A thrifty, romantic country lifestyle...

Feb 12, 2016

Hearts & Couples Around My Home...

 The flu bug has got me and I've no energy to do anything 
except 'sit' or 'lay down'.  
So for something to do - I snapped some hearts and couples 
I found around our home....

This would be my grandparents - for most people my age it would be their 
great grandparents. Never had the privilege of meeting this
 grandmother - she died when my mother was 8 weeks old...

A valentine for me!!! arrived in the mail yesterday....

And this would be us 5 or 6 years ago - time to update!
(My love looks better now - I look older - sigh...)

I truly believe that 'love never fails'.
But I need the daily reminder...
Happy Valentine's Day my friends.  Hope the flu bug stays 
far away from you and leaves from here very soon!  ~Joyce
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Feb 8, 2016

Winter Creatures - Great and Small...

My Love and I have been enjoying getting out in this winter weather. 
Mostly it's with camera (his camera to be exact) in hand.

Last weekend we enjoyed a free community day at our local zoo.
  There was lots of snow on the ground but the pronghorn didn't seem to mind...

The otters were the most active critters and just a ball to watch.
  They're just a constant whirl of motion... (altho pretty 'still' in this shot)...

 Yep - a huge mountain lion.  Love those paws...

 One of the wolves found a sunny patch - which made for a nice photo opp...

 Our favorite of the day was this little screech owl.  
He just kept on sleeping - no matter how many people whizzed by...

And just yesterday - we took a stroll through another local community.  
We didn't remember seeing that many critters there in previous
 strolls - but we were pleasantly surprised.

Sparrows are common - but they can also be super cute!  
This one's all puffed up and just look at his yellow brow...

I didn't realize nuthatches were so blue... 
almost as much appeal as blue birds - maybe more!

We also had some sweet chickadee sightings.  
(I do think these are my favorite little birds...)

 We had fun watching a squirrel lug a big leaf into his nest.  
Didn't get that shot - but here's a squirrel anyway - 
perfectly at home way up high in the sky...

And since Valentine's day is this week - sharing this heart faced
 barn owl from the zoo with you too...

So thankful for the opportunity to enjoy God's creatures.   
And am thankful too for the shared enjoyment with My Love.
(all photo credits for this post go to him!) 
Am loving this 'common ground' fun we're finding in our marriage...
Life IS good!  ~Joyce

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Jan 24, 2016

Frugal Snowy Day Soup - (Gluten & Dairy Free)...

 This mostly gluten, dairy and sugar free diet I'm on can be a challenge.  
But today - there is yummy soup on hand...

 ...and our dig-out (for now) from the blizzard is complete.

So let's dig into the soup...
I doctored up a 'Mixed Vegetable Soup' I found.  
It's  perfect for this snowy weather and delicious!  I actually crave it.  
I paired it with gluten and dairy free Banana Cornmeal Muffins.
My version...

Pasta Vegetable Soup

2 small carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
1/4 c. butter
2 14 oz. cans chicken broth
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. pepper
1 1/2 - 2 c. cooked pasta  (cook while vegetables are being saute`d)
1-2 t. Italian seasoning
1-2 c. cooked chicken (or other leftover meat)- I used 2 tenders

Saute` carrots, celery, onion and green pepper in butter till tender.  Add tomatoes, sugar, pepper and chicken broth to pan.  Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min.  Add pasta, chicken and seasoning and cook till warm.

I hope to enjoy a brisk walk later today - but for now - 
I'm enjoying the view from inside...

Did you experience Winter Storm Jonas?  How did you fare?

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Jan 23, 2016

Paper Bag Snowflake Craft...

 We're in the midst of a blizzard here in PA with a 'state of emergency' 
in effect.  This means - hardly anyone is on the roads.  It snowed all night 
and continues to snow as I write this at 6:30 pm.   We've been 
 shoveling and snowblowing throughout day to keep up with it.  Snow depth is approaching 30"!  But in the quiet of our evening hours - 
I took a little time to work on a project...

 I was inspired by co-worker who made the white snowflake below 
from recycled computer printer paper.  
I decided to use paper bags and make some a bit bigger.
The tutorial I used - found here - uses a glue stick or glue gun for all 'attachments'.  
I thought I'd be too clumsy for that and wasn't sure with the paper bag 
weight they'd stay 'stuck' -  so I used scotch tape and a stapler.

My squares (watch the tutorial and you'll understand) are 5 1/2" square.  
Six are needed for each snowflake.
I'm hoping to hang them at varying lengths overhead in my 
booth space at Quentin Antique Shoppe.

What a fun day this has been!  I'm so thankful it's Saturday and
 nobody here needed to go to work.   
Hope you're safe and warm where you are too. ~Joyce

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Jan 13, 2016

Rustic Display Pieces (From the PA Farm Show)...

There's a huge show around here called the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  
It's where all the winners from local and county fairs go to be judged, etc.  
And it's huge!  My Love and I spent a day at the show - in it's 100th year.  
Allow me to show you what caught my eye...

 I was drawn to all the rustic display pieces... very in keeping with 'farm' style.

 How great is this huge and vintage wooden bin?

 And here was another big wooden crate - holding apple cider...

One of the concession areas had a great farm door pattern going on...

Was loving these bags of potatoes... (50 lbs anyone?)

And of course - fruit baskets were everywhere...

I even found this in one of the hallways...

 And while we sat in the huge arena waiting for the next show to start...

...I had fun shooting the very vintage seating.  Aren't these great? 
What a fun day!
I hope you can take a day off of work sometime soon too!  ~Joyce

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