Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Far Away Friend in Japan

It had been several days since I'd heard from my friend, Yuki, in Japan. She was not in the area of the devastation,  but of course she's been affected by it. She'd been very worried for her friend, and finally got a message from her that she is fine. In some way, haven't we ALL been affected by this disaster? I can't think of a way that we haven't. Emotionally, physically for some, certainly economically. I was telling my kids that not one thing that happens in the world has a means of NOT affecting us all. We affect other people's lives every day, whether we know it or not.
Below, is the last letter I received from Yuki, just today. I asked her if I could share it. It's truly amazing how small our world is. We're not really that far apart!  I actually "met" her from Etsy, and after back and forth visiting, it felt weird to say "goodbye forever". Like I've said, I hate goodbyes.
Here's her letter.

Dear my far away friend, Karen.

Since Sunday  I've been  feel bad, since I watch that terrible film on TV all day long,  tears,  headache, dizzy, nausea...and threw up..

But now feels good.  I'm a little sensitive of sight more than common people... I was very shocked with that film.. And I am a crybaby..

My husband came back to Nagasaki, but he went to Kumamoto on business, and
yesterday he back to Tokyo again.

We're OK.  I and Oniichan spend as usual.  We have warm food and drinks,
warm  bed  and take a hot bath as usual.

Tsunami warning  was released in Nagasaki.

I received e-mail from my friend lives in Iwaki Fukushima.

She is OK.  But now she is under the evacation order waiting at home.

She stays in her home with her friend. Fortunately, they have preserved
foods and soft drinks but no water.

She said to me she is worring about radiation exposure..

I pray for her no radiation exposure.
I attacted and send the vintage greeting  card  with e-mail for her with our

The christmas card a boy holding a little lamb.  I think that card maybe
make calm her spirit.

Yes, that cute animals cards are smiling for me, I can relax.  They helps
me. I appriciate to artist's wonderful work.
I appriciate the rescue team with sniffer dogs camed from your country.I pray for the safety all of  them.
I want to visit you with my friend Satomi. Satomi is the name of  Fukushima
I read your blog  today.  Thank you for worrying about us.
Your far away friend YUKI

 To bring some smiles to your day, I want to share these two video clips that my husband got from a blog he loves to read, Challies. I hope it makes you smile!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stunning isn't Always Fun

It's definitely been a stunning week. With the news of the devastation in Japan, everything has had a kind of almost paralyzing feel to it. Not a "without hope" feeling, but a "what's coming next" kind of feeling. Here in the Pacific NW, we had a bit of scare, waiting to see what would happen. Not anything compared to the suffering and loss in our neighbor's home.
We go about our day, hear news continuously, shocked and yes, stunned. Fun things or things we enjoy almost have a senseless feel. Kind of like the feeling you get when you're going through something awful, and still can laugh. You feel confused how you could smile when your heart is breaking.
Life is sometimes such a puzzle. A difficult one. The road is rough at times and smooth in others.
I've been watching a family via posts from their web site, going through the devastation of having their daughter get hurt in a car wreck and end up in a coma. I've been watching all this time (since November), the family pouring out their raw broken hearts, their struggles with their humaness, their ability to still say , "we trust God even in this", and I've wondered and hoped that I could be able to do this. I don't borrow trouble, but I believe the Lord will get us through our days, however they are numbered.
I need to not waste my time. I need to hug my kids more. I need to lay stuff down that burdens me, even unfair things. Especially unfair things. I need to trust my God even in the hard things.
I don't have to understand everything that happens, but I am called to pray, to hurt for the hurting.
Our world is small. I recently "met" a kind lady from Japan who I had conversed with back and forth. My first thought when I heard of the disaster for the Japanese people, was, "is Yuki ok?" almost selfish that out of the whole country there was only one person I could think. I did immediately write, not really expecting an answer, but right away, she did answer! Yes, she was fine, but very concerned, of course. She was fearful for her friend who she hadn't heard from, & I'm still hoping to hear back good news that yes, she did finally hear from her friend. I haven't heard yet.
But I can pray, and I do believe that God, who created this world, has a plan.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Little Excursions

Sometimes it seems like you do the same kind of work, day after day, and that's ok. But every once in awhile it is time to play a little! When I think of the last couple weeks, I've had a few "play days", doing things with other women. Artsy, fun stuff. It all kind of flows together though, because without some creativity in our lives, our homes would be a little dull, although, I have to admit, there is also something austere and beautiful about plain things, too. 
A month or so ago, my niece asked if I wanted to take a class with her on making flowers. Well, sure. I think mainly, I thought it would be fun to do something like this with my niece and my oldest daughter, besides learning something new. So, we had fun making these:
Then, yesterday I had the chance to go to Battleground to see my friend Lisa. Her and Sally were putting on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in their shop, "Uncovered Ruby". And what a fun sale that was! I'm amazed at all the work they go to, with all the details and fun they ad to their sales! I love their shop! They have some amazing vendors who bring their wares in, and each vendor has their own creative style. If you've never been there, you need to visit. Sally and Lisa are very sweet shopkeepers!
While at the tea party, Denise, from Arts and Scraps (who by the way, is another sweet-heart of a girl) was teaching a little class on making this: 
Well, hers probably looked better, but, she was a good teacher! I even got home and had to try some more of those paper roses. Here are some more of my experiments:
These were so fun to make! If you live in the Battleground area (which I don't, but I sure do love the area!), you should visit her. She is very helpful and kind and creative!
Well, to round off the rest of my weekend (well, up to Saturday anyway), we took a drive to Astoria and Warrenton. I was going to do this yesterday, but with a Tsunami warning and all, I just didn't think it was a good day for heading in that direction. So, today we managed to go. 
First stop, was to pick up my youngest daughter's guitar. She had somehow damaged it in her travels to and from youth group activities, so we took it to this man (Thompson's Instrument Repair) who was recommended to us. This is one of those wonderful old shops that I just love! Randy and I were talking about how wonderful it is to find these little mom and pop type stores, that are so full of character, do good work, and are nice to patronize. This man had quite a repair job to do, and we were surprised how low his rates were! Don't you just love the store-front? The inside was even more wonderful, but I forgot to take pictures. 

OK, I know I'm getting long here, but bear with me. Our friends kept telling us we had to stop at this store, and we finally made it. Oh. My. It was awesome! Yes, Vintage Hardware at the Astor Hotel is something you MUST visit! It is packed with so many neat things! It is very well worth checking out, and once again, very friendly people. Can you tell I like nice people? 
See what I mean? You've got to go!
Edit: How in the world I omitted it, but it was good to see all the other fun ladies I've met over the years at the Vintage Gathering sales, and Uncovered Ruby, etc. Good to see you ALL!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life on the Funny Farm

My daughter, Kristin, and I usually plan gardens around each other. We get the seeds, I usually start a lot of it in my greenhouse, she usually comes to help repot, then we split stuff up. It's fun and helps each of us.
This year she gave me 9 different tomatoes, I think around 6 peppers, all different things. 9 tomatoes Kristin? You're a crazy girl! She gave me a red and green cabbage too. This time I tried a system of a guy I saw on YouTube, and decided yo put a whole pkg of each in the little pot. I definitely didn't think they'd all start, but they did, and now we're the proud owners of way too many starts! I hate to let so many go to waste, but I'd probably have enough cabbage to supply a sauerkraut festival!
Today Randy, my 2 youngest, and 3 of my grandkids got out and played in dirt! Randy and Caleb (grandson) hauled horse manure with the tractor, then they dug holes and planted fruit trees, while my granddaughter (Talia, 3), planted potatoes.
I feel so blessed that family is so near, even my parents! They're just acres away! I can't imagine not being near family!