Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Diana, Princess of Wales Rose

Several weeks ago I shared that I had planted another of my favorite rose bushes: Diana, Princess of Wales. I thought you might like to see one of the blossoms. This rose is blooming on my original "Diana" rose bush that is planted by my back door. The soft pink colors that fade into a soft white with a touch of cream for accent create an ideal rose blossom. In addition to the rose plant itself being beautiful and named after a favorite princess, this one is also special to me because it was given to me by Nancy, a dear friend who lives in Orlando, Florida. One year for my birthday she ordered two Jackson & Perkins Diana, Princess of Wales rose bushes. One is planted in her yard and the other in mine. My other name for this rose is simply "Nancy" and I think of her every time I see this rose.

Trees of the Forest Will Sing

Then the trees of the forest will sing,
they will sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.

1 Chronicles 16:33

The view from my cabin kitchen window changed
with the whim of the weather all week-end.
From sunshine to rain or snow,
much of the time was spent
'in the clouds'.

But even with damp and drizzle,
the family worked hard and enjoyed
fellowship and good food.
At an elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level,
some sings of spring are just arriving.

New growth and flowers are
in full bloom, although some plants
are just sending out new bud,
so there's more to search
for on our next visit.

Signs of wildlife were everywhere,
but the forest animals can be elusive.
A tree near the cabin showed signs of a
bear clawing as he hunted for grubs.
A deer and a cow elk observed us
as we tried to observe them!

Serenity, tranquility, and peace
filled the woods and
gave us opportunity to
regenerate as we face
the realities of daily life at home.

God is good!

Making Way for the New

Father and son work hard together to clear dead wood from the forest floor so that new growth can occur. Already more light can be seen in this grove of evergreens. The buzz of chainsaws kept up their noisy hum all afternoon!


For the LORD is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Psalm 100:5

Brandon and Rylan work hard at gathering firewood and
stacking it into the wood pile with Grandpa.
Their reward? Cozy cabin fires
on dark, damp evenings with a bowl
of popcorn, sliced apples, and
a game of Uno or SkipBo.

Grandpa usually always wins!

Shooting Star, Jewel of the Woods

Shooting Star, Jewel of the Woods

Yesterday I was delighted to come across a quiet and remote hillside filled with blooming shooting stars. These beautiful blossoms grow in abundance in the foothills and woodlands near our home and cabin. As a child, I can remember many 'flower trips' with my mother and sister. We were in search of spring flowers, and the Shooting Star was always the STAR of the show! My sister and I would enjoy gathering flowers from woods and fields, adding Shooting Stars to the bouquet, and taking them home to enjoy on tabletop or windowsill.

Shooting Stars, or the Dodecatheon meadia, is known in different locations by a variety of picturesque common names. Sometimes called Indian Chief, Pride-of-Ohio, American Cowslip, Roosterheads, Birdbills, Johnny Jump, or Shuttle Cocks, my favorite name is still the simple Shooting Star.

The Shooting Star comes from the Greek, meaning 12 gods. This mostly North American flower is a member of the primrose family. There are more than 30 species of shooting stars in the world, most of which grow in western North America. Bumblebees are responsible for pollinating these cheerful stars which bloom from mid-April until June. Truly ephemerial, the Shooting Star disappears by July except for a few ripening seed pods. Contractile roots grow deep into the ground, protecting the plant from the heat of summer, drought, and trampling. The following spring, the beautiful flowers are again produced for all to enjoy. In addition to new growth via the plant root system, viable seeds scattered and worked into soil produce new plants, although it takes about six years before the plants are large enough to be noticed. Generally these plants bloom by their seventh year.

An Infinite God

An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.

A.W. Tozer

If. . .For Tea

"If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you
If you are exhausted, it will calm you."

~Wm. Gladstone

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mountain Flowers All Dolled Up

Gentle rain, a passing snow storm, and sunshine created a mix of weather today at our cabin. The mountain was refreshed and vibrant, soaking in the moisture and basking in the sunshine! I decided to try my hand at flower dolls again today, this time using flowers from the woods and meadows surrounding the cabin. Here we have Lady Karleen chatting with Lady Kamera, her sister.

Lady Bonnie

Lady Bonnie looks lovely in a blue, lupine shawl and in a gored, green and yellow skirt. A strawberry petal hat completes the ensemble.

Waltz with Me

Welcome to My Meadow!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

May Flowers

My garden is bright with spring flowers. Roses, lavender, petunias, foxglove, pansy's, and more. Today I picked a basket of blossoms so I could create something fun.

Creating Flower Dolls

Country Gardens

The 'Summer 2006' issue of Country Gardens magazine is filled with wonderful ideas for gardening. Included in this issue are ideas for creating the cottage look, antiquing for outdoor decor, growing sunflowers, succulents, & vegetables, and making flower dolls.

Lady Linda

A cup and saucer blossom, a foxglove blossom, a yellow pansy, and a hot pink petuna blend with a purple pansy and colorful red leaf to make this lovely doll-lady. I've named her after my friend, Linda, who lives on San Juan Island.

This doll handcrafted by Rylan.

Lady Rose

Named for my friend, Rose, this doll-lady is made from pink roses, petunias, and bleeding hearts. A red miniature rose head and a frilly pansy hat top off the ensemble.

Lady Katherine

This flower doll-lady is named after my friend Katherine. Can you guess why? Katherine loves yellow roses and this doll-lady has a yellow rose skirt. I hope you enjoy your namesake, Kathy!

Lady Gwen

My friend, Gwen, loves lavender and roses. This doll-lady is named for her. A pink rose forms her skirt. A lavender cup and saucer blossom makes the rest of her skirt. Two types of lavender create her head and arms. A cheerful yellow pansy makes a perky hat. Enjoy her, Gwen!

Flower Doll Friends

All Dolled Up


My dad emailed this picture to me last week. I vaguely remember this day at Grandma's house. I'm pictured here with my cousin, Richard. He's my closest cousin by age, as we were born two months apart. We're playing with sticks and bowls, probably making our own band! I remember being shy on this day. There were so many cousins, aunts, and uncles at Grandma's house! My sister was newly born, therefore I must have been about two years old in this photo. It's fun to walk down memory lane. . .and I enjoy observing the toddler fashions of the day!

World's Smallest Harbor

Depoe Bay claims to have the world's smallest harbor. Although tiny, it is filled with much action and interesting things to watch. Fishing boats, whale cruises, and the Coast Guard all use it as a launching place for their ocean activities.

Harbor Shelter

Calm waters in harbor where boats, sea lions and gulls enjoy it's shelter.

Whale Watching Cruise

Whale watching cruises frequently take viewers right into the midst of a whale pod. The thrill of being among the California Gray Whale, seeing the calves, or having a water spout appear nearby is an awesome experience!

California Gray Whale

The California Gray Whale travels the longest distance during migration of any other mammal. Southward migration begins in December, reaching it's peak along the Oregon coast during the first week of January. By mid-February, most of the whales have left Oregon waters for Mexico. By March, the first of the migrating whales are returning northward along the Oregon coast. During March through June the California Gray Whale can be observed from boat or shore. It's not unusual for whales to be within a few hundred yards of coastal headlands. Observation sights are frequently set up at roadside visitor centers where naturalists are happy to teach about these gray whales and their habitat. The full round-trip migration from the Baja calving lagoons to the Bering Sea and back is 10,000 miles, the longest known for any mammal.

From Ocean to Harbor

Passing through a narrow channel, a whale watching cruise re-enters the harbor from ocean trip.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Walking Memory Lane

It's that time of year; graduation! This spring, the first of the next generation graduated from college. Nephew Nathan has earned his Bachelors Degree and is looking forward to graduate school in the autumn. Our eldest, Brandon, is slated to graduate with an Associates Degree in Computer Science in August and then will be heading off to a new college and another degree. These events turn my thoughts back to memories of the past. College was hard work, but so rewarding and challenging. Achievement; starting the next phase of life; reaching for goals and dreams. I'm shown in this old photo with my sister and my dad. My sister and I graduated from college together, both with degrees in education. And dad marched with us as faculty. That was a special day.

Relief and Joy

Sharing a moment of relief and joy! Just kids in this photo, we grew up to become teachers, nurses, and business people. Although the years have matured us and we've experienced joys, sorrows, and life's realities, our friendships remain strong to this day. There's nothing like the friends we've made in youth! The verse, "Make new friends, keep the old. The first is silver, the latter gold" rings so true.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Classical Chinese Gardens

The Portland Classical Chinese Gardens were created to nurture and inspire all who visit. Little changed from what might greet garden guests in China during the Ming dynasty, the Portland garden is an authentic Suzhou-stye garden. The beautiful walled garden encloses an entire city block; a haven in the midst of skyscrapers , traffic, and the hustle bustle of city life.

Most Cherished

"Most cherished in this mundane world is a place without traffic; truly in the midst of a city there can be mountain and forest."

Wen Zhengming 1470 - 1559


Penjing is the Chinese art of creating a miniature landscape in a container. With this art form, plant material and natural stone are used to create scenes of a mountain retreat, a murmuring brook, or a waterscape. Penjing is the counterpart of the Japanese art of Bonsai.

The World Through a Garden Frame

The Classical Chinese Gardens feature serpentine walkways, a bridged lake, and open colonnades that set off meticulously arranged landscape of plants, water, stone, poetry, and buildings. All is designed and arranged to convey artistic effect and symbolic importance.

Figures of China

A set of emperior figurines colorfully stand at attention on gift shop shelf.

Classic Simplicity

A framed space in a wall allows garden guests to peek into a world of classic simplicity.

Friends on Bridge

Brent, Bill, Kyler, and Rylan relish the shelter from sunshine on the covered bridge over garden lake.

Chimes in Red

A beautiful gong in Chinese red adds cheer and welcome to carved garden door.

Happy Smiles!

KC and Christy relax in a covered pavilion and smile beautifully for the camera!

Pine, Plum & Bamboo for Luck

A blue and white Chinese vase contains branches of pine, plum, and bamboo. The combination of these three plants is said to be a trio that brings luck to the garden grower.

Silk, Silk, Silk

Vibrant colors on silk. . .yummy!

To the Tea House

The tea house is reflected in the garden lake and provides tranquil rest for tea house guests.

Hidden Garden

Stone paths and hidden coves create private gardens within a garden.

Quiet Conversation

A shaded pavilion provides a cool and quiet place to visit during the sunshine of the afternoon.

Reaching to the Skies

Color amongst the green in a sea of blue skies. . .

Reflections on Glass

A pavilion is reflected in pavilion window. . .scene upon scene. . .repeating itself for all to see.

Carvings & Maple

A lace-leaf maple tree is potted and established upon a Chinese red table with a backdrop of carvings and screens. Asian beauty!

Tiny Chinese Shoes

Tiny Chinese shoes are embellished with appliqued dragon faces.

Chinatown, USA