Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Camping I Will Go. . .

A camping I will go
Hey-ho the dairy-o
A camping I will go!
This afternoon I’m headed out for my first Sisters On The Fly campout at Champoeg State Park, just a few miles from my home!  I’ll meet up with about thirty other gals for a weekend of camping together in a beautiful spot here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  Champoeg is a historical area so we will be blessed to have the park ranger ‘lead’ us to the Roundhouse for a talk on the historic and geography of the area.  Then we plan to walk to the Visitor’s Center when volunteers in period costume will show us the Historical Garden and other things to delight our hearts.  Oh, and there’s a garage sale at a ‘historical’ store nearby to benefit the park!  We will spend time around the campfire and enjoy some good meals we’ve all worked to put together.  There will be a lot of conversations - some with one or two gals and some with the group.  Miss Daffodil is not ready to roll because she has major restoration underway.  Her roof is off and she is under wraps so recent rainstorms wouldn't fill her up with water.  My sweetheart built an A-frame to give added strength so water wouldn’t make the covering sag and hang into the interior of the trailer.  It is quite a sight, as you can see.
P5287267So – my sweetheart and I have been working hard to get our ‘big’ trailer ready for the weekend.  She has been in ‘winter mode’ through the past few months and needed to be ready for the camping season.  I worked hard to clean and dust and mop and interior to be sure everything is spic-and-span and ready to go.  My sweetheart worked on some needed maintenance outside.  He spent a lot of time on the roof.  He removed the vent covers that keep rain from coming through open vents when we are camping and he removed the cover of the air conditioner.  Then he power washed it all. 
When we opened up the trailer after the winter season we discovered that hornets had gone under the vent covers and made nests inside the vents.  The hornets were there, tending their nests.  My sweetheart sprayed to kill them before he opened the vents from the top before he cleaned them all out.  He took a power air hose inside the trailer and blew all of the old leaves and twigs (and bugs!).
Now the vents are squeaky clean!  (This was taken before the big vent covers were installed on the roof again.  I loved looking up at the clouds!
P5287256 She’s ready to go!  My sweetheart is outside hooking her up to tow her out to the countryside where I’ll spend the next three days with other gals who love to camp.  Most of them have vintage trailers so you know I’ll have pictures to share when I return!  It’s going to be fun to see the gals I know – and it be such fun to meet some ‘new’ gals I’ve never met before.  By the time the weekend is over we will all be ‘old’ friends – Sisters, for sure!P5287263(The door is open in case I find one last thing I can’t live without until I come home again!  Of course, the campground is so close to home that I could come back and get it!)

Monday, May 20, 2013

I’ve Switched. . .

Light Switch 
To a new blog reader!  Since I learned that Google Reader and Google Friend Connect will be going away in July I’ve ‘kept my ear to the ground’ for good recommendations for a new way to read my favorite blogs.  One of my dear blog friends told me she had switched to Bloglovin’ – and she loved it.  A few days ago I read another blogger’s recommendation for Bloglovin’ and I decided to check it out.  It didn’t take me long to make up my mind and it took less time for Bloglovin’ to import all of my favorite blogs from Google Reader.  Now I’m a happy reader once again because I know I can read your blogs until long after July has come and gone!

If you’re not familiar with Bloglovin’, here’s a bit of information so you can check it out for yourself.  It’s a blog reader that has the same features as Google Reader, but it's an updated version in some ways. It has a "followers" widget that counts who is following you! It will even send you an email each time someone follows you, if you want it to!

Here’s what my ‘home’ page looks like – simple and easy to read.  When I ‘click’ on the post title it opens another window and – voila – I’m right there in your blog.  I can read and comment to my heart’s content!  I like the simplicity.  It’s clean and neat and it’s easy to catch up on all of the posts I haven’t read on your blog.


So far I’m happy with Bloglovin’.  I haven’t had any problems and I think it’s a good solution.  I love the clean look and the easy way to add blogs to my list.  I'm glad I have a way to stay in touch with you!  You'll be hearing from me soon!

(I've added a 'Follow Me on Bloglovin' button to my sidebar if you'd like to follow me there.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Prayer

P4307076   Lord,
may the words of my mouth
and the thoughts of my heart
be pleasing in your eyes.
You are my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Birthday Boy

Today is my sweetheart’s birthday.  He’s a special man in so many ways!  If you know him, you are among those who are blessed.  He is caring and giving - he has a sense of humor and he loves to do things for others.  He is God’s gift to me, for sure!
Dave - Birthday
(sixth birthday)

I shipped him off early this morning – sent him packing down the road with his boat traveling along behind his truck.  Fishing rods and bait were packed securely alongside the tackle box.  He and my cousin’s hubby went to a favorite lake on Mount Hood.  There has been no word from them but we know they will be back – there’s a party at our house this evening.

Happy Birthday To A Very Special Guy!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Had A Mean Mother

Mom and Me 2
I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.

My mother insisted upon knowing where I was at all times. You'd think I was on a chain gang. She had to know who my friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute.

I had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days.  Why, oh why, did I have to have a mother who made me feel different from my friends?

The worst is yet to come. I had to be in bed by eight each night and up at eight the next morning. I couldn't sleep till noon like my friends. So while they slept - my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made me work. I had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to me.

She always insisted that I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed me - and it nearly did.

By the time I was a teen-ager, she was much wiser, and my life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for me to come running. She embarrassed me to no end by making my dates and friends come to the door to get me. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.

Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. I could not lie in bed, "sick" like my friends did, and miss school. If my friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. My marks in school had to be up to par. My friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.

As the years rolled by, I was put to shame. I graduated from high school. With my mother behind me, talking and demanding respect, I was not allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out. 

My mother was a complete failure as a mother. I attained some higher education. I have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten my mate.  And who do I have to blame for the terrible way I turned out? You're right, my mean mother. Look at the things I missed. I never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that my friends did. 

She forced me to grow up into a God-fearing, educated, honest adult. Using this as a background, I am tried to raise my two children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. 

Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world. 

Happy Mother's Day! 
(Adapted from ‘I Had A Mean Mother’ written by Bobbie Pingaro)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bloom Where You Are Planted

A strange thing happened while we were out of town for a few days.  An Iris bloomed in our yard.  Now you might not think that’s strange but if you knew where it’s blooming - the circumstances around this single flower that stands tall in a place that’s not tended or given any care – you might find it strange, too.  A couple of years ago we had a big Spruce tree removed from our front yard.  My hubby needs to take the stump out of the ground and level the mound that was under the big tree.  For some reason – perhaps from previous owners in years past when the big tree was small – there were yellow Iris that bloomed under the tree each year.  When the tree was removed we thought all the tubers had been dug up.  Imagine our surprise when we returned home to find that a single stalk had ‘shot’ up from a few green leaves below.  There she stands – all alone – in the middle of a messy, bleak, untended area of our front yard.  She stands straight and tall and beautiful! 
When I saw her there I realized I didn’t even notice the dirt and stump and old twigs all around her. All I saw was her beauty!
I learned a lesson as I stood in my front yard and looked at that beautiful flower.  She just stood there, radiating beauty.  She didn’t beg or plead or stomp her foot or scream at me.  She didn't demand to be moved to a better place.  She just stood tall – and beautiful. As if she couldn’t see the condition of her surroundings.   No matter where I am ‘planted’ I can bring beauty in the middle of chaos!  Where there is ruin I can stand tall and make a difference.  I can bloom where I’m planted.  It may not be the place I would choose – it may not be the way it was when I was planted there but I am right where God planted me.  He may transplant me someday – move me to another place.  Or, He may have a reason to leave me right where I am for a long time.  No matter where I am I know He wants me to stand tall and show the beauty He has created in me.  So I breathed a prayer:

‘Lord, help me be content to stand in the place You choose for me.  Let me bring Your beauty to everything around me.  Help me be content to stay where I am as long as this is where You want me to be.  And if someday You should choose another place for me, I’ll know it is the perfect place –  because it will be the place You choose for me.’ 
(P.S. - We have plans to move this beauty when the time is right.  She will be moved to a place where she will be tended and cared for.  The stump will be removed, the ground leveled, lawn reseeded in that spot and a small flower bed will be left near the fence.  She may grace that flower bed.  Perhaps with other flowers that will share her beauty.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It’s A Beautiful Day

‘Every person is like a single tulip.
While they may blend when together,
each one is special in its own light.’
Daniella Kessler
Tulip Collage
Spring has arrived in our part of Oregon.  The skies are blue.  The days are warm – and flowers are blooming all around our valley.  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  (I think I say that about every season!)  We’ve been out and about enjoying special places – with special people.  We spent a day with senior citizens from our church at a local tulip festival – we took my cousin and her hubby to a lilac garden not too far away – I spent time with a dear blog friend back at that same lilac garden (more about that soon) – and we just returned from several days with dear long-time friends on the southern end of our state.  Like the quote above – we all blend together as we spend time together but it’s always amazing how each of us ‘stands out’ in a special way.  A speaker at a recent conference we attended said it best: ‘You’re the best original God ever created!’

Today I hope you stop for a moment or two to hold your head high and realize how special you are.  You ARE the best original God created – there’s no one like you.  Cherish the special things about you – the things you give to others.  The things that make you YOU!  Happy Spring, my friend!