Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rachael Comes to Visit

and we drive up the mountain to the monastery to look for Christmas presents in the nuns' gift shop. 

This time, we make sure we know when it's open, it's after all the third try for me this year. Among many religious-themed books, jewelry, and other items, the nuns sell some wonderful homemade goods made from honey, lavender, roses, and berries that they grow themselves. 

While Rachael talks to the nun at the counter, I look at the shelves filled with sandalwood, lavender, vanilla, and rose scented soaps, and pretty jars and bottles of lotions, creams, and healing salves. This is heaven for me and I smile as I pick miniature soaps out of a jar.

Then I remember: my checkbook! It occurred to me, as I was getting ready in the morning, that the nuns probably don't take debit or credit cards. Feeling pleased with myself for thinking ahead, I made sure to take out my checkbook, put it on my desk, and.......

Sure enough, cash or checks only. I say a bad word in front of the nun. Rachael says, "shhh;" I say, "sorry, sister." She smiles, I'm sure she's heard it before. But all is not lost because I'm able to buy Rachael a small gift with the cash in my wallet. 

And I find out that she likes lavender. Now I just have to make it up the mountain again before it snows. 

We drive back down the hill and stop at the field where the nuns' goats are resting in the shade of large California oaks. We scratch a few chins and take a few pictures. 

After we get back to the canyon, we take Samson for a hike in the hills above our house. We are astonished at the numerous piles of black bear scat strewn all over our land. It's too hot for me to hike in the summer, so I haven't been out on the land since mama bear and her cub messed up our vegetable garden in August. Bears usually come down here in late summer to eat juniper berries, but I've never before seen so much scat and so many paw prints left behind. While I'm glad I didn't encounter them, I would have loved to see them from a safe distance.

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Samson Says: I don't know WHAT you're talking about, mommy! You wanna see that big critter? I can smell him, but I sure don't wanna run into him or her or the baby bear. To himself: HUMANS, they make no sense, most of the time...... With those big critters around, I'll just stay home on my couch where I'm safe. 

Me: What did you say, Samson?
Samson: Nothing, mommy, nothing at all. 


  1. Laughing at your moment in front of the nun -- :) And gorgeous header photo Inger.

  2. samson, you're the wise one! rachel is so sweet - her joy just radiates. and now she'll have some lavender from you. bless you for leaving your checkbook! darn it! :)

  3. How good to shop at the monastery, a blessing for the people who receive the special gifts and for the nuns for their expenses. Homemade soaps and other goodies. Bring cash next time!
    I am giving away 1 copy of the Christmas book I co-authored on my blog this week.

  4. Hi, Inger, I am glad you post!
    Rachel looks beautiful and what a great time you both had! And you and Rachel looks very happy too.
    Samson is really wise and he make me laugh!
    Great photos too.

  5. if bears were any where close i would be on the sofa with Samson... love the goats.. and oh no on leaving the checkbook home. there are not many places left that don't take plastic, but still a few of them..hope you get back to buy what youwanted.

  6. :-) ja nunnorna har säkert hört både det ena o det ändra. VIlken härlig dag ni verkat haft. Vackert väder.
    Samson är för söt...härligt uttryck han har.

  7. We all slip up sometimes, Inger. And bears are better viewed from a distance.

    I'm dropping in between making batch of breakfast cookies with hubs. (Oatmeal, cranberries, almonds, choc. chips, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.) Wanted a grab and go cookie for busy mornings.
    You could eat it while walking the dog.

  8. You and Rachel are always smiling when you take off on a day trip :)
    Samson ~ smart boy !

  9. you were very prepared by putting your checkbook out; now its just the timing you need to work on ;)

    The beauty of the nunnery is astounding~ and Oh, i am so right there with you with the handmade goodies - i love lavender and lip balms and soaps etc made with dried herbs... I just dried my chives today, and plan on mixing it with some salted butter in a mold when we get closer to thanksgiving...

    and Samson, Dexter can relate. These days he barks while laying on the lower bunkbed in the guestroom, so we will be prepared to open up the back door when hes ready to go out LOL we all took a break this fall from timber cruising, and i think he likes the rest the most!

    as usual Inger, your photography is absolutely wonderful!


  10. Life in the desert is never dull! Swearing in front of a nun! You wicked girl.

  11. It sounds like you had a wonderful day! I'm glad that Rachel is there for a nice visit, and that you were still able to buy a little gift. How funny that you let a word slip by! LOL! I'm sure the Sister was secretly amused. And Samson has the right idea...avoid the bear! ox (breathelighter)

  12. Lovely photos. The one of you and Rachael is so good of both of ou and such a rural beautiful back ground.
    That monastery always intrigues me. If I lived near, I'd visit it, for sure.
    Sounds like a perfect day..... goats too. My favorite.

  13. How far is safe distance from a very large bear?

    All your pictures are lovely, Inger, especially your header.

  14. We love to visit places like this too, Inger. The smells are like heaven. It would be so difficult to choose which scent to bring home because they all are so nice. Too bad about the cheque situation so what I do is have one or two stashed in my wallet for times like this. They are getting a bit frayed though, smiles.
    The bear situation would have me a bit nervous, very nervous ~~ I have no idea what I'd do if a I ran into one. Start listening to Samson OK!!!!

  15. Inger... I am thinking it is just not meant to happen (shopping at the Nun's boutique). But, I had to laugh because that was so much like something I'd do!
    I am glad you didn't see bear - that would be too scary for me in the wild!
    Give Samson a hug from me!

  16. Nuns have probably heard everything.


  17. What a lovely outing! The shots are gorgeous.

  18. Hi Inger .. what a nuisance - but then an excuse for another outing .. gosh what a lovely drive. Love the desert, pines, blue skies, hardy herbs et al when it looks so gorgeous. Lovely to see the two of you together .. talking to the goats, birds and bees ....

    ... but not bears - as Samson says that a critter too far! He looks very content on his couch ...

    Good to see you posting .. cheers Hilary

  19. A good day for you both!!

  20. Looks like you had a nice time. Who is Rachel though?

  21. What a beautiful place to visit and I would love to shop at a gift shop run by nuns...I know they had some beautiful things. You'll have to go again and get something for yourself! Sweet hugs!

  22. Gracie says: Stay safe my sweet Samson! Stay away from those big bad bears!!

    Inger, what a lovely outing! It looks as though you had a great time. I'm always drawn to the scented soaps... and usually always walk away with far more than what I need.

    Have a good weekend!

  23. Sounds like a lovely day! I think I would like the shop you went to :O)

  24. Oh you 'liberated women'! lol I would have LOVED to have been there and watch you slip out that expletive!! lol
    Looks wonderful there this time of year Inger.....no winter coats needed...yet!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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