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Showing posts from 2010

Goodbye 2010

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A Christmas Memory

I don't remember how old our middle daughter was when she learned a Dutch song from an elementary school teacher at Christmas time.

We didn't know what the words meant, but we enjoyed listening to her sing the verse as she skipped around the house that year.

We sang many of the familiar holiday tunes in the car as we drove over the mountains that Christmas Eve to celebrate with family at my brother's house in Gig Harbor.

We stopped to have lunch at a little restaurant when the road made us hungry and weary.  In passing, I noticed that the pretty young woman who took our dinner requests had an unusual accent.  However, we were distracted by our young daughters and entertaining them while we waited for our meal and hadn't chatted with her.

It wasn't too long before the little song was forming once again on the lips of our little singer.  She sang it out clear and sweet:


Sinterklaas, kapoentje Gooi wat in mijn schoentje, Breng wat in mijn laarsje, Dank je Sinterklaasje.

Conversations with Grand Children

At lunch time today the conversation took a strange turn when we began talking about cows.


Grandma:  When I was a little girl we raised cows.
5 year old Z-bub:  Who won?
Grandma (confused):  Who won what?

Z-bub:  Who won when you raced cows?

Tis the Season

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Leavenworth Washington is a small village that has “reinvented” itself as the place to visit to get into the spirit of the season. 

I was enchanted by this magnificent Percheron, Jackson, that took Santa on a tour and was also available for tourist’s rental as well.

One hundred years ago there were lots of horses and wagons still carrying the majority of people on their journeys to and from town, as well as handling the freight and agricultural demands.

My mama told me about riding to school on a buckboard behind a horse called Old Nell.  Grandma would take rocks heated on the old wood stove and place them in rags around mama and her siblings feet to keep them warm.

Her other memories of the ride include a loud and effusive burst of gas escaping from the old mare every couple of clip clops. 

Mama said that one day on the way to school she herself was guilty of a small aromatic ester.  Even in her early 70s my mama would blush when she told me that her social blunder earned her the …

Pink Boots

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The sled has Mizellie, Z-bub, and Dinkum on it.  My boots have horses on them.

Veterans Day - and a post revisited

I wrote these thoughts several years ago ---  and I thought they were appropriate for this Veterans Day.  

Three of our grandchildren’s dad is in the Air Force. (He has served in Iraq twice. He is no longer my son-in law. However, those little faces that I love, love him.)
Alex, you are in my prayers.
Prior to our meeting, my husband served four years in the late sixties as a submariner. His dress whites are in a storage box. Pictures of his “Boats” hang at the end of the hallway.
Hubby, you were a handsome sailor. I love you.
The army drafted my youngest brother, a conscientious objector, about the same year that my future husband signed. I was in high school and cried as he reported for duty and climbed into the waiting bus. The nightly news was all about Vietnam. Nick was one of the lucky ones who stayed in the States. He never carried a gun, but served in a medic position. He became a respiratory therapist after his stint was complete. 
Billy, my cousin, lived with us hi…

October's Fuchsia

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Here it is, the end of October and the Fuchsia on my patio continues to provide some color and some distraction from the other things of the world.  Will it be tonight that the frost nips it away?


There is a beautiful dogwood tree several blocks away that has various colors of green, yellow and red.  Will I'll remember to take my camera next time I drive past?

We're having some cool rainy fall days.  I noticed that leaves on the driveway left behind their shape in silhouette after I swept them into the dust bin.  I wonder how long the stain will remain?

Tomorrow is Halloween and the only decorating on my porch has been done by the hungry spiders.  Oh! And the birds have done a little splattering, too.  I wonder how many little creatures will grace our doorway tomorrow night?

Trick or treat?

(I am hoping for treat, how about you?)

Tailgating on I=205

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Sort of disconcerting driving down the freeway at 65 mph

Favorite Photos for Fun Monday

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I don't have a favorite photo.  But Faye, acting on her duty as Fun Monday Host, asked that we share our favorite old family photo.  So here I am and this is the one I have chosen.



The one above is a favorite family photo from when I was a little girl. Favored because my mom, dad, and all my brothers and sisters were together for the pose.

In the upper left is my sister Nelda who died from leukemia in 1994. She was always beautiful.  The two oldest brothers, Ron and Tom, are wearing identical suits.  No. They are not twins. Interestingly, they appear much the same today. They look pretty fantastic in their suits at the ages of 74 and 75.

My sister Sandra is wearing a dress that I loved.  She is also wearing a Lauren Bacall expression. Today, Sandra is my favorite breast cancer survivor! And, she still has that Bacall attitude!

On the lower left, Mike has a mischievous grin on his face and I suspect he is poking Trish in the back of her best blue dress.  He would do the same thing…

Finding a Quiet Place

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Fun Monday is still alive and kicking and Sayre Smiles asked today's bold question:  Where is Your Quiet Place?

My answer:  Bird watching. There is nothing more peaceful and relaxing then to walk through nature to listen and observe. 

I had an opportunity to go out on a raptor watch on Saturday -  there were fields south of town filled with Swainson's Hawks on their migration to their winter home in Argentina.  I had my camera along, but spent too much time with my binoculars.

I did, however, capture this bullfrog who was waiting patiently for his next meal.  Now, this little amphibian knows all about quiet places.

Shhhhhh. Tip toe on over and see who has joined Sarah for Monday Fun.

Care Packages

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Thank you Sandy.  (Myanderings)

Yes my Cyber friend.  You made me feel special.  I love the tea. It smelled so wonderful when I opened the box.  You and I are going to get together sometime.  Outside of this  LCD Monitor and  into some fresh country air.  Yours or mine.  And soon.  I've only flown through Texas once, with grand kids in tow.  Houston was lovely from the air.  So now I'm ready for a tour of your part of Texas.


I've had some other pick-me-ups recently, too.  One of my more recent friend-making moments was when I met Iggy (Intense Guy.)  One day I read his blog and I was hooked.  Is it sexist for me to say HE IS such a nice guy?  Last year he sent me some great tourist info on a local bird and wildlife area where he wanders.  I visited Pennsylvania in 1995 - and fell in love with the southeastern corner, including Philadelphia.   Iggy's posts and photos of his current travels, plus his childhood memories  stir me to travel there again.  Last month he sent…

Adjustments

Today I opened Bloglines to see how v-e-r-y far behind I am on visiting and commenting on my favorite blogs.   Instead of seeing my page full of unmarked and unread links, I saw a notice that Bloglines will officially shut down on October 1st.

Although that deadline is over two weeks away, I knew I better act upon it immediately.  I've overlooked and forgotten many small AND large things the past two months. I don't want to wander away and lose my feeds.

Maybe I'm losing my edge, or maybe I'm just tired.  Either way, I couldn't follow the instructions that Bloglines offered to expedite my list to a new provider.  As a result, I sat down and opened two windows and began opening each of my blog subscriptions, sifting, and resubscribing in my new reader.  Throughout the day I stopped by my computer and continued this task. It was eye opening.

I've subscribed to a lot of blogs in the past 4 1/2 years. Several of my blogging buddies had moved their blogs through two…

The Anemones Still Bloom

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I am encouraged by the tenacity of the Anemones pink blossoms that bend and decorate the old log that WR placed near the pond.

Chicken Spaghetti

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Just when I needed some kitchen inspiration … I WON!  I WON!
All Right.  So… everybody who commented on  a recent post by Swampy  (Anecdotes, Antidotes & Anodes)  won, BUT…that didn’t make it any less sweet.   Especially since I’d been standing in Barnes & Nobles just recently admiring the great success of Ree, The Pioneer Woman.

So – here is my prize! ! A personally autographed Pioneer Woman Cooks!


When I started blogging over four years ago the Swamp Witch and Ree (Confessions of a Pioneer Woman) were two of my very first cyber friends.  I think there was a group of about 10 of us who got linked up through  “blogging chicks;” not to mention a clever and cynical cyber Aussie hunk.  Swampy and I can talk about him later…..

I keep track of Ree’s success.  I still read her blog (it’s like a three ringed circus) and now I’ve even watched her television appearance on THE VIEW!! 

Swampy continues to blog on her broom; a trick I admire.  She keeps that  sonic sweeper in constant mot…

Hummer Dummer

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This is the HUMMER. (She joined me for breakfast this morning on the patio.)

The DUMMER is me. 


I accidentally deleted a part of my cell phone contact list.

I got a new DROID.  The yearly contract says I can upgrade my phone for minimal costs.  Of course, there is always more expense than meets the eye.  Insurance. Data Feed.  Yada Yada Yada.  But in the end the actual phone only cost $50 because of a rebate.

When the technician transferred my information from the old antiquated phone to this new "Beam Me UP Scotty" gadget,  she briefly mentioned that the info was shared on my Google contact list.  These young geniuses forget that some of us are technically challenged.  She just rattled off some facts and threw the owners manual at me.

I rarely used Google so only had four contacts on there.  That is why I was initially confused yesterday when I opened Google on my PC and noticed all sorts of cell phone contact numbers listed.

"Whaaaa?"  I thought.  "There i…

Passing the Windmill Sail

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Other Wordless Wednesday participants signed up here.

More Fun in the Sun

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Almost 14-month old Smurfella running through the sprinkler.

Tubing

Our girls loved to go tubing on the Snake River when the weather was fine.  Now their children say "Grandpa, take us tubing!"

(Warning! That video I took while riding in the boat might make you sick!)

It's All About Friendship

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The last one  --  Fern is 101.  But her best friends, her sisters, are still very close to her heart.
Fun  Monday is being hosted by Mariposa today.  And, It's All About Friendship.

Or Black & White Flamingos.

While six grandchildren were visiting this weekend, we had an opportunity to go for a short walk on the creek. Just turned 8-year old Goober Evalina and I were doing a little bird watching.

Goober:   OH!  Grandma!  Look at those!

Grandma:  Uh huh.  Two Canadian Geese.

Goober (Sighs, and in a disappointed tone):  I thought they were short Ostrich.

Then she walks ahead of me and I hear her add quietly, "Or Black and White Flamingos."

When's the next Rest Stop?

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Traveling the 3500 miles in June, we never once thought to check the Garmin to see if it could locate rest stops.  We were always looking.

The Interstate Highways provided full service stops at regular intervals until we got into Arizona.   According to the locals, the state is out of money. Most of the rest stops are barricaded.

Fortunately the main gate facilities at Grand Canyon National Park (south rim) had restrooms with all the right stuff:  running water, sinks, and toilet bowls.  And, on the backs of the stall doors you could read the details of how the water got there (from the north rim) and an intricate drawing to explain how it is recycled back to your next flush.  (A few of the particulars confused me, but ..oh~ never mind.)

Farther into the park, where no water is available, there are outdoor chemical latrines with huge black vent pipes.  I don’t know the physics involved, but I can tell you this:  when the wind is blowing 40 mph over the topside, your bottom …

Feathers in my Cap

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Bird watching was another entertainment I pursued on our recent road trip,   I documented and added  twenty-one new sightings to my 'Life List."  I also saw many familiar birds along the way.

A Western Kingbird in Eastern Oregon.
I've seen many  Kingbirds during my bird watching excursions....but never so many at once.  We stopped at a rest stop where the trees were full of them and the yellow feathers were especially vibrant.  ♪♫♪♫♪♫  "Yellow bird, high up in banana tree..."  ♪♫♪♫♪♫


A first sighting!   Rock Wren on Antelope Island, The Great Salt Lake. I yearn to return  ---  with insect repellent.  Antelope Island is a sanctuary where, during migration, birds find plenty of flying insects to fulfill their energy requirements for the rest of their journey.  In the meantime, those pesky bugs thought I was on the menu.  Pamela Cream Pie.


Another first!  Broad-tailed Hummingbird.  Flagstaff, Arizona.
They were buzzing around so fast that I was hard pressed to get a ph…

I Dee Ho

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When I was a kid, my Mama and my Aunt Myrtle talked about a far away land called I Dee Ho.  When I grew older I realized they were really talking about a state...the one squeezed into the shape of a big fat L,  between Washington and Montana.

Over the years, I’ve crossed the border into Idaho at times to visit Lewiston or Coeur d'Alene.  I’ve also had the thrill of a jet boat tour through Hells Canyon on the Snake – the  river that cuts a huge smile from Wyoming, all across Idaho, and into Washington.  (It spills into the Columbia River about 40 minutes from my house.)

In June we had the opportunity to see more of the beautiful and not so far away I Dee Ho country. 

Near Twin Falls, ID, the Snake River tumbles over a rocky 212 foot Shoshone Falls and flows through the Snake River Canyon.      I was reminded of when I was very young and that crazy stuntman Evil Knievel attempted (unsuccessfully) to jump the canyon on his motorcycle.
If you are afraid of high bridges and deep canyon…