Friday, December 28, 2007

He let me take a picture!

How's that for looking miserable? Lucky thing that Pirates 3 came from Netflix today.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Poor Michael...

...had all 4 wisdom teeth removed this afternoon. He's miserable. Your prayers are requested.

Snow on the Mountain

I know it's kind of pretty, and there's only an inch or two, and it sounds whiny, but I sure don't like snow.

These are actually broccoli plants, planned to set in the ground as soon as we have deer protection in place, supposed to bear in January and February. They seem impervious to the snow. Unlike their grower. Whine.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We love you, family and friends, and miss you this Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Brunch Time

Sweetly singing o'er the plains...

Wonderful Christmas brunch with the combined Bible studies.

Great friends, good food.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another website for cold-weather gardeners

They look promising for you if you can start your own seeds. Lots of tomatoes from Siberia, etc.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For Eric...

That website for edible ornamentals is . I haven't had more than a minute to find it so I haven't browsed lately, but I know they have lots of very cold hardy food plants. Enjoy! Oh, and for every one else - they have many unusual food plants that will thrive outside Alaska as well!

O Christmas Tree (#2)

Okay, this tree is more like my usual tree, 6 feet tall, full and covered with treasures accumulated over the past 30 plus years. It's as much a treat to pull them out and see them again as to have them on the tree.
I learned something this year.
I will never again choose a blue spruce for my Christmas tree. It is very beautiful, symetrical and perfect for displaying ornaments. However, it is a wicked thing! The smell is unpleasant, an undesireable trait for a Christmas tree. And it seems to have sharp claws! Every time I hung an ornament on it, I said "ouch"! Poor Priscilla had to wear gloves just to place the strings of lights. And still got a cut on her knuckle! But it is pretty to look at from a distance.
Some dear friends of mine from college days of old (no, really old!) bought this beautiful satin Christmas swan for me when I was a penniless single mom visiting them in Chicago 20 years ago. I think of their love every year when I bring it out and I still enjoy its beauty.

Todd just called me on his cell phone from the greenhouse, where I haven't had time to visit for a while, and told me there's new growth everywhere and lots of things are blooming.
I have to take two 15 hour on-line classes this month, which is why the rest of my life is on hold.
The brunch was wonderful - pictures from Priscilla's camera posted here soon!

O Christmas Tree (#1)

For many years I have wanted to have two Christmas trees in my home. This year it happened. This is the smaller of the two, and I chose to include only (mostly) snowmen and mittens, mostly red and white, topped with the baby Jesus.
I love these little hand-stitched mittens for their delicate tracery and handiwork.
One of my favorite happy little snowman.
Red flannel jammies, 6 inches small.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Better start baking!

I have lots of cookies to make for gift baskets to our customers (I hope), but I just realized I had better get to baking! The brunch is this Saturday!

Caution - craft blog ahead

Fun with paper and double-sided tape...
...and ribbons and buttons.
Just had to show Laura my craft project very like hers - lots of satisfaction derived.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Compost Bin!

World's most elegant compost bin - prebuilt in the shop and ready for assembly.

Might be hard to see the nice arched gates Todd built.
They're so pretty.Nice cat Gabe, caught in a rarely good photo, sporting his nice thick winter coat.
My cute little Christmas country church, bought at the Riversdale Grange the day after Thanksgiving, for $15 - my favorite buy of the day, for the price.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good quote for me...

...from Dr. Crawford Lorritts of Living A Legacy:

"There is no such thing as wasting time when you're waiting on God. Your inactivity doesn't mean that God is inactive. When He puts you on Pause, He is mightily moving. There's stuff that He's doing in your life, and there's stuff that He's doing outside of your life, to bring a sense of convergence together, to make you ready for what He already has ready for you."

This is helpful for my patience level.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bunny Hutch

I wanted to show you the hutch Todd built for the bunnies. In the background you can see a corner of the greenhouse, some of the ramp leading to it and part of the garbage shed.
"What is the black thing hanging from below the cage?" you may ask. Well, it's a poo chute. Yep. It's gotta go somewhere! So we catch it and amend our beds with bunny poo. Turns out it's a pretty great system, originally designed by Michael and refined by Todd.

This is the ingenious removeable door Todd designed to keep out the wind and rain in the winter. Yes, there's a vetilation system for next summer. These bunnies may even get a runway to a ground cage next spring!

Here is the original, the gray bunners. I think she's getting old in bunny years. She holds perfectly still when I pet her for as long as I will do so.

And here is the fluffy friend I got for her as a baby. They are very sweet together, grooming each other and snuggling. She, however, is very wiggly and active, being very picky about which methods and styles of petting she will allow.

I like my bunnies.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday, Roseburg Style

Since yesterday was so relaxed (NO company - oddly enough, nice) Priscilla and I thought we would go shopping today. Actually, she decided at a frosty 5 a.m. that 6:00 a.m. was so not worth it for $.99 flannel at Joanne's. And snuggled back in. Good choice. Leaving together at 9:15 or so was much nicer, having enjoyed coffee and leftover cranbrosia and cheeseback (which taste amazing together, by the way) with Todd. Our first stop was the Craft Bazaar at Riversdale Grange, where I bought too many hand crafted beauties, and really enjoyed the atmosphere, as usual.

We then stopped in at Kruse Farms to stock up on Asian pears and apples, mostly. Also Yukon Gold potoatoes. Very chilly, even with their huge wood stove blazing.

So, drove by Joanne's to just check on the density of shoppers. Dense. So dense, in fact, that we continued on towards Macy's.

Which was quite dense, but with more floor space to accomodate the mass. Very nice to look at beautiful things and buy a few.

Back home, worked in the office for a while, a friend stopped by to chat for a couple of hours, ate turkey/stuffing/cranbrosia leftovers, watched Hunt for Red October. A great day after Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ah, November in Wilbur

This is the one bed that's fully dressed and layered with rabbit poo, newspaper and bark dust - Lime Thyme and flowers still blooming. The color sort of washed out - the snapdragons are a lovely coral, the lime thyme is vibrant green.

The three rosemary plants are so healthy! I picked chives today for my hash browns. Yes, that's salvia blooming in the background. And weeds. Got to deal with that.

Bright Lights swiss chard with varied thymes and another of the rosemary triplets. One of these days we'll get around to eating the chard to see how it tastes. This bed needs some serious soil amendment, so I'm a bit tentative to eat from it. And I sure don't want the guys to eat bad s.c. and think it's all nasty. Hence, procrastination...

To any of you who have sung in choirs directed by me, guess what? I'm back to it! I really thought those days were gone, but with some prompting, I believe from the Lord, I looked into it, and our "seeker-church", which has chosen to not "choir", has agreed that it would be great. So we have 6 weeks to pull together a couple of songs. AAAHHH!!! The turnout is great - 30 voices, some of which are experienced and beautiful. It's so neat to again have family included - Priscilla, Michael and Tyler, all of whom sing so well. Pray for me - this is a big challenge, and everyone seems to be taking it for granted that everything will be great!

Sorry I didn't blog for a while. I think I was depressed - okay, I was depressed. And I didn't want to dump all the junk in my mind into the world of blog. Now life is better, or it looks better to me. I'm functioning better. So maybe I'll start blogging again. Thanks to all of you who have given me a place to go on your blogs. You make me happy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Oh, if only I had my camera with me this morning! I was taking Michael to school early because he had been invited to attend a Bible study in one of the teacher's rooms. Halfway down the hill I saw pink in the sky ahead of me - lots of pink. We couldn't see much through the trees and the mountain, but beside Buster and Annie's house I stopped the car and got out. Down there was a ground fog that was also colored. The sky was filled with brilliant pink clouds that looked rough, like the coarsest setting on a cheese grater. I wish I could adequately describe the sight. Pastor Paul said on Sunday that the most fundamental expression of worship is, "Wow". Wow.

As we drove on to school the fog around us was sort of a diffused glowing color, lavender, pink, peach. Then it cleared and the same cheese-grater clouds were now brightly glowing palest golden with a background of deepest gray-blue. Michael wondered out loud if Christians have a deeper appreciation for this sort of thing than atheists.

It changed so fast. I wanted to sit and watch it, but M was squirmy about stopping at all. Maybe he heard me tell him that it's sometimes important to stop and get out of the car to look, maybe he didn't. Duty made me get back in and keep driving. Soul longed to stand and see until the show was over.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Collecting leaves

So the other day the the compost was too wet and I was collecting dried leaves to add to it. Picture me holding two rakes like a big set of tweezers with a big wad of leaves between them, bent over, when I feel something on the back of my exposed neck. A definite something, not a small fly or a leaf. I completed placing the leaves in the tote, gently reached back, and found the largest praying mantis I have ever seen.

Their feet cling.

He didn't brush off.

(Pause for shudder...)

So I gently removed him to the closest flower, a salvia of which I am fond, and went for the camera. Here's the guy.

What made the moment even more interesting was that after snapping the picture of the gigantic insect I had just removed from the back of my neck, I returned to leaf collecting. The very next sweep of the rake revealed this beautiful little snake, which might be a red racer, I don't know. But he has red on his sides. I know, not a very scientific identification process. Actually, very shortly after that a very nice lizard whisked up the wall beside me and paused in the shade of a bearberry plant. But I can't get the picture in the proper place in this blog and he is very hard to see anyway. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Quite the afternoon for creepy-crawlies.

Girls out the back door

Not exactly as exotic as the moose on Megg's blog, but still pretty fun to watch. Until they complete the eradication of the Blue Wave petunias by the upper stairs.

Salsa for the winter

It took a whole box of tomatoes, many of different types of peppers (but none very hot), a whole lotta onion and garlic and cilantro, to come up with twelve quarts of salsa to freeze. That's three gallons of salsa for winter. Kinda pretty, huh? And it tastes really good.

It was pretty enjoyable to make.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Late night musings

It's always a dangerous thing to records one's thoughts from late at night. Things rarely seem the same in the morning (example from Priscilla's blog which apparently I am not heeding...) but I venture to write anyway.

I thought about starting a blog for a long time before I actually did the deed. The very thought of an on-line journal seemed full of pitfalls to me. How safe could it be to record my musings for anyone to read? My thoughts confuse me sometimes - how could others look behind my words to my heart? So I read the blogs of others and saw how it could be done. Some were so deep and provocative that I truly felt that I was intruding. Some were funny, some touching, some (frankly) boring. But the true thing was that these blogs created a connection between me and other people, most of whom I am related to and care about with passion. I search them out, I read them daily. Those of you who write blogs that I know about, thanks for sharing your lives out there where I can see them.

Something makes me hesitate to post, though, when life is mundane or I am down in the dumps. Like another blog I check daily, I like to entertain, to post interesting pictures. But right now, I'm stuck. Other's lives around me go on merrily and busily, new challenges, new ideas. And I'm in a holding pattern. I'm cynical, full of questions, when I care, and no one to ask.

So tomorrow I'll likely post pictures of the 12 quarts of salsa that Todd and I made today. I'll tell about the greenhouse that now has a beautiful clear roof, and the rain that's expected for two weeks. But tonight I'm putting the night thoughts out there. Because they're real too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fall Walk to Rest

So God has me doing this REST thing, which is pretty unfamiliar. But I'm giving it a try. Yesterday, in the spirit of cooperation with The Divine Deity, I took a walk. Well, a stroll. Down the driveway with Annie. Along the way...
I have been trying to get close enough for a good lizard picture forever, and it happened yesterday. Only this isn't one of our tame, charming blue-bellies, we call it an alligator lizard, after its huge jaws and agressive temperament. I don't think he felt that he needed to scurry out of my way - I would be scared to try to pick him up. He was right.
The label was accurate - Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes take FOREVER to ripen. Here's the very first, on September 17th. Can't wait to try it though.

Poison oak is a beautiful plant, especially in the fall.

There must be some spiritual significance to that...

Here's the first of our sweet gum trees to start getting color. These guys have been babied and watered well this summer, and they are finishing the season looking good. I'm hoping for great red color. Next year we'll let them seek more of their own water.
Great Bible study today from James 4:13-17, on submitting to God's will in our lives. Full group, good discussion. As usual, we only got half way through the lesson. This study has taken a long time, but James is so rich in truth I feel like we could just start over and gain so much more.

I'm off to take Tyler to Tae Kwon Do - how in the world do you spell that? Todd bought a whole box of huge tomatoes for $5.00 at Kruse Farms, and I think tomorrow I'll process the ripest ones. Probably cook them down and freeze them for the winter. But I'll do it slowly, resting-like.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sublime to Ridiculous to Courage to Closure

This was the view towards the south from my front porch this morning as the sun was coming up. I never get tired of the beauty around us here on the hill. Or, as Shirley calls it,
Wilson's Mountain!

Can you say From the Sublime to the Ridiculous?
Michael may be in 10th grade, but he still can't resist playing with a cardboard box!
I can't believe I didn't take my camera for Tyler's first Tae Kwon Do lesson. He did absolutely great for his first time, but he very nearly fainted, poor guy. He didn't know what, "Don't lock your knees" means! You never saw a person more lime green in your life. I mean, he had the tunnel vision and flashing lights and everything and he (amazingly) managed to stagger over to where Priscilla and I were cross-legged on the floor and did a manly job of holding it together! Then he got back up and rejoined the group! I was very impressed with son number three. Tough guy.

I had a "closure meeting" at church today with the lead pastor and the leader of women's ministries. I won't go into details, just that I was able to state the situation as I see it, we discussed and clarified so that no one was unsure where the others stood, everyone was heard, and I just felt good about it. It was a big-girl step for me. For now I still have some resting, processing time ahead.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Why We Don't Live in the Middle of the Country

It's the ocean. Even though we don't go to the beach often, I know it's there, available.

That's why.

Last Saturday our electricity went out. Not a surge, or a flicker. It was gone-zo, baby, from down south to up north, expected for hours. Todd (thank goodness someone in this house is spontaneous) said, "Let's go to Bandon. Let's spend the day at the beach."

So we did. It was perfect, 60 degrees with the sun hot and the breeze crisp. Lunch at Subway, shopping after. Oh, yeah....

The colors! I can't get over the colors.

Boys. Large, really large rocks. Must climb.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Leadership Summit Nuggets...

No pictures for this post, and I don't know how to put links into my blog so you can go see pictures of folks I mention. Please, somebody, call me and teach me!

So Michael Porter is a professor at Harvard, teaching Strategy and Leadership. I would so love to take classes from him. He's fairly Vulcan in his logic, and I loved it! Not what you would call a fluffy fellow.

He talked about using our resources wisely, with strategic planning, leaving emotions out of the mix. "How do you do well at doing good?" He says that with all the energy and money we spend on helping people, we don't get the results that we should. Boy, that struck a chord with me. When I hear about MILLIONS or even BILLIONS of dollars being poured into a needy area, yet the needs remaining unmet, it kind of makes me sick. All that means to me is that the effort to help is being led and managed poorly and probably making a few people very rich.

I hardly know how to whittle his points down, there are so many good ones. But they are quite specific to a large organization needing to be very intentional and deliberate about choosing where to make a difference and then doing it well.

I'll mention 4 pitfalls he gave: 1. Under-utilizing volunteer capabilities 2. Don't have engineers raking lawns 3. Lack of Focus 4. Creating too many programs

Five things that get in the way of strategic planning: 1. Lack of clarity and concensus on our goals 2. The services are driven by passion, not value and effectiveness 3. No attempt to measure performance 4. Limited attention to cost 5. Inability to stop anything

Are you bored to tears? Over or under-whelmed? I found him compelling - what does that say about me? (I'm open to observations!)

That's enough for today. Time to get back to pancakes with fresh peach sauce for dinner - special request from the Todd-Man. Maybe I'll add blueberries...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Final Times of Refreshing Event

Because Cathy, who went to be with the Lord last Tuesday morning, loved Times of Refreshing, her daughter asked that the funeral luncheon on Friday be done in a like manner. So Priscilla and I went shopping and came up with the decor ideas, I called in our crew of wonderful helpers and cooks, and thirteen of us worked hard to put this luncheon together. It blessed the family so much, and that made it worth all the energy expended.

The little dots are split peas, serving as table confetti!

Fot ToR we always used the speaker's main Scripture verse on the "place mats". So for this day I chose a verse of comfort for the family and hopefully some food for thought for any who don't know the Lord.

What a spread, yeah? Two soups, beautiful vegetables(& dips), chips(&dips), sandwich fixings, complete with pesto spread, and a dessert table as well.

It was pretty fun, a lot of work, and sort of traumatic closure. A task well done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Michael, Unshackled

This mouth wanted to be brought to you independent of the rest of the face. But it is a fine-looking mouth, isn't it? A very expensive mouth, but entirely worth it.

Michael and I have interviewed two school counselors and think we have decided which high school he will attend. Now we need to call to get the paperwork started, and get back in the public-school groove!