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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More from the Schoolhouse

Yesterday I went to visit another school. I had a substitute teacher for the day. 'Danny', one of my special students gets very annoyed when I am gone. He doesn't deal with change very well. This morning when I returned to class, I asked him, "Danny, were you respectful to my substitute teacher?" He replied, "I really tried to be, but she didn't know what she was doing! I tried so many times to tell her what we do around here, but she kept saying 'I don't understand you.' It was really frustrating for me to keep repeating myself over and over. But in the end, I think she may have learned something from me."

I was both amused and taken with his words. After all, don't we all have something to learn from everyone we meet?

Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment. Another opportunity for Danny to 'teach' my substitute a lesson. God bless her!

"My heart is singing for joy this morning! A miracle has happened! The light of understanding has shone upon my little pupil's mind, and behold, all things are changed! "
Anne Sullivan
(Helen Keller's teacher)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Mother cutting child's hair (from unpublished photo essay re A Town at War).
Date taken:1945
Photographer:Alfred Eisenstaedt
Today at school, little Vanessa, one of my kindergarten students cut her hair. We were supposed to be cutting out the letter "O", but when I looked across the table, Vanessa was guiltily twirling a few locks of her golden brown hair between her fingers. She knew she was busted. She'd done it before. "I couldn't see what I was doing!" she protested. So I decided to tell the four children at our table about the time that I cut my own hair. I described in great detail how I tried to cut my bangs, but they weren't straight. So I kept cutting and cutting and cutting...until finally my beautiful hair was ruined. It was so bad that my friends made fun of me and I had to wear a hat so people wouldn't notice it.

Andy, a little boy at our table was listening intently. When I finished my story Andy immediately raised his hand. "Yes, Andy?" I responded. His eyes were fixed upon my hair. "Did that happen to you today?" he asked incredulously.
What I neglected to tell you until now is that last Saturday I got my hair cut. I thought it was a bit too short. Andy has confirmed this for me. All of my adult friends said it was 'cute'. They aren't as honest as Andy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

From "Lists to Live By"

This is a nice little book I picked up at my local library. It's inspirational and very easy to read. Here's a sample...


  • Don' t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for. I'm testing you.
  • Don't be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it; it makes me feel more secure.
  • Don't let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
  • Don't make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly big.
  • Don't correct me in front of people if you can help it. I'll take much more notice if you talk quitely with me in private.
  • Don't protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
  • Don't be too upset when I say I hate you. It isn't you I hate, but your power to thwart me.
  • Don't take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need.
  • Don't nag. If you do I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
  • Don't make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.
  • Don't forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. That is why I am not always very accurate.
  • Don't be inconsistant. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
  • Don't tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.
  • Don't put me off when I ask questions. If you do you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.
  • Don't ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover you are neither.
  • Don't ever think it's beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm toward you.
  • Don't forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please try.
  • Don't forget I need lots of understanding and love.

From: "Lists to Live By, the First Collection"

Don't you agree that this is good advice for any relationship?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More on Margin

If you haven't read my last post, you'll wonder what 'margin' is. When typing, margin is that part of the page that is not written upon. The margins keep the paper neat and legible. They are defined boundaries. We all need margins in our lives. It keeps us in order, uncluttered and helps others 'read' us. Along with planning leftovers, another margin I have set in my life has to do with driving. I have purposed to drive the speed limit. Not 5 mph over, nor merely when their are state troopers around; but all of the time. Not long ago we had a tragic accident in our town. A woman was taking her children to school in their mini-van. Everyone was buckled up and she was travelling the speed limit. She hit some frost on a bridge and lost control. Her van slid sideways and was hit by an oncoming truck. Sadly, her little girl was killed in that accident. It was no one's fault. Just an awful, terrible event. But it started me thinking about my driving. What if I had been the one coming over the bridge that morning? What if my car had hit hers? How often have I sped over that very bridge, frantically rushing to some appointment or destination?
Then I started looking at how the Bible tells us to obey every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. (I Peter 2:13) I had an AHA MOMENT. Even though the tragedy I described to you was not due to speeding; how many accidents are? What if 20%, 40, or 50% of the accidents on our roads occur because someone is speeding? And if the Bible tells us to obey the law, how can we Christians reasonably ask God for divine protection while breaking the law? Is there a possibility that we could avoid being in an accident, or prevent causing an accident if we are obedient to what the Word says? I don't know for sure, but I suspect so. In any case, I've discovered several instant benefits that come from my new more leisurely mode of travel...

No Tickets
No Looking Over Your Shoulder For Red Lights
No Being Ticked Off At The Guy Ahead Of You (You are that guy!)
The Ability To Enjoy Your Drive (The scenery isn't flying by)
It Forces You To Leave Earlier In Order To Arrive On Time

In short, most of the stress of driving melts away when you've determined not to speed! Who knew!!! So friends, if you get behind my little green Honda on the way to work, just wave as you pass me by...I'm not going any faster any more.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


One of the most stressful times of my week is Monday, around 5 pm after I get home from work. This is when I stand in my kitchen looking around helplessly as I try to figure out what to cook for dinner. I go grocery shopping every weekend, but at that moment, it feels like there is nothing worth cooking and I am most tempted to go out for dinner. Well, in order to save myself the hassle of cooking after a long Monday; and to save my pocketbook (and waistline) the cost of eating out; I've resolved to cook something on the weekend that can be easily reheated on Monday. Last weekend I threw a pot roast into the crockpot with some veggies. I just had to add a salad and we were good to go for Monday (not to mention sandwiches for a few days.) This was a special treat, because as a rule, Kelly and I don't eat red meat. So this weekend I cooked an 18 lb turkey. We invited some family members over for a Saturday night meal and had a wonderful time! Today we had leftover turkey, potatoes, and stuffing; tomorrow we'll have turkey dips and salad for dinner. You know, in one of my favorite books, "The Seven Pillars of Health", Dr. Don Colbert identifies stress as a major contributor to disease and stress in our modern world. He talks about giving ourselves some margin.
Margin is simply adding some room to the edges of our life. It might be leaving for work earlier; taking time for a leisurely walk, or having a heart to heart talk with your children or spouse; or, in my case, cooking enough today so that I don't have to cook tomorrow. I challenge you today, to start identifying stressors in your life, and find ways to build in a 'margin.' And if you have some great recipes for planned-overs, (especially vegetarian or fish and chicken based) let me know! Wow; this was a great weekend; and I think I'm going to enjoy Monday too!


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