Stormy Days

We’ve all read that classic scary tale that starts off: It was a dark and stormy night.  I feel like that perfectly captures our days lately, but rather than night, our story would begin: It was a dark and stormy day…

stormy-day-collage

The gloomy skies are a total contrast to the joy of Christmas with the girls and Sweet Miss’ Fella home. We had food, and gifts, and excitement. Our whole local family was here on Christmas Day. We played games and gathered around our new table. Laughter filled the air.

 

Maybe we just have to make our own sunshine. 

The Colors of Fall

I was chatting the other day with a lady who had lived in Vermont and was missing the fall color and playing in the piles of leaves. Our leaves do tend to clump together in a sodden, mucky mess, but we do have our fair share of color.

The MR’s friend is training to get his pilot’s license and flies over the valley often. He captured this picture of our house in the midst of all the colors of fall—a view I rarely see.

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This is more of the vantage point I’m used to with leaves of gold and vibrant orange coloring our trees.

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And the view of the valley filled with color.

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The trees lining the driveway are dropping their leaves, and the MR goes out with the leaf blower to try to keep the it from turning into a mess. It’s a losing battle at best.

Soon the leaves will be gone and we’ll be left with our forest of green and a beautiful view of the river. I do love our view in every season.

Wishing you a colorful fall.

 

 

River Views

Me and the MR enjoyed a rare winter afternoon out on the deck yesterday.  Our warm weather hangout doesn’t see much use this time of year.

It’s not just the rain that keeps us inside; when the sun sets, it just too cold. Winter has opened up our view of the river. With the leaves gone, we can see both loops of our meandering stream.

River View

I was talking to my dad the other day and realized I may have given my readers a wrong impression.  My aunt had asked him if the river was still flooded. I posted pictures months ago; our river usually floods for a few days at most.

Let’s go back to my Geology 101 class and get a little technical.  The Snoqualmie Valley is a large U-shaped valley, with an underfit stream, carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago.  We have a lot of these valleys in this part of the country.  We do have standing water in the lowlands currently after receiving several inches of rain last week, but the roads are open for the moment.

So Aunt Doris, flooding is an intermittent problem during the rainy season (especially when coupled with warm temperatures and melting snow-pack), but we’re certainly not trapped all winter long.  Thank you for your concern.

That’s not to say the ground isn’t plenty wet.  Our silly dogs make the most of an afternoon of leisure outside.  Bogart sits and chews on his toys, but Cocoa goes off exploring and comes back sopping wet and smelling strongly of dirt.

Cocoa

It’s the price we pay for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

How do you escape winter weather?

 

 

 

Looking Backwards and Forwards

It’s hard to believe, December is over, the children are gone, and life is getting back to normal.  I’ve disappeared for the last few weeks, but sometimes you just need a little break.

So today, I’ll recap December and 2015 and give you a peak at what’s to come.  I started off the month disappointed in my Christmas trees—not the giant one we brought home from the tree farm but the ribbon trees I’ve been making for months.  Let’s face it, 18-inch trees don’t look impressive in 18-foot windows.  My little ribbon trees ended up on the bookcase where they looked quite festive, all I had to do was Rethink My Plan.

Bookcase forest

Then I shared with you Winter Sunsets, because they’re one of the best parts of this time of year.  The MR has been taking some time off over break. He’s going to miss the beautiful sunrises and sunsets we enjoy during winter.

Winter Suset Collage

We get short days, rain, and flooding in our little valley.  It’s been crisp and cool for the last week, but December brought its share of rain; It’s the Season.

flood

When the girls finished up finals, we headed off to Roatan, an island off the coast of Hondoras.  We’d visited the beach on a Caribbean cruise years ago, and the MR always wanted to go back.

Baby Girl at the Beach

Baby Girl back in the day rocking a bikini and braids.

It was a low-key week for all after the kids’ stress from end of term exams and the MR’s work excitement.  We rented a condo a few feet from the beach, swam, snorkeled, read books, and relaxed.

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We traded in our sunsets from the deck for the tropical version for a week.

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We were home in time to Wish You Joy and Peace this holiday season and spend Christmas at together as a family..Tropical fam

One of my favorite gifts this year was from Sweet Miss.  She used Shutterfly to put together a book of highlights in A Tribute to the Big White House on the Hill—2015.  She had told me she’d been going through the blog lately, but I had no idea what for.  I thought she just enjoying my witty way with words and wanted to keep up with what we were doing.

She did add quotes from the blog that have me smiling giddily, forcing people to feel the softness of my towels, and playing with the dogs, drinking wine, and crafting on the deck.  Perhaps I need to tone down the realism a little.  People might be afraid to visit.

According to WordPress, the top posts of 2015 were when the new furniture for the great room finally arrived in Orders Up with 145 views and 10 comments.  By the by, I really do like to hear from you guys.  Sometimes I feel like I’m sending my words out into the void.

Great Room with pillows & throw

The next was our recap of last year in Bathrooms, Floors, and Bounty in 2014 highlighting the big bathroom remodel upstairs and down (remember the baby blue sink?), the new floors downstairs, and all that garden goodness (plus a shocking picture of me with red hair—what was I thinking?).  It received 81 view and three comments.

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Oh the memories we can look back on.

Orange floor at sunset

Rounding out the top three was getting the carpet in Color Under Foot with 72 views and nine comments.  We still have a bit of an echo problem, but the carpet adds so much warmth and really pulls the room together.

Great Room Closer

Other favorites from last year were the Party Prep for Baby Girl’s graduation.  The whole family was in on the preparation with baby face pennants, balloon banners, and a pineapple tower.  It was a day to remember.

Pineapple Tower

Making a Statement was another highlight of 2015.  Now when you round that last corner of the driveway, the helicopter pad is gone, the grass is green, and the landscaping is welcoming.  We are no longer a house plopped down in a wilderness.  It took months, a burst pipe, and the family laying sod on graudation day, but it’s done.

yard & house

A few of the flowers and shrubs have been pruned by the deer, and the long dry summer was a little tough on the grass, but it still looks great and is the perfect starting place for future plantings.

One important change that didn’t make the top 10 was replacing the windows with blown seals and adding window films. We’ve had one window crack after the application of film, but we purchased the extra insurance and will have it replaced this spring.  Cracking is very unusual, but as I watch the snowflakes fall, me and the MR were concerned that extreme temperatures might cause more problems.

You can read all about it in Windows Upgrade.  While it still gets quite toasty in here at times (think 80º inside and 32º outside), the films have reduced the glare dramatically.

Film Install Collage

And now if this post wasn’t long enough, perhaps I’ve been holding it all in for the last three weeks and now I’m ready to burst, what’s up for next year?  Well, with both of our sweet girlies off at school, we’re painting the upstairs.  We meaning the MR.  By the time he’s done, the laundry room will be the only room left to be painted.

When he’s finished, I’ll get to put the sewing room together in earnest, seed catalogs are arriving, we have travel plans, and after 19 years and it’s fair share of spilled milk, sharpies, and spirographs it’s time to replace the dining room table. Now that the house isn’t totally falling apart, we have a little time for some fun stuff.  I think a bit more landscaping and a few more paths are on the agenda.

In good news, Baby Girl was accepted to the architecture program.  She still has four-and-a-half years of hard work ahead of her, but we’re very proud and happy for her.  Another highlight for December was my dad selling his home of 38 years and purchasing a townhome.  I’m sure that will keep us all busy packing in the next few weeks.

I’m hoping to stay more organized/on task in 2016.  It’s going to be a great year—I can just feel it.

No Christmas post would be complete without the much anticipated Christmas PJ’s.  Someone asked for Christmas’ mumus.  All I’m saying is be careful what you ask for.

Christmas Pjs Collage

How did your 2015 shape up? What’s on the agenda for the new year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Color of the Season

Each season of the year has its own special feel. On windy fall afternoons, the eagles circle the valley. Storms blow in, and sometimes if we’re lucky, sunlight pierces the gray.

Afternoon Sky 2

The MR put up an outside heater a few years ago, so we can sit outside and enjoy the sunset even on these cool fall days. It’s truly a beautiful place to be.

How do you wind down your day?