Thursday, March 26, 2020

Finding a Light in the Dark

Hello, Dear Friends. 
As we wake to dark days, 
I pray that you are finding strength 
to shine the light of hope 
for family, friends, and all mankind. 

It's not easy when we hear and see so much sadness
and feel so much fear during this corona-virus pandemic. 

I know that I am struggling with how to keep 
myself on an even keel and not succumb 
to dark imaginations. 

I'm having more than my fair share of nightmares
lately, and I know that is just a manifestation 
of the fears we all face as we try 
to navigate this brave new world. 

Dark clouds invade my mind, but I try to push 
them away and focus on all that is bright and 
hopeful, by finding small things to bring a bit of 
joy to my days.  

My heart is very heavy right now with all 
of the suffering going on in these terrible times.
It's hard not to worry.....
especially for those loved ones we all hold dear. 

Not to mention all of the brave souls in the medical 
community; the doctors, nurses and the first responders.
The police, military and fire personnel, 
the grocery workers, pharmacists, aid workers, 
daycare and eldercare workers, 
suppliers and distributors, postal workers, 
 and those in government which are never able to rest. 

Our true heroes. 

I pray for all those who are sick and all those who 
have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  

Spring is here, while winter tries to linger on.....

Although, it quickly melts away. 

Dark clouds sometime reveal beautiful rainbows.

(Can you see the flock of birds flying by?
These are crows who have roosted in these hills 
for all the years that I have lived here)

The kindness of humanity that we see in dark times 
more than makes up for those that want to 
take advantage by sowing hate, fear and chaos. 

Light always overcomes the dark. 

I've spent some time in my sewing room creating 
masks for the Mr. and I. 

We are now in that high-risk age group. 
Don't ask me where the years went......

If you want to make some of your own, 
I found the directions at  The 'Button Counter' Blog.

(Just click on this link and it will take you there)

One 'Fat Quarter' will be enough to make two. 

(click on the link to bring you to a wonderful on-line shop
for supplies)

We took the masks with us last night when we ventured 
out for the first time in weeks, to go to the grocery store, 
an hour before it closed. 

We were nearly the only ones there......
There was a single gentleman
and a young couple - she with pretty, pale pink hair. 

But so many of the shelves were bare. 
No sugar, flour, soup or pasta. 
No toilet paper, paper towels or cleaners.
The only peanut butter was the chunky kind :) 

I managed to find some manicotti noodles,
at the back of the top shelf, which 
Ramblin' Man had to climb, 
and some stevia for our coffee, and an incredibly 
expensive bag of gourmet brown rice. 

There was plenty of milk, bread, eggs and produce, but 
the candy aisle was completely wiped out.

Ramblin' Man almost panicked, until he found 
some Hershey bars and lifesavers stuffed in the back. 

Speaking of Ramblin' Man, his dream of retirement 
at the end of this month has just come to a crashing halt. 

The day after he took our little grandson for a 'flower-picking' walk, 
his company begged him to stay on for a few months more. 
(He oversees a large network of distributors in 
the salty snack-food industry)

In this time of 'sheltering in place', people 
want that little something to snack on while watching all those 
Netflick movies with the family :)

And with what has happened to our, and everyone's 401-K, 
 we will be saving as much as we possibly can in the 
next few months for retirement.
We feel very blessed and grateful for this opportunity.
Luckily, he can do most of his work from home right now.

We have well-water that is safe to drink,
but tastes horrible due to the high mineral content,
so we always bought bottled water.
With all the hoarding, there was none to be found.

Our Big Berkey water filter came just in time.
I ordered it a month ago, to save money in retirement,
and I am so glad that I did!
(They are now on back-order due to the corona-virus.)
We now have unlimited, crystal-clear, delicious water,
and I couldn't be more grateful to have it.

We had several days of beautiful, sunny weather in
the mid-50's and I was able to get outside to work
in my gardens.

I call them 'gardens', but in reality, they are mostly wild,
ungoverned patches of ground-covers, ferns, wildflowers
and a few hardy 'domesticated' plants like daffodils,
bleeding heart, and hydrangea.

For almost 40 years I have tried to tame this wild, woodland
mountainside, much to my frustration.

I was in my mid-twenties when we moved here.
So young and naive :)

Over the years I have learned to work with nature.

Lemon balm springs up everywhere.
I grew some nursery plants years ago,
and they were happy here - so much so that they've
nearly gone wild.

The same can be said for 'Forget-me-not'. I bought
one little plant at a church sale many years ago,
and now they are everywhere. Soon they will bloom,
bringing the whole blue sky down to earth.

Foxglove grows wild here - brought by pioneer women
who created their own digitalis, a very potent heart drug.
These beautiful plants are deadly poison if ingested,
so extreme care must be used around children.

We had ponies when my children were young,
and they would eat almost anything,
but always left the foxglove alone.

Sedum seems to like it here, too, and these have grown
in my wildflower garden for many years, spreading
slowly around. They grow very tall and bloom for
months, eventually giving me dried bouquets.
I use sections of wire fencing formed into hoops
to hold up their long, heavy stems.

All of these plants are left alone by deer, rabbits and slugs.
I can't tell you how many times I have planted
something beautiful, only to find nothing but a few bare stems by morning.

Primrose, hosta, and marigolds come to mind.
These are only grown in pots on my deck now.

Live and learn.

I had a visitor land on my glasses while I was working.

I have no idea if he is a 'good bug' or a 'bad bug', but
it doesn't matter.
Anything that gets eaten doesn't get planted again.

It makes my life so much easier.

Editing is the key to happiness.

I splurged on these glasses.
They are 'Transitions'.
I don't have to use those ugly clip-on sunglasses anymore.
It's wonderful.
I highly recommend them.

Speaking of transitions - our warm, sunny weather has
given way to rain, hail, and fresh snow in the mountains.

The last evening of clear skies brought us a beautiful sunset
reflected on the Cascades.

Mt. Rainier looked like a scrumptious mound of cotton candy.

It's amazing how light can transform reality.

No matter how dark life seems right now,
we must always search for the light.


"In this world, you must be a bit too kind
in order to be kind enough."
- Pierre Carlet, novelist and dramatist -
"The basis of all good human
behavior is kindness."
- Eleanor Roosevelt, American first lady
and social activist -
"Wise sayings often fall on barren ground;
but a kind word is never thrown away."
- Sir Arthur Helps, writer -



  1. Beautiful post Karen...Haven't been able to capture such beautiful photos lately...
    Hopefully in the weeks to come...
    Self isolating here...crazy crazy days...stay safe my friend...💙
    Linda :o)

  2. Liebe Karen,
    mir ergeht es ganz ähnlich wie Dir! Die Sorgen um meine Familie, um Freunde - vor allem um die, welche schon deutlich älter sind, ist riesengroß!!! Bei uns in Deutschland gibt es viele Ausgangsbeschränkungen, und das ist gut so. Aber mein Enkel muss jeden Tag zur Arbeit, denn sein Job ist wichtig, für Altenheime, Krankenhäuser und andere Einrichtungen. So kommt er allerdings zwangsläufig auch mit vielen anderen Menschen zusammen...Ich bete und hoffe, dass er sich nicht ansteckt!!!

    Wir stellen jeden Abend eine Kerze in Fenster - als hoffnungsvolles Licht für ALLE, vor allem für die vielen Einsamen, die jetzt keine Besuche mehr bekommen können...Und unsere Kirchenglocken läuten jeden Abend, damit wir alle (jeder in seinem haus, in seiner Wohnung) weiß und fühlt, sie/ er ist nicht alleine! Auch wenn wir uns nicht in den Arm nehmen dürfen, wir sind trotzdem eine Gemeinschaft und wir sind in Gedanken beieinander!!! Es wird niemand vergessen!!! Es ist eine schlimme Zeit, aber wenn wir zusammenhalten, uns helfen ohne direkten Kontakt (z. B. einkaufen gehen für Ältere oder Kranke und die Waren vor der Türe abstellen u. v. a. m.), wenn wir diszipliniert sind, werden wir es schaffen!!! Aber es wird noch dauern, ich fürchte es wird noch sehr lange dauern, bis wir dieses Virus in den Griff bekommen!!!

    Ich denke sehr oft an Dich und ich bin sehr froh, dass Dein Blog noch da ist, und dass es Euch gut geht!!! Auf meinem Blog habe ich Dich ja in meiner Lieblings-Blogroll aber dort werden Deine neuen Posts schon sehr lange nicht mehr angezeigt!!! Und so dachte ich, Du hättest mit Deinem Blog aufgehört...Ich hatte schon befürchtet, es könnte Dir oder einem Deiner Lieben nicht gut gehen!!! "Gott sei Dank" scheint das nicht der Fall!!! Passt gut auf
    Euch auf und bleibt gesund!!!
    Alles, alles Liebe

    1. Hello, Dear Heidi, I am so glad that you checked in on me and so happy to hear that you are safe and healthy, still. I love your dear thoughts and the sweet way that people are trying to be in solidarity there in your beautiful country. I think that lighting candles in windows is so wonderful! I pray for you and your loved ones, especially your dear grandson and hope that we all come through this terrible time with a new respect and mercy for each other and our world. I Know that my blog is not updating on some blog rolls - you might have to delete me and then re-follow. I will put you on my blog roll so we don't lose touch again, my friend. Sending you hugs and blessings xo Karen

  3. Dearest Karen, I will be praying for you sweet friend. These times are indeed challenging. It is surreal going to the grocery store nowadays. I am glad you found some things. Take each day as it comes. Finding even one small grace makes the burden lighter. xo

  4. Who would have thought a month ago we'd be in this predicament! Stay safe and let's hope the virus is soon brought under control before too many people succumb to the illness. What a great job the health professionals are doing. x

  5. Oh Karen, I'm glad you are safe and at home. What a beautiful home and space to be. Just seeing spring come to your mountains (all right, a little snow too) is lovely. I understand and feel the same collection of emotions you share here. Gratitude and concern, even fear; frustration, rethinking things as we look toward the future. I'm so glad we can share our thoughts and feelings online with each other. The rainbow is stunning and a wonderful metaphor to carry in our hope baskets. We need to fill them with all we can.

  6. Hello dear Karen, thank you for another lovely, inspiring post. The beginning looks gloomy but gradually more and more rays of hope start to appear.
    When I see the maps of Covid-19 cases in your country and especially in your state, I send good wishes your way... Not that they would really help, but it's the only thing we can do, try to contain the spread of the disease locally and try to hug our friends virtually. :)
    Your spring garden looks lovely and your sewing room makes me dream.
    Stay safe and healthy! xoxo

  7. Hi Karen, I am glad that you and your husband are ok. It's too bad about the food shopping and hopefully in time the shelves in the grocery stores will be stocked more. It's great that you were able to sew the masks to wear when you both go out. I was thinking of trying to crochet one to wear. I just use a scarf wrapped around my face when I go out. It's so beautiful looking at the mountain and your gardens. I just bought online some trays and seeds to plant indoors and then transplant them outside. I can't wait until everything is safe again. Thanks for the visit to my blog and be well and safe. Julie xo

  8. Greetings Karen, Glad to hear you and your husband are weathering the coronavirus storm. Food shopping has really become a challenge. Love all the pictures and narratives.

    Stay well

    Hugs diane

  9. Adorable post,and perfect for these difficult days.God keep you and your family safe and health.We are in His hands.Blessings,my dear friend.Your photos are stunning as ever.

  10. Hello Dearest Karen! I'm so happy to hear that you're both doing well - even with the grocery store struggles. I hope the nightmares stop - and you're so right that the Light always defeats the Dark. I'm also glad that you're taking it seriously and not going out much and wearing your masks. It has become such a crazy uncertain world. But the beauty of humanity has been seen everyday. God is still so good and always there. The flowers still bloom. And we're grateful and blessed for one more day. 😊
    Sending you huge hugs and prayers for your safety and health. Have a lovely weekend. 🙏 😘 ❤️

  11. Hi Karen, I’m sorry your hubby’s retirement plans are put on hold for awhile, but good that you can save more. I like the masks, and have been thinking of making some myself. This all seems so surreal to me. I’ve had the same experience of shopping. I had to go to several stores to find flour, canned tomato products, and pasta. I’m praying for the whole world and thankful for our unsung heroes.
    Stay safe and well, and yes, we will always look for the light! 😘

  12. Karen, good to hear you are doing well. This all was such bad timing for those retiring I heard on the news, so glad that he is able to stay in for just a little longer and help with your retirement. How wonderful that you ordered that filter just in time. My brother lives on land with a well and when we go stay with them we always take our own water with us.
    Such Gorgeous pictures, love the rainbows, and beautiful sunsets!
    You all take care!

  13. Hello Karen, thank you for your calming and gentle words. Its amazing when, even so far apart, we all have the same fears, hopes and attempts at being positive and pragmatic.
    You're so right, we must always look for the light. These times will pass. We can each do our bit to slow down the spread of this virus.
    I like how you've made masks - a great idea. We had quite a few left over after the recent bushfires... who would've guessed that they would be used for something other than smoke. Life is full of twists and turns and, yes, its the kindness of others that gets us through.
    So sorry your shops are also lacking in items. It has created imaginative recipes and ways of coping. A lot of humour has sprung up in response to the hoarding-tendencies of some folk and it feels good to laugh now and then.
    Good cheer to you and your dear man Karen. All the best xx

  14. let me say that you have gift to say everything so beautifully and kindly dear Karen

    your words have healing power and fall gently on the land of my heart ,what a peace to read you my friend
    how amazing that you been living within lap of nature since you were so young ,for kind souls like you this connection works magically and transforms them into more sweet and precious beings !

    your wild garden is splendid , being from a village i am fan of such raw green place with wild blooms ,they seem true call of nature when look at them ,i can imagine how important it is to stay close to nature specially during such hard times
    masks you made look good ,thank goodness you were able to get sweet water my friend !
    here no such problem about shortage of basic items ,hope authorities do something to solve it quickly
    happy sewing Karen ,this is tranquil way to transit your thoughts into beautiful things :)
    wishing your hubby serene retirement days ahead
    i hope your precious family is doing fine as well!
    stay well ,safe and healthy my friend.hugs!

  15. A series of beautiful sentences accompanied by photos beautiful also ..

    Have a nice days and stay safe

  16. Oh, that sweet Robin coming to see you, Karen, and that beautiful rainbow! I'm glad you are well and working on projects around the house during this worrisome time. The masks that you sewed was a good idea. The photo of the daffodil covered with snow is so pretty. And I smiled when I saw the lady bug. It's so special to me. I'm glad you were able to find the essentials at the store and those Hershey bars for your husband. ; ) Chocolate is a must when I go grocery shopping. There were lots of food this morning when I went to the store, but there was no flour for baking. But I did find spaghetti! I was so happy to fill my cart, cause it makes me uneasy going to the store right now. Mount Rainier is beautiful, and the way you described it as a mound of cotton candy is perfect. Your garden is coming along so nicely, and that lady bug photo is wonderful.

    Thinking of my friend in the mountains, and hoping she stays well. : )


  17. Firstly I want to send you a big hug all the way from Thailand to you and Rambling Man now working beyond his retirement. How lucky were you to have him with you to do the grocery shopping and get to the back of the shelves? You will both smile as you munch on your chunky peanut butter sarnies (sandwiches if you don't get my Aussie!) and you ration the gourmet overpriced brown rice.
    One day we will look back on this as the time that the world stopped and we wondered if we would ever breath again. But families reconnected and we all decided to do what you learned years ago when you worked out that you had to work with nature in your garden. Those of us that can go with the flow will get through this more easily. You've got this Karen as the little birds flying over your rainbow showed... work with whatever the universe is sending us oh and wear the masks as you head out and keep searching for the crock of gold in all this - it is truly worth finding :)
    Take care my friend.
    Wren x

  18. Karen, this is such a beautiful post. I love how your gardens reflect your words. No matter how you say them and what way you say them, they always come back beautifully. Your's is the kind of garden that I love. Something that comes back every year almost entirely on its own. My garden is somewhat like that but not to the beautiful extent that your's is. I am scared too, but I haven't had any nightmares yet. Sorry that your hubby can't retire quite yet but when you talk about 401K's that might be a blessing for you now. Our's is so diminished and that is one thing I am afraid of. Everything looks beautiful at your home. I love the snow on the bright colored flowers. Keep well my friend, keep writing, and take care..xxoJudy

  19. Such a beautiful post, Karen. So good to hear from you and catch up. We have been in lockdown for a couple of weeks now, with no end in sight, and the news is quite grim. Blogging has been such a safe haven and crafting as well. Stay well and safe.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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