Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It Went Too Fast!

My out-of-state family left today. It seems they just arrived and now they are gone. Our days together went too fast. Way too fast. What we so eagerly anticipated is now a memory. A precious memory. We shared our lives, we reminisced, we laughed and, at times, we shed a few tears together. And we embarked on adventures we will never forget. We shared the beauty in our corner of the world and we made the most of every sweet moment we were together. Oh how we wish we could live close to each other.

Thank you for your prayers for my dear little mother. She was very ill while our family was here. They were a blessing to her but she missed activities she had anticipated sharing with them. She experienced serious side effects from the anti-viral medication prescribed for the Shingles. It was discontinued and we are waiting further testing to determine if it caused any permanent harm.

Soon I will share a bit of the fun we had, and some of the treasures we found while our family was with us. We have a new appreciation for our part of the world. We have seen it through their eyes. And it will never look the same again!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time Away, Blog Fun and A Prayer Request

The summer has been busy and it is going by so fast. Long-awaited out-of-state family will arrive at my home today for a week. There has been a lot of fluffing and fixing going on around here. Now there will be time for laughter and sharing. Sightseeing and quiet time together on the patio. I probably will not be here for more than a late-night or early-morning peek once in awhile through the next few days. I don't think I will be able to post and share much with you. I will if I can.

I won the give-away at Melodies and Hymnsongs. Thank you, Cathy. I can't wait to see what arrives at my door soon. There are a couple of blog things I need to catch up on when I return. An award and a Meme tag that are long overdue. It will happen soon.

My dear little mother is struggling with some potentially serious health issues. And she has a severe case of Shingles. We would appreciate prayer for her. She is such a dear.

Until I'm back to share more with you - don't forget to take time to stop and smell the roses. Life is busy. And precious.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Finds and Treasures (5)

Last Friday I took my dear little mother and my sweet out-of-state aunt to a few garage sales in our area. We had a good time but we didn't find much to bring home. I bought a couple of things for my toy and craft box . My grandchildren will enjoy them when they visit. Then I found the bargain of the day! A wonderful bowl. When my sweet aunt suggested that it would be a great fruit bowl that was all the encouragement I needed. Now it's on my counter. Waiting for the fresh fruit to arrive.

After a nice lunch out together we went to a sweet little antiques and collectibles shop in a nearby community. The shop is filled with treasures that would be perfect in my home. It didn't take long to find some wonderful pieces of yellow glass to add to my collection. I found this wonderful bowl that matches the cake plate I shared here.The first thing I saw when I walked through the door was this sweet little candleholder. Unusual. It will grace my table often.I found two Nancy Drew Mysteries to add to my collection. We had a lot of fun together, laughing and talking and savoring each moment. We will always treasure this time together. We are making the most of every moment and we are filling each one with memories. Wonderful memories. For each of us.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

Last week was the week to renew my driver's license again. It seems like only yesterday that I went through the process last time. Not long ago at all. As I approached renewal this time I was aware that there may be some changes. Big changes ahead for me. My state requires anyone getting or renewing a driver's license at the age of fifty or older to pass a vision screening test. Last time I just barely passed it without glasses. The result? My driver's license did not indicate that I was required to wear glasses when I drove. A sign of youth. Eternal youth. However, this time, I had to face the fact that my eyes have changed and that at my recent eye exam the eye doctor recommended that I start wearing my glasses all the time now. I don't like wearing my glasses! At times I get dizzy and a bit nauseated when I wear them. Because I don't wear them all the time!

I approached the Department of Motor Vehicles building with a bit of apprehension. I took a number and immediately was called to the desk where a very nice young lady assisted me. She checked my documentation - a process with many new requirements in my state - and then proceeded to tell me about the vision test. I mentioned that I was pretty sure that I would need to wear my glasses to drive this time. She suggested that I test first without my glasses and see how I would do. Great idea! Maybe - just maybe - I could get by a bit longer without the dreaded 'Glasses required for driving' designation on my new license.

I stepped up to the little machine, put my forehead against top and began the test. She turned on the light inside the machine. In front of me were several rows of letters, similar to the test at the eye doctor's office. 'Please read the third row down. All the letters from the far left to the far right.' OK. I can do that. No problem. They are big and easy to read. The letters were inside three rectangular boxes across the line. A blank box was at the far right. Strange but there was nothing in it! First box: O Z N V. Second box: P B C M. Third box: H L T G. Done. I did it. Now what? 'Do you see any letters in the fourth box?' 'No. It's empty. Are there supposed to be letters in that box?' 'Let's have you put on your glasses and read that line again.' (Glasses put on.) 'Wow! What do you know! That box is FULL of letters, too.' I knew what that meant. So I read all of the letters in all four boxes. Left to right. A smile on her face as I moved away from the vision test machine told me what I already knew. I HAVE to wear glasses at all times while driving now. Yep, you guessed it. I walked out of there with a new driver's license. But this time it was different than the licenses I've had through the past forty-something years since my first license. I don't know how this happened! It was just yesterday that I took my first driving test, wasn't it? Really? It's been how long? As I drove home I calculated how long before I have to go back for another renewal. I'll be HOW OLD? Seventy. 7 - 0! Like my grandma was not long ago. No, wait! If she were still alive she would be 106. Where did all that time go?

So as I sit here trying to read this screen through these new glasses - I've begun to adjust to the changes that come through the years. Changes from lessons learned. Things like a bit more wisdom. A more comfortable sense of who I am and where I am in life. Now-grown kids who bring such joy to my life. The greatest grandkids a girl could hope for. A sweetheart who has loved me through the decades. And who still loves me just as I am. Glasses and all!

Photo from

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Promised Home

Let not your heart be troubled;
you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14: 1 - 3
Artwork: 'Little Piece of Heaven'
Painted by Klaus Strubel

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's A Small World After All!

(Edited to add:  The photo I have had on this blog post for the last three years has been removed at the request of someone who contacted me by email.  I had found the photo in a site that I thought, in my innocence, was a free to the public site.  The person who contacted me said it belonged to a photographer for their group and, in order to protect the rights of the photographer, I was asked to either remove the photo or pay fifty dollars for the use of it.  I'm sorry this happened and that I have lost the photo that I felt gave added effect of my words but it is a lesson learned.  It would have been nice if permission had been given but since it was not, I have chosen to honor the unknown photographer who claims this as their own.  You cannot trust ANY source online and you don't know who will contact you after much time has passed and claim rights you never intended to dishonor.  In the meantime, my words are not diminished.  The impact of the message I shared without intention to harm are the same.  At some time I will add a photo that will apply so that my blog can continue to have visual interest.  At that time the photo will not be anything that anyone can claim as theirs!  In the meantime, I must say that I'm not comfortable now, wondering who is out there waiting to lay claim to others I may have shared.  People are watching us as we share from our hearts.  They are searching blogs and websites to find their work and to protect what is theirs.  Be cautious!  Be very cautious!  There are those who would claim work as their own and may indeed even blur the 'real' credits so that you, in innocence and with good intention and ignorance - and a pure heart and motive - will be caught in the trap that caught me.  You don't know who will, at some time, claim it as their own and request payment for its use.  It is a  wake-up call worth giving heed to!)

The world seems to be getting smaller all the time! Through the wonderful world of blog I have met such wonderful people. Not only in Oregon or in the United States - but friends from all around the world. Who would have thought that this would happen in our lifetime? I wouldn't have believed it possible when I was young. It amazes me that I can sit in the comfort of my home here in Oregon and communicate with someone a world away!

A few days ago a comment was added to one of my posts - a comment from someone I had not yet 'met'. As I read it I became so excited. Not only was this someone new to add to my list of blog friends, she told me of a dear friend of hers who lives in my area and commented how funny it would be if I knew her friend. I could hardly wait to tell her that I DO know her dear friend! Since Margie in the UK does not have a blog and I do not know how to email her please allow me to 'talk' to her through this post.

Dear Margie - I DO know your friend, Mary, in Oregon City. I first met her when my father was admitted to Hospice shortly before he died five years ago. She came to my parents' home and we immediately loved her. She was so kind and caring, so compassionate and loving. My family mentions her often when we talk about those days. But that's not where it ends. About three years later I took the Hospice Volunteer Training Course in Oregon City. Mary was the group instructor/leaderof that class. I learned to know so much more about her and came to appreciate not only who she is through Hospice but quite a few of her talents and things that touch her heart. Several things came into my life that prevented me from actually working with Mary as a Hospice volunteer but it was such an important part of my life. My heart was there but God took me in another direction. As a chaplain in skilled nursing facilities I often draw on the things I learned from Mary.

Now isn't that amazing? But that's not all. Not only do I know Mary - her husband is in management for the company where my sweetheart works. They know each other and have had a number of conversations through the years. Not long ago my sweetheart went to their home to pick up a piece of equipment that Mary's husband offered to loan him. While picking up or returning that equipment my sweetheart had a wonderful conversation with Mary. Oh, one more thing - Mary and I see each other at our husband's company picnic each year.

I feel honored that you have added my blog to your list of favorites. I hope you will come back and visit often. Please feel free to email me if you would like to. If you ever come to see Mary, please don't forget that I am in the area - just nine miles away from her office. I would LOVE to visit with you face-to-face. In the meantime I hope to hear from you again and I hope that you will be a regular part of this blog community that I have come to know and love.

It's a world of laughter
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all.

There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means Friendship to ev'ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

Song: 'It's A Small World'
Written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Editted to say that I received a sweet email from Margie. I was thrilled! Now we can communicate directly. It would really be fun to meet some day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spread The Light

Recently I showed you the new umbrella with lights we added to our patio set. My sweetheart and I have enjoyed a few quiet evenings together under the soft blue lights. Some changes have happened since then. New things have been added. We bought new cushions for the chairs. After a lot of looking and shopping we found them. Perfect. Just right for us. Right colors. Right fabric. Blue and yellow. With roses!Then I found the perfect little candleholders. At the Dollar Store! Yellow glass. Just what we needed. Add little citronella candles and they are just right on the patio table.Early in the season I saw a set of lights that could be added to a patio umbrella. Lights that would illuminate the table, making it possible to enjoy a late night supper or nighttime reading. While they would have been a great addition to our summer nights at home I didn't want to pay the price that was on the package. Nice but not that nice! A few days ago as I walked through the store again - on my way to look at something else - I spied a clearance shelf. I was delighted to find the table lights marked w-a-y down! They went into my basket and came home with me. What fun they have added to our lives.After dinner last night we worked in the yard. Deadheading roses and cleaning a flower bed that needed work. As daylight began to fade the skies above began to change. Around the corner of the house. More beauty in the sky.Within minutes the sky show was over. Daylight was gone and it was time to stop our work. Put the tools away and relax. Outside. Under the umbrella lights.Light the candles.Add something to read. . .And my sweetheart. With his Sudoku book.What more could I ask for? Oh, a light in the sky nearby!Thank you, God, for quiet evenings at home. With my sweetheart. And light. Light to brighten our evening. Light that You provide. Most of all, the light of Your love. For us. For the world!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts
are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quiet Thoughts

There are two means of refuge
from the miseries of life:
music and cats.
- Albert Schweitzer

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finds and Treasures (4)

Early this morning as I sat in my living room I looked into the dining room and enjoyed how the early morning sunlight reflected on a new addition to my yellow glass collection.I realized that you have not seen this new piece. It's been awhile since I've shared Friday Finds and Treasures with you. Recently my dear little mother and I were in the Goodwill in a nearby town when she spied this yellow compote. I put it in my shopping basket as soon as I saw it!The bright morning sun made it hard to get great photos but I hoped to capture how lovely it was in the sunlight and shadows.Isn't it wonderful?I haven't decided what to put in this new treasure. I don't want to take away from the beauty it brings but you may see it again, in another part of my home. Serving another purpose. Until then I'll just enjoy the way it adds a touch of color to the room. In the sunlight. Sunshine on a sun-colored addition to my yellow glass collection.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pansy Panic

This week Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor shared some of her beautiful past painting projects. I left a comment to tell her how much I enjoyed seeing her work and encouraged her to pick up her brush and pursue her talent once again. I told her that I had done tole painting when my now-grown children were very young and that, perhaps, someday I would share the story of my pansy painting. The one my daughter decided to 'taste'! Katherine responded by asking me to share the story. So, Katherine, here's what happened.

One day when my daughter was around two years old - give or take a few months - I put her down for her afternoon nap. My nearly five-year-old son played and entertained himself nearby. All was quiet. Just a few days before I had returned home from my tole painting class with a new treasure-in-progress. A small canvas on which I had painted a bunch of pansies. Several colors. Blue, yellow, red and purple. A new venture for me to paint on canvas. In oil. I planned to frame and display my work when the oil paint was completely dry. I needed to put it in a safe place until it had dried - a place where it would be protected from dust, things that might fall on it and curious little people! The top of the refrigerator seemed to work. All was fine until the day in question. I chose nap and quiet time that day to take the painting down from the refrigerator top to add a few touches of this and that. To finish my precious painting. I was very happy with my work so far. I could visualize the finished project. Framed. Hanging in a special place in my home.

Final touches were added. I was pleased. But, somehow, I was distracted. I left the kitchen. With the painting on the little table where I had been working on it. A short time later I entered the kitchen to find my little daughter, awake from her nap, dressed in just her T-shirt and underwear, standing on a kitchen chair at the table. I couldn't believe what I saw. I was horrified! Her little mouth and face were covered with paint. Oil paint. Blue, yellow, red and purple! When I looked at my what-had-been-beautiful pansy painting I could hardly believe my eyes. All the colors were smeared. Running together with hardly a sign of form or design left. There she stood, so proud of herself. She had decided to taste it!

After getting her cleaned up, followed by a quick call to the pediatrician's office, it appeared that she had not been affected by the paint. I knew what to watch for and how to handle any adverse affects of her tasting party. But that's not the end of the story! The painting? What did I do with the painting? I remembered how my teacher had helped another student correct a major problem during a recent class. I washed the entire canvas with turpentine, removing anything that was not dry. The main form of the pansies was in tact. The next day I sat at the kitchen table again during nap time. Carefully, so carefully, I redid what had been lost. The pansies looked beautiful again. Soon they would be dry, be framed and on display in my home. This time the background was more colorful than before. This time it included slight smudges of all of the colors of the pansies, stems and leaves. Perfect. As if done on purpose. No one would know it wasn't part of the original plan. I put it up on the refrigerator immediately. No chance for a repeat performace. You can be sure it wasn't going to happen again.

What happened to my daughter? Nothing. She was fine. No sign of any problem. I doubt she has ever tried to taste paint again. What happened to my painting? It dried, was framed in a lovely frame and hung with pride in that home and two others where we lived as she grew up. I always loved the way it turned out - the second time. More than the first. Every time I looked at the painting I not only saw the lovely pansies, I saw my sweet little girl from long ago. Never to be quite the same as the day she tasted the pansies. Unfortunately the painting didn't survive the move to this house. It disappeared. But it will always live in our memories. Memories of a lesson learned. The hard way!

Artwork: 'Pansies'

Painted by Pamela Gladding

Compliments of

Monday, July 7, 2008

Through My Window

The holiday weekend is over. The new week has begun. Our skies are a bit cloudy and our neighborhood is quiet once again. Cleaning and puttering and fluffing continues in preparation for the arrival of out-of-state family. It's good to tackle some of the jobs that needed to be done no matter what the reason.

I'm enjoying the Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia) just outside my kitchen window. For the past few summers I've planted one in a big yellow pot beside my front door where it climbed on a wonderful pyramid of black wrought iron. I'm enjoying the change this year. 'Susan' seems to be happier than ever in this spot. I think she likes the morning sun and the afternoon shade. She requires very little maintenance but gives a lot of pleasure. From inside. Or outside. She will be here until the fall frost begins. Until then she will add a touch of sunshine to each day. Especially on days like today. To rephrase an old John Denver song,
Sunshine through my window makes me happy,
Sunshine through my window makes me cry,
Sunshine through my window looks so lovely,
Sunshine through my window makes me high.

Song: 'Sunshine On My Shoulder'
Written by John Denver

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Statue of Liberty

In New York Harbor stands a lady,
With a torch raised to the sky;
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me.
I'm so proud to be called an American,
To be named with the brave and the free;
I will honor our flag and our trust in God,
And the Statue of Liberty.
On lonely Golgotha stood a cross,
With my Lord raised to the sky;
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saved can testify.
I'm so glad to be called a Christian,
To be named with the ransomed and whole;
As the statue liberates the citizen,
So the cross liberates the soul.

Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty,
It was there that my soul was set free;
Unashamed I'll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my Statue of Liberty!

Song: 'Statue of Liberty'
Words & Music by Neil Enloe
Art and photos:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fourth of July

The stars and stripes are flying.
Today's the Fourth of July!
I have a flag to celebrate,
And I'll wave it really high.

I am so proud to be here,
Wearing red, white and blue,
I'll stand up tall and show you all,
I am American through and through.

Thank you for my country.
Thank you for freedom too.
I am so proud to be here,
Standing next to you!

Fourth of July Poem
Written for preschoolers

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Night Light

We are working hard to get our home and yard ready for out-of-state family to arrive next week. Lots of cleaning, sorting, tossing, donating, fluffing going on. My sweetheart has been working very hard on a project that needed to be done now at my dear little mother's home. Last evening was the first time he was able to do much here at home. He had big plans for this past weekend but with our exceptionally high temperatures then it was wise that he didn't work outside. After dinner last night we worked together to set up our patio and have it ready for this weekend, our guests next week and the summer ahead. After we had accomplished what we could last night we sat and enjoyed the results. You just get a sneak peek. The rest of the back yard is not ready to show yet. There is more to be done. Much more.

We added new cushions and umbrella to the patio set this year and a wonderful outdoor fireplace that delights my heart. I had been looking for just the perfect one. Something that captured my imagination and said, 'That's it!' I found it several weeks ago. Last night my sweetheart set it up and put it in place. Then he lit a fire (on a fairly warm night). We sat back to enjoy. And we did.
The new umbrella came with little lights installed on it. The display model in the store didn't have the lights on but I knew it would be a fun feature.I thought the lights were white. Imagine my surprise when I flipped the little switch and discovered. . . they are blue! Perfect. My color.We added a sweet little candle. . .And sat back to enjoy the night-time quiet just outside the door of our sweet little home. There will be many more evenings spent outside with our lights and candles and fireglow. Some will be shared with family and friends. At times it will be just the two of us. No matter who joins us we know we will relax here often. And enjoy it together. In the glow of light. Night light.