Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Kindness Box

My fav outdoor Christmas decorations - Reason for the Season

Yesterday my almost 9 yoa grand-angel Miss M pondered what to give Santa for a present. And here is what I had told her, I said the absolute best present you can give Ole St. Nick is a year’s worth of kindness. More on that in a bit ….

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas Letter 2019




Dear Friends,

As I write a Christmas/New Year letter, it’s been a good year.  As I look out the window, it is snowing…..finally.  With that coat of fluffy white stuff, it just makes this girl’s world a bit more magical.  

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Molasses Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls


 

My Christmas decorating came to a sudden halt this afternoon after I took a short break and saw this recipe posted by an FB friend and author, Eliza Cross. The recipe was posted on Eliza's FB page and after looking at it, I literally dropped everything I was doing and made them.(Printable Recipe on OMG page)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Happy Times Past and Present


I just love this picture as Rod was dragging home a perfect tree

Hello friends,

The urge to write overpowered my desire to finish up decorating the house for Christmas.  I chalk it up to long ago happy memories that swirl around my brain as I acknowledged the passing of my beloved step dad on this day eight years ago. He may be gone, but the heart never forgets.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Fall + Baking + Gluten/Dairy Free - Yummm



Cranberry pumpkin chocolate cake

Fall baking, it just can’t get any better and it’s  been a baking marathon for me.  For those who have allergies yet want to enjoy some delicious treats for Thanksgiving, I wanted to share some wonderful items for those who have food allergies.  

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Cozy Sunday



There is something incredibly cozy on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon where the kitchen beckons to whip up something.  My plan was to hang home and start decorating for Christmas, but when you get a message that your daughter and kiddos miss you, well…… it spurs you to finish up in the kitchen and go hug on those grand-angels and their momma.
So from this gal’s kitchen, I wanted to share a quick update on some recipes. First I wanted to try a new recipe - Pickled Cranberries” and an old  recipe for the best Snack Mix ever. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November Thoughts, Grateful



Oh November, just the mention of the month and my mind registers on one word…. grateful.  It’s a beautiful concept and of course, I am thankful for the good in my life, but the weird thing is I am more grateful for all the hard lessons and dissatisfaction of situations that forced me out of my comfort zone and to have to take action.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Honoring the Past Helps with Living in the Present



Early morning sky.  Just like life's journey, after the darkness there will be light
It’s weird how the body remembers trauma.  Our mind may forget or our memory may slightly become blurry in time, but the body remembers.  This week has been more mentally and physically fatiguing than normal.  I was wondering why as the workday chaos wasn’t really anything out of the norm.  I was tired, but weirdly I wasn’t sleeping as well as I could.  My house was quiet and there were no distractions of grand-angels hanging out. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Family+Love=Summer Sweetness


A couple nights ago, I BLISSFULLY ENJOYED DINNER OUTSIDE and soaked up the warmth of the fading sun.   I checked my urge to work at my front door and let myself  keep the mindset of being on vacation mode after having just gotten back from the coast. After the sun set, and darkness forced me into the house, the scent of ripe peaches that I had picked the day before spurred me into action to do something with them and pronto! So I made my first batch of peach-butter, canned peaches and made two peach pies.  Yummm.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Two Crazy Peas in a Pod




A beautiful reminder from our Creator to take in the beauty of the world

Yesterday as I passed a colleague in the hallway at work, I casually asked if he was enjoying his summer, and his quick reply as he hurried along was, “nope, too much to do here”.  It made me sad and I can identify with him on some level. Life is busy with all sorts of things to catch our time - family, career, household/outdoor tasks and somewhere friends and fun hopefully fit into those few gaps in our lives.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Idaho+Montana Family=A Good Crazy Time


Remember when your kiddos were two years old and if they were quiet that you knew they were probably getting into something or up to a bit of mischief?  Well it dawned on me that in my self-imposed vacation from social media  and blogging these last 3 weeks, that a lot of times when I’m quiet…. It means I’ve been up to something.  Lol 

Over the July 4th holiday, a few of us Idaho relatives invaded  the Montana relatives to enjoy our nation’s birthday camping at the family property under the big skies of my home state.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Grumpy Start to a Splendid Adventure




I have a confession… I sometimes get grumpy when life doesn’t go as I planned it in my mind.  But I’ve been really working hard at what I preach….. living life and enjoying those small moments and impromptu  changes.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Prescription from the Universe - Self-care, Soul-Keeping & Sun

A fav place to enjoy morning, coffee and devotionals


Self-care, Soul Keeping and Sun. The Universe does a good job of nudging me…. And I”ll explain in a bit.

As I drove home after work yesterday, I was looking forward to changing from the office Gayle persona to the farm-gal Gayle and play in the dirt in complete and absolute solitude. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Seth and Maddie's Wedding - Life Lessons

Seth and Maddie's Wedding
The groom's side - LtoR, Brandon+Sarah, Bridgette+Bill, my brother Doug + Edie, Seth+Maddie, Kyle+Kayla. A beautiful crew I must say!

At a family wedding last week-end two very important life lessons were once again and wonderfully demonstrated.  The first one was sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, to have faith that it will work out in the end.  The second was try to live your life through the eyes of a child – embrace fun!

Last Saturday, it was a beautiful warm day and the forecast was perfect – balmy 70’s and no rain forecast.  A postcard event awaiting!    I texted my sister-in-law the same thoughts, saying so glad the weather had gotten the crazy rain storm out of the way on Thursday and Saturday looks like a gorgeous day for a wedding!  And as the four o’clock hour drew near, the guests were seated for the outdoor wedding ceremony amidst the backdrop of a beautiful barn in the countryside.  And within minutes the clouds rolled in, thunder exploded and huge raindrops started falling.  Everyone ran inside the barn, then in true celebration of the moment, we enjoyed an impromptu cocktail hour as we listened to the roar of the rainstorm which had then turned into a semi flash flood.  Ugh. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

3 Day Week-end+rain=R&R

Greetings friends,

I don’t know about you, but I love a shortened work week, there is just something about the extra day off. Of course I’m extremely grateful to all who have and continue to serve to protect us ( and I fell short of taking some home baked goodies to my fav local law enforcement….but I’ll remedy that shortly!)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Another Day In Paradise



Just another day in paradise! (really it's me after a long day of playing in the dirt)
Happy Sunday!

A colleague and I had dinner the other night to catch up  and we had both promised each other the first nice day we had, we’d go celebrate and grab a beer after work.  Ha! Whatever were we thinking? Several of many first nice days came and went and she, like me lives alone on several acres, works full time and well…… when you live in the country, there is always a long list of tasks waiting.  I didn’t need to apologize for not making good on the sunny afternoon lounging over an adult cocktail, as she had the exact same mind set as me.  

Friday, May 10, 2019

Women - the 8th Wonder of the World!



Me in my in my imperfectly perfect place



A few years back, a group of us farm-wives were chatting about our lives and the ever-growing demands on our time, referring to family, jobs outside the home as well as the full time job of in the home and around the farm.  And I’ll never forget the comment one friend said, “I need a wife!!”  Meaning, she wanted a person who would be the behind the scenes fixer, the person who shopped, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, ran errands, and took care of all the details large and small to make life run smoothly.  Basically, to me, it sounded a lot like a personal servant. And I have to tell you it sounded absolutely divine.  The moment she uttered those words, we all stopped talking, looked at her in awe and agreed, we all needed wives!  

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A God Kiss




Hello dear friends,

If you have been or are still a follower of the blog, you have noted that it is sadly lacking in current content, mostly a hit or miss event. And I deeply apologize and will strive to do better. And while I have all sorts of words that have been wanting to get said, I’ve been floundering….. big time.  And I miss you and I miss writing regularly.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Gratitude Meter






Oh my gosh…. It’s Sunday evening and the end to a quiet week-end.  I was going to turn on the news ….. and thought yuck!!!  I didn’t want to see or hear about any of the negativity that would be reported on.  So instead I propped my feet up by the fire, poured myself an adult beverage, put on a play list of music, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Adele…. blissful!  And decided to write to you instead.

Food, friends and gathering around the table

With the beginning of the New Year I’ve been mindful to take ( and make) the time to spend quality time with family and friends.  Here’s a quick overview, Thursday evening a gathering occurred that was a reunion of work pals and their spouses.  We were a band of very different kinds of people who were either hired (my case) or elected to Executive Officer positions (my guests) and through the good and sometimes not-so-good times at work, we forged a genuine affection for one another.  And after a few years apart, the idea had been put out by a fellow colleague to have  a “reunion” and he suggested going to a restaurant.  While I do love going out to dinner, this event just begged for a quieter setting. And with that,  I suggested that I host a dinner to encourage lingering at the dinner table where we could  enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed fashion.  The other’s eagerly adopted the idea and an impromptu dinner party came together.  It was glorious…I have to admit.  I have some very basics on food that I can fall back on and the menu consisted of Dijon Pork Lion,  Gourmet Mac n’ Cheese,  Apple-cider cranberry sauce, and the guests brought a salad, bread, dessert and wine.  We gathered, shared stories, poked fun at each other and laughed a lot.  It was a beautiful evening.  As everyone was leaving, one said, let’s do this more often…..  it seems as a whole, that we fail to set aside time to celebrate friendships forged by shared experiences.  Alas… another resolution for me!

On Friday, I took the leftovers and shared them with my mom, we played Scrabble and I got beat by my 82 year old mom…..she gloated over the winning.   Lol

Saturday I baked and baked.  I called my daughter Jen and asked if she could take a few photos of me to help submit to a magazine I’m trying out for.  After the quick photo session,  a heart-to-heart chat over coffee with my beautiful girl.  Mom and daughter time is always a blessing.
Chocolate Shortbread, Espresso Chocolate Cake,  Nutella Bread,  Cinnamon roll bread (a few successes, a couple of need to work on the recipes)

My other fav place to write when I'm not parked by the fire
This morning on my way to visiting a new church,  I dropped the yummies off to the Sheriff’s office (they were excited). It’s my way to show my appreciation for their dedication and something that I’ve been doing for several years now. Truth be told, I’m not sure who gets more excited, me getting to bring “baked with love” yummes to them, or them when they see my arms laden with baked goods.

And after church, a cup of tea with some dear friends.  Then a nice phone chat with my sweet man.  Can it get any better….?

And I have to tell you, that connecting with friends and family keeps my “Gratitude Meter” fully charged. The beauty of taking the time to spend with those you care about are the kinds of memories that warms this girl’s heart on a cold winter day.  

I hope your first week-end of the New Year was meaningful and that your Gratitude Meter is fully charged as we begin the new year.

All my best, Gayle

P.S. I’ll be getting the recipes up on the website soon – Good Farm Food ( the Espresso Chocolate cake is already on the Cake of the Month page.)
                                                                                        

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Unexpected Lovely Start to 2019

Some serious bliss and indulgence

Greetings and blessings to you on the first day of 2019

Sometimes unexpected quiet days are truly a treasure to cherish and indulge.  For some reason the unplanned day to spend in pj's by the fire just evolved and it feels like a guilty pleasure of pure bliss.  The snow-covered ground with its bone chilling temperatures make me feel grateful to be able to snuggle in the warmth of the sunroom and fireplace.