Saturday, January 31, 2015

be still and see

be still and know; God has spoke these very words to me before (recently) the translation literally means to relax. He has this. Thank you God!

As I sit here at my dining room table, I'm overcome with awe at the wonder of creation.  It's simple and easy, like ripe fruit waiting to be picked.  Just be still and see. 

My eyes are drawn out the window next to me to a flurry of activity.  I refilled all the bird feeders a bit ago and have drawn in an abundance of Juncos, Chickadees, and Sparrows.  My five big hens wait underneath the feeders for dropped seeds.  If one of the little songbirds flits to the ground, the chickens chase it off, not realizing that this could be a symbiotic relationship.  But chickens are not very smart at all. 

As my gaze settles further off, into the branches of the big evergreen trees, I notice little birds, with busy, purposeful movements.  I see that these are Nuthatches and they are intent on the plentiful cones, hanging upside down from a cone and either gleaning sticky sap (used to protect their nests from predators) or eating the seeds, or perhaps, both.  When I get binoculars to study the Nuthatches further they seem to disappear from my inquisitive eye. 

A pretty emerald green Hummingbird has been flirting with the feeder, it has a beautiful fuschia colored throat.  And an instant later, the chickens have moved to another part of the yard and all the birds have moved on, the backyard stands still and quiet.

Earlier this week some verses were impressed upon me as I read.  Psalm 30:11-12.  While these verses mention a time of mourning, which I have not recently traveled, they still lit up a part of my soul, a part that has at some time traveled a road of sadness and will at some time travel one again.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.

I guess the fact that I'm not currently in mourning but instead grateful, thankful, and joyfilled does, in fact, support the truths behind these verses.  I can dance, covered in gladness.  My joy can recite back to God my thanks.  My heart can sing in praise.  I'm not meant to be quiet but fully and actively JOYFUL!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

spray paint

Sometimes I come up with really great ideas.  Last year I had the idea that we ought to get some chickens.  How great would that be?!  We get some fluffy little chicks, slap together some sort of dwelling for them, and BOOM! we'd have eggs and it'd be awesome.  The thing is, my ideas usually end up with my husband doing the actual footwork for said great idea.  He drew up plans for a great coop, bought the materials, and put in hours and days of labor to get that coop constructed...because I had an idea.  Since then I've pulled my weight in the chicken department.  I brought the little fluff balls home and have kept them alive for nine months.  That takes work and dedication.
Like I said, I come up with great ideas.  Recently I dreamt up an idea (with the help of Pinterest) for our dining room light fixture.  It was some sort of silver, nondescript, bland.  And I knew that it'd look way better if it was TEAL!!  I ran it by my husband and he gave it the go ahead, so long as it wasn't sparkly pink.  The thing is, I had no idea how to remove the light fixture from the ceiling and it was pretty intricate and he's way better with a paint can than I am and well, could he just go ahead and do it for me?  Please?
And he did.  And it looks great.

One of my goals for this year was to finally do some decorating in our bedroom.  We've lived in this house for 18 months now and not once have I hung anything on the bedroom walls.  I still don't have curtains (other than the ugly venetian blinds that were there when we bought the place).  Still no curtains but I did do some decorating.  Baby steps over here.
Here's the before

Eight frames from the thrift store, some cans of paint, and a throw pillow later....

I just can't hardly wait till spring gets here so I can take this energy outside to that patch of ground that will become my garden expansion.  I want to get my hands dirty.  I'm saving seeds here and there and drawing plans for where I want to plant what, daydreaming of trellises and potato towers.  Until then, who knows what will end up teal next.

Friday, January 23, 2015

riding the ferry


We live on an island.  It's a big island, but an island, nonetheless.  Surrounded by water with only three ways on or off.  One bridge on the north end.  A ferry in the middle.  And a ferry on the south end.  It's a short jaunt to any number of beaches or hiking.  Sometimes we get fogged in by a marine layer that burns off in the afternoon or not at all.  Things just move slower here.  And I am always, always overcome with gratitude for my little town.  I like that half the town shows up for high school football games.  I like that I run into my dog's veterinarian at the gym one day and my kids' dentist the next.  I like that the guy who roasts our coffee beans knows me by name.

All that began with me wanting to tell you that my husband and I took a ferry ride last weekend.  He was selling a vehicle to a guy that lives on another island an hour-long ferry ride away.  We drove on to the ferry and made our way to the passenger deck.  I bought a little bag of mini pretzels from the vending machine and a little girl with snot dangling from her nose stared at me.  I saw a dead seagull floating in the water (they float upside down, by the way). 

When we got off the ferry we went and had some lunch then perused the used book store next door.  The book store had been a house once and I just had to laugh when I saw that they displayed the cookbooks in what had been the kitchen.  There were books everywhere, floor to ceiling, in stacks, in nooks, on shelves.  In some places it almost seemed that the books themselves were holding up the main beams of the house.  But it was clean and warm and inviting.  I stood by the blue wood stove and warmed my hands while my heart smiled.

After meeting with the buyer and exchanging the vehicle, we walked to yet another book store and then a coffee shop.  The proprietor of the coffee shop visited with my husband for awhile after supplying us with hot mochas.  He had an interesting story, having been a barista in Seattle for a decade and settling back onto the island his family has lived on for a hundred and fifty years.  We left and I visited the book store one more time before we headed down to catch the ferry.  At the ferry dock an older woman befriended us and told us her story, more details than we cared to know, and some things I could never repeat.  She was a dancer, she proclaimed.  And I decided she had an artistic spirit.

The hour long ferry ride toward home was relaxing.  We snacked on gummy bears and Chex Mix while working on one of the jigsaw puzzles on the passenger deck.  We took turns with a Word Search book and I read my yoga magazine.  Slowly the sky outside turned dark and the stars came out. 

I think I could ride the ferry all the time, if I didn't have a job and responsibilities.  Time stands still and all that exists is this big rumbling boat and the array of passengers on board.  Sometimes the boat shudders, mainly when changing direction, and you are reminded that you are sitting in a brick of heavy metal on very deep and very cold water.  Seagulls seem curious about the ferry and will glide alongside for a short distance.  If you use the restroom on board you have to constantly remind yourself that you are on a boat or else you'll think you have a terrible case of vertigo.  And it's fun to imagine stories for people, what their lives are like, where they are going, and wonder if they are doing the same about you.