Greetings from Seattle



Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Pageant - Chapter II

As the Halloween Fun Fest continues, Friday was school party day. Corey, Tom and I dressed up and got to Irene's school in time to help her with her costume and her Princess Leia hair do. Corey, alias Luke Skywalker, walked with her in the costume parade. Then over at Isaac's school, where Jill also teaches, we met up with Darth Vader and Obe Wan Kanobe. As you can see, Tom represented the Seattle family well as a Super Sounders fan. Some folks had a bit of trouble deciding what Jill was. When she teamed up with another staff member they were thinking 'Jesus'. At 6:00 Friday evening Jill and the kids went across the street to a neighbor kid's birthday party. By the time they got home Jill was ready for "no more kids", and the kids were partied out. On Saturday the Main Street merchants had trick-or-treats. both sides of the street were a steady parade of costumed characters. It was crowded, but fun to see all of the costumes on both kids and adults. The Force was really with this family, who got lots of notice. And Tom got a bit of attention too, from the few soccer fans he encountered. The Colorado Rapids are also in the MLS playoffs. We rested in the park and sampled some of the candy. Then back at home we took the "formal" family portraits. There was a brief down time before Corey's mom and step dad arrived to join us for lunch and flag football in the Pumpkin Bowl. Corey is coach of this team of first and second graders, so Irene got to join too. Isaac made some great "tackles". Irene hiked the ball. Isaac scored two touchdowns, and the mom and grandparents cheered from the sidelines. As it that wasn't enough, as soon as we got back home Jill and the kids were due at the birthday party of another neighbor child. The action was right across the street, so I sat on the porch swing and read, enjoying the mild weather, as the kids had fun in the bouncy house. By the time everyone got home, and Corey was off to work the night shift, we had a quiet evening that included watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". Today is actually Halloween, but it seems like sort of an anti-climax after all we've done already. Right now the kids are taking a nap/rest time. We have football Broncos and Seahawks to watch, and Sounders this evening. In between we'll dress up again and trick-or-treat a couple of blocks here in the neighborhood. The kids will man the door and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters who come here. I will pull myself away from soccer to get into some of the action. It's cold and rainy in Seattle where the game will be played, but here it's another bright sunny, mild day. I think I might have to do a bit more porch sitting. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Pageant - chapter I

Our flight to Denver was uneventful and ahead of schedule, due to favorable tail winds. Baggage collecting was not quite so swift, but we were met by Jill and the kids, made a fast food dinner stop, and arrived in Fort Morgan about 8:00. With all we had to share I'm afraid we kept the kids up past their bedtime. But grandparents can get away with that occasionally. On Thursday everyone went to work and/or school. I made pumpkin cupcakes, and picked the kids up right after school so they could get home and decorate them. Did Grandpa forget to say "smile"? Love that cream cheese frosting! New books were shared. And we got dressed up and went to the high school open house 'Haunted House'. It was parent conference night and the school was open to the community. Kids had decorated and were handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. The Star Wars team is ready for action. You may not recognize Jill as Obe Wan Kanobe. An hour before we left home, Luke Skywalker's costume did not exist. Jill literally threw it together. When I went to check on her in the sewing room, she kicked me out, stating "Anyone who knows anything about sewing can't watch". Amazingly, whatever she did worked! All of that was before dinner. After dinner we carved pumpkins. Today, Friday, was school party day and we put in an appearance at both schools, but in the rush to remember everything we were supposed to take, we forget our camera. A terrible thing for grandparents to do. Fortunately Corey had his so I might have a photo or two in the next chapter. Because there is much more to come.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fly Away

Last night we braved the rain and gloom to ride the Link back the Qwest Field, where we joined with a few other Sounders fans who belong to the North End Supporters. After months of inactivity, NES has organized a new Tifo project for the big Halloween play off match, and we lent our support in painting a big overhead banner that will celebrate the Sounders in Halloween fashion. That's all I can say, but it sure would be cool if it gets shown on TV, because that's how we will be viewing the match. You can be assured that at 6:00 MDT we will all be decked out in Rave Green to cheer on our team. Today the skies have cleared, perfect for flying. And so Arachne will be making her way to Denver and beyond. Many scary events have been foretold, in a four day pageant of celebration. Photos will be forthcoming. I'm just not sure when, as the schedule is jam packed. And so we send our greetings and farewells, wishing you a fun time in your neck of the woods. Watch out for the spooks! (This postcard was sent to Tom's mother, Bernice, in 1915, when she was five years old.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Messy

Beginning on the weekend, we have been hit by wave after wave of wind and water, as a series of storms are rolling in off the Pacific. It's currently 43 degrees and raining lightly, adding to the 2.5 inches we've already accumulated. This is the cold, penetrating dampness that will be with us now for much of the next five months. I wish it could have waited until after Halloween. It looks like we will be in cool sunshine for Halloween though, as we leave for Colorado tomorrow. I'm glad we got lots of yard clean up done before the weather changed, because from here on it will not be as pleasant crawling around on the cold, wet ground. But there will be more to do before we put the garden to bed. Right now we're just waiting for Mother Nature to finish making her mess. There'll be plenty of time for clean up after we get back home. Speaking of messy, that certainly describes the state of politics. With the mud slinging going on in TV and radio ads, we're getting buried in filth. I have taken to talking back to them, with things like "that's stretching the truth", "that's ridiculous", "how could you possibly derive that from the facts", and finally "you lie!" While yes, it is politics as usual, it has been exacerbated by the Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited, secret contributions from large corporations and unions. 501(c)(4) organizations, who get to call themselves "non-profits", are pouring anonymous cash into campaigns, including many companies that still owe us bail out money. Here in Washington our incumbent Dem. senator is under attack by Karl Rove's "non-profit" Crossroads GPS. We have a lot of ballot measures this year, most derived through the initiative process. Of the six initiatives, I may have found one I like. But I frequently get outvoted, so we could have a mess on our hands. Three concern taxes, either adding, rescinding, or limiting future taxes. Several are about state liquor sales. If both pass, we will have contradicting laws. Either way the state takes a hit in revenue, which we can't afford, with cuts at bare bones levels already. Messy, very messy. Tom and I sat down with our 120 page state voters' pamphlet and our additional county guide last Thursday and marked our ballots, then mailed them in. We have all mail-in voting now, and we like it. But it will probably delay vote counting, so with the close races, we may not know the winners and losers for some time to come. Messy. While I'm sure I've come across as calm and clear headed so far, I'm not calm at all. My brain is messy too. Because with all of the campaigning and pundits and tea partiers spouting off, could someone please explain to me WHY WOULD YOU VOTE FOR REPUBLICANS TO RESTORE JOBS WHEN THEY MADE THEM GO AWAY IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!

Friday, October 22, 2010

An Afternoon in Ballard

Today we met our son Jake in Ballard, where he is doing volunteer work at the Sustainable Fuel Co-op, a business owned by my cousin, where Jake buys his bio-diesel fuel for his VW. As a member of the co-op he can exchange work for fuel. He's working on the political aspect of getting tax credits reinstated for renewable fuel crops. Dropping the ball in Congress has really hurt this business. We took Jake out for lunch and an opportunity to catch up with him. He's a guy of many talents, but who has been employed only part time now for 21 months. He's making it, but it's not easy. After lunch, Tom and I spent some time strolling through Ballard, an urban village in northwest Seattle. The old Carnegie Library now houses a restaurant. The leaves are beginning to fall along the sidewalks.
The sculpture forest of 'Witness Trees' in Bergen Square.
Halloween decorations fill this fun shop.
From Ballard we drove north a short way to pay a visit to Swanson's Nursery, always a fun stop for us.
They always have the most beautiful seasonal planters, containers and displays.
On weekends in October this place is probably buzzing with activity with attractions like this hay bale maze.
Gourds.
And bins of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
Autumn color everywhere.
Makes you want to buy plants up by the cart loads, or just move in and live there.