Saturday, March 25, 2017

FEELING OLD TODAY

Since I have been ill for the past week (what good was that flu shot?) I am feeling old, older than usual. So this poem I wrote is especially in tune with these feelings. Anyone else?

I hate growing older.

I do not enjoy upper arms sagging,
swaying when I wave goodbyes.
I hate viewing the once perky bust-line
now gazing despondently at the ground.
Why did I have to become old, my once willowy
body relaxing far more than necessary.

I try to ignore it, to picture myself in my mind
the way I want to be, wish to be, dream to be,
but knowing the reality deep inside.
If I ignore mirrors, reflective windows,
I can carry on the image within my head,
avoid the truth that sometimes slaps me in the face.

That glimpse can be a shock, send tremors
skulking down my spine, chill my soul,
paralyze my psyche, and bring tears to my eyes.
I remark that I am a twenty-three-year-old
trapped in this sixty-five-year-old body,
craving to caress life in a spirited way.


Rose Lefebvre©

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

THE SHACK

Today I watched the movie THE SHACK.  I read the book, and did it slowly, as I perceived that it was not one to rush through.  I realized what thoughts, messages and feelings were there and knew it needed to be read with deep consideration. My book is marked up with notes and feelings. It has meant so much to me.  The movie is strong and if you watch it with open heart and mind, you will be ready to receive the messages there.  I wept, not because of sadness, thought there was some, but also with deep emotion, joy and spiritual understanding.  That is what you must enter with and leave with so much more.  
The author of the book, William Paul Young, says The Shack "is a metaphor for the places you get stuck, you get hurt, you get damaged...the thing where shame or hurt is centered."
I will not tell you about how the main character, Mack, arrives in his "lost and painful place," but give some notes on a few of the characters. 
 Mack receives a note in his mailbox from "Papa," (which is how his wife refers to God) saying that he would like to meet with Mack that coming weekend at the shack
He journeys alone to the shack. 
When he arrives he initially finds nothing, but as he is leaving, the shack and its surroundings are supernaturally transformed into a lush and inviting scene. He enters the shack and encounters manifestations of the three persons-- God the Father takes the form of an African American woman who calls herself Elousia and Papa; Jesus Christ is a Middle-Eastern carpenter; and the Holy Spirit physically manifests as an Asian woman named Sarayu.
 Later on he meets Sophia, the personification of God's wisdom. At the end of his visit, Mack goes on a hike with Papa, now a man, who shows him a cave. I will not tell what is inside.
Here is one scene.
I was very impressed with the variety of actors chosen and the wonderful ethnicity diverseness.
"Papa" aka God, is played by two characters--Octavia Spencer, an African American woman. She is what Mack needs at that time, a mother figure.  Later on Graham Green, a Canadian Oneida Indian actor from the Six Nations Reserve is Papa when Mack needs a stronger one.  
Both played the parts beautifully and touchingly.
Jesus is played by Avraham Aviv Alush, an Israeli actor of Tunisian heritage.  He was perfect for the role and brought such life into it.
Sumire Matsubara, a Japanese actress, played the lovely Sarayu, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost.
Alicia Braga, a Brazilian, played a role as the personification of God's wisdom and she has a short but important part.
The starring role of Mack Phillips was played by an English actor, Sam Worthington. 
Sam Worthington brought emotion, feeling and anger to his role and did it justice.
I think all of them should be proud and honored.
Mostly what I want to say is go see this film. Don't enter ready to be judgmental or ready to criticize, but ith open heart and mind. Listen to the messages. Let words flow through you, into you, and touch you. That is what it is meant to do.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

SPEAKING OUT

I follow a number of blogs and one is by adirondackgirlatheart.com
She posted on the quote here and it struck me because of the part which says,
"...because He trusts in you."

beautiful flower with bible verse: Isaiah 26:3


"...because He trusts in you." To me that part means that because He gave us free will, he is trusting in us to do the right things; to care for this world, treasure it and be thankful for it; to treat each other with kindness and love and be non-judgmental; to remember Him in prayer each day; to stand up for those in need and being suppressed; to make our voices heard when there is injustice being done. Now in our times I believe God wants to see how we use that free will he gave us to do the right things. Jesus would be speaking up. Jesus would be urging people to stand against those doing evil, those hurting others. Jesus would tell us not to turn our backs on the oppressed.

I do not feel that many things happening in our country now are what He would support or approve of.  He will not correct everything as He gave us free will, so the work is up to us. We are the ones who have to give voice, to be of support, to protect, to stand up to those causing and doing hurt or harm to others.  Now we are all given a chance to be Christ-like, and do what He hopes for and expects from us. I do not think He wants his gift of this wonderful world to us be further damaged and left unprotected.  I do not think He wants us to put on blinders and turn our backs on those in need.  I do not think He wants us to ignore the cries of people oppressed. I do not think He wants us to idly watch churches threatened, tombstones overturned, graffiti sprayed, people beaten and torn from their families, hear evil words spewed.  I believe Jesus would be right there in the front lines saying NO!

My heart fills with joy when I hear of the good people do in the instances of bad and evil; those who peacefully march in support of the oppressed, those who collect funds to repair damages to graveyards, those who support people trying to save their lands, those who work to protect this beautiful world, and those who stand up to bullies.

I weep for what is festering in our country. I weep to know of the growing hate.  I weep for our planet, plants, animals, insects, air and water. I weep for those in suffering.
That old saying WWJD (What would Jesus do) strikes me.

I think He would be steadfast and work to correct things, not be silent or ignorant.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

SHARING A POEM

I am sharing a poem I wrote. I know I have fallen down on updating my blog. So sorry. So this poem will do for now until I can get the inspiration to share once again. I hope you all enjoy it.

WALK BETWEEN STORMS

Rivulets of rain carve wrinkles
in the earth; feathered clouds
depleted of energy 
glide listlessly overhead.

Worms, expelled from sodden soil,
form mysterious script on the path,
native code talkers writing
alien communication.

Liquid diamonds quiver on a strand
 of spider silk, a bracelet adorning
the uplifted arm of a redbud tree
swaying to a rumba beat.

Rain-pasted leaves craft
a collage of natural hues
alongside the river running russet
with torn flesh from mountains.

Along the worn path miniature craters
comprise a moonscape
as wind wafts diminutive swells
across scattered puddles.

The fragrance of moist grass
is a heady aroma,
an aide memoire of
renewal and growth.

Returning home as rain begins again
I gaze through the wet window,
witness the writing of water
across it, and covet its clarity.


Rose Lefebvre 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

KINDNESS OF BELOVED FRIENDS

I had the bad luck of my computer, which was quite old, dying on me yesterday afternoon as I was downloading the information for my new $60 printer (old one died a few days before)  While it was downloading, I was editing a poem I had been working on and eager to be able to print out and share at my writers group meeting.  Then there was a click and the screen went black. It had died and was holding the disk for the new printer hostage inside!
I got in touch with a computer whiz who is a friend and he told me how to get the hostage disk out.  Did you know that there is a tiny hole on the side by the disk drive in which you can stick something pointy inside (I used A needlepoint needle) and it will eject the disk.  I had not known that and apparently several of my friends did not either.
I was telling friends in the writers group of my dismal circumstance and hoping I might be able to see if Sears sells laptops as I have a credit card I have not used in years. I thought maybe I could use it if they do.
This evening one of my friends (not sure she wants her name mentioned) called and said she and her husband wanted to come by to bring me a couple plants and visit and eat their McDonald's meal here.
I was thinking how nice she wanted to visit and perhaps cheer up my evening.  I was so surprised and happy.
To make a long story short, she and her hubby brought me 2 plants and a new laptop computer! I was so surprised and so touched by such kindness to this old lady.  The ate their meals and helped me figure out how to get it connected to the internet and do some other things on it.
I still cannot get over the wonderful surprise and the kind caring. She informed me that another friend is also involved in this kindness.  I am so blessed with good, caring, loving people in my life.
God will grace them for their wonderful act!!
A Post script added: I was informed that others who I know through my women writers group also donated to provide me with this new computer.  I am so grateful to them all for such a wonderful act of kindness.  I thank God for such wonderful kind friends.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HUMMINGBIRD, I HOPE YOU'LL BE FINE...

I was gazing out my window at the backyard and wishing the snow would all disappear *poof* but knowing that would not happen.  I had noticed a hummingbird sitting on a bench and sometimes on the branch of a tree 2 feet from the bench.  A couple hours later as I gazed longingly outside I saw the hummingbird was still there. I thought that highly unusual as they always seem to move around a lot,
After a short vigil, I went to do dishes and such. Then a couple more hours passed and the hummer was still there. I became concerned, so decided that with my cane and a walking stick (knew the walker would not work) I gingerly ventured out. The 3 steps off my deck and to the path were scary but holding tightly I managed to get down. Slowly with my camera around my neck (and praying I would not slip and fall) I ventured over to see if I could get a shot of the little bird.  I gently murmured over and over "Hi little hummer, don't be afraid" as I trekked.  I got within 3 feet and he/she did not take off! Slowly raising my camera I began snapping photographs.
The little dear looked right at me!
It moved from the arm to the back of the bench as I continued to snap away.
Hummer seemed to be curious but not concerned with my presence.
Then he/she flew up and went to a little tree closer to me. I could see the red on its chest and liked the color of my workshop behind it.
I think he was wondering what I was doing.
I started to shake so decided to head back inside.
Then once inside I worried about my little friend, so put some nectar into a shallow plate, took it out, and place a couple small branches to give something for it to sit on, and went back inside.
Whenever I checked from the window he was still in the same spots and there when it got to dark for me to see anymore.  I said a little prayer for him/her.
I am not sure if he drank from it, but hope he did. I have not seen him today. Maybe tomorrow,...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! SNOW STORM #4 HAS HIT US!!

*Sigh*  I am so tired of these storms!  We got between 8 and 9 inches here where I live. 
I cannot go for walks with my walker and my little Honda does not have the proper tires for driving in it so am homebound.  It is okay for a one time thing, but it sure has been too much now.  It closes all the schools and many businesses, causes so many to have accidents and not be able to get to work.  It is exhausting. But I do try to find beauty in all of this turmoil.  So here is the beauty I see as I gaze from my windows. The fir trees do take on a lacy look.
The neighbors Japanese maple looks so pretty.
I believe this is a redbud tree and it sure has great color for winter.
Plants in neighbors yard look so cool!
and the neighbors flag with snowy backdrop.
Various items in my backyard create cool designs.
Aliens!
My rusty garden art unicorn has a white mane and tail!
The little girl is all white and was blown to face the wrong way. She is usually teasing the cat!
Bonsai looks so lovely!
Apparently my deck cover has a leak and I discovered this icicle.
The gazebo looks so lovely in this setting in my garden. Cold but lovely!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

ANOTHER SNOW STORM: #3

It started snowing this morning around 10 am, took a lunch break for about one hour, and then continued its falling from these pewter skies (love calling them pewter as that is the color they have). 
The wind blasts off and on and makes it look more like smoke when it does!  I bet it is very cold outside. I have had my interior faucets dripping to try to avoid freezing! It was advised on the news. Last thing I need is a burst pipe! I do not even know where the turnoff is.I attempted to take photos of the snowflakes on my deck handrail but they are not great. You can see a bit of the details. I do not have a macro lens so did the best I could.
I like the way my outdoor mat looked with just a little snow on it. Now it is buried!
My yoga cats in the garden.

I tried to get a shot of the snow falling but not easy!
Here is the hand bird feeder filled with snow, and one of my metal art pieces for outside covered with snow.
My neighbor across the street has a flag flying and I took this shot in the snow with the wind.
I just have to throw in this photo showing the sunset last night! Colorful!
Last but not least, one of my cats, Mooshoo, all warm and cozy inside!
Kala is, too, but she is under the bed near a vent.
It is almost 3:30 pm and the snow is still falling here in Oregon City, OR.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

HOPEFUL PLANS IN 2017

I am still working on gaining back all the strength I lost since May 2016 and very hopeful to be able to do some adventures here in Oregon. So I have gathered information on just a few places I would love to visit with my camera, and hopefully maybe with a friend or two.  I have not been to these places and the photos seen on pinterest excite me about visiting them.

Doesn't this look amazing!
Thor’s Well, sometimes known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, is a strange natural phenomenon that appears to be draining water out of the sea. Right at the edge of the Oregon coast, Thor’s well is best seen at high tide or in stormy weather when the rock provides superb photo opportunities. Visitors to Thor’s Well should also check out the nearby Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, which boasts spectacular ocean views and the chance to spot migrating gray whales.

This place has a history!
Witches Castle--Forest Park in Portland, Oregon most notably the area around Balch Creek has some interesting history behind it as well as playing host to one of the area’s most famous haunted places.  In 1850, Danford Balch filed a land claim on this portion of land near what was then the fledgling settlement of Portland.  Danford’s land was large enough that he needed help in order to clear it.  He hired a transient worker named Mortimer Stump who was from Vancouver.  Balch allowed him to stay with the he and his family which consisted of his wife Mary Jane and his 9 children.
Mortimer was with the family so long that one thing led to another and he fell in love with Danford’s 15 year old daughter Anna.  Mortimer asked for permission to marry Anna but her parents refused.  The couple threatened to elope and Danford exclaimed that if they did he would kill Mortimer.  Well young lovers did not heed this warning and Mortimer ran off to Vancouver with Anna in November of 1858 where they were married.  This sparked a feud between the Balch and Stump families.
A few weeks later Mortimer, Anna, and some other members of the Stump family returned to Portland for some supplies and encountered Danford.  Having been nagged and tormented by Mary Jane to make good on his promise, Danford later claimed that his wife “bewitched” him into carrying out his threat to kill Mortimer and return their daughter to the family.  In a drunken stupor, Danford pulled a shotgun and shot Mortimer in the head.
Balch was promptly arrested, however the deteriorated condition of the wooden prison allowed him to later escape while awaiting his trial.  He hid out on his own property and was again found and arrested some 6 months later.  Danford Balch was put on trial and convicted for the murder of Mortimer and was hanged to death on October 17, 1859.  This was the first legal hanging that occured in the newly formed Oregon Territory.  Mary Jane continued to live at the Balch cabin, but at Danford’s request divided up the land amoung her children.
Over the years, the land was passed to various owners but was of little use and was given to the City of Portland by Donald Macleay in 1897 to be used as a park.  In the 1950’s a stone structure was built to house restrooms and a ranger station for the park near the site of the old Balch cabin. Over time this structure deteriorated from vandalism and was abandoned in the 1960’s.  This has since became known as “The Witch’s Castle”.  It is rumored that this was once a 1600’s trading post, however the existing structure was built almost 350 years later.  Whether a previous structure was there or not, it is unknown.
The Witch’s House is an easy half-mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society, or a slightly longer three-quarter mile jaunt starting from the Lower Macleay Parking lot at at NW 30th and Upshur. One can take the Aspen trail to get there. A great way of accessing the trailhead is to walk up on Thruman Street.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
This corridor is a 12 mile, forested, linear park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches.  This park was named in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent.  He and others of his generation felt this shining coastline should be saved for the public.  What gems they gave us: admire the 300-year old sitka spruce trees, gaze at the amazing Arch Rock and Natural Bridges, and walk the 27 miles of Oregon Coast Trail that weave through the giant forests.
Seaside prairies, spectacular vistas, secluded cove beaches, rugged cliffs and forested sea stacks come one after the other throughout this park.  Stand and ponder the old shell middens and wonder what it was like to live in a Native American village by the Pacific Ocean.
Cape Ferrelo loop: A 1-mile loop trail climbs the grassy slope (carpeted with wildflowers each spring) to the top of the cape for breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and photo-worthy Oregon sunsets. The cape is also an excellent spot for whale watching in fall and spring. Natural Bridges: Follow a short trail to one of the best viewpoints in the park—the seven iconic arched rocks and blowholes known as Natural Bridges. Here you’ll find a memorial to Dr. Samuel Dicken, who first envisioned the Oregon Coast Trail. 7 Arch Rock: From the paved parking lot, stroll down a short paved path to an overlook featuring a series of offshore sea stacks and islands. In spring, wildflowers brighten the meadows. Secret Beach and Thunder Rock Cove: From the small gravel parking area, enjoy the views of the cove while you look for migrating gray whales in the winter and spring. Follow a rough 3/4-mile trail down to Secret Beach. At low tide, head south around the rocks to find a secluded beach with lots of pools for exploring. 
a.    Starting in Lake Oswego, the Willamette Shore Trolley will take you on a scenic ride along the shore of the Willamette River in an authentic vintage trolley. Looks scenic!

The Hobbit Trail begins at a humble parking pull-out just north of Heceta Head State Park, 
and it can be easy to miss if you drive by looking for a more established trailhead.  The trailhead is literally right off the highway, which creates an intense juxtaposition; just as you rush across the road to escape oncoming traffic, you plunge into a deep and luxuriant coastal forest with walls of Sitka spruce and rhododendrons thick enough to close off your highway experience.  Immediately you will find a signed trail junction, where you should walk left to stay on the Hobbit Trail and get to the beach, or walk right if you’d like a longer hike to Heceta Head.  The trail down to the beach affords one or two more expansive views of the ocean, but the real pleasure of this trail is wandering through the interior forest.  At times it feels like you are in a hall decorated with salal and a root woven runner. 
From where you pick up the Hobbit Trail to the beach, it’s actually quite short – a 1/2 mile is all. And, frankly, the Heceta Head Lighthouse trail is more beautiful, but the Hobbit Trail did live up to its name with some very cool hiking as well, including the famed Hobbit hole portion that opens onto the beach.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is located at 5801 SE 28th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97202 between SE Steele and SE Woodstock. $4.00, 10 AM – 6 PM, March 1st – September 1st, EXCEPT no charge Monday & Tuesday. 
RHODODENDRONS IN BLOOM
February – July.
Peak bloom: late April – early May.
Paths are ADA-accessible.
Self-Guided: Booklet available at the Gatehouse.
Mt. St. Helen's from Sherrard Point.
 Located at the summit of the beautiful Larch Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, Sherrard Point is a little-known, jaw-dropping overlook that will blow you away. A short half mile stroll through an emerald green forest will land you on a mountaintop platform from which you’ll see an endless expanse of rolling green hills and Cascade mountain peaks. To get the lookout, you'll park at the Larch Mountain Trailhead and follow the concrete path through the woods for a quarter-mile. Near the end of the trail, the trees will end and you'll emerge onto this incredible observation deck (rimmed with a short fence) with panoramic views of the expansive Cascade wilderness.
a.    This beautiful cove is located 5 miles south of the famous Cannon Beach at Hug Point State Park. A leisurely half-mile walk from the parking lot will lead you to the enchanting Hug Point Waterfall. Fed by the lovely Fah Creek, The waterfall varies in magnitude depending on the season, ranging from an ethereal trickle to a full-on cascade. Over the years, the tide has carved unique caves into the cliffs, some of which are large enough to explore! Tide pools speckle the coastline here, full of glowing marine life. At low tide, you'll be able to see the treacherous road that was carved into the cliff long ago for stage coaches. This bumpy rock ledge is now often covered in muscles and tide pools. In some places, you can still see the tracks of the wagon wheels! Tides can change quickly, so make sure not to turn your back the ocean, especially when you're exploring tide pools or caves. You should only visit the beach at low tide, so be sure to check the tide charts before showing up.
Just a few of the things on my list!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

OH NO, WE GOT SNOW!

I live in Oregon City, OR and we do not get snow very often at all.  But last week and yesterday we got way too much. Yesterday's storm caused so much trouble; hundreds of accidents, people stranded, cars abandoned, roads moving so slow it was 2 mph so took hours to go short distances.  Over 600 kids were stranded at various schools throughout several cities and some did not get home til 11 pm. School buses filled with kids also got stranded and one slid on a hill and took out three vehicles, one with people in it.  Not good and I am sure the insurance companies will be busy for several days.
Me, I do not venture out in weather like this. I stay home. I look out my windows and keep bundled up.  I did take some snapshots from my viewpoints and here they are. The first shows my now defunked garden in the snow before it got really bad. We got 2-3 inches but it was lots of ice, too.
 
A feathered visitor hopped across my back deck.
 
a metal garden art butterfly was bedecked in snowfall.
 
A metal art piece blew down and was decorated.
 
Mooshoo watched snow fall and no visitors to the birdbath.
 
Some of my garden grasses in the white...
 
 
A blast of red in the stark white!
 
I also managed to get a few shots of birds out in the yard. Do not ask me what kind as my reply will only be-bird!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I want to toss in the photo I took of the super moon back in November. 
I am just hanging in there all bundled up and keeping warm.