21 July 2014

A Walk In the Forest

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19 NASB
June was not a good month for us;
in fact it began with some very difficult news.
Quickly we realized life had changed--perhaps permanently.
Hard decisions needed to be made and
anxiety levels increased along with the uncertainty.

The future wasn't quite as secure as we had once thought and had been planning for.
Of course, there are always things one cannot control...
that's life.

But we weren't left to walk this 'new' path alone and everything wasn't bad.
In fact our life was filled with many blessings during this time
(the kind money can't buy).

Blessings like the verse above,
 which I 'happened' to hear shortly before we received the news.
 I am convinced it was God preparing me.
The 'me', who can easily let fear take over when I dwell on the negative and the unknown,
 was given something positive and tangible to dwell (meditate/reflect) on instead.

Of course, God brought other good and wonderful blessings along our path during this time too --

Blessings such as this gorgeous butterfly we found
who found us along a mountain river
It reminds me of my grandma who used to collect butterflies years and years ago.
Isn't he beautiful?
Blessings such as these pretty flowers too.
Love the pink:)

 Blessings which nourished my soul and reminded me of God's love and His power.
Yep, we were definitely not without blessings!
Small One was with us when we experienced some of these blessings.
Small One is a BIG blessing in our lives!

She was with us when we were privileged to see this butterfly dancing on the wind
(yep same butterfly--but this time in flight).
And she was with us when we enjoyed the blessing of woodland flowers too--
the mountains were full of their beauty!
I want Small One to always have a love for nature
and the One who fills our lives with blessing after blessing.
I also want her to understand that in the hard times,
 as well as the good,
God is only a prayer away
and that His love never fails us.
He is just waiting for us to ask,
honestly and humbly ask,
Him to show us the right path to take.
I want all my kids and grandkids to know this.
That is one of the reasons why this blog exists--
in a way, it's my letter to them as well as a journal of my walks on the mountainside of life.

As for us we'll be fine.
In time this challenge will end and the sun will come out again.
Life is like that--
filled with ups and downs;
difficult times often end up being blessings in disguise.
I've seen this happen;
I know it to be true.

Blessings always,
The challenge is over now.
Life has changed,
but not as drastically as it could have.
God has provided and we are OK.
AND -- we are still counting our blessings:)
Photos taken in the Tillamook State Forest.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,
Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

07 July 2014

The "Dog Daies" of Summer

"Dog Daies" -
 July 6 to August 17.
Ah, they're here.
The days I love and the days I love to hate.
Beautiful blue skies
Hotter then I'd like temperatures
Little to no rain
(love hate love-hate?)
Thirsty gardens filled with snakes
(definite hate).
Ripe blueberries and marionberries
(totally LOVE)!
In the garden filled with snakes
Speaking of snakes, do you know I've never seen one on the beach?
I have seen lots of other things though --
like dogs...
fitting photo subjects for this post.

Yep, no snakes here.
Lots of cool birds though...
and blue, blue water.
Lots of dogs...
enjoying their "daies".

Boats, boats and more boats.
Surfers too.

Small white furry one enjoying the "dog daies"
(don't say anything, but she thinks everyday is a dog day).

So what about you?
Do you live for  the 'dog days' and think the warmer the better,
or are you more like these heron and rather spend them with your feet in cool water?
While you ponder that,
I think I'll go 'scarf' down yet another frozen fruit juice bar,
 turn on ALL of our ceiling fans
and think about what to make for dinner that doesn't heat up the house.
Have a blessed, warm week everyone!
"Dog Daies" reference from The Book of Common Prayer, 1552 edition.
Garibaldi and Barview area, north Oregon coast.

17 June 2014

Sometimes Dreams Really Do Come True

It was a day like any other day...
or was it?
I had been fighting an infection all week and was on my second to last day of antibiotics.
I was scheduled to watch my dad for awhile that weekend,
and our house looked like a cyclone had hit it
 (OK, a very SLIGHT exaggeration--but it was really, really bad).
And that's when strange things began to happen...
our granddaughters' mom texted me to say I REALLY should keep the Small One
earlier than I had agreed to.
Then, a bit later, my son-in-law's phone number came up on my cell phone--
 but no one was there.
Hum, strange day...
A minute later the mystery was solved...
the call connected and I learned
this would not be a normal holiday weekend at all--
in fact
one of my dreams was going to come true...
my daughter was on her way!
Happy tears!
Of course we knew that would mean a trip to the beach
(because we both LOVE time by the waves)
which is how I ended up here,
looking at one of the most incredible sights ever--
a very ALIVE baby seal,
born just THAT morning,
on the beach that nothing unusual ever happens at.
And, yes, this was shot using a zoom lens--
because the law is clear on the protection of these beautiful creatures
(and besides who would want to cause them harm or undue stress? Not I!
Cousins would give piggyback rides to a certain smaller cousin
teach  her how to play soccer too
(my grandkids are SO athletic).
And we all,
except for a certain grandpa that took up residence on the quilt to rest,
 got to see sandcrabs, shrimp, cool unbroken shells and
 an agate...
all this on the beach that NOTHING is ever out of the ordinary.
Tidepools?? Here?
All this time?
Of course, my beautiful daughter had her dream come true too.
can you guess what her dream was?
It was a great day at the beach...
no, that's wrong...
it was a GREAT day at the beach WITH family!
But the word GREAT
(even written in capital letters)
can't fully describe how awesome the day really was!
And the traffic wasn't even that bad--
on a holiday weekend no less!

I wonder what my next dream come true will be?
Do you have a dream this summer?


Central Oregon coast

11 June 2014

The Coastal Welcoming Committee

Not far from this area is a nice long sandy beach that has its own welcoming committee...
You don't have to hunt for them...
they'll find you!
And they don't come bearing gifts to welcome you to their fair city
(but would love you to bring them some).
They're also not known for being shy--
in fact quite the opposite could be said about them.
In our numerous trips down to the sandy shorelines of Oregon I've seen
dogs, various seabirds,
a whale...
and not too long ago--
a baby otter--
(did I forget to post my photos of it?)
but this was definitely a first.
I have a feeling it won't be our last time here
(after all there's a pirate 'ship' here too...)
one that even comes equipped with play slides, a ship's bell and more.
Just a little ways from here I went to a summer camp...
I don't remember any squirrels at that camp--
although I do vaguely remember having to be towed back to a certain dock
when I couldn't get our canoe back there
(since it's a 'vague' recollection, maybe it was just a bad dream--lol).
The camp however was not a dream and it still exists to this day.
Actually thinking about camp reminds me of s'mores
(is there such a thing as a gluten-free s'more?),
rides along the beach
and being young.
It is normal to think about your youth so much when you get older?
Perhaps it's the stressful, sad times of this current time that make me look back upon those days
with so much fondness.
It seemed to be a whole different world then--
a kinder, gentler place.
Yes, there were sad, horrible, stressful times back then too.
But still, it seemed to be a much more innocent time when one didn't hear the sort of news
we hear on a sometimes weekly basis now.
Makes one's heart weary and sad.
At the young age of 17,
 I arrived in the 'Emerald City'...
a whole different place then where I had grown up in.
It was there,
in this beautiful city in the Puget Sound,
that I would roam a tree covered campus,
watch the ducks swim by on the many waterways of the area
and eat the best ice cream ever at a place near the University of Washington
(Go Huskies)!
It was there I would fall in love with a certain 'Needle' that stretches into the sky
and it was there that I would hear Corrie ten Boom speak.
It was there a note would lead me to change the spelling of my name permanently
and it was there where so many memories were made--
memories to last a lifetime.
But sadly it was also there where a man chose to take life this last week.
Prayers and much love to the families of my beloved alma mater.
May God be with you during this time and those to come;
may God be with our nation and its people.
Dona nobis pacem.
Rockaway Beach, Oregon


28 May 2014

If Only...

If only I was a bird...
I could fly from place to place.
Go where I wanted to, when I wanted to
and stay just as long as I wished.
I could see a mountaintop field of clover from way up in the sky...
and then swoop down low to take a closer look.
I could find out where this mountaintop trail leads with only a few flaps of my wings.
I could fly from here,
 to way over there,
and then back again...
or maybe just perch on a tree limb high above the ground
and watch Mom freak out about the drop-off
I could fly over pastures of wildflowers...
and perhaps nap amidst them for awhile.
Or I could just stop and smell the roses in this pretty coastal garden.
Yep. It would be fun to be a bird--
except I don't like worms at all
(although I do LOVE bones, treats and an occasional blueberry),
I like being inside a nice warm house at night,
 and I would miss these AMAZING Papi hugs.
I think I am glad to be a white fluffy puppy after all -
 even if it means occasionally having to hear Mom scream at me to get back from
 the edge of a drop off...
after all it really just means she loves ME.
Have a great week and check out some of those mountains, beaches,
wildflowers or gardens where you live.
And if you have a small, furry white puppy
(or any other kind),
make sure you bring them along...
I highly recommend it:)
The Small Furry White One
(AKA Dear Daughter Dog).
NW Oregon

24 May 2014


The morning has dawned on this day--
Saturday of the long Memorial Day weekend.
It's cloudy outside,
but the showers have stopped and the forecast looks promising.
The TV is on--
our young guests have chosen, not surprisingly, a cartoon.
As we do every year at this time (and others)
my husband and I have talked about them...
our fallen...
the father of a five year old daughter who died during the Civil War--
the young man who left a young widow and his baby during World War II--
the numerous others who have fallen in wars since our nation's founding.
So many;
so young. 
Full of dreams, full of hopes...
Surviving families changed forever by that one horrible moment in time.  
"So long as we are not forgotten we do not die..."

"You're his witness now.
Without a witness, they just disappear."
May God be with the many families and friends today who have lost a loved one during war.
May God grant our nation,
and all other nations of the world,
a long lasting peace.
Willamette National Cemetery
Vietnam Living Memorial
Damascus Pioneer Cemetery
St Paul's Catholic Cemetery
First quote:
unknown source
Second quote:
'Taking Chance', HBO films, 2009. USA

19 May 2014

Knowledge Is A Beautiful Thing

For years I had stood on this spot.
Gazing out at the ever-changing sea and wonderful rock formations to the north...
(link to an earlier post which shows this rock formation--Twin Rocks--from a totally different angle)
Watching the many small boats cross from the relative safety of Tillamook Bay
 into the less tame Pacific Ocean.
Enjoying the action of the waves as they splashed against the boulders of the jetties,
and admiring the interesting rock formations to the south off Cape Meares
(part of Oregon Rocks NWR--as well as Twin Rocks pictured in the first photo).
Here's a link to more photos and info about the Oregon Rocks and other coastal NWRs:
Yep -- for years I had done all those things and more...
Our family has camped, --
climbed the sand dune,
made the short walk down to the sandy beach here
and had
brought our grandkids and DDD (dear daughter dog) to this wonderful place.
My Farmer Boy, Fisherman, part Mountain Goat, DH had even caught
and cleaned some yummy fish here
(BTW, Aimee does not share her beloved's love of, or talent for, jumping from rock to rock
on his way to some great fishing spot hence she has never caught some yummy fish here).
But, after all those many years, I didn't know all that was to be known about this place--
I didn't truly understand its full significance ;
I hadn't connected all the 'dots' yet.
I just knew it was special and that I LOVED it!
But then, a year or so ago, it finally dawned on me.
I had been standing on a part of our state's history all this time,
staring out at a place which was also part of the history.
Now I finally understood the role this northern jetty had played...
and just what it had cost the residents who once lived on that pretty spit
between the bay and ocean.
Then, as well as now,
it was a matter of money... 
One jetty, the north one where these photos were taken, was built and later enlarged...
the other jetty, the one to the south, wasn't.
The experts had recommended both be built...
The ocean is a beautiful place---but it is also an unforgiving powerful force of nature.
Today, where once there was a resort community,
no buildings remain--all lost to the sea or moved to safer locations like Cape Meares.
And that second jetty?
Well it was finally built, but too late for the residents who once swam in Bayocean's Natatorium,
strolled the peninsula's sandy beaches,
enjoyed the views of the bay to their east and the ocean to their west.
I would have liked LOVED to have visited there in the community's heyday,
when we last walked there decades ago not much was left...
but it still is a special place.
It just so happens that the Tillamook Pioneer Museum 
 is currently having an exhibit on Bayocean---
we've been there and it is well worth the time and very reasonable $4/person admission fee.
The Bayocean exhibit will be running till late July.
Besides this special exhibit, there's a LOT to see there.
Here is a link to their site:
So did you know the secret of the jetties of Tillamook Bay?
Barview County Park
Outside the Tillamook Pioneer Museum
(a great site with photos)
(more info, more photos)
(and more)
Yes. History is a passion for me...
it has been since I was 8
(or perhaps even before).
And for those who really LOVE detail (like I do)...
(Site contains pdf file with a lot of info, technical data and some photos too)
There's also a book about Bayocean written by Bert Webber that is very good.
 I bought mine a long time ago and 'devoured' it quickly :)
Sorry about the lighting...
it seems that I am always taking photos after or before the golden hours...
but on a positive note, it wasn't raining:)
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