My way of ending a very special Thanksgiving day is to share this favorite poem.


with the night falling we are saying thank you 
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings 
we are running out of the glass rooms 
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky 
and say thank you 
we are standing by the water thanking it 
smiling by the windows looking out 
in our directions 
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging 
after funerals we are saying thank you 
after the news of the dead 
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you 
over telephones we are saying thank you 
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door 
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you 
in the banks we are saying thank you 
in the faces of the officials and the rich 
and of all who will never change 
we go on saying thank you thank you 
with the animals dying around us 
our lost feelings we are saying thank you 
with the forests falling faster than the minutes 
of our lives we are saying thank you 
with the words going out like cells of a brain 
with the cities growing over us 
we are saying thank you faster and faster 
with nobody listening we are saying thank you 
we are saying thank you and waving 
dark though it is


From Migration: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Copyright © 1988 by W. S. Merwin. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 

Being Thankful: Annie, Shelby and the Cat Kingdom

Yes... every day I am thankful for our dog and cat kingdom at Martin Creek Gardens . Most of the time all of them live in harmony. They provide companionship, devotion, and entertainment. All the cats were rescued or adopted. Shelby came from a famous litter on Summit Valley Rd. in Stevens County and Annie is our only registered pet.... from a great set of parents in Garfield, WA.
 Here is Lily, sister to Sweet William. She had been adopted at the feed store by our friends, but when Sherry died, we adopted the two of them.
 Annie, our springer spaniel. She loves solitude.
 Shelby, our Australian Cattle Dog ( red heeler) that loves to "be with."
 Junebug is sister to Grayson. She came from a lovely litter in Inchelium.
 Here is Grayson. When my student Victoria told me she had a litter, I had to go look. The rest is history.
 Isabelle is a loner now that she lost her brother Lucas. The litter was left out in the Colville National Forest, but a couple found them and adopted them out. We brought two home.  She is the one that loves to sneak up on our bed.
 Then there are the kittens, adopted in June. they also were left out in the Colville National Forest, but brought to an adoption group in Newport, WA. I found them online.  Meet Gracie and Winnie.
 Sweet William is a brother to Lily.
We have quite a collection of animals that each have a story. We are blessed with them every day.

Being Thankful: Updike, Poetry, Loveliness

There are so many poems that express the process of late fall. 
Even though we are not quite at this part of fall,
 I love this poem because if does display a certain loveliness. 


by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.
The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.
And yet the world,

In its distress,

Displays a certain Loveliness---

Being Thankful: The Beauty of Apples

 While exploring  the Methow Valley last week-end we discovered apples everywhere.

They were still remaining on trees where we were staying.

Others hung on trees along the road like Christmas ornaments.

Some appeared ripe while others seemed to be left on the tree after an early frost.

We know the deer will find much to feast on until the snow piles up.

Being Thankful: Aspens

I don't ever remember aspens being around when I grew up in Kellogg. I remember maples and elms, but no aspens.  I don't know when I first noticed the beauty of this tree. What I do know is when I have my camera and I am surrounded by these white-barked trees, I could take hundreds of pictures. The marks like eyes always intrigue me. Here are some aspen images from Mazama, Washington last week-end.

Being Thankful: Three Traveling Partners

We always try to plan a week-end getaway on Veteran's Day week-end. It is that time after first quarter, grades, and parent conferences. It is a good week-end to take a break. For the second year I loaded up with my three traveling partners and traveled to the Methow Valley of north central Washington state and enjoyed a quiet stay at a rental cabin. We didn't really care that it was foggy and rainy. I was still able to photograph my favorite aspens.

My traveling partners were JEJ, and our dogs Shelby and Annie. We rested, read books and magazines, explored,took pictures,walked the dogs, had good food and great coffee, and slept in. I think in this photo Shelby had just seen a very large buck along the river road.
We took a drive up the Chewuck River and appreciated the beauty enhanced with a sprinkling of snow.
We stopped at a SnoPark along the river for the dogs to take a run. All I needed was my traveling partners, my Idaho Vandal coffee cozy with a cup of hot coffee, and my camera. I was set.

Being Thankful :Billy Graham

Tonight we sat in our living room and were moved by thirty uninterrupted inspiring minutes of the ideals of  Billy Graham.  We both came to the conclusion that Billy Graham has never wavered from his same message. For six decades he has believed in forgiveness and the significance of the cross.  He said, 'With all my heart I want to leave you with the truth that He loves you and wants to forgive you of your sins."  My grandmother heard the same message with her black and white television in her house many years ago that we heard today. He delivered the message of hope we all needed to hear.

Being Thankful: Billy Collins, A Table, and a Poem

I  Ask You 
by Billy Collins

What scene would I want to be enveloped in
more than this one,
an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
floral wallpaper pressing in,
white cabinets full of glass,
the telephone silent,
a pen tilted back in my hand?

It gives me time to think
about all that is going on outside--
leaves gathering in corners,
lichen greening the high grey rocks,
while over the dunes the world sails on,
huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.

But beyond this table
there is nothing that I need,
not even a job that would allow me to row to work,
or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4
with cracked green leather seats.

No, it's all here,
the clear ovals of a glass of water,
a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,
not to mention the odd snarling fish
in a frame on the wall,
and the way these three candles--
each a different height--
are singing in perfect harmony.

So forgive me
if I lower my head now and listen
to the short bass candle as he takes a solo
while my heart
thrums under my shirt--
frog at the edge of a pond--
and my thoughts fly off to a province
made of one enormous sky

and about a million empty branches.

Being Thankful: Flowers and More Flowers

Today I am thankful for the beauty of flowers. I woke up to our first snowfall today and knew that the days of picking fresh flowers had probably come to an end for this year. Tonight I reviewed photo images of bouquets I had created this year from garden flowers. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy.

Being Thankful: Home, Hearth, and Soup

Today I am thankful for home, hearth, and soup. On parent conference days at school we put in a twelve hour shift with conferences ending at 7:00 p.m.
I was thankful to see the porch light of home as I drove down our dark country road and excited as two dogs ran out to greet me and a sweet husband was there to carry in my bag.
I was also thankful for a cozy,warm fire that greeted me as I entered the house from the cold night.
I was most thankful for the delicious, warm Mexican Cheese Soup JEJ had prepared in the crock pot for my late dinner. It really hit the spot!

Being Thankful: Maples, Mountain Ash, Native Grasses

 Today I am thankful for maples, mountain ash, and native grasses. While others 
around us were experiencing the first snowfall,we bathed in the lovely sunshine 
and spectacular colors of early November in our gardens. Enjoy.

Being Thankful: The Three Months of Autumn

 The three things I am thankful for today are September, October, and November.

September always represents new beginnings for me. New school year, new school supplies, new planner, new school shoes, and new energy to teach and learn for another year. With the changing light there are also new, different kinds of sunsets in September.

I have shared many reasons already on this blog about why I love October. October represents the beginning of a slower season in our gardening year. Less work, more appreciation of the beauty around us. I am thankful for outdoor fires, leaves turning, and quieter times sitting on the porch.

November is that month that naturally eases us into our winter hibernation period. Shorter days, less strenuous work in the gardens, more time for reading, writing, and resting. It also provides lots of time for counting the blessings of Thanksgiving and first snow.

Being Thankful

Each day up to Thanksgiving I will share three things I am thankful for each day. I could probably do this post every day until the new year and not cover all the things I am thankful for. I live a life full of blessings.

Today I am thankful for Friday. It has been a long week and I look forward to a quiet week-end and quality time spent with JEJ and the critters.

I am also thankful for my teaching partners. I work with some dedicated teachers that want what is best for our students each and every day. It is a joy to arrive at school and learn from them each day.

The third thing I am thankful for today is my students. I learn from them each and every day, even when they are dressed up crazy for Halloween.