Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Fourth of July Nature Walk

      

      Every day that I am not at work, I try to get a four mile walk in for exercise.  Since I live where I do.........this walk is almost always also a nature walk.  On the Fourth of July, my oldest daughter and I headed up early to the lake, where we planned to watch the fireworks later. And that's where we took our walk on that day.

     We walked a part of the trail that I had not yet traversed;  around every turn was a gorgeous view.  I probably snapped twice as many pictures as I have published here. It was a lovely day: perfect temperature, perfect setting, wonderful company.


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    End of Summer Blessings,
 
                                        Chari

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thankfulness Times Ten

 Today's Thankfulness theme is what is going on in my life this day.....

( when I originally wrote it a week ago..... :)  )




Thankfulness Times Ten




Here are the guidelines I have for this thankfulness theme……


Just find ten things I am thankful for, in the moment. I have no rules...I may go over ten, if I cannot help myself......I may repeat myself.....and, I will write in no particular order of importance. If you feel inspired to do the same....do link yourself here in the comment section.  All of these will go toward my own 1,000 Gifts.

As I go through my days, I keep thinking of my gratitude in themes......like, ten items of gratefulness for each member of my family, when I look out my window, while I am on my exercise walk.......etc., etc., etc. 


I am thankful for......


71. .......returning to my latest "new" happy place. That special spot on the river. And where I sit now to write this post. 


The view before me.....
 

The view to the left.....
 



And the view to the right.......


 

Sigh of gratefulness.

 

72.  .........the relationships between my own children and the children of my best friend. The other best friend. The youngest six of her seven have always had us in their lives. And the youngest of my six, the same. They have grown up together and are as close as siblings. We are so blessed. They just love each other's company.


I found seven of them sitting on the couch together the other morning when I first awakened.......such a sweet surprise. 
Only one of these is mine.....and I love how he is surrounded by her three youngest.


 

73. ..........a new educational plan for my youngest. One of my other best friends......is going to include my little guy in her home this year as she homeschools her daughter in the same grade. Hopefully this will work out well for all involved. He has known her two kids since their births.....practically as siblings. And he looks like the oldest one, too. They are mistaken for siblings often.

Here they are......homeschooling themselves this summer.......  :)

 

74. .........hamburgers. I just love good hamburgers. So simple. So yummy. We are having hamburgers for dinner tonight. Yum. My oldest boy will be making them. Yum.

 

75. .........a day with low amount of smoke. California is extremely dry. Like a tinder box. And like every summer, those dry lightning storms start fires. Only this year......it's too dry. Our little valley has been smoky for over a week due to being surrounded by fires in all directions.



 

76. ........for firefighters. They put their lives at risk to protect us. I am grateful for that. And I always keep them in my prayers. 


77. ..........naps. Maybe it is the full-time job, but in this last year I have napped so much better than ever before. I also need more naps. Probably because of the job. My friend Micki who passed away in January loved her naps. Every time I think about how much I love my naps, I think of her. I miss her.
 

78. ........kids who beg me to stop by the store on the way home from the river so they can buy ME some ice cream. 

79. .........friends who can walk my four miles with me when they come to visit. Willa does it. And the other BFF, Gloria, does. That is who I am walking with this week. And probably some of next week when I go to San Francisco for a visit. Nice quality time while keeping fit. Sooooo enjoy their conversation.  So much so......that when they are not with me, I call them so they can keep me company when I walk. :)

80. ........chapstick.  I need it. I don't have very dry lips. I just don't like my lips dry. I have a Burt's Bees in every bag. Every coat pocket. Each of my cars. I even take on my walks and carry in my pocket at work. 

And that's it for now......

San Francisco Summer blessings to you,

                                                         Chari


P.S.  Research shows that folks who use journaling to write what they are thankful for...instead of just a place to vent, find their lives are more happy, more satisfying.  Let's go there!

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Little Miss M is Home!!!


My sweet little nineteen year old darling Miss Maddelyn
has returned from her year-long youth exchange in the country of Slovakia.
 
 
 
Maddelyn arrived at the Southern Oregon airport on July 8th.
 
Two sisters, one brother, one mama and one BFF met her at the airport.
 
The rest stayed behind to prepare a party for the girl who had been awake for about 48 hours.
 
Here is a photo-montage of the first meet'n'greet........
 
 
Maddelyn in the middle of the two middles....Sarah & Garrett....the two she falls in the middle of......

All the luggage she had to drag through several airports on her own. 
Each bag weighs in at 50#.....and she is barely 5-foot-tall.  :)

 
 

Her BFF since birth, Tallulah, drove over from Reno to surprise her.

Little brother Garrett, about one foot taller.  :)
These two are closest in age......22 months.
They were tandem-nursed.
Oh, so long ago........sigh.
 

 
 

 
 

Typical Bryan Kid behavior.....dancing in public.  :)
 
 

You know that we were the last ones in the airport.......
 
 

Miss Maddelyn & her oldest sister, Anne.....matching temperaments.

 
 
 
 
 
 



Three sisters back together again. 
But it was only for a couple of days.
 
SO BLESSED to have our wee lass home again.
 
 
Alas, it is only temporary.....college starts in mid-August. More sighing.
 
 
Mid-Summer Blessings,
 
                                     Chari
 
PS  While I finish this post, I can hear Miss M conversing in Slovak with her host mother, on Skype.  :)
 
 




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thankfulness Times Ten








 
 Today's Thankfulness theme is what is going on in my life this day.....

( when I originally wrote it two weeks ago..... :)  )





Thankfulness Times Ten



Here are the guidelines I have for this thankfulness theme……


Just find ten things I am thankful for, in the moment. I have no rules...I may go over ten, if I cannot help myself......I may repeat myself.....and, I will write in no particular order of importance. If you feel inspired to do the same....do link yourself here in the comment section.  All of these will go toward my own 1,000 Gifts.

As I go through my days, I keep thinking of my gratitude in themes......like, ten items of gratefulness for each member of my family, when I look out my window, while I am on my exercise walk.......etc., etc., etc. 


I am thankful for......



61.........for finding a new "Happy Place"   My boys talked me into going to The River with them. I can't believe I have lived here 25 years and this was the first time I have been here! Actually, I am writing this blog post from my beach chair. :) It is so nice and beautiful here. I love it! 

 
 

This is elephant palm



 
The only flower I saw that day.

This is The Sacramento River.  One of the two most important rivers on California. Well, the other is "just" an aqueduct. So this is the most important river in California. And it's headwaters are in my little town. 


My oldest boy and my youngest boy and a college friend of the oldest.



62. ........a warm summer. Finally. Even if we are in the midst of one of the longest heatwaves we have ever had here. Think 88*-101*, but mostly high nineties. And while our humidity usually runs around 21%, we have been challenged by humidity higher than 60%. And while that may be laughable to our friends in the East or South...... It is a lot more than what we are used to! 


The boys swimming in the river....a much needed cooling off.

 

My personal rule to never complain about the heat of summer is because I have "Fear of The Lord".......I worry that if I complain about the heat, He will cheerfully lengthen our winters. And I want no part of that!! ;)

 

63. ........the wonderful sounds of Nature! At this moment in time there are only two sounds:  excessive cricket buzzing and the mild rapids of the river. Simply wonderful. 


 

64. ........meeting an author this weekend while I was working. She just finished her third book. There is a bit of story about how I came to learn about her first book (hoping for a blog post about it).......but I will suffice it to say that she gave me a copy of that book for my local library.....but I get to read it first!  I am 45 pages in already......having an opportunity to read here on the river in my beach chair. Hooked. It's a memoir. 


 
 

 


65. ..........the lovely flower bed my friend Louise gifted to me for my birthday last year.  It has been a wonderful and colorful blessing to watch the colors appear from spring through summer. And the bees are so happy and the hummingbird comes in for frequent treats throughout the day.









 


66.  ...........the chance to feel FIT at age fifty. Getting my daily walks in has been wonderful. Wish I had taken the time when my kids were younger...... Not just with them. I did that. But I mean for my health. Young mothers......take.  the.  time. 


67. .........my offspring who are so amazing in the kitchen. Such excellent cooks. Makes up for my lack of excitement or desire there. 


My oldest boy led the way in creating a delicious four-course meal after our river outing.
As it was just the four of us home for five days,
he made a comment that it was so quiet on those five days,
none of the melancholics were home.  :)
It was so true. Just a sanguine and her phlegmatic boys.  :)

 

68. .........that my kids made it through the perils of young childhood. All that worry is gone. Of course, they are replaced by bigger and scarier fears.......but I don't expect them to choke on a penny anymore. 


69. ............the internet friends who came by for visits this summer. 

Theresa, whom I have linked on this blog before.......came by from Alaska.   


My Malachy and her J-Bug, both almost 13, got along quite well.
They enjoyed our hike out to the meadow.

 

And JoAnn, who also has six kids, about the same age as mine, but only one girl.....came by from Colorado. 

Chari & JoAnn about to sit down for a tea party.





JoAnn and four of her kids........in our meadow.
My home is on the other side of those low trees in the background.
 
 

I may live in the country, but only minutes away is the most important highway in the west, goes from Mexico to Canada. It means I am on people's' way from Point A to Point B. :)

Like I said on Facebook recently.......Blessed are those who live near I-5, for they shall see many visitors.  :)

70. .........an opportunity to sit here by the river in the cooling air, writing a blog post on my iPhone, surrounded by the sounds of nature, in a very, very peaceful setting. So. Nice. 




 

So. Good. For. My. Soul. 

Blessed. 

I need to do this more often. :)



                                    Chari


P.S.  Research shows that folks who use journaling to write what they are thankful for...instead of just a place to vent, find their lives are more happy, more satisfying.  Let's go there!