30 September 2011

Sights + Sounds of Washington: Pt 2

After 6 or so hours of travel by and over rivers and a lake,

road work, gorgeous view after gorgeous view and more...

we arrive:)

(I) Yea!
We enter under the Nisqually entrance gate, pay our fee ($15/7 days)
and are on our way to our first main stop...

Longmire---beautiful, wonderful, I LOVE it here Longmire!
After a stop at the gift shop for directions to the trail we're off--
with good wishes for a great hike!
Note to self for ALL future hikes: drink more and carry water!

Longmire was homesteaded by a pioneer by the name of-
well I'm sure you can figure that out.
There are many mineral springs in this area
(not surprising in that Mt Rainier is a volcano).
This is one of the springs--Soda Springs.

And this is the forest on the trail--
I LOVE this place:)
By the way, at different places on the trail you will also see
the meadow, other springs, Mt Rainier, a cabin and more!

In the 'shadowy realm' -- my favorite part! When I was here one time in late May all that could be seen up the hill (right side of the photo) was brown; it felt ancient. I will never forget the colors, the light, the dark, the feelings of that day! Today the feelings were different--the forest was beautiful (some trees are over 250 years old) but there was GREEN amidst the brown and there was dappled sunlight!
(I) but it was brown before...

A photo near the end of the Trail of Shadows--
an amazing, not too long hike through the forests and among the Longmire's homestead.
(I) water, water, water...
(My friend) I thought you were in better shape than I.
Note to self: I love it when your friend anticipates your needs
and brings a sport drink for you:)
I leave you with my favorite quote of the day--
"Trees recieve a most beautiful burial.
Nature takes fallen trees gently into her bosom-
at rest from storms".
John Muir
Thank you God for the mountains and the forest;
they are just a portion of what you bless me with each and every day.

To be continued...

Sights + Sounds of Beautiful Washington: Pt 1

(I) Ugh! The weather forecast was sunny today.
(my friend) We are by the river, it'll clear up.

(I) I think we're on the wrong road here
(said as we crossed a causeway built over the middle of a lake);
this wasn't the road my dad took--I'd remember this!

(both) Beautiful (or some similar adjective)!

(I) This is NOT the right road
(as we drove higher and further into unfamiliar territory).
(My friend) You got your directions from ------!
I should have known--you can't trust -----for directions.)

After we turned around, retracing our route, stopped at two mini marts, talked to local residents, bought one Washington map, picked up a free map of the local area, texted my poor DDIL that we were lost, found the right route and were on our way again--this time with NO cell phone coverage.
(I) I like this route better; it looks more familiar....well maybe not, but I like it better.
(My friend) Some of the trucks on the other road were being blown around; it is less windy on this road in the valley.
(I) Sometimes my fear of heights is a good thing.

(I) Wow!!!!

To be continued---

29 September 2011

An Early Birthday Gift

My husband and best friend blessed me with a trip here as an early birthday gift.

It was the perfect day--full of the beauty of God's creation!



More photos later;

been traveling all day from before sunrise to well after sunset and I am SO tired.

Time to sleep...night all:)

28 September 2011

A Trip to the Valley: Early Autumn

Recently my best friend had a day of errands;

when she mentioned where she was going,

I eagerly invited myself:)

One of our stops was in Mt Angel, Oregon--

this time we got to see the town's Glockenspiel in action among other things:)

My favorite parts were the Gregorian chants and the song Edelweiss;

I had never seen a Glockenspiel at work before-I really enjoyed it!

BTW this photo was taken at the beginning of the 'performance'--

the glockenspiel incorporates features of the history of the area,

starting with the Native Americans.
We also stopped by here--

We left with sausage and strudel; nice people here!!

The strudel came frozen and would be baked that night (it was SO good);

the sausage was for my friend who likes spicy food!
In town we also traveled by the dancing children fountain--

we always do when we go here!

The town, as always, had a lot of flowers--

I love that a lot of towns do now!

Along the way we collected a some produce and photos at a few farms in the valley...

My best friend is taking this home--


How about these?

Aren't these artichoke flowers beautiful???

Yum, more harvest beauties--

it amazes me the variety we have available in vegetables...

look at the color of this broccoli!

How about these tomatoes?

In one town we visited,

we found people leaving excess produce from their gardens

on a table for those who can use it.

I really liked that idea;

we had picked up plenty from a farm in our route already

so we didn't need anymore though!

There were more in the trunk:)

More produce: here is a yellow cauliflower;

I'm not sure if I've ever seen one before.

I wonder if it holds that beautiful color when cooked?

Passed lots of onions...

if you look very closely you might also see the Cascade Mountains,

the range of mountains that run north to south in the PNW

and lie east of the Willamette Valley and western Washington.

And last, but not least, we passed a beautiful field of these...

black eyed Susans.

I LOVE this time of the year, don't you?

Blessings, Aimee


Notes: if you want to see more of Mt Angel please use the search feature to the right. They have a beautiful abbey, monastery and church there among other things. And a BIG thank you to the Mt Angel Sausage Co. for permission to post a photo of their fine establishment! Here is their website should you be in the area and interested in strudel or sausage: http://www.ropesausage.com/

26 September 2011

Flora + Fauna at the Zoo: Pt 2

We are having fall weather today in the PNW--

rain showers at times, wind gusts off and on,

cool and cloudy.

A perfect day to get caught up on some housework...

and bake the DH some cookies!

But if I am going to do that, I must get off the Internet--

so on with the post I wanted to share with you today:)

This summer, when my DD and grandkids came out,

the weather was much the same when we went to the zoo-

well minus the rain and wind:)

In other words--it was a GREAT day to visit the Oregon Zoo;

I only wish I had worn my odometer that day and every other day during my DD's visit!

Enough talk--let's walk?

I walked in socks as my sandals were not working for me;

you may keep your shoes on:)

I have a thing about white fur (hence our dogs have white fur), so today's theme is ...

animals with white (or some white) on them.

Our first stop is at the residence of the polar bears;

ahhh, it's nap time:)

Next--some brightly colored flowers;

I shall miss the flowers of summer,

but in a month or so our autumn/winter flowering camellia will be in bloom

and I will be so in love with it, I'll be OK.


In the PNW area, we met this guy (or gal).

Now it would be a dream come true to see one of these Mountain Goats in the wild!

One of my former co-workers has seen them and bear;

she gave me the most wonderful going away gift when I quit my job!

Knowing how much I love the mountains...

she put together a CD of some of her hiking trips for me to have!

I LOVED it and still do; it makes me smile just thinking of it:)

It is one of my favorite gifts ever!

Look at all that white fur!

I think he (or she) looks quite noble, though a bit ragged!

I loved this exhibit--

even if I did, sort of, get lost in here

(actually I knew exactly where I was...my family just thought I was lost.

When I am taking photos, it is all I think about--sometimes).

More flowers---knowing my camera,

these might have been more red then they appear:)

And now,

one of my favorite photos-

taken in their petting area...

I think I'm in love!

Have a blessed Monday!


Photos: TY to the Oregon Zoo for permission to post these photos and for all the obvious concern they show for the animals entrusted to their care! I ask that you please respect my copyright on all of these photos and do not copy them unless you ask and are granted permission by me to do so. This is to ensure that the zoo's philosophy re: their animals, which I totally support, is adhered to. Thank you:)

My Hiding Place


art my hiding place and my shield:

I hope in Thy Word.
Psalms 119:114 KJV

Last night I watched the movie, The Hiding Place-

an adaption of the late Corrie ten Boom's life during World War II.

When I was younger and living in Seattle,

I had the opportunity to see and hear this courageous lady in person.

Her story, is indeed one of courage, love, faith and forgiveness.

And as I watched the movie,

I asked myself...

Would I have reached out to save strangers knowing what it could cost me and my family?

Would I lose my faith had I been the one imprisoned in such deplorable and seemingly hopeless conditions (lice, hard labour, little food, cruelty, crowding, etc)?

Would I be able to forgive my 'enemies' as Corrie and Betsie were?

It is something for me to think about.

Be blessed,


Photo: Siletz Bay and two of my five grandchildren:)
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