I came up with several reasons to appreciate this Monday.

I want to extend a big thank you to Jennifer for this week’s Big Shot Award! I was honored to receive recognition from such a talented designer and generous friend.

We also celebrated a birthday over the weekend!

I keep finding more buds and blooms popping up in our gardens.

All the new crocuses I planted last fall are going crazy this spring. I love it when that happens!

It has been so fun watching everything turn green again. Look at all the potential in this cluster of tulips!

I am one lucky gal!


Underneath the ugliness,

there is always hope!

I was lucky enough to spend some time in our gardens today while it was sunny and in the 60s. Lookie the treasures I found underneath all that matted mess!

That’s the best part about Spring,

it always gives you signs of hope, signs that all your hard work is going to pay off.

Fall Duties

CORRECTION: I forgot to include the 3/4 cup brown sugar in the recipe I posted below! (Thanks Amy!) I’m so sorry about that! I hope I didn’t mess up anyone’s baking adventures.

We spent a lot of time this weekend working on many Fall duties, especially yard work. We are usually so enthusiastic in Spring to get out into the yard and plant new things and tend to the gardens. But now it’s just tiring and not as much fun anymore!

We had to stop at the garden center to pick up some bulbs and fertilizer for the lawn.

pumpkin display2

They had the coolest pumpkin displays set up next to their entry way.

pumpkin displayI bought a few more tulip and crocus bulbs to plant around our new trees. Then we spent a lot of time raking, mowing, and cutting down the dead foliage.

crocus bulbsBecause of all that yard work, we didn’t have the energy or time to go on our usual Sunday hike. I didn’t do a lot of sewing either, but I had time to make a batch of Apple Spice Cookies, which taste even better than plain old oatmeal cookies. My husband doesn’t like fruit so I didn’t tell him they have chopped up apples in them. He didn’t notice and he loves them. Ha!

Apple Spice CookiesIf you’re interested in trying these cookies, here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 small apples, peeled and chopped (2 cups) (I used Macintosh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, shortening and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Beat in oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and flour, scraping side and bottom of bowl until blended. Stir in apples.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon-fulls about 2-inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are set. Cool 2 minutes on pan.

Drizzle with vanilla glaze… and enjoy!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice weekend too! I’m off to get some rest before Monday gets here.

Gardening with Chipmunks

It’s hard to keep some of our bulbs right where we planted them. Those cute but pesky little chipmunks love crocus bulbs. We planted over 20 of them a couple years ago, and one day I watched a chipmunk carry them away. (wish I had a picture of him with a bulb stuffed in his mouth)

Tamias rufus

Now I’m finding crocuses blooming in places I didn’t plant them. I’m not complaining. I’m just surprised to find a few left.

Next fall, we will have to plant more bulbs all over the yard to keep those chipmunks on their toes.

Luckily, the chipmunks and rabbits don’t bother these spring flowers.

I have no idea what these dainty white flowers are or where they came from, but they are cute. Anyone know what they are?

I sure wish I could let her out to help me keep up with those cute garden pests.