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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I love writers who take ordinary things and make homely vignettes with words. That's what
Raymond Carver did in his poems. His poems remind me so much of my own Raymond...Raymond Miller, my dad.  He and I used to drive along River Road in Ferndale; him with a beer between his knees, and me sipping on a bottle of Orange Crush. We'd stop now and then to see if guys with names like 'Lucky', or 'Shorty', had caught anything out of the river. Then we'd drive out to the reservation and sit with one of his Native friends on the porch. His friend whittled. Few words; only the sound of a knife scraping wood and the cap popping off another beer, and an Orange Crush for me. 

Dad would've liked this poem.

 Shiftless                      by Raymond Carver

The people who were better than us were comfortable.
They lived in painted houses with flush toilets.
Drove cars whose year and make were recognizable.
The ones worse off were sorry and didn't work.
Their strange cars sat on blocks in dusty yards.
The years go by and everything and everyone gets replaced.
But this much is still true-I never liked work.
My goal was always to be shiftless.
I saw the merit in that.
I liked the idea of sitting in a chair in front of your house
for hours,
doing nothing but wearing a hat and drinking cola.
What's wrong with that?
Drawing on a cigarette from time to time.
Making things out of wood with a knife.
Where's the harm there?
Now and then calling the dogs to hunt rabbits.
Try it sometime. Once in a while hailing a fat, blond kid like me and saying, "Don't I know you?" Not, "What are you going to be when you grow up?"

Saturday, July 20, 2013

When life hands you lemons; make rosemary lemon spray

3 mornings in a row I woke with bites on my legs. Yikes! I tore the bed apart looking for bedbugs. No evidence. Whew! I washed all of my bed linens in hot water with bleach, vacuumed every nook and cranny, dusted and wiped down the baseboards...it's clean as a whistle in there. The same day  I visited my naturopath for another issue. She looked at the bites and said, "Got pets?"
"Do they sleep in your room."
"Do they go outside?"
"Have you toxified them with noxious flea preparations?"
"Nope. The don't seem to be scratching so I've been holding off."
"What you've got here are flea bites."

Sooo, I went home and looked Baron and Posie over real good. They don't have fleas. But I'll concede that one or two fleas could've hitched a ride into the house on them.
just in case,  I made up this batch of natural flea repellent to spray on them.

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced.
  • 1 big sprig of rosemary, chopped to release essential oils.
  • 1 quart of boiling water. 
  •  Put the lemon and rosemary into a jar and pour the hot water over them.
  •  Let it steep overnight.
  •  Strain the lemon and rosemary leaves out, and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. 

Spray the dog. Chase the cat and try to spray her.
Careful not to get it into their eyes or  the lemon will sting and they'll be traumatized at the sight of spray bottles for the rest of their lives. If you like, you could soak a bandanna in it, let it dry, and tie it about fido's neck.
Note: This stuff is not supposed to get rid of infestations...just repel fleas that are thinking about hopping on them. Unlike humans, bugs think that rosemary stinks. They avoid it.

But wait, here's the very best part. This spray smells just divine. I've been spraying it on myself, on the counters, all over the bathroom fixtures. It's just lovely! I love it so much that I went back to the market and bought more lemons so that I can keep this spray on hand all of the time. That's just how much I love it! (Another note here...When you spray yourself, the scent doesn't hang around long. :/
That said, remember that fido's sense of smell is 1000 times stronger than yours...and hopefully that goes for Mr. Flea also. So don't overdo things just because the smell has dissipated a bit. What I'm trying to say here is, don't drench the poor dog or cat in this. Be sensible.)

The moral of the story of course is: When life hands you lemons (or flea bites); make rosemary lemon spray!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Le Potager

Scarlet runners

Photographs of my little potager. I hope they are worth a thousand word. It's a busy summer and I am working, working, working on my novel. So please forgive my scarcity of posts, and enjoy these images of the garden...and create some beautiful images of your own this summer!
sweet baby carrots
delicate pink cosmos
bumblebees and sunflowers
blue skies and tiny blue flowers

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Growing herbs is such a pleasant, gentle thing to do. There's something very healing about the whole process. Today I harvested some chamomile, lemon  balm, Greek oregano, lavender, sweet marjoram, peppermint, spearmint, Italian parsley, and lemon thyme.  I originally hung them all on the clothesline in the sun. They looked so sweet, hanging all in a row by wooden clothespins. But as I pondered the process a bit, I realized that the cool and sometimes damp night air here in Western Washington might cause them to dampen and perhaps mold. So this evening I moved the whole operation to the guest bedroom. I strung line across the curtain rods and pinned my herbs to it. (If you read my earlier post regarding the drying of herbs, you'll know that I was avoiding this very situation; a little concerned that my family may think I'm getting a little bit daffy.) Whatever! The guest room smells wonderful, anyway! And to you seasoned herbalists...I know; some of these should really be dried on a wire mesh rack; but I don't own one yet. So we use what we have.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Scenes of Seattle and Bainbridge Island

We spent the weekend helping son John and his family get unpacked in their new home on Bainbridge Island in Seattle. Bainbridge is only about 30 minutes by ferry from the Seattle pier, but it feels miles away when you step off the ferry. No hustle, no bustle. just beautiful beaches, homes nestled in the trees or situated along beautiful beaches, and a pretty little town with quaint shops.
The Seattle skyline is glorious from the ferry on this sunny weekend.

Here in Western Washington, we are known for our forests...green, and verdant full of fir trees, ferns, moss and lichen. And because it's so green here, Seattle is called the Emerald City. But on this lovely, sunny day, it could easily be the Azure City. The sky, the sea, and the  mountains seemed to have called each other up and said, "Let's all wear blue today!"

Of course I had to throw in at least one shot of the space needle, our most familiar and beloved landmark!

Mount Rainer, suspended from heaven about Puget Sound. The mountain was originally called 'Tahoma' by the Native Americans who lived here before us. Tahoma has many reported meanings. Natives near my home claim it means, 'larger than Kulshan'. (Kulshan is Mount Baker. Mt. Baker is another local volcanic mountains that is only miles from my home. It is smaller than Rainer.) Other native say that Tahoma means, 'the place where waters begin', and another tribe claims that it means 'the place of the gods.' It is likely that it means all of these things.

Above is the ferry landing on Bainbridge Island.

After unpacking for awhile, we gathered the kids and the dogs and went to cool off at this pretty little beach. I don't recall the name of it. It is unofficially, according to locals, an off - lead beach for dogs.

Here is grandson Dane and his pretty mamma, Karen.

Dane's sister, my grand-daughter Ana. I'm now calling her "Island Girl."

Son John is keeping the dogs in line. Or trying to.

Baron loves the water. We have to force him to rest and have a drink of water. As you can see, he's most intent to get back out there with the children.

That boat had a black lab aboard. I think Baron was trying to decide if he could swim out or not.

My son's dog, Millie, the Aussie, likes to run in the surf, but doesn't actually swim. She's pretty perturbed here, because she was in time out for playing a little to intensely with other dogs. Wants to herd them. After all, that's her job!

I didn't know these children, but they were playing so sweetly together in the surf that I couldn't resist photographing them. What a beautiful place; Bainbridge Island. I am so looking forward to visiting often.

As I took the photos of the harbor outside of Seattle, I couldn't help but think of a song. It was the theme song to an old 70's TV show called "Here Come the Brides." The show was about the early settlers of Seattle who were lumberjacks, and their 'mail-order' brides. It wasn't that authentic, but very entertaining; especially because teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman starred in the show. Do you remember it? Can you recall the song...

The bluest sky's you've ever seen
 are in Seattle,
and the hills, the greenest-green,
 in Seattle.
Like a beautiful child
growing up, free and wild
full of laughter
full of tears
full of hope
and full of fears
full of dreams to last the years
in Seattle.
in Seattle.

It somehow seemed so appropriate to me, as John and Karen start a new life near Seattle.

And so John, Karen, Dane, Ana, and Millie; blessings to you in your new home on Bainbridge...Seattle. May all of your dreams come true there, and may your beautiful children grow up free and wild in their new island home. And hoping that Millie decides to try swimming!




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