Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What I am seeing these days.

I took this photo by accident and almost deleted it.  But then I thought that it reflected a part of my life.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately.  I did not love the book in the picture nor the author's other book Sarah's Key.  They were just okay with endings that were too tidy.  However, I am loving the Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley.  These books are funny, smart and just a great read.  They are written for adults but the protagonist is an eleven year old girl with a flair for poison and chemistry.  They are mysteries without blood, gore or sex.  They take place in post WWII England in a small village. The first is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

Other things that I am seeing-beautiful fall flowers.  I got these at the Portland Saturday market.  It can be faster for us to drive to downtown Portland (if there is no traffic) than across town to the western part of Vancouver.  The Saturday market is an arts and crafts market with a fair share of the tattoed and dreadlocked.  I avoided the incense but got these and a few gifts for Elisabeth's upcoming birthday.

Speaking of Elisabeth-here is the shawl that I knit her,  not very attractively position on our sofa.  I do like it. It turned out to be pretty big after I blocked it.

Here is a close-up of the Indian Pillar stitch that is the main stitch in the shawl. And by main, I mean I knit hundreds of them.  Close to 1000.  The basic pattern was one knit, one Indian Pillar Stitch and yarn overs on each end.  I didn't know how to make an Indian Pillar stitch before this shawl but now I am an expert.  

This is a little sweater that I knit for our sweet little foster son in China. There is a simple cable on the front.  The side seams and neck are not quite finished.  However, when I took it off the needles, Paul told me that it would never fit our little guy.  Indeed, I read the wrong numbers and it is too small.  So I started another one in a bigger size.  Sigh....now I need to find a toddler for this sweater.

Paul and I drove up the Columbia Gorge on the Oregon side and stopped off at this museum.  This basket really caught my eye-look at the detail on the top of the basket.

The other baskets with the top basket-so intricate and lovely.

The history of the Chinese workers in the West in fascinating.  There were several displays about the Chinese workers in the area-both their positive impact and the racial prejudice.  The displays as a while were pretty honest.  They also had several about the positive impact of missionaries in the area-always good to read about!

We drove up to The Dalles which is close to the high desert. Outside of the museum was this monkey brush. It was all over the place and there were bees all around.

The mountains and desert brush as the sun starts to go down.  Really lovely.

Life here is so different than life in China.  In China, I often longed for peace and nature.  Here, I find myself missing the frenetic aliveness that is China!  We are settling in well, adapting to being back in pastoral ministry.  We had a vision casting retreat a while ago.  Now for the hard work of putting feet to the vision.
I am still unemployed and a little surprised to find myself without a job.  ESL is a very competitive field here. I have resumes and applications all over the place and have interviewed several times at places that had no positions available.  I have started volunteering at our local junior college  ESL program one morning a week so that I don't have a gap in my resume and so that I can keep current.  It's very humbling to be in this position!
Fall studies have started at our church.  Small groups are studying Love Walked Among Us:  Learning to Love like Jesus by Paul Miller.  We hope this will have an impact on individual families and marriages as well as our church.

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