Friday, August 29, 2014


When I got up this morning and looked around all I could see was clutter.

Overflowing bookcases

Dishes waiting to be put away and jars waiting to be filled with the fruit that is waiting to be canned

There is laundry waiting to be folded.  There is even other people's donated clutter waiting for me to organize.   I bet their book shelves are all neat and tidy.  These books are for the church library and need to be sorted and cataloged before I can put them on the shelves. I already took care of 3 dozen books yesterday.  These are what's left.

How does one's life get so cluttered?  Sometimes it's temporary other times it seems like a way of life.  Sometimes it seems like it rules me.  I don't always want to have someone over because I want my house to look perfect.  Unfortunately, it rarely does.

"Give me the discipline to get rid of the stuff that's not important, the freedom to savor the stuff that gives me joy,and patience not to worry about the stuff that's messy but not hurting anybody."  Vanita Hampton Wright

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Public Market

 Sunday afternoon after church we met our daughter and her husband at a local waterfront market.  It was a beautiful day and everyone was out enjoying the end of the summer sunshine.

There was so much to see in the market, from the local artisans showing showing off their wares--

Hand made wooden bowls


Lovely floral arrangements all ready to take home and put in a vase.

 to produce from the local farmers.

I've never seen purple carrots before.

There were delicious baked breads and sweet pastries to choose from.  

I couldn't resist taking one of these home with me, strawberry, raspberry and almonds, all my favorite flavors how could I not?    I cut it in half and ate it for breakfast two mornings in a row.  Delicious!

When we finished walking around the market we stopped to enjoy the waterfront.  You will notice that we couldn't resist the caramel corn either.

As we strolled along the docks, this pair popped up next to a nearby fishing boat looking for a handout.

Which reminded us that it was time to head out for lunch. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Niagara Falls

As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my god.  My soul thirsts for God, the living god.....Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls--Psalm 42:1,7

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Apple Bread

Last night I went out to pick a few apples from our Gravenstein tree. The weather has cooled down enough to think about doing a little baking.  I have decided to bake some apple bread.

One of the secrets to baking a bread that isn't too heavy is to assemble the ingredients quickly.  So I need to have everything ready to go and as you can see even though they were the last thing I prepared it hasn't taken long at all for the apples to start to oxidize.  Those wonderful brown eggs are from a friend of my husband's who raises chickens.

First I cream the butter and sugar.  Then I add the eggs one at a time. 
 Next. Comes the flour mixture and the buttermilk.

 And finally, the apples and nuts.
 After it is poured into the baking pan it is topped with sugar and cinnamon before you bake it.

And here is the finished product, the perfect bread to have with a nice cup of tea. Yum! By the way the teapot was a gift my mother brought to me from London years ago.  If you want to try this recipe here is where  you can find it --

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mount Saint Helens

 While we were camping we took a day to drive up for a look at Mount Saint Helens.  In 1980 Mount Saint Helens was a beautiful snow covered mountain peak with pristine Spirit Lake below surrounded by old growth forests.  It erupted on May 18,1980 destroying everything living in its path for 230 square miles.

Fast forward 34 years and here we are at Windy Ridge just 4 miles from the "peak" which lost 14% of it height.

Looking down you can see Spirit Lake surrounded with bare hillsides and still littered with the remains of thousand of downed trees.  The massive land slide from the mountain raised the lake bed almost 200 feet.  Now the lake is almost twice its previous size and about half as deep.

  But life is struggling to return to this place and much faster than was first predicted.

And on the side that faced away from the eruption it is happening even more quickly.
So some day when my children bring their children to visit this place hopefully it will  once again look like this spot just a few hundred yards outside of the blast zone.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


We just returned from a 6 day camping trip to Taidnapam State Campground, although when I say we went camping I am probably not being quite truthful.  In my book camping usually includes things like a tent, a sleeping bag and in all probability the ground.  However, I wasn't really sleeping here.
I was sleeping...


Complete with all the comforts of home.

 Including a kitchen with refrigerator, a stove, a microwave and running water, not exactly roughing it.

So I must confess that I wasn't really camping, I was RVing.  But once you get past that part the rest of it is the same, things like relaxing in the great outdoors under the trees with a good book.

Or finding wild berries nestled in the middle of a blackberry bush.

Taking walks through the woods with my husband and friends.

 Finally walking out of the darkness from the canopy above to the setting sunlight reflecting on the lake ahead.

 A perfect place for the kids to have an evening swim and the grownups to have a quiet conversation.

A perfect end to a perfect day........well not quite.

Then we met the dreaded Culicidae, 

a voracious and insatiable feeder, better know as the mosquito.  Like the serpent entering the Garden this little fellow and about a hundred million of his friends came for a visit and decided to stay for the whole week. (ouch!) So in the midst of the slapping and the scratching and spraying of repellent we lived our week of adventures and took the bad along with the good.  That's camping. Oh...I mean RVing.