Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Dirt!

If you have been following me for a while you are probably aware that our back yard is two levels....the last 20 feet of our yard is stepped down from the main yard anywhere from 2 feet to 4 feet.

When we bought our house 3 years ago this whole area was engulfed in blackberry bushes and unbeknown to us - garbage including old bikes, radiators, the remnants of an old bed and other stuff I probably don't want to know about.

Clearing out the bushes and garbage actually made the lower level even lower so we finally were able to get some dirt to fill a little of it back in. I know it looks like a lot of dirt but at least we can level some of the really low patches out and we are hoping to be able to build it up about a foot or so.....
This is the view from our deck looking left (we live in a two story house). 

This is the view from our deck looking to the right. 

The piles look a little more impressive up close!
I can only hope that the neighborhood kids don't discover our "dirt piles" before we get a chance to spread it out!

Thank you for stopping by The Mix Gal! Comments validate my blogging efforts, so I would love to hear from you. Take care and Keep Life Simple by Mixing It UP!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Am I THAT Different?

I know it has been a bit since I've posted anything new, but life has a way of getting busy and the next thing you know you don't have time to do the things you love to do! I try really hard to not "over commit" myself and it seems that no matter how hard I try I always find myself in the land of "too much to do". I am sure that this is something that most Moms do to themselves and I am probably not unique or alone in my "over abundance" of commitments! I think I am just being a tad maudlin today as well......first day back to the day job after a four day weekend will do that to you I suppose. It also doesn't help that it is a kind of Grey and overcast morning - where's my sunshine?

To top off the feeling sorry for myself mode that I currently find myself in I discovered that I am probably unique. Why do I think I am unique? Well I have this blog you see and I have a Facebook page that goes along with it and occasionally I will look at who is following me - imagine my surprise when I discovered that many of my family and close friends don't follow what is important to me. I try really hard to support anyone who has a FB Page or Blog - even if the subject matter is not one that I am particularly interested in. Am I unique? I just don't know.

Even at 47 years old I guess I still have things to learn that I should have learned long ago...... I personally think we all struggle in our own unique ways, trying to find our path in this world and remembering this is a hard concept for some people to learn. Just because you don't think something is important or it seems silly to you please remember that your action or non-action can cause someone to get their feelings hurt and you may not even know it! My Mom taught me a long time ago to "think about what you do before you do it" and in this busy, crazy mixed up world I think this is more important than ever.

 Total subject change......I finally broke down and ordered myself a new camera - yeah for me.

I am still a novice photographer but I think I will be able to shoot some awesome pictures with this camera. It has an "auto" feature for the camera challenged (like me) but it will let me work into learning all the fancy settings when I am ready for it. My current digital camera has a 4x optical zoom and are you ready for new camera has a 28x optical zoom and a micro setting for the close ups that will allow me to get within 1cm of my subject matter and it has a low light setting - I will finally be able to capture all of my kids school moments!Just look at how awesome it is...I cannot wait to get this camera in my hands and start seeing what it can do! My son just got married in Las Vegas and he and his wife will be having a wedding reception once they get home so I plan on running this camera through the paces during the reception!

I will definitely be letting you know how it works out. Maybe I will even take some pics using my old camera and then take the same pics using the new for a side by side comparison!

Thank you for stopping by The Mix Gal! Comments validate my blogging efforts, so I would love to hear from you. Take care and Keep Life Simple by Mixing It UP!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Best Day Ever!

Yesterday was Mother's Day and my family made sure that I had my favorite kind of day! The weather has been unseasonably warm for Pacific Northwest ~we've had temperatures in the upper 70s since about Friday so I decided that I wanted to go on a picnic (the first one of the year). First let me back up a hubby spent a good portion of Saturday planting my Mother's Day gifts! He (and the girls) bought me quite a few flowers (both annuals and perennials) for Mother's Day so now I have a splash of color when I look out the living room window. This particular spot where he planted the flowers had needed some "help" since we moved into our house, prior to the flower planting it had been home to a couple of scraggly plants that the builder had planted and some wild flowers that the hubby had planted last year. I will get out to the yard in the next day or so to take some pictures.

So back to my Mother's Day picnic......since it was just the four of us I decided to keep the picnic fixings low key and we had hoagies, chips, potato salad (store bought) and grapes. We set out for Birch Bay about a half hour drive from our house. The park was filled up with people who obviously had the same idea as me, but we did manage to find an empty picnic table and parking spot.

We quickly set up our home away from home......once we were done eating my youngest decided to roll up in a blanket to play her video game (she's the lump in the front).

Since Mom couldn't be the only one taking pictures both my hubby and daughter got out their cameras and we had a little photo war.... Next, we headed off to the beach, the tide was out so quite a few more photo opportunities presented themselves......

The view from our picnic area!
We found so many things while walking on the beach......

A crab nestled in the rocks....

A Bald Eagle perched high in the trees...

Lots of "photo opportunities"....


Wild plants growing on the driftwood....

All too soon the picnic had to end.....

One more picture......

The day was beautiful and we created some memories that will stay with me forever ~ it's the simple things in life that mean so much to me! We loaded up the van and headed for home and I found a new passion along the way......old barns! O.K. so it is not new but I managed to capture photos of three old barns as we drove along, so stay tuned for my Drive By Barns series. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little piece of my life ~ until next time, take care!

Thank you for stopping by The Mix Gal! Comments validate my blogging efforts, so I would love to hear from you. Take care and Keep Life Simple by Mixing It UP!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012!

Just wanted to take a few minutes to wish Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mamas out there!

I am the little baby in the picture being held by my Daddy and that's my very young Mama to the right.
This is my Dad's side of the family - my Dad's Mom is in dark blue, the rest of the family includes 7 brothers and sisters - that's right there were 8 kids.....however my Mom's Mom grew up in a family with 12 siblings!

This is my Mom & Grandma! Both my Mom & Grandma are out of the state visiting with my Sister so I don't get to celebrate Mother's Day with either one of them (we'll save it for when they get back).

My Kiddos......

The Oldest

My son, the oldest and the only boy!

The Middle Child

My oldest daughter

The Youngest

The baby....growing up too fast!

My Other Babies

Bella (on the left) and Jasper (on the right). I am firmly convinced that they believe they are siblings!

I hope you all have a very Happy Mother's Day, blessing to you and yours!

Thank you for stopping by The Mix Gal! Comments validate my blogging efforts, so I would love to hear from you. Take care and Keep Life Simple by Mixing It UP!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Friday Photo Montage!

The sun is shining and it is a beautiful Pacific Northwest morning, what more could a person ask for? O.K., I know that is a rhetorical question, but for now life is good and I thought I would celebrate by showing off some great photos!
This is a free image that I got from and with a little computer "magic" it makes a great impact!
My favorite morning beverage is COFFEE and I love these colors!

I just wish I had the magic touch or the knowledge to be able to grow something this beautiful!

There always has to be at least one Ferris Wheel ride or it's just not summer! That's my youngest in the middle - she is much braver than I!

Remember these slides? You just don't see too many of them any more - at least where I live. We have a family picnic every year at this park and the kids (some of the adults too) love going down this slide. It is about 15 or so feet up from the ground at the top!

The same park that has the slide (above) has quite a few fruit trees.

The "Kool-aid" stand.....a standard feature in our driveway each summer! I tried to talk her out of the $1 each price tag - she must have known what she was doing however, as she made $20 that day. It did help that the neighbor's had a bunch of guys over to work on a remodeling project!

One of my dreams realized......we finally got that big, four foot deep and twenty foot across above ground pool last year! I can't wait to put it up again this year - the first 80 degree day you will find me in the pool floating around on my air mattress!
That's it for today, hope you enjoyed my photo montage ~ I am so looking forward to summer!

Thank you for stopping by The Mix Gal! Comments validate my blogging efforts, so I would love to hear from you. Take care and Keep Life Simple by Mixing It UP!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Courtesy of PaperMatrix

Does anyone still celebrate May Day? I may be dating myself, but growing up I remember that we celebrated May day at school by making May Baskets and filling them with flowers to take home (usually for our Moms) and I also remember doing the May Pole Dance (we usually used a tether ball pole decorated with streamers). I don't think any of my kids have celebrated May Day in school -my oldest is 24 so the tradition went away quite a while ago! I thought I remembered that May Day was traditionally based upon a pagan celebration so I wonder if that has anything to do with why it is not celebrated in our local schools anymore. I did a Google Search to see if I could find more information on this celebration and this is what I found on Wikpedia:

Traditional May Day celebrations

May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations. As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and All Saint's Day. In the twentieth century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again.


The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on May 1st.
The Tip Junkie has a great post on making all different kinds of May Day Baskets - from simple to more involved. While searching for the woven paper baskets that I remember making I discovered a wonderful new blog - PaperMatrix! The paper crafts on her blog are simply beautiful and she gives us step by step instructions on how to create each one. There is also a section of printable paper dolls and clothes! I love tradition and I am disappointed that my kids are not bringing me home their decorated May Baskets - I think I just might have to start our own tradition and make May Baskets at home. Do you celebrate May Day and what do you do to celebrate?

Thank you for stopping by The Mix Gal! Comments validate my blogging efforts, so I would love to hear from you. Take care and Keep Life Simple by Mixing It UP!

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