Simple Springtime Pleasures

Grape tomatoes ~ a splendid snack-on-the-go

Green buds are visible! Yessss!!

Yellow and white and all things bright (and beautiful)

Chicks are only a simple pleasure when they come to Nana’s
house for a quick visit before they go home.

There is something precious about the first read
of a nourishing book. This was my husband’s
first time reading Trina Schart Hyman’s gloriously
illustrated Saint George and the Dragon.

We have come to the end of our wood for the first time in years.
It was a long winter.
Wood heat is the most comfortable way to get warm.

This is my new favorite treat.  Mix cinnamon and Truvia together.

Dip slices of apple (Granny Smith is my choice) in the cinnamon.

Set the slice on your tongue and savor the flavors. Yuuum!


Simple Pleasures in February

Brothers (Gavin and Preston) in harmony

Smiles, freely given by Ethan.

Living in a region with many bronzes
(Pendleton Round Up)

The only thing I’ve learned on my new camera is the Macro focus.
I need to lean into the learning curve!

At five months, Levi takes great gulps of life through his eyes.
He is the unblinking baby.
We call this look The Levi

Noah is so much like his Daddy.
I can only chuckle. I should be praying.
Praying for his mama.
The simple pleasure with this kiddo is singing.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Jingle Bells, Doxology, and whatever we make up.
He wakes up singing.

The bamboo forest.
Scope for a boy’s imagination.

Simple Pleasures in September

~ My front flower garden is a simple pleasure because it makes me
smile *before* I weed it!

~ These cheerful mums replace very dreary mostly-dead May flowers.
~ There are fewer dinners al fresco, but this one was gorgeous:
sage grouse my son cooked (in the foreground)
and roasted garden veggies.
I could live on roasted beets.

~ Fresh basil for the clipping. 
It makes an amazing addition to a fresh tomato sandwich.
I like to strip the flowering stalks onto my bread.

This is so simple, I can’t understand why I didn’t think of it before.
The hydrangeas are left over from Katie’s wedding.
My husband is allergic to most flowers.
Not when they are outside. (a lightbulb moment)
They have held up well and make me cheerful!

what about you?
What simple pleasures are propping you up?

Simple Pleasures of High Summer

Kids, kidlings, children, chillin’,
whatever you want to call them.
(Only one of these cutie-pies is related to me!)

: :

Flowers, blossoms, buds, flora….color!

The very pink of perfection!


: :

: :
The sweetest thing in my garden…

 Vegetables are the food of the earth;  fruit seems more the fruit of the heavens.
~  Sepal Felicivant

: :
….and lastly,

the color Aegean Green.
Funny, I don’t love the color but I am gaga over the name of the color.
Aegean Green just makes me smile.

What simple pleasures are you enjoying before summer wanes and mistappears?

Do you have a favorite descriptive color?

Don’t you love to read paint chips for the color names?

Rich Treasures

Many days I’m tired and cranky.
I’ve had it.


I need only to keep my eyes open
to see blessings, beauty surround me.

Here’s a short accounting of good stuff in June 2010.

  ~  the gloaming

~ leftover firewood when it’s needed

~ an iris soaking up rays

~ an expanding garden

more rain
“Those wandering cisterns in the sky
Borne by the winds around,
With watery treasures well supply
 The furrows of the ground.”

~ Morning tea

~ Icelandic poppies

~ nutty granola

Develop interest in life as you see it;
in people, things, literature, music –
the world is so rich,
simply throbbing with rich treasures,
beautiful souls and interesting people.  
~ Henry Miller

More Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures in October

~  the glorious colors

~  The gift of a *bale* of large bubble wrap,
left on my pillow by The Man.
He really does love me!

~  Anticipation – it’s free, it’s rich, it’s wonderful

~ Pictures of the gospel in daily life.
In my job I take responsibility for problems
I didn’t create (along with all the ones I did).
It’s not all beer and skittles.
But a bright floodlight recently turned on for me:
Christ took my sins on Himself when it wasn’t His fault.
I am putting on His righteousness, which I didn’t earn.
Those pictures, ya know, are everywhere.

~ being prepared for winter
(my husband gets credit for this…
and my son who tilled the garden)

~ some lovely blogs
All three writers have much in common:
they love the life they’ve been given,
they are beyond excellent cooks,
they love making their homes comfortable,
they think,
and they are all part of my real life!!
They are my simple pleasures.

~  Lindsey at DrunkwithJoy loves bright colors,
interior decorating, scratch cooking, good words,
and her loveable husband Jon.
Lindsey is a very wise young woman.
Hostess Gift Ideas and Fat Mothers are two of my favorite recent posts.

~Rebecca at A Covenant Life has designed two houses, raised
four kids, started a line of soaps she makes,
is drop dead beautiful, rides horses
and is an avid reader to boot! Check out
The Heart and Soul of a Covenant Home and
The Anatomy of a Covenant Wedding,
full of pictures and thoughts and the
words of her husband spoken to
their adopted daughter
at her wedding.

~ Sunshine at Artistic Housewife is my neighbor!
She brings sunshine wherever she goes.
MOB (Mail Order Brides) explains why men live in this valley
and why the women who love them left the city behind.
In Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Sunshine explains why she no longer shops in her pajamas.
Sunshine. has. read. all. of. William. Shakespeare.
The. complete. works.

Simple Pleasures in September



~   Hospitality is thriving in Eastern Oregon.  Friends have befriended us on long wedding weekends, fed us incredible crepes (or breakfast burritos, depending on the host) and let us share in their home life; here Xander is hugging on his kitty.


~  To be honest, my garden has been ugly this year.  Curt tilled the ground, I planted, my son watered, and we all ignored both weeds and fruit (exceptin’ the luscious raspberries).  Just. too. busy. Saturday was the first opportunity for….well, you decide: is it redemption or atonement?  There were enough tomatoes for a large batch of spaghetti sauce and a large batch of fresh salsa.   We’ve been eating Swiss chard.  Beans and peas just didn’t grow this year.  The beets and butternut squash still need to be harvested.


~  New, fun game to play.  I know some girls who are devastatingly good Blokus players.  It is now my goal to be able to hold my own against these masterminds.  I like this game because it can be enjoyed at different levels of proficiency.  My four year old grandson and I had fun just playing with the pieces. 


~  Aren’t birthdays a simple pleasure?  Because life is a gift.  And the best response to a gift is to return thanks.  The recent death of our friend Joe (21 years old) in Afghanistan, is a painful, bittersweet reminder to treasure each moment.  Today is my birthday and I am thankful to God for the beautiful life He’s given me.  For daily mercies.  For forgiveness. 

Aging has its compensations.  Now that my husband is older he is more inclined to snuggle than to bounce right out of bed. There is that.

To start the celebration, I’m bringing a rhubarb-apple-pear cobbler to work.

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it.  I want to have lived the width (*and depth* I would add) of it as well.”   ~ Diane Ackerman


Summer’s Simple Pleasures


~  A June evening: flowers, fading light,
hand shovels, mosquitoes,
grandsons and daughter-in-law


~  In praise of perennials,
SO worth the extra money up front.

This purple and yellow plant was a 2008 Mother’s Day
gift from our church.  It  came back!  happy sighs…

~ While we’ve been pottering with perennials,
our guys have been getting wood for the winter.
They came across a nursing fawn.
Alas, the picture size was too large to post.

~  My vote for Salad of the Summer
I’ve made it a dozen times already this year.
Refreshing, tasty, a twist of heat, crunchy cashews.

~ Coming down the home stretch of
D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II.
Two things about this book:
1. I’m relieved that even though I’m working FT,
I can still get through weighty books. Just takes more time.
2. However difficult or thorny a challenge may present itself,
my life is easy compared to the soldiers of D-Day.

~ Remember the Six Panel Door aka the Christian Door?
How about this architecture feature (front upper windows)
in my friend’s new house?

~ Last year I joined the 100 Species Challenge.
This is a *life* project, folks.
Jessie gave me cute little copper garden tags
which help my wispy, lacy memory.


Simple Gifts in May – The Late Edition

~   May means lilacs and asparagus.

I love lilacs from afar (my husband is allergic).

I enjoy asparagus close up.
Yesterday a friend fixed it with butter and brown sugar.
I admit that sounds a bit different.
But it tasted yummy.

Pizza tastes delicious.
Our friend Isaiah ate pizza last week.
He’s coming home June 12th!!

~  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
And the Lord gives back.
Isaiah was given, taken away and is being given back.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

~ Baby Isaac was born last week to our friends. 
Our church prayed publicly for a child to be born.
Yesterday was Isaac’s first day in church.  More tears of joy.

~  My husband is reading Andy Catlett: Early Travels.
I love that he is reading Wendell Berry.
Every murmur of appreciation
is followed by a what? read it aloud! from me.
Last night he read this, a perfect recap of our month.

We measure time by its deaths, yes, and by its births.  For time is told also by life.  As some depart, others come.  The hand opened in farewell remains open in welcome. […] And time that is told by death and birth is held and redeemed by love, which is always present.  Time, then, is told by love’s losses, and by the coming of love, and by love continuing in gratitude for what is lost.  It is folded and enfolded and unfolded forever and ever, the love by which the dead are alive and the unborn welcomed into the womb.  The great question for the old and the dying, I think, is not if they have loved and been loved enough, but if they have been grateful enough for love received and given, however much.  No one who has gratitude is the onliest one.  Let us pray to be grateful to the last.

~  Perceptions are funny things.
Recent visitors’ perception of our church:
1.  The women sure are happy.
2.  Wow, that’s some good singing.

~ New discoveries this month
Music:  Jamie Soles
Art:  Frederick Morgan
Food:  Jamie Oliver (via Netflix)

~ Deep, philosophical questions:
Should I catch up on my unfinished reading
or start new with
The Summer of Southern Literature?
(doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?)

Perhaps Southern Lit needs a year?

~  A new season, a new transition.
I’ve been teaching my kids at home since 1994.
And that job is completed.
I’ve accepted a full-time job at a local pharmacy.
My title is Manager of Internal Operations.
My husband and I decided that it would be good
for me to work 2-3 years to fulfill our financial goals. 
I’m using my gifts in an unexpected way.
A big change.

~ A never-done-before, breath-taking wedding processional
I’m playing for a wedding this Saturday.
The bride wants to come down the aisle to…
Amazing Grace.
I need to make some stylistic decisions.
I’m thinking quiet, elegant, open chords.