02 June 2012

Saturday at the Seashore

Sea serpent on Saturday at the seashore.

What did you see on your Saturday outing?

01 June 2012

Friday's Fruit + Flowers

Have you ever really looked at the flowers around you?
At the differences in color, texture, fragrance and form?
 I feel so blessed when I wonder among the flowers and 'baby' fruit of our gardens.
I am so amazed at the beauty of the Creator's creations!
 I am a bit humbled too because I know that I,
nor any other man or woman,
could create the world I see among us.
Yes, we can make different varieties of flowers and fruit...
but God and God alone created the original.
Simply amazing!
And sometimes delicious too
(as these raspberries will be in the not too far future) 
 And these blueberries too...
Yes, the blessings around me,
remind me of the One who has blessed me.
And to Him, do I give thanks.


my favorite of our Japanese irises
 (bowles mauve)
 (Jupiter's beard)
lettuce + Swiss chard
(red sails + Bright Lights) 

31 May 2012

Syttende Mai: Viking Soul

Swedish meatballs, pickled herring, aebleskiver, blotkake.
Lingonberries, pressgurka, fattigmann, Finnish pinwheels,
yes, these are a few of my favorite things
(at least when it comes to Scandinavian foods)!

I was craving some Nordic goodness
and was totally delighted when I found
a listing for a food cart in Portland that specializes in lefse...

In Portland?
Not far from the Norse Hall where we were going?
In one of my favorite areas of Portland--the Belmont District?
Oh yea, count me in!
BTW for those of you who may not be familiar with lefse,
and we all have been in your shoes at one time,
it is a thin, delicate flatbread made from potatoes.
You can eat them plain, with butter and cinnamon-sugar or
with almost any filling you like.  

Now, I've had lefse from grocery stores and bought some at Nordic festivals-
though all were good,
some were definitely better than others.
Based on the great reviews, I had very high hopes for Viking Soul's lefse...
Would they really be as great as I had read?
I really, really hoped so---I was hungry for some GOOD lefse:)
We found the place with no problem and parking close by
(and as a bonus even got to drive by my favorite Victorian house in this area).

After chatting a bit with the delightful owners--
Megan and Jeremy--
and another nice lady who was there,
we proceeded to place our order...
I chose a vegetarian lefse that sounded particularly delicious
and also ordered a lingonberry ice tea
(because I adore lingonberries).
I was not disappointed...
the ice tea was absolutely fabulous.
In fact, as I am typing this, I am remembering just how DELICIOUS it was!
And then the lefse wraps were ready to go....
my vegetarian, a rhubarb one for my friend,
and as an added blessing,
the owners kindly gave us a free lingonberry wrap:)
Here are the finished lefse--
(how I wish this photo had turned out better;
it can be very difficult to hold 3 lefse wraps in a car and take a good photo...LOL).

Now remember how I said "though all were good, some are definitely better..."
these lefse fall in the latter category;
in fact these surpass all the ones I had prior to then.

The lefse were really thin and
of the most delicate texture!
They were perfection...
And the vegetarian filling?
(see photo #3 for the ingredients)
Oh...my goodness, talk about heavenly!
A while later,
after the vegetarian lefse
(hereafter known as the heavenly lefse--
at least by me),
blotkake at Norse Hall,
touring the Hall,
and some other things...
I found myself waiting for the Syttende Mai parade to begin...
and I decided that would be a good time to consume the final lefse---
This time a sweet one filled with a combination of lingonberry preserves
(oh yes!)
the owners' own cream cheese.
Verdict: again a heavenly medley of flavors.

So did Viking Soul satisfy?
Did they live up to their reputation?
Am I eager to go back?
So eager!
Have I already decided what lefse to order?
Oh yea...


For more information on this wonderful Portland, OR food cart see this link

A BIG thank you to the owners of Viking Soul for allowing me to take photos of their food cart, Gudrun, and post them here on my blog! TY also for the free lingonberry lefse--it was beyond delicious and I am already craving another:)
As per my usual disclaimer--I am not associated with Viking Soul in any way.

30 May 2012

Guess What Season It Is?

If you said spring...
you'd be correct.
And if you said Rose Festival season...
you'd be right too.
as all of us know---
the best part of this time of year is...
 it is
 the beginning of
our LOCAL strawberry season!
Oh, yea:)

And what do I plan to do with all this strawberry sweetness?
1) rinse and eat (done)
2) rinse and eat more (soon)
3) make these wonderful, delectable, yummy fresh strawberry muffins ASAP

 I will add a little lemon zest
(because I adore lemons),
use raw sugar
(because I LOVE that stuff)
and add--
a teeny. tiny bit of extra milk
(if I think it needs it).

But I won't overfill the muffin tins
(even though my oven could use a good cleaning again).

OK, locals and others---
what is the first thing you will do with the first ripe berries from your area?

And now to eatin'


Nancy's recipe is highly rated by many (and I mean many) people;
if you are looking for a fresh strawberry muffin recipe, I KNOW you'll like hers!
I know I do:)

The WORD on Wednesday

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied...
keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jude 1:2, 21 KJV


A BIG thank you to Grace of One Saylor's Log
 (see her blog link under my PNW blog list) for bringing this verse to my attention.
Photo from Washington Park, Portland--
road between the Vietnam Memorial and International Rose Garden.
Gorgeous drive...

29 May 2012

A Garden of Solace

In the hills above Portland, Oregon there is a garden.
It is a place to remember;
a place to honor those who were lost;
a place to find comfort.
It is the Oregon Vietnam Living Memorial.
 We enter the garden...
walking the brick pathway which leads inward
and then upward.
This was our era--
my husband's and I.
 He knows the story much better than I;
he was part of the story...
though he served in the States and not overseas as so many of our native sons did.
Many have left flowers--
a beautiful and moving symbol of life.
The pools fountain is peaceful--
its melody soothing and refreshing to those who visit here.
 This Memorial Day the garden is filled with the beauty of blooms
and the beauty of the views before you
(Mt. Hood wasn't visible on this mostly cloudy day)
 I pause again at the first memorial.
How could I not know when this conflict,
that affected the lives of so many began?
(the war ran from 1959-1976)
We pause at each of the granite memorials
to read the inscriptions on them:
little glimpses into life at that time
and over there.
And the names of those who never came home--
to this beautiful land of evergreens, snow capped mountains and wild surf;
who never came home to the ones they loved.
War takes a large, priceless toll...
let us remember to pray for peace...
both for our nation
and others.  
Let us pray for and remember the families
who have sacrificed so much during our nation's history...
let us never forget their pain;
let us pray for them to find comfort
Let us remember those who have fallen;
those who are left with wounds--
seen and unseen.
Let us never forget... 
for these are our sons and daughters;
our fathers and mothers;
our aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends;
our fellow countrymen.
"So long as we are not forgotten we do not die..."
Dona nobis pacem.

Dedicated to the memory of those whose names are inscribed in this garden
and in the hearts of those who loved them.
Dedicated to the memory of ALL of our fallen and wounded warriors.
May God surround you with His peace and love.


The Vietnam Living Memorial is located in Washington Park,
not far from the Oregon Zoo, Children's Museum and the World Forestry Center.
Parking is available near the Memorial.
All photos taken Memorial Day 2012.

28 May 2012

Repost: A Witness Now~Memorial Day 2012

Among the trees, flowering shrubs and manicured lawn they lay,
side by side,
each with their resting place marked
by a grave marker and American flag.
For this is a National Cemetery --
one of many and it is the final resting place for
Veterans of World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts.

Comrades in arms;
both those who have passed on full of years
and those who died while in the prime of their life.
The flags -- small and large --
wave in the breeze on the hillsides here;
so many lives--so many stories told and untold.
We come here-
children and other descendants, schoolmates, friends
and parents too.

Veterans and civilians,
some who have not forgotten the ferocity and cost of battle;
others who just feel the need to remember, to witness
this day-
the service and the sacrifice
of the precious souls at rest in this hallowed ground
above the city.
"You're his witness now.
Without a witness, they just disappear."

Blessings to the families of our fallen Veterans today.
May you find peace in the midst of your loss
and may you know we will remember.

Update: May 2012.
My heart breaks as I listen to the evening news.
Another son; an only child lost on a battlefield far from his native land.

I want to take away this family's pain; dry their tears.
I want them to know another person cares for what they are suffering.
That for some of us this is not just another day.
I want them to know that the death and service of their son will always be remembered.

This post is humbly dedicated to the memory of that fallen Marine
and to the memory of all those lost.
May peace flood their hearts
and may peace be granted all mankind.
Note: above quote taken from 'Taking Chance', HBO films, 2009. USA.
Photos taken spring 2011, Willamette National Cemetery.

27 May 2012

Syttende Mai: Parade From a Different Perspective

Ah! The wonder of a parade!
Here are a few photos from the very unique and most wonderful 2012 Syttende Mai parade...
 A robot boy--a most talented dancing robot boy!
(and behind him one of the most wonderful vintage cars)
 The great and very entertaining marching band kept us tapping our toes!
A lot of the beautiful Norwegian flag--
carried by boys and girls;
men and women;
and on cars! 
Here are a couple more of the vintage cars --
I LOVE vintage cars!
At one point we owned a 1949 car...
I didn't care for it much then;
how time changes ones perspective:)
 This was a true cultural celebration...
but it was also a neighborhood get together where one was invited to join,
if they would like,
in the day's festivities!
A large amount of bunads--which come in all different patterns
(for more on bunads I would invite you to visit My Little Norway
and Britt-Arnhild's blogs).
Everyone looks so wonderful in their bunads--
look at the wonderful detail in her skirt and apron!
I never get tired of looking at them.
 Oh a little parade goer...
this is cuteness indeed!
I love the little pacifier accessory!
Yep, it was one of the best parades ever... 
 I am SO happy to have been able to go!


Sadly, the mournful laptop blues are still being sung at our house
but I have managed a few things online.
And now--the BIG test...
pressing 'publish' now:)
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