Friday, August 31, 2012

A Special Thursday

 Yesterday Sam and I shared a picnic lunch with our friend Kathy on her wonderful deck. As Sam commented, it looks like a fishing lodge with all that beautiful wood. They got on great together, and as we left Sam commented on what a nice lady Kathy is, and how he hadn't really been old enough to appreciate her before.

 We were all so comfortable out there, in 70-something temperatures, and Kathy's comfy deck chairs and plump cushions.

I even had someone to take a photo of Sam and I together....I will cherish that photo!
We had a great time together, and although it wasn't fishing....always Sam's first choice, we did have great discussions on fishing.

I had been planning on sharing some photos from everyday of Sam's visit, (a large part for his family back in West Virginia.) However, my camera has not been co-operating, or at least the camera operator. I thought I finally had it licked last night, but found out this morning I only had shortcuts to nowhere this morning instead of the pictures. Oh well, suffice it to say that we had another fun time last evening. The three of us went down to a park on the Deschutes and watched the sun go down and the full moon rise as Sam threw his fishing line into the water where the fish were jumping. He did indeed catch his first trout, and his first 'wild' trout. It was a beautiful little guy, and after snapping a few photos (I thought) of the catch, released him to swim another day. Rainbow trout are the prettiest fish up close. This one was a purple-ish green color, with dark green and lavender spots. We all admired the trophy.

Today, Sam and the insurance man are on a lower Deschutes float/fish trip with friends, fishing for some much bigger fish. However, it is still only catch and release. So, hopefully the insurance man can get some good photos for Julie and her family back home. What a great time we are having...a wonderful blessing.

Have a great Labor-Day week-end!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He's Here!!

 We have been planning for this moment for long years. Peter & Julie, the insurance man and I. We knew one day this moment would come. And at long last God has seen fit to bring it to pass! Samuel, now 13, boarded a flight in Pittsburgh, PA yesterday morning, and arrived in Portland, OR about 2:22 Pacific time. The insurance man was there to meet him at the gate. Big grins for everyone.

Of course we had one hungry teen-age boy on our hands, so a stop at Olive Garden on our way out of Portland was needed, and appreciated.

Today so far, we enjoyed biscuits and gravy for breakfast, then Sam and I enjoyed a trip to the fruit stand and to the library. Sam spent the whole time seated on the floor of the aisle under the fishing books, and brought 3 of them home to study. After a lunch of smoked tri-tip hoagies, and carrots from the garden, Sam is now busily engaged in straightening out some fly fishing line, and attaching it to the appropriate rods. He is preparing for an all-day fly fishing raft trip with the insurance man on Friday. He is going with us to the Family Kitchen to help serve meals tonight, then home for some Cuban-style pork roast with rice. A great first day, with 9 more to come.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August Garden and August Pleasures

 There are several things blooming in my August garden, but none give me quite the delight of my dahlias. This one is named 'Patches', along with some gently nodding cosmos.

The delights of summer eating. I have a bounty of fresh basil out my back door, so made up this August lunch of split muffins, aged Gouda cheese, fresh pesto (made from my basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil) topped with field ripened tomatoes. Ahh.....

 ...and who can forget summer reading? This is one cover photo of the book 'At the Back of the North Wind' by George MacDonald. MacDonald was a Scottish poet, author, minister and teacher, who lived from 1824-1905. He wrote stories he said, "not just for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of 5, 50 or 75 years." I have always enjoyed his work, but have not read this particular book since I was young. I am struck (by reading it with adult eyes) at his analogies and metaphors. This morning I read a great passage describing the Sovereignty of God. The North Wind is talking to the main character, a child named little Diamond. I will quote a portion here:

"I have got to sink a ship tonight."
"Sink a ship! What! With men in it?"
"Yes, and women too."
"How dreadful! I wish you wouldn't talk so."
"It is rather dreadful. But it is my work. I must do it. Little Diamond, I will keep you in front of me. You will feel the wind, but not too much. I shall only want one arm to take care of you. The other will be quite enough to sink the ship."
"Oh, dear North Wind! How can you talk so?"
"My dear boy, I never talk. I always mean what I say."
"Then  you do mean to sink the ship with the other hand?"
"It's not like you."
"How do you know that?"
"Quite easily. Here you are taking care of a poor little boy with one arm, and there you are sinking a ship with the other. It can't be like you."
"Ah, but which is me? I can't be two mes, you know."
"No. Nobody can be two mes."
"Well, which me is me?"
"Now I must think. There looks to be two."
"Yes. That's the very point. You can't be knowing the thing you don't know, can you?
"Which me do you know?"
"The kindest, goodest, best me in the world," answered Diamond, clinging to North Wind.
""Why am I good to you?"
"I don't know."
"Have you ever done anything for me?"
"Then I must be good to you because I choose to be good to you."
"Why should I choose?"
"Because--because--because you like."
"Why should I like to be good to you?"
"I don't know, except it be because it's good to be good to me."
"That's just it, I am good to you because I like to be good."
"Then why shouldn't you be good to other people as well as to me?"
"That's just what I don't know. Why shouldn't I?"
"I don't know either. Then why shouldn't you?"
"Because I am."
"There it is again," said Diamond. "I don't see that you are. It looks quite the other thing."
"Well, but listen to me, Diamond. You know the one me, you say, and that is good."
"Do you know the other me as well?"
"No. I can't. I shouldn't like to."
"There it is. You don't know the other me. You are sure of one of them?"
"And you are sure there can't be two mes?"
"Then the me you don't know must be the same as the me you do know--else there would be two mes?"
"Then the other me you don't know must be as kind as the me you do know?"
"Besides, I tell you that it is so, only it doesn't look like it. That I confess freely. Have you anything more to object?"
"No, no, dear North Wind. I am quite satisfied."

There you have it, Calvinism for children....or for simple minds like mine to absorb.

And finally, some August blooming roses. The old-fashioned, wonderfully sweet smelling roses. Hooray for August!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Joyful, ever Joyful, we adore Thee!

 This great hymn of the church was adapted from Beethoven's 9th symphony, the last movement more commonly known as 'Ode to Joy'. Last night the insurance man and JoAnn joined in a mighty throng for our local Sunriver Music Festival, to perform Beethoven's 9th, with the Mastersingers and world renowned guest vocalists joining in on the last movement. Oh, what a thrill that sent chills down my back, to hear this mighty work performed in the original language (German). What glories, and what gifts God has given to man to sing, to play, to conduct, to compose.

 What praise to our heavenly Father went through my soul at this exquisite piece of music and praise. However....

if you don't know this already, Beethoven originally wrote his 9th symphony and set it to a poem written by German poet Schiller. It was a huge tribute to joy in our human experience along with brotherly love, with a bit about Greek Gods thrown into the humanism. Nothing of real 'God' truth or praise in the original poem. It was this man, Henry van Dyke, who adapted a new text to the glorious music, which became our hymn "Joyful, Joyful." What thanks the church owes him, for attributing joy to the rightful giver, for us in human life and in the divine. I felt exactly as it says in the last stanza:"Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began." Last night I joined in!

I believe the text fits beautifully with what God inspired in the music created. I went back this morning to read over the words and here they are for your encouragement this morning:

"Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays.
Star and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest.
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are Thine.
Teach us how to love each other; lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus, which the morning stars began.
Love divine is reigning o'er us, leading us with mercy's hand.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife.
Joyful music leads us sonward, in the triumph song of life!"

Have a joy filled day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Fun

 Spontaneous moments are just the best! Here is JoAnn, with granddaughters Kendall and Macy all enjoying a few moments with sidewalk chalk, intently producing great works of art!

Before they were finished they colored in those big squares...just to have the sprinklers blur them into impressionist paintings the next morning.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gracious Thankfulness

One more post on Ashley and her wedding. We received such a thoughtful and gracious thank-you note from her this week. It always makes a grandmother's heart warm when a family member writes prompt and heart-felt thank you's. We greatly appreciated what she wrote. But, she also included the above photo with her thank-you's, which I think goes above and beyond. They thought of this early, to take this photo, then paid for them, to include with their notes. It truly demonstrates a spirit of thankfulness, which I hope lasts Ashley all her life.

God bless your future, Ivan and Ashley!

Friday, August 3, 2012

County Fair Entries

 About a year ago JoAnn picked up crocheting again. She had learned as a child, and did a little in 4-H club, but hadn't picked up a needle for years. All of a sudden, she not only picked up the needle but found out what a great selection of yarns are available now. She got to work, and loved it....and found she could even create her own designs.
She started making gifts for everyone in the family, and we all loved that! One of her recent projects was a sweater for niece Macy. She was still working on it, so decided to enter it in the County Fair, which was a good motivation to get it done. This is what she came up with... a design of her own, with the colors picked out by Macy's mom.

 After she decided to enter the sweater, she looked around and found a few other completed projects. Here is a baby or doll's sweater-

 and she found a few potholders that she had tried out various patterns on. She was still learning then, and has since made many for gifts...beautiful projects.

We went to the fair on opening day, as we were all exited to see what she had won (we never doubted she would win something!

 Here she is standing in front of the display table, along with many other beautiful items.
 Her two sweaters were hung up, and the potholders are in the back on the table.

 This sweater won a first place ribbon...
 and this one won 2nd place. We were kind of surprised, as we thought the bigger one would do better, but actually it had a lot more competition in it's category. She also won a 2nd place on her potholders. She was pleased, and we were so proud of her. It's a great start for many good things to come, and we can't wait to see Macy in her sweater.

 Another highlight was finding these day old bunnies. There are six of them wedged in there, and they were so cute. I noticed the owner had mixed some mama rabbit fur in with the sawdust, which must have felt and smelled like 'home'.

And here is mama herself, keeping a close eye on us as we enjoyed her little offspring.

Fairs are always so much fun, and we finished off the day with a wonderful Eberhart Dairy ice cream cone. Success in every way!