Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In addition to visiting the Seven Wonders of the World and the Ten Most Beautiful Beaches, wouldn't it be nice to sit by the twenty coziest fireplaces?

Happy Birthday to meeeeee....

"You are not grown up until you run out of Birthdays!"

We had a lovely room over looking the lake. We relaxed in the spas. We dined.
Napped. Sat by the fire. I stitched. Kelly watched football. We took a walk in the woods. Held hands... Talked.

Thank you, Kelly. I had a wonderful time. I love you so much!


Sunday, November 16, 2008


This adorable Christmas teapot only cost me $12! Guess where I found it? No, not at the thrift store, the church bazaar or my neighbor's garage sale... I got it at THE HOSPITAL!!! I was visiting a sick relative and popped into the gift shop for a quick peek. It was just full of very pretty, inexpensive gifts. There were lovely starflake ornaments, snowman mugs, stuffed toys, fuzzy slippers, and well, just all kinds of neat things. And since most hospital (and nursing home) gift shops are staffed by volunteers, the prices are appreciably lower. If your gift budget is really tight, this might be a great shopping option for you. And lest I forget to mention it; you could pop into the hospital's cafeteria for a bite to eat while you're there. I know what you're thinking..."Hospital food...Yuck!" But it's really not too bad. I got an eggnote latte and a donut for only $3.50. This reminds me of years ago, when Grand-dad (Kelly's grandfather), used to pop by and invite us out for lunch. When we agreed, he'd say, "Meet me at the hospital." At first I thought we were going to meet there to carpool to some restaurant or maybe to visit a sick friend before we ate. Well it turns out that we were meeting there to eat in the cafeteria! Kelly and I used to chuckle about this; quipping that we were going to have the "Triple Bypass Special", or the "Kidney Failure Dessert". We never let Grand-dad know how odd we thought this was. The truth is, we really enjoyed these times with him, and now that he's gone; they have become part of the cherished collection of memories that we have of him. So here I am, advising you to shop and eat at the hospital. Well, laugh if you will, but give it a try! If your Grandfather is still around, take him along. You're bound to have a very pleasant afternoon, the kind memories are made of!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Having Everything but Money; or having Nothing Except Money

With all of the news of bank crashes, crazy oil prices and bailouts, I've been thinking much about the Great Depression. Mom and Dad used to tell me stories about what times were like back then. I wish they had written those stories down. Yesterday I stopped by the library and checked out several books on the subject. My favorite is titled, "When the Banks Closed, We Opened Our Hearts." The subtitle really says it all... 'More Heartfelt Memories of the Great Depression...from folks who recall the days when we had everything except money.' The book gives first - hand accounts of folks who lost everything. Many children had to be sent to orphanages because their parents couldn't afford to feed them; 'Okies' followed Route 66 to California after losing their homes and farms in the Dust Bowl. But this book is not depressing. It is inspiring. People helped each other. They took each other in and shared what they had. And they were grateful for what they had. If these resilient folks, as they put it, had everything except money, could this generation be labelled as those who have nothing but money? Maybe we're being given a golden opportunity right now, to take an inventory of the things we have that are not monetary. And if we are coming up short, it might be time to invest in the things that really matter.


Someone's in the Kitchen with Grandma...

Baking sugar cookies...We had a great time baking and icing our cookies. Auntie Linda stopped by and helped us eat the 'testers'. As she said, "If you don't test them, you'll never know if they're any good!" We tested quite a few.
Please forgive me for the constant tinkering with pictures and layout of my blog. This blogging thing is like an itch you can't scratch! I'm still not satisfied, but it's getting better. My latest photo is of me and my nephew (yes, nephew!) Duane, circa 1957. Note the old wooden sidewalks in the background. We lived in a 'company house'; provided by the Bloedel Donovan lumber mill where dad worked. This must be where I learned how to love old, simple things!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day Tribute

A heartfelt thank you to every Veteran who has proudly and honorably served this country and it's citizens. And a salute to my eldest brother, Raymond Miller, retired US Airforce and a decorated Veteran of the Vietnam War. And in memory of my brother Dallas Miller, also an Airforce Veteran, now stationed in Heaven. Many people talk about patriotism, but you live it.

Love you,


Sunday, November 9, 2008

There's nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby...

Rainy Saturday

Every Saturday morning Kelly and I amble up the road to Homestead Farms. If it's fairly decent weather we walk. If its pouring we drive. Homestead is a local farm-style golf club and resort about 1/2 mile from our house. They have scrumptious home-made berry scones and carrot muffins. Kelly always has a 16 ounce Tully's coffee. I sip on Chamomile tea. We sit by the fire and discuss our plans for the weekend. Sometimes we buy the Saturday Herald. He reads the sports-I check out the ads. I hope we continue this ritual well into our old age. So 20 years from now, if you happen to be visiting Homestead on a Saturday morning, look for us. We'll be the old couple, sitting by the fire.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Fire Within

Oh what a paradox--a Mystery revealed

That the Source of all my discontent

Is God.

And the End to all my discontent

Is God.

He builds an altar in my soul and kindles an holy fire;

Like Moses I turn aside to see the bush that burns

still unconsumed by flames

And there I find the Answer

to the Question I never asked.

D. Rorvig

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How About Them Apples?
My husband has been bringing home bags of windfall apples collected from a co-worker's apple orchard. I've been busy making pies and fresh applesauce, and of late, apple-oatbran muffins. As I peel these diminutive (this is a kind term) beauties, I have plenty of time to think back to earlier days in my life. Splendid, golden autumn days; crisp as the apples on the trees, and just as tangy sweet. Mom had been through the Great Depression, so we never wasted anything. And we knew how to can. Dad had planted a mammoth garden; at least it seemed that way to me, as the designated weeder and hoer. We had rows and rows of Blue Lake beans, Golden Jubilee Sweet corn, his favorite Beefstake tomatoes, and don't forget the spuds! I loved digging those spuds out of the ground. It was like searching for buried treasure. If I was really lucky I'd convince mom to take the small potatoes and make creamed potatoes, sweet peas and baby carrots for supper. The apples, however, grew next door in the Attolini's orchard. This orchard was my personal fast-food playground. The Atollini's didn't mind. I suppose that today if one was lucky enough to have an orchard, visions of lawsuits would dance in your head; should your little neighbor girl be seen swinging tenuously from the uppermost branches, straining to reach the most humongous apple she'd ever seen; which of course was always at the top of the tallest tree. Sometimes I fell, but usually not-and I am alive to tell the story! Ah, for simpler days! Forgive me the digression. The Attolini's were generous folks, and always offered us all of the apples that we could pick. So mom would send me over with several paper bags we'd saved from the Safeway store, and I would pick apples until my arms ached from reaching. Getting those bags home was no small task, for a bag full of apples is quite a load for a little girl. Invariably some fell out, and these became my juicy reward for all of my labor. It usually took me about 30 minutes and 4 eaten apples to finally drag my bags of apples into our kitchen. We'd dump them, bag by bag, into our old porcelain kitchen sink filled with water. Then we'd set our old gray-vinyl and aluminum kitchen chairs right next to the sink, along with two bowls- one to peel into and one to put the peeled apple slices into. Dad and I sat and peeled while mom cooked the applesauce. Dad used his favorite jack-knife, and I used the old wood handled paring knife. In case you wonder, yes, I did cut myself a few times; just part of the educational process-and I learned pretty fast! Finally, we poured the steaming applesauce into jars as mom carefully wiped each rim so the seal would not be broken. Into the waterbath they went. Then out. It was a suspenseful time as we waited for the 'POP, POP, POP' of the jar lids, indicating that the seal was good. The kitchen was a cinnamony steam bath by the time we were done. It's hard to remember, but I seem to recall that we usually canned 50 quarts or so. Enough to eat all winter long for lunch or supper, and plenty to share with friends and neighbors. If you were sick, or down on your luck, you could count on getting a few jars of our applesauce along with other tasty preserves from our garden. It's all we had to give. But it was always enough.
Apple Oat-Bran Muffins
(an adaptation of Gibb's Oat Bran Muffin recipe from "Simplify Your Life")
2 1/2 c. oat bran (not bran flakes)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp chopped nuts (your choice)
handful of raisins
1 1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 egg
about 1 cup of pared, slice, then grated apple
cinnamon to taste
Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend all other ingredients into a puree and add to the dry ingredients. Spray muffin tins with non-stick and fill with apple mixture.
Bake at 425 until top of muffins are brown, about 12-15 minutes. Eat fresh or freeze for later use.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Theme is Change

Today is the day after an historic election. Barack Obama will become our president in a few short months. He promises change. It was an emotionally moving sight to watch as he and his lovely family stood on the platform last night; so young, so exuberant, so full of hope for the future. President-elect Obama stands for so many things. He represents the end of centuries of struggle for African Americans. He represents the youth of our country. And his theme is Change. And though I didn't vote for him, I find myself hoping that he is able to bring about some of the changes he has promised. But I know deep inside that many of the things we seek will not, and cannot come from our government. What moves a person from a place of despair to hope; from hostility to peace; from self hatred to self esteem? Where does one find courage in the midst of the battle? Will policies cause me to love my neighbor as myself? No, for these things we must look beyond our government. We must lift up our eyes unto the hills from whence comes our help...our help comes from the Lord. I will honor my new President and I will pray often for him. And I will pray for change in myself, my country, and it's leaders.


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