Thursday, April 29, 2010

People and flowers..a great combination

Here are the photos we took of us...while touring the gardens. This is my oldest daughter Joy and I...
and Joy's youngest daughter Macy Hope. She enjoyed picking up the fallen blooms!
Joy's oldest daughter Kory, and her friend Travis that we brought with us from Bend for a visit. He graciously put up with all the photos and flower gardens: )

Our friend Doris also went with us, so here we are at the Rhododendron Garden.

There is a beautiful tulip farm just outside Woodland...which is prettier the daughter or the tulips? I think she needs to be on their catalog.
Joy and Doris enjoying the tulips.
A fair bloom among the fair blooms...we loved those tulips!
Doris at the Lilac Garden in Woodland...

and a pensive photo for Kory with all those fresh young green leaves.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring's Time Table

Spring often advances one step forward and five steps backward. We just took a giant leap forward by going over the Cascade Mountains to where spring is moving along more quickly and making her presence delightful!

If I could have added a 'smelling' link to this post I would have given you the fragrance of the lilacs to enjoy. Hope you will be enjoying that smell soon yourself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Mantle Clock

A few weeks ago I wrote about things I had inherited from my Great Aunt Minnie. I have a few things left to 'show and tell'. The next thing I have inherited and loved, is a mantle clock. Aunt Minnie had two or three, so my brother and I each got one. My clock was made by the Ingraham Clock Company, and I think was made in the 1930's, when Aunt Minnie purchased it new. This clock always sat upstairs at her house, on a bureau on the landing, so that you could hear it chiming the time at night. It is a simple 8-day winding clock, that strikes the hours. It has a lovely case (I don't know what wood the case is made from) and a very nice 'face' with easy to read numerals.
During one of my parent's moves, the winding keys were lost. When they gave the clock to me after my marriage, we went to a clock repair shop in Seattle looking for keys. There were two original keys, one with a large hole for winding the clock and a smaller one for adjusting the loudness of the chime and the speed of the clock. The shop proprietor had a bowl full of old keys, and we looked through them until finding the one below:

Some ingenious person in the past had welded the two keys together into one two-sided key, just what we needed! It always stays behind the clock on my living room mantel now, and we have managed to keep track of it during all our moves in the last 38 years.
Julie has favored this clock, and remembers it fondly from her childhood. Someday it will be passed along to her.

We have a wonderful clock shop close by in Sisters, Oregon. After the death of my mother in 2000, we had a small estate sale. I decided to get something special to remember her by with the proceeds. We went to Sisters, where I picked out this lovely pendulum grandmother wall clock. It is a millennium edition, and has a beautiful walnut case.

I love my mantel clock, but always wished for one that played the Westminster Chimes. Now I have one, and it chimes the quarter, half and full hours. My oldest grandson Samuel especially likes hearing the chiming clock at Grammy's house.
We are leaving tomorrow for a true 'Spring Break'. We will be visiting the Rhododendron Gardens in Portland, the Lilac Gardens in Woodland and the tulip farm outside Woodland. My daughter Joy assures us that all are at their peak, so it should be glorious. We are taking a couple of friends with us, and I will show some photos next week when we return.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Cleaning

It's that time of year again, when spring fever hits. I want to do it all...clean up the yard and gardens, clean each room, drawer and closet, and just clean everything in sight! Ah well, there is just not enough of me, and with the passing years less gets done in a day I find. Is there anything that represents spring so well as the daffodils? In my yard clean-up I have found a few things blooming, even here in late-arriving spring Central Oregon. My daughter Joy who lives in the garden capital of the world (Woodland, Washington) just smiles when I get exited over my daffy's. Didn't I know that they had daffodils a MONTH ago?? and are now on to bigger and more beautiful spring blooms. Oh, well, I continue to be exited over my bunches of daffodils.
Two kinds of bleeding hearts are showing off their spring beauty..

and a few rockery plants are blooming heartily.

I have finished several rooms in my hunger for a fresh, clean house. Today it was the kitchen, and do you see the clean shine on that counter? Boy, does a deep-cleaned kitchen feel good! The trick is to balance cleaning the inside AND the outside. I don't think I've mastered that trick yet, but I'm working on it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Winter's Beach

This post is a nod to the season past...for we are at last joining the new season of spring.
Have you ever walked a winters' stretch of beach? It bears little resemblance to the warm length of toe-digging brown sand in summer. As I pick my way between rocks, driftwood, foam, froth and thick nests of bubbles, there is interest everywhere. The crashing waves are higher and louder. The sand is wet, a coarse gray-black, and there's only a strip of sand visible along the cliffs as the tides are much higher.

No crowds play and loiter, as only a few hardy souls hunker along under winter woolens, acknowledging my solitariness as I pass them by. Gray clouds, scud and race to the waters' horizon, matching winter colors to the water. Sharp wind bites my ear-tips, reddens my cheeks and blows salty air through my lungs.

And, oh the foam in winter! The thick yellow-white, dirty soapy-looking foam. Today it coats the sand, like a sweater, racing on before the wind in froth and bubbles, ever moving and blowing apart to expose pieces of the sand to winters chill bite. Walking through it, I kick it aside as a substance without substance, only meant to hide and cloak. Why do the waves froth and foam in winter so violently upon the sand, do you know?

And then....there's the magic of a winter snowfall on the beach. Have you ever been lucky enough to see the flakes cover the sand...if only for an hour? The ocean roars with the wind while the flakes ignore their upheaval and settle ever so gently on unfamiliar ground; sand...wood...rock...and foam. The beach hides in a crazy game of hide-n-go-seek, while the snow counts the minutes it can stay. A glorious paradox, akin to fairyland enchants lucky spectators at the beach in a snowy wintertide.

On this winters' night the boat lights offshore, shinning through the fog give me pause. Somehow the risk is greater, the courage higher, the sacrifices deeper. At the same time the lights are comforting and commonplace. They put winters elements back into perspective with the presence of humanity.

I reflect as I climb the steps homeward from a long cold walk, that tonight, winter on the beach is best enjoyed by firmly closing the scene to sit in front of a log fire with a bowl of hot chowder in silence, contemplatively soaking it all in. Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

For the Little Cook

Somebody just had a birthday. Knowing how much she likes to cook with her mom and in her play kitchen, her Grammy planned ahead and made her a lovely, girl-sized apron. We wanted Grammy to see right away how it looks on the receiver. :)
Some nice long ties to allow for growth. A darling accessory and a useful tool! What fun we shall have putting it to use!

Friday, April 9, 2010


My confession: I haven't touched my mending pile in years (I think 2). Certain things that are really worth fixing still get put in there, but it's been a very long time since anything came out of there and put back into a drawer. I finally delved into the stack last Sunday afternoon. I got so excited as I went along that I ended up stitching away until the pile was half diminished.
What a great feeling! I mended half of my accumulated fixer-uppers!! Nice, good-as-new items, ready to be used by the excited persons who happen to fit them by now!
I looked through the second half of the pile to see what each thing needed and I'm all set to tackle the rest soon. Hurray!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just before Easter a friend and I hosted a Tea Party at my home. Our Church is trying to have ladies to get to know each other better, and to that end we are having one birthday celebration a month for the ladies of the Church whose birthdays fall in that month. I had the February birthdays, and my friend the March ones, so we collaborated and had one tea party for two months. I love tea parties, and always love an excuse to host one, so I polished up the silver and got out some of the pretty china and dishes I inherited from my mother. This is a cute pair of salt and pepper shakers I get out for Easter each year, from the Precious Moments line. They looked festive on the table, although nothing we served needed salt or pepper! Our menu was as follows:
  • Button Cookies
  • Lemon Angel Cookies
  • Grapes, with crackers and cheese
  • Scones, with a simulated clotted cream and freezer raspberry jam
  • Three choices of tea...Backberry Sage, Ginger Peach and decaf Cinnamon Cardamom

The scones were delicious, but it was a new recipe and didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned. Still...there's nothing like a warm scone, with cream and jam!

I filled up my Mom's silver server with the cookies. The 'button' cookies were also a new recipe, and I didn't like the way the first ones turned out, so started over with a tried and true dough. They turned out to be small rounds that time, just like they should look. I poked two holes, side by side, with a straw to give them a 'button' look. I found a new/old recipe for decorative icing from my old Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, and colored it with pastel colors. I don't know why I had never tried that icing before, but it turned out to be a huge success. It's easy to work with, firms right up on the cookie and tastes great too! It will be my icing of choice from now on...(it's never too late to learn some new tricks).

Here's a close up of the decorations on the cookies...

The lemon angel cookies were made from the same dough, but sandwiched with some homemade lemon curd between. Yum!

We had a lovely time, sitting around the table, sharing stories of our lives and sipping tea.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended.
From Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands, by Martin Luther

Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended

Who was the guilty?
Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied Thee:
I crucified Thee.
For me, kind Jesus, was Thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life's oblation:
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.
Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.
From Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended, by Johann Heermann

Friday, April 2, 2010

Darkness and Shadows

This is our weather this morning...Good Friday, April 2nd, 2010. It somehow seems fitting for this day of sorrow and contemplation. The tulips, daffodils, new spring leaves on the trees all belong to Easter Resurrection Morning. It is a morning filled with darkness above and shadows beneath...

Tonight, we will remember our Lord's death in a 'Tenebrae' service at Church. This word Tenebrae, is Latin for darkness or shadows, and was the name of a very early Christian service remembering the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah.

May you all have your faith strengthened this day, as you enter the way of His passion.

"Go in peace. May Jesus Christ, who for our sake became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, keep you and strengthen you this day. Amen."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Insurance Man!

60 years ago today, this wonderful man was brought into the world...
We were thinking about his birthday this morning, and I wanted to share what our conclusions were on reaching this milestone in life. First, we felt so entirely grateful that he has reached this point, 60 years of life, here on earth. Second, that he has reached this point with no major accidents or illnesses. He has truly been blessed with the gifts of life and health. God has been so merciful to give to me and our family this man for sixty years.
God hand-made and selected him before he was a 'twinkle' in his mother's eye, to serve and glorify Him all his days, and this is me, his wife, bearing testimony that he has done exactly that. Gratefully we acknowledge that God selected him for salvation, and this man's life has been a testimony to God's goodness and grace. I am and have been so privileged to be a part of his life and his help-mate.
Today we are grateful and thankful for the 60 years we have been given...thank you Lord!

Insurance man on his 3rd birthday...he looks a little different today, but just as cute!