24 July 2014

Random Photos + Note to Visitors

Life is crazy.
Life is good.

Life sometimes is crazier then at others.

Life is really crazy right now.

And to keep it good...

I am taking a blog break. 
See you in awhile:)
Before I bid a temporary adieu though,
 I want to take a moment to  thank each and everyone of you
(except the s*am*ers) for your presence here--
whether one time or more. 
A big thank you too for those who have left comments--
it's fun to share in your lives!
Hope you're all enjoying this summer
or this winter (as the case may be).
Have a great day
or night:)
Agricultural area near Highway 6 
(can't get enough of the abundant patterns in fields these days)
Tillamook Forest Center
(always a favorite)
Paraglider near Tillamook
(so fun to watch!)
Willamette Valley-Champoeg State Park
(historic area on the Willamette River with overnight camping)

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
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