So, I saw that this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” I guess that could be interpreted in  a number of ways. I consider it an invitation to share recent events that produced vivid memories.

We took another little short road trip this past weekend, up to Port Angeles, Leavenworth, and Wenatchee, WA. We had a nice long walk through the Olympic National Forest, at Hurricane Ridge. What a beautiful place. And what vivid colors! I tried making a panoramic shot, just to show the beauty of Hurricane Ridge. Enjoy the vividicity (just made that word up…it’s not patented. You can use it).

Doesn't this just make you want to travel!!

Doesn’t this just make you want to travel!!

Our stop in Leavenworth was very short – hey, it was HOT there!!! But we did visit a few interesting shops. I found some fabric (like I need more fabric!!!) at a cool little place that sported a Jewish flag and a Christian flag out front. We had to go in that one, even though we weren’t sure what they sold. I thought it was a fabric store, and hubby thought it was a hotel. Turns out we were both right. One side was a fabric store, and the other was a small hotel. 🙂

I love the fabric, and can’t wait to make some fun stuff with it. I’m seeing vivid pictures of a Bible cover, and some mug rugs, and maybe even a new oven mitt. Hey – I could make a wall hanging!

close-up of the fabric...I want to make a Bible cover from this!

close-up of the fabric…I want to make a Bible cover from this!

After we left Leavenworth, we decided to visit Waterville, and ran into an old friend we hadn’t seen since her 8-year-old was a baby. What fun to see her and 3 of her kids (the 4th one was staying with my cousin for the summer, I discovered). No photos of the kids, sorry…don’t have her permission…but just take my word for it. They’re adorable!! Their grandmas are staying with them for awhile, and one has white hair. The middle son, age 10 (I think), looked at his grandma and then at me, and said, “Hey, you guys have the same hair…” Of course, you know what I thought right away……….. “yeah yeah, I know, I know, I’ve got no color left in my hair.” Then he finished his sentence, “…it’s curly!” 🙂

We stayed a couple of nights in Wenatchee and visited with another good friend and family – who also have adorable kids. No pics of them either – battin’ a thousand in the family pic department this week. But the memories of the visits are worth a thousand pics, so that counts for something, doesn’t it?

We decided to come home early and get some work done before going back to work next week (y’know, somehow that just doesn’t sound right). We’re planning to fill the house with people this coming weekend, and it would be only fitting and proper if the kitchen were in usable condition first. I’ll share one or two shots of this project at some future time, when it’s finished.

I’m loving being at home these last few days, working if I feel like it, or sitting and doing nothing if I feel like it – but hubby gets a little stir-crazy. He has to be building something, or working on something, or going somewhere.  You know the old saying about three days’ worth of guests and fish? Well, for him, hanging out at the house for three days can produce the same side-effect. He’s been watering and pruning and transplanting plants, putting in the new kitchen sink (and the new pull-out garbage can holder), cleaning up the brush pile I made last week in the back yard, and now he’s finally sat…oh, wait…no…he’s started building the new greenhouse!

I’ve been sitting here in the back yard, soaking up the evening rays, writing my little posts, and thinking about doing some serious housework…sometime. But I can’t take all this feverish activity; he’s making me feel guilty with all that work he’s putting out. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to get up and do something. I know – I’ll go inside.

I’ll just sit in here and think about sewing. That always calms me down. Hmmm…maybe a new purse for my son’s girlfriend.  My son picked out all this fabric for my birthday – I think he’s got good taste. Most of it is fat quarters. A lot can be done with fat quarters. If I can make a purse from a whole bunch of little tiny strips of fabric, just THINK what can be made from a whole quarter-yard! Feast on this eye candy, and send your thanks to my son. 🙂

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Hey, I might do something productive soon. It could happen.


harmonicals, organ donors, and mother-belly

I love having a houseful of people over. Dinner is always an excitement . . . a challenge . . . how badly will I confuse myself this time? “Did I remember to cook the asparagus? Where’s the beef? Spencer! Stop trying to kiss Sally – she doesn’t want dog slobber on her nose. No, Johnny, don’t eat the dog food, wait for dinner. Susie, don’t push your brother through the doggy door. Honey, where did I set the potatoes down? No, they’re not on the table – oh, there they are, on the fireplace. Let’s see – oh, forks! We need forks. Does everyone have a plate?” Then it’s all hurry-hurry to get the food on the table before the hot stuff gets cold and the cold stuff gets warm. And then the blessing, and the meal begins. Ah, the food, conversation, laughter, sharing thoughts and plans and ideas, and just plain ol’ kickin’ back with a cup of coffee and the feet up after dinner. What a blessing. And that major mess in the kitchen? In my opinion, it’s the sign of a successful dinner!

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In anticipation of the day, I’d gone to Dollar Tree and stocked up on a few fun things for the kids to explore. One of the little goodies I’d found was a package of pretend mouth organs, as we used to call harmonicas. Well, it didn’t come out exactly right as I was recounting the goody-list to the kids’ mom. I don’t know if it actually counts as a stumble over my words . . . I didn’t fall, I just sort of slid into third base on that one. Yes, I did. I said “harmonicals” – which entertained the entire group immensely. Me, the proofreading, stickler-for-the-right-word, grammar nazi, spelling-bee champion secretarial type – I said harmonical. We didn’t need that candle in the corner; my face lit the entire room up quite nicely for several minutes.

Speaking of organs, we were given a wonderful Lowery electric organ on Saturday, just in time for this get-together. One of the guests asked, “So, your office is now an organ donor, eh?” Yes. Thank you, Village Missions!!

thanks to the organ donor!

thanks to the organ donor!

After all the guests had gone home, I cleaned the kitchen and put the dishes and food away, all the while singing along as hubby played that organ. He was playing one of my favorite old hymns, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” I was amazed at how many of the words I could recall, since we haven’t sung that song for a very long time at church. What a wonderful, pleasant, delightful time – and to think I hated doing dishes as a kid! But then, I didn’t get to do them to organ music.

All that time preparing the house for having friends over, and the hustle-bustle to get the kitchen back in order after everyone leaves, seems to release my mind from worry and encourages the memories to flow. As I was cleaning the sink (and not being very neat about it), I realized I’d just soaked my blouse clear across my belly. That brought a flood of memories of my mother at the kitchen sink. Her belly was perpetually soaked right at sink-height. I discovered something about myself (actually, I’ve known it for a very long time): I think I’m a mother-clone. I find myself doing many of the same things she did, even down to the bellysoaking method of kitchen cleaning. Do you have mother-habits too?

just like Mother's!

just like Mother’s!

*sigh* tomorrow is another day. I’m thankful to have been so blessed today, and to be even more blessed tomorrow, as I have a job to go to, and a house to live in, and friends and family to love and be loved by, and a car to drive, and a . . . well, you get the picture. Good night. Time to sleep, perchance to dream. 😆

we go together like a bird and a feather

I was born to be married. For 25 years I belonged completely to my late husband, and when he was taken away I was lost. I drifted and wandered, looking for a place to belong again. I longed to feel that connection, that completeness of being united with a soulmate. I was a fragment, a part missing from the whole. Then I met my honey – also widowed – and I began to feel whole again. He completed me, and I completed him.

He’s the bird. I’m the feather. He is the foundation . . . the strength . . . the only place I fit. Without him, I’d still be blowing around in the wind, snagged in the thistles and thorns of life. With him I have direction and purpose. I am made beautiful by beautifying him. He needs me and I need him. A feather needs a bird to be complete.



The bird needs the feather to be complete. Without me, he would be naked and vulnerable. The feather is part of his strength; it protects, complements, and adorns him. With the feather, he can spread his wings and fly – he can accomplish great things, dare to pursue his dreams, withstand the storms, and look magnificent all the while. My bird sustains his feather, and this feather is his covering. How well we work together!



Are you connected?

(for the DP Challenge: Born to be with you)


Is there an app for that?

Times are changing .  . . kids nowadays have different challenges, different influences – even a whole different vocabulary – from when I was growing up. But some things just don’t change. Kids still have deep, searching questions about the meaning of life, and parents still struggle with how to explain.

Yesterday while having lunch, I was browsing various WordPress sites. I saw that the weekly writing challenge is all about our thoughts on aging.  Ask a baby what aging means to him, and you’ll probably get a giggle and a ‘ga ga goo goo.’ Ask a kid what aging is all about, and he may tell you it means getting big enough to be independent and make his own decisions. Ask a middle-aged person, you’ll probably hear about plans for retirement and all the things that can be done when one doesn’t have to work any more. Ask an old person, and he may reflect upon how quickly time has passed and how much these kids have changed, and how foreign the world feels now – not at all like when he was a kid himself. Ask me and I’ll tell you it’s every one of those things, and then some.

Anyway, Sunday night we were at our friends’ house after church, along with her daughter’s family. We were having a wonderful time around the piano singing old hymns, and around the dining table having coffee and conversation, while the kids ran in and out and all around. We were talking about old times and how it was back in The Days. We reminisced about when we were young, and talked about dreams and plans for the future. Yes, even old folks have dreams and plans for the future . . . they just look different from the younguns’ plans.

We began comparing our perspective on the world as kids to that of kids in today’s world. My friend’s daughter recounted something her kids had said just the other day. Her little four-year-old had asked her a very deep question.

Mommy, why does Grandma call pants britches?

Mommy replied,

It’s just a generation gap, honey.

Her six-year-old piped up,

What’s a generation app? Should we download it?

That says it all, I think.

Daddy, are you downloading the generation app?

Daddy, are you downloading the generation app?

Our house is a very, very, very small house

what our house might have looked like

what our house might have looked like

As I think about this writing challenge about our earliest memories of our house, serenity and sadness fight for control of my emotions. I don’t know if these memories are all from one day, or if they’re melded together from the whole pre-schooldays experience. I don’t even know if these memories are all from the same house, we moved so much. Whatever the case may be, they’re mostly good memories of days gone by. 

It was a dark house . . . small and grey, and black in places where the tarpaper peeked through holes where siding used to be. There was a round light fixture on the ceiling that didn’t work, but we had a big glass lamp filled with clear oil. That was our light at night; we used it to get from the kitchen to the bedroom and anywhere else we wanted to go. I don’t have a lot of memories of that house, only a snatch here and there.

It’s summer, the door is open, and my mother is sweeping the dirt floor. I’m fascinated by that; how does she keep from sweeping the whole floor away? She sprinkles water on the floor first – to settle the dust, she tells me. I wonder why she bothers to sweep dirt, but after she’s done, the floor feels nice and smooth to my bare feet. That dirt is as hard as the asphalt on the road to town, unless I spill my water again. But Mother doesn’t get upset – she just sweeps some dirt on top of the spill, and when it’s dry she sweeps it out the door to the yard.

There must be more than one room to this house, but I only remember the kitchen. I always seem to be heading out that kitchen door to play. The kitchen is shadowy; the windows are small and the ceiling is low. In one corner is a table and a bench. My brothers and I sit on that bench behind the table.  Mother and Dad have chairs that look huge to me; I like to crawl up in Mother’s chair and pretend I’m a baby in a high chair. But Timmy is in the real high chair, the one someone gave us. Mother says we’ve all used it, and now it’s little Timmy’s turn. I still want to sit in it and be the baby for awhile longer, but Dad laughs at me and tells me to grow up and stop acting like a baby. I’m four years old, not two, he reminds me again. I won’t let him see me cry. I have a favorite spot in the kitchen, right behind the big stove in the corner, where I like to hide when he says mean things to me. I can fit in there and no one can see me behind the wood bin.

It’s a noisy house, with lots of screaming and crying and yelling. The other kids make a lot of noise too! There are seven of us in the house: me, my parents, two of my older brothers (one is living with my grandmother, but I don’t know why), my little brother, and my new baby sister. She’s Mother’s favorite, I suspect. My big brother says that every time there’s a new baby, it becomes Mother’s favorite. I don’t remember being the favorite, but before this new baby came along, John (I call him Don-Don because I can’t say John) always teased me about being Mother’s pet because I was the only girl. He can’t say that any more.

There’s a strange lady in the house today; I don’t know what she wants, but she’s smiling at me and trying to talk to me. She looks like she doesn’t really want to talk to me but feels like she has to. I bet it’s because I’m staring at her, wondering what makes her clothes smell like flowers, and why she doesn’t want a piece of the chicken I’m eating.  She doesn’t look like she likes chicken. I don’t think she likes our house, or she wouldn’t look so unhappy when she thinks I’m not looking.

Outside I go! The yard is my favorite part of this place. It has no grass right in front of the house, just lots of dirt that is great for drawing in, and for making little roads, and for mud pies. Mother showed me how to draw hopscotch, and I play that by myself for awhile, until I get tired of it and go try to play marbles with my big brothers. They won’t let me play, but I can watch. Don-Don gets mad when he loses his marbles. Ha Ha!! I laugh at him and run before he can catch me.

Well, folks, these are my earliest memories. What do you remember from your childhood?