dinette set with chairs. Across the street from the furniture store was the Post Street Theater. One screen and they had ushers who made sure you minded your manners. The theater some times held the Children's Theater's live plays.

Further down is the old Montgomery Ward's store. It is an Art Deco-styled building that has been restored and houses our city hall. What fun it is to visit days gone by in pictures unchanged and still as good as the days you last visited.

Friday, June 14, 2013

June Special!

I am getting so organized with my Thirty-One products. It is an incredible feeling for this woman who can attract clutter on a dining room table in a heartbeat.

More than this though is how much fun I am having with my products for travel. No more paper bags full of groceries ripping on the way to the door the cabin. No more wimpy re-usable bags to flip and spill in the back of the car. Look at how nice and neat the totes sit on the counter at the cabin!

                                                                                                                                                                                                Taking the Large Utility Tote along for a day out fishing makes sense too. The large straps make it easy to secure your goodies while navigating to that perfect spot. Ah I can just feel the sun on my face and know it is going to be a relaxing day out.

 This is  a picture my friend took on her trip to the ocean. I can't wait until my vacation because I will be using mine for the same thing when we take our grand-kids to the ocean. Beach towels, sunscreen and plenty of snacks in one of our thermals. What could be easier!

If you like a sale as much as I do, you can save 70% on one of these bags! For the month of June for every $35.00 you spend you can purchase the Large Utility Tote for $10.00. There are 23 prints to choose from!  Ordering is easy:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Entrepreneurial Spirit is Soaring....

I am so happy that I decided to venture into the Direct Sales business. For this baby-boomer, it is a welcome relief from the corporate world. I love the flexibility. I love the variety of products available and being first to know what is coming out in the new season.

I had no idea that my Thirty-One business would be such a pleasure. I enjoy meeting new people and the products are amazing.  Every month there is a special that is tremendous savings. My customers eagerly await to see what the next special is so they can continue on their quest to make their lives simpler and organize their homes.

I have about six of these Large Utility Totes and here is one way I use mine:

Here are two of  my Large Utility Totes. They are filled with food and miscellaneous items needed for a recent trip to the lake. It is much handier than taking bags that can slip, rip and not adaptable to the odd shapes we take along. The bags are sturdy while light-weight.

This trip we also took one along loaded with books, shoes and my toiletry bags. The tote is so versatile that I have one in the back of the Jeep when I go running errands. We put one in the back of the car for trips to corral items like sand buckets for the grand-kids.

I have one in my guest room closet with the lid that is also available to store off-season sweaters.  My husband is on board now that he sees how many ways we can use these great Utility Totes.  Change is not always easy for him but lets face it, if it makes life easier, the change is worth it.

The bag in front is an Organizing Utility Tote that I take shopping and often as a road trip companion. It has pockets all around!  I will tell you more about this amazing bag another day!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Barn is A Barn but...A Round Barn....

 One of our favorite things to do is explore the Palouse farm country through the back roads of Eastern Washington where we live.

On Memorial Day we took a drive on State Highway 23 a 66 mile stretch through high desert country and the rolling hills of the Palouse.

I was so excited to see this round barn  on a neat farm not too far From St. John Washington.

This barn was built in another era but is in relatively good condition. From our vantage point we could not see its flaws, just the charm one experiences dreaming of simpler times.

Many barns along these country roads have not fared so well. The paint is gone and the roofs are falling from the center of the structure. It is a sad sight no matter the story. I think of the young families who built their homes and farmed the land. What was their story? How did they get to this land and what happened that has left no trace of their dreams other than the broken boards of a dilapidated frame.  Our area is rich with history. The beauty is such that I appreciate it so much more than when I was a child in the back of a station wagon wondering when we would get wherever we were going because I was getting car sick on those old two lane roads before the Freeways of today.

My father-in-law was a lineman for Pacific Northwest Bell after WWII and worked throughout the area adding poles and lines for our precious land lines. He has told of other round barns, he thought there were about three. I am on the lookout for the other two from this day forward! What stories these rounded walls could tell!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May Winds Down....

It is fast approaching the end of May and I have not been out in my garden yet! The spring bug that hit me last month lingered like a relentless suitor. It is a relief to be past all of that.

The Lilacs have bloomed and faded, paving the way for the perennial beds to begin their summer showcase of color. There are plants to transplant or simply dig up because of the threat of a heavy coup in an unplanned area.

My Dogwood is in bloom and I expect it to last through the next week. I received the tree as a gift from four of my sisters when I graduated from college 5 years ago. It is a slow grower but I am savoring the blossoms every year as more blossoms show up on its branches. Such a wonderful reminder of how great and wonderful our God is to shower us each season with natural beauty. It is there in abundance when we look for it. Here is a picture of the Dogwoods offerings this year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Is Your Childhood Home Ever the Same?

I had time to kill before I went to my temporary job assignment this morning. It is within a mile of the house I grew  up in so I had plenty of time to stop and have a look.

For a number of years I have meant to stop and ask the owners if I could take a rubbing of my brother's footprint on the sidewalk leading to the house...the footprint of an eager child tempting the fate of wet cement. He had red hair and all the charms a little boy can possess with a mischievous little smile.

Growing up I would run up that sidewalk and put my foot inside the footprint, hoping that finally my foot would fit perfectly. It was a wonderful game, all the sweeter because this was a brother I never met. I was born ten months after he passed away in an accident inside our home. he was three months shy of his fifth birthday.

It was a freak accident in a home full of running children and a multitude of remodeling projects.  In those days, great big old houses were remodeled to look new inside. The sheet rock of choice was double lathe plaster and a few sheets were stacked along the wall in the long hallway. Unfortunately, those sheets fell on him and he was killed instantly.

I can only imagine how things changed but one thing I know for certain is that I don't want him to ever be forgotten. That footprint though, is no longer there. I wish I had gone there years ago. The sidewalk that is there now is not new. It is old. It is pitted. I had to remind myself that the footprint was made more than sixty years ago. I have not lived there since 1969 when I graduated from high school.

The curb we had so much skipping along is crumbling...and there is a house in our garden. The Lilacs are all gone too. So too is the huge crab apple tree the older kids climbed up to secretly smoke, telling us they were playing rocket ships.

Every thing is changed and why not! It is a whole new era. However, when I was younger a family who had lived in the house before us were happy to see the garden thriving, the Lilacs blooming and the apple tree so tall. The flowers circled two Honey Locust trees that shaded the house ( now gone) and the grass just rolled so thick to the border of the garden.

I am sentimental, sometimes sad, but I realized that time has really gone by and I still have my memories, sweeter than the reality of that sad street I saw this morning. And it is okay.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ringing in Spring Cold Season!

This is what I have been up to this week! The hair is all wrong but when you feel as bad as I do it doesn't matter....everything is off. I cannot remember when I felt this bad. I am not looking for chicken soup or easy to read magazines or puzzle books to pass the time. I am just amazed how a cold can be so miserable! While I ply myself with water, cough drops and cough medicine the usual forms of entertainment just aren't cutting it. 
It all started with lovingly babysitting my granddaughter who was too sick for daycare. We spent time cuddling and I made her comfortable while she was here. Lots of books and a video or two. I never dreamed I would get sick. This has never happened in the fifteen years I have been a grandma! I do not blame her, and I would probably help out again. I think I have finally gotten the answer to the question "What really happens if you are sleep deprived?" It is definitely time to take my insomnia in hand and learn to get true rest.  I need to beef up my immunity! No two ways about it. What is the answer? a sleep journal? Drugs? Goodness I am not going that route! I will think about it later. I can't concentrate anyway.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Check on Dolly

When I was a girl I loved watching old movies where the kids go up to the attic and find lots of treasures that were long forgotten. A dress, a rocking horse or a lamp hidden because of a gaudy shade.

I am very nostalgic and saved many things over the years. If I could have, I would have saved more. This playpen once held all the napping Cabbage Patch Dolls residing or visiting our home along with Teddy Bears, our cat Sophie and even my great-nephew Jeff when he was an infant.

I brought this out about a week ago while babysitting my 22-month old granddaughter. She brought along Dolly and we had a good time playing. We tried on doll clothes I made many years ago that fit and put her down for a nap in the play pen. Dolly fell asleep and Ada went on to play with other toys. Every once in a while though she would get up and say "Check Dolly" and off she went to look in on Dolly. It was precious to see her take such care of Dolly. It was a day well spent with my special girl and her doll. I hope we spend many more days like this, especially as I make more clothes for both of them.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Collecting Transferware

 Like many fellow bloggers I collect Transferware dishes.To me they are a unique art form. I don't know when I began to love these rich patterns and designs but my first memory was when my sister was going to be married.  My mother started collecting a set of Currier and Ives ironstone dishes from the grocery store.  I turned 11 two days before the wedding so I wasn't well versed in the ways of securing dishes or why it was important to start off with a full set. Over the years though, I pondered the design of these dishes and became a fan of Currier and Ives pictures on anything.  Eventually, my sister became interested in Johnson Brothers, most particularly the Friendly Village. She began to collect mugs in this pattern and by that time I wanted some too. She brought me a few pieces of the British Castles from England that I will always treasure. I love all things old fashioned and these patterns truly give a glimpse into another seemingly simple lifetime. 

I started this collection from the middle and worked my way out. There are new plates mixed in with vintage  and I think it is rather an eclectic group because there are a variety of designs and patterns. 

I added this platter from Johnson Brothers British Castles to replace a  Home Interiors picture that faded. I wanted something the same size but would hold up against the elements. I have not been disappointed. Perhaps it is busy on the patterned wallpaper but I like it.

This shelf holds more British Castles pieces and my angel collection.

I found this plate at an antique mall. My every day dishes are from Williams-Sonoma in a Wedgewood pattern called Kent. The green in the pattern is the very same green. I put this on the kitchen wall.  The borders on Transferware are so intricate. Some of my favorites have both flowers and acorns.

The smaller plate on this wall is one I found at a vintage farm flea market sale. The pattern is Kent but looks nothing like my Williams-Sonoma dishes. I bought it because it is green, a color not as readily found as blue. I also 'needed' it for its name and irony of not really being the same pattern as mine. The large platter, not Transferware of course, was found in an art gallery in Long Beach Washington. The colors and uniqueness called out to us to bring it home. My toucan was purchased on a long ago trip to Belize. We named it Billiken Bill for a local beer my husband enjoyed on the trip. A bit of whimsy in the kitchen but we like it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April at the Lake

We spent this past weekend at the family's cabin on Priest Lake. My husband's parents bought this wonderful property in 1961 when their 7 children were young.  This is a great place to bring kids where they can run exploring to their hearts content, swim, look for minnows and float on large old inner tubes. Memories at the lake are stuff of legend. We took our girls up for weekends and vacations and now our grandchildren are enjoying this legacy.  They are the fifth generation to enjoy this incredible haven in a busy world. 

 We are prepared for any weather as seasoned veterans of many storms, such as the one brewing in this picture. Rain or shine, this view across the lake is breathtaking to me.

 First order of business is to raise the flag! 
Our grandson, barely visible in his red hooded sweatshirt, 
helps Grandpa with this important task that one day he will do by himself.  
A teachable moment, he learns the importance of flag etiquette.

Up up she goes! 

Notice the dock at the top of this picture.
When the water rises, perhaps in about six weeks, 
the dock will be floated out to the water 
welcoming us for fishing, swimming, skiing or tubing. 

Up at last is the Marine Corps. flag, honoring my father-in-law, a WWII veteran, and my husband, also a veteran of the Marines. In addition to the Marines, our family enjoys a rich tradition of service; two of our  brothers-in-law retired from the Army and Navy respectively. When their families are staying at the lake the Army or Navy flag is raised, showing who is in residence. Otherwise the Marine Corps. flag is the default flag. It is a tradition that started many years ago. No matter which flag is raised, it fills me with pride to honor years of dedicated service. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It is Spring time in the Northwest!

Spring is here and I hope it stays around for a while. Easter Sunday was warm and sunny for the first time in six years. And it was earlier this year.  Monday came on sunny and warm and Tuesday has held out on the promise of good things to come. It is distracting. It is wonderful. I feel like I should call it an early day and go home to work in my perennial beds. The plants are peeking up from the dirt and the trees have buds on the tips of their branches.

I can do some things but it is hard not to go out an try to do as much I can to promote an early bloom of my favorite flowers. Why not? Why not spend time before and after work getting that head start that is often elusive with the cold and rainy springs we often get in the northwest.

Reality sinks in as I remember rainy and sometimes frosty weather; the Cottonwood that chokes our garden in mid-June. Then there are the definite times that compete with the garden. It is a fine balance to get it just right so that in late July I can sit back in my lounge chair with a good book and tall iced tea and take in the lovely views of all the flowers and in bloom. I will be looking for a view like the picture above from a few years ago, early on in the season. ah....this one is before our new fence. How happy I am that project is over with!

What I can do now is take stock of some projects we talked of putting off until spring. There is a lot to do. I am eager to see what happens when our dreams come to fruition. Will it be a water feature, revamping the rock garden or carving out a new spot for flowers? Is it just me or do others' plan and dream lie this every spring?

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have had a dry spell with my blog. I have been preoccupied with life and work. I have to confess that I have had no clear focus on what I really want to blog about. I have contemplated changing the name of my blog to more accurately reflect who I am. I chose my name Pink Granny after surviving breast cancer and going all pink...and because I became a grandmother.

Is my life more accurately reflected in this way? I am more than those things. I sew, crochet, cook, bake and enjoy many crafty projects. I like recreating my home, more particularly my sewing room. I like to do so many things that sometimes it is hard to have one narrow focus. Perhaps that is why I chose Journey as part of my blog name. Life is a journey and mine has taken many paths. Some roads have been more challenging than others yet they are still part of me. The joy in my life is my family, from my husband to my two daughters and their families.

I believe blogging gives us a voice where we may not have a voice. A spot to share and meet other bloggers who are sharing a piece of their lives with us.

As I write this I am reflecting too on all I learn from blogging, about myself and what I have learned. Life is so beautiful and in this hectic world of technology, this blogging game gives us an opportunity to do what our mothers did...sit down with a cup of tea and visit with their friends. I can't remember the last time I did this with anyone at my kitchen table, but I have to admit, I do enjoy visiting with all of you.

Have a wonderful Thursday. Take time to have a nice cup of tea in your favorite cup.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Downton Abbey!

Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Violet
We've been  Downton Abbey junkies since day one and we counted down to last week's showing of Season Three episode one! I am as I type, watching it again as a prelude to episode two tonight. It is amazing how much more you see when you watch again. What a good story of an era that has long since passed.

Life at Downton is full of human intrigue, class distinction, passion and social commentary of the day. The wit of Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham is priceless. She has the best asides than anyone I have had the pleasure of watching. Whether as Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter or this grand dame, the undertones are clear and she cuts to the chase. 

If you have not tuned in give it a try. Of course, starting on season one is your best bet to get the most out of the story.

Last week and opulent wedding...there is another wedding coming soon...will it be tonight?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How is your winter shaping up?

Winter is always as full of discussion as any other season. We think it will be calm and quiet with the shorter days but not so in my neck of the woods.

Look who else is serious about projects!
We have football playoffs made more exciting because of the Seattle Seahawks....
Movies to watch...The Hobbit, Abraham Lincoln, Les afterglow....taking down the decorations, eating the leftover goodies....
post-holiday dieting and exercising....who knew there were so many gadgets to make you look young, fit and enticing...or so many 'diet' foods that don't taste so hot but will shed pounds forever!
Snow days....or parts of days as it can happen in the northwest and next up will be the winter freeze. Comfort food to warm you up and remind you that healthy nutritious food is always the best...walks in the mall to avoid the mall...just pack the wallet with your ID along with coins for coffee!   January birthdays where we linger at the table over home made carrot cake...Valentine's Day and St Patrick's Day to brighten the months of February and March and soon after that it will be Easter and the promise of spring in the Northwest with rain, more rain before the sun helps our gardens grow again. Winter seems long on days like today but it is only going to be here a short time more so to make the most of it I am going to get serious about fun things I always think I am too busy for. My secret to finding more time will be to watch less TV. That gives me an extra two hours a night for things I really like to do.