Friday, September 30, 2011

Time for Tag!

The little tag games that go around the blogosphere from time-to-time are fun, I think. This time around I was tagged by Natasha @ Day by Day who was tagged by Emily the Industrious. I think maybe Emily started it. In any case, here are my answers:

When you're scared of something that is not truly frightening, what's the very first thing you do?
Gasp and flap my hands in the air, then try to act like I didn't really react. My husband and kids laugh at me for doing this all the time.

When you feel like you've lost control of your emotions, what do you do?
Take a deep breath. And pray.

When was the last time you cried?
I don't remember.

Why did you cry?
Because I needed to, I guess.

Who is your closest confidant?
Lyle (next to God, that is)

For what would you go to college for if you were going?
Library Science

Who is your most annoying pet?
Tabitha the cat, I guess, though I have definitely been around more annoying cats. Still, it couldn't be Cookie who is the ultimate sweetheart. And the fish are just fishy. That's all the pets we have. One dog. One cat. And 3 fish.

Why don't you like tags?
Who said I didn't?

Which five people do you tag?
Let's see. Who would want to do this? I tell you what... if you like tags and feel like doing this one, just consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Sweet Reminder

Last fall I bought a couple of pretty mum plants and transplanted them into my front flower bed. I hoped they would come back this year, and much to my delight, they did! I've been watching them grow all summer, carefully pinching them back so they wouldn't get too "leggy." I was excited to see the first little nubby buds show up a few weeks ago... and finally... they have begun to bloom, right on schedule!

But what have we here?
In the same flower bed, I have a treasured little azalea bush that my dear friend, Kay, bought for me as a housewarming gift when we moved into this house three-and-a-half years ago. It has faithfully bloomed each spring, and I've been so happy that it has seemed to thrive for me.

Did you notice I said it blooms in the spring? Imagine my surprise to notice this little guy... just one lonely little bud... blooming brightly last week! In September. Not May.

I have no idea why the funny little flower bloomed out-of-season. It seems like there might be some sort of spiritual lesson there if I could just put it into words.

It's been two years today since Kay went to Heaven. Spiritual lesson or not, I thought it was nice of God to let that one little flower bloom to remind me of my special friend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sonlight Blog

I'm blogging about hands-on ideas for homeschooling at the Sonlight Blog today. I would love for you to leave me a comment there!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On the Rock

Remember how I mentioned that I wanted to get in more walking and hiking this summer? Well, in spite of my good intentions, I haven't gotten out there as much as I thought I would. An overbooked schedule has a way of crowding out things like that. However, I will say, I have hiked more than usual this year-- so I guess that's better than just sitting, huh?
This past weekend we camped at Steamboat Rock State Park in central Washington. Number 1 on the itinerary was to "climb the rock." The men and kids had done it once before several years ago, but I just wasn't too sure I was up for the challenge. Casual walking and moderate hikes are not exactly hard-core training for rock climbing. Lyle was sure I could handle it, so I took a deep breath and set off with the group.
When we reached the face of the rock and saw that the trail looked like this ^ I balked. At least we weren't shinnying up the rock hanging onto ropes (that, I couldn't have done!), but slipping and sliding through the loose, sharp rocks seemed challenging enough.
I took my time, and made it to the first resting spot. "Don't worry," they told me. "That was the hard part. Well, actually, this next little section is really the hardest part... and then, after that... well, we won't say what's after that." I'm not sure how they thought that would be an encouragement to me, but I trudged valiantly upward and onward.
The landscape was so monotone and the sky was overcast, so it's hard to see the elevation change in the pictures. Believe me, we were going up! I wanted to give up a couple times, and just rest on a convenient rock until the rest of the gang came back by on their way down, but they wouldn't let me. "You can make it," they kept telling me.
And, finally, I did. This picture was taken on the top of the rock, by me! Again, with the lighting and monochromatic scenery it's a little hard to see the edge of the rock, but our group is standing pretty close to the edge. The green patches in the distance are the campgrounds (which are watered daily).
Naturally, going down was much easier than going up had been. But still, it was no walk in the park. Here's a view of the rock as I came around the side of it going down. I'm glad I decided to attempt it. I will say, it's not the best hiking trail I've ever been on, but it may well be the most challenging. Read: Not challenging at all for experienced hikers. Oh, well. It was an accomplishment for me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday, Mother!

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her: 
“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
       Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
      But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.   
Proverbs 31:28-31

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Setting Up Shop

Do you shop at Etsy? If you like hand-made and/or vintage treasures, you really should! Some of my friends and relatives have had shops for awhile, but I hadn't spent much time there until recently. Then I got hooked, and decided to set up my own shop: I'm having so much fun! It's quite addictive, I have to admit.
I've been going through a batch of charming vintage dress patterns, checking them for completeness, and scanning the envelope pictures to list. I've been a little surprised at how well they are selling. I thought I was probably the only one who just loved looking at old dress patterns.
I've also listed several sets of cotton crocheted washcloths that I made as a complement to my friend Cathy's hand-made-from-scratch soaps. She has a brand-new Etsy shop, too: Log Cabin Soaps. I have used her soaps and they are wonderful!
Now I'm trying to decide what other crocheted projects to offer... maybe vintage-style kitchen accessories (dish cloths and potholders)?
...or baby booties?
...or some of my 99 Little Doilies?

What do you think would sell? I'd really appreciate the input.

Also, if you have an Etsy shop, be sure and tell me about it, so I can visit and add you to my Circle!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Changing Seasons

 Summer got off to a late start in our part of the country. It was cool all through July, and was well into August before we had any hot weather to speak of. Obligingly, though, summer is lingering later than usual. We're continuing to have hot weather well into September.

In spite of the daytime temperatures, fall is definitely in the air. Our first clue was the Canadian soccer tournament that took place in the soccer field across the street about 3 weeks ago. I had no idea that the Canadian Geese enjoyed soccer, but they spent several days with us on their way south. We never did see them actually kicking a soccer ball, but I ask you: What else would they be doing over there all that time? Becky enjoyed snapping several pictures, so the photo credit goes to her for this post.

Dark comes earlier these days. Harvest scents are in the air. My mums are budding. Our school year routine is "falling" into place. It's obvious that fall will officially arrive next week.

I'm reminded of something my Granddaddy said in an old letter I came across recently:

Days come and go, years pass so hurriedly: but God is the same and we are happy in Him.
--Gordon Easley, September 16, 1964

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day Camping Trip

We camped at beautiful Priest Lake for the Labor Day weekend. We didn't actually end up staying at the campsite much this time. Lyle had planned out a full itinerary of Geocaches in the area, so we did a lot of exploring. It's such a gorgeous area, so that was a perfect plan-- and the weather cooperated nicely.
Here's the gang getting ready to set out on our first expedition... this nearby scenic viewpoint. It was a moderate hike from the campground. Looks like we were all trying to capture the view through our various lenses. Maybe I should have got the photos from their phones, too. (Rebecca didn't have a camera, so she was on the lookout for cougars. Though there was a warning sign posted about them, we didn't see any. Thank goodness.)

The next geocache we attempted was a drive-up one. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. As we turned off the main road I asked how far it was "as the crow flies." The answer: "Just over 3 miles." I predicted it would take us 3 hours to find it, because even though we had two GPSs (three, if you count the phone) plus a detailed back-road atlas, we weren't real sure just what road to follow to find the coordinates. Naturally we made several wrong turns and had to do a lot of back-tracking. I was off on my prediction by one hour-- it only took us two hours to find it. It was on the top of a mountain with breath-taking views in all directions.
After we drove back down off that mountain we pursued another one that involved another quarter-mile hike to a different view of the lake. Apparently fall comes early to Priest Lake. We noticed changing foliage throughout the area.
On Monday morning we did a couple more quick and easy caches near the campground. This one was right on the lake shore. The water is so clear and pristine.
The girls caught a little frog and had to pose him on Laura's cap before they let him go.
Besides hiking, driving, and enjoying the weather and scenery, we also had a wonderful time as a family just hanging out together and conversing around the campfire in the evenings.

Sweet memories to treasure!