29 December 2012

Scenes of the Season: Christmas 2012

Reindeer and tomte/nisse
yummy stollen
An angel music box, tablecloth and...
 a favorite dinnerware pattern from my past -- all connections to my mom whom I miss daily
but especially at this time of the year.
The makings of jul neg...
and an annual Nordic Christmas tree.
and light,
lots and lots of light in this time of sadness (for some)
and darkness.
to remind me of the Light of the World who is Christ Jesus.
Blessings on this late December morn,
Part of my collection of reindeer and tomte/nisse
(two of my fav seasonal things)
Stollen--my first.
(this is from Beaverton Bakery--an awesome bakery located not too far from Portland)
Angel music box, tablecloth
(from my mom)
Friendly Village dinnerware--in several patterns
(also from my mom)
Wheat and Scandinavian ribbon to make jul neg from
Scandinavian straw and painted wood ornaments collected over the years.
Lantern with fresh PNW greens.

13 December 2012

St Lucia's Day: A First

Today I had my very first Lucia bun to celebrate St. Lucia's Day
and it was very good!
Actually it was such a LARGE bun that I shared 1/2 with my friend.
Next year I will try to make them myself but I was happy to FINALLY find some and
didn't mind the trip to get them at all. After all, I've traveled all the way to Astoria to get fabulous fattigman cookies and Finnish pinwheel pastries,
and I've traveled all the way to Bend to say goodbye to a favorite niece and hug an aspen tree:)
Several of my favorite bloggers have posted recipes/info on Lucia buns:
Anne (Sweden)
L-Jay (Norway)
Both of these ladies have AMAZING blogs by the way!
Another first--
only slightly related to St. Lucia's Day 2012 is...
I recently did something I told myself I would NEVER do.
Do you know what it was?
Advent Blessings
Happy St. Lucia's Day

23 November 2012

On November 23rd, at exactly 2214, I am...

STARVING for a BIG bowl of this...

Just talked to her
(and her older brother)...
Thinking of this little one
(and all my grandkids and kids)...
HUNGRY for this (in addition to a BIG bowl of pho)...
Wishing I was HERE...
or perhaps HERE... 
Dreaming of THIS...
(even though one of my SILs won't be happy about that thought)
but also dreaming of sunshine and blue skies...
And DOING this...
except it isn't the middle of summer,
it is definitely NOT dry, warm, sunny and light outside
and it's not nearly as fun to do laundry using my clothes dryer--
but it does work:)
What are you up to?
 Oh yea--instead of the yummy pho
and equally delicious Irish Stew,
I just had some pretty tasty challah bread with sharp cheddar cheese melted all over it.
But I am still hungry...
1. Beef Pho at Bambuza Vietnamese Grill
(During one of my son + my "foodie" runs--SO fabulous I could eat it weekly!
We also had some very good spring rolls and Thai Iced Tea-yum!)
Their website should you want to know more...
2. DDD at the beach
one of my beautiful granddaughters
 (at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center)
(LOVE that octopus--LOVE this place!)
3. Irish Lamb Stew at Kell's
(once a year is NOT enough)
4. At Timberline, Mt Hood
(LOVE the beautiful historic lodge there;
love this mountain!)
5. Woodland Lavender
Beautiful, fragrant lavender...
LOVE this place!
6. Rhododendron Dairy Queen
(awesome staff and chocolate!)
8. Drying laundry outside this year
(SO miss these days)
A BIG thank you to Bambuza Bistro, Kell's, Woodland Lavender, OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and Rhodo DQ for their kind permission to take and post photos here...
can hardly wait to visit all of you again:) 

22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

From our family to yours...have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!
We plow the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all His love.

He only is the Maker of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower, He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey Him, by Him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, His children, He gives our daily bread,

We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
No gifts have we to offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But that which Thou desirest, our humble, thankful hearts.

Thank you God.

Aimee, Farmer Boy + the Furry Ones
We Plow the Fields.
Lyrics by Matthias Claudius
Translated to English by Jane M. Campbell, 1861
first appearing in A Garland of Songs
by Charles S. Bere, 1862.
Info as found on
Cyber Hymnal™,  http://www.hymntime.com/tch

This song or at least part of it, brings back some great memories of the play Godspell
(later put to film) and time spent living in view of the one of the waterways of the Emerald City.
I've always loved that beautiful city, this play and the lyrics to this song
on which the play's
All Good Gifts song is based.

Other links:
We Plow the Fields (song)
Thanksgiving overview
To see some photos associated with the Pilgrims please see posts labeled "Thanksgiving"

taken during a road trip with my oldest son, October 2012.

20 November 2012

Tuesday Morn + More

The storm has passed (with hurricane force winds on the coast)
and today the weather is expected to be a bit calmer
although still rainy and windy at times.
I still cannot upload to Blogger even when I reduce the photo size
so I hope you won't mind if I post a few photo favorites of mine...
 Our family room flooring is done (except for the finish moulding) and for the most part I am very happy with it! We now have laminate in the kitchen, dining room and family room...this weekend we will do the living room and hallway. I am SO excited to get rid of our wall to wall blue carpet as it had become so worn, stained and smelly! We are moving away from a mainly blue color palette to a more earth toned one.
Our dogs, however, are not too happy with the floor and the other day the biggest one jumping down from the sofa slid quite a few feet, probably adding to this feeling (I felt bad as he is nearly blind and it must have been very scary for him). Since then we have added a area rug and I may add another one.
Recently we harvested some of our kiwi (fuzzy) and apples too.
 I'm hoping that later today I will feel well enough to process them and the ice apples I bought a week ago when we were out and about...
I am SO tired of feeling sick and having pain:(
Thanksgiving will be quiet here --just the DH and I since my oldest moved south.
We will be having turkey (of course),
cranberry streusel sweet potatoes,
haricots verts
(links below on both of these veggie side dishes),
and more.
Before he left we did a Foodie Run in Portland and as soon as I can get them posted I will.
It is always fun to explore new places with him and I will miss that (but mostly I miss him).
 The other day a huge Blue Heron flew over our land--
it was amazing! We also saw some Canadian geese.
I will be happy when the weather improves a bit so we can
visit a National Wildlife Refuge and the Jewel Elk Preserve !
Time to get some breakfast...but first 2 Scandinavian Christmas crafts links I liked :)
From Sweden:
This is a 4 part series on how to make a julbock for outdoors Christmas decorating. Many beautiful photos of Sweden on this blog also.
From Norway:
A "how to" on making Norwegian heart baskets from felt. I have always liked the woven baskets made out of paper but I love these! This blog also has a large amount of posts on Nordic Christmas traditions-including recipes.
~   ~   ~
Thanksgiving Links:
Cranberry Streusel Sweet Potatoes
Hericots Verts
How have you been?
Clackamette Park, Oregon City
Wine Country area
SE Portland
(love Portland's public art!)
Independence, Oregon
More Wine Country

07 November 2012

The WORD on Wednesday: True Peace

Peace I leave with you,
My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
 Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Jesus Christ

Blessings this Wednesday,
Scripture from John 14: 27 KJV

01 November 2012

October Monthly Gratitudes

Just moving October's Gratitudes here to make room for this month's in my pages...
Happy November 1st everyone:)

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
and into His courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless His name.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you..
September 30, 2012
Today I was thankful for a trip in my beloved Coastal Range and to Astoria.

October 1, 2012
Today I was thankful for the beautiful, BIG blue dragonfly that came for a visit.

October 2, 2012
Today I was thankful for the wonderful autumn weather we have been enjoying!

October 3, 2012
Today I was very thankful for the comments I received on my post "Sometimes";
they encouraged me when I really needed it.
I'm also thankful for this thought I found in Matthew Henry's Commentary
on Matthew 6:34: "Let us not pull that upon ourselves all together at once, which Providence
has wisely ordered to be bourne by parcels...
by our daily prayers we may procure strength to bear us up  under our daily troubles".

October 4, 2012
Today I was thankful for a visit to Beaverton Bakery (challah, strudel, etc),
Scandia Imports (lingonberry juice, solo, chocolate, etc),
Michael's (autumn decor for tablescapes, etc)
and Japanese food!

October 5, 2012
Today I was very thankful for our ripe Concord and Niagara grapes--YUM!

October 6, 2012
Today I was thankful for a trip to one of my favorite Central Oregon coast beaches--
the waves were amazing, the weather warm and we got to watch a surfer:)
I am also thankful that we had a chance to see our son-in-law before he headed home.

October 7, 2012
Today I was thankful for the challah I (finally) got to eat some of. I was also thankful for the blue skies, some dish towels I found that remind me autumn leaves (they made me smile)

October 8, 2012
Today I am thankful that my 'Autumn Dream' looks like it will be coming true! I am also very, very grateful for the kindness of my niece; a quick chat with my youngest granddaughter, my dear daughter-in-law and my dear daughter:)

October 9, 2012
Today I was very, very grateful for these things:  1) getting the chance to hug my niece goodbye before her move out of state, 2)  a safe and incredibly beautiful trip to, from and in central Oregon (what an amazing place), 3) conquering my long held fear about a certain mountain lake!! For all these things I give thanks to God:)

October 10, 2012
Today I was thankful for the opportunity to rest, sleep and rest some more!

October 11, 2012
Today I am very thankful for a certain little girl who means the world to me.
Love you baby girl:)

October 12, 2012
Yikes! Forgot to make an entry today...but I have been thankful EVERY day for the changing leaf color. I SO love the yellows, oranges and reds! When it is gray outside, I am especially thankful for their jewel-tones:)

October 13, 2012
Today I am especially thankful for the gift of food one of my sister-in-laws gave my hubby and I (chili!) and the gift of flowers (a beautiful red azalea) another sister-in-law and her husband gave us.
I grew up in a fairly small family (one of siblings died before my birth) and it is truly a GIFT to have so many brothers and sisters to share life with:)

October 14, 2012
Today I was thankful for the rain we received and for the rain that makes its way over the Cascades and to the parched ground and forests of central Oregon! I pray that this rain will put a stop to the devastating fires in the Pacific NW. I am also thankful for the book I started reading this weekend that is transporting me into the interior of beautiful British Columbia...

October 15, 2012
Today I am thankful for candles, flashlights and laptops.
I was also thankful that God included Jonah in the Bible so I would know God loves us even when we run from Him and that He brings together circumstances in our life to bring us back.

October 16, 2012
Today I am thankful for a forecast of 3 sunny days! Yippee!
I am also very thankful that a new cyber friend and one of my uncles have been sending me information on things related to my family heritage:)

October 17, 2012
I was very grateful to get to dry some laundry outside today--in mid October!!

October 18, 2012
Today was a very, very sad day for me. I received some distressing news about a friend of many years...I am grateful I could ask God, who created heaven and earth, to help them.

October 19, 2012
Today I was thankful for the wasp who taught me a spiritual lesson as I was washing dishes today
(or should I say for God who sent the wasp from whom I learned a lesson)   :)

October 20, 2012
Today I am thankful for something special coming my way soon:)

October 21, 2012
Today I am thankful for the wonderful SNOW photos my son sent me...
snow always makes me happy! I am also grateful for my friend of over 40 years who is still a part of my life though she lives in another state!

October 22, 2012
Today I am thankful for the fact that I keep a journal offline so I can update this page:)

October 23, 2012
Today I am thankful for a new mattress set
(and my hubby is even MORE thankful for it)!
I am also thankful--again--for the beautiful autumn color!

October 24, 2012
Today I am thankful that I was able to finish 3+ loads of laundry
(but I am really, really missing hanging it outside).

October 25, 2012
Today I am thankful for new jeans
(but mindful that I really need to lose some weight)
and the incredible beauty of blueberry and Lady's Mantle leaves after a rain.

October 26, 2012
Today I am thankful for phones...
and for a certain caller:)

October 27, 2012
Today I am thankful for a little thing--
and yet a very big thing.
I am thankful for a roof over my head
(because it is pouring outside).

October 28, 2012
Today I am thankful,
SO incredibly thankful,
 to see my son again!

October 29, 2012
Today I am thankful for the wonderful day that my son and I had in downtown Portland,
eating outside in late October, some yummy donuts, city pigeons, public art and more!
I am also thankful that my son has a giving heart.

October 30, 2012
Today I was thankful for another day with my son---yummy Vietnamese food,
an autumn drive in the countryside and a new pillow (which until now was my son's).

October 31, 2012
Today I was very thankful for an answer to prayer!
Recently, several blogger friends suggested I start a journal in which I record things on a daily basis that make me cheerful; things that I am grateful for--this is my online version of those journal entries. Please feel free to share your 'gratitudes' too in the comment section:) Aimee

Psalm 100:4 KJV
I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

25 October 2012


Sorry to 'leaf' you...
but I must.
It's time to celebrate:)
See you in November
(or perhaps sooner).
By the way, would appreciate you checking out the poll to the right.
Trying to decide whether to include the Follower gadget or not.
Photo: yet another reason I like blueberry plants...their gorgeous autumn leaves!

23 October 2012

Back to the West: Central Oregon Pt IV

Back to "the West"... 
 I know I've already shown you some photos of Drake Park in downtown Bend,
but I LOVED it there! The geese and ducks were very, very entertaining ---
especially when they were 'bottoms up' looking for food under the water.
It was SO wonderful to be able to walk along a peaceful river and watch the wildlife swim by:)
A beautiful view of the mountains from near the top of one of the buttes in Bend
and the gorgeous autumn colors that we saw up there too! Such a different world from the western valleys of Oregon and western Washington--both beautiful, both unique! 
 Ok---I know we are going back...but I REALLY, REALLY like geese and parks:) 
I know you've already seen this if you are seeing this in October...
but I wanted to be able to see this photo when I change my header.
This is an area we passed on our way to see the headwaters (underground springs) of the Metolius River. The headwaters are located not too far off the main highway and it is a very, very peaceful area with a paved, not too long path you can take to get to a large viewing deck near the river--not as near as I would have liked (I would have changed to my zoom lens had I known) but definitely worth a trip! I was back to barefeet again by this point:)
And last --
at least for this post...
along the Deschutes River Trail
near the Aspen Grove (at Aspen Day Use area).
one can never see too many rivers or too many trees don't you think?
And now--time for a quick snack and then off to bed.
It is going to be a very, very busy week..
Drake Park (1, 3)
A scenic drive up a butte
Metolius River area
Deschutes River Trail
(at Aspen Day Use area) 

18 October 2012

Back to the West: Central Oregon--Pt III

I love many trees: maples, evergreens, fruit trees (especially in spring during blossom time) and more. But there is ONE tree that I am especially fond of, especially at this time of the year, and that is the Quaking Aspen. Yes, I long to see their beautiful white bark and wearing their autumn gold finery at this time of the year. And I long to see them because they remind me of some of my forefathers who lived high in the Rocky Mountains.

So, along with seeing my beautiful niece, the call of the aspen brought me east of the Cascades this year...
 to walk among them
to listen to their call
to touch that wonderful white bark.
LOVE aspen...
and I just found out there may be some close by:)
The photo above was taken by my wonderful niece.
She, knowing I love aspen, went on a 'treasure' hunt for them
and then sent me a whole lot of photos!
Isn't she the greatest?
LOVE you dear niece!
Other things:
Well a comment by someone got me searching for my own 'treasure' this week...
a treasure of heritage (family history) so I have been busy 'diggin' up that treasure,
thanks to the help of a wonderful woman (and fellow history lover).
It has also helped bring back some great memories of my mom and grandparents.
Yes, there is a reason for this post being so short--
besides being busy,
I continue to have problems uploading to it
and then sometimes it will say it's failed
so I try again to the same message,
only to find out it did upload BOTH times.
Any suggestions?
Any preference between blogger, wordpress and typepad?

12 October 2012

Back to the West: Central Oregon--Pt. II

Ah--the gray skies and rain have finally arrived in the very dry PNW...
a good day to cook some beautiful sweet orange winter squash (ambercup + gold nugget),
drink some hot mountain huckleberry tea
and remember the brilliant sun, blue skies and gorgeous leaf colors of central Oregon.
Let me see,
I believe last time we met my friend and I were in Sisters at Sisters Coffee Company...
 so we'll begin there.
We were sitting on the comfortable leather sofa in front of the big stone fireplace,
enjoying a eggnog coffee and some huckleberry iced tea,
munching on some very yummy cookies and relaxing to some good music!
Definitely an awesome place with friendly staff, yummy baked goods
 and a wonderful western decor:)
BTW, here is a photo of their outside eating area--they had a nice water feature there!
(to see more photos go here: http://www.sisterscoffee.com/hood_avenue.html)
With some newly purchased Mountain Huckleberry tea in hand we were on our way to the next destination---
Bend, Oregon.
Here we stopped at the visitor center to get
some very specific information about places I wanted to go,
things I wanted to see
and other things.
The staff  were friendly and extremely helpful;
I definitely recommend a stop there if you need information about this area.
(and BTW they were SO right about the friendliness of Bend residents).
With maps, pamphlets and a visitor guide in hand,
we headed to the next item on my 'to see' list...
Drake Park-
a wonderful park located along the Deschutes River.
There we enjoyed some golden tree leaf color,
the river
and the very entertaining ducks and geese!
LOVED it:)
From there we traveled a bit to see my beautiful niece...
also a lover of photography and nature, by the way:)
I definitely wanted to give her a proper hug goodbye as she leaves on a new adventure soon
Is it OK if I say I'll miss her...?
I will.
After bidding my talented  niece goodbye and wishing her well,
we took one of the routes the visitor center staff had recommended
(they SO understood my NEED for lots of autumn color)...
it just so happened to take us up a butte where we did see lots of  autumn color
and a whole lot more!
(the photo above is a bit of the whole lot more)
Next stop: time under the aspen trees.
Notes + Photos: 
Sisters Coffee Company
Visit Bend
Drake Park, Bend.
A BIG thank you to Sisters Coffee Company for permission to take and
post photos taken from inside their incredible coffee shop!
(SO hungry for one of their wonderful oatmeal-cranberry cookies right now).
Way too short of a trip...
As usual, I am not associated, except as a satisfied customer, with any of the businesses I feature (unless I say so specifically).  
Today is the 50th anniversary of the Columbus Day storm,
do any of you remember it?

11 October 2012

Back to the West: Central Oregon

We left before sunrise on our adventure back to the "west".
After a quick stop (and then a quick return) to a favorite stop by a lake,
we arrived at our first major destination--
the Short Covered Bridge.
I, as usual,
was dressed appropriately for the FROSTY weather in the mountains--
barefoot and wearing summer clothes.
But great lighting on a beloved covered bridge
 can make one do strange things,
even when one has bare feet.
I now know just how  freezing COLD a covered bridge's surface really is
on a frosty autumn morn.
My friend, being more practical in nature and dressed suitably for the weather
will never know such things.

Slightly before the bridge,
where my feet froze BUT I got the photo I wanted,
we passed a camp and this little 'western' town.
I have NO idea of its importance or use,
but I loved it:)
Alas, the lighting was not quite as wonderful here,
but still you have to grab a photo when something is this neat.
On our way again,
we passed by lots and lots (dare I say again?) lots of trees
and I took many photos--
but unfortunately our car window showed the evidence of many a
 bug's demise limiting the ones I will post here.
But you get the idea, right?
Beauty, amazing color, blue skies, miles and miles of evergreens,
cold mountain rivers, great vistas...
And then came the area hit by fires in years gone by...
still amazing autumn color,
blue skies
and some evergreens...
but it was SO painful to see the devastation that only a forest fire can bring
(deep sad sigh inserted here)
I was hoping there would be more recovery by this time,
having been in this area with my parents some years ago-
alas it was not to be.
And then,
after lava, a couple of mountain lakes, more areas of fire damage, amazing views..
we arrived at our next destination
Sisters, Oregon
and one of the BEST coffee shops ever!!
But, alas again, I must bid you farewell,
for the hubby will soon be home
he likes to eat dinner when he gets here.
Imagine that?

10 October 2012

Birthday Journeys

 My first birthday trip brought me west...
up into our coast range,
along creeks and rivers
and to a favorite restaurant.
 And it also brought me to one of my favorite beaches--
where my hubby and I shared some sweet childhood memories
and later made new ones in a mountain valley he had never been to.
 And then last week brought us here--
just because we're still having beautiful autumn weather
and are trying to savor every minute of it before our REAL autumn begins.
 But yesterday,
well yesterday's journey brought me west again--
to a place I consider the 'WEST',
gorgeous central Oregon...
land of sagebrush + juniper,
rivers, lakes + waterfalls,
mountains + buttes. 
And also,
land of past memories,
family ties,
a real feeling of the 'Old West'
and ASPEN--beautiful, wonderful, unforgettable aspen.
It was a great place to celebrate another year;
it was a great place to remember.
And later this week,
IF blogger photo upload cooperates...
I will share some of my trip with you.
And if blogger doesn't cooperate?
Well I am considering some changes:(
friendly cat at Camp 18--
a very well known restaurant in Elsie.
Fort Stevens--Peter Iredale Beach.
Somewhere along the central Oregon coast
(OK, I know where but I am keeping it a secret for now)

08 October 2012

Autumn in the Pacific NW

Outside the leaves are changing...
our weekly trip to the coast saw more yellow
and of course, red.
At home, the lilac and blueberries have more color than other plants...
but, from where I am sitting, I can see the Japanese maple is in the process of changing color too.
I have a very long list of 'to do's' today ...
so I hope you won't mind these photos of leaves from autumn's past
In fact one of the reasons I am SO busy today has to do with autumn leaves...
beautiful red and yellow leaves in fact.

It is also a dream I have had...
the dream I have every autumn.
But this year it looks like my dream will come true
(although not quite in the way I originally envisioned it).
Perhaps you have a autumn dream too?
Autumn leaves from various locations,
including my sibling's and our garden.
The Little Luckiamute River
(Falls City, Oregon)
Thanksgiving tablescape from last year
(just bought some things for this year's Thanksgiving)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...