15 September 2012

Walking Among the Dahlias

A walk among the flowers can do the soul so much good.

It turns a sad day into a glad one as you find yourself caught up in the beauty of creation.

So many colors,
so many sizes,
so many varieties...

I love how the light of the sun makes each flower come alive--
makes them glow...

Beautiful, amazing, gorgeous...I need more adjectives to describe these blessings of the garden.

And then there is the life within the garden...
the amazing, captivating bees...
I didn't always enjoy bees.
In fact, we had a very bad relationship.
Every summer one of them would sting me...
every summer.
Now we get along---and I don't mind sharing garden space with them at all!
But I still don't like yellow jackets, wasps, hornets...
and right now they are their normal angry selves---
another sign that we are in the last days --
calendar wise--
of summer.
Do you get along with the bees of your summer garden?
Today is a very sad day for me--my trip to see my kids and grandkids has fallen through
and my hubby is resting so there will be no trips today among the dahlias at the farm
or the evergreens and vine maples of the mountains
or along the ocean beaches
to lift my spirits.
But I have come up with another way to help lift them...
today and tomorrow
(or on whatever day you find this post),
I give you permission to copy one of these photos as my gift to you
and use them for any personal, NON-commercial use you desire
(it MUST be a NON-COMMERCIAL use).
And a friendly reminder, permission is given for just this ONE post please.
I hope that you will find one that blesses your spirit today:)
The dahlias at Swan Island Dahlia Farm,
Canby, Oregon
Their website is:

14 September 2012

Into the Unknown: Of F.E.A.R. and Detours (pt 2)

Sorry for the delay--life has been a bit busier lately:)
The miles passed, the astoundingly beautiful scenery continued---non stop---as we made our way over the mountains. But despite the fact that there was NOTHING I saw that was scary, my anxiety and fear continued at a high level. I had an idea though; I knew how to stop the nasty emotion I was feeling and how to regain safety and peace. As I had said before, I 'knew' this area...
Soon there would be another choice to make---
one road that would get us off the mountains
and onto the safety of the lowlands (the 'known').
 The other, a continuation of the official 'detour' and more of the dreaded unknown.
Despite my protests, my husband had made up his mind and he turned to the right--
the road that kept us in the mountains. He had no fear of the unknown,
even though this was unfamiliar territory to him too.
 I wish I could have felt that way.
  Again, amazing beauty
(these photos don't do it justice)--believe me!
Tree covered hillsides, woodlands, deep forests
(and even a little roadside 'waterfall')--
I knew there were bigger ones here too, hidden away in the woods.
And then we were there---in the realm of the 'known'.
I once again felt safe and my anxiety disappeared (for a.while) 
But what a price I had paid--all that emotional output for nothing. All those photos of the gorgeous forest and mountains lost forever by my need for control; my desire to feel 'safe'
when all along, we really were safe--
there in the middle of God's mountainside garden.
There is a time when fear is good; when it is even helpful.
I know this from an experience when I was a young, pregnant mom on a country road.
But sometimes fear is just this....false evidence appearing real,
and it takes a HUGE toll on us--body, mind and spirit.
I know, I've paid the price too many times.
And the funny thing is I am looking forward to repeating this same route ASAP,
this time to truly savor and embrace all that is there in that area.
 But it won't be the same...it never could be because of my CHOICE to live that day in the past
and in the future (instead of in the now).
And quite honestly because of my inability to let go and trust,
truly trust that HE is always with me,
even when detours come along my way.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.


Photos: Oregon's northern coast range.
 From what I have read,
the first 4 lines were possibly written by Reinhold Niebuhr and the
of the prayer added later by an anonymous author. Source + link for more

The acronym F.E.A.R.--false evidence appearing real is not my original work. From what I can find on the Internet, it may be the work of an anonymous author. If anyone knows differently, please leave me a comment so I can properly credit the source.

12 September 2012

Recent Events II + the WORD on Wednesday

This blog will return to regularly scheduled programming--
But recently Aimee has been busy
sharing her hubby's clam chowder at the coast.
And she has been...
traveling new hilltop roads in search of an elusive covered bridge
(but the views were awesome).
And Aimee has been busy...
gathering up the culinary lavender from her own yard
which has been drying on a line under the kiwi arbor...
which, by the way, are really BIG this year:)
And this gal has been making some very, very yummy apple butter today
By the way, beware of the hubby with a mug and spoon in his hand
hunger in his eyes
(of course who can blame him as the sweet smell of apples, sugar, spice
and more spreads through the house).
Mental note to self:
contact Momzoo and ask her how one is to get any sleep with that yummy smell permeating all corners of the house:)
And before the apple butter,
the trip to the coast,
the search for the elusive covered bridge,
Aimee was busy making apple pie filling...
slicing a lot of apples
(a lot by my standards)
and eating quite a few too.
And Aimee has been busy
working on her other blog
and spending way too much time working on her family history.
She is also working on yard stuff
(but mostly her best friend is)
And did I say
peeling, slicing + coring a lot of apples!
Yes Aimee has been busy...
busy having FUN:)
What have you been up too?
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Genesis 1:11-13 KJV
Mo's clam chowder
somewhere in rural Oregon
(more shall be revealed)
one of two bags of dried culinary lavender
(Yum! Made some lemon lavender sugar cookies too)
applesauce on the way to becoming yummy apple butter
(this is after about 5 hours in a crock pot, mostly on low)
easy, easy apple pie filling ready to be frozen
(I am SO hungry for apple pie)
apple slices taking a lemon water bath--LOL
my favorite kitchen tool right now.
Easy, easy pie filling
(link to original poster, Julia also)
"Crock pot" apple butter
Lemon lavender sugar cookies
No recipe really...
I just added a little organic lemon juice and some dried culinary lavender (about 2 tsp or so) to a
cookie mix I had bought some time ago. I was craving lavender that day...
(my hubby actually ate them).
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