20 February 2010

Of Ponds, Blossoms & Spring Days

Up early to do some chores I took time to watch the dawn's colors as reflected on our upper pond and stroll around a bit. The sky was beautiful and our lawn (AKA field) looked like a gorgeous carpet of several shades of green--believe me this photo does not do it justice!
Later, after a nap (still recovering from the cold, etc) I tried to take some pictures of the now blooming wild plums with a wiggly dog in tow! Needless to say I finally put her inside and returned to take some photos and cut a few forsythia and plum branches for a nice spring bouquet! Have I said how much I LOVE yellow and white blossoms at this time of year (oh yea, I guess I have said that -- a time or two!)

I also took time to just sit on our deck steps and drink in the fragrance of the daphne (oh so sweet), the warmth of the sun overhead and the overall beauty of the day!


on this first week of Lent I couldn't help but thank God for all He has given you & I -- surely nature and creation point out His glory and love for us!

Lenten Blessings, Aimee
"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most Highl"
Psalms 9: 1-2 NIV
Early morning carpet of green
Freshly picked plum & forsythia blossoms
Lower pond plants breaking their winter dormancy
Praecox rhodo reflection in upper pond
Daylily leaf shadow on flagstone

17 February 2010

Welcome to Lent 2010

I am reposting this from last year with a few changes.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season (more info here)--the 40 days set aside by some churches to reflect on the Holy Week to come.
I invite you to join other Christ followers and use this special time of reflection, just a little over one month, to think about what Christ did for man by coming to this world as a helpless babe, walking and working among mankind for some 33 years, then dying in our place on the Cross at Calvary and rising to life again. It's good to reflect on how you can share His love with others everyday too.
Here are some online Lenten deotionals and resource I found.

*Goshen College-Mennonite (available as a RSS feed or daily e-mail)
*Creighton College-Roman Catholic (audio, written and other Lenten resources including cooking for Lent)
* Evangelical Covenant Church-weekly writings througout the Lenten season

If you have a favorite Lenten resource and/or online devotional feel free to leave the url in the comments section and why you like it:) Lent, like Advent, was new to me until several years ago.
And now a verse--
" For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. " John 3:16 KJV

Lenten Blessings, Aimee.

Photos: Cross on hill in Oregon along I-5; Mt Angel abbey, Oregon; First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo,Washington (Kitsap Peninsula); St Paul's Episcopal Church in Pt Gamble, Washington (also on Kitsap Peninsula) and St Peter's Catholic Church near King Sealth's gravesite at Suquamish, Washington

Little Bit of This; Little Bit of That

What a difference a few days, prayers and medicine make! No more laryngitis, much less coughing, face swelling greatly diminished...just waiting for this eye infection to resolve so I can feel totally 'normal' again (well at least I'll be able to wear both contacts so I can SEE normally again).

In the garden spring continues with little (and some bigger) changes daily. The foliage of some columbine and a bleeding heart plant have made their appearance now; the stems of spring bulbs continue to get taller and closer to revealing their blossoms! And more-

The most recently planted pieris--the ones on a berm in the Japanese-style garden--are now catching up with the much older one by the lower pond.

Near the upper pond, the magnolia's furry, grayish buds (that remind me of a pussy willow's catkins) are now starting to open and I suspect that soon we will be blessed by beautiful white blooms! ( Hum, the pic is kind of blurry--just like my vision right now)

Also, in the pond area, the crabapple has come to life--I am really eager to see its incredibly beautiful blossoms too--but i think we are a ways off from that 'reveal'!
And last, but not least, the daphne buds have started to open and I found these little garden treasures hiding out by one side of the herb barrel!

Of course, all this spring like weather -- blooms and way too long grass has me thinking. In fact, it has me thinking a lot and ---

it has me thankful!!

Not for the flowers and blue skies -- well actually I am quite grateful for them.

But that way too long grass has me a bit nervous and ...

I am EXTREMELY thankful that I have boots to wear right now in that field AKA as our lawn.

And why would that be you say? Well I am a thinking that with all of this warm weather, all of those additional rocks we put it this last year...and the two ponds...and did I say that way-too-deep grass???

Well I am thinking I might just 'luck out' again and repeat one of my 'close' encounters from last year--hence the thankfulness for the boots.

So, as I go about my daily picture hunt with only partially clear vision...and as that grass gets even longer (but still is too wet to mow) I am thinking that the FIRST official 2010 snake encounter is not too far away for me. So along with the garden tools I will have to put together my very own, personal anti-snake kit. It will help me avoid encounters like these from 2009:)

  • The brooch (AKA snake under the rock) episode--I am thinking gloves, THICK ones -- and giving up any rock moving I might be tempted to do.
  • Snakes in the path and on the river rock; snakes in the garden and by the pond episodes--a pole, a LONG pole to beat on the ground with (and if that doesn't work play keep away from Aimee with)

But to avoid any snakes in the shadow episodes---the one where I stepped right on an unseen, totally immobile snake in the DEEP shadow of a big shrub as I bent down to turn on the hose connection on the ground. Yea to prepare for times like that, I am thinking of digging out those knee high boots I used to wear to work AND investing in elbow length gloves (or maybe an automatic watering system)

Blessings, Aimee

14 February 2010

Valentine's Day

Like Christmas this year, Valentine's Day 2010 will be quite different then I would have liked. My cold is still bad; I've also developed an eye infection and skin infection which has caused the entire eye area (down to the cheekbone) swell and look --- well -- really, really nasty. I am now on medication for the infections though and, God willing, they expect improvement in a day or two. Until then I am HAPPY to stay out of public places and in the comfort of my warm home under a fleecy comforter!

Anyway, I am saying all this to point out the fact that sometimes life cannot be planned and there are always times when you will find yourself disappointed at the way things turned out. Such is life and I am reminded that even when disappointments come our way, we are still surrounded by many blessings if we only look for them.

Some of my blessings this Valentine's Day eve---
  • A hubby willing to accompany me to the doctor of MY choice--even though our insurance won't cover the visit
  • Antibiotics and well trained, compassionate health care professionals!
  • Family and friends
  • Knowing that this week will bring more color in the garden, possibly more blue skies above me and beautiful music to surround me!

Have a blessed Valentine's Day!


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