Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Beautiful After All

For the enjoyment of any blog readers who are actual fans of snow, these pictures are for you! It doesn't look like this anymore, which is A-OK by me. But I guess it was kinda pretty after all.

And here's my current contribution to the Christmas spirit. It's much prettier in person, especially when it's the only light in the dark room first thing in the morning!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Okay, Enough Whining

Perhaps it's the apple crisp cooling on the counter. Perhaps it's video of an ice storm in the east that caused 1.5 million folks to lose their electricity. Maybe it's Eva Hall telling on FB of attending an outdoor hockey game at minus 30 degrees. Or somewhere in Arkansas a little boy and his mom wishing they could make a snowman.

Whatever, I think I'm over myself!

It's Here. It's Come.

I knew we were in trouble when the sunrise was red yesterday morning. Pretty, but this is what sunsets are supposed to look like.
The garage is supposed to look like this...
...poor thing shivers this morning. And my Christmas tree decorations are in there! Todd and I bought a gorgeous tree last night. We'll see if we can pry it out of the back of the truck.
At least 4" accumulation by 8:00 this morning, and no letup in sight.
Can you see the pink under the snow? I still had flowers blooming! I think they may give up for the winter after this.
Sigh. Well, I had better stop whining and make the coffee.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Newest Bestest Book to Recommend

Giving credit where it is due, my brother Jim (thanks bro) suggested that I read "Room of Marvels" by James Brian Smith. I found it on Amazon for 84 cents (plus shipping) and began reading. I got far enough to read aloud some thoughts on unanswered prayer to the Ladies Bible study at our Christmas Brunch (where I forget to take pictures- rats!). That afternoon I took some me time and finished the small book. It made me weep with joy and anticipation! It encouraged me to continue trusting God despite my circumstances. It strengthened my spine and straightened my shoulders to keep on serving the Lord with grace, that what I do really matters. And it reminded me that Love is extremely important to God (the first and second commandments), and it makes a difference to others in my world whether or not I show them love.

Please, find it, read it, pass it on.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Coming out of the Fog

Two weeks ago tonight we drove to Eugene through thick fog to pick up Ryan for a Thanksgiving visit. He was due in a little before 9 pm. When I went into the airport to use the (ahem) facilities, I heard over the loudspeaker that his flight couldn't land because of the fog. It was so thick that I was quite sick to my stomach, like a one hour rollar coaster ride, blind.

His flight was rerouted to Portland. Todd's first instinct was, "My kid isn't going to sit in an airport all night" and off we drove for another 2 hours north. I was so miserable, so sick. The fog didn't relent until we had almost reached the Portland airport. The difference was remarkable, the visual clarity such a relief. Nausea subsided.

By now it was after midnight, with a three hour drive home ahead of us. As satisfying as it was to have my three sons safely in the van behind me, as we reentered the fog, the nausea returned full force and all good feelings disappeared. Rats - another three hours of this? I tried closing my eyes and eventually dropped off into nausea-free oblivion.

Yes, we arived safely home at about 3:00 am, stumbled into bed and moved on with life.

Tonight I began driving through the dark to see my wonderful counselor and was quite displeased to realized that thick fog was moving in. Sure enough, I began to feel the queasiness. Then, around a corner, the fog simply disappeared. The clarity was remarkable, the relief huge.

Then, coming home, the fog was thick for the entire trip. Queasy, nauseous. Until I arrived at the top of my mountain, where clarity returned.

Never one to miss an analogy, I realized that's what life has felt like for a really long time, like I was in a fog. Some times the fog was thicker than other times, sometimes I simply couldn't see one step ahead of me. Sometimes frustration was the uppermost emotion, sometimes anger or irritation, often just - immobilization. Indifference. Sometimes my energy was consumed surviving each day.

Right now it feels as though the fog has lifted. I am thinking sharply, full of energy, calm, relaxed. It's like somehow life makes better sense. I'm glad for the clarity of this quiet space, but I don't fool myself that the fog won't ever return.

So what do I take from this? That fog comes and goes. Maybe the more I learn, the longer my head will be clear next time. That I'm not alone in the hard things of life. That joy comes from God, not works. That what is important is trusting God and loving well, both myself and others.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Curtains Are Up!

No pictures available. Just - relief and enjoyment.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Boy, It's Tough to Get These Guys in a Picture!

I actually had to tickle him to find his real smile!
See? This was what we got from a simple request for a smile.
Michael's answer to an un-cheesy smile. Had them take glasses off so I could see their eyes.
Three studly guys. Man, they eat a lot.
Well, you can tell the extroverts of the family! (That would be Tyler and me, if it isn't immediately obvious to you.) But at least the others showed up.

The First Curtains Go Up

Pretty, huh?! One window down, four more to go. And yes, still undone, but we've been quite busy.
Michael responding to my request to take a picture showing his face. So that's what a cheesy grin looks like from the back!We sure needed his height! Pris and I couldn't quite stretch that far. Tyler was on the computer, obviously oblivious to the momentous event happening behind him.

Thanksgiving - Better Late Than Never!

We gathered these bright and beautiful leaves in the yard in the morning.
So nice to have friends over, kids included.
Two of my Bible Study friends, Kathy and Deanna, came with their families.
This was just the food table!
Priscilla found Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary dishes packed away, so we had lots of memories to enjoy as we used them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is so good to have Ryan home for a week. We have already had such a great time. Friends are here and more on the way for dinner and there is way too much NUMMY food. Two turkeys are involved, I tried crostini hor d'oerves for the first time, which was fun, two cranbrosias - wow! I hope that you also have a wonderful day, counting your blessings.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cheerful Flowers, Sunsets, Gratitude

These little guys make me stop and smile every day as I go in and out of the house. The fall vegetable garden continues to slowly grow. But at least I get to garden, even in November. Peas, beets, lettuces and carrots - baby plants bright and bursting with energy from the earth.
Sunsets the last two nights have been beautiful.

I just read a friend's blog who teaches school in Afghanistan. Life is very dark and hard there. Think of all our blessings!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Poetry Thursday - Hey, for an hour and 20 minutes!

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth,
no culture comparable to that of the garden...
But though an old man,
I am but a young gardener.
Thomas Jefferson, Garden Book, 1811

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Great to see Jim

What a treat to have breakfast with Jim in Eugene this morning! Stanford was up to challenge the Ducks, and almost succeeded. It sure was a spirited contest. But I digress. There's nothing better than having time to sit deep with family, if only for 1 1/2 hours.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The First of the Venison - Stew

Oh, my goodness. Not a trace of gaminess, just melt in your mouth deliciosity. Perfect for fall coziness and bustery days.

Keepin' Up With the World

So now I'm on Facebook, and it's addictive! Maybe it will settle down as I get used to seeing all these blasts from my past and also family members, but right now it's pretty fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Now We Pray

From two directions this morning I have been reminded that we are to pray for our leaders. Priscilla reminded me of Romans 13. Our prayers are to be with President-Elect Obama, whether or not we want him to be our president. Our prayers must surely also be for the protection of the unwanted unborn. Randy Alcorn's blog references I Timothy 2:1-4 to remind us that prayer is always the answer. And God is still the Sovereign of the universe, and we can trust Him. Randy includes mny other Scriptures that are of comfort. So I'll pray. And watch.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

After It All

I find that I'm a little bit sick in my stomach and shaking my head. The Lord knows what He was willing to allow. It's hard to find the words.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tyler's Halloween Costume

You know, we're just at the place where Robin Hood or even Gandalph costumes don't cut it anymore. And while we should have been long prepared for this, well, that's just not how my mind works. So, having no costume even after the dance started, I was searching through closets for inspiration and found Todd's old Army National Guard uniform. It was a perfect fit in sleeve and pants length, just a bit loose through the shoulders and chest. It was weird the emotions that went through me as I saw him standing there all dressed in uniform. Almost like sending him off, you know? But it's only to a dance and the Jr High Halloween party, so I guess it's okay!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Freezer Meat!

Look at this good-lookin' hunk of meat!

(Nice deer, too, huh?)
Last year's deer was the best wild meat I have ever had, and I was sorry to see its end. Some of you may know that I was raised on moose and salmon, a little caribou thrown in, and I'm not a fan. Give me a nice beef steak any time. Srsly. But that venison was great. I have high hopes for this fellow, too. (The deer.) He's all cleaned, wrapped, and hanging in the garage. Good job, honey! What a hunter! And how great to have our own hunting grounds up here on the mountain.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Okay, that's enough

The perfect fall leaf

Yet more fall color

Vine maples are my favorite
More vine maples
Sitting on a large flat rock by the river, with a lap full of puppy. Crutches? Yeah, hurt my knee a couple of weeks ago. Please pray for healing, because this sitting around, being still so it will heal is seriously not cutting it.
Beautiful water

More Fall Photos

Through the sunroof
Tokatee Lake

Do I Really Need New England in the Fall?

For years I have wanted to see New England's autumn glory. And their antique stores! I have dreamed of touring all the states "up there" with a U-Haul trailer in tow to stash all my found treasures and bring them to the left coast with me. However, along with a full home has come a satiety towards accumulation, a desire to be content with what I already own, a newfound distaste for clutter. (Not that I have conquered said clutter which already exists in my life.) That takes care of the U-Haul issue.
And I just may have lost my desire to see the fall colors in other places, having newly discovered the natural fall bounty of southern Oregon. Todd and I went on a driving date Saturday up the North Umpqua River. Michael was paintballing and Tyler and Priscilla preferred home activities. I want to share with you pictures from the day. It may take more than two postings to get them all in, since I seem unable to place more than 5 photos in one blog. (A little help, anyone?)

Tokatee Lake reflection
Native maples