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, May 31, 2012

If you knew for certain...

If you knew for certain
that very soon all your dreams would be
coming true, what would you do today to prepare
the way? (Do it.)

How might you celebrate? (Do this too.)

Who would you tell? (Write them a brief note, now; you don't have to mail it yet.)

What thought of gratitude would you have? (Express them.)

And finally, who would you help to "achieve" as you have achieved? (Help them.)

Mike Dooley
from "Notes from the Universe"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Things Hoped For

Hubby's Bible was lying open on the table this morning. I was running late but took a moment to read his devotional for the day. 

It said, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1.

I've had this passage memorized for years in the King James version...Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

While driving to work I meditated on the meaning of this verse. The words 'hoped for' rolled over and over in my mind. As a child I was taught not to hope for much.  We didn't have a lot, so it was considered selfish to ask for, or hope to get too much for one's self. "Don't get your hopes up," was almost a mantra in our home. The folks didn't want us to be disappointed if we couldn't afford things.

The problem with not getting one's hopes up is that you come to expect the opposite. You expect to be disappointed. To fail. To be overlooked. To lose. And this my friend, is faith in reverse. Faith in bad things. It's name is fear.

Fear says, "Don't write a book, it won't be published anyway." 
Fear says, "Don't apply for that job, you aren't qualified enough."
Fear says, "You can't go to college, you're not smart enough. You don't have the time, or the money, etc."
Fear tells you not to get your hopes up. Settling for second best becomes a way of life.

But faith says, "You go girl; dream big."
Faith says, "You can do anything."
Faith says, "Keep going...you're almost there!"
Faith says that the things you hope for have substance. They are real.

It's taken me years to learn that my hopes are legitimate and valid. Hoping doesn't make me selfish...hope is the energy that fuels creativity and optimism and faith.

So hope for much, friends. Get your hopes up...way up! Don't listen to fear.  Dream great dreams. And let faith turn your hopes into substance.

When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.
                                                                                                                                 - Charles L. Allen

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all.
                                                                                                                                 - Emily Dickinson

The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient's hopes are the physician's secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription.
                                                                                                                                 - Norman Cousins


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Little Squalicum

My daughter and the kids are up from Portland. Today we went to Little Squalicum Beach. The view was lovely, but oh my, the beach was muddy!
The kids begged their mom to let them play in the muck...

Fortunately there is a creek that flows into the bay on this beach. We had to take the kids to the creek and wash the mud off. Next time I'll listen to hubby and go to Birch Bay--its a lot sandier!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How my exercise plans ran amuk

I haven't been posting much lately because of the kitchen remodel; which is still going on with no end in sight until sometime in June--I hope. That is, if I can make up my mind about the floor, and if the tile guy's schedule permits, if the counter-top guy can match my cabinet's stain to the trim;  and if Jupiter aligns with Mars...then just maybe we'll be done in June. Ah well, life goes on.

So this week I had a 'brilliant' idea for exercising Baron. Bicycling! When I told my husband about my plan he looked skeptical.

 "What if he darts after something?"

"I've got that covered," I replied smartly. "I'll  hold the leash loosely under my palm. If he darts...I'll just let go."

This was exciting. If my plan worked, Baron would get twice as much exercise as he did when we walked--and in half the time. We set out bright and early the next morning. I was in a hurry to get going so I slapped my helmet on my head and took off-- wobbling cautiously down the driveway with Baron in tow. Soon we were cruising around the 'hood' at a cautiously optimistic pace. Baron was loping along at my side like a champ. This was going pretty well. I envisioned myself and Baron whizzing over hill and dale--wind in our face...a woman and her dog...riding for miles and miles!

Then out of the blue, Baron decided to stop... right in the middle of the road--and no, I did not let go of the leash as planned. I flew past him, still holding the leash until the slack was taken up and then, yes, you guessed it, I stopped too. Abruptly. Very abruptly. (If you roller skated as a kid, you may remember holding hands with a couple of other kids and 'whipping them around the corners.' It was alot like that!) Whew! I somehow managed to stop without falling. Good thing since my helmet (which in my haste I'd neglected to cinch up) was jauntily tilted over my left ear. Behind me Baron was squatted, and pooping right in the middle of the road. How embarassing! Folks were eyeing us from their yards. Cars were cautiously circling around us. I straightened my helmet, fished a pooper scooper bag from my pocket, scraped the mushy mess off of the pavement, and set the the stinky bag in my pretty white wicker basket.  Then Baron and I rode home.

The next morning we set out again. I was not going to be deterred by a little pooping mishap. Things were going along very nicely. We'd ridden successfully for 20 minutes. I decided not to push our luck and headed for home. As we turned down our block, a couple of surly little daschunds ran out of their house toward us--barking their fool heads off. At the same time a big Siamese cat darted across the lawn. Poor Baron! It was more than he could take. He dashed right in front of my bicycle after that cat! Did I let go of the leash? Nope! I hit the breaks, skidded to a stop and crashed right there in the neighbors' lawn. Baron had the cat cornered on the porch and the daschunds were sniffing the basket on my bike. Must've still smelled like poop. The lady of the house came outside to see what the ruckus was all about.

"Did you crash?" she asked.

"What an astute woman," I thought to myself as I lie there on the grass atop her tacky lawn ornaments and her dogs are licking my 'poopy' bike basket. 

"Was it stupid of me--trying to ride my bike with my dog in tow?" I asked the doctor as she dressed my badly sprained wrist.

"Well, it's a lot to manage all at one time...a bike, a leash, and a big labrador retriever. I've been afraid to try it with my dog."

I think that was a polite way of saying Yes!

I'm not gonna ride bikes with Baron anymore. Hey, I've got a great idea...maybe he could pull me on a skateboard...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Somebody's turning 55!

Happy Birthday Kelly! The odometer may say 55, but your tires still have a lot of wear left on them!

Love ya!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

How I'm Spending Mom's Day

It all started at Diamond Jim's Restaurant for breakfast. Hubby and his mom had ginormous omelettes. I ordered a boatload of denver-style potatoes; loaded with peppers, mushrooms, ham, and cheese...and a short stack of pancakes. Though the stack of pancakes was indeed short--it was wide! Did I need those pancakes? No. Were they yummy? Yep!

Diamond Jims is in the heart of Bellingham's historic Fountain District and resides in the old Fountain Cafe building. It has that wonderful old-timey feeling just like the Fountain Cafe did. Love it!

After breakfast mom-in-law strolled across the street to church and we drove out to the lake for a long walk with Baron. What a perfect day!

Here's why I live in the Pacific Northwest!  Do you see the center picture...the one with the man watching our dogs? Look how far Lake Whatcom extends from where we stood. My grandpa Charlie used to run a tugboat up and down this lake, towing timber from remote logging camps. My dad worked in some of those logging camps. Grandma and Charlie had a nice cottage out by Lake Whatcom. When missionaries came to visit their church, The Firs (isn't that a pretty name for a church?), Grandma and Charlie would let the missionaries stay in their home. They'd take a tent and go up the lake and camp on the lakeshore...sometimes for several weeks! I think Charlie, a Nooksack Indian, probably enjoyed these these tenting trips more than Grandma. He loved nature. He kept the most beautiful rhododendron garden. As a child I loved to amble along the paths through his garden. There were flowers of every hue, and hidden beneath the branches were little statues of frogs and deer. You never knew what you'd encounter in Charlie's garden. It was enchanting.

Speaking of flowers...after our walk in the woods we stopped at the Garden Spot Nursery for a look. I wanted to buy some herbs for my almost-completed kitchen. What a riot of colors! Garden Spot is one of my favorite local nurseries. Sometimes I just go there to walk around and enjoy the color!  The peach-flavored Italian soda was from Cruisin Coffee, which is practically next door to the Garden Spot. I thought it matched the orangey color scheme of my collage rather nicely!

The rest of the afternoon has been spent curled up in an easy chair, sipping earl grey tea, munching on an 'everything' bagel with creamed cheese, and editing my photos. Now that's my idea of a perfect day!

And my kitchen...well it's still not quite done. Waiting on the flooring guy to clear his calendar. It's a process, I tell you!

Hope your Mother's Day was lovely!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


To A Dandelion

Blessings on thy sunny face,
In my heart thou hast a place,
Humble Dandelion!
Forms more lovely are around thee,
Purple violets surround thee,--
But I know thy honest heart
Never felt a moment's smart
At another's good or beauty,--
Ever at thy post of duty,
Smiling on the great and small,
Rich and poor, and wishing all
Health, and happiness, and pleasure,
Oh, thou art a golden treasure!

                                  Helen M. Johnson

I like dandelions. I'm sure the first bouquet of flowers I ever gave my mother, or received from my children were dandelions. Sometimes the kindergarteners at school will bring me a big bouquet of bright yellow dandelions. Even brighter are their little smiles as they bestow their special gifts upon me.  I am always touched their affection and thoughtfulness. Do you have happy dandelion memories too?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stopping to Smell the Flowers

"What's this, Mama?"

"It's a flower, Baron. Now don't eat it. Flowers are  pretty...we're supposed to look at them and smell them."

" Okay, Mama. I like flowers."

"Me too, Baron!"

Though we're incredibly busy right now, I still make it a priority to walk every day with Baron. I began walking Baron to exercise the both of us. But now our morning stroll has become more than exercise. It is food for the soul.  As we amble beneath the firs in the City Park, there is such beauty and peacefulness. This morning, there were hundreds of delicate pink bleeding hearts with pure white trillium interspersed amid them. Birds sang and the sun filtered softly through the leaves...glorious! I have no photos for you, as this time is just for Baron and me. 

I have sorely missed taking photos on my hiatus, so I did shoot a few shots this morning when we returned home. Posts will still be few as we continue to forge along in the remodeling process. 

Loving those shadows! It means the sun is finally out! Woo-hoo!
Hope you stop to smell the flowers and see your shadow too!


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