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, June 29, 2012

Garden log

It's 1:20 p.m. and I am returning home with a little flat of purple-striped petunias and crimson-red verbena. I wanted everything at the Farm and Garden store today. I always want everything when I go there. But it's the end of the month and my checking account is pretty low; so I settle for the $2.99 for six assortments. I remind myself of the small fortune I have spent on flowers over the years...I could've had a diamond necklace with all the money I've spent. But I didn't want diamonds...The jewels I wanted were sweet Shasta daisies. And brilliant orange tiger lilies. Romantic pastel hollyhocks to lean against my white picket fence. (Last house.) And a pretty row of red geraniums to set in front of the brick on my porch...goodness, everyone knows that geraniums are a necessity where there is brick don't they? Sigh...it's a lifelong addiction; this gardening habit!

Today I will work in my little herb garden. The petunias and verbena will fill the fountain in the center. It's hot and muggy out here. The sun has dimmed and clouds are rolling in. Perspiration is dripping off my nose. Funny how I hate to sweat in the gym, but will happily work myself into a lather in the garden. It will rain tonight, I can smell rain in the air; maybe even thunder. But not now. I've got a few hours yet.

I smile at the herbs in satisfaction. They are thriving--even though it's been rainy as all get-out.

Sweet little cherub! You've lost your wings and your legs are broken; I love you all the more for it!

leathery sage leaves

The marigolds seem to be keeping the bugs away from the cabbage. The broken eggshells I've been tossing around seem to have held the slugs at bay. I hear slugs don't like to crawl over eggshells. I wouldn't either, if I were a slug.

After weeding I water everything well. Yep, it's gonna rain, but I love to water after weeding. It cools me down. Baron likes to water too! He runs back and forth through the spray much like the kids did when they were little.  Silly boy!

All done. Now for a little once-around the yard to see what's happening elsewhere.

Sloggers off. Head for the shower. It's been a good day, here in my garden!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nose-to-Nose Meditation

Life Rule #438: When at the beach, you MUST wade!

This morning I took a few minutes to meditate; something I've purposed to do this summer. (Yes, my dear, Christians may meditate too--it's all about what they meditate upon!) Anyway, I was sitting crosslegged on the floor of my living room in a warm sunny spot; just listening to the birds singing and the sound of my own breathing. Baron was lying at my side. I'd warned him several times to stop pawing at my hands for attention and he finally got the message and settled down. Maybe 5 minutes had passed when I heard him stand up. (My eyes were closed.) I sensed him standing directly in front of me. "Ignore him," I said to myself and continued my slow, rhythmic breathing. He moved closer. And closer. His nose was touching mine. I continued trying to ignore him. Now he was sniffing my breathes, sucking in my exhales and breathing into my nose...hmmm. Now his whiskers were touching my face and my chin. It tickled! I smiled, then chuckled. Have you ever meditated nose-to- nose with a dog; and felt him tickle your chinny-chin-chin? I highly recommend it!

Note: My Bible study this morning was pretty heavy. Intense stuff. Thank you Lord for sending me that little tickle on the chin and helping me to lighten up!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Love My Farmhouse Sink!

Our kitchen remodel isn't done yet. The floor should be installed next week and hubby still needs to put the drawer pulls on the cupboards. I've painted 4 (count em') yes 4 coats of white paint on the walls only to find grout smudges on them from when the counter tiles were laid. Looks like I'll be painting again; but I'm getting smarter. I'm gonna wait until the floor is done. So I've decided to show you the remodel in stages...courses if you will; like a fine dining experience!

So far I must say, I love my farmhouse sink the best. When I first mentioned to hubby that I wanted a great big sink that would cost twice what a regular sink costs, he raised his eyebrows at me and had a few questions. Will it fit in our little kitchen? Why do you need a sink like that? But since I'm going to have to work in this kitchen for 20 years or so; he was a good sport about it. Thanks Honey!

Initially I wanted this sink mostly for aesthetic reasons. Somewhere back in my childhood, I remember being in old-timey country kitchens with buttery yellow walls, painted farm tables, and big old porcelain sinks. Every time I see a farmhouse sink a pleasant wave of nostalgia drifts over me. Scientists might say it's something in the cerebral cortex or the hippocampus of my brain...I just know that farm sinks make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  They make me think of sunny summer days, hot tea served in mismatched flowery cups, kitchen curtains dancing in the breeze, and an old-fashioned radio playing in the background as moms and aunties laugh while they work together in the kitchen.

But since that explanation doesn't really fly when you are trying to justify spending $600+ on a sink; here are the more practical reasons for getting one...

 *It is so deep that you can set the biggest stock pot you own in it and fill it with water.  And when it's time to wash that pot--no problem! You won't be splashing water all over the counters when you dump it out. *It also 'hides' a ton of dirty dishes if you're too tired to load the dishwasher tonight. *A turkey will sit nicely on that rack while you wash it. Come to think of it...you could bathe a baby very easily in my sink! (Back in the day, girls, that's how we bathed our babies. Just line the bottom of the sink with a towel so the baby doesn't slip, fill it with a few inches of lukewarm water, and make sure that the faucet is pushed to the side so that you don't accidentally turn the hot water on the baby.  Really, it was so much easier on the back than those little plastic tubs or the bathtub...and the baby could look out the kitchen window all the while. I know...your worried about sanitation. Well, I always did a thorough cleaning before and after the bath...no worries!)
 Just look at those wire racks in the bottom! *You can leave your dishclothes on them and they'll dry nicely...won't get all stinky and mucky. *They also protect the bottom of the sink from scratches. *And all that yucky food you rinsed off the dishes will drop below the dishes--until you're ready to scoop it up. *Have you ever set a colander of spaghetti noodles down in the sink, only to discover that dirty water that's lurking in the bottom has seeped up through the holes in the colander? Gag me! This doesn't happen with these racks!

*Just look at this cute little strainer basket that sits in one side of my sink. Makes cleaning the sink so nice!

Though I adore porcelain, I chose stainless steel. I've had porcelain before and I don't like cleaning it. So when choosing, know thyself. What's going to work for you? And since I do a lot of soaking and washing dishes, especially on the holidays, I needed a double sink. They come both ways, and it was no more expensive to get the partitioned one.

So what are the downsides to farmstyle sinks?
  • You loose space underneath. We installed the size of cupboard that usually goes over a refrigerator beneath the sink in order to make it fit. I can't put as much junk under there.
  • Stainless steel scratches. I'm awfully careful not to scratch this beauty, but I've got a couple of them...grrr! I never paid much attention when the old sink got a few scrapes, but this one's my baby! And there are those waterspots if you don't wipe them dry.
  • Thats a pretty wide divider between my sinks. If the faucet is centered over it, there's quite a splash.
  • They're expensive.

But what's a few dollars and a little less undercounter space compared with that wonderful homey feeling you get every time you walk into your kitchen? If you'll excuse me now, I think I'll pour myself a cuppa tea in a flowery mug, turn on the radio and open the window. The sun is shining and I'm feeling a big nostalgic...


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cowgirls in Motion

I'm taking a photography class so I can figure out what all those mysterious buttons are on my new camera. First assignment was to take photographs showing motion. Lucky for me there was a reining competition going on over at the fairgrounds. As a little girl, my biggest dream was to be a cowgirl. Never happened. Next best thing...take pictures of cowgirls! Yeehaw!

Friday, June 22, 2012


This is the first crop from my little community garden plot...some handsome radishes! In the old testament Israel was commanded to bring a first fruits offering...

And it shall be when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein; that thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shall go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name there, and thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers...And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God: And  thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord  thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou and the Levite, and the stranger than is among you.     Deuteronomy 26 vs 1-2 and 10-11

Though this custom is not necessarily a Christian tradition, I think it's lovely and so as I share this photograph of my 'firstfruits'...I too rejoice in every good thing my Father has given me and my family. His blessings are too numerous to name. A bundle of pretty red radishes, a peaceful heart, a healthy body, and a beautiful and loving family--all from His hand. How extravagant He has been with me! My heart is filled with gratitude.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Of Dads and doggies-- and a recipe

I took Kelly out for breakfast yesterday for Father's Day. Today was a rather quiet day. We went to church; they had a lovely tribute to dads. We've only attended this church for a few months and it feels so nice to have finally found the 'right' place to worship.

After church we visited our dads' graves. It's bittersweet...going to the cemetery on holidays. We spent some time sharing our favorite memories of our fathers. Kelly's dad once helped him carve a little wooden race car for Boy Scouts. They had a big race with the cars--Kelly and his Dad won the race. My favorite memory is of sitting on the riverbank on warm summer days, sipping orange soda and just watching the river run by. Dad put a bell on the end of my pole so that when I got a nibble, it would ring. When I wasn't looking he'd jerk the pole, causing my bell to jingle, then chuckle as I excitedly reeled my line in. Sweet, sweet memories.

I took the opportunity to stroll about the cemetery and take some photographs...

Then we took Baron to Sunset Pond for a swim. Oh my, how he enjoys swimming! It's so gratifying to see him do what he was born to do...swim and retrieve.

Things are all a-bloom around the pond.


Funny Baron! He looks like he's running with a stick of dynomite! (It's his new retrieving float toy.)

We ended our quiet day with a plate of home-made spaghetti and a slice of sourdough. (I got the marinara recipe off the internet and it is seriously the best sauce I've ever made! Recipe is below.) Baron is snoring away on his bed after his big day of swimming. Kelly is watching the US Open and I am all curled up in the easy chair. What a nice day!

Recipe for Old World Spaghetti Sauce

2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 1/2 cups water


In a large stockpot on low-med heat add your olive oil and saute your onions for about 4 minutes,then add your crushed garlic,cook for 2 minutes longer. Then add your water,and tomato products. Be sure to mix everything very well.Add in your spices,and cheese. cook for 2 1/2 hours covered.Then add in your wine, and cook 30 minutes longer. Sauce will be thin on first day.Also if you use meat it will alter thickness.The second day this turns into a nice thick sauce.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just thinking...

This phrase is running through my spirit...

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." --Paul McCartney

Is there really anything else?

Fishing with Junior

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This weekend was the Homestead Open golf tournament. Son Sam flew in from Las Vegas to Play. Son John and his family drove up from Portland. The boys went golfing and my daughter-in-law, Karen and I walked down to the park with the kids. Lynden City Park is a lovely place for children of all ages to play. These pictures reminded me of one of my favorite poems by Robert Louis Stevenson entitled "The Swing."

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown--

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!

Living in different states makes it difficult for my boys to spend time together. It's so special to see them having fun together!
Sam's on the left. John's on the right.

This is Karen. She is my artistic, marathon running, laughing, beautiful daughter-in-law. She inspires her children to be strong and bold...just like her. She is the wife that I prayed that my son would someday marry.  

Dane and Ana persuaded me to go down the slide. Grandchildren are a special tonic for grandparents. They take us all the way back to that special place called childhood!

Hubby and Sam, out on the links.

And Baron, well Mr. Baron had a wonderful time with Millie, our Aussie Grand-doggie!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beauty in the Ordinary

Some of my friends have told me how much they liked my garden photos. I shared them with you in the collage, but honestly...they are so much prettier individually. I just love the color of the cabbages! I am always amazed by the beauty of 'ordinary' things.


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