Sunday, January 31, 2010

a call to worship...

Bring gifts and celebrate,
Bow before the beauty of God,
Then to your knees—everyone worship!
Psalm 96: 8-9
The Message

'On worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness'...are the words in the King James version of the scriptures. They were words that were written across the front of our church when I was a child...and I read them every Sunday as I sat in the pew...and I see them even now in my mind's eye. They are words that often come to mind when I see the artwork of our Creator stretched across the evening sky...or the morning sky. How can one help but bring our gift of thanks...and bow before our Maker?

Friday, January 29, 2010

the other guest room...

There is always a space for night guests in the house! When our family was young, the bedrooms were all taken...but we outfitted our daughter's room with a large bed so that it could easily be converted into a guest room. She loved to give up her room for friends and family (right, Heidi?)...because it was her chance to move into our walk-in closet. How cozy to have a mini-room inside the master suite.

That was all long ago...and we have plenty of room for guests now. The master bedroom is on the main floor...with two guest rooms ready and waiting upstairs. But upstairs is a very long ways away...and the walk-in closet is so much cozier!

So when Ryder comes for a sleepover...we let him choose his bed...and he always chooses to sleep right next to that other wee guest room. And he chooses the old blankee that was Uncle Kris's back in the 80's...and a teddy bear pillow.

At Grammy's house...

...we let them choose what they want.

It's sure fun being a Grammy!

Have a great weekend...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

tropical delight...

Come mid-January my poinsettias had lost their appeal...and I went to the garden shop in search of something else to brighten my table. I wasn't really thinking orchids...but that's what I came home with...and have been enjoying my little potted orchid for the past few weeks.

When my sister was out for a visit...we went for a tour of our local orchid greenhouse...where orchids are grown commercially and harvested every year from October through May. Where once they grew long-stemmed roses...

...they now have 10,000 cymbidium orchid plants. They come in all shades...whites, pinks and yellows...

...but my favorite ones are the lime greens.

Baltic Glacier Mint...even the name is appealing!

The Van Den Bosch family is most hospitable...and welcomes those who like to come snoop on occasion.

Customers who once came for long stemmed leave with an armful of orchids. Very nice...for a change! I've been here before...and I'll be back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

new on the farm...

Grandgirlie came for a visit yesterday...and we heard rumours there was a calf being born over at the we went over to take a peek.

We arrived after all the drama...and found the calf lying next to mommy...tired from the big ordeal. Ranen wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. It had just arrived and no one knew the answer to that question just yet.

Ryder and his daddy were at the barn as well...and so the grands amused themselves by feeding the cows some hay. And Bentley kept watch...that seems to be his role in life. He is a barn dog through and through.

As I left the farm, I noticed the eagles had taken up residence in the tall evergreens behind the farmhouse once again.

They look exactly like the two that sat there last year. If they aren't careful, they will soon have names. The grands like to name everything over there!

A wonderful Wednesday to you...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

drive by photography?

Some of my favorite photos have been taken from the car...often through the we roll down the highway.

Here are a few 'drive-bys' that I pulled from the files...

...taken on Vancouver Island

...the California Coast

...the Canadian Rockies



...and Nevada.

We have a new law in British which now makes it illegal to talk and text while driving in the province. It makes sense to me! But I had to smile last week...when someone wondered whether I was adhering to the new 'hand-held devices' ban...and refraining from using my camera while behind the wheel.

Just to set the record straight...though I love taking pictures while on the road...and always have my camera nearby...I am usually in the passenger seat when snapping furiously...or stopped at an intersection...or I simply pull off the road. I have occasionally managed a point-and-shoot while behind the wheel...but I'm thinking that my camera would now fall under the classification of hand-held devices and as such, I should refrain from driving and clicking. I guess that makes sense as well!

Is there such a thing as a hands-free camera? It's just a thought.

Have a wonderful day...

Monday, January 25, 2010

paper wheat...

A little nostalgia...a little culture...a little music...and a lot of Canadian what we were immersed in for a few pleasant hours over the weekend. Paper Wheat is a production of the theatre department of our local university...and in honour of their 30th anniversary...they are performing this Canadian play for the second time.

We saw it back in 1982 the first time around...and must have liked it, since we decided we should go see it again. Here's the funny thing......though it hardly seems that long since we last saw was all new to us this weekend. We had forgotten more than we remembered!

In 1982 it was under the direction of Clint Hames...who was a young whipper snapper at the time. He has played on many stages since that time...including local politics...where he served as councillor and also as mayor for a time. He is back on stage with Paper director and actor. He managed to involve many of the actors and musicians who performed in the play the first time around...
...along with a wonderful caste of young actors.

Paper Wheat follows the struggles of early homesteaders in western Canada and their gradual realization that isolation and economic helplessness could best be overcome by co-operation in institutions such as the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and the Federated Co-operative....and credit unions. The audience is totally in support of the farmers and their co-operative effort...but we all left with questions as to what happened along the way. The co-ops and credit unions seem to have gone the way of the 'big business' they replaced.

The play is funny...and includes humorous glimpses into the lives of the early Canadian homesteaders. It was worth seeing...twice! I'm wondering which parts of Paper Wheat I will remember a few decades from now. A little comedy...a little's all good.

Have a great day...

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Words kill, words give life;
they're either poison or fruit—you choose.

Proverbs 18:21
The Message

A friend shared this song with me this week...and so I am passing it along to all of you.
The words are ones that should be shared!

Words ~ by Wendy Francisco
(take a listen)

Loose lips sink ships, this is widely known.
Be careful what you say, the ship you sink may be your own.
We may fly or we may fail by the words that we set sail.
Wings of life or webs of death dance upon our very breath.
Place your hand on your letter.
Steer your ship by what you utter.
Your bed is made, you bread is buttered by blessings sung or curses muttered.
Words can heal a wounded heart , ease a child and her fears apart.
Bring hidden darkness into the light.
Make what is wrong in a friendship right.
Choose your words as you choose a jewel, a good word is like rocket fuel.
Proclaim God's grace, evoke his power.
Spread His Love in this needy hour.
We may fly or we may fail by the words that we set sail.
Wings of life or webs of death dance upon our very breath.

Friday, January 22, 2010

good question...

There are many questions without logical answers.

Questions like:

  • Why do men's bicycles have crossbars?
  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
  • Why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway?
  • Why do we pay tolls on the freeway?
  • Is it possible to be totally partial?
  • Why do people look up when they think?
  • Why do steam irons have a permanent press setting?
  • Why is yawning contagious?
  • Why is there an expiration date on SOUR cream?
  • What does the Q in Q-tip stand for?

Though I don't really know the answers to the above mentioned questions...I haven't lost any sleep over it. But I have a question of my I am quite perplexed about.

How is it possible for a caller to leave a message on an answering machine that is turned OFF? Impossible, you say? Obviously not.

Before we leave on vacation, we tend to turn off the answering machine...putting the machine in 'telephone mode' so that the answering machine is no longer active. Our reasoning is that if we will be away for some length of time...we don't want people leaving us messages on our home phone...and not getting a response. Last summer we were away for 10 days...and came home to find a message on the answering machine that was 'turned off'. The message had been left the day of our departure...and required a response. It had been left by Alex from our church office. Several months later...the same thing happened again. We returned home after a few days the answering machine...and listened to a message that had been left in our absence...once again by Alex from the church office. Now we decided to do our own detective work. We called home from the cell phone while our machine was turned off...and listened to the phone ring...and ring...and ring. There was no way we could leave a message! I called Alex...and asked her if she had a secret for leaving messages on on my answering machine...even when it was turned off. She had a good laugh...but no answers to our mystery.

We were gone for a few days earlier this week...and turned off the answering machine before we left home. We came home to find two voice from from nearby. None from Alex. I will be the first to admit I have no understanding of technology...but this one has me baffled! There are some questions that have no right answers. I'm not planning to lose any sleep over this one either...but if you have any explanation...I'm listening.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 celebrations....

We have a theme over here this year...and it's all about going for gold!

Even the birthday cake that a friend surprised me with was an Olympic appropriate cake for 2010. I'm quite willing to feel free to stop by and have a slice of yumminess with me.

My girls took me out for lunch yesterday... our favorite little bakery/tea shoppe. We had us a fine time...

...and since I left my Olympic sized cake at home in the fridge...I was forced to try a lemon square for dessert. How sweet it was!

And what could beat having a bouquet of flowers delivered to the a most precious grandson? I've been more than a little spoiled over here the past few days.

Today? It's time to get back to work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the great big sea....

January seems to be the time people think about escaping winter...and looking for a little sunshine and warmth...maybe near the ocean. My sister happens to live on the Canadian prairie...and doesn't need a whole lot of coaxing to escape for a bit most winters...and come for a visit to the west coast. Catching wind of the brother decided it was as good a time as any for him to flee the cold US Midwest and hop a flight west as well.

We sisters like to visit our favorite little spot on the ocean...not so far from here...and so that's where we were these past few days...the four of us. (The one from Texas had no winter to she stayed put!) The guys joined us for part of the time as well...and we spent a lot of time playing games...eating...and laughing.

Birch Bay is rather a sleepy beachside community in the winter...with 'warm water, warm people' as it's slogan. The only warm water we found was that in the hot tub on our deck...from where we could enjoy a view of the ocean. It's a great place for a winter retreat.

We are having an El NiƱo winter...what that means is it is that we are enjoying warm, balmy weather (not exactly what the Olympic committee ordered)...but perfectly fine for spending a day or two at the beach in January!

A storm blew through the one night...with the remains still evident in the morning.

The cars had to jump the waves...and the beachcombers could gather shells right on the road.

We watched the logs rolling in the waves...and a few were high and dry...on the right shoulder of the roadway.

The shoreline was thick with seashells...and I thought of a few little munchkins who would have been ever so thrilled to come collecting.

All evidence of any storm was soon gone...and we walked in the sunshine...jackets soon discarded.

Though most people flock here in the summer does seem that some are permanent residents...judging by the mailboxes.

Oh...and some have obviously lived here for a very long time!

We passed by beach houses and condos...

...with planters and window boxes in full bloom. January! On closer inspection we realized that these particular flowers bloom year-round...and don't require any water or fertilizer.

Now these... however, are the real thing! They may still be in for a cold shock...but yesterday they were smiling.

We made one quick side trip from the beach...that being to Bellis Fair stock up on yummy smelling soaps from Bath & Bodyworks.

Heidi and Maelyn joined us there...and Maelyn decided it was her kind of place as well.

The sun set on our little get-away...and I returned home to find myself one year older. I know...a little birdie already told you. I'm OK with that...and thanks to all of you for good wishes. I always think birthdays are a good reason to celebrate...and it looks like I may just be doing that for the next day or two. Smile.
Enjoy the day...