Make Up Your Own Story!

Day’s Verse:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
James 3:13

Here are the pictures, in chronological order. Make up a story to go with them!

Picture 1:
Cannon Beach-Seaside Walk: Beginning

Picture 2:
A Seal!

Picture 3:
Looking back towards Cannon Beach

Picture 4:
Ian and the big root ball

Picture 5 and Picture 6 (simultaneous):
Cannon Beach-Seaside Walk: End (Ian)

Cannon Beach-Seaside Walk: End (Katie)

For those who just want the answer, here it is. Continue reading “Make Up Your Own Story!”

Quick Seaside Update

Day’s Verse:
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17

Here we are in Seaside! The weather has held so far, giving us sun and rain showers intermittently. If we’re really on the ball we can dash outside when it’s sunny, walk around for an hour, and get home just as the pouring rain starts.

We spent the last couple days doing Seaside things, taking walks, reading indoors when it rained, and revisiting Ian’s nostalgic spots. If you’re curious where we’ve walked, check the Activities sidebar and click on any of the activities for a map and more details.

Today we got up to sun, and I felt ambitious, so I rode my bike to Fort Stevens — not a particularly challenging ride, only a little over 20 miles (in my head I now think of that as half a day’s commute) and fairly flat. The challenges weren’t terrain related: The route I’d chosen took me on non-roads, as happens sometimes when you blindly trust Google maps; the air pressure in my tires was alarmingly low, I forgot to bring a pump, and the bike shop didn’t open for an hour and a half, longer than I wanted to wait; and, although the thermometer said 40°F outside, as I rode through Gearhart I noticed ice around the edges of the puddles. Then, too, the intermittent heavy rain started up, making me glad I’d worn booties but sad I’d not worn warmer pants. I was quite cold by the time I got to Fort Stevens and (eventually) met up with Ian, who’d driven there. After I changed clothes and had a snack, I felt perky again, so we looked at the South Jetty and then checked out the wreck of the Peter Iredale a bit further on. Here’s the jetty, and an “at arm’s length” self portrait of us:

South Jetty Fort Stevens

Ian & Katie Seaside 2010

Also, we stopped at the now-open bike shop and bought a pump and some lube, both of which will reside in Seaside permanently.

The rest of the day looks like it’ll go down about like the previous days: Calm, relaxing, and literary. Thank you, Fergusons, for making it possible!

Off to See the Wizard

Day’s Verse:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

…the wonderful Wizard of Seaside.

That just doesn’t have the same ring, somehow. In any case, Ian and I leave this morning for a little vacation to his parents’ vacation home in Seaside, Oregon. We’ll be there through next Sunday, so expect little in the way of updates for the next week or so.

Fortunately for us, the weather turned very warm yesterday a little before noon, and by this morning the snow has entirely melted. That makes the prospect of an all-day drive to the Oregon coast much more enjoyable. The forecast for Seaside: highs in the 40s and rain. I’m bringing my bike; Ian’s bringing a laptop. We should be all set.

Thankful For Hummingbirds.

Day’s Verse:
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
James 2:18

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Here’s a little story about food for you on this day of eating and thankfulness.

During the summer, Ian and I noticed hummingbirds floating around our house fairly regularly. It took us a while to figure out that the previous owners had hung hummingbird feeders out, and the birds kept coming back even when the home changed hands. Not wanting to disappoint our avian friends, we got a feeder and put it out back where we can see it from our couch. Occasionally we’d be delighted to catch a glimpse of a hummingbird darting in for a sip.

Fast-forward to the last few days. Temperatures have dipped into the teens and 20s, and I’m happy to have a warm place to stay out of the weather. Earlier this week as I sat in our fluffy chair reading, a darting black shape caught my eye. Sure enough, a hummingbird had come to try to use our feeder — which had frozen solid, like all the other liquids outside. I felt bad. I immediately brought the feeder in, melted it, and hung it back outside. Over the next couple days, I saw more use of that feeder than we’ve had in the entire time before. At least two different birds use it regularly. Wait a few minutes and a hummingbird is sure to come by for a snack. I’ve had to melt the nectar a couple of times, but now the temperatures have gotten close enough to freezing that it’s staying liquid on its own.

Lots of questions come to my mind as I watch the birds feeding: What kind of hummingbirds are they? Don’t hummingbirds migrate?! How can they stay alive in 20°F weather? What are they eating (besides our nectar)? Well, some Internet research suggests that they may be Anna’s hummingbirds, and if so, that answers the migration question, too: apparently Anna’s hummingbirds don’t migrate from the Northwest. I guess they can handle the occasional cold snap, and they must have some kind of winter food. We’ll just keep leaving our feeder out.

Find the hummingbird!
Hummingbird: Find Me

Give up? OK, here he is:
Hummingbird Perched

Yum, nectar. My very favorite Thanksgiving food.
Hummingbird Feeding

More Snowy Thoughts

Day’s Verse:
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Philippians 2:17-18

Home in the Snow
Ian took this picture when he got home around 4:00. By the time I got home at 6:00, snow had accumulated on the road and anything wet was now ice.

I am super duper glad that I didn’t have to commute to Seattle today. The morning wasn’t remarkable, but by tonight, the roads that had previously been wet had iced over quite thoroughly. Studded bike tires would’ve gotten me home, but I wouldn’t have been happy about it. I saw a few cautious souls creeping their cars down Brickyard Road — which the City of Bothell rates as a Priority 1 snow treatment road — but I had Dad drop me off at the top and I walked home.

It took us many hours to drive to Darrington, many hours of creeping around by car on the Mountain Loop Highway to find a couple of OK trees, and many hours plus several windshield-wiper-de-icing stops to get home again. We weren’t about to slip and slide up and down our hill after all that.

But we have Christmas trees! …Actually, both will reside outside Mom and Dad’s house for a couple of weeks, until Ian and I return from Seaside. The point is, we did it and we had a fun snow adventure without any mishaps. And if Ian and I still have no groceries or dinner plans because I spent all day tree hunting with Dad, well, that’s just the price we pay.

23 Nov 2011 – Edited to add:
2011 Christmas Tree Hunting
Here’s me with one of our Christmas trees. Raaaaahhh!

PS – Jane, you can barely see it, but I’m wearing a fuzzy green hat you gave me. It was so warm and cozy! My ears say “Thank you.”

Snow and Big Steps

Day’s Verse:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

This is my first workday after finishing AmeriCorps, and it looks like the perfect day not to go anywhere: All the buses are on a snow schedule, the Seattle Times is reporting on snow preparedness activities, and Weather Underground predicts — drumroll please — 1 to 3 inches of snow in our area today, with afternoon winds above 20 mph from the north-northwest (which is the direction I would be riding home in the afternoon). Yesterday Cliff Mass, a UW meteorologist, predicted very little snow for the Seattle region today, but even so, I’m happy not to commute in to the Bicycle Alliance today. Now, tomorrow looks sunny and cold, a perfect day to execute my plan to ride the entire length of the Burke-Gilman/Sammamish River Trail.

My plan for today? Dad and I are going to Darrington to hunt for a couple of wild Christmas trees. This is the first year Ian and I will have our own Christmas tree. Somehow it feels like a big step. We don’t have very many ornaments or Christmas decorations, and what we do have are mixed in with our parents’ Christmas stuff, but that’s OK. It’ll be more of a minimalist-themed tree this year.

Another big step moment was when I went out and put protective coverings over our faucets. It’s funny: owning and maintaining a home is full of all these small things, each of which reminds me that we are responsible for this building. It’s intimidating, and believe me, I’d be happy if somebody else raked the back yard or vacuumed occasionally; but generally I’ve been happy to do these things because this place is becoming home.

Woo!

Day’s Verse:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11

My AmeriCorps internship is officially over! Yesterday I carpooled down to Trout Lake with a couple other interns; everybody filled out piles of evaluation and exit paperwork — including, as is typical for the AmeriCorps program, an exit form identical to the one we all had to fill out online — and had a graduation ceremony complete with certificate and photo slide show.

Other things I say “woo!” about:

Our library, complete with books on the shelves:
Bookshelves: Filled 2

Bookshelves: Filled 1

Getting home safely late last night. Thanks to AmeriCorps coworker (is that the term?) Nathanael, who drove us safely home from Hood River last night.

Hanging out with Karissa today. We bought a box of books for $8 (the box was nowhere near full), poked into a number of touristy shops in downtown Snohomish, and ate lunch at Fred’s Rivertown Ale House, and carried the box of books back to Karissa’s house.

Gorgeous sunny winter days. It felt like winter, for sure — never got above 40°F, and the mountains had heaps of gorgeous snow. Clouds moving in now, and potentially some snow in the forecast.