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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Dreaming When You're Awake

Good Morning! It is the very last day of 2010! It's a chilly December morning here in Lynden. When I took Koda out at 6:30 am for her morning constitution, the ground was frosty and hard. It was dark and still, and the moon shining on the frosty ground made it look like diamonds were scattered about the grass. When we came back inside, I left my cozy woolen socks on, jumped back into bed and tucked the quilt up under my chin. But try as I might, I couldn't go back to sleep. I am just so excited about the New Year! I lay in bed dreaming about how I might accomplish some of the goals I've set for myself. Isn't it lovely to dream when you're awake? As children, I think it's quite common. But as we grow older;  we often stifle those outlandish thoughts and dreams, so as not to become disappointed if they don't happen. What a pity. For certainly they will not happen if we dare not to dream. So I allowed myself to think lavish thoughts. Then it dawned upon me that it's not so much the dream that we seek; but the feelings or experiences we associate with the dream.
This got me so excited that I jumped out of bed; fixed myself some oatmeal and toast; and here I am at my computer; talking to you! What I mean to say is this...One of the things I've written on my bucket list is to own a little cottage on the beach. But to be absolutely specific; I'm not actually yearning to save up hundreds of thousands of dollars so that I might sign a paper stating that I own said cottage on the beach. What I want is to reside in a cottage on the beach. To wake up smelling the ocean; and to hear the sound of the wind and waves and seagulls. I want to take morning walks in the sand with Kelly and Koda, while searching for agates and shells. I'd like to sit on a piece of driftwood with nothing to do for hours but look at the horizon and think. Perhaps I'd take some photographs or do sketches in muted greens and greys of grass and sea and sky. And I wouldn't worry about my hair. Not one day would I fight with my curly locks. I'd let them go as wild as the sea...yes I would! My  faded jeans would always be rolled up haphazardly and my tennis shoes would be dirty and full of sand, and I wouldn't care a bit! Make up? Forget it. My skin would become even more ruddy and freckled from wind and sun and age...ah well, isn't there something to be said for character in one's face? But here's the best part about it all...it's do-able! While I work and save toward the actual purchase of a cottage; I can still experience all of the components (the feelings and emotions) of it. I can rent a place on the beach during breaks from school. We are blessed to live near scores of lovely beaches that are not a long commute from our workplaces. We could stay for a week or two; even a month or more if we wanted to. If that's not an option, I can drive for 30 minutes to any number of beaches; pack a lunch, just grab the dog and my camera or sketchbook...the dirty dishes will wait...after all, how can you weigh doing dishes against living your dreams?
What are YOU dreaming about when you're awake?

Where are my dirty tennis shoes? I'm gonna need 'em.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Making 2011 the Year of the Butterfly

Someone once said, "If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies!" Here are seven simple changes that will help you break out of that cocoon and float like a butterfly in 2011.
  1. Go meatless at least once a week.
  2. If your staff lunchroom is a haven for donuts, cookies and other tempting goodies; stay outta there!
  3. Drink water instead of soda. Besides reducing your caloric intake, you'll be amazed at how much money you'll save in restaurants when you make this change.
  4. Learn 3 or 4 healthy recipes that you and your family really like. Most people cook the same things over and over; so if you can incorporate 3 healthy recipes into your diet, it will translate into thousands of reduced calories and fat over the coming year.
  5. Forget the fries. If you must eat at a fast food restaurant; resist ordering the fries. They're the worst.
  6. Split meals in restaurants. If no one wants to split with you; ask for a doggie bag to come with your meal. Then scoop half of it into the container immediately. If you wait until the end of the meal, if you're like me; you won't have anything left to take home!
  7. Go outside and play. Good for the kids-good for you too!
Do you have any tips that might help us break out of our cocoons in 2011?

(Painting is called "The Butterfly  Painting" by Johann Georg Meyer Von Bremen  1813-1886)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My 'Bucket List'

I have been spending the past few days reflecting upon things I want to change in my life. Some are little, some are big. Chris Guillebeau's wonderful book " The Art of Non-Conformity" is inspiring me to not only make New Year's Resolutions; but to make New Life Resolutions. In the book he describes making a life plan as similar to planning a wedding; but adds that it is better to plan for a big, meaningful life than a big wedding! Part of the process involves writing down what a perfect day would be like; start to finish, and then begin to arrange your days so that your 'perfect day' elements are included. Another exercise is to create a life list of goals you wish to accomplish before you die. Some call this a 'bucket list.' I am still working on my life list; but here are some of the things I've come up with so far...

  • Make my yard beautiful
  • Lose those extra pounds and be healthy
  • Try cross-country skiing in Eastern Washington
  • Learn verbrato on my violin
  • Dress with flair
  • Be more active in my church
  • Write and publish book(s)
  • Memorize the book of Hebrews
  • Travel to Scotland, Holland, UK, South of France, Italy, Cape Breton, Turks & Caicos, the Deep South, Rio de Janiero, Texas, New York, Africa
  • Swim in the Sea of Cortez
  • Sleep under the stars in the desert and hear a coyote howl
  • Find the perfect haircut
  • Look up old friends and make new ones
  • Own a little cottage on a beach
  • Inspire my grandchildren
  • Stop hurrying
  • Stop being afraid of things, people, and confrontation-say what I think
  • Live the Word
  • Teach
  • Remodel the kitchen and bathroom
  • Be myself

This list is growing; and I've withheld some of my most personal items on it. It is already making a difference in my life. Though it's chilly out today; I went for 2 walks with the dog (healthy goal), and spent an hour in the garden pulling dead weeds and clearing winter debri (gardening goal).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giethoorn Village Without Streets

Someday I will visit this town. It speaks to my heart.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Apple Pork Chops

We rarely eat pork and beef anymore at the Rorvig household. It's not that we don't like meat; it's just that we want to keep those nasty numbers down; you know; the ones called calories and cholesterol. However, once in a while it's such a treat to have an old fashioned comfort-food dinner. I made this a great recipe for pork chops I found on http://www.allrecipes.com/  for supper today. It's easy, fairly healthy, and very tasty! I served it with mashed potatoes and a green salad; but I think it would be scrumptious with some cooked cabbage!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 (1/2-inch thick) pork chops

1/2 teaspoon salt

ground black pepper to taste

2 apples - peeled, cored and sliced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup hot water


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2.Heat oil in large skillet. Saute onion in oil for 1 minute, or until tender. Remove onion and set aside. Brown pork chops on both sides in oil.

3.Place chops in an 8x12 inch baking dish and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cover the chops with the apples and cooked onion.

4.In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard, cloves and water. Pour over chops. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 233
Total Fat: 11.4g
Cholesterol: 36mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just Silly

I think my new dog has made a fool out of me; kinda like those new grandparents with a slew of baby pics-but what the heck!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

And the Light Shineth in Darkness

My friend Sharon redecorated her dining room last spring and generously gave me her old chandelier. I love chandeliers with lampshades, and have been waiting for months to decorate it for Christmas. As noted previously, we are not going all out on decorations this year in consideration of our new pup Koda-don't want her eating the ornaments! So I used fake greenery and berries with a bit of my favorite red and green tartan ribbon. It's very cheery and festive.

Looking at the pictures of my light reminded me of the Light of the World. John 1:5 says that ...the Light shineth in darkness ; and the darkness comprehended it not. My great friend and Bible scholar, the late Dr. Bert Dearden, used to tell me that the word 'comprehended' in this text would be better translated as over-powered. I love that. Jesus still shines in the darkness; and no matter how dark things appear; they can never overpower His light. So if, for any reason, you are facing dark times during this holiday season; take heart; the Light of Christ is far more powerful than your dark circumstances. Look to Him today; and find light for your life!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Little Touches of the Season

My Christmas decorating will be a little subdued this year with the addition of puppy Koda to our pack. She has already confused balls of knitting yarn with her tennis ball-so I'm not going to tempt her with a tree laden with glass ball-shaped ornaments. This Christmas in the Rorvig household will probably be about small touches- little vignettes, carefully placed where playful paws can't get to them. These sweet vintage mugs were the first to come out. I imagine the couple on the mug as happy Christmas shoppers-he's offering to carry her packages. May your shopping be as festive and delightful.

And remember:

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. ~Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur


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