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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

If You Have Eaten...You Should Wash Your Bowl

There is a Zen story that goes something like this...
A young monk had just entered the monastery and went to Joshu saying "Please teach me."

The old man asks, "Have you eaten your rice porridge?"


"Then you should wash your bowl."

It is said that at that moment the young monk received enlightenment.

I don't know if I can claim 'enlightenment' from these simple words, but I've been thinking about this story a lot. And it's changing my perspective.

I  must admit, I leave trails; just like those speckled slugs in the back yard that leave that glistening, gooey, slimy path as they crawl along. Now I'm not filthy, mind you... I just get interested in things...then disinterested. Or distracted. Or busy. So there are stacks of books and magazines on the coffee table, right next to the knitting project and the camera and the laptop and my Nook. (Truthfully, the books are EVERYWHERE.)  My dresser collects post-it notes from work, scarves and earrings, last month's bank statement, and photographs I need to put into albums.

But life happens and the photographs gather dust and the post-it notes become meaningless and the checkbook goes unbalanced. The books are half-read and when I pick up the knitting it takes a while to remember what pattern I am doing. And somehow the colors of the yarn aren't as pretty as I thought they were when I started the project last month.

Lately I'm making an effort to 'wash my bowl.' To stay in the moment instead of rushing from one thing to the next. To honor and appreciate what I have and where I am--right this very minute.

I've started to hang up my coat right when I get home; instead of tossing it on a chair. Started being grateful that I have a coat... thinking about the person who made it. I guess it was probably someone in China or maybe India. Who took the time to carefully piece and sew the seams and zipper? How much did they earn? I'd like to thank them for doing a good job; for the soft, plaid flannel lining and the snug hood. Since I can't say thank-you directly, I honor their work by hanging the coat up...carefully.


When I leave for work these days, I make it a point to fold the afghans on the sofa and chair, instead of leaving them in a heap. It only takes a minute. But it's satisfying.

There are lots of things like that...closing doors and turning out lights. Putting the blow-dryer back under the cabinet. Taking the pennies I found in the laundry and putting them into hubby's coin jar.
Happy I'm not scraping pennies together to pay for gas or groceries. (I once did, you know.)

I used to just clean my house.

Now I am learning that if I have eaten,

 I should wash my bowl.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things I Could Have Said Today

I've been riffling through musty pages of things I've written in the past. I can't find the autumn poem I wanted to post today...but I did find this short piece that I probably wrote after feeling that I had failed to be the person that I wanted to be that day. I think we all can relate.

Things I Could Have Said Today

I love you.
I am sorry.
You were right.
I was wrong.
Lord, please forgive me.
Lord, please help me.
Can I help you?
Good job!
I will pray for you.
You can do it.
I can do it.
God is able.
I will try.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Robbie Seay Band ·New Day

Things not going so well? This link is for you. Turn up your speakers and listen. And remember, tomorrow is a new day and everything's gonna be OKAY!
PS...if the sound isn't working right, go to the bottom tool bar on the link and click the number 360p and change it to 240p. That should fix it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Thank-you, A Halloween Song, and a Hopeful Heart

I've been saving this picture from the Lynden Fair to share with you this month. I know Halloween isn't for a 10 days, but the kids at school are really getting excited, and their enthusiasm is contagious! Now I'm not the biggest fan of witches and goblins, but I've gotta say; this handmade rug is pretty darn cute. It would be so darling on the porch next to the pumpkins and cornstalks! It reminds me of a song we used to sing in elementary school: 

One little, two little, three little witches,
Fly over haystacks, fly over ditches,
Slide down moon beams without any hitches,
Hey ho Hallowe'en's here!

Horned owl's hooting, it's time to go riding,
Deep in the shadows are black cats hiding,
With gay little goblins, sliding, gliding,
Hey ho Hallowe'en's here!

Stand on your head with a lopsided wiggle,
Tickle your little black cats till they giggle,
Swish through clouds with a higgedy, piggle,
Hey ho Hallowe'en's here!

Thanks to you all for your kind thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement over the past couple of weeks. I felt your prayers, truly! We've moved from tears to sighs over our Koda, and can now laugh about her antics and the fun times we've had. My wound is healing.

I'm about halfway through knitting my 'doggin hat'; the new one I'm making - hoping and believing that I'll be wearing it with a new canine companion. Today a co-worker told me she needs to give her 9-month-old purebred black lab away. She hasn't the time to really take care of him. So we are going over on Sunday for a visit to meet him. Kind of a blind date. Maybe this is the one for us.

In the meantime, please send up some prayers for Koda. The lady who now has her can only keep her for a limited time. She's looking for a nice big farm with pastures to run in-where Koda will never again be chained, or even on a leash. It has to be that way for my girl. She won't survive in any other setting. So please join me in praying that she'll find just the right place. I think God cares about these things, don't you?

Hope you have a beautiful autumn weekend!

From Peanuts...The Great Pumpkin

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sheltered Safe Within the Arms of God

This morning as I woke up this song was running through my heart. It's a song we used to sing way back when, at the little Assembly of God I first learned about Jesus, some 30 years ago. As the lyrics went through my mind, I could feel His presence. I'm so glad that we don't go through the hard times alone.

I feel the touch of hands so kind and tender.

They're leading me in the paths that I must trod.

I'll have no fear for Jesus walks beside me

For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.

So let the storms rage high,

The dark clouds rise,

They won't worry me;

For I'm sheltered safe within the arms of God.

He walks with me,

And naught of earth shall harm me,

For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.

Soon I shall hear the call from heaven's portals. Come home my child,

It's the last mile you must trod

I'll fall asleep

And wake in God's new heaven

For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.

So let the storms rage high,

The dark clouds rise,

They won't worry me;

For I'm sheltered safe within the arms of God.

He walks with me,

And naught of earth shall harm me,

For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

To Everything There Is A Season


We had our first frost the other night. Time to pick the rest of the tomatoes and bring them inside to ripen. Time for sipping tea and knitting hats, wearing warm, fuzzy socks and wrapping up on the sofa in a flannel quilt with a good book.

To everything there is a season,

a time for every purpose under the sun.

A time to be born and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance ...

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to lose and a time to seek;

a time to rend and a time to sew;

a time to keep silent and a time to speak;

a time to love and a time to hate;

a time for war and a time for peace.

ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Significance of A Lost Hat

Something happened last weekend on our trip to Fort Ebey. At the time it seemed fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but now it has taken on great meaning to me. I lost my stocking cap. My favorite hand-knitted, Red-Heart, wheat-colored, with little flecks of blue and red and yellow hat. I must have dropped it along the trails as we hiked down to the beach. It was very hot that day and I was sweating. I took off my jacket and wrapped it about my waist and tucked the cap into a pocket. It was only when we returned to camp that I noticed it was missing. But I was far to weary to retrace our steps that day. The next day I took a shortcut down to the beach and searched high and low among the driftwood and kelp. But it wasn't there. It was probably somewhere along the grassy bluff, or maybe a gust of wind had blown it into the water. I hated to leave without it, but it was time to go.

You see, this hat was my 'doggin' hat. The one I alway wore when out with Koda in cool weather. I thought it's nubby texture and wheat colors matched her beautiful golden coat and her rugged beauty. I know you might think me silly to have coordinated my hat to my dog, but it somehow made me feel cozy inside and well-just happy. We were a pair, she and I, and it felt good to look the part.

After my sad parting with Koda this week, I'm glad I left the hat back there. Right in the place where my friend and I had last walked happily together. This is the place I'll choose to leave my memories of her. Where shocks of golden grasses wave to the sun and where the ocean touches the horizon. That hat, somewhere along the trail, will be my tribute to my dear, dear canine friend.

And today, after having taken the past few days to grieve, I've decided to pick up my knitting needles and to make a new hat. I'll pick rich, happy colors as a symbol of good days to come, and of the time that once again, with a new canine companion I'll don my hiking boots and hat to walk the forest trails and the rugged Northwest beaches. Yes, I am still very sad. Yet I know that 'weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.' So I'll take my time to knit that hat, knowing that as meticulously as I weave the yarn together into a beautiful and useful garment, so my Father is taking up the threads of my life and  binding up my ravelled heart-carefully  fashioning a life of beauty and meaning in me.

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.  It means more than you can imagine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Happened

If you follow this blog at all, you'll know how much in love I am with my dog, Koda. We adopted Koda a year ago from a farm. There are many reasons too numerous to explain about why she couldn't stay on the farm. None of those reasons had to do with her temperment or character. So when we got Koda, we noticed a few things about her. First is her intelligence. We've been challenged to keep ahead of this girl! We enlisted the help of a trainer; not just any trainer but one who works with search and rescue dogs and bomb sniffing dogs. She says Koda's smart enough to do these jobs. But Koda has one piece of baggage; leash agression. Leash agression is a behavior that certain dogs adopt because for whatever the reason, they feel insecure when they are on a leash. It usually stems from past abuse or being chained up for long periods (which by the way, IS abuse.) Anyway, Koda knows  over 30 different commands, is loving and beautiful, and has brought my husband and I through some very difficult personal circumstances over the past year. She's been a Godsend to us, and really an angel. I love her as I would love my children. But she has been difficult to walk, because of the leash agression. Every time she sees another animal coming her way, she panics. She lunges, growls, barks, and really, just loses it. We have spent countless hours with our trainer trying to find ways to help her past her fears. Once when I walked her, we saw a dog, she barked and growled and lunged, and when they were past us she dropped to the ground shaking and whimpering, and didn't even want to walk back home. It was a full-on anxiety attack. It's heartbreaking. Living in town, we need to walk her for exercise. We run her in the back yard and play with her, hike with her and take her swimming, but practically speaking, if she is not to become a prisoner in our back yard, she needs to go walking. So a couple of days ago I took her for a short walk, just up the street, hoping that staying on familiar ground would be comforting to her. We were approached by another dog and she lost it. I was holding her leash very tight so she wouldn't get loose and run over to them. She was so frustrated that she turned and bit me very hard in the thigh. I finally got her home and put her in the kennel and examined the bite. It was large. She has never done this before, but the message I am taking from this is "Mom, I've tried my hardest to be everything you've asked me to be, but I just can't do these walks. I am just too frightened to do this anymore."
 And so with a broken heart I have to tell you that I called her former owner and asked her to take her back and try to find her a nice home in the country on a farm with lots of room to roam around.
My hubby and I feel absolutely crushed over this. We know that we have done the right thing for Koda and for us, but it is so painful. I cannot describe the emptiness I feel coming home and not seeing her bright smile and wagging tail to greet me...or to have her come and drop her ball in my lap with a rufff, as if to say "Come on Mom, let's play!"
Some might say that this was a vicious dog. She is not. She is coping with surroundings that she did not have control over the best way that she knows. And in her world it's acceptable. It's just another kind of behavior. She would never bite anyone unless she was tied up. We know that.
I will recover from the bite just fine, probably much sooner than my heart will heal.

We will get another dog someday, but there will never be another Koda.

(p.s. Please, please, even if you mean well, do not send me advice on how I might have 'fixed' Koda. We spent thousands of dollars on training and I've read hundreds of books and articles on the subject. We know all of the techniques. Tried most of them. The ones we didn't try were electric collars and beatings. We just couldn't do that to our friend.)

I love that smile.

Koda, in Native American terms means 'friend'. I will miss you, my friend.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taking a Little Break

We've had a sad circumstance in our household involving one of our pets. I'll be taking a few days off. I'm sure you understand. Appreciate your prayers.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Time in a Bottle...for my Kelly

 If I could save time in a bottle,
the first thing that I'd like to do;
Is to save every day til Eternity passes away,
Just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true,
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
again, I would spend them with you.

 But there never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do when you find them.
I've looked around enough to know
that you're the one
I want to go through time with...
                                     by Jim Croce

(images of our Fort Ebey trip)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Snippets of My Living Room

We're packing up and heading out to the beach this weekend. It'll probably be stormy, but we don't mind. We've got our hiking boots and stocking caps, with nice warm fleece for walking the beaches and trails. The coffee's fresh ground for the percolator and there's bacon and eggs for the cast iron skillet. And books, lots of books. Hubby's taking music: Boz Skaggs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steely Dan and Foreigner. I'll probably add a Celtic cd or two, and maybe a little Bluegrass. We'll play a little cribbage, I always win! Well maybe not always, but at least 2 of 3. And yes, I've got the camera. I've been told the views from the grassy bluff above the ocean are spectacular. So hubby, Koda and I are all set.

Since we're busy packing, this post must be brief. Thought I'd give you a little peek into my living room...show you some of my favorite things.

When hubby's uncle Myles passed away, we inherited this lovely piece of furniture. It's far more elegant than I am, but somehow it works in our living room.

The oriental lamps were Uncle Myles' too. There were two of them. They were both broken, but he had saved the pieces. We brought them home and painstakenly glued them back together. Somehow this makes them more beloved to me.

But it's not the heirlooms that hold my heart...

it's the faces you see here...look at those eyes!

They are more precious to me than gold.

Each one unique. Each one cherished.

More blue and white ceramics on the coffee table. We do use the apple teapot from time to time when my grand-daughters are in the mood for a teaparty.

An Oriental pillow, a thrifted treasure. I've always loved Oriental things. My brother Dallas was in the Airforce during the Korean conflict. He brought home a beautiful kimono for Mom...it was yellow silk with a fiery red dragon on the back. I loved that kimono. I still have it.

A few of my best hats hang on a coat rack next to the secretary. This is my favorite hat...purchased in the Bahamas. I have several straw hats and a nice cream colored vintage felt hat with a veil. Perfect for playing dress-up or wearing to tea or the beach.

Photos from yesteryear on my secretary ...my children when they were young.

Silk chrysanthemums atop the TV armoire, with a Tuscan picture in the background. Yes, I do some silk flowers...because certains flowers make me sneeze. Besides, I rather like them.

If my camera wasn't locked up in the campervan, I'd quick snap a photo of my beautiful wool Karastan rug. It's navy blue with all kinds of swirly flowers in golds, greens, and russets. That's why I can combine the blue pottery with the autumn colors and it works. The sofa, chair, ottoman, and drapes are olive green. It's a nice room, I think. Pleasant and restful, with images of the ones nearest and dearest to my heart.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Comment Goblin

The comment goblin has struck. I've been hearing that some of you aren't able to leave comments on certain blogs...well guess what, it's happening to me too! I write some clever, pithy comment on your blog, hit the button, and poof! It disappears. Nada. Vamoose. Nuttin' Honey! So be advised that I do still love and admire your literary genius, I just can't tell you so!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This wonderful piece of folk-art needlework was an exhibit from the NW Washington Fair. I would rather own this piece than something by Monet. (and I love Monet.)

I am the product of simple folks. Dad was a lumberman. Mom grew up on a farm. I grew up listening to Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn. We planted gardens and canned everything we could harvest.  Mom sewed many my school clothes on an old treadle machine and bought what she didn't sew at Sears and Roebuck. Dad spent many Sundays on the riverbank salmon fishing; partly because he loved to fish and partly because we needed the meat. They were resourceful folk, my parents, using their earthy skills to provide for their family. I love that about them. And I love it that even though I've had the opportunity for education and advancement beyond what was available to my parents; my roots are deeply planted in the soil and my tastes will always lean toward the honesty and simplicity of the country. Unpretentious. I know first-hand what it takes to make something by hand or grow things from scratch, so I'd gladly take a hand-made quilt over a cashmere blanket, a pretty folk-art drawing  instead of a masterpiece, and a Mason jar full of daisies fresh picked from the garden rather than long-stemmed roses from the florist. Sometimes I just have to chuckle at the things I learned as a child, particularly the music. Dad used to love to sing old country songs that were a little 'wild'. The other day I heard myself singing this old tune that Dad loved to sing while doing 'Miller Stomp' (a kind of cross between Irish step dancing and country line dancing)...

I won't go huntin' with you Jake
but I'll go chasin' women.
Put those hound dogs in the pen
and stop your foolish grinnin'.
The moon is right
and I'm half-tight
and life is just beginnin'
No, I won't go huntin' with you Jake
but I'll go chasin' women!

Yep, that's right! Hard to believe that Mild Mannered Debora would know this song...my repertoire of country songs is much wider than you might imagine! And though I'm much more at home with 'Amazing Grace', I have to say, I'd give anything to see my folks whirl around the living room to the Tennessee Waltz again, or to kick up my heels and do the 'Miller Stomp' with my Dad just one more time!


(Click this link if you're in the mood to do the 'Miller Stomp! Note: turn my playlist (lower right side of my blog) to off first, so you don't have two songs going at once.)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Meeting the Family

One of the nicest benefits of being a Christian is that you are automatically a part of a great big family. It doesn't matter what church you attend, where you live, your political views, or your economic status, you are in. (Even if you don't always feel like you are.) Somehow we are supernaturally bound together by this one common thing: we love Jesus. When you meet another believer, you just feel at home. That's how I felt today when I met the lovely ladies from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. They were having a book signing in my area today, so I popped in to say hello. (And to purchase their fantastic cookbook!) These terrific ladies are raising money for needy children in the Ukraine with proceeds from their cookbook...busy fulfilling the words of Jesus when he said "I was hungry, and you fed me." I drove home feeling so very thankful that God has included me in his family, and that I can call 'the Mennonite Girls' my sisters in Christ.

A photo of me and the Mennonite Girls. I'm the one standing.


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