Thursday, December 24, 2009

"For Unto Us A Child Is Born...


...a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) Tonight we will attend a candelight service in honor of His birth. It is through our Lord Jesus that we have restored fellowship with God, the assurance of eternal life and the reality of transformed hearts and minds. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even.......

A Mouse!
Our library TA made this candy for us. I can't bear to eat it, it's just too cute. It's made with a cherry (with stem/tail), a Hershey's kiss, almond slices and a single flake of coconut for the whiskers. So clever!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keeping First Things First

I am wrestling this season, vacillating between panic and joy, all of which is self-imposed! There are cookies to bake for gifts and things to wrap and cards to write and mail. I am at work for 8 1/2 hours every day, have physical therapy appointments after work several days a week and a multitude of holiday events I want to share with The Bearded One. When, oh when, will these things get done? In reality, they may not and I must let go of the angst over this fact. For if I don't, I will miss the whole point of this season, which is the birth of our Savior and Lord. It's hard to keep this in the forefront of my thoughts, when the list of things undone keeps sneaking in the back door! But I persevere!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Day....

What a wonderful day we all had in Des Moines, WA, feasting and visiting and enjoying the blessings of family. Every year we rent the clubhouse that is part of Kris and Paul's condo complex and this year we had a passel of people attend. Somehow Traci and Ian managed to avoid the camera. Just wait till next year, you two! And Noelani (nurse) had to work....again! The very best centerpieces ever!
Kaylie and Mylie

Dave and Cousin Tom

Zander and Wally

Josh, Jessi and Mei Mei

Jeff, Wally and Zander

Steve and Dave

Tom and Paul

Paul and Wayne

Pandora and Terry

Jeff and Kris

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fast Train To Winter Solstice

It's the day before Thanksgiving and although I had to work today, we were "set free" early today because of time we will have to put in later for the seniors' culminating projects. That's a whole other story.

As I left school at high noon, I realized people were driving around town with their headlights on. It's amazing what passes for daylight in this latitude! Granted, it was overcast and there is a rain storm on its way, so the sky was grayer than it might have been otherwise. But, I'm just sayin'......

I confess that I am affected by light, or the lack thereof. I used to rail against the lack of it during winter, but I have since learned to "embrace" it. So I headed home, made myself a cup of good strong REAL English tea and settled down to listen to my very favorite seasonal CD: "Innisfree" by the choral group named Anam Cara.

If you are at all a fan of choral music with little to no accompaniment (I am a BIG fan), you MUST find this CD and listen to their version of "O Magnum Mysterium". It is truly one of the most beautiful and haunting choral pieces I have ever heard, and it never ceases to transport me to a place that is not affected by light or the lack thereof!

"...but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" I John: 1:7

May thanksgiving be a natural outpouring of our hearts because of all He has done and continues to do in our lives. Enjoy this day set aside to spend with family and friends in acknowledgement of His provision!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Felting Frenzy

I have been hooked on felting projects this fall. I love felting, it's such a magical process. Generally your pre-felted project looks like a shapeless blob with no hint of its eventual outcome. It's amazing what a little hot water and agitation will do. Voila....felted pumpkins...just in time for Thanksgiving...and........nesting felted bowls! What does one do with nesting felted bowls? I haven't a clue! But it's a great way to use up leftover yarn!














Monday, November 16, 2009

It's the Simple Things....


I'm participating in Christina's ( from Soul Aperture) invitation to list some of the simple things in life that bring smiles to our faces. At the top of my list today is going to be the convenience of electricity! We started our day today in the dark at the high school where I work. We are in the midst of a powerful windstorm and the power to this side of town was out for 2 hours this morning. But the show must go on, so we had school nevertheless. We all sat around in the dark with our little flashlights and hoped the power wouldn't come back on so we could go home; but alas, it did!

Starting with number 2, my list is as follows:

2. hugs
3. phone calls from my daughter
4. candlelight, when it's appropriate!
5. sitting in front of the fireplace on a snowy day with a good book and a cup of tea
6. fresh peonies and their fragrance which permeates my house
7. puppy kisses
8. beautiful yarn and a new knitting project
9. beautiful fabric and a new quilting project
10. late afternoon light streaming across a field of blooming tulips
11. rainbows
12. fog...when I don't have to drive in it
13. raindrops hanging like jewels from the tips of leaves
14. a beautifully crafted sentence that causes me to pause and savor it
15. the smell of fresh cut pines
16. that first plunge into Bellingham Bay on a hot day
17. sitting and watching sunsets with my husband
18. the gift of laughter
19. walking in the woods after a spring shower
20. cooking a wholesome meal and sharing it with the people I love




Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blow By Blow

It's very, very windy today. That in and of itself isn't so unusual, but the timing is unforunate since one of our 4 middle schools here in Bellingham caught fire about 1:00 am and is still burning. It started on the roof (where welders were working until late last night) but quickly spread to the top floor. The roof and other parts of the building have collapsed. Water from firehoses is seen running out of the building. This is particularly sad as this is one of our oldest and grandest schools and it's future will now be uncertain; and in these tough economic times, it will not bode well for next year's budget and even more job cuts. And where will all those teachers and 500+ students go come Monday when all schools are already at capacity?

Fodder for prayer.

Here are some pics from today's Bellingham Herald:http://www.bellinghamherald.com/493/gallery/1145661.html#http://media.bellinghamherald.com/smedia/2009/11/05/05/Whatcom_school_fire_1.standalone.prod_affiliate.39.jpg

Friday, October 30, 2009

Answer

I've had several people email me and ask where I got the photo that appears at the top of my blog. I took it at Birch Bay State Park last spring...we were sitting at a picnic table and it suddently occured to me the table would make a great tripod for a pic in the diminishing light!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bite of Bellingham

Jessi and Josh came to visit this past weekend. Beau.....or vampire? Hmmm.....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Enduring Friendship #5

If it's October, then it's Stoney Ridge Apple Farm time! Derek and Debbie own and operate this amazing family farm and every October they open their doors to the public, inviting families to come for a day of farm life and fall fun. This is our 2nd year of helping out with this great ministry.

L to R: Ridge, Wally, Derek, Debbie
This is a favorite spot for family photos.

To the left is my FAVORITE building, which houses the dozens and dozens of fresh baked apple pies served a la mode with hot caramel sauce and at the other end is the homemade donuts...can life get any sweeter?


And of course there are the apples---many varieties to choose from, pick your own or buy already harvested.

No, this is not a diseased pumpkin. It's a sugar pumpkin and all those "warts" are globs of sugar that this sweet pumpkin couldn't contain!


Fresh snow on the Canadian Coastal Range and a field of pumpkins just waiting for kids to scavange in!


Love this truck!


And of course the day wouldn't be complete if "Uncle Wally" didn't manhandle Juan and Zane, adopted from Guatemala!











Thursday, October 1, 2009

Enduring Friendships #4

Prayer Availeth Much
These are my two dear friends and sisters in the Lord, Jill and Cheryl. We work at the same high school. (Sherry: Cheryl is Tom Beaumont's sister....I worked here for 8 years before I figured that out!) We work in a difficult environment, it can be quite negative at times. Last year began on a dark and discouraging note. Communication between staff and administration was non-existent and our enemy was having a field day dividing and conquering. It seemed a hopeless situation, but our Father relishes in these times because only He can accomplish anything when man comes to the end of his own devices. So we ladies buckled down and met once a week at 6:30 am to pray for our school and for those individuals who were bound and determined to create chaos. You already know the end of this story because there "is no shadow of turning with Him" and he brought about the changes in hearts that were needed to bind this staff together again. It was nothing short of miraculous. I wish I could say it was perfect--it's not, we still have those who are determined to be negative at every turn, but at least communication has been restored and those who are determined to be positive generally have the upper hand. Nothing is impossible with Him!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy National Punctuation Day!

What better way to celebrate than to share Victor Borge's delightful punctuation performance....love that man!



Monday, September 21, 2009

Holland in Bellingham

Saturday's around 3105 Vallette St. are leisurely. I'm an early riser, usually up by 7 am at the latest. Coffee is brewed, paper retrieved from the front lawn and my current book is placed within arm's reach. Later....much, much later....Wally greets the day! :) Usually I've already had my breakfast, but this Saturday I decided to whip up a recipe that I wanted to try from my newest favorite book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg, author of the wildly popular "Orangette" blog. Each story is centered around a special recipe. The stories are entertaining and the recipes are mouth-watering. I just had to try this one: Dutch Baby Pancakes. How can you resist with a name like that? It was easy to make and over-the-top fun in its presentation. Traditionally it's served just with a dusting of powdered sugar, but I added the fresh blueberries. This was fun on every level and will be repeated often!
How in the world did this ever fall under the jurisdiction of "pancake"? Looks like a bowl, acts like a bowl, fills up like a bowl!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Know You're Old When....

You read a book of essays about "the good old days" and he's talking about the 70's....the 1970's that is!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Farmer In The Dell

Saturday was Whatcom County Farm Tour Day, a day set aside when the public could visit many of the small family farms in our area and learn about their operations. There were too many for us to visit them all, so we picked the ones that we were unfamiliar with. It was informative and fun...and there were samples of cheese, milk and ice cream. It was encouraging to see so many families dedicating themselves to hard, hard work and the determination to do it as environmentally friendly as possible. And of course there were the animals!


Turkeys


Chickens
Goats


Pigs

Cows

And of course my favorite....sheep!

And late summer beauty...


And interesting examples of different county lifestyles!!



Friday, September 11, 2009

....And We Are the Sheep of His Pasture

I have a sheep fetish. They please me on many levels: they are cute, their wool provides me with endless opportunites to create lovely and wearable objects and God picked them as a metaphor for His people. It's an apt metaphor, to be sure. Sheep are basically incapable of dealing with life without a shepherd. Get the drift? I have many, many photos, paintings and knick knacks that feed my fetish, and now I have another Ryan McKenna designed quilt just finished! Baaaaa


Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Every Morning

Blue morning glories have quickly become my favorite flower in my garden. Blue is such an unusual color in flowers and these beauties exemplify it. But it's not just their color that delights me, it's also the fact that they are a perfect spiritual metaphor!

These flowers can only produce blossoms when grown in poor soil--they are completely dependent upon their vines and the sun to reach their full glory. Each blossom is absolutely breathtaking in its perfection, I can easily see why Georgia O'Keefe used them so frequently as a subject for her art.

But the metaphor doesn't stop there! These flowers only last one day. They open with the rising of the sun and then they close and fade with the onset of twilight. They have just enough energy for today. As the sun rises the next day, a whole new set of blossoms bursts forth! Like God's mercies they are new every morning as He provides us with just what we need for the task at hand.

It's true, you know. We are without excuse, as His glory surrounds us every day. We cannot say, "we never knew!"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kind Of Blue.....

No, not Miles Davis!
No, not ennui!
It's a blue ribbon! I won a blue ribbon! My very first ever!


Yes, I'm unabashedly tooting my own horn here, but you've got to appreciate the history. I've never been particularly good at using my hands: I received terrible marks in penmanship, never could type very fast, and generally have issues with anything that requires small motor coordination! For years I avoided knitting because I was sure I would be terrible at it. Shortly after Jess was born I decided to make a leap and I took knitting lessons from a kind and patient woman and I was hooked. I wasn't terribly good at it, but I had come to peace with my lack of perfection and just enjoyed the process.
So...when my good friend Lynn suggested I enter something into the Northwest Washington Fair held each year in Lynden, I stuttered and back stepped and said, "Oh no, my things are not fair quality." But she kept goading me and I decided to give it a try. I won 3 ribbons! A blue, a red and a white....how patriotic! And they even give you money! Who knew? I contemplated quitting my day job, images of me spending delightful days knitting a myriad of objects flashed through my head until I did the math and figured I'd be making about 2 cents/hr. at it. Ah well, the check paid for the gas up to the fair, I guess!
And about the fair, I had no idea that such things even existed until I moved here in 1978. Surely there must have been a state fair in Maryland where I grew up, but I never heard about it! I LOVE the fair. We spend hours there touring every building, spending extra time in the sheep exhibits, the draft horses (BIG horsies!!), the cows, the bunnies and of course the needlework exhibits. I envy the farm kids who raise animals and enter them in the fair, how fun and rewarding that must be. Almost as rewarding as winning your first blue ribbon at age 61!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Enduring Friendship #3

Newest member of the family is Darcy, front and center!


One of the great "mysteries" of life is the way that God weaves people into and out of our lives. How else can I explain that several years ago I met a woman that I attended the same private school with in 5th grade in Maryland? Her husband worked at the same company that mine did. Or try explaining how I met a woman who was dear friends with an actual relative of mine, not one I'm familiar with, but one who shows up on my family tree with the last name of Ridgely? I did write her and explain the "coincidence", but sadly she never responded.

Or....how do you explain the fact that my "second home" is in a town I'd never heard of until almost 20 years ago when Wally and I met Mauri Macy at THE FIRS which has begun a long-standing friendship that now includes Sherry Macy and that our daughter ended up attending college in this town and now teaches in it? Small world, eh?

Mauri and Sherry embody the word gracious. Their hospitality knows no limits, their friendship is genuine and precious and I truly, truly wish we were not separated by so many miles. Whenever they host us, we feel like "family" and they treat us this way. I love our conversations, our shared passions, and the easy way we fit into their world. We treasure them and wish everyone had a Mauri and Sherry in their lives....now there is a real path to world peace!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hangin' Out

One of my favorite "chores" during summer break is hanging clothes on the line. This activity appeals to me on so many levels: it's meditative; I love being out in the crisp breeze in the early morning hours; wildlife seems undeterred by my presence (birds dip in the birdbath only 5' from me, raccoons trot through the yard on their way to the cherry tree) and no matter what chaos is going on in the rest of the world, I can still order my wet clothes--shirts, pants, socks...very fulfilling!
So it's no surprise that I tend to gravitate to art that deals with laundry day, and my latest addition is a "landscape" quilt that I've just finished. It's one of Ryan McKenna's designs and was really fun to put together and looks fabulous when completed, mostly because it's a great design and the batik fabric does all the "work". I like it so much that I'm working on another of her designs that includes my other passion....sheep (not only are they darned cute, they are a renewable resource as any knitter will tell you!). Stay tuned.....

The clothes on the line are actually separate from the rest of the quilt...3D if you will!