Monday, December 31, 2007

End of the Year


Today is the last day of 2007. It has been an incredible year: one of big changes and new discoveries, one of challenges, one of losses and one of gains. I have no idea what is in store for 2008
but I look forward with great anticipation.
As I am settling in here in Washington, I find myself wondering what this next year will bring. I have plans to travel at least back to Virginia once. I have promised to bring my dear friend, Ruth Gil, out here to Washington. I am also hoping to go to Germany in August. I have a nephew working near Frankfurt and I would like to see him. Elinor also wants to go. He is, after all, her son. She also wants to see her Grandson. So that is a possibility. I wouldn't mind seeing my brother and sister in Texas(are you taking note of this, Ross?). We shall see. Right now, these are just dreams. I've also got some exploring to do right here in Washington State and great nephews to get to know.
I am slowly getting involved with my new church. I have signed up for a class and also Bible study. Those are just some of the plans. It will be interesting to see if I can bring them off.
Well.......UP UP AND AWAY!!!!
By the by, the waterfall is washing away this last year. We are starting anew.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What is it about Waterfalls?



What is it about waterfalls that
draws me like a magnet? I hear them or I catch a glimpse and suddenly, my heart beats faster, I get misty-eyed and my spirit
heads upward. The incredible variety of waterfalls that I have witnessed recently boggles the mind. There were the tall ones and then some short ones. Some that pounded, some that dripped but each was magnificent in its own way. Water just has to go somewhere
sometimes and it cannot be denied. You might be able to stop them temporarily but not for long. I certainly wouldn't want to. For me, they are one of the most challenging pictures to take. Not only to take a picture
that is different but one that speaks to someone.......takes them to a special place......for their own special show. Nature at her best.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Last Gasp of Christmas Holiday


We decided to strech Christmas for one more day. We started our day by going to Curves then we departed for an adventure. Elinor said that I could plan it so I decided to go and explore the Columbia River Gorge Historic Hwy. Those of you who come and visit will definately be taken on this trip. It is beautiful, even in the rain. I told
Elinor if it was pouring I wouldn't go but I could deal with a drizzle.
We crossed over the Columbia River into Oregon and journeyed east on I84 to Troutville. We journeyed up and into a little snow( not too much) and saw the most amazing waterfalls ever. Every other minute, there was a new waterfall. Some were major and some just trickles but lovely. I stopped as often as I could and I marvelled at the incredible beauty of rushing water dancing over rocks. My heart soared. I had seen one of the falls, Mulnamoth,
a few years ago when my friend Carolyn and I travelled up the Columbia River. It was fantastic then but I saw two or three other falls that were its equal. We had lunch and then crossed over the Bridge to the Gods and returned down Rt 14. We stopped in Washugal at an antique shop(Elinor can stand just so much photo stops) and Elinor had a small shopping binge. We then decided to go to the movies. We saw the Great Debators with Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. It was an amazing movie that made everyone want to stand and cheer at the end.
I recommend this movie to one and all. You will come out feeling good.
It was a lovely holiday but now we must get back to work and being industrious and not as indulgent as we have been. We must earn our holidays. Those are the ones that mean something.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

An Incredible Day


What a lovely day. It is just as well since I didn't sleep at all last night. My gosh, you'd think I was a little kid. Elinor said
if I woke her up early, I would be dead meat. Well, my Mother didn't raise any dumb kids so I wasn't about to disturb her majesty but after 7:30, I couldn't stand it anymore. I took my shower and went down to turn on the lights. I was going to turn on the Morman Tabernacle Choir as well but my buddy, Donna called to wish me a Merry Christmas. (Elinor, you must live right)
We went and had a prayer together then she agreed to walk down the stairs first.(Back when I was a kid and the shortest in the family, I always had to lead and I hated it because I was always embarassed.......why I have no idea.)
The tree was covered with lovely wrapped gifts. My sister was very thoughtful in her gifts to me. She gave me a lovely red jacket, a black coat which will have to be exchanged for a bigger size, a mug, some colored pencils, a note pad, socks,
a cute teddy bear made of yarn, a neckless and some swiss chocolate(just what I needed). I also got a Bible dictionary from my dear friend, Lynn; a book by my favorite author, Jan Karon from my photo buddy, Carolyn; a lovely blue green blouse from Ruthie; and the most incredible scrapbooking kit from Ross and Sharoni. My niece Cindy gave me a metal image from Africa. Isaac and Heather gave the two of us a fancy collander and salad servers. We then had phone calls from others in the family.
Maureen and Christian came and picked us up to go to Christian's sister's house for waffles. I have got to tell you, those were some serious gooooooooood waffles. I hope I have gotten all this sweet stuff out of my system because it is back to veggies as of the 27th. We are still celebrating tomorrow so I am not being good yet.
It has been a lovely day. We just watched It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. I can not imagine Christmas without this movie. It has all the joys of the season rolled into two hours of good entertainment.
If you are wondering about the picture I am using today, on the way over to Trish's house, we could see Mount Hood. This picture was actually taken two years ago during the fall and from the other direction from where I was today. As the year end approaches, I am reflecting again
on my decision to move here. I know it was the right thing to do. I am glad I came.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Memories



These were
from 2 years
ago when I
went to St Louis but it symbolizes the spirit of Christmas for
me.
When I was a little girl, what I remember most is being sent to bed. Mom and Dad would decorate the tree with the help of Elinor and Ross(sister and brother) but I wouldn't see it until the next morning. Our house was always decorated beautifully for the holiday. There was a wreath on the front door, greens intertwined in the staircase but the showcase was the livingroom. Elinor and my Dad would go to town. I can remember one Christmas when Elinor painted the Three Wise Men. They stood from ceiling to floor in height and took up the whole wall. Then there was the Christmas when they had an angel flying over the fireplace complete with clouds. My job was to make a little scene in the bookcase in the sunroom. Mom took care of the Nativity scene. I don't remember Ross having a specific job but I know he helped where he could. One year, Mom and I made stained glass windows over the piano in the living room. It was a festive house. Now, things are very different. More is done concerning the Christmas story. These children in the pictures acted out the Nativity and probably have a better understanding of the Birth of our Lord than I did as a child. But that is ok. I know the story now
and I have new memories to warm my heart.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

No, there ain't snow........yet


It is two days before Christmas and I have been enjoying the preparations immensely. It is more fun being around Elinor when she is creating. We have been playing Christmas movies
this whole week. Anyone who knows me, knows I have A LOT OF MOVIES so you can appreciate the scene. We are down to three selections: It's a Wonderful Life, Santa Claus, and my Mother's reading of The Best Christmas Pagent Ever. Margaret, if you are reading this, THANK YOU SO MUCH. My wonderful cousin, Margaret, video taped Mom while she read this and it is a treasure. Elinor and I have laughed ourselves silly listening to our Mother laugh. She could not read this story without breaking up. If you haven't read it, go and find the book. Share it with someone who needs a laugh. It is a joy. It will lift your spirits and you might think about what Christmas really means.
I know what it means to me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hard Day


Today was a hard day for me. My left knee is really sore. I have tried putting cold than hot on it. I have taken Ibprofin(sp). It just hurts. It doesn't matter whether I sit or stand or lie down.
I still haven't found any insurance I can afford so I can go see a doctor nor do I have any doctor in mind. That has been difficult.
I am also still trying to bring my books up and put them somewhere. I am spread out all over which is not bad since this is my house too now but I don't feel it yet. It isn't because of my sister who has been wonderful. I just feel a little out of it.
It's kind of like a horse in its stall. It wants to lie down so it walks around and around, scratches the ground, walks the other way and then settles in. I guess I'm just scratching the ground.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I think I found my church


I think I found my Church today. I have been trying different churches since I arrived here in
Vancouver but I think I found the one that is right for me. It's called the Glenwood Community Church. It is located about 17 min from where I live. The Church has only been at its present location for about 8 years but it is a growing Church and it seems to offer many of the things that I liked about Immanuel Bible Church.
It does offer a woman's Bible study which I would like to sign up for. It also offers classes to help you grow in your relationship with God which I definately want to do. I met the associate paster today. He is a very nice young guy from Texas. We had a delightful talk and I feel very comfortable there. I have attended the services twice now and I have enjoyed the sermons very much. The senior pastor is an excellent speaker and his sermons always leave me with lots to think about.
So......slowly but surely......step by step.......inch by inch we are fitting in. We finally got my bookcase painted and placed in my closet. It fits perfectly. I also have most of my pictures up in my room. I will try and photograph what this all looks like so you all will have an idea. Ahhhh
nesting......tis nice.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Hustle and Bustle


What a crazy day. Both Elinor and I slept in today. We actually got up about 9:15am . That is unheard of for me. Elinor has been hand tying a quilt and it is driving her nuts but she is determined to get it done. This morning, we wrote (jointly) about 10 Christmas letters to family members so be looking for yours because it is coming soon. Then we went to Curves(yea us); then to Craft Warehouse to get two things framed; then we went to Elinor's church to set up a table for the church dinner tonight. Our table has a mexican theme and is very colorful unlike the usual red table cloth and holly wreath or red
candles or nativity scene that decorates the other tables. Elinor decided that we needed some special candy so we went to Trader Joe's. I thought she would only be a minute but she had slipped out and gone to the Dollar store to get something to put the candy in(like cupcake papers). I'm sitting out in the car and trying to figure out where she is and freezing my ........ off(I wish) and oh, well.......you get the point. Life with my sister is definitely interesting. We are home finally and I am pooped. I got a couple of hours to recoop and then it is off to dinner. Hustle and bustle, boil and trouble................oh for some of that "all is calm" Amen

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Day


The Curves out here is having a Christmas boutique and I decided to participate in it. I took some of my pictures over with some note cards to see if anyone might be interested. I had several people who expressed interest in the pictures( no one bought any) and I sold seven packets of notecards. Not too shabby. I was really happy about that. The only thing that was sad is that no one said they took pictures. I keep hoping that someone might want to go on a shoot with me. I miss the Curves Camera Crew. I enjoyed going out with them and taking pictures and then nagging them to get them developed. I liked sharing with them and learning from them. I guess I will just have to keep looking.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Getting Settled


I have been here over a month now and am only just getting pictures up. It is amazing what a few pictures will do for a room.
Finally, it is really beginning to look like my room.
My reason for using this particular picture of my friend, Donna
Turgeon, is because two of my favorite pictures are works of hers. The other centerpiece in my collection is a piece I recently acquired from my talented niece, Laura Gunn. When I get everything up and ready, I will take pictures of my nest and share it with you all. For right now, you can see one of my pictures in this photo. It is called Heritage Gone. I absolutely love this work of Donna's. If you would like to see more of her work check out donnaturgeon.com
She is a gifted artist and a great friend.

Monday, December 10, 2007

You've got to get excited!!


If you are going to do something, you might as well get excited about it. There is nothing worse than doing something with no enthusiasm what so ever.
This is my niece, Maureen. She teaches a jazzersize class
that is a hoot. I can't do any of it because my body just won't even try but it sure was fun to watch. Maureen just bubbles when she is doing this and whats more, she is contagious. Everyone in the class was having fun.......they were dying but they were having a good time doing it. That is my new goal. I'm going to be excited no matter what I'm doing. Who knows, maybe I can fool this old bode of mine.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The true meaning of Thanksgiving


One of the loveliest traditions at the Fox Thanksgiving is going around the table and saying what you are thankful for. As I listened to each member speak, I reflected on all the things that I have to be thankful for. I have been truely blessed this year because I have received so much love from so many people. So many have told me how much I mean to them. Many people never have that. We often wait until it is to late to tell people that we appreciate them. I am honored that these people did not wait.
I am also blessed to have a wonderful new home to live in and to share that home with my sister, Elinor. The more we get to know one another, the better we like what we know. I have always known this about my brother, Ross but it has been nice finding out that is the same with my sisier. I am grateful to have a lovely little pet named Cashew. Even though she went a wondering, she came home safe and sound. Some people lose their pets and never find them again. I was lucky.
I am blessed to live in a country where I can express my opinion without fear; I can worship God in the place of my choice; where on a sunny day, I can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the world(Mt Hood); I am blessed with some of the most incredible friends any one person could have. They see past my faults and love me for me. That is an incredible gift.
The best thing of all for me is that I have found my savior in Jesus Christ. I know that when I seek him, he will find me. He is with me always and I sing his praise for the blessings he has given me each day. I truely have a great deal to be thankful for and I am.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Fox Boys




Meet three of my Great Nephews: Thomas, John(the eldest) and Sam(Darth VaderII).
They are three of the most interesting fellows you would ever want to meet. John is tall, strong, thoughtful and is well on his way to becoming a very nice young man. He is smart, he enjoys skateboarding and plays guitar. Thomas is a sweetheart. He is a good worker and likes to be helpful. He also likes to make his younger brother's life miserable. He is a tease but a good hearted one. He enjoys reading and plays great defense on his flag football team. Sam is a hoot. He loves to dress up. He is learning to express himself and his mother just dotes on him. He is a good natured child with boundless energy. He loves to climb(anything and everything). He is a glutten for punishment since he keeps hanging around Thomas(did I mention that Thomas is a tease). All three of these guys have become very important in my new life. Both John and Thomas have been helpful in my unpacking and getting settled. I haven't had a lot to do with kids in the past but I intend to be the best Great Aunt I can in the future. It won't be hard with these three. I would like them even if they were not my great nephews but I'm real glad they are.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Family Football




Thanksgiving has always been a special day for me.
There has always been family, good food, and music.
This year, I added a new componenant........family
football. This is the second Thanksgiving I have spent here in Vancouver only this time I was not a visitor.
My niece, Maureen held the festivities at her house. Besides her handsome hubby, Christian and her wonderful sons, John, Thomas and Sam, she also had her older sister and her family staying with her.
Evie's family consists of her hubby, Joe and her three fabulous daughters, Ellie, Izzie, and Maggie.
At my sister's and my place, we had Elinor's oldest
daughter, Cindy(fresh in from Africa) and Cindy's
daughter, Leigha and her boy friend, Stephen who
travelled in from Utah.
Joining this conglomeration of people was Chirsitian's sister, Trish and her hubby, Tom and daughter, Helena and son Andrew. With that many people, we had to play football. It was decided that the two Tom's would be captains. The sides were chosen and game began. There were challenges, threats, and a lot of laughter. Family football is fun. It's even more fun when all you have to do is take the pictures.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

She is home safe and sound


My little friend has returned. I heard a scratching at the garage door and there she was. I was never so glad to see anyone. Unforturnately, it was too late to call all of you in the East to tell you the news so I hope you read the blog.
Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.
It really meant alot to me. I am so grateful to each of you. I especially want to thank our Heavenly Father who watched over my little beastie and protected her and brought her home to me. I am also thankful to Wendy, Ross, Big Ross, Evie, Maureen, Thomas, Lynn-e and especially, my roommate, Elinor who called three times from Cleveland. Your love and concern
for me and Cashie warms every cockle in my heart. May God bless each of you. And if anyone is presently lost,I humbly asked God to watch over you and help you find your way to home safely too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Friend is Missing


I woke up this morning and she wasn't in her tree or on my bed. I wondered but I figured she was sleeping downstairs. Alas, somehow, Cashew had gotten out last night and I didn't notice.
I try to be so careful but she has been sniffing at the basement door and when Elinor went out into the garage, Cashew made a dash for it.
Elinor didn't notice, I didn't notice and the door to the garage was open.
I've been calling her name but she hasn't answered. I miss my little friend and have cried buckets. Poor Elinor has called from the airport(she is on her way to Cleveland and she feels terrible) My niece Wendy Lane Bailey and her husband, Ross, have called expressing their concern.
Maureen who is allergic to cats called and said she and her boys would go out and look for her.
Those of you who have pets will understand my sorrow. It is one thing when a pet dies but when they are lost and you just don't know what has happened, then your imagination runs rampant.
I'm trying to keep as busy as possible. If you think of it, say a little prayer that my little friend will come back to me. Thanks

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I've Said It Before and I'll Say Again, There Is a Light


After three visits to the DMV, I finally have my driver's license
and my registration and tags. I truely did not think this day would ever happen and it wouldn't have if Elinor hadn't gone with me the second time. She had to vouch for me. Wouldn't you know.....when we came home after getting the license, the utilities bill arrives with both our names on it.
I had to go back again this afternoon because I didn't take the title this morning. Now both "Blue"(my car) and I are offically residents of the state of Washington and there is NO WAY I am
moving again........EVER...........Fooorget IT!!!!!!!!!!
What a process.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Creativity


I love being around creative people. Living here with Elinor is a hoot because she is constantly creating new things all the time. Ideas flow from her like a little fountain. She just keeps bubbling up with new things. Today she suggested taking my pictures and making things from them. I mean actually using them as paper. She created an angel and it is adorable. I couldn't do it but she can. I love it.
She also made the third Christmas stocking for the new arrivals this year. Luke( Laura's little boy in MO) has a stocking with a cute puppy on it. Joe(George's little one who will be spending his first Chirstmas in Germany) has a little cowboy which is from a song that the Bailey family is very fond of. But the one that is the coolest is little Harper's stocking which she just finished this afternoon. Harper was named for Harper Lee who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. Her stocking has a mockingbird and all the things that Jem and Scout found in the tree. It is really neat. I love this ability........the "Power to amaze".

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Being True


I tried another church today but I left before the service ended. The church was being held in an ice arena. The sanctuary was pleasant enough. Like most of the newer churches, this one was big on technology with microphones and video
displays. It start off ok but with some good music but they were standing for about 15 going on 20 minutes and my knee just couldn't take it. But it was more than that..........it just didn't feel sincere. I'm sure the people were but it just didn't feel right. Everyone was singing with their hands in the air and just going on and on. I have lifted my hands on occasion but only when I was truely moved and this wasn't moving me. So I left..........and I cried all the way home. I felt lost and alone but I wasn't. God dried my tears and eased my feelings and I was ok. I will find my church here in Washington but I have to be true to myself and listen to what God is telling me. I will know when I am home again; meanwhile,
there is always next Sunday.
This day did have many special parts in it. Elinor and I went over to the Festival of Nativities.
The Morman Church had the most incredible display of Nativities I have ever seen. They were made of all kinds of materials, all shapes and sizes, and they were from all over the world. Besides the different creches, they also had a childrens area where the kids could dress up and play different roles such as shepherds or angels or Mary or Jospeh. My Great Nephews Sam and Thomas had a lot of fun dressing up, particularly, Sam. When I saw him, he was a king.
Thomas dressed as Joseph. It was a fun idea.
Another good time of the day was when we went over to Maureen's for dinner. She had made
chili that had some chocolate in it. It was incredible. She also made pudding from scratch and it was delicious.
Elinor and I spent the evening watching The Homecoming which was about the Walton family.
I made note cards and she helped me tie them with ribbon. It was a good day on the whole.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Back to OA


I am trying to get back into my routine and that means going back to OA. I found a nice meeting that is only about 15 min. away from here. It starts at 10am on Saturdays so I am happy to make the committment to go. I have even volunteered to be the keeper of the box with all
the publications in it each week. I did this because then I have to go. I am forcing myself to stick with it. I know me. I will get down and not want to do anything so this way, I have no choice. I do alot better without choices.