Greetings from Seattle

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March Forth

I've always thought March fourth was a great day to march forth.

It's our daughter Jill's birthday, the day she marched forth into this world. She was born on a Sunday evening in 1973.  That makes her older than she wants to be, but she has made good use of those years.  As I like to say about myself, and my age, she has earned those years. 

After graduation from high school, Jill completed her BA in Education in three years, going summers, straight through.  She began her teaching career with fits and starts, doing a lot of long term substituting.  At the same time she began her Masters Degree program and completed it a few years later. She taught steadily, in primary grades and elementary PE.

In her 27th year she relocated to Colorado, where she taught first grade, married, and gave birth to our two wonderful grandchildren. 

Three years ago she brought her family back to Seattle, where she began teaching first grade in the Highline School District, near where she grew up.  Unfortunately her marriage did not survive the move, and she became a single mother. She bought a house which she has made into a great home for her family. 

Jill has taught for about 20 years now.  She is a teacher, a soccer playing soccer mom, a hiker and mountain climber, an instructor with the Mountaineers, a sports fan, and an amazing mother.  She is one very busy person.

She is a daughter who makes us proud.

Happy Birthday, Jill!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March, and Another Scrap Box Sewing Project

I have done much more sewing for other people than for myself. So after a hiatus from any sewing, I am having some fun just making stuff from my scrap box.  

My granddaughter Irene informed me two years ago that she would not be needing any more cute, fancy dresses. She's almost 10 and is into "accessorizing her jeans". 

Before I sewed for her, I made a series of holiday vests for my teacher daughter, Jill.  Way before that, I used to sew clothing for my kids when they were little.  So I have scraps. 

Here's my latest table topper, for March. 

It contains fabric from a dress for Jill, long ago, a teacher vest for Jill some years ago, and a dress for Irene, not so long ago. 

It's time to switch over from Heart Month to Green Month. 
 And you may remember that little mosaic plaque I bought from an artisan in Rome. I have it hanging in the kitchen, near the table, and I'm using it to decorate for the seasons.  I just replaced the hearts with shamrocks. 

March on!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why I Bought a Hay Hook

When we go to Rockaway, we always like to stop in Wheeler, a small town on the Nehalem Bay, and visit the Wheeler Station Antique Mall. This trip was no exception.

We never know what we might end up with.  But I could not have expected to come away with this. 
 This hay hook is a blast from the past.  When I saw it (priced at $4.50) I immediately pictured myself wielding such a hook out in the hay field, where I would drag newly baled hay toward the flat bed hay wagon, pulled by our old tractor. My first experience at driving was that tractor out in the hay field. 

I loved haying season.  I grew up on a small nine acre farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where we raised much of our own food through our vegetable garden, fruit trees, and our animals: milk cows, beef  steers, pigs, and chickens,  Our place was an old farm house with a big old barn. We raised hay on our fields, and also bought hay from neighbor's fields. We would load the hay and bring it to our old barn to be stacked for winter feed for the cattle. 

So what am I going to do with a hay hook? Well, it will join other memorabilia hanging on the back wall of the garage, next to our potting bench.  It will join a grain scoop, hay fork and cowbells from my grandfather's farm up in the hills above the valley, where he had dairy cows. There's also an assortment of old garden tools, some cast offs from my own gardening era.  

I don't expect to be hooking any more hay bales, but I can get hooked on the memories. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast

While we did a little work during our stay at the cabin, we also took lots of time to play and walk and rest and read and enjoy the beauty of the seaside. 

Friday it was cloudy when we arrived, but Saturday morning dawned crystal clear. 
 I decided to walk to the Tillamook Bay jetty. 
 Twin Rocks from Rockaway Beach, where I started, 
and the same rocks farther south at Twin Rocks beach, where they look more like twins, 
and still further south, where they look completely different. 
 Walking on an almost deserted beach at low tide -this is where I came from, 
 and this is where I'm headed. 
 The jetty looks so close but it's still 15 or 20 minutes of walking away. 
 Tom drove down the highway and then met me on the beach. 

Tom walked out to the end of the jetty.  Here's his view looking back to shore. Unfortunately, he got a little too bold, got out to where waves crashed on the rocks and slipped and fell and twisted his ankle.  He has been gimpy ever since.  Fortunately I did not have to send the Coast Guard out to rescue him.  He made it back under his own steam. Kinda' scary, though. 
I stayed much closer to shore and enjoyed the view. 

Looking back up the beach↑ 
and up the channel into Tillamook Bay ↓

 As we left to go out to dinner Saturday night I had to have Tom stop the car when I saw this.↓  A sliver of moon and Venus hanging in the sky in the last glow of the sunset. 
 Sunday was another beautiful morning.  
I crossed over the railroad bridge over Salt Aire Creek, next to the cabin, and walked north this time. 

 In the afternoon we both walked into the town of Rockaway, checked out antique shops, and had ice cream in the sunshine. 
I interrupted my watching the Academy Awards to catch another sunset.

We did a bit of work too.  We replanted the Rhododendron that had been moved out of the way for construction.  It looks sad, but we hope it will make it.  It's a memorial plant for a lost son of my sister Ilene. 
 We also salvaged a concrete pad that another child had helped her grandpa make that was located at the base of the old steps, and dug out stepping stones that our son had set that had been lost in the turf. They now make a firm base at the bottom of the new steps. 
 We stopped at the Blue Heron to buy Marion Berry syrup per Isaac's request and picked up some locally made brie cheese. 
 We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory where there was no cheese making going on, but there was ice cream!
 And we enjoyed the sunshine until it was time to return home to Seattle. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.

Photo taken in April 2012

My parents bought the little red cabin by the sea nearly 40 years ago.  It was a dream come true for my mother, who wanted to provide a get away by the ocean for her family. 

Her legacy has served three generations very well. As the family grew with kids and grandkids and cousins galore, more sleeping space was desired. It was finally decided to lift the roof and make a full two story out of the sleeping loft up stairs. 

One thing led to another, and as the thinking went "if we can do this, maybe we can do this", until the construction grew into something much bigger. Permits had been obtained, but the city of Rockaway Beach now claimed that the construction had exceeded the original plan, and in fact now added an increase if 50% of the value. 

That 50% was a magic number, a number that required the cabin to be lifted above the tidal surge flood stage. This was news to us, and we fought city hall, but lost. Now we were looking at $30,000 to $40,000 in construction costs in addition to the original second story expansion. 

The process has taken three years, but it is now nearing completion. The cost was covered by our mother's legacy too, as she lived frugally and saved money to pass on to her children. We returned some of that money to save the cabin. 

 Photo taken February 23, 2015
The framing of the upstairs and the lifting of the cabin were contracted out.  But there was much finishing left to do.  President's Day weekend, the crew assembled. 
Dads, Uncles, Grandpas, sons, nephews, cousins, the men of the clan came together to spend their vacation working together .
They rewired under the cabin, insulated and finished off the underside.

Upstairs, they installed pine paneling, cutting and fitting all the angles.

Trim will still have to be added, but the results and wonderful.

I wasn't there for the work weekend, of course, but Tom was, and he unintentionally left his Samsung tablet there.  That's his reader as well as his email and Facebook source, so of course we had to go back and get it.  We just got back from our three day weekend there, with sunshine and beach walks and sunsets and everything you could hope for on a February weekend by the sea. 
 Stopping at the Neakanie Mountian view point on the way to the cabin on Friday.
 Saturday's sunset.

More beach photos to come.