Sunday, November 23, 2014

So Thankful

So thankful for wide open spaces, 

and fresh air, 

for indescribable beauty, 

for raw power and majesty, 

and colors that take your breath away. 

So very thankful for love, 

and peace, 

and hope, always.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A good place to reflect.

Reflection allows one to look at things in a different way. Somehow stepping outside yourself to view the reflection from another perspective. When we look at ourselves in a mirror, we get to see what others see of us. Well, mostly, anyway.

In cinematography, to see a reflection in a scene alerts the viewer of the reality of the matter, despite the script and actions of the players (an interesting technique used in mystery films, most notably by famous mystery director Alfred Hitchcock). One could go so far as to say that reflections are useful and necessary to get outside our limited perspective.

I feel the distinct need to reflect my current circumstance, as it stands. From inside my head, it seems extremely overwhelming - almost unbearable, at times. However, I'm sure it will seem diminished in intensity when it is over.
Fall semester is just about complete. In fact, there are 12 more actual class days for the Greek class, and far less for my religious class. A brief presentation and a culminating paper are all that are left for what has been an highly interesting and enjoyable upper-division  religion class. When I signed up for Church History with a focus on Women Reformers, it was really my second choice behind a course on the Eastern Orthodox Church. But, I have been so very pleased with this professor and the readings assigned in this course. I looked forward to the lectures, and the personality of the prof made it so worthwhile and memorable.

As for Greek class...to say its intense would be a pretty extreme understatement. It was billed as an "intensive Greek course," but was still supposed to be suitable for beginners. And, it was the only way to take Greek (as well as Latin), as the Classics Department was not offering these languages in a two-semester style, but rather this two-semester's worth of study crammed into one semester. I can tell you that this has not been a productive first-exposure to ancient Greek for me. It is most unfortunate that, in the rush of studying a chapter a day (it is a 5-day a week class for 8 credits), I have missed some foundational pieces of the Greek language puzzle. Most of the others in the class have had previous foreign language training, and even though I had 'studied' Hebrew for close to a decade, I was in no way prepared for this type of language study. It would have been a bit better if the textbook was more user-friendly (especially for beginners), but it is not...in fact, it is a respected text known as being the toughest but most comprehensive in the field of ancient Greek language study. It is most unfortunate for me (and my fellow students) that this expensive text would only be helpful if we already had a working ability within the language. In addition to all that, there are close-to-daily quizzes to encourage memorization. For me, all it encouraged was test-anxiety and destructive stress making it difficult to get to class every day. Even the prof is showing signs of the strain as we near the end of the term (in my view). In the final analysis, I will come out with a year of Greek on my transcript, a somewhat-ability to translate ancient Greek text as long as I have all my 'helps' at my side, including several Greek dictionaries, both English-Greek and Greek-English, as well as my many, many lists of supposed-to-be memorized word endings, prefixes, noun declinations and verb conjugations. Oh G-d, will I be glad when this class is completed!

As if that wasn't enough, we are moving. Yes, right in the middle of all this mandated study, the whole house is turned upside-down in the preparation for moving to another rental. The move will enable us to get away from a toxic landlord situation. But, I fear I will need those Zanax pills that are floatin' around in our medicine stash before it is done! I don't have to tell anyone how moving is a giant upheaval, right? I do like the rental we are moving into, and it is not owned by an individual landlord, but a profession property management company. This is a benefit because if there is any problems, we are protected as tenants by the landlord-tenant laws of the state. What we didn't know was that we were not covered with our current rental situation because the landlord did not own more than 8 properties. *shaking head* Can I just say that we will NEVER again find ourselves at the mercy of a landlord without legal recourse? Most people don't know about this small detail of the law, but tenant beware! If you are renting from a landlord with less than 8 rental properties, you as the tenant have no recourse in the case of dishonesty, slander, or fraud, except to take them to small claims court. And, I have heard (from a reliable source - the Tenants Union) that judges just don't have much time nor respect for these types of cases. Sheesh. But, I am so thankful that a management firm was willing to take us on as tenants despite the slanderous report of our former landlord. So very thankful. Onward and upward.

Awareness is a good thing. And, I gain more awareness every day. Awareness of how much I can take at school. Awareness of the difference between what I expected when contemplating university and the reality of attending. Awareness of how to stay out of bad landlord situations. Awareness of my own sensitivities and introverted tendencies, and how it is perceived (or not even noticed) by others. Awareness of the needs that I put aside for the comfort and benefit of others. Awareness of time passing and of my drive for perfection. And although all this awareness is good, I am searching for a way to deal with it all...a place to put it where it won't overtake me.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; 
whom shall I fear? 
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; 
of whom shall I be afraid? 
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh— 
my adversaries and foes— 
they shall stumble and fall. 
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; 
though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; 
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. 
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, 
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; 
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! 
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” 
Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me. 
Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. 
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O G-d of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. 
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, 
for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence. 
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
~Psalm 27

I am well aware that I give all of my time away to others. I don't get much time to write for pleasure these days - all my writing is done at the will of someone else and for critique. I do miss writing for pleasure. Spending time in reflection is necessary, indeed...and a vital part of writing for me. Through writing, sanity is regained - perspective is centered. A little time stolen to reflect, write and to be alone to recharge is not nearly enough, but it will have to suffice for now.
And, I am so very thankful for it.

On the Canal

forever felines - this is a fairly regular visitor
Ring-necked Duck male

a pair of Common Mergansers

beautiful Hooded Merganser

Don't plant anything you don't want eaten! This sweet little deer was born last spring, I'm certain.

American Wigeon female

and, my favorite, the Seagull guard

Sunday, November 16, 2014


If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, 
I shall feel that I have worked with G-d.
~G. K. Chesterton

Kitesurfing at Damon Point

Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without footstraps or bindings. "Kitesurfing" is a style of kiteboarding that's specific to wave riding. Kitesurfers use standard surfboards or boards shaped specifically for kitesurfing. There are different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and kitesurfing in the waves.  ~wiki

Friday, November 14, 2014

Just Ducky!

The Mallard that said goodbye to us last Friday
I am so happy to be back home. Thankfully, the week went by quickly and I made it through another 5 days of Greek torture....um, I mean class...and a heavily weighted exam in my religion class. Not sure how I did on that, but it is all past history now.

welcome home!

When we arrived, the sun was bright and low in the beautiful blue sky and a plethora of ducks were hangin' out in front of our place. Not our regular Mallards, but a bunch of different ones - so cool!

so happy to see this guy - a Hooded Merganser

and a young female

I'm thinkin' these are Ring-Necked Ducks

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Superdeeduper Sunny Saturday

We decided to take a 'day-trip' from our beloved North Beach to South Beach to see the property my Dad just purchased in Tokeland. On our way back from the amazing Washaway Beach (more on that in later posts, I'm sure), we stopped at this new little winery at the Westport Y.

stoppin' by the Cranberry Road Winery for a quick taste...
At this point the sunshine was so glorious I decided to bust out the camera. And since I had it out now, we decided to pay a visit to the local lighthouse.

The Grays Harbor Light, Washington's Tallest Lighthouse

love these types of shots

even the details mimick the design of the Lighthouse
 Then, it was off to Westport proper, but most of the shops and charter offices were closed for the season. So, we went to see the water...

Westhaven State Park, Westport - the favorite hangout for the surfers...
no surfers today, though.
And the highlight of the day was our stop at the Westport Winery. Warm and inviting, it boasts gardens, a restaurant, a gift shop, and FABULOUS wines!!

My new favorite - the Westport Winery