Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Landscape 101

This is the reason I don't blog as much this time of year. Our yard is very high maintenance right now. The moles have started moving, the grass is growing, and the weeds grow like, well WEEDS. We spent the day outside today working on the overall appearance. The only mishap was when Shadow stepped on a sticky mouse trap (that dog does it every time!) Let's just say it's not pretty, I didn't get a picture of that. But here is what I did take pictures of:

I didn't bother raking up the petals. With the camilla petals all around it, the fountain looks very romantic:

The lawn near the front porch:
The back patio, the umbrella was my Mother's Day present:

Another view (look closely, Wild thing is setting the table for dinner):

Our "garden" so far (tomatos, red pepper, strawberries):

The upper lawn (Mt. Hood in the background):

My lavender "field" (about seven plants, this is year two):

From the street:
From the front:

My snowball plant, 3 years old:

My little flower garden (not much is up yet):

The lawn from another angle:

The view from the garage (I love all the different trees: weeping cedar, maple, blue spruce, magnolia, all lined with a row of junipers):

Well, I hope you can see why I haven't been so prolific on the blog. I have been busy working outside. I love gardening, so I thought today I could combine the two. Happy Sunday to you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Conversations in the Car

If you were a 'fly on the wall' in my car, this is what you would have heard today:

(Princess, 6 years old) "MOM! MOOOOMMm! Brother won't let me talk. Why does he get to talk and I don't? How come you listen to him but not me? When will it be my turn?"

(Mom) "Just a minute. You interrupted, Brother was talking first and when he's finished then you can talk, ok?"

(Princess) "OK. But I just want to say one thing."

(Mom to Brother) "Do you mind if princess has a turn? You have been talking for the last three miles. Let's give her a turn now, ok?"

(Brother) "O.K. But she didn't say "Excuse me."

(Mom to Princess) "Can you say excuse me, please? Brother is right, that is the polite way to show you have something to say."

(Princess) "O.K. Excuse me?"

(Mom) "Yes?"

(Princess) "I forgot what it was I wanted to say."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's a Dog's Life

In this picture, Shadow is multi-tasking as a pillow. He laid here still like this for a long time-- Princess was really asleep:

He has perfected the sad puppy dog eyes (which explains why he's so fat!):

Shadow looking for dropped food:

Daisy thinks she is a person. She even sits like a person sometimes.
She also thinks she can read (or maybe it's the candy laying on the book she's after!)

Always an excuse for a nap. The dogs like to cuddle with anyone who stays still longer than 30 seconds (Ariel and Shadow):


The wide angle shot:

Mother's Day Baking

I love to bake, and since I saw these Hershey's Cinnamon Chips in the store the other day I thought I would try them.
Oatmeal Cinnamon Chips Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Cinnamon Chips
3/4 cup raisins
Directions:1. Heat oven to 350°F. 2. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins (batter will be stiff). Drop by heaping teaspoons unto ungreased cookie sheet. 3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes on until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. About 4 dozen.BAR VARIATION: Spread batter into lightly greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars. About 3 dozen bars.

They taste great! For more great recipes, visit Hershey's website.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day from Fr. Corapi

This Sunday we once again have the joy of celebrating Mothers Day. It is certainly fitting enough that this falls in the month of May, the month the Church dedicates to the Mother of Jesus and our Spiritual Mother. It s a beautiful month dedicated to what is perhaps the most beautiful reality I can imagine mothers.

In the often misguided and morally confused society we live in, the vocation and blessing of being a mother isn t esteemed highly enough by many individuals that are so preoccupied with making a living and accumulating material things. Sometimes motherhood isn t respected enough by men. Even more baffling sometimes women don t themselves value this calling and honor as they ought. As far as I m concerned, it would be hard to imagine a more noble, more necessary, and more beautiful calling in life.

Moms, only in Heaven will you realize just how pleasing you are to God. You have collaborated with God our Father in bringing new life into the world. You have given our heavenly Father children, and these children He treasures more than you could ever imagine.

Mother Perhaps the most beautiful word in all of language. It expresses life. It expresses love. It expresses cooperation with God. It speaks of something that will never end.

One day, moms, you ll be honored by God himself for your many sacrifices. For now, accept our thanks, our love, and our tribute. We salute you, Moms, this day and for all eternity.
God bless you for all you ve done for us.

In Jesus Love through Mary our Mother,
Fr. John Corapi

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Beautiful Music

Last night, we attended my middle school son's Jazz band concert. He has only been playing the saxophone since September, but already he has made great strides in catching up with the other band students. He began in Band as an elective, and quickly was invited to join the Jazz band, which is a more 'elite' group of kids, both middle school and high schoolers who get up really early in the morning four days a week and practice with the wonderful band teacher who, I am sure, does not get paid nearly what she is worth.

She has done marvelous things with this group of kids. I hope she reveled in the appreciative applause last night. Those kids sounded just amazing.

I was so proud of my son, watching him play-- knowing how far he has come in such a short while.

Then, I thought of something else. I thought about how for months I have been hearing only his portion of the music, all by itself. We love hearing him practice (except not when I'm on the phone!) every day and many of the songs he has practiced get stuck in our head and we find ourselves humming them out of the blue.

But somehow it was by listening to the entire ensemble play these same pieces altogether and hearing them for the first time in that context that it seemed to me that is how the Body of Christ is also. We each have our own unique talent, given to us for a higher purpose. When we combine our gifts we can make such beautiful music.