Friday, June 30, 2023

Settling in to Summer

Friday means summing up my gratitude for the past week.  This weekly post really helps me focus on being thankful.  Each evening before I turn out the lights, I write down a couple of things that were impressed on me reminding me how blessed I am.  Then on Friday, I write about them and link to Friday Fave Fives.

1.  On Monday, we celebrated both Father's Day and The Professor's birthday.  He didn't want cake.  He wished for pie, but only if Older Son made the crust (we considered flying him out here to do that).  So he ended up with ice cream.  Lots of ice cream.  I'm thankful for the years The Professor has had to enjoy life.

one of my favorite photos of The Professor (1987?)

2.  The smoke laden skies have made our days grey this week.  The weatherman has warned us not to be outside.  I am thankful that I have an air-conditioned home with some protection from the smoke.  (I am sorry for all the people in Canada, so close to those fires--memories of the years we spent watching the fires burn around our hills in California.)

3.  A new book recommendation is always a fave.  PAL is almost nine years old now and during a video call with her last week, she showed us a book she has enjoyed reading.  Of course, I had to pop on to our local library website and put a hold on that title.  Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein.

4.  I started working on a new afghan for my older granddaughter.  The blanket I knitted for her almost ten years ago had a fight with a dog and lost.  For this one, I chose a beach theme.  I am thankful I can knit!

The colors aren't quite accurate.  The darker blue is lighter and more turquoise-ish.

5.  Our garden is slowly growing.  The birds are well fed.  So are the two constantly-visiting rabbits.  The bees are happy.  I am so very thankful for room to garden!

a few raspberries

nectar and wax from the hive

Be blessed this week!  Choose gratitude!

Friday, June 23, 2023

Summer Begins

 True summer, after the solstice, has arrived.  My weather hasn't figured that out yet, though.  We are having rain and clouds around here.  Although the day is cloudy, I choose to find sunshine in my day.  One way is to write my Friday Fave Fives and join other people virtually in sharing five blessings from the past week.

1.  Yes, I am thankful that the days are longer!

2.  Younger Daughter hosts a fiber arts get together once a month---third Saturday morning.  We meet at a local coffee shop.  This month we had two young girls attend with their mom.  I think the total number of people was ten?  I love meeting and knitting with like minded people.

3.  We did TWO hikes this week!  On Monday, The Professor, Younger Daughter and I drove north to the town of Mt. Vernon and enjoyed a strenuous  hike in a forest preserve and then a walk along the river.  Then Tuesday evening, we joined the boys from Trail Life on a nature hike in the Spring Valley Preserve.  While we didn't hike much more than a mile, we crossed that creek numerous times.  I am thankful we have the energy to do these hikes.

4.  Time with friends.  Morning coffee with T and S.  Evening dinner with friends from my Bible Study group.  Those are times I cherish.

5.  I love when someone drops an encouraging or 'to the point' comment in conversation.  This morning while I was in a zoom meeting with my "Art Girls" friends, these comments hit me:  "Outer order, inner calm."  "Relationships over arrangements."  Both are excellent reminders.

Let us always remember to stop and enjoy the moments of quiet and rest in our busy lives.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Northern Oregon Coast, Part 1

When you visit Oregon, you need to drive to the coast.
We started our coast weekend by driving to the most northern Oregon coastal town, Astoria.
At Astoria, you can cross north over the Columbia River on a long and high bridge into Washington. 

 We chose to turn south on Hwy 101. 

...after we enjoyed The.Best fresh caught fish and chips at Bowpicker's.

See that empty spot in the middle of the photo where there are no landmarks?  That's where the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean.

In case you were wondering, yes, the lumber industry is still going strong in the Pacific Northwest.

As you drive south, you will often be hugging the cliff on your left and peering down onto the beach on your right.  And when I say, peering down, I mean down a long way.

Eventually (after a few miles of hair raising cliff hangers), you will arrive in Cannon Beach.
Cannon Beach is the location of Haystack Rock.
I remember playing around Haystack Rock as a child, trying to wade out as far as I could during low tide to maybe reach the rocks in front.
(Unless you drive down to the beach and get out of your car, your photos will inevitably include lines and poles.)

Cannon Beach is a favorite tourist destination for most of the year, and there are many shops and restaurants to visit.  We stopped at an art store because my sister-in-law's niece has a display in the art gallery.  Then we popped in to a candy store and there was a friend from our church in Portland!  What a wonderful surprise to find her there!

And then we arrived at the 'real' beach, Rockaway.

Twin Rocks
at Rockaway Beach

In this somewhat closer up shot, you can spot all the birds perching on top of the rocks.

That was Day One of our Oregon beach adventures.

Come back for more!

Friday, June 16, 2023

June Means Weddings and Holidays

 Yes, I was MIA last week.  I have a good excuse.  It's called vacation.  The Professor and I were traveling in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon, which is my home state where I was born and grew up.  My brother and sister-in-law live there still, as well as many of my extended family.  Also, The Professor and I lived there for more than twelve years during the 1990s and early 2000s.  Therefore, my Friday Fave Fives (the link takes you to our host Susanne's blog) will be filled with recalling all the wonderful memories we made while we were there for the past almost two weeks.

1.  Breakfasts, coffees, dinners with friends who carved out time for us to visit with them.  A beloved prof (and his wife) who taught us so much about English literature and about life.   Friends from our former church there.

2.  The main reason that we chose to visit this month, this week, was because we attended the wedding of my cousin's son.  I loved being there with my family to watch the ceremony on a farm in the Willamette Valley.

3.  A weekend spent at a Pacific Ocean beach town.  My nephew owns a cabin there and offered it to his parents and us for a weekend.

4.  Driving along the coast was one of my favorite things we did.  I am a beach girl and I love the ocean.  I won't do a photo dump of all the pictures I took.  Come back tomorrow for a separate post on that.

A peek straight down onto the beach from a lookout point on Hwy 101.  Yes, we really were that high above the sea.

Foggy days at the Oregon Coast are normal, but it adds to the allure of the sea.

5.  Oregon brings all the memories together for me-- family, school, friends, camping.  And everywhere you look during this season of the year, you find three plants.  Roses (after all, Portland is the City of Roses), Rhododendrons, and Wild Blackberries.  Driving anywhere, you will see all three bushes, all the time.  I love viewing God's creation in flowers and plants.

Rhodies in all the colors!

So. Many. Roses.

In Oregon, blackberries grow everywhere.  Their long sharp thorns serve a good purpose of creating a natural barrier around the edges of properties and along highways.

I am so very thankful for the opportunity we had to travel.

Friday, June 02, 2023

Leavin' On a Jet Plane... soon

 I do know when I'll be back again, though.  This is a trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law and attend a wedding.  Along the way, we will also have opportunity to connect  other family and friends.  And make memories.  And take lots of photos.

But before I leave, I still need to pause and post Friday Fave Fives.  These are things in my life that I am thankful for this week.

1.  Although the bees aren't here yet, our beehive is up and ready.  And the watering station is, too.

2.  The garden is growing.  Tomatoes, basil, bush beans, snap peas.  I've even spotted a few kale and carrot sprouts.

3.  Our housekeeper cleans our home once a month.  She was here yesterday, so we are leaving a clean house.  I enjoy returning to a clean and orderly home after a trip.

4.  We had a family bonfire this week.  The weather was hot, and there was no need for a fire to keep warm.  But we all love fires.  And the grandboys roasted hot dogs.

5.  Our neighbors are the best.  I think we have our own little neighborhood watch.  We tell each other if we will be gone, and the people at home keep watch on our properties.

I hope you are enjoying this first Friday of June!