Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It Came, and Then, It Went...


Right after the white out..
..and more..
The tiny buds coated... 
...and it stopped, just like that...
Just like that, the snow blew in, to white out conditions, and then, blew out...just like that. We need the moisture, as we know what can happen when the land is parched. This will all be melted by tomorrow...it was really quite pretty!

'She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet..'
                                                                               Proverbs 31:21

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Columbine Angel...

When we lived in Rhode Island, a friend gave me some plants from her vast garden to replant in the front of our home. One of these plants was a Columbine. The flowers are so delicate, as you can see from this pic I took on a late summer afternoon in 2008. I did not know, at the time, that Columbine is the state flower for Colorado. Isn't that something?? Discovered in 1820 on Pike's Peak by mountain climber Edwin James, the Rocky Mountain Columbine (Columbine Aquilegia caerulea) is a lovely flower with a rich aroma to attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to it's nectar. The Latin word aquila means "Eagle" and refers to the claw-like spurs at the base of the flower. Columbines bloom in pastel shades of blue, violet, red, yellow and white. Looking back, we were always given a clue, if you will, about where we might wind up. God always had/has something up His sleeve. When the Columbine massacre took place in 1999, Edward was in 4th grade and we were living in Mt. Vernon, NY. I so clearly remember the fear and  horror unleashed that day. Every parent holding their babies, no matter how big or small, just that much closer. How do you explain this darkness to a 9 or 10 year old? Anywho, fast forward to 2012, and lo and behold, this beautiful, delicate angel of a flower is now my state flower. The plant stayed in Rhode Island, hopefully gracing the new owners w/ its presence come Spring. 

In a gazillion years, I never, ever imagined that I would set foot in Columbine or Littleton. (Littleton became widely known when the Columbine massacre occurred at nearby Columbine High School. News media reported that the incident happened in the city, because the school’s ZIP code is primarily associated with Littleton.) As it turns out, the woman I am seeing for grief counseling has one of her offices in Littleton. This is where we meet. A couple of weeks ago, we had some errands to run, and were running a bit early. Upon asking 'Siri' for information, we went to the nearby city of Columbine. Again, so far from anything I could have imagined. Once the errands were complete, we drove around Columbine. It is beautiful, w/ the Rockies and foothills so close, the rolling hills, the big Colorado homes, the open spaces. We were silent as we took it all in. When I saw my counselor, I told her about what had just transpired. She then shared w/ me that she counseled some of the 'Columbine parents'. I just shook my head @ the unfathomable grief these parents must have been going through. But, I have this, the angel-like Columbine flower to remind me always of the true meaning of Columbine.

Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Knowledge-Of-Good-And-Evil#sthash.1NzyD1U8.dpuf
  'The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.'
                                                                                                 Genesis 2:8-9 
Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Knowledge-Of-Good-And-Evil#sthash.1NzyD1U8.dpuf

Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Knowledge-Of-Good-And-Evil#sthash.1NzyD1U8.dpufThe LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Knowledge-Of-Good-And-Evil#sthash.1NzyD1U8.dpuf
Post script: Even tough I am seeing a grief counselor, does not mean I am walking around sad and grieving. That's is not who I am. But, it does mean that I am doing the work involved to release the grief...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Arabian Horse and The Eagle...

We were told that they were near, and that sometimes, you might catch a glimpse of one in Cherry Creek State Park. No, it is not the coyote. However, it does apply to the Arabian horses and the eagles. There is a lovely, large piece of property down the road a piece, w/ what looks like a riding arena, a huge structure and 3 beautiful homes which are all part of the 'ranch, if you will. We had the ear of one of our neighbors, and asked about that property, what is it, we wanted to know. Turns out, the owner of a famous restaurant chain owns the property along w/, of all things,  Arabian horses. We were also told that sometimes, they will take the horses out in the park along the riding/walking paths. Well, lo and behold, just like w/ the coyote I saw for the first time last week, no one had to tell me that this was one of the Arabian horses!!! I just knew. It was regal, and its head was elongated. I love walking on the dirt paths in the park (vs. the concrete), there are more hills, and I love the feel of the earth under my flip flops. The horse and rider literally appeared before me as they were coming up the trail! Ohmygoodness! I pulled out my camera, asked if I could take some pics, and the rider, w/out stopping, said, yes, of course! I had prayed to see and to photograph these horses, so, here I was, almost face to face w/ this most special and beautiful  horse. Would I love to somehow, get into that arena to take allot of pics of these gorgeous creatures? But of course. In the meantime, an answer to prayer. And the eagles, well, we were told that they were near, and that you might catch a glimpse of one, 2 or 3 in the park. Jimmy spotted him/her first. I gingerly got out of the car, and gingerly walked over to the tree w/ the perched eagle, seriously hoping he/she would not look @ me and think, 'lunch'!! A golden moment capturing this shot. (All leading me to wanting to upgrade my camera, yet again!) We know where the nest is now, so, we will go back again and again. So, YAY to Arabian horses, eagles and yes, even the coyotes!!

'The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.' 
                                                                                                 Proverbs 21:31

'But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'
                                                                                             Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Holy Coyote!!

It may not seem like a big deal, seeing a coyote. But, I have never seen one before, let alone waking up to the howling of one and then being able to take a couple of pics. We know they are out there, we hear them @ night. They so easily disappear into the foliage, even w/ the bare branches from the bushes and trees. Looking @ the pics, I see what is probably a hawk in the second pic, waiting to see what the coyote was up to...survival of the fittest!!

'Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
    —the coyotes and the buzzards—'
                                                                     Isaiah 43:19-20

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Learning Curve...You Knew This Was Coming, Yes?

 The new rolling pin...it was not exactly what I had pictured, but, I liked it, and oh my, what a workout!! The tomatoes used for the sauce...
 So, I thought I would try putting finely chopped basil in the mix. It seemed like enough, not sure, but it looked right...I was wrong!
 The requisite ball of dough, kneaded and...
 quartered...
 and rolled out. I definitely was able to roll the dough further w/ the right tool..again, good thing I cut the dough into 4 pieces...because, I broke a sweat rolling it all out! Yes, I am the pasta making machine...no need to purchase one @ Crate & Barrel..
 I cut the dough thinner than last time..
 and unrolled those babies...so pretty...
 This is 1 pound of pasta...looks like less, I think..
 Boiled for about a minute...I think it could have used maybe 15 seconds more in the water..but throwing it right into the bubbling sauce, the pasta was still cooking..
And, taaa daaa (again)...turned off the fire, added a little parm, some fresh basil for garnish. To me, I needed much more chopped basil in the mix...but, my expert, Edward just tasted it, said it tasted fresh, which is good. I am certain of one thing, it will not go to waste...the experimenting  continues. (Now to clean up the mess...I make such a mess in the kitchen...even the camera had flour on it).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

So, This Happened...DIY!!!

 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, whisk eggs and oil while including the flour until it becomes a ball. Knead by folding and pushing for about 5-10 minutes. I had to add a little extra oil, because it felt too dry.
 I put the dough in a bowl  then covered w/ a dishtowel and let it rest for 30 minutes. I cut it into 4 sections. This will make 1 pound of pasta, or 4 servings (or if you want more or less, of course).
 JUST as I had the flour, eggs and oil mixture sitting there, I realized that I did not have a rolling pin. I can see one in my head. Is it packed away, was it distributed to my brother or nieces. Either way, necessity being the true mother of invention, I began to scout the kitchen. The olive jar, nope too small, the olive oil jar, nope too big, a glass, nope too dangerous. Alas, after giving it a good wash, the empty coconut water can. Perfect!! It worked, whew!! Buy a rolling pin, check..
 I rolled out the singe portion of the dough w/ the can on the floured surface as thin as I could.
Then, I 'jelly' rolled it, getting ready for cutting...
 Rolled up..
 ...and cut...
 ...and nested...so pretty..
 Single portion...
 After boiling for less than 2 minutes, right into the pan w/ the awaiting sauce...already prepped. Turned off the heat, added some parm...
And, taaaaa daaaaa...it was SO GOOD!!! I put the 3 other pieces in the fridg and will roll out, cut and cook today. It was easy, fun...the games have officially begun!
YAY!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Good Grief...


Upper Rhoda Pond, or Lake Rhoda
I started this blog in 2008. I had recently opened one of my Etsy shops, and was inspired to start the blog by other Etsy sellers, basically, to sell my handmade jewelry. Over these 7 years the blog has taken its own twists and turns, as life has happened. Everything is well archived, and these days especially, I am most grateful to use those archives for reference. What year, month or day was that, or, I know I wrote about that, where is it. I have found that not only has the blog been an excellent personal resource, but it has given my voice a little volume. I enjoy sharing from my heart, even the really tough stuff which happens. It has been 2 1/2 years since Mom passed, and I have not cried. Any of you who know me, really, know that it is in my DNA, we cry. I just have not been able to get it out; the grief. There is never any right or wrong way to go about the process of losing a loved one, a parent, a Mom. I have talked to friends who have lost their Mom's and for some, like me now, it has taken years to get through the loss. One friend told me it took her a good 3 years, punctuated by, and we didn't even have a good relationship. As you know, Mom and I adored one another, so I am surprised, in a way, that I have just not fallen completely apart. On the other hand, not.

I sent an email to a dear friend who is going through chemo for leukemia. Thankfully, she is responding well, and has been giving us updates after each round. I know that she always wants to know how her friends are doing, really doing, and I told her the truth. After I read it back, I realized, that this is what I wanted to post, this is what I really wanted to say, but the words simply had not come up and out, until now. So, here is a portion of that email:

'For me, well, I did get in touch w/ a grief counselor, and I meet w/ her in Littleton on Tuesday...we spoke on the phone, and we had a good first chat...again, the grief is in my throat and ever ready to burst forth...here is an amazing thing...we have a very active camp wall on Facebook...we went to camp in the beautiful Berkshires for 12 summers, from the time I was 5 years old...loved every minute of it...Mom was the Arts & Crafts counselor, and so much more, to the hundreds who called her 'Aunt Bunny', Dad came up on weekends, friends and cousins spent many happy carefree summers on the lake...when Mom died, my brother and I batted around what we might do w/ Mom and Dad's ashes...the only place we could think of, which was the most meaningful, was the lake @ camp..well, lo and behold, one thing has led to an another, and a group of us have rented a big house right on our most beloved lake @ the end of June...we will be spreading Mom and Dad's ashes there...I am overwhelmed by the enormity of the act, and that it is actually coming to pass...those who have signed on so far to come in June, all adored Mom and Dad..it is beautiful, and a huge answer to prayer...so, I am on the right track...my body has been betraying me a bit, I am certain, from all that I am holding in...'

It is clear that I am making progress to understand the loss, to deal w/ how profound losing Mom is, along with having the opportunity to go back to a place, a tiny little town in upstate NY, which I (and so many...), hold so dear, to spread Mom and Dad's ashes on the lake as their final resting place.., well, now,  I am at a loss for words.

'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;...'
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Trees...

There is something so beautiful to me about the late afternoon light any season of the year. Here we are, it is early February. The 5 o'clock hour, is no different on bare trees, maybe even more beautiful, as the trees show their complex design. With the big Colorado skies as a background, I was happy to capture this one shot as we drove through the park on our way home yesterday. Bowls me over every time...and then this morning in my readings from Streams in the Desert, this, love this: 


'Be like a bird that, halting in its flight,
Rests on a bough too slight.
And feeling it give way beneath him sings,
Knowing he hath wings.'




BOUGH: a main branch of a tree, branch, limb, arm, offshoot
"apple boughs laden with blossom" 
'snow-laden pine boughs'

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Homemade Pasta on the Horizon...

 I am inches away from making my own pasta w/ this cute little pasta machine from Crate and Barrel, or maybe just a simple rolling pin and some elbow grease will do...but, look, how beautiful are the possibilities!!
Check out this blog post from Garden Betty!

'And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.'
Genesis 1:29

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

No words necessary...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

At The Heart of Orion...

 Orion, the Hunter, is by far the most famous seasonal constellation. No other is more distinct or bright as this northern winter constellation. The famous Orion's Belt makes the hunter easy to find in the night sky.
The photo taken by László Francsics from Hungary, is an amazing, jaw dropping gorgeous picture of the famous Trapezium Cluster in the Orion Nebula. He was one of the winners of  'Astronomy Photographers of the Year, 2013'.

'And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.'
Genesis 1:14-18 

'Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the [loose cluster] Pleiades, and the [vast starry] spaces of the south; Who does great things past finding out, yes, marvelous things without number....'
Job 9:9-10

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Just a Walk in the Park...


Walking in Cherry Creek State Park...the backdrop..
Sunrise...the Rockies (today)
Morning, snow capped Rockies (today)
Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek, different filter..for fun
One entrance to Cherry Creek State Park..
Here's the thing about The Rockies; they go on and on and on. When we lived in Colorado Springs, gorgeous as Pikes Peak was to look at 24/7, you did not get the same sense of how The Rockies really do go on and on and on...and on. They stretch more than 3000 miles from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in Western Canada, to New Mexico here in the States, with other mountain ranges breaking off into Alaska, and down into Mexico. The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago. Very hard to wrap your brain around any of these numbers. But, here we are. When looking out of the windows, or taking a walk in Cherry Creek State Park, when we drive anywhere in and around Denver, we can see Pikes Peak in the distance, but we are blown away by how much more of The Rockies are in our range of vision. So, a walk in the park, adds up to more than just a beautiful winter scene. We are reminded over and over and over again how tiny we are, what a wonder that we behold such majesty as a backdrop to our daily comings and goings. And, as I have said over and over, how deeply grateful we are to witness such beauty, and hopefully/prayerfully capture some of that beauty through the lens of a camera!

'For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is His name'.
Amos 4:13

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

See You There...2015!!!!

A
Joyful
Hopeful
Inspired
Healthy
Blessed & Peaceful
2015

'See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert.'
Isaiah 43:19

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!