Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron taken at the Billy Frank Jr Nisqually Wildlife Refuge by Louise Buckles

© Louise Buckles 2018


Balance through Up-cycling

IMG_4370.jpgLiving a balanced life comes from being in relationship.

That is being in a good relationship with yourself, the people around you, and all of nature. One of the ways I work to create balance with nature is through up-cycling.

Yes, I enjoy walking, hiking, and kayaking, and these are great ways to connect with nature, but I am also concerned about pollution, and one of the ways I try to help with pollution is by creating beautiful things from trash.


Once, while walking, I looked in the ditch and found a glass bottle with a small hole in the top. I am not sure what it was used for. Do you? When I picked it up I realized that it looked like a mini lighthouse.

When I got it home I painted a door, and some windows on it. Then I put a mini string of battery operated LED lights in the hole.

The end result was a beautiful nightlight to place in my bathroom.

By creating something out of trash I found on the side of the road I was able to connect with nature, gave myself some  time to create, and added something beautiful to my bathroom.

While this helped to build a more balanced relationship with nature, being creative also helps me  maintain balance in my life. It brings me into the present, and helps me to not focus as much on the things I can not change. When I am creating I am in control of what I am creating, and this since of control helps when the rest of my life is spinning out of control.

How do you help to bring control in your life? What was the original use for the bottle?

Summer Up-cycle Project

20150808_110053I got a little board this summer, and decided to do a couple of projects. This is a simple project that I have been meaning to do for a couple of years now.

It is easy to do. All you need is a painting. I picked this one up at a thrift store. I wanted something to put in my bathroom. The bathroom is a beach theme. The colors in this picture worked great with this theme.


  1. Pick a saying. I used Pinterest to pick my saying, but anything will work. “Roll with the Tide” is perfect for my bathroom.
  2. Design & cut out the letters. I drew mine by hand, but you can use a printer. Just be sure they are big enough.
  3. Glue the letters on the painting. Be sure and use a stencil glue. This way the letters are easy to peal off once it is painted.
  4. Spray paint the picture. Choose a color that will work with the room and colors in the painting. I chose the color egg.
  5. Peal off the letters. Be sure the picture is good and dry. I used tweezers to pill of the letters. They worked great.
  6. Frame your work of art. My husband made the frame for me, and I painted it with an off white.

I love the way it looks in my bathroom!!

Now That’s A Monday

I woke up Monday morning at 6am with something in my eye. I thought it was an eyelash, and since my eyelashes are blond I usually can not see them when they get in my eye, so I thought I would go to work, and I would find it later. I showered, got dressed, and went to work.

*I drive 1 hour & 15 minutes to work.

By the time I got to work my eye was killing me. I tried to get whatever was in my eye out, but couldn’t find it. After working for 3 hours at 11 am, and being in even more pain

*not to mention only not being able to see

I went to the health center on campus where I work. Because it is summer they did not have anyone on duty until afternoon. She suggested that I go to Urgent Care, so I drove

*now by this time I was having a hard time seeing & in a lot of pain.

I finally found the Urgent Care, an hour later, and got signed in. As I am waiting, trying to keep my eye closed because this is the only thing that made it feel better, I hear there is a 2 or 2 ½ hour wait.

*Believe that!!

Well, after about an hour & a half I get called into see the PA. She numbed my eye, got out what looked like a piece of wood out of my eye, and found the scratch it caused.

*Now I need to drive back home

oh, and go to the pharmacy to pick up medication. At least my eye does not hurt anymore. On the way home my eye begins to hurt again, so I stopped at a store & looked everywhere for a patch. I was having problems seeing, and the store was being remodeled so nothing was were it belonged. Finally someone offered to help me, and I walked out of there with an eye patch.

Now I look like a pirate.20150706_170206

And a very tired one at that

By the time I got to the pharmacy it was 4 pm. This has turned into a long day. My prescription will not be ready for another 20 minutes.

*All I want is to go home and sleep

I wait for my prescription, and finish the drive home.


Peace Through Relationship

20150630_180713This week I went to a presentation put on by a group of 6 from the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA who just got back from a trip to Namibia. It was a great presentation. The team showed a slideshow of the places that they visited, and talked about their impression of the country. The trips focus was on education, and they visited with schools, hospitals, churches, and bishops of the synods in Namibia.

20150630_193006 My biggest take away from the meeting was the discussion around what one of the bishops told the group. He told them that it is through relationship that peace is formed. He is an advocate for peace, and encouraged them to form relationships with others, and fight for the US to not be so quick to go to war. He said that when the US goes to war it makes other small countries uncomfortable and fear the US.

This idea of peace through relationship is really cool, and I know it is important to help with the turmoil that is happening in our country right now. I would like to challenge each of you to get to know someone from a race, gender, or religion you do not understand before you post or talk about the group in a negative way.race

It is only through relationship that peace will happen. I am not talking about a superficial friendship where you do not take the time to really get to know the person. This is about finding out what makes them tick without trying to change them. It is about being open to their ideas even if they are different than the way you understand the world. Once you really get to know a person who is truly different than you it helps you to be more compassionate toward all of humanity, so take the challenge!!

What my fall will look like

I have gotten my finalized schedule for the fall. This is the best part of the year. You get to sign up for classes, and get really excited about them. Then once the classes start you find that they are not exactly what you expected, but this is not always the case. There are times that a class really surprises you, and it is better than what you ever imagined. Here is my schedule.


  • Living Traditions
    • A class about the Lutheran tradition and heritage. There is a special emphasis on Martin Luther. This will be a good class for me because I was not raised Lutheran, and do not know that much about Lutheran history. I also believe that history is important to have a better understanding of anything you want to understand better.
  • History of Christianity I
    • This history goes up to the late medieval period. This is my favorite period of Christian history, because I believe it is only through understanding the beginning that one can be a full understanding of how things are now. I hope to be able to read some of the works that were written during this period.
  • Intro to the Old Testament
    • Self explanatory. I am not sure how I feel about this class. The Old Testament is important, and I love to read and study all parts of it. It will be an interesting and enjoyable class.
  • Reading Congregations
    • Helps to build observation skills needed to lead a congregation. I think it will be fun to be able to observe congregations and assess them. This will give me a broader understanding of what it means to be Lutheran.
  • Mysticism & Social Change
    • This class looks at literature from activists from different cultures in order to help bring a holistic understanding to activism and ministerial work. This is an understanding that uses both head and body. This was my choice, and I am very excited to read about what different cultures and religions have to say about activism. This will give me a broader understanding of what activism means.


Well, that is it, and it is enough. I have not taken 5 classes at one time.