All posts filed under “Glimpses of Life

comment 0

Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria and Disaster Relief – A Christmas Project

Ever since hurricane Maria pounded the island of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, it has not been able to get anywhere near recovery.

Early on I found a non profit organization by the name of ADRA Puerto Oeste who was working diligently in the community of Mayaguez and the surrounding areas providing meals and food boxes.  Through the US postal service, I have shipped them food and hygiene products.

Currently they are collecting toys for the low income children in that area.  In addition, they accept monetary donations for the toys and other items like mattresses, tarps (a lot of people don’t have roofs on their homes still), Ensure Glucerna, powdered milk, etc.

Feel free to head over to their Facebook page to see the work that they are doing.

And if you’re interested in helping, here are a couple ways:

1) Give a donation to them directly through PayPal and mark it Proyecto Navidad and they will do the shopping on their end. The name of the Director is Adelina Reynoso and you can search for her name on PayPal. If you’d like a charitable receipt, just put your name, address, email and phone number in the notes section and advise her how you’d like to receive your receipt either via email or regular mail. I have sent several donations their way from friends and they are very responsive with sending receipts.

2) Mail your donations/toys to them directly. You can shop/ship for yourself or order through Amazon. The address to ship to is:

ADRA Puerto Rico Oesta

Barrio Algarrobo

Sector Cuba 1060

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, 00681

(Note: Amazon can take up to 3 weeks for delivery, USPS is taking about 2 weeks so time is of the essence)

Most of the children in that area do not read English so any items donated shouldn’t have any lengthy English instructions. All ages are in need.

Thank you for your consideration in helping the children of Puerto Rico.

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

Well, autumn is officially here and almost gone.

I never tire of the beautiful colors that our neighborhood affords us.  God’s beauty simply cannot be outdone.

Autumn in Minnesota

The colors are so vibrant and, even though this signifies the trees are dying, it brings a sense of joy with its beauty.

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

Anyone ready for a walk?

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

But then, of course, there’s always a downside to so much beauty … raking leaves.  (hehe)

It’s fun the first couple of times, but when you have to leaf blow the driveway every day or every other day, this middle aged body gets sore.

Driveway Leaves, Autumn in Minnesota

I hope you’re enjoying your autumn wherever you are.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

A Late Autumn Getaway

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Traveling through southern Minnesota, we finally made it to our destination where we had rented a cottage through Airb&b called the Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska.  This is the second time I’ve used Airb&b and it has worked out great.  (Have you ever used them before?)

Our cottage had a view of a bay off of the Mississippi River.  It looked beautiful to me but my husband said there was “scum” in the water.  Well, if scum can be beautiful then this was it.  Kind’ve an olive green, no?

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Here’s another view.

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

We sat on the bench and watched the sun go down one day.  It was magnificent!

Sunset, Onalaska, Wisconsin

The cottage had a view of the water from the deck and one of the bedrooms.

LaCrosse, Wisconsin Cottage

The inside of the cottage was quaint and comfortable.  I like when the wifi works with no glitches.

I was really impressed with the mother/daughter team that rents this cottage out.  They were proactive in getting in touch with me and checking to see if we needed anything.  The cottage was quaint and clean.

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

The restaurants nearby had really good food.  I was especially surprised at how good the food was at the Red Pines Bar and Grill in Lacrosse, Wisconsin which was nearby.  They even knew how to make sweet potato fries that weren’t greasy!  Yum!

Across the street from the cottage we were able to take a trail through the National Wildlife Refuge.  And for the first time in my life, I can say that I walked through a trail of grasshoppers.  I don’t know why there were so many out but as we walked the grasshoppers on our path hopped out of our way.  Very very odd.

National Wildlife Refuge, Onalaska, Wisconsin

National Wildlife Refuge, Onalaska, Wisconsin

This is definitely an area that I would like to visit again.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

Autumn in Seattle

Autumn Begonias, Washington

Almost every year I visit friends in Seattle.  It’s always nice to keep in touch with people you can count on at any time.  I once heard that you can count your friends on one hand.  I’ve been fortunate that I can count them on two.  And you?

The weather was perfect while I was there.  The Richmond Beach area (right outside of Seattle) is such a peaceful and beautiful place to visit and my friends backyard was still in autumn mode.

I can sit here all day ~ so peaceful.

Autumn Backyard, Shoreline WA

The begonias were still in full bloom in mid-October.  Quite impressive!

Autumn Begonias, Washington

A quick drive to see the Olympic Mountains, even if there wasn’t much snow on them yet, was perfect to end the day.

Olympic Mountains, WA

Have you visited the Olympic Mountains before?  In winter, on a clear day, they are majestically beautiful.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

A Late Summer Walk – William O’Brien State Park

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

The William O’Brien State Park is one of my favorite places to go for a walk.

Choices … choices.  A stroll next to the St. Croix River or through the woods. This time, the walk through the woods won out and with very few people out walking, it made the walk even more peaceful.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect.  Sunny with occasional restful clouds floating by.

Sometimes I look at nature and it looks messy to me – grasses growing amidst weeds and flowers with an occasional bug flitting in and out of the mess.

Yet it reminds me that this is how life is also.  No day is exactly the same and sometimes the stress of illness, work or family drama all blends together.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

And then … it’s as if someone pulls a blessing out of the sky and plants it right in your path. The heart goes back to breathing regularly, the drooped shoulders relax and the furrowed brows line disappear.

These are the small moments of blessing that I look for every day.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

Sometimes ~ just around the bend ~ a large blessing stares me in the face.  Unexpected and breathtaking, it brings such joy to my heart.  Today, it was a pair of swans sitting on a beaver dam. Although the dam looks messy, the beavers spent much time putting those sticks in an orderly fashion.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota, Swans

And suddenly, my cares wash away as a field of grass lies before me.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

And it’s enough. Enough to overcome any stresses for the day.

“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth.”  Psalm 104:14

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

An Early Minnesota Autumn

11 days from September and the leaves are starting to change color on both the trees and the hostas. They have called summer over. Now if only the weather would catch up — 84 today with a “feels like” temperature of 94 with oppressive humidity.

Yet an early autumn we will have as nature is always right.

Trees Changing Color

Summer Hostas Changing Color

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

Of Deer, Repellant and Plants

Hosta Walkway, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

A couple or so weeks back, we went out of town for a few days. We had fairly nice weather at our Chicago destination but back “home” in Lake Elmo, it rained and rained.  And, rain in our area is not necessarily a good thing.

This year we decided to plant one tomato plant and surround it with marigolds as deer don’t like the smell of marigolds.  It should have been a good deterrent, right?  Wrong.

The deer hopped over our 3 foot mesh fence and ate the one ripe tomato from our plant in spite of the smell of the marigolds surrounding it.  It’s as if they reached right over the marigolds to get their fill of our tomato.  Sigh …

Deer Eaten Tomato Plant

So ~ I’ve given up.  No tomato plants next year. The sage and thyme plants weren’t touched as deer supposedly don’t like the smell of those herbs.

Deer Eaten Tomato Plant

Part of the problem is when it rains, you have to head outside and spray the outer area to keep the deer away.  Whether it’s hosta flowers (ugh) or tomatoes, the deer will chomp on things they find tasty especially if they don’t have repellent on them.

Deer Eaten Hosta Plant

And because we travel sometimes, we aren’t always home to spray the repellent on the hostas and surrounding area.

Deer Eaten Hosta Plant

So ~ no beautiful hosta flowers this year. No tomatoes.  The deer have won.  My garden will never look like this:

Hosta Walkway, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Next year, the hostas will grow where they are planted, we’ll spray when we’re home, then we’ll just let nature, er, deer, take their course.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
comment 0

Reflections On Kabetogama Lake – Minnesota

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Staring off into the distance on a stormy day, the gray and white clouds on Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota mesmerized me.  My mind wandered into nothingness. There was no need to think.  Devoid of thought relieved me of all the noise that the world throws my way every day.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota Clouds

The darkening sky did not deter me from experiencing the peace the sky afforded me.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota, Clouds

So I kept coming back to this spot to observe the color changes in the sky.

Looking to my right, a mixture of light and blue skies filled the sky.  Such beauty.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

As I turned my head even more to the right, I continued to see more light. The contrast of dark clouds with blue skies made me reflect on humanity and how our lives ebb and flow with each day.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Each person has their own journey ~ sometimes it’s clear and other times it’s stormy. Sometimes it’s both. But, outside of stepping out of this world, we must continue on the journey keeping our eyes fixed on the beauty that exists in our current moment.

It’s not always easy.

As I enter my “golden years” I find myself reflecting a little more each day on this life journey. I am a changed person from who I was 10 years ago or even 50.

Almost Sunset on Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Stop. Reflect. Grow.

I wish I had had this wisdom many years ago as heartaches I held onto would have healed over quicker. I have learned though not to have regrets as each moment was a step to greater growth.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email