31 December 2010

A Look Back at 2010: Summertime Sunshine & Shadow

Late spring/early summer brought sunshine and shadows;
not just with the weather.
Mom's health took a definite downward turn
and her last trip to the place she dearly loved
--the coast of the PNW--
was made in May of 2010.
Shortly thereafter begin the time of shadows-
shadows, yes,
but mixed with light and with time by the still waters

where my soul gained strength and found refreshment

It was not always easy this place and time,
the valley of shadows never is,

but there was always some light in the midst of the darkness
and there were always still streams,
if I drew near to the Good Shepherd.

Later in 2010,
as her time drew closer and the shadows became more dense,
I was reminded that Christ had
on His earthly journey here,
also known the loss of a parent--
His earthly step-father
and it brought much comfort in the days that were still to come that
He truly did know my pain.
Still I have unanswered questions,
still I don't see clearly,
still some feeling of loss lingers on,
still I wish the answer given could have been a different one.
I know that someday those questions I have will be answered,
someday I will see face to face,
someday there will be no more pain
and someday I will know as I am known.
Until then I seek to draw closer to Him that made me,
and as I do I find that He draws closer to me.
Dedicated to the memory of my mother who passed away later in 2010,
and to the memory of others we have lost.
Some references: I Corinthians 13:8-12; Psalms 23

A Look Back at 2010: Summertime in the PNW

Summer brought trips--only a few shown here.
Trips to farms in the PNW as usual-
a berry farm--
I SO wanted to show you photos of NW berries
but couldn't take looking at them anymore--
fruitcake and Danish cheese in winter are wonderful treats,
but now I am dying for field ripened, summer fresh raspberries and strawberries,
and know I have to wait 6 more months to get some more :(
The Columbia River--Ft Stevens State Park, near Astoria
The Peter Iredale--a well known shipwreck.
Ft Stevens State Park.
On an earlier visit there, I was able to actually stand inside of it.
That was a strange feeling.
Part of the local wildlife--near the lakes there (not in the park)
Near Garibaldi, on Tillamook Bay.
Love that place!

Further south, part of Siletz Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
Inland from the coast and going southeast, I believe, is the town of Mt Angel-
this is their beautiful church.
Also nearby is a Abbey with gorgeous views of the valley.

Photo taken from a mountaintop park.

A Look Back at 2010: Springtime Gardens

Our spring garden, as usual, had a lot of color everywhere (despite the odd weather)
and a few surprises too -- as there always is:)
Chives--bud stage.

A brunnera--
perfect plant for a woodland or partially shaded garden because of the flowers
and dramatic leaves.

Fruit tree blossoms after a shower.
We had many spring showers...

Bleeding heart--alba.
The first of our two types to bloom.
I love, love, love white in the garden--
especially in shady areas.

Every year, it seems, I add more of these--
some of mine are very frilly
but I like this simpler type the best.

Russian red kale.
Please don't ask me how my veggie garden did this year...
please don't ask any PNW gardeners and farmers about the
2010 growing season that wasn't:(
Our wildflower garden after many 2010 additions--this next year should be even better!
It seemed like we had more birds this year too--I think they liked the new garden a lot:)

30 December 2010

A Look Back at 2010: Springtime in the PNW

Out and about in the springtime--
these are photos of Ft Vancouver located on the Columbia River--
a beautiful area with a recreated fort, gardens, historical houses and old barracks, an air museum and more!
Did I mention they have wildlife there too?
Love roses just like my grandmother and mom did.
I would love to make an area like this in my garden.
All gardens need areas to reflect, to read and to drink in the work of God's hands,
don't you think?

I have a thing about historical homes. Maybe it is because I am a descendant of people who crossed the Oregon Trail, maybe it is from all the time in Port Townsend, Jacksonville, Astoria, etc--but I LOVE historical homes.
I especially love the towers of historical homes-
I'm sure that is from all the stories I've read and movies I've seen about princesses in towers--
well maybe.

Beautiful flowers -- in the historical Fort Vancouver gardens.

A view towards the Columbia River and Oregon hills--
from near the gazebo/parade ground I think.

A garden of herbs--old Fort Vancouver area.
This is right outside the recreated fort.

And because I like them,
and because I started with a photo of one of them,
I shall end with one.
This one we found on a drive in the mountains--
unfortunately this is
the last photo ever taken of him--
someone that came after us did not see him :( :(
But at least he will be remembered here
in my heart.
On that not so happy note I will say...
Next: 2010 springtime garden

A Look Back at 2010: Winter Garden

A few garden scenes from 2010 (none from this December--yet)
Pieris in snow--
I am feeling very snow deprived right now so these will help me feel better :)
Magnolia bud-in our Japanese style garden.
Love the pink!

I call this mushroom babies--
for several reasons...
they seem to multiply each year
and I see faces on them
(do you?)

Plum blossoms-
I love these!
Each year I look forward to seeing the white and pink blossoms of our fruit trees.
I so believe in edible gardening!

The upper pond.
I love the seasons as reflected in the waters of our ponds.
The bare tree branches in winter,
the blossoms of spring,
the irises and daylilies of summer
and the brightly colored leaves of autumn.

And last, but not least--
more snow of course!
This time on one of our leftover apples.
May 2011 be a year of peace, joy and hope for you.

A Look Back at 2010: PNW Winter

2010 was a hard year for me, and yet, even as hard as it was,
there were definite moments of sunshine,
some of which can't be seen for they are in my heart only.
Here are some photos of those moments which can be shared:)
Winter 2010:
A very odd weather year.
Here are some photos of our winter...first on the road
Looking towards the Coast Range

Another mountain view
Wetland area---love wetlands and we have a lot of them!
This year I am very anxious to try out my new camera in some of our NW wetland areas:)
River view from above
PNW forest--notice the moss and ferns.
We have lots of both...and mushrooms (you'll see soon)
A flowering tree we passed.
A lot of plants were really thrown off by our spring in winter followed by our
winter in spring weather--
this was in the yard of a farm we passed one day.
Yea, I know I said sunshine..
but above the clouds I'm sure there is sunshine,
and besides, at times in the PNW, we measure a sunny day by the minute:)
Next: winter 2010 garden

28 December 2010

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time

there lived a little girl
(we'll call her The Pink Flash no matter what she is wearing).

And she went around stealing peoples' hearts:
her great grandparents,
uncles and aunts,
her mom,
older sibling
(for she was endowed with very great powers from on High to do this).

And this little lass lived
far, far away
in a land of great beauty and grandeur,
and she was very happy there
for it was a land of awesome dogs, chocolate chip pancakes, lions, a special mouse or two and a lot of books.
But her family here missed her,
and they thought of her often;
being the kind soul the Pink Flash is,
she would keep in touch with them in every way she could--
(Did I tell you she was very wise and knew the #1 reason cell phones
and the Internet had been invented for!)
And occasionally,
when her grandparents had been extra specially good,
and the timing was just right,
and the weather cooperated-
they would get their true Christmas wish
which just happened to be always the same one.
Yes, sometimes this wish would be granted early,
and at other times a little late,
but always it was granted for...
Choose 1:
1) Grandma Aimee is always a very good girl
who never gets coal in her Christmas stockings,
2) Because Father Christmas/Santa Claus, sadly, needs new glasses
and cannot see clearly if Grandma Aimee has been naughty or nice,
3) Providence.
And with that I will say
Merry 12 Days of Christmas
and good night!
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