Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thankfulness Through Adversity . . .

Yes, I know...we can be thankful even when we've stubbed our toe or had a thorough head whacking by life...theoretically, that is.

But what about in reality?  Over the years I have learned through some nasty, snarly lessons that when I am down and out that is a great opportunity to trust in the Lord.

But then I say, how many times do I have to learn to trust Him?  Again and again?

Well, last night in the wee small hours, as I flipped from side to side and raced through a half dozen Sudoku puzzles I finally came to rest in a truly thankful moment.  The mind battles that haunted me came to rest in a trusting sleep.

It is odd that no matter how advanced the years I still have to go through the "Jacob-wrestling-with-The-Angel' hours before it dawns on me that yes, this is one more opportunity to trust in the Lord.

For all the 'wrestling' times through my life, I am thankful.  I take it that means He is not finished with me yet nor has He thrown me on the trash heap.  Hallelujah!  Amen!

(second-coming clouds I snapped this past week)

"For I know the plans I have for you,
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
Plans to give you Hope and a Future."
Jeremiah 29:1

That is my wish for you today.
God bless and be well.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Little Puzzle . . .

My husband does not think the world will know what I have used for my header photo.

Tell me, what do you think that is?

I want to hear from you all now...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Memory in the Middle of the Week...

. . . a fall watercolour sky over Walla Walla, Washington

"What I like about photographs 
is that they capture a moment that's gone forever, impossible to reproduce."
-Karl Lagerfield

Friday, December 21, 2012

For Miss Lucy . . .

Lucy Ann Goerlitz
Born on December 18, 2003

This past Monday our Lucy celebrated her ninth birthday while she visited with her Grandpa Tibi in Los Angeles.

At first I didn't think I had any recent photos of Lucy in my computer here in AZ but then I remembered our lovely time together at Walla Walla for Thanksgiving.  The photo above is Lucy just a month before her 'day'.

Grandpa, Maizy and Lucy doing some 'puzzling' over that holiday.

And here you see the happiest Grandma and Grandpa with the three grandest grandchildren!

Dear Lucy, Grandpa and I love you and are so happy for your delight in learning and your joy in life.  You have helped make our family much more aware of the world around us in new and fresh ways.

We love to see you dance and sing and smile.

May every day be a precious to you and may you find delight around every corner in life.

Love and hugs and many kisses . . . Grandma and Grandpa

At Week's End . . .

As the sky darkens and the week starts winding down, I must say I am most thankful this week is past...and I would wager that I am not alone on this.

I am also thankful that the days will start getting longer after today and pretty soon we won't be rising in the dark.

Even though my neighbour is very close and so far non-existant, I am thankful for the sky outside our windows.  From the dining room we see this unfinished house...

from the living room we see marvellous sunsets through the arches on our front porch...

and I am always able to spot the beauty of the flowers that some dear soul has planted 'just-for-me'!!!

At night from my side of the bed I look out our bedroom window and see a wonderful display of stars on clear nights.  I thought the stars were fantastic on our little island but they truly show off their splendour here on the desert.

We are thankful for the opportunity to meet new people and start to form new friendships.

(self-portrait from our Christmas dinner here at Del Webb at Rancho del Lago)

"Life has taught us 
that love does not consist 
of gazing at each other 
but in looking outward together 
in the same direction."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tonight I am thankful for my Creator who gives me fresh evidence every day that He cares for me and has my back.

Tonight I am thankful for my childhood family who knows me better than I know myself most days.  Thankful for our children who are a strong support for me to lean on...they send me cheer and smiles which warm my heart.

I realize that if I am able to make this 'thankfulness list' I am most fortunate.  

Good night, God bless and be well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

For Those Who Mourn . . .

Where are the loves that we have loved before

When once we are alone, and shut the door ?

No matter whose the arms that held me fast,

The arms of Darkness hold me at the last.

No matter down what primrose path I tend,

I kiss the lips of Silence in the end.

No matter on what heart I found delight,

I come again unto the breast of Night.

No matter when or how love did befall,
'Tis Loneliness that loves me best of all,

And in the end she claims me, and I know

That she will stay, though all the rest may go.

No matter whose the eyes that I would keep

Near in the dark, 'tis in the eyes of Sleep

That I must look and look forever more,

When once I am alone, and shut the door.

"Blessed are those who mourn, 
for they shall be comforted."
Matthew 5: 4

Friday, December 14, 2012

At Week's End . . .

"Prayer is taking a chance 
that against all odds and past history, 
we are loved and chosen, 
and do not have to 
get it together before we show up."
-Anne Lamott

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Simply Sajuaro Sabbath

It seems we cannot get enough of the sunshine, blue sky and heat...the natives tell us that we are getting better than usual December weather this year but the Lord knows we were ready for this.

The photo in my header is the view as I got out of Lorne's car today headed out for a hike in Sajuaro National Park.

What a lovely walk we had.  Sherwin, Lorne and I had a great time catching up as we enjoyed the beauty of the desert all around us.  Gail stayed behind nursing her wounded knee.

We were careful to walk a straight line and not fall off the path!

"You can't fight the desert...
you have to ride with it."  
-Louis L'Amour

The cowboys and girls say they carry pliers with them to remove thorns from the horses feet...ouch!

We were all taken with the extraordinary beauty and symmetry of the plants along the trail.

Even the aged sajuaros had a certain charm...we half expected to see vultures sitting on this old and rugged specimen.

Close-up in the shade you get a little different perspective of the serious equipment these plants are born with.

And being Sabbath and all, we noticed the choir gathered to sing...

Wish we could have captured the Huge Jack Rabbit we saw ...he was too fast for the photographers in our group.  His ears far outsized his skinny body and legs to watch.

"If you don't die of thirst , there are blessings in the desert.  You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise.  The sky is your ocean, and the crystal silence will uplift you like great gospel music, or Neil Young."
-Anne Lamott

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fun, Fun, and More Fun

There have been some good laughs around here as we learn more about each other in the process of setting up a new house.  We brought a lot of small stuff with us from Canada but there was much we left behind as we will need those items when we head Home again.

We didn't realize until we were in the middle of it that Sherwin had never gone 'kitchen shopping' with me before.  You know the little things that make a kitchen function...those nifty tools and pretty what-nots that make a kitchen work.  In the past if I needed something I would just go and get what was necessary and come home, integrate it into my kitchen and he would never know what it took to pull my kitchen together.

Aha!  It was time to hit 'Bed, Bath and Beyond' this week as I knew they would have a few items I needed.  We carefully worked down the list with me adding goodies to the cart.  Now picture Sherwin pushing said cart, rolling his eyes in amazement as the cart becomes quite full.

But...the last thing on my list was an iron and a new ironing board.  You all know that ironing is not high on my list of enjoyable pastimes so I just breathed deeply and headed to the small appliance department.

Hmmm...there were very lovely irons on display and not cheap!  We could pay all the way up to $150. for the iron and $100. for the ironing board.  Probably not a good idea for someone who avoids ironing as much as possible so I looked around and found the cheapest board and a middle of the road iron.

Now don't saw off in boredom because I am just coming to the best part of the story...

There was a bedskirt that required ironing when it came out of the dryer so I set up my new equipment and went for it.  I filled the iron with water and thought that the new iron may change my whole attitude towards ironing.  It was so pretty, so new, so clean!

In a minute or so the iron smelled funny and the bedskirt was not losing it's wrinkles. *%#$^*! Grumble, mumble, whine...

"Sherwin, I should have bought the expensive model of both and then my clothes would shed their wrinkles more easily". what?  I kept at it though because persistence is in my genes.

But, if I am going to iron there better be decent results!  It was time to thoroughly inspect this new iron.  When I seriously looked at the iron, I burst out laughing and laughed and laughed.  In my haste to get ironing (heaven forbid) I had not removed the light cardboard cover on the bottom of the iron.  The steam could not come out, the heat was only scorching the cardboard and the bedskirt was still wrinkly!

It was very funny to both of us but now in the retelling it was maybe one of those stories where you actually had to be there to be amused.

For those of you who have worked hard at mind blowing jobs all week, exhausted by your labours, you can see that down the road when you retire very small, innocuous incidents in your life will give you great amusement.

Or, at least, I hope they do...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Never Too Late for Thanksgiving . . .

More than a week has roared past since we officially had Thanksgiving with our family. . .both our children with their spouses and children makes nine of us and we had a lovely time.

Since then Sherwin and I have been distracted with travel and setting up house in a foreign land where the sky is most often blue and the days are perfectly warm. . .not too hot and not too cool.

So tonight as we end our first week in Tucson (actually the community of Vail on the east end of Tucson) I am very thankful.  Thankful for the mercy and grace of God who has granted this family to me for my joy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

When We Stopped for Lunch, November 9

If you look carefully at the middle of the photo you will see me smiling for the photographer and waving my paint brush.  We were fortunate to have two days of sunshine Thursday and Friday; in the middle of those days the temperature actually got over 10 degrees C...or 50 degrees F.

Sherwin spent most of his sunny hours finishing the dormer for the loft on the eastern took many trips up and down and up again on the ladder to fit each board carefully into the wall.  There are 26 rungs on that long ladder and he must have gone up and down at least 50 times just to do that dormer.  At the end of the day his legs were weary.

Isn't that lovely?  Of course, it appears loveliest to Sherwin and me.

Below is a close up look at the dormer wall on the western side of the loft which he will finish on Sunday morning, before the next batch of forecasted rain begins.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that 
"life's greatest gift is the opportunity 
to work hard at work worth doing." 

Friday, November 2, 2012

As of 3:15 p.m. November 2, 2012 . . .

The last shingle was cut, touched up with paint and applied on the wall on the left, just a little bit ago...big patch in the middle still requires some paint and the strip above on the left has to have cedar siding and window trim but we have shingled the eastern wall!!  Yaahooooo!!!

Have a lovely evening. . .

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Girl!

"There is still no cure for the common birthday."
- John Glenn

"One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them."
- Virginia Woolf

Happy Birthday, Sherilee, and may your new year bring you all you desire and wish for.

Love, from your Mama and Pa

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photo as Promised...

As of 10:30 am today this is where we are at on the eastern side of the house...if you are able to enlarge the photo you will see the details of the scaffolding that we have set up as of yesterday.  You can see Sherwin here walking a plank with another roll of tar paper.

Since our temperatures have dropped I will be setting up in the studio and paint shingles there to help with the completion of these areas...

Thinking of you all as we work away at this week.

Saturna Sabbath

Good Morning, World...

Many of you will have already seen these photos or some similar if you follow our family on Facebook but I had to throw my day into the mix with some twists of my own...

I continue to shoot this barn/building/house/shack from various angles and one day soon I will tackle a watercolour painting of this subject...

I love it with the people in it...for me they warm up the whole story.

Even though I was having 'trouble' with my camera I was happy to be able to pull in these happy sea lions perched on a rock outcropping way off shore.  How do I know they were happy?  They would have to be happy with such a beautiful sky above, all that water around them and no orcas in sight to harass them.

We had gone, hoping to see orcas or humpbacks out there in Georgia Strait but all we saw were the sea lions and a very large container ship.

And of course I couldn't miss granddaughter's gorgeous shoes!

From every angle this little building calls to me.  Imagine living there during one of our famous wind storms!

At the head of the trail to the beach there is this modern convenience...very out of place but amusing, nonetheless...

And then there were some who couldn't stay away from danger...

It was a lovely day in all with a yummy lunch at the Saturna General Store Cafe and all the fresh air...

When we got home I captured the grandgirls and took a snap on my PhotoBooth...that is one happy grandma you see peeking out from the tangle of girls!

Wishing you all a great week...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In Heaven It is Always Autumn
by John Donne

In heaven it is always autumn.  The leaves are always near
to falling there but never fall, and pairs of souls out walking
heaven's paths no longer feel the weight of years upon them.
Safe in heaven's calm, they take each other's arm,
the light shining through them, all joy and terror gone.
But we are far from heaven here, in a garden ragged and unkept
as Eden would be with the walls knocked down,
the path littered
with the unswept leaves of many years, bright keepsakes
for children of the Fall.  The light is gold, the sun pulling
the long shadow soul out of each thing, disclosing an outcome.
The last roses of the year nod their frail heads,
like listeners listening to all that's said, to ask,
What brought us here?  What seed?  What rain?  What light?
What forced us upward through dark earth?  What made us bloom?
What wind shall take us soon, sweeping the garden bare?  
Their voiceless voices hang there, as ours might,
if we were roses, too.  Their beds are blanketed with leaves,
tended by an absent gardener whose life is elsewhere.
It is the last of many last days.  Is it enough?
To rest in this moment?  To turn our faces to the sun?
To watch the lineaments of a world passing?
To feel the metal of a black iron chair, cool and eternal,
press against our skin?  To apprehend a chill as clouds
pass overhead, turning us to shivering shade and shadow?
And then to be restored, small miracle, the sun
shining brightly
as before?  We go on, you leading the way, a figure
leaning on a cane that leaves its mark on the earth.
My friend, you have led me farther than I have ever been.
To a garden in autumn.  To a heaven of impermanence
where the final falling off is slow, a slow and radiant happening.
The light is gold.  And while we're here, I think it must
be heaven.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Drizzle, Drizzle, Damp . . .

"All was silent as before 
- all silent save the dripping rain." 

"The sky was dark and gloomy, the air was damp and raw, the streets were wet and sloppy.  The smoke hung sluggishly above the chimney tops as if it lacked the courage to rise, and the rain came slowly and doggedly down, as if it had not even the spirit to pour."
- Charles Dickens

"Bad weather always 
looks worse through a window."
- Tom Lehrer

Counting Down to Winter . . .

Here we are, almost to the middle of October, and, as you can see, we have a lot of shingles to apply and paint before the worst of winter is upon us...winter here only means rain and fog but that does shut down the painting department.

Sherwin brought up the rest of the shingles from the cabin and after we had set up scaffolding on the eastern side of the house, he started to throw them up (if it was just that easy).

But it looks great quickly...we both love to see our daily progress even though it isn't as rapid as we would like.

By Friday night Sherwin had two sections looking good.  I only have started with the paint on the wall but by tomorrow night I should be catching up to this photo...of course he will be off and running ahead with more fresh ones.  We are delighted with the results though.

But by Thursday night the rain was starting and last night and early this morning (Sabbath) we have had considerable rain.

Our world is damp and foggy...beautiful, nonetheless.

Hopefully when we get back at it tomorrow the conditions will be amenable to our plans.

These few photos just barely show any progress but we have both worked long hours at one thing or another towards the final goal.  It seemed I was looking at surfaces to paint all week, walls, ceilings, boards, shingles...and more walls.

Part way through the week I remembered a song from my teen years that I loved...loved the twang of it so please, go ahead and indulge me and listen to this memory-lane song...

Now you really know what you are missing by not being here...

God bless you all and be well.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Learning Something New . . .

This past week Seth had his birthday and we Skyped him to give him our glorious rendition of 'Happy Birthday' that we inflict on all our children.

He was most gracious and stayed by to chat a while.  The lighting was so cool on him and his mother that I wanted to take a photo.

Well, Seth says, you can do it right there on your don't need to go for your camera.

Now I believe this only works on an Apple but here goes...

press 'command', 'shift' and '4' all at the same time and a cross-hairs will show up on the Skype screen of the picture of your visitor

now draw a square/rectangle around said picture

and click!!!

that photo will show up on your desktop where you can click and drag it to iPhoto

I had fun...(my daughter calls me a funny lady)

This one marks Seth's 16th birthday...

Hi Shelb...we were busy talking the other night and I neglected to mention to him that I was clicking away while we talked...

Marilyn called from Spain the other day and it was very good to see her and remember the Skyping she and I did from Paris a year and a bit ago...

And Bobbi was busy trying to do to me what I was doing to her, on her Apple...

I didn't get all the people snapped this week that I talked to on Skype but you get the is fun!

Thank you so much, Seth.  You gave me a birthday present on your day!