"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, April 28, 2012

school days

Where have I been?  Well, first I'll tell you where I wasn't.  I wasn't on a tropical island sipping fruity drinks from a coconut, soaking up rays on a white sandy beach and snorkeling in the warm shallows (darn).  I wasn't meeting with the heads of state... brainstorming (whew).  I wasn't visiting my daughter and son in law in their cute little apartment in their pretty city over the mountain (darn again).  I wasn't even sick (whew again)!

Busy it's been... and with testing in just 2 weeks, we've been cracking the books a bit wider and keeping a more accelerated learning pace the past couple of weeks.  We don't always do it this way.  Oregon requires testing in grades 3,5,8 and 10 only.  I have an eighth grader and a tenth grader who want to do their best.

Beyond that I've been bouncing around again inside my skin and my head.  It's definitely hormones, that and a dog in heat that won't let me get a full nights sleep!  This morning Annie didn't get up until 4:50!!  I was smiling and singing all morning, thanking God for the gift of an uninterrupted night.  I did laundry, cleaned the bedroom and bathroom then began a sewing project.  I was humming along like this all morning until I found myself asleep on the couch around 1:30...  So, I guess I was still a bit deprived.  :)

Now it's well into the afternoon and Larry took the girls to the woods to take pictures and look for sheds (abandoned antlers) for a future project.  The house is quiet and I've already had my nap... so, I think I'll head back to the sewing machine.  I've missed everybody and look forward to catching up on what's been keeping you busy these past couple of weeks.  Maybe I'll do that first.  Decisions, decisions.  We had  a delicious casserole and salad for lunch.  Now I'm kinda hoping I can get away with popcorn for dinner... what do you think?!

Blessings, Debbie

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the eagle has landed

When visiting Vee the other day I was reminded of the pictures I took on my way to church Sunday.  You see, I am a bird lover.  I'm not an expert ornithologist nor do I go out on bird sighting trips.  What I do is notice birds.  I notice and then stop to watch and maybe make a few appreciative sounds.

The trip to church is lovely.  Ten miles out of town you take a turn onto a long gravel drive that takes you over the Crooked River and up to Miss Lorry's.  This beautiful property has been the base of our home church for the past ten years.  It's wonderful. 

Last Sunday... Easter Sunday, as we were driving my husband pointed out a couple of Kingfishers sitting on the power line.  He knew I'd be happy.  We called it my Easter gift.  We turned off the road onto the gravel and headed toward the river where we often see the Blue Heron.  Again my husband pointed (seeming more excited than I would have expected) and declared, "Bald Eagle!"  Whoa.

Not only was there a bald eagle, but it was coming in to land on the pole over the river just beside the road. The van was loaded with family... patient, understanding family who knew that we had to pull over even though it meant that we would probably be late and the first thing on the agenda was breakfast! 

I quickly changed lenses (yes, I have a telephoto) even though I was plenty close enough for great pics.  I envisioned getting nostril shots.  He was right there!  My sweet family allowed a good five minute photo shoot.  I walked up the road for different angles.  I actually willed him to fly away so I could get some wingspan and action.  It was magnificent.  I finally loaded back up with that Eagle still there, watching us drive away.

I changed back to my regular lens and took a couple of shots of the cattle in the field.  I glanced at the screen and what I saw took my breath away!  Not a photo of cows but the words, NO CARD.  NO CARD... NO CARD... No way!!

I could have cried.  I felt ill.  Everyone else had a quick laugh.  After that it was mostly silent as the reality of my heartbreak set in.  

As we got to the house I realized that this gift was meant to be held in my heart.  I'll never forget it even without the photos.  In fact, just like a good tall tale, perhaps this story will develop into something bigger and richer as time goes by... kinda like the stories my dad tells, about the ones that got away.

*These photos were obviously not shot Sunday.  No card.  They are of the same property, from my archives...

**Check out this terrific live cam link.  I watched for quite some time before they both went for a soar.  Mesmerizing (if you're a bird nut like me).  Thanks for the heads up Donna!

Blessings, Debbie  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

knitting and nature journaling

Erin's page on left, Audrey's on right

I so enjoyed making the homespun baby jacket, that I decided I wanted to make something else using the same bouncy wool.  Starting with the leftover ounce (and not getting very far), I have another 2 bobbins waiting to be plied.  This time I'm making Elizabeth Zimmerman's bonnet from The Opinionated Knitter.  I am still plugging away at the Little Sister's Dress, realizing that I am the only one who begins a new knit when there is still something in progress on another set of needles.  I feel really bad about that...  Bad.

I am reading Keeping A Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth.  I purchased this book from Vision Forum over a year ago and only gave it a cursory glance.  After it was filed I kind of forgot about it. My kids have all kept nature journals to some degree over the years.  This book (unlike The country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady) is more of a how to than an example of nature journaling.  I'm thinking that we will glean some good tips from this book.  We're still just reading chapter one but we're catching the mood of the authors.

... A gathering of 
stories, wanderings, accounts 
through a year of seasons.
May there always be frogs and
 spiders and clouds and shadows
and birds and daffodils and open
meadows and winding paths to 
explore, love, wonder about 
and draw...

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along
Blessings, Debbie

Monday, April 9, 2012

after easter

Today... as we come down from the feel-good of yesterday, we try to maintain the importance of the day in our everyday.  We purpose to live our lives for the one who made a way for us.  He says, "Be ye Holy for I am Holy", so we try to remember that as we make our beds, fold and put away laundry, struggle through a math problem, converse with a family member, rush through a check out line, wrestle with illness, clean out the chicken coop, discuss the finances, fill the gas tank (oy vey!)...

Today, as we slip back into the old routine, we try to be more mindful of the sacrifice and gift that is ours. We try a bit harder to control ourselves and remember what we can accomplish through Him.  And we have joy.

The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  Mathew 6:22

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  Mathew 5:15 

Today, we strive to burn a little bit brighter...

Blessings, Debbie

yes tavi, we're bee~autiful

Blessings, Debbie

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is risen indeed!

'Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen!'
Luke 24:5b

Blessings, Debbie

Thursday, April 5, 2012

from snow to salvation

They say that it's supposed to be sixty degrees Sunday.  Hmm.  I guess crazier things have happened...

Lot's of creating going on around here.  Sticks and fiber are taking form, anxious to see their new homes. "Only 2 more days" I tell them.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?  

Joining Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday
Blessings, Debbie

the birds of the air...

birds perspective
Debbie Penington 
April 3, 2012 

Quietly free, riding on currents of after-noon
Watching the world below from a birds-eye view
The sun playing across backs that hold-up clouds
As wings dip and rise in accord with storms a-brew

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

little sister's dress and the silver skates

This my friends is a double do-over.  On my needles is Tora Froseth's Little Sister's dress... again.  I made this pattern in pink last year.  The yarn is Paton's Kroy Socks yarn  purchased  several months ago from the clearance bin at Joanne's for 1.97 a skein.

We are reading Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge as a read aloud... again.  This is another of our families favorites.

As soon as the children turned from the canal they could see their parents' cottage.  Their mother's tall form, arrayed in jacket and petticoat and close fitting cap, stood like a picture, in the crooked frame of the doorway.  Had the cottage been a mile away, it would still have seemed near.  In that flat country every object stands out plainly in the distance; the chickens show as distinctly as the windmills.  Indeed, were it not for the dykes and the high banks of the canals, one could stand almost anywhere in middle Holland without seeing a mound or a ridge between the eye and the "jumping-off place."  

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along
Blessings, Debbie

do you see what i see?

You remember our friend Crystal Theodore Sanchez from this post?  For a couple of weeks he was healthy and happy and we were happy.  Then he began to look a bit wimpy.  He seemed to be getting smaller somehow.  We were certain that he was dying but weren't sure what to do.  It seemed like we should release him but he had been in the house (first on the Christmas tree, then in captivity) for over a month and we wondered if the climate change would do him in.  We waited a few days but he just got wimpier.  Finally deciding that he was a goner, I removed the lid of his little indoor habitat and walked outside prepared to dump him on the shrubs.  I know it sounds callous but I remind you he was just a bug... and a deadish bug at that!  On further inspection I just couldn't do it. He was still (barely) hanging onto the piece of pine, albeit looking quite odd.   I put the lid back on and forgot about him for a couple of days.

The other morning I took a peek and there was something fuzzy looking in the lid.  I thought that maybe he had actually made a cocoon.    Before I could even  reach over to remove it I saw that it wasn't a cocoon at all.  Apparently the funny looking wimpy Hermie had actually been performing a metamorphoses!  

No, he's no Painted Lady or swallowtail but he's our little miracle of rebirth...  We've increased his living space and moved him near the ponies so he won't be lonely.  :)

Blessings, Debbie
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