Friday, May 22, 2015

A stick of butter

As you can see by the raindrops outside the greenhouse, we are having a rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest.  I am grateful for that is what keeps us green around here.  And green is a good thing because it is the season of growing around our house.  (Which is why I took an unplanned blogging break...)

I recently added several Japanese paper lanterns inside the greenhouse for a bit of color.  They have battery lights inside and will look so pretty at night during the summer months.  

There are several things growing in the outside garden but I still have some seedlings inside the greenhouse. Above is several basal starts and two pots of pansies as well.

And look at the pepper plant producing already!  I am growing two different varieties - an orange and a green.   

Until today our weather has been pretty mild.  Three days in a row I sat out this stick of unsalted butter thinking I wanted to make some cookies.  Two of the days I put it back in the refrigerator because it was a better day to garden rather than bake.

Today, however, was a perfect day to bake.  Oatmeal chocolate chip - my favorite!  And in case you don't get your fill of chocolate from the cookies (I like them heavy on the oatmeal and light on the chips), a jar of dark chocolate, Himalayan salted almonds.  An indulgent reward for all the vegetable gardening : )

What have you all been up too?  I hope to get caught up with everyone soon.  In the mean time, have a great weekend friends...

Friday, May 1, 2015

What I learned in April

(Picture taken at my sister-in-law's house - so cute!)

This month I learned:  

Our insurance company works with another to administer parts of our insurance plan.  The company they work with is Premera Blue Cross who was the target of "a sophisticated cyber-attack".  In other words, both my husband's and my social security numbers and birth dates could be floating around who knows where.  Boo.  I love many aspects of technology but unfortunately this is not one of them.

It is quite possible to miss shaving large portions of your legs on more than one occasion (which is always discovered AFTER showering) due to the many thoughts swirling in my head during said showering sessions.  Am I the only one who does some of their deepest thinking inside the shower?  

Seeing the  little seedlings emerge once again in the greenhouse and garden make me want to do a happy dance.  No matter how many times I plant seeds I always have some doubts about them actually coming up and when they do - well, it feels like a little miracle all over again.

There is no shortage of hurting and broken people affected by disaster (natural and man-made) to bring us to our knees in prayer for.  (Earthquake in Nepal, tornadoes in the south, volcano eruption in Chile, as well as pain, fear and unrest in Baltimore and beyond.)

I have not outgrown my ability to become car sick.  My mom, my daughter and I made a trip up to see my sister's new house and have lunch out.  It is about an hour and a half away with beautiful scenery along the canal that winds along a very winding road.  I sat in the back on the way home and it wasn't pretty.    

Apparently I have been missing out on the health benefits of pink Himalayan salt by using regular table salt and or sea salt.  I have read several articles that say as much.  We do, however, have a Himalayan salt lamp in the bedroom.  It is supposed to help with air quality (it is left on low even during the day) and gives a really soft glow at night.  I am wondering if I should give it a little lick as I pass by...

No matter how crazy life is, and it can get really crazy, God is right there beside me in the midst of it all.  He has a plan and a purpose for my life and holding fast to his promises makes it possible to navigate the rough waters.  

I read (Robyn, is this true?!)  that in French you don't say, "I miss you" when you are telling someone they are missed.  You say, "Tu me manques", the literal translation meaning "you are missing from me".  Sigh...yet another reason to adore the French language.

Linking up today with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for What I learned in April.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Giving Thanks Friday

This week I am thankful for: 

I know I listed them recently but I am so loving the neighboring goats and NOW the new babies that they are producing.  I love hearing their little "baaa" as they follow close to their mama's.

The lovely Dawn from Beyond Grace who helped me out with a tutorial link which I greatly needed and for Debby from My Favorite Things who took the time to track down my e-mail address and alert me to a blogger/google+ issue that needed some repair.  You ladies are great! 

Music.  It truly blesses my soul.  Grateful for those willing to share their gift with us.          

Food, glorious food  I mentioned to my husband one evening that I wish we didn't have to eat - translation being I really did not want to cook that night!  Truth is, not only do we need nutrition but we truly get to enjoy the sights, tastes and smells of what we eat.  And this time of year I am savoring the fresh green asparagus, the baby lettuces springing up and the the sprouts grown on our counter top.

My husband's willing hands and heart, using both to help out his widowed mom with household repairs and lawn work.  He has also done some of the same for my parents.  He is a good son/son-in-law and I love him for it.  

A $10 off $10 or more coupon for a major department store - it's like free money!  Of course I spent more than the ten dollars but found a cute maxi skirt on sale for just $19.99 and with my coupon I spent just over $10.  For a skirt!  Yay me!

The newness of spring with all the sprouting plants, flowering trees, nest building/egg laying birds and newborn baby animals.  What a glorious reminder that God makes all things new and continues that work in me.  

What are you thankful for?

May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Whose I am

Time finds me
caught up
the busy thoughts
of who I am not...

all to the 
of who and Whose
I am.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!"  
I John 3:1 (NIV)

I took these pictures at our local daffodil/tulip farm a fews weeks ago.  Such a fun place to visit!. A great place to enjoy God's creation and remind me of the beauty He finds in us - His children.

My mom doing her best Vanna White impression.

Linking up today with Kristin from 152 Insights to My Soul for Three Word Wednesday and Jennifer for #TellHisStory.    

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I learned in March

This month I learned: 

Cooking grilled cheese sandwiches and blogging are NOT a good combination.  #burningitup

They guy in front of you at the UPS store may or may not be asking how he can overnight an envelope of "powder" to China and how much would it cost.  (In case you are wondering - $7200).  My daughter and I sat in the parking lot watching him because as you can imagine our imaginations were working overtime!  

I tend to misspell spinach (which I grow and love in salads) every ding dong time I type it. 

Hearing the lovely Irish music played more often during this month somehow makes me think I can get up and do an Irish dance equal to those on the television.  Sadly, it is only true in my mind.

Speaking of television, (this did NOT happen in March but I feel I must mention it all the same) the Parenthood TV series ended and I ugly-cried my eyes out during the last few episodes.  It was such a well done, pretty real to life program and one they wrapped up beautifully.  

You can be driving (well husband was driving, so technically I was riding) along on a four lane freeway, after dark with, might I add, no cross walk in site (obviously, hello - it IS a freeway!) and out of the corner of your eye spot not one but two adults half running, half WALKING across your lane (of, again, a four lane freeway with posted speeds of 60 miles per hour). Thankfully I was able to shout to my husband who slammed on the brakes barely missing them both.  They were dressed in dark clothing and he didn't see them.  Oh by the grace of God...#heartpoundingthanks

Even though I did not sign up for it, I received an e-mail from Purina inviting me to their Chicks Days Event, gave me instructions on giving the chicks a good start AND enclosed a $2 off coupon on feed.  A coupon!  IT MUST BE A SIGN!  Well, my husband apparently does not believe in the same signs as I do.  Whatever.  There is always next year and I don't give up that easily : )  If you want to follow someone who raises some pretty cute chicks check out this lovely lady.   

Just like many of those celebrating during the original triumphal entry we, too, can have the Messiah right in front of us and yet miss who He really is.  May God blow our selfish assumptions away that we may see Jesus for who He truly is this Easter season.        

Linking up with Chatting at the sky today.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inside the cupboards

They were moving and we had come to help pack the last of their belongings - a feeble attempt at saying good-bye to a family who had been such a huge part of our lives for so many years.  

The men went to work on the heavy stuff while she and I went to work in the kitchen, the heart of the home, and my heart was beating quick as I tried to stuff deep emotions down from the surface.  They were leaving our community, one in which their impact was great spiritually.  They were going where God was calling.  But the leaving was hard.  Hard for them; hard for us.  

So we opened cupboards.  

Among the pots and pans, bags of tea and cans of soup, we found a forgotten package past its expiration date, some crystals of sugar from a hurried return of the container to its space.  Bits and pieces of lives lived to the full.  

We talked as we sorted and even laughed a bit as we boxed it up.  I wondered how I would feel having someone, even a close friend, go through my cupboards - to possibly find some stray pasta that had escaped its container or some crumbs of crackers that left the tin.  What would they think of my housekeeping skills? What would they think of me personally?    

We, as women (sorry guys who might be reading...), consider men the prideful species but us women have our issues as well.  It's a vulnerable thing letting someone in to the deep parts of your cupboard.  It's even more vulnerable when you let them in to the deep parts of your heart.  

But the deep is where the true connections are made, lasting  bonds are formed and hearts forever joined.  It was a hard day letting go but also a good day of growing a step closer as I saw just a wee bit more of this precious woman's heart.  

Now moved for a couple years, I get updates from her on Facebook and some personal messaging.   The family is doing well.  They are just hours away and connections here will undoubtedly bring them back for visits.  I hope so.  We had a special day out and lunch together the day or so before the moving van actually pulled away.  We talked and shared like we never really had before.  I regretted that we had not done it sooner.  I regret it still.  We started out looking inside cupboards, then peeked inside hearts where God's love drew us closer together and His grace sustains us still.

Linking up today with Jennifer for #TellHisStory and Kristin for Three Word Wednesday along with Barbie from The Weekend Brew.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Giving Thanks Friday

This week I am thankful for: 

Spring!!!  It is officially here.  Here is to hoping it arrives, not just in name, for everyone soon...   

Honest sales associates.  A couple weeks ago my husband bought some "thing-a-ma-bob" that attaches to a tool he owns.  It was an inexpensive purchase (less than $5) and he paid cash.  After a few more errands we decided to get lunch.  Up at the counter to pay he discovered that his wallet was mostly empty and realized that the clerk had mistaken the fifty dollar bill he had given her for a ten.  I paid for lunch (so nice of me...) and we discussed returning to the store.  Even though there would be no official proof, after talking with him further the sales clerk had taken him from a busy register to a seldom used one which made me realize that it would be fairly easy for them to count their till and find the error.  No need.  He returned, (while I whispered a quick prayer) explained the situation, and she took him straight to the till and gave him the correct change.  Yay!  So grateful. And I think the Mister will watch closer for correct change next time. : )                

The sounds of tractors plowing in the morning and trains whistling at night.     

A neighbors new goats across the road.  They are SUCH fun to watch and the bonus is I don't have to take care of them (grin)!  

All the new baby calves that we are beginning to see along the road as we drive into town.  (Also thankful that the escaped chicken from one farm decided to NOT cross the road in front of me at the last minute.)

A phone call from a friend currently out of state - such a fun time to catch up and feel like she is not so far away.

Survival (and good outcome) of yet another yearly mammogram.  Ladies, get screened if you are due!  Also thankful that the imaging place where I go for screenings recently obtained a new 3D machine for better (and might I add, more comfortable) results.  

God's unconditional love.  For me.  For you.  For us all.            


What are you thankful for?

May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1)