A Few Alberta Photos Day 4

Tomorrow will be my last post for a few weeks. Hope you are blessed by the beauty of God’s creation in these photos.

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

www.esvbible.org/Psalm+24 

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Sunlight and shadow

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Winter’s first kiss

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Beyond the valley

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Vivid contrast

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Beautiful Banff National Park

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Frozen fence

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In the spotlight

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A Few Alberta Photos Day 2

Frigid temperatures arrived Sunday night and we are in the minus 20’s C (below zero F for all my American friends,)  These pictures were taken before the deep freeze hit, but most are still pretty wintery.

I am blessed that God has allowed us to live in such a beautiful part of the world. As you look at these photos, perhaps you’ll take a moment to reflect on Psalm 8 where the psalmist praises God for His majesty, glory, and creative artistry.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

http://biblehub.com/esv/psalms/8.htm

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Majestic views

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Lake Minnewanka

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Canmore

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Sun and snow fence

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Breathtaking beauty

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The mundane sparkles

Friday’s Fave Five

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Upcoming trip We are preparing to meet a special young man next month, our newest grandson, James. We’ve never been to China before and have found the process for obtaining visas quite interesting (and more expensive than we had anticipated,) but we now have all the formal stuff in place. Tuesday our oldest daughter drove me downtown to pick up the visas. It was fun to spend time together, and because I am directionally deficient, I am grateful for her excellent navigational skills in getting me safely downtown and back again!

Laughing babies There is nothing quite like a laughing baby to make people smile. Some giggle, some chortle or snort, and some have the most adorable belly laughs. I’m looking forward to hands-on time with my newest grandson, but until then, other sweet babies in my life are a real joy and blessing.

US College Football I enjoy US college football, and following Ohio State in particular. Because we had a trial membership of Sirius radio, we listened to the Ohio State Michigan State game as we drove back from our church leadership meeting last Saturday. It was a real nail-biter, but so much fun to listen to!

Cupppa There is nothing like a hot cup of tea (or a tea latte) on these colder days. Because of my food sensitivities I can no longer have coffee or black teas. Green teas are my favorite and I am learning to enjoy caffeine-free rooibos options in the evening.

Cards and Photos It was very foggy as we drove back from our trip to the mountains. I captured several intriguing fog-influenced scenes as we drove along. We encountered thick fog, sun-streaked fog, swirling fog, and wind blown fog. Some of the pictures have an eerie, lonely appearance so I decided to play around with filters and fixes. I’m still learning, but it was a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy these.

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Foggy solitude

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Swirling mists at Canada Olympic Park

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Rays of hope

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Beyond solitude

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Foggy fence line

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Edge of woods – grey filter

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Edge of woods – brown filter

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Ice fog

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Shrouded light

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Introverts united

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Final bow

My Purple Grandma Designs ministry has been busy these past few weeks. With Christmas cards, special orders, and craft fairs (my friend is selling my cards at her table) I have sold quite a few cards. I have also been able to give away some cards to new believers and will be giving away some more over the Christmas season. Here are some I finished up this week:

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Friday’s Fave Five #67

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. Visit with a friend. My husband co-pastors with another man. These two men each prefer the other and use their diverse gifts to work together for the body of Christ in our local church. The other pastor’s wife has MS and I struggle with fibromyalgia and arthritis. We two wives don’t always make it to church and certainly don’t get to spend much time together. This week we were able to enjoy a nice, edifying visit together.

2. Not getting lost. I am hopelessly directionally challenged. Well, maybe not hopelessly, since I was able to drive twice this week into new areas and not get lost! For someone like me, that is very encouraging.

3. Local cuisine. Our small town was established by Francophones and has purposely developed a French theme. A few months ago a new Quebec French restaurant (called Chartier) opened (with help from a very popular local crowd funding campaign.) We took some friends there to eat last week, and the place was buzzing! The whole staff is intent on offering locally sourced (when possible) foods and have been exceptionally careful to work with patrons who have food allergies and restrictions. My gluten-free duck grunt was absolutely delicious, and everyone else at the table raved about their meals.

4. Harvest moon. After our meal last Friday night, we drove around the perimeter of our town to look at both the recent development and the surrounding fields. It was neat to see the combines and other machinery working into the night to bring in the harvest. While we were watching the farmers work, we saw the mood rise. The beautiful orangey full moon was a harvest moon. I didn’t have my camera with me so I simply sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the evening.

5. College football. Call me crazy, but I enjoy watching US college football when I have a chance. It’s been fun to watch my home state team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, play very well. Go Bucks!

Here are some pictures from this past week.

Bird boxes

bird boxes

waiting for harvest

waves of ripened grain

along the fenceline

along the fence line

dried and ready

dried and ready

Alberta's changing colors

Alberta’s changing colors

already cut

already taken in

cut and dried

in the shadow of the cloud

in the shadow of the cloud

whispers of red

whispers of red

I love fences

I love fences

 

Friday’s Fave Five #62

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. Trip to Saskatchewan We have been in Saskatchewan, travelling for the college. Canadians tease that Saskatchewan is so flat, you can set your cruise control, take a nap, and wake up an hour later still in your lane.  Saskatchewan certainly does have its vast expanses of beautiful, flat farm and ranch land, however, it also has scenic hills, expansive valleys and peaceful lakes. In between our obligations we stayed at a cottage at Last Mountain Lake. Driving into Regina from the cottage we had to pass through the long and hilly Qu’appelle Valley. Driving into town we also stopped at the reconstructed Last Mountain House, a Hudson’s Bay outpost for a few years in the late 1800’s, until fire burned the original post to the ground. Yes, we found Saskatchewan peaceful, interesting, and certainly not all flat.

2. Field of flax In Saskatchewan we noticed field after field of a crop with periwinkle-blue flowers. They were lovely! After asking around we discovered this pale blue crop is flax. Flax is harvested to produce flax seed, flax seed oil, linen and paper. I’ve not seen any flax growing around us in Alberta, but was told it’s a big crop in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Flax field

Flax field

Flax flowers

Flax flowers

3. New lawn We’ve had a new front lawn put it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? We first had to have some trees removed. The one pine tree was so large, and the gnarly roots rippled out of the ground in so many places, that nothing else could grow on one entire side of the front yard. Once that tree and those roots were taken out, it looked like a bomb crater! The landscapers dug out the rest of the lawn, graded both sides, added fresh topsoil, and laid sod. They did a great job and now we have a yard that looks nice and is much easier to keep up with.

4. Out to eat again! Daughter number two took me to lunch yesterday at Celebrate! A gluten free bakery and café in Edmonton. Though their café menu is quite small, they make up for it with a nice variety of breads, buns, cookies, pastries and squares. We each enjoyed a delicious sandwich and some amazing sweet treats. Then we popped over to an antique store across the street and leisurely wandered around. I was bemused to see a number of familiar items from my childhood in an antique store. My daughter patiently reminded me that stuff from the 50’s and 60’s qualifies as antiques.

5. Community A sense of community is important to me. I always appreciate interacting with friends or children of friends at church, at home or as I come across them in their workplace. Out shopping the other day, I ran into children of friends in two different places and also had a visit from some adopted grandchildren. I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with a young man, an employee at Michaels, about the pros and cons of Copic markers and Prismacolor markers, and discussed herbs with Sylvia, owner of our new local restaurant, Chartier. Community is important for every believer. It is our opportunity to live out Christ in the nuances of everyday life.

Hope you have a blessed week. Here are a few pictures from our Saskatchewan trip.

Saskatchewan barn

Saskatchewan barn

Canola field

Canola field

Windmill and hay bales

Windmill and hay bales

Anyone know the name of this?

Anyone know the name of this?

Saskatchewan grain elevator

Saskatchewan grain elevator

Fence with bird house

Fence with bird house

Prairie grasses and wildflowers

Prairie grasses and wildflowers

Down the fenceline

Down the fence line

More wildflowers and grasses

More wildflowers and grasses

Purple wildflowers

Purple wildflowers

Church building

Church building

Slipping away

Slipping away

 

Friday’s Fave Five #56

 

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It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1.Rain We have been praying for rain in Alberta. We finally had some last night and today, and could do with more to saturate our parched land. Wildfires are still raging north of us, so we continue to pray for that area to receive a drenching rain to help bring those fires under control.

2. Kiva My son and daughter-in-law introduced me to Kiva through an extremely thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. Kiva allows people to provide microloans to those in impoverished areas. Many of their stories are compelling and I found it difficult to decide which ones I would loan my gift to. I finally settled on two young women from Tajikistan who both wanted a loan to purchase sewing machines to use to earn income. Various individuals can each loan small amounts until the requested goal is met. Once the loan is repaid, the money can be applied to others looking for assistance. My son has a burden for those of us who are blessed with earthly riches to be biblical in helping the poor and others in need. I’m so glad he introduced me to this opportunity.

3. Recovery My daughter is recovering well from her surgery and has been able to return to work.

4. Holiday Another daughter has been enjoying a much deserved holiday to the Charleston, SC area where my husband grew up. Being able to share some of her experiences via social media has been fun.

5. Trees I love trees. Unfortunately, we have had to remove two of the four large trees from our yard due to damage or disease. The surface roots of the remaining evergreen in the front yard has totally taken over one entire side of the yard. Nothing will grow on that side, not even grass, and the roots are an ugly, tangled mass snaking across the entire space. So we have made the hard decision to remove that tree, get all those roots ground up, and replant the entire front yard. I’ll be looking for a couple of smaller dwarf fruit or flowering trees for the front, and will simplify the landscaping since I can no longer get down on my hands and knees to tend to the gardening. Sniff for losing the tree, but yay for new possibilities.

Snapple fact 783 – Men get hiccups more than women.

I wasn’t able to do much with my photography this week, but here are some I was able to take plus one from a couple of weeks ago.

 

Alberta farmland

Alberta skies

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Afternoon rest

Dark purple lilacs

Dark purple lilacs

Friendly fences

Friendly fences

Friday’s Fave Five #47

FFF daisies

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I stepped away from writing for several months for personal reasons. Today I want to resume the FFF and share some blessings from the past few weeks.

1. One of our daughters was married on February 27. It was a beautiful wedding with a peacock colours theme. We love our new son-in-law and are enjoying getting to better know his wonderful family. (Thanks, Nicole VandeKamp for this picture of the entire wedding party!)

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2. Our son, who lives and teaches in China, was able to come for the month of February (during the Chinese New Year break) and stay with us to help prepare for the wedding. His wife stayed behind for some intensive language study, but the kids got to come with their dad. Normally the whole family stays with us for a few weeks every summer so it was a special treat to have them with us in winter. Though we had unusually warm weather this entire winter, there was still some snow for the kids to enjoy. They loved playing in the snow!

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3. As wonderful and joyous as weddings are, wedding planning, preparation, and participation are exhausting! This past week we were able to get away for a few days to our friend’s cabin a couple of hours south of us. It’s in the middle of a large farming area where just about all that’s available nearby is peace and quiet. Exactly what we needed! My dear husband sacrificed some of his time to drive me around so I could get some photos of rural Alberta.

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02 Mountain view near Sundre 3-16

05 Torrington area fence 2

06 Torrington area fence line

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09 Torrington abandon

12 Near Three Hills

08 Near Olds 2 (2)

07 Torrington community hall

11 West of Torrington

04 Torrington ice fog 3-1603 Near Olds 2

14 Torrington sunset 3-7-16 2

13 Torrington sunset 3-7-16

15 Torrington sunset 3-8-16

4. Because of my arthritis and fibromyalgia, ice is my enemy. Winters in central Alberta tend to be very icy. We have thoroughly enjoyed extraordinarily warm weather this winter, reminiscent of the welcomed Chinooks we so appreciated while living in Calgary. Today it’s 10 C (about 50 F) and ice everywhere is melting furiously. Yay to banished ice!

5. Our youngest daughter has completed her current phase of education and returned to us last month after her studies in China. It’s fun to have her home for a while. We are looking forward to seeing how God leads and provides for her and for each of our other children in future days.

It seems too early, but I have been reminded that we need to turn our clocks ahead this Saturday night. I don’t want to be late for church!!