Saturday, January 31, 2009

A decorative mood or what's on your night stand? Give Away!

It seems with all the winter blah outside, I do focus more on making things cozier on the inside. Today after 3 years I finally found a chair for my bedroom. I had envisioned this chair to be a warm cozy place to snuggle up on. Read my favorite books in. View my garden from in summer, (it is a dreary mess right now) a place to watch a good Jane Austin movie with a cup of tea. And of course a place to read some bees (books) to Puddin Toes. So here is a peek at my new chair.
My new best friend Natalie =] over at Real Deals in Kennewick, WA helped me find this lovely chair. The ceramic pear is also from her shop.

While I was photographing the chair, I noticed the books on my nightstand, and decided to do a shot of them.

It made me wonder what was on other people's nightstands to read?????

In honor of my good friend Nadine Zawacki and her first recently published book Prisoner of Circumstance, I am doing a Give Away!
So if you would like to share about what you are reading right now, let me know by next Saturday 2/7 and I will post a link to your "Nightstand Post" from my place for the following Monday 2/9. Simply by posting and sharing about "What is on Your Nightstand" you will be entered into my Give Away for Nadine's new book. 

By the way I had the privilege of reading her first draft, and I can't wait to pick up my signed copy this week and an extra copy for the winner of this Give Away. It could be you :] I believe I may actually be able to get another signed copy. So by participating in this Give Away you may win a wonderful book and we will all get some new reading material ideas. If you don't win, you can always pick up a copy of her book on Amazon, and guess what they are saying if you liked The Shack, you will like her book...that's so cool! I am so proud of my friend.

Don't forget to let me know if and when you are posting by Saturday the 7th.
You can post anytime during the week, and I will just link to that particular post.
I will post the links and the winner on Monday's 2/9 post.

So here is what is on my nightstand, and an example of what I am talking about:

I found this great old book at the library yesterday called Yakima by Inez Noel Johnson, published in 1954. It is a story about a WWI vet coming home to the west. Yakima just happens to be the valley down the road a bit from us. I am always drawn to local historical novels. On top you can see I am also reading one of my Elizabeth Goudge finds from last summer, The Child from the Sea. This is about the fourth book of hers I have read this winter. I better slow down or I will run out. I am also trying an English mystery, by Robin Paige, Death on the Lizard. I don't know why, but I only seem to read English mysteries set in the countryside. And I think I am on my last Karen Kingsbury novel Divine. She is a Christian author whose best books I think were about 9/11 One Tuesday Morning, and Beyond Tuesday Morning.
Just a little piece of blogging business. I have noticed this new gadget around the blogging community. I thought I would try it out. If you would like to have and easy feed to my blog you just need to go to the top of the sidebar and add yourself to this nifty new little gizmo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What to do on a Cold Winter's Night???

Okay this is me going a little stir crazy here. Three weeks of overcast gloom...sorry Seattelites, I am just not use to going without sunshine for so long. And my question do you like to spend a cold winters night? I need some creativity here people...

Now is your cue to turn on the YouTube below and listen to Song for a Winter's Night by Sarah McLachlan for the rest of my post...ambiance you know :)

So the most exciting thing I can think of to do, is light candles and have a cup of hot tea.
Mind you it is a brand new tea for me, I just purchased it today. I am generally not a big fan of herbal teas. That gives you a clue as to how bored I am :) Trying a new tea, how exciting :D

Tazo's Green Ginger

It is actually not bad. I really don't care for strong tasting herbal teas usually, but this one is light with just a hint of ginger. I like one other green tea, and it is Tazo's Zen. It has a little lemongrass and spearmint in it. Oh... and I do like Jasmine, when I am in a certain mood. Now when it comes to black tea, I do like it strong. And for all the teas I have in my tea cupboard the one I am out of my favorite tea, is Tetley. I do have some of the decaf left. But it is just not strong enough.

So in honor of National Tea Month...I have decided to clean out my tea cupboard and show you all my teas. Ridiculous really. Last year I shared my tea pot obsession. So this year I thought I would come forth with my tea collection.

Notice on the right hand side are what I call real teas. Then on the left a collection of herbal schmerbals...

Ha...I couldn't even fit all the boxes in the shot. So I just put out one bag from each Stash Tea I have (peach, chamomile, green chai) a few more Tazo's(Passion,Wild Sweet Orange...yuk by the way) two from Good Earth (English Breakfast, Chai) Than after I took the picture I found two more tea's Celestial Gingerbread Spice, another big yuk, and one very special tea from a teashop in Paris, that was located on the street we were stayed at( rue du Cherche Midi)  The English teas are definitely my favorite. I had discovered Lady Grey in an English B&B and have since never been without it.  My son in law brought me a Blend #42 Earl Grey from Harrods when he was there.  I purchased an Afternoon Earl Grey from a tea shop called Whittards when I visited London that is just lovely.

So there you go, my tea I need to go pitch some of these teas, and have a clean organized cupboard. The Echinacen, Scottish Nog, and Gingerbread are definitely going!

What do you do on a cold winter's night???

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Attitudes of the Heart

Midway through Rick Warrens prayer today during President Obama's Inauguration, this paragraph of repentance grabbed the attention of my heart.

When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget You, forgive us.

When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us.

When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.

I realized Pastor Warren was repenting on behalf of our nation to the world. It started to sink in as I hurried out the door to pray with my intern class this morning. When I walked into prayer time, late I might add, I had already sent a message on ahead to pray for our nation today. People were struggling to pray. They were dealing with judgements, disappointments, fears, and various other heart attitudes that were coming to the surface on this day, during this moment in history.

That was when that first line in the repentance paragraph of Rick Warren's prayer jumped out at me again. (I had stopped to write it down...why I was late)

When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.

You see I was struggling to get my heart right before God this morning. I had a fight with a family member yesterday. I needed to repent. There I was, focused on myself, fighting with someone else, and forgetting God in the midst of it. It struck me as I was listening to this prayer that we can make this mistake in our relationships on every level, when we take our focus off God, and begin to focus on ourselves. In our marriages, in our families, in our churches, in our cities, and yes even in our nations.

Three simple choices down the path of destruction

1. focusing on ourselves
2. presumption
3. failure to respect

I know I am getting awfully preachy here, but I am preaching to myself, believe me! It really was the Lord disciplining my own heart. But by the true grace and mercy of God I was able to be transparent in the midst of it with the interns and I was able to share this truth with the kids.

We started our prayer time by focusing on the steps to having a right heart. We used the Beatitudes to repent by allowing the Holy Spirit to line up our hearts with the Word of God in personal repentance. Then we were able to pray for our country. It was a time of humility spent before His Throne this morning.

If you want take a minute to read through the Beatitudes to give your heart a check up today I am going to post them right here for you. They are certainly a good reminder of what God looks for in the attitude's of our heart.

The Beatitudes

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (our sin)

4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (repentance)

5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. (humility)

6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. (God's justice,not ours)

7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (forgiveness)

8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. (washed by the Blood of the Lamb)

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. ( He is the Prince of Peace)

10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (now we can take the heat of persecution, because of a right heart)

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.

12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-12 NLT

In the  parenthesis are just my notes that I jotted down in my Bible as I was repenting this morning. I must admit I had never quite seen this progression in the Beatitudes before. I had only studied them as separate issues, instead of a progressive one of the heart.

I thought the last part of President Obamas's speech was a fitting end to all that God was showing me today.

"And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ. "

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January Chores =)

After the Christmas mess is dealt with, and I have done some reorganizing. I completely cleaned out and reorganized two spaces. My bedroom cupboard, and half of my great room closed shelving.
I got rid of a bunch of messy baskets with handles on them and slimmed down this storage space

Then I found these under the bed fabric boxes that work good as a slide out for these hard to reach shelves.

I even found a good place to store allllllllllllll the clickers...ugh

So now that all that is good to go, I turn to my beloved January pastime of perusing garden catalogues, dreaming and planning for this years summer bliss.

The catalogues start arriving in early fall. I do not have time for them it is just not their season. I am too busy lingering over the last of the rose blossoms and veggie harvest. The catalogues all get chucked into a big wicker basket for a later unveiling. Okay, okay... I did take a quick peek at the David Austin Rose catalogue. My all time favorite roses. Who cares that they were bred for England and moist wet climates. I have tested and tried and I have found some great candidates for mydesert plateau garden. The great thing about our heat and drier climate, the roses may not flourish and grow quite as lush and juicy, but seriously, I have very little disease and bugs. So it is fairly easy for me to grow roses. I can fuss, but they actually thrive quite well on my usual minimal care. I have found you just need to know your roses. Picking roses with a high 8-9.9 rating from the A.R.S. handbook is a sure bet. You can also do some experimenting and hit on some winners on your own. Okay as you see I can get easily sidetrack by my roses...another

The other thing I like to do in January is to reflect on last years garden efforts and get ideas for the up and coming summer. When I first moved into our home it was Feb. 2006. At that time I started a journal for this new and perhaps last garden I will be never really know though do ya? Any way here are some of my designs and ideas. I like to record my purchases and my future wants, and any rearranging I have in mind. Some of you might remember last summers iris re dig. That was certainly needed since I had no idea what colors had landed in what spots. I have this fuss buckety thing about coordinating the iris colors with the roses since they bloom together for the first flush. It took me years in my last garden. This time I know the winning I might be further along. I am sure I probably got some of them mixed up a bit. We will see.
Here was my first vision of the back garden
assessments of what I had, and what I wanted...I had brought a lot of cuttings that made the move!
Here is the first go at the general layout of my garden

My vegetable garden is also a delight for me to plan. This new propriety is quite small, so I do have a quite small kitchen garden. All the more reason to do some good planning!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Tree is Down!!!

Well the tree is finally down and that is all I am saying =] I am now ready to face a new year. But while I am looking forward to a whole lot of life this up and coming New Year, I couldn't help but take a moment and reflect back on the whole lot of life that was lived in 2008!

A year ago this time we had a winter of ice

a new baby to love

a kitty we lost

a daughter leaving for YWAM

a new spring to enjoy

a baby that was growing

a son that was climbing
a daughter that graduated

a father to memorialize

gardens that were growing

and growing

weddings to attend
flowers to arrange

waves to explore

sand to touch

an Uncle to knowmoments to remember

splashes and sunlight
wine to be made
Puddin Toes to lovefriends to treasure
Babies that fly

walks to remember

swings to ride

gardens to visit First birthdays to discover

a surgery to endure

Pals forever

new baby to come

Great Aunty that visited
grapes to be harvested
a daughter that came home

a pastor that is missed a life that was spared
tea etiquette that was learned =]

a long way to go...(Dan facing hip replacement surgery this year)
feet that learned to dance
...and so much more wonderful life to be lived!
To family and friends to all who read this blog, a wonderful and Happy New Year to all.

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!
Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Phil. 4:5-7 The Message

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