Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Closer Look - Where's Waldo?

 If you've been following my blog entries or Facebook posts this summer you will know that I have been enjoying many a morning's walk, what I've dubbed as "my appointment with the Son" - its been a combination of trying to capture beautiful sunrises as well as a time to visit with the Creator.

I find it truly amazing that a man made camera lens cannot do justice to what my "God-made" eye lens actually sees. So many times I'm disappointed that the colors and hues aren't as I see it. Of course, I do know that better camera lens come much closer than what I am able to capture with my iPhone camera, but it's what I have and I am thankful for it. And with that, I want to make a small disclaimer to the quality of the following'll understand in a moment...but look past the technicalities of the photo and really "see" the heart of what I wish to convey.

For example. Go back and glance again at the opening shot. This is the bay this morning on my walk. Yesterday we had a little rain, and actually today, just ten minutes after arriving home there was a shower.  I enjoy taking morning photos, it reminds me that each day is brand new. I have to admit, I really look for the "wow" shots - those days that the clouds are a beautiful formation, that the rays of the sun allow me to capture them...yes, you could say that I'm "heavenly minded" when I see such glory - glory that belongs to God alone.

My thoughts focused else where this I'm always looking forward to what God has in store that I sometimes miss the everyday things...for example...

When you looked at the scenery - did you happen to notice the little fishing boat in the bay?

(here's where the advance apology for grainy photos comes into play - zooming in doesn't always produce the best results, but bare with me. There's a point).

This little boat reminded me that on any given day I may or may not see a small boat. On occasion there's been a sailboat, some days shrimp boats. Some days nothing. Dare I suggest that this could be an analogy of the people that you meet, the ones that come and go in your lives....

Now look again - what else do you see?

A big ship on the horizon! Galveston Bay is part of the Inner Coastal Waterway which brings huge ships into the port of Houston and other various stops along the way. On any given day there could be hundreds of ships lining up across the horizon.  Again, this caused me reflect on "there's a big big world out there."

Shall we continue? I bet you have no idea what this is....

And you probably still don't (grin).  Okay, this is something that you'd really have to "be there" to notice, and if you aren't looking you probably would have missed anyway.  This is a wade fisherman. Yep. He's up to his elbows in the water. Most mornings when I make my way to the bay there is a fisherman either in the water or fishing off the pier behind me. My little community was originally settled by fishermen.

Want to try again?

Okay, so again it was a trick question - that's a second fisherman out there. As I said, on any given day there is between one and four souls out there enjoying what they enjoy (fishing) and I can't help but wonder if they too enjoy each new sunrise. Oh, and to continue my thoughts of what this reminds me of...when Jesus said "follow me and I will make you fishers of men".  Perhaps when I see these fellows I should be reminded to pray for pastors and missionaries, remembering too, that we are all called to be fishermen for Him...

I hope you are liking this sea-side Where's Waldo? adventure with about another close up...

That one was easy. But I bet you missed it the first time? Admit it...ya' did. (grin). One of the many sea gulls, pelicans, and various other birds that call the bay their home. Neighbors, perhaps?

By now are you starting to take a closer look and wonder where my mind's eye is heading next?

To the obvious things. Things right in front of us that we tend to overlook. Continuing the analogy, could this be those near and dear for us - friends and family? Those that we take for granted that will always been there, our foundation, our constant?

One more and we'll call it a day...

Of course, the focus of the entire shot - the sunrise. Yes, today was a bit overcast, but the sun rose never the less. The one constant in all our lives. The Creator God has set the world into motion, the sun rises and it sets. Some days we see it, some days we don't - but it's there none the less.  My thoughts this morning? That my focus should be first and foremost on my Heavenly Father, and in the meantime I'm not to be so "heavenly minded that I'm no earthly good" He's given each one of us family, friends, neighbors, strangers....people. People who matter and are deserving of our time and our love.

Oh, and one more thing - did you see the flock of birds in the above focus closeup of the sunrise? Good for you!  Perhaps this means that you will join me in.....

Taking time to smell the roses!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Breakfast of Champions!

 We interrupt this quilting blog for a nutritional break. Actually, this quilting blog has been anything but quilting lately - but hey, it's summer! A time to relax, refresh, and try new things.

So my new thing is trying to eat more veggies. I'm a plain salad sort of gal, just a little lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli and croutons. Yep, pretty plain. Don't even do dressing, well, once in a while a little ranch, but pretty much a plain Jane when it comes to variety in eating, cooking or non-cooking as the case may be. In reality, the only other veggies I get is when we go out to eat and I'll venture out and get a fresh grilled when I say I need to increase my veggie intake, I truly need to increase my veggie intake.

So when my friend Tom Russell was over for a friendly studio visit last week our talk turned to his drinking green smoothies...I replied that I didn't care much for greens and couldn't see "going green" as I'm a fruit smoothie sorta gal. When Tom shared that I could mix the two, fruit AND greens,  it perked my interest!

So Tom & I went to Krogers. Seriously. Right then and there. We hopped in his car and away we went. I'm a very visual learner and I probably wouldn't have tried some of this if he hadn't of held my hand - well, actually instead of holding my hand he came back to my kitchen and made me one to try! Wow, I can drink veggies!

There's not a "set" recipe, but here's what I put in my Vita Mix this morning:

(1) Canned pineapple in it's own juice (never heavy juice - you defeat the "healthy" goal). Now for the record, this wasn't in Tom's version, he uses spring water for the base, but I've always liked this for my fruit smoothies so we went with it.

(2) Veggies - we added spinach, broccoli and shredded carrots, limiting the veggies for my "first taste" since I'm not big into greens and Tom didn't want a strong flavor to scare me away. Tom, you will be happy to know that in a week's time I've "grown up" and this morning added kale, bean sprouts, and cucumbers.  The truth is, you can add anything you want....

(3) fruit - in my Vita Mix today, in addition to the canned pineapple, is half a granny smith apple (my fav variety), a banana, frozen strawberries, frozen raspberries and a few frozen grapes. I like using a mix of fresh and frozen fruit - the frozen gives my smoothie a nice cool texture. Since I buy and eat a lot of fruit, more times than not, it will sometimes get over ripe. That's when I pop it in freezer bags for future smoothies. Bananas freeze well. Tom shared his secret of freezing - wrap in parchment paper and they don't stick to each other!

(4) a little protein powder, just because ... figured it can't hurt (grin)

Now normally I would slowly add the items as I increased the variable speed on the Vita Mix...but I didn't think that would photograph as pretty (grin)...oh and speaking of which, sorry the photos are a tad blurry - I used the iPhone and it's a cloudy overcast day in my kitchen...(and I don't have a magic camera like Tom).

 Ta da!  A wonderful concoction chalked full of good stuff!  Indeed a breakfast for champions!

And for the record, yep, it makes several servings - but it refrigerates well. I can either have another one later in the day or skip the prep tomorrow. And, if you have a Vita Mix, the clean up is easy! Just rinse out, fill half way with hot water, add a little dish washing soap and turn on high - clean as a whistle and you have nice sudsy water if you have more dishes to wash...

Cheers! I'm off to the quilting studio now - ready for a fun filled day!