Sunday, May 30, 2010

Who Moved?

Moving Truck 2

If God seems far away,
it is often because we have moved.

‘Come near to God
and He will come near to you.
James 4:8

Friday, May 28, 2010

Here We Go Again!

In just a couple of hours we will be on the road again – my sweetheart, Joey and I – off to spend a week of vacation together after many months of an incredibly hectic pace. My sweetheart has been working about sixty hours a week and often has worked six days a week. Needless to say, there hasn’t been much ‘together’ time. My life has been complicated by the need to take on additional responsibilities he normally handles. Like getting the car serviced, keeping the home fires burning and things like that. Add to that my ‘normal’ crazy pace and we are ready for time away. We are tired!

We are taking our little cabin-on-wheels and heading back to a part of our state that we drove through on our way to hunting grounds last fall. A little town called my name as we passed through and I told my sweetheart I really would love to go back, spend some time there, park in the little RV park, see the sights and spend a bit of time with the ‘locals.’ That’s exactly what we are doing!

John Day River 2

Destination: Dayville, Oregon. Population: Just over three hundred. Surroundings: Absolutely spectacular. Nearby: John Day Fossil Beds. . . .

Fossil Beds - Fossil

And The Painted Hills.

Blue Basin - Painted Hills

Right in the center of the little town, near the general store is the Fish House Inn (a big, old house). . .

The Inn

And RV Park - our home for the next few days.

Fish House Inn and RV Park

The Office and Gift Shop are in a cute little building.

Fish House Office-Gift Shop

The grounds are beautifully maintained and the owner and his wife live in the ‘Inn’. They make it known that it’s not a B&B – just an inn. You are responsible for your own meals. At the little cafe nearby.

RV Park 2

We plan to do a lot of day trips and we don’t really know for sure where we will ‘land’ after our few days in the Dayville-John Day area.

RV Park 3

A friend from our church was born and raised in Dayville. He has given us the most incredible map that he highlighted so we can find his favorite places in the hills and mountains that surround the area. Those out-of-the-way places it would be easy to miss.

Dayville D

Last fall as we passed through this part of the state I spied every thrift and antique store along the way. My sweetheart knows I would like to find those shops again. What bargains and treasures await? Only time will tell! But we really hope we meet the Dayville ‘Fossils’ - Tony, Larry Joe and Bill!

Dayville Fossils

I’m sure we’ll have lots of tales to tell and stories to share when we return. Maybe I will just sit on the porch of the inn and smile and relax. And chat with a new friend!

Porch - Inn

I’ll have my laptop with me but it’s doubtful that I will have internet connection along the way. If I do, I’ll check in and let you know that we are alive and well - running with the wild horses and enjoying the folks who live and love this part of my state. Eastern Oregon! Ah, I hear you calling my name – I’m coming! Soon!

For more information, click here to check out their website.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Graduated With Honors


A few days ago we celebrated a long-awaited graduation here at our home. Our little Mini Doxie, Joey, graduated from Beginning Behavior Class. He and I have gone to class where we joined other families and their dogs for the past eight weeks. We have learned a lot – most likely I have learned a lot and Joey has learned quite a bit! Some of the things we have worked on were Sit, Stay, Down, Off, Loose-Leash Walking, Drop It, Leave It and a few tricks. Homework could have been done in more earnest but poor, little Joey was at the mercy of my schedule. Nevertheless, he graduated, along with two other Mini Doxies, Bear and Tucker, on Monday. He received high praise for how much he had learned. We have to practice more and get some of our ‘new’ things firmly planted in our minds – then we will enroll in the intermediate class.

Graduation w-Monica

Photos were taken with my cell phone - quickly because our graduate didn't want to be still. He wanted to celebrate! And chew the tassel on his hat, which he did NOT like. Here he is with his teacher, Miss Monica. He seemed to think she was the ‘treat lady’ and he had his nose a bit out of joint when she didn’t choose him to demonstrate something new. His favorite position when we weren’t working together was on his tummy with feet straight out behind him – in the middle of the room – at the end of his leash. More than once while Miss Monica was talking or we were asking questions, he dozed off and caught up on the naptime he was missing from his regular routine at home.

Well done, Joey! We're proud of you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sing Hallelujah


It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day.
He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies.
Let us be of good cheer. It is better farther on.
Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation.

-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Picture This!

Sometimes in life we go about our days and think we’ve accomplished all we want to do and then. . .we slow down or turn around and find that special something that just makes our day. We smile because it brightens our world and adds a bit of color where we least expected it to be. Things change and we know everything would have been different if we hadn’t stopped long enough to notice. That’s exactly what happened to me yesterday!

For at least a year I have had a mirror on my living room wall. I found it at a yard sale - the frame had been repainted and it was horrible! But the ‘bones’ were great and I visualized it on the wall near my front door. A couple of coats of white paint (and the intention to antique it a bit to bring out it’s character) and it was on the wall! Just like this.

Wall - Mirror

Over the past few weeks I’ve looked at this spot and wondered what to add to the corner. I've thought of stripping and repainting the frame, perhaps a soft yellow or an ‘antiquey’ white (and I may do that). Then yesterday my dear little mother and I were in a nearby Goodwill. I was in line just ahead of her with a few books and a gorgeous silver platter (you’ll see it soon!). I noticed some big framed pictures on the wall across from me a ways. They were nice but nothing I would choose for my home. I noticed that one on the end was obscured by a large artificial flower arrangement. Not needing another big framed picture I just glanced but didn’t really pay attention. Not until after I had paid and moved ahead so my dear mother could pay for her things. As I stepped to the end of the counter and turned around, suddenly I could see a bit of the picture behind the flower arrangement. And what I saw made me move closer and take another look! I couldn’t believe what I saw and I asked my dear mother to come and look. Her first words were, ‘That’s YOU! You need that in your house. It’s perfect! You can’t leave it here!’

Wall - Flower Picture

It didn't take long and I knew exactly where I would put it – it would replace the mirror! I asked for help to take it off the wall, got back in line, paid for it and left feeling incredibly grateful that I had turned around and noticed a bit of color behind the big flowers on the shelf. My sweetheart is away fishing today and I’ve been puttering around the house, taking it easy and enjoying a chance to fluff my home a bit. Bet you guessed what I did nearly first thing this morning!

Wall - Flowers

A little corner of my world is brighter today – because I turned around and looked at just the right moment. I wonder how many bits and pieces of life that would brighten the day are missed because I stay too focused on where I’m going and I don’t take the time to slow down, turn around and pay attention!

(The mirror will reappear sometime soon. I have a spot in mind and perhaps a new look. My new picture was a Home Interiors item. The artist is Barbara Mock, a long-time favorite of mine. The process used makes the picture look as if it is an oil painting – the texture is incredible – and I’m a happy girl!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lord, I Lift Your Name On High

Ladies Singing

Lord, I lift Your name on High
Lord, I love to sing Your praises
I'm so glad You're in my life
I'm so glad You came to save us

You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift your name on high

Lord, I lift your name on high
Lord of wonder and salvation
With our voice we magnify
The God of every generation

You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift your name on high

Song: 'Lord, I Lift Your Name On High'
Written by: Rick Founds

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Retreat Memories – Day Two

Yesterday I shared a bit about our church ladies’ retreat last weekend. We were in such a beautiful setting in a part of Oregon not far from my back door. I was hard to believe I had never been there before! Our retreat leader lives just ten minutes from the retreat center and she knew of the incredible beauty that was nearby. During our free time on Saturday afternoon twenty-four of us boarded our church bus and headed up the road for a tour.


I was not prepared for what I saw – didn’t have a clue that it was there! The tour took us along the banks of the Molalla River. This river continues on and empties into the Willamette River just a mile or two from my home. I didn't know that this Bureau of Land Management area was less than an hour from my home. The Molalla River Corridor is absolutely gorgeous! There are places to fish, hike, have a picnic, camp and ride your horse (bring your own horse!). We passed several groups of riders along the way.


The river is on one side of the road and high rock formations in places on the other side. In some spots many jagged layers of basalt can be seen from high overhead down to the water's edge.


This area is called ‘Party Rock’ – famous for swimming parties on warm days.




Nearby, delicate white flowers on a tree.


There was so much to see - and many other places to stop. The road continues many miles beyond where we turned around. I want to return to this scenic area soon – with my sweetheart, a picnic basket filled with things to delight the tummy and my camera!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Retreat Memories

Last weekend I went to a retreat with gals from my church. I didn’t realize how much I needed time away from the pressures of everyday life. And I didn’t know how much a change of pace and time spent together these ladies would bless my life.

Our retreat was held less than an hour from home this year to allow ladies who can’t go away for longer retreats to join us. We drove through beautiful rural areas and enjoyed the gorgeous drive along the Molalla River. The retreat center is in a rustic setting on the banks of the river. All of our activities were in the main lodge – eating, sleeping, fun, laughter and meetings together with our guest speaker.

The sign near the entrance to the lodge welcomed us and set the tone for our weekend.


As we stepped inside the lodge we were greeted by some of the leaders of our church women’s ministry group. Each of us received handmade nametags, printed information about our weekend schedule and little ‘goodie’ packets – cute little clipboards filled with pretty paper and a pen, a handmade bookmark, a package of tissues and notes for the sessions with our speaker. We quickly went upstairs, claimed a bed and settled in – we were ready for our weekend to begin. Beautiful walking trails outdoors called to us and it wasn’t long before some of us decided to explore our surroundings. I decided to start on the Wilderness Trail so I could enjoy the walk and capture some of the beauty to share.


I love wild Dogwood trees (they are different than the ones in garden centers) and I wasn’t disappointed to find them along the trail.


Imagine my surprise when I found this fun swing in the woods.


A sign overhead reminded me that I needed to move on – there was more to see. So much more!


It was as if the forest was calling me to explore!


I hadn’t gone far when I found a real treasure – a Trillium – in bloom.


Just around the next bend in the trail I found another unexpected treat – a place for quiet rest and reflection high above the river.


Farther on the trail meanders close to civilization. It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t alone. Chickens! Watching me! The trail circled around behind the home of the retreat center director. Imagine my delight to discover these creatures – and a beautiful garden and small orchard nearby.


Another twist or two of the trail and I was headed back toward the lodge. Not far from from the lodge is a big covered athletic area so outdoor activities can continue in the Oregon rain.


Isn’t this a cute little cabin? There are a few of them scattered along the banks of the river.


Nearby the camp ‘greeter’ was waiting – friendly and very well-mannered.


A gentle pat on his head and suddenly I had a tour guide! And what a nice guide he was!


A bit farther we came to a pretty spot just steps away from the riverbank.




My guide led me down a few steps to the beach – along the fast-moving water of the river.


He knew exactly where he was going and he made sure I wasn't far away.


The afternoon shadows began to close in on the river and it was time to head back to the lodge but before I left the riverside there was time for just one more look back.


My time away together with friends – new and old – was such a treasure to my heart. We were able to spend time getting better acquainted, laughing and chatting, lifting our voices in worship and learning new things together. Our guest speaker shared on the subject of stress, learning to say no and the importance of building strong relationships. What she taught was something that was needed in the life of every lady who attended – none of us are exempt from stress and the pressures of living. I came away determined to make changes in the way I handle the demands of life and committed to build stronger relationships with those who are dear to my heart. And I’m working on learning to say ‘no’. To the right things – and ‘yes’ to the most important!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother’s Day – Part 2

After a gorgeous day here in Oregon yesterday – and time together with my dear mother and my cousin, as well as special calls, text messages and greetings from my children, who were not able to be with me, I am still being celebrated today!  In just a bit I am driving south a ways to meet my son for lunch at a favorite restaurant in Salem – part of his Mother’s Day gift to me.  It won’t be long and we will be together, enjoying the delightful and tasty homemade food at Jack Rabbit Cafe!
Jack Rabbit Cafe
After lunch and a good chance to catch up with the latest in our lives, my son will take me to another part of the city to see the new home he and our dear daughter-in-law are having built.  I can’t wait to see it and walk through it with him and hear of their plans and dreams for this wonderful new place that will be the home-sweet-home for them and their three precious sons.  Here is a picture they sent us two weeks ago:

I’m trying to imagine the second story and the roof – and the beautiful view they have described to me.  They have been so blessed – I can’t wait to share their joy!  You’d better believe my camera is going with me and you will probably see this house again.  And again and again through the next months.  And beyond!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers Day
May God’s many blessings
Be yours forever more
And may you know you’re valued
And loved by the Lord
Especially on this day
That we have set aside
To show our appreciation
To the Mothers in our lives

by M.S.Lowndes