Sunday, December 30, 2012

Be inspired

  I took down the Christmas decorations and did a bit of redecorating. The fire place mantel was looking a bit drab, so I redistributed the decor that had been sitting above the fireplace and searched high and low for just the right pieces to accessorize our mantel. I think it looks much brighter and cheerier now.
 Out with the old and in with the new.
 on another note I've come up with my 2013 new years resolution. To be inspired and enjoy the good things life has to give. I want to surround myself with things that inspire me. Good music, pleasant scents, the wind blowing through my hair, watching the dogs, the sound of birds, gazing at the sky, skiing, skating and hiking, going out on the boat, an ice cold beer, ice tea, good memories, good books and there is so much more......
What inspires you?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Quiet Christmas Day

A blanket of snow covered the land.
The temperature was 15 below.
The people had no place they had to go.
Gathering under the Christmas tree
they opened the presents from you and me.
The people feasted on ham, potatoes & corn.
They ate until they could hold no more.
Summer June berries made into a pie
was a delicious dessert
so good you would sigh.
Some of the people went out to play.
Then they all settled into the cozy cabin in the woods
and rested up for another day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa Claus is coming to town

There is a tradition in the small town of Elgin Oregon
where I grew up. Santa comes in his bright red fire truck and brings bags of treats to every child in town. He stops at every house and bursts through the door with a jolly "Ho, Ho, Ho" handing out bags full of candy, peanuts and an orange.
              We always spent this special evening with Grandma Simmons when we where children.
                The tradition still continues to this day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Turn The Page Tuesday- Beading Artistry

It's not a novel that has been holding my attention lately but a craft book. Beading Artistry for Quilts has three of my favorite things going for it. Beads, art & quilting. This book has beautiful pieces made by Thom Atkins. It has inspired me to start several projects.

This was an embroidery piece I picked up at a thrift store that I turned into a wall hanging embellished with beads.
Here is the next project I am working on.
This book has great ideas to bring your quilts to life. In fact I think I'm going to have to join "Quilters Anonymous"
 For more great books go to

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Winter Storm

We have become a winter wonderland.
Snow and ice has covered every surface of our world.

Sourri the guard dog is on duty ensuring no abonimal snowmen wander in to cause harm to us.

Penny doesn't venture far from the house.
She prefers to stay in by the crackling warm fire.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mom's note book

I have been going through a box sent home with me from my Dad and came across a note book with some of Moms writings in it. I would like to share her writing with you.

This was written October,12th, 1997 after moving to California.

        The coyotes are howling in the early morning darkness and setting the neighborhood dogs to barking. It reminds me of the years spent in my beloved Blue Mountains of northern eastern Oregon. Oh how I miss our 48 acres of tall pines and whispering aspen and rocks. Especially in the fall when I could walk through the falling leaves of the aspen and smell the fragrant smell of the pines.

 We live on the edge of a neighborhood now about three miles out of the city limits with open fields just beyond the neighbors house across the street. The cattle roam these fields and so do the coyotes. When I hear them it takes me back home to our place in Oregon that was 13 miles from the nearest town. We could hear the coyotes howl, elk bugling in the fall and occasionally the scream of a mountain lion. In summer the little sounds of fox and raccoons as they cross our place on their way to the pond and always the pines whispering in the breezes. Oh how I miss this place.
                                              Written by Janice Sannar

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Home Made Apple Sause

 My favorite sent this time of year is apples & cinnamon.

 I love picking apples then bringing their deliciousness home to brew into a big pot of apple sauce. In the past I have always spent the entire day peeling, coring and chopping away but this year my friend Audrey loaned me her sauce maker. This handy dandy tool saves lots of time. You just boil the apples whole or quartered and run them through the processor. Out comes apple sauce to season to your taste. (I like mine sweet with Cinnamon)

 After using this wonderful time saving gadget I immediately went on line and ordered myself one.

 May the wonderful scents of Autumn waif through your house this season.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A family of Builders

I'm from a family of builders.
Grandma & Grandpa's brick house
 I remember as a young girl waking in the early morning hours to the deep resonate voices of my Grandpa Simmons and his cohort's. They were in my Grandparents kitchen planning the next project. The rich smell of coffee drifting into the cozy room I had been peacefully sleeping in. Such comforting smells and sounds drifting my way. Grandma was bustling around the kitchen pouring coffee and of course putting in her two cents. She was quite the business women herself running the small town lumber store & figuring cost & supplies.
     It's a wonderful & exciting feeling to plan a building project from the ground up. To look at a piece of property and imagine a building sitting on the spot. To study the plans and plan the rooms from windows, walls, layout of the kitchen and then to plan the color scheme and decorating idea's.
Echo Oregon
 My Dad is also a master carpenter. In his 70's still building and planning. Making the small town of Echo Oregon into a little gem of restored old buildings.
Timber frame house my husband built.
 Of course I married a self taught master carpenter 29 years ago. The architecture he has built and designed is amazing. I've been lucky to have a small part in these creative ventures through the years.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Turn The page Tuesday/ Mirage

This book sat on my shelf for years. I almost gave it away numerous times but am so glad I didn't. "Mirage" by Soheir Khashoggi is an intriguing read and gives you insight into Middle Eastern cultures. It makes you think of the lives many Arab women live.

 The engrossing story of Amira, a young girl from a wealthy and powerful family. Mirage takes you behind the veil of secrecy to expose the real lives of women in today's harems.

 Amira expects to be sold into marriage and to never step outside her house without being swathed in black veils and accompanied by an escort. But she's not prepared for the savagery of the husband she first meets on her wedding night, or the increasingly oppressive control he is allowed to exert over her. Finally, in a daring attempt to save her own life and sanity, she escapes with her baby to start a new life in the United States. But her past-and her powerful husband-won't give her up easily.

 Mirage is also the story of other harem women. From the stoning death of a young mother convicted of adultery to the desperate measures taken by a wife whose husband has brought a second wife into their home. Mirage tells the stories of the enduring strength and courage of women who defy the yoke of male dominance.

To find more good novels take a peak at Some of a Kind

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Like the great explorers Lewis and Clark we set out on our journey to find new territories.
I began my journey alone from Antelope lake which lays in the middle of North America.
I picked up my trusty navigator (Dawn) in Montana.
 We continued the journey west through the mountain passes to Missula where we spent the night.
We then made our way to the Columbia river to the dessert heat and cooled off that evening with a boat ride and dip in the majestic river.

In this part of the country we picked up two more explorers sister Susan & Ethan. We continued to the Oregon coast where we enjoyed the azure ocean waters and sandy beach.
From the ocean we made our way to Astoria where the mighty Columbia river pours into the sea.
In Astoria we hired a tour guide sister Paula who took us to Fort Clatsop where Lewis & Clark spent the winter of 1805-1806.

We explored the town of Astoria, the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. Astoria has served as a port of entry for over a century and remains the trading center for the lower Colombian basin. It is a fascinating town with the influx of many different cultures.
Back in Hermiston we had a Birthday Bash for sister Susan's 50th. Great food, fun, friends and family!

 The explorers then had a safe journey back home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Turn The Page Tuesday/ Imposible

"Impossible" by Nancy Werlin is written in modern times about a young girl who has become the victim of an ancient curse. Read these pages to find out if she is able to break the impossible curse.

A cryptic warning:
     But then Miranda, with her hands cuffed before her spoke for the first time. "True love," she said distinctly. "Do you even believe in it? I don't. It's a trap."
   Everyone looked at her.
    "What was that, ma'am?" asked the cop.
     Miranda smiled a strange smile. Her eyes went to Lucy's dress, covered with grass stains and blood. To the pink camellia, crushed on Lucy's wrist. And then down to Lucy's sturdy red sneakers, which were supposedly suitable for kicking butt.
      "A trap," Miranda said again. Then she sang. "Else she'll be a true love of  thine."
         Her voice cracked, and now she was speaking again, not singing. "Pay attention," she said. "I've been trying and trying to tell you. Pay attention to the song. Now it's your turn. You've been warned. I'm supposed to warn you. You're allowed to try to escape. You have to try, in fact. None of us have ever managed it, though. Will you be any different?"

This book is written based on the folk song "Scarborough Fair" It certainly makes you think of this tune in a new light.

For more good books go to

Sunday, August 5, 2012


 Never hire a man who wears gloves and rolls his own cigarettes. You won't get much work out of him. He will spend the majority of the day taking his gloves on and off, rolling and smoking.

The same goes for a gal with a camera. It took me two hours to water the cows this morning. I was so easily distracted by:





Water Birds


I'd best get back to work. Enough of this dilly-dallying.


Sunday, July 29, 2012


We have captured a salamander.
Now what should we do?
Should we put it into a witches brew?
I've herd of spells and concoctions to make.
Did I hear a salamanders tail they take?
He seems a bit parched in this dry old land.
Lets set him free
by the lake shore in the cool damp sand.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

We're off to see the wizard

We're off to see the Wizard.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

 Dawn & I set out early Saturday morning on our way to the North Dakota State Fair in Minot. Where we met up with Dorothy and the rest of the gang from "The Wizard of Oz" We  journeyed down the yellow brick road (parade rout) past many fans and spectators.

 Dorothy tried to keep Toto safe in his basket but at one point he was snatched away by the flying monkey. The munchkin chased the monkey down and returned Toto to Dorothy.

 The lion had to fight off angry spectators placed in the crowd by the wicked witch with his mighty fists "Put em up, Put em up"

 At last we made it to the Emerald City (Fair grounds) where we spoke to the Wizard. The great Wizard was able to grant our every wish (Free Fair Tickets) and with three clicks of her Ruby Red Slippers Dorothy led us safely back home.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Exploring the Turtle Mountains

 We ventured North last week, up towards the Canadian border.

We went to explore the Turtle Mountains and found this ginormous turtle riding his snowmobile in the town of Bottineau.

 Willie took a nap in the Blazer while the adventurous girls went for a hike through the woods.

 We found evidence that gnomes live in these woods. This is a small Jiffy Popcorn lid. Just the right size for a gnome family's movie night.

 On the way back we cooled off our toes in the sand of Lake Metigoshe.

What a perfect summer day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Turn The Page Tuesday/ Still Alice

Still Alice by Lisa Genova is an amazing book. Everyone should read this incredible novel to gain insight to Alzheimer's disease.

 In this novel Alice a very intelligent lady is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. As this debilitating disease progresses we go through the changes with Alice from becoming lost in her own neighborhood, to the end stages of Alzheimer's.

 Reading this book makes you feel as if you are right there with Alice and her family facing all the challenges that occur with this brain altering disease.

 I couldn't put this book down or stop thinking about it as I went through my day.


Sunday, July 1, 2012


Welcome to Antelope Hills Ranch.

 This picturesqe North Dakota ranch is nestled between rolling hills and beautiful Antelope Lake.

 This is a perfect spot for a family get away. You could spend your days swimming, fishing for walleye & perch, boating or bird watching. Our area is in the flyway for migration so we have a variety of birds from pelicans, trumpeter swans, snow geese, canadian geese, many kinds of ducks. We also have many song birds from the orange and black Baltimore orial to the redheaded blackbird. There is a never ending melody of bird song resonating throughout the ranch.

 You could hike the hills or follow a deer trail thru the woods. Don't forget to bring your bucket to pick wild June berries, chock cherries or plums.

 The perfect ending to a peacefull day will be a bonfire by the lake.

I hope you enjoyed your stay.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rockin Relics

 Dawn & I discovered another fun place to go when we make a trip to Rugby. On Main street two doors down from our favorite consignment shop "Worn-a-Bit" sits "Rockin Relics" a 1940's soda fountain/antique store.

 It's been said that entering the front door is like going back to Mayberry.

 This restaurant is decorated with Coke and movie memorabilia. They have an array of sandwiches, burgers and salads to choose from. I enjoyed a Paradise club as I sipped my watermelon soda.

 If you get a chance to explore Rugby North Dakota stop in "Rockin Relics" You never know who you might see there. I spotted Lucy and Desi. Oh, look there's Elvis.....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Skull Art

I am an artist at heart. When I get a bit of spare time I dig out my paints and brushes. I paint on any surface available. In the past I have had my eye out for smooth rocks to paint scenes and flowers on.

Lately I have been intrigued by skulls. You can find them while walking about our property. Buffalo, cattle and deer, many of these animals souls have flown off to the great unknown and left their bones lying about.

Here is my latest skull art.
Painted on a cow skull.

 I hope these creatures don't mind that I am using their bones for my creations.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Best Friends

  My best friend in grade school was Cindy Cheatum. We where a rambunctious couple of girls, always in action. We ran, jumped and rode our bikes through the small town of Elgin. Cindy with her curly head of brunette and me in my long blond ponytails.

  Cindy lived only a block away from our pink house and spent allot of time with us. Her Dad worked nights at the lumber mill so it was easier for us to play at our house. We would put pieces of cardboard on our bike tires so it sounded like we had moters on our bikes. Cindy and I had foot races. I rarely won. She went on to be a cross country runner in high school.

 In school we would play spy games. we would sneak behind our class and hide in doorways while they where in a nice line on the way to the gym. We must have been pretty good because we never got caught and would arrive for the physical education class in time.

 Grandma Simmons lived in a big brick house no far from the school. On our way home we would always stop for milk and cookies.

 One day after school a man driving a cream colored station wagon with a wood look strip down the middle tried to get us to come over to his car. We hid in the bushes by the school and ran to Grandmas house as fast as we could. To this day I still have nightmares about bad guys chasing after us and having to hide in the nooks and crannies of Grandmas house.

 I stayed the night at Cindy's house a few times. Her parents where very nice. I always think of her Dad as Danny Devito. They took us to the neighboring town of Imbler one evening and bought us ice cream cones. I had grape sherbet, my favorite!

 We grew apart as many school hood friends do and that is OK. People come into your life for a reason and a season and I still have fond memories of friendship.

Who was your best friend in grade school?

Friday, May 18, 2012

North Dakota Gangs

   This North Dakota oil boom has got me worried. With the rising population and riff raff coming in it's no wonder we are having trouble with crime. It's not safe to come out of your house any more. Day or night when ever I peak out from behind my curtains this is what I see right out in my very own yard.
         These turkeys are out there strutting their stuff, showing their colors. I'm not sure how dangerous this gang is but I'm going to keep my distance to be on the safe side.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Souri is growing up and becoming a teenager.
Here she is veggin out in her beanbag chair.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Have you ever had a nosey neighbor?
You know, one that watches everything you do.

        Well we have one. Just look at her blatantly staring right in our windows. I can just imagine her running to tell all her friends everything we've been doing, down to who was at our house and the casserole we ate for dinner.

             I tried to invite her in but she would have none of that.

             If you want any juicy information on anyone look up Bessy. She knows the scoop.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ghostly Lake

       A ghostly fog hung over the lake yesterday morning.

       I remember reading a book about a young girl who would walk into the fog where she would find a village of people whom she became friends with. When the fog would disappear they would also be gone.

       I love to walk into the fog and feel the cool mist soaking into my skin, searching for shapes in the hazy mist.

           Around here they say a foggy day foretells moisture. It is said 90 days after we have fog it will rain or snow. In farming country where there is no irrigation precipitation in a timely manner is very important to water growing crops.

Do you know any legends about the fog?