Monday, October 28, 2013

In the Blast Zone

This week's hike took us into Mount St. Helens' blast zone. We were searching for sunshine again, but we didn't find any. We never even found Mount St. Helens!

Rainbow at Norway Pass

What we did find  was the beauty of rebirth in an area completely devastated by a volcanic eruption 33 years ago. The area we hiked has been protected to return to it's natural state. It was simply fascinating and beautiful. 

Snow on Mt. Margaret trail

It was also rainy, windy and even snowy at the height of our climb. I can't wait to go back when Mount St. Helens is not hiding behind clouds!

Spirit Lake from Windy Ridge

Have you ever felt your life was nothing less than a blast zone? I have. But I believe when we let Him, God can bring beauty for ashes not just on a mountainside, but in our precious lives as well. 

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

~Isaiah 61:3

Since we will be falling back soon and any time change messes up our inner clock I want to share my favorite energy smoothie. I don't drink coffee or caffeinated tea, but this really does the trick when I get drowsy.  

Love Chocolate Energy Smoothie

1 banana
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
1 tablespoon maca powder
2 tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
about 1 cup milk
(almond, soy or cow's milk)

Place banana, peanut butter, maca powder, cacao, cinnamon and about 1/4 cup of the milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice and fill with more milk. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

This makes one smoothie. I like to use the Magic Bullet, but you can use any blender. All of the amounts can be changed to your liking and some sort of sweetener can be added.

Linda <><

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When the Sun Comes Out to Play

Autumn on my street

Puget Sound was socked in with fog all week. I'm not complaining, I think the fog magnifies the already vivid fall colors! And for the most part it's business as usual. Great for photography, a moisture treatment tops off my run, no real excuses to stay in. It does get a bit dreary though.

I've been working on a big custom order; thirty-one personalized Mason jar cozies. One of the things I love about crochet is that I can take it anywhere. 

Mason jar cozy fun

I also have a set of CD's accompanying my current Bible study. Did I mention I have a driver I adore? So yesterday we took a quick trip east to find some sunshine. It was really less than an hour away. What a joy it was to emerge from the fog into the warmth and beauty of Mount Rainier.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from?" Psalm 121:1

After listening to Louie Giglio speak on the Creation story we were immersed in the glory of God's creation.

Tipsoo Lake

While surrounded by this beauty the question was posed: will I be the biggest part of my own small story, or a small part of His story? 

Crag Field

As I am blessed to soak in this sun I choose to be part of His big story. When I'm stumped at just what that means to me I recall Proverbs 3:5-6:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
 and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he shall direct your paths."

Jim and I at the end of a glorious day (Mount Rainier in the background)

Once again I am inspired to find my own small place in God's big story.
Linda <><

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jury Duty Moebius and Other Ramblings

Welcome to Tacoma statue
Last week I was on jury duty. I discovered it is a multi-stepped procedure. First, I call the night before and find out if I need to appear. When I arrive I scan in to a large holding room and wait. I wait to be called. The administrator shows some videos, tells jokes (she has a captive audience) and fills us in on the next steps. She likens it to marriage; in this room we are single (no court case), if we are called the first time we are engaged and, then, if we are chosen we are married to a court case. 

I was never engaged, never a chosen one. Out of the 300 or so folks who started the week maybe 25 or so remained.  I felt like the kid who was never picked in P.E. class. I didn't mind. I got my lovely moebius scarf/shawl done. It's warm and cozy! Some good can come from not being picked. I also walked five miles in downtown Tacoma, visited the Thursday Farmers Market, ate one day at the Amerawcan Bistro (a vegan cafe) and had a wonderful vegetarian tamale for lunch another day. I got to meet some people and check out the other crocheters' and knitters' projects. The minor inconvenience of driving thirty minutes and not knowing just what my days would bring became a lovely adventure for a work from home introvert!

Lime Kiln Lighthouse

Last weekend my traveling partner/husband and I used a groupon for a weekend in Friday Harbor, Washington. The San Juan Islands are simply beautiful and a short trip for us. As it turned out the the entire weekend was rain soaked. We live in the Pacific Northwest so we have our webbed feet, but this was almost too much. We ended up skipping a couple of hikes we had planned and opted for driving around the island instead of riding the bikes available at our inn.

Soaked in the San Juans

This weekend was totally different. Friday afternoon my daughter called to tell us she and her boyfriend were coming to visit. It ended up being a glorious fall weekend with sunshine and highs in the 60's. They left Sunday morning after Church and breakfast. We watched the Seahawks beat the Colts. Then we took a bike ride on a trail I found on Pinterest (I love Pinterest). Washington Trails Association had listed fall hikes on state, city and county lands. We took part of the 34 mile long Cedar River trail. We had gone quite a distance when we decided to stop for a water break and to check the GPS. I glanced up and this is what we were sitting under. We moved on before any bombing ensued!

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life. Matthew 6:26-27

On a completely different note, last week I finally remembered to go to Fred Meyer for the monthly senior discount. I stocked up on fruits and veggies, picked up a magazine and got a  kombucha. My big 10% one day a month discount was only good for the magazine and kombucha. Does that make any sense? Seems like the healthy food should be discounted too.

That wraps up my ramblings. No big epiphanies, I'm just thankful God is with us in all this small stuff, so we don't have to sweat it! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cool Stuff

The first week of each month I intend to share some of my favorite finds here. Since my last blog was about Mason jars this week I am showing you some of my prized accessories for Mason jars.

Because we juice I use my jars a lot for drinking. When I discovered the cuppow it was love at first sight! These neat lid attachments make your Mason jar into a sipper cup perfect for big and little kids. I use it for water, juice, smoothies, tea, and, once upon a time, for coffee. It works for hot or cold and a straw can be inserted.

This brings me to the next cool thing. We use straws so much that I wanted something reusable. The Endurance Stainless drink straw and Endurance Stainless spoon straw work great for my family.

My husband takes his lunch every day and the plastic salad bowls kept falling apart, so I pack his salad or veggies in a Mason jar and add this nifty BNTO lunchbox adapter with dressing or dip. I have also found that the cups from my egg poacher fit perfectly for a smaller cup on top.

Lastly, here are my own Mason jar cozies! I use them on all of my Mason jars. They work as a coaster and a cozy, for hot and cold and I think they're pretty darn cute!
I love combining all of these items as a gift and filling the jar with trail mix or homemade cocoa mix or candy! Do you have any creative accessories for Mason jars? How do you use them for gifting?

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17

~~All of the items mentioned above are things I use. I am not compensated in any way.~~