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, August 30, 2013

The Power of Introverts...Finally, Someone Who Understands...

When I was five, Mother used a broom to 'sweep' me out from under the bed where I was hiding because I didn't want to play with 'Johnny so-and-so' whom I never met and did not wish to meet.
He was loud and boisterous and I just wanted to play quietly.

"You're So Shy!" she said with such exasperation in her voice that I knew, even at 5.. I knew that 'shy' was a bad, bad thing. A curse. Like having an ugly scar on your face that would never come off. I tried and tried to cover that 'scar', to mask my feelings of discomfort around loud, gregarious, even obnoxious people. Why was I so sensitive? I think I must have been in my forties before I learned that my 'scar' is a beautiful, exquisite gift.

 I love the line in this clip that says the people who talk the most don't always have the best ideas. But then, if you are an introvert...you were actually listening to those big talkers...and you figured that out all on your own.

This is my gift to you, my fellow introverts...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gratitude and Blessing

I visited my little garden today. The one in the community plot at the Methodist Church. How different she seems now as we near September than she did only a month or two ago. And yes, I do think of my garden as a woman, a beautiful woman with a very short life. In June and July she was lush. Her cheeks were rosy and full; she was all a-blossom and bearing fruit.

 But now she seems so weary and tired... a very old woman 
who has given her all. She is spent. She sits in silence, head bowed...she needs to rest.

  The spinach and lettuce have gone to seed and the heads of dill are all dried up--but even in the dryness, their pungent aroma lingers. The scarlet runner beans bulge with pretty red pods, and I have just one hill, only one precious hill of potatoes left to dig. I can't bring myself to dig it up just yet. I think I will wait for a special occasion, and maybe Kelly will come and dig them with me--after all, he helped me plant them.  Aside from the potatoes and beans, all that's really left to harvest are the kale and tomatoes, both of which I have far more than I can imagine what to do with. I pick a few half-ripened tomatoes and leave the rest to ripen on the vine.

 The tomato plants have grown so large (about four feet high I guess,) that my crudely-fashioned stick-cages have collapsed from the weight of them. (Note to self...buy the wire cages next year.) The fruit left lying on the ground is rotting on one side, so I pick it and toss it into a pile, and wonder what a poor child sifting through garbage dumps would think of this waste. Which leads me to wonder why I am standing here in this beautiful little piece of Eden while others forage in landfills. Which gives me this mixed emotion of shame and gratitude.

 But since shame is such a useless, toxic emotion, I shake it off and choose gratitude; the only appropriate response to grace... 

So I say a quiet little prayer, thanking God for my garden. For rich, fertile soil and sunshine. For rain showers and ladybugs. I thank Him for the sweet carrots and corn, and for all of the tender green lettuce. And for the fact that I am here, in this garden.
Then I speak a blessing over my Garden. She's worked hard for me this season, and I dearly love her for it.

How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?
  I will sacrifice a thank-offering to you, and call on the name of the Lord...
Psalms 116: 12 and 17

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Are You 'The Perfects' or 'The Slobberlys?'

There's been a lot of discussion around here lately about 'keeping up.' Let me rephrase that...it's more like about how we're not keeping up. You know, it's the same old story...you take care of the yard and the house goes to pot. Keep the house clean and you're too tired to weed the flowerbeds. Not to mention having a job and a social life. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do it all.

 To make things worse, we have these friends...I'll call them "the Perfects." Their place is spotless. I mean, you could eat off of their garage floor it's so neat. When we go to the 'Perfects' house, we come back feeling like "the Slobberlys." Then comes the inevitable discussion about how we need to do better.

 And really, most of the time, our place looks pretty good. It's just that you can't drop over to my house and find it tidy all of the time. Whenever we ask somebody over for dinner, I go on a massive cleaning binge that leaves me tired for days after. Well enough already! I know what the problem is...consistency. I just don't want to work that hard every day. So I let things pile up until it takes an act of Congress to catch back up. (Bad example. Congress doesn't get anything done.) But you know what I mean.  So I've devised a little schedule that so far, is working pretty well. I listed all of the tasks I need to accomplish daily, weekly, every 2 weeks, once a month, and every 3-6 months.  I put little check marks next to it so I can feel great when I complete a task. I printed the list and slipped it into a clear page protector and dug up a dry erase marker so that I can erase my check marks and use it over and over. It's posted on the fridge.

Now when hubby goes over to the "Perfects" to borrow a power tool from their pristine garage and he returns complaining about how we need to 'do better', bless his little pea-pickin' heart, I will smile sweetly and hand him the list. "Well Dear, which one of these items would YOU like to do? As you can see, I've already made the beds, washed and folded laundry, swept the floor, vacuumed rugs and upholstery, cleaned the baseboards, and washed dishes several times this week. But don't worry, there's still plenty left here on the list. Perhaps for starters you'd like to empty the litter box and sweep the garage. After that you could scour the bathroom and maybe clean out under the kitchen sink..." ;)

Friends, Rome wasn't built in a day. Even God's creation took 6 days. It's silly to let things build up and then spend the whole weekend cleaning like a woman possessed. This schedule helps you do it a little bit at a time. I got up today at 9 am. Ate a leisurely breakfast, did some meditating, some prayer, then tackled my list for an hour or so. The dishes are done, rugs and upholstery vacuumed, laundry is completed and the beds are made. I've been blogging for quite some time and its only half past noon.
I realize that many of you work outside the home and don't get to do anything at a leisurely pace. I'm lucky enough to have summers off...but in two weeks my nose will be back to the grindstone. I'll have to get up a bit earlier and do a few chores each evening to keep up. Maybe some of the daily task will even have to slip now and then so that I can get the weekly ones done. And that's OK...it's a plan; not a prison sentence! Just a way to keep on track.

Who knows...maybe our friends will start calling us "the Perfects." Stranger things have happened!

Here's the front side...
Here's the back

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Silver Threads Among the Gold

I woke up this morning with a song running through my mind. Mom and Dad used to sing it to one another. I don't think I've heard it, for well, since dad passed away when I was a teenager, it must be close to 50 years. I guess it came to me because of all of this talk about going gray. Mom, did you hum this song to me as I slept? However it came, I'm glad it did. Keep some tissues nearby as you listen.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Road to Gray, volume 1. Chronicle Of My Journey Back to Gray

It started innocently...my infatuation with gray hair. I have a Pinterest Board called Beautiful Women of an Uncertain Age. I've been putting pictures of mature women on it that I think are striking at any age. Many of them have gray hair. Got me to thinking..."Why not let my hair go gray?" But when you color your hair, going gray is quite a process. There are choices to be made.

A. Go around with an ever-increasing ring of gray hair on your head as the color grows out.
B. Get a short, short pixie cut thereby cutting almost all of the color off.
C. Switch to semi-permanent hair color close to the original color. Let the gray grow out and keep the bleached color covered with the original color. Trim the old off, bit by bit.

After much thought, I decided on C. I don't want to cut my hair, and can't stand the grow-out ring. So off to my hairdresser with the new plan. She checked my roots and thought it would be a good plan. My roots in the front are over 50% gray, and the back is only about 10%. I figured after a year of growing it out, maybe I'll be 75% gray in front and 40% in the back. Plus she said my gray is a vibrant silver, not at all mousy. Okay! So she mixed up some colorant close to my natural light brown. Everything was hunky-dory. After she washed the solution out I was a little alarmed. "Looks really dark," I said with trepidation. "Don't worry," she replied. "It always lightens up after it's dry. I wasn't convinced, but I hoped she was right.

She was wrong.


Gasp! I know! I don't look like the same person! When I pass the mirror I just can't believe that's me! Don't get me wrong. I realize that there are so many worse things than a hair dye job gone bad! And I know I don't look hideous. But that black hair is definitely not me. Unfortunately I will have to just keep washing it until the color fades out and then have another go at getting close to my natural color. Until then, I have to figure out what looks good on a brunette with fair skin and blue eyes. My wardrobe is full of light blues and beige. Beige is terrible on me now. So all of you brunettes out there, please send me a comment...what do you wear? Please bear in mind that I am a soft person in demeanor and spirit. I want to look soft. How can I do that with this hair color?

Anyway, I intend to forge ahead with my plan, despite this little setback. So I will continue to chronicle the 'road to gray', as new developments happen.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Birthday at the Beach, Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

We were invited to a picnic at the beach to celebrate our nephew Benjamin's 11th birthday.  I made this fruit plate to take along. Fruit plates are my absolute favorite dish to bring to parties. Simple. Healthy. Beautiful. Easy.

I think this one turned out very pretty, if I do so say myself. And it was very easy. Cantaloupe, kiwi, and red grapes. That's it. When I do a fruit plate, I think about 3 things. First, how the flavors will complement one another. Second, how the colors will go together. Third...arrangement.
I like to use melons or pineapples because they make such a nice center for the arrangement. As you can see, I just halved the melon and scooped out the fruit. (Slice off a bit of the bottom of the melon so it will sit nicely on the plate without rocking.) Then I filled the hollowed melon with fruit, using slices of kiwi as 'petals' around the edge. The lines on kiwi remind me of flower stamens, so it was perfect for this flowery looking arrangement. Then I sliced the other half of the melon and laid them on the edge of the platter like petals. Fill in with grapes and kiwi and there you have it! So pretty!

Love the mellow colors. They remind me of autumn; my favorite season. Which is almost here...hooray!

Here's our birthday boy, chuckling at his birthday cards. We love this guy. He's kind, funny, and incredibly smart. Expecting great things from this young man!
Ben is a wonderful big brother to Katherine and Ellie.

Katherine and Ellie were selling seashells by the seashore. 50 cents apiece!


Auntie Pam and I went beach walking with Ellie and Katherine. Looking for treasures. There is always something wonderful to see on the beach. And the cool, ocean breezes were a welcome relief to the muggy heat at our house.

Their mamma stole a few quiet moments to chat with her friend.

Make a wish!
May all of your fondest wishes come true, nephew!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wile E. Coyote, Seeds, and Solomon


"Your lettuce is going to seed," she accused me ever-so-haughtily. "It  really bothers me that people don't harvest their vegetables and at least give them to the food bank."

I sighed. It was true. Some of my lettuce had gone to seed. And the spinach. The basil too. Not all, mind you. Hubby and I have been eating fresh lettuce and basil and spinach until the cows come home. I wouldn't qualify her accusation with a defense;  but in my mind, I mulled over how much of it went to friends, neighbors, and passersby.

 "Hey, do you want some lettuce?" I  hollered one day to a pretty young Mexican woman walking along the sidewalk with a baby in the stroller and a beautiful little boy in hand. The child was around 5, with huge brown eyes that seemed to fill his tiny face, and his jet black hair was long and wavy. "Too pretty to be a boy," I thought, thinking that he reminded me of my 'pretty boy' Sammy, when he was about that age.  She spoke little English, but we figured out how to communicate a bit. She seemed happy to have the lettuce-- and the boy was thrilled to play for a moment with Baron, my big lab; who always accompanies me when I go over to the community plot to weed and water. "Lucinda...my name..." she said, placing her hands on her heart. "I am Debora," I replied in kind, "and this is Baron." The little boy repeated his name over and over. "Baron, Baron, Baron. I like Baron."
We smiled at one another and they took the lettuce and walked home. I went back to my weeding. No big deal. No magnanimous gesture--it was just lettuce.

Today I went over to water my plot. The garden's getting pretty ratty-looking and more plants have gone to seed. I groaned. Wonder what "Miss Persnickity" will have to say about this? I decide to pick some poppy pods. I'll take them home and sow them in a sunny spot in my yard next spring. Poppies and cosmos grow wild in our community garden. They come up wherever the wind and birds drop them. I just let them grow randomly among the radishes and spinach. It's always such a welcome surprise to see what pretty thing nature is going to drop on my doorstep!

I've been thinking much about seeds. Seedtime and harvest.

"To everything there is a season," pens the sage author of Ecclesiastes. "...and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted..."

In spite of what my dour friend thinks, going to seed is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a necessity for the continuation of the species, be it poppies, lettuce...or human beings. We are born, we bloom, we bear fruit, and we return to the earth. I think about all of the seeds that have been planted in my life. The seed of life from my parents. Seeds of knowledge from teachers, seeds of friendship and kindness, and sometimes sadly, seeds of hatred, despair, and hurt. We all sow them; don't we? Our words, our deeds, our thoughts, our prayers, our smiles, our gestures...all seeds. Sometimes we sow them purposefully and with intention, in neat little rows. Other times we scatter them carelessly.

I meet so many people who wonder what their purpose in life is. Always looking for the 'big sign' that will show them where to go, what to do, and prove to them once and for all that their life has meaning. I've felt that way too. I used to joke that God needs to drop an anvil on my head with a note attached to get my attention and tell me what He wants me to do. Like the Roadrunner does to Wile E. Coyote....beep, beep!

Somewhere along the way I figured something out. It's pretty simple. Sow seeds. Sow love. Sow kindness. Sow relief to someone in pain. Sow a smile. Sow a potted geranium. Sow a bowl of soup. Sow a "you look beautiful." Sow $10 for gas. Sow a phone call to your mom. Sow a note to somebody who's down. Talk to the homeless guy who's living by the pond where you exercise your dog. Help him remember that he is worthy of being heard. Give somebody a head of lettuce...That's it.
There it is...your anvil with a note scribbled on it from me.

While I was picking poppy pods, I accidentally crushed one of them. Hundreds of little poppy seeds spilled to the ground. Hundreds. From just one flower.

You're like that. Just full of seeds waiting to be sown. From just you, little ol' you! Imagine that!

So as for me, well I've stopped looking for the 'big sign.' I'm just tossing seeds. Sometimes I plant them carefully. Other times, I just throw them into the breeze and let it take them where it may.    

The Poppy Blumenfeld by Claude Monet


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hole in the Sky

There is a place, a peaceful place beneath the maples.
A place of wild roses, berries and rosehips. Of statice and eagles and painted daisies. Of goldenrod and Queen Ann's lace.
And if you choose to leave the  main path and follow a little, almost indistinguishable trail through the maples, birch, and salmonberries, you will come to a beach. A wild, Northwestern beach strewn with driftwood and seaweed. You will be alone here, except for the gulls and heron...and your thoughts.


This is a place where things live. A primitive place teeming with the stuff of creation. Mud, slime and clamshells; barnacles, rocks and all things beautiful and elemental. 

There are buried treasures here. Like sunsets emblazoned in shells on the sand.

                                                                It's a place of pure joy;


of contemplation, 

where earth and sea and sky gather together in one place.

This place is called Semiahmoo. (Se-mee-Ah-moo).  Chief James Charles, chief of the Semiahmoo tribe from 1909 to 1952, claimed that the word Semiahmoo means “half-moon,” and describes the shape of Semiahmoo Bay. Historian Lorraine Ellenwood wrote in "Years of Promise"  that “it translates, in one sense, as ‘water all around’ or ‘hole in the sky".
Semiahmoo is a spit. And as such, there is water on the east side of the spit, and on the west. Half of the land is protected as a county park and historical site. The other half has some condominiums, a hotel, and a marina. The glorious thing about it is, that one can sit on the beach in the morning and watch the sun rise over Mt. Baker in the east. And from the same beach in the evening you can simply turn and watch the sun set over the water in the west.
If I could live anywhere, it would be here.

I came here as a child. Waded. Collected shells and agates. Dug for clams. I cannot imagine not coming here.


Perhaps Semiahmoo is a hole in the sky.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...