Greetings from Seattle

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Down the Path, and Other Places


Yes, the Wisteria is blooming. It's time to take you down the path.

There are lots of pretty ground covers along the way. 
Here we are. It's cloudy this morning but that makes for better pictures. 

A couple of blooms sprouted from the old, twisted trunk.

These are old Whidby cabin windows, embellished with Rusty Birds. 
This is the glass "quilting" we made last year. Tom has decorated the posts with his tube planters of colorful foliage. 
Around in the front of the house, the winter garden is bursting into spring abundance. The Yellow and red trillium are fading, but the spotted leaved are lovely. 

What was mostly bare a month ago is now a colorful tapestry. 

Some more container plants have come out of the green house. This is Tom's hanging pot for the shady corner of the patio. 

Hi. I don't know what this plant is on my head, but SHE liked it. 
Vancouver Centennial geraniums are planted in the patio bowl. 
The Bonsai crab apple is blooming.

We have cleaned up all of the edges and everything is looking spiffy. 

Oh, and then to celebrate, we had a little tea party under the Wisteria  on a sunny Tuesday. 
Our guests were our faithful regulars from our breakfast group. 

Our friend Dede is almost 94. Being a very social person, the pandemic has been hard on her. She was very happy to get out of her assisted living apartment and breath in some nature. 

She loved our park, and the Wisteria. We love her. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Flowers For Mother's Day

 On Mother's day morning we had brunch together here at the Homestead. Both of my "kids" and both of my grand kids were here to gather around the table. 

Jill brought me lilacs from her garden.

We didn't put them on the dining room table though, because they make her sneeze. Instead I drank in the fragrance from the kitchen table. 

I didn't actually take any photos on Mother's day. I was busy being MOM.

I did have flowers on the dining room table, that I arranged in an old pottery vase. My flowers came from the grocery store. I do love being able make my own arrangements. 

That evening we moved the flowers to the family room where we have been enjoying them.

During the week before Mother's Day we had been busy in the yard, and then I took photos. Here are some of the Mother's Day flowers outside. 

Scarlet Pimpernel tulips

Princess Irene Parrot tulips

On the front porch, the Lewisias are blooming. 

We still have a few Rhododendrons in the yard. May is Rhodie month. 

Loderi King George is a fragrant rhodie with huge flowers. 

There's more, but that's enough for today. We are going to have a sunny week. I'll see you later in the garden. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

My Mother

 My mother, Violet Ruth Hofstetter,  was born in Salem, Oregon on December 28th, 1921.

As the oldest child she became my Grandfather's farm hand, milking cows and caring for the work horses and spending time in the barn, and as a result, she always preferred working outside.

She became a beautiful young woman.

In 1941 she married my father, Henry Norquist.
They had a passel of kids.

It took a lot of work and a long time, but eventually we all left our nest on our small farm in the Willamette Valley. 

While they were empty nesters, there were now lots of grandchildren, of which my two were only a small portion.

My mother did not have an easy life, but she never stopped giving. She was just about two months from her 90th birthday when she passed in 2011. She had finally moved to assisted living and this photo was taken in her last summer. 

She was ready to go and passed peacefully, probably glad that she did not have to endure another dark winter. She loved the light of the sun and being surrounded by growing things - plants and people. 

We remember her well on this Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Sports Are Fun, Even Remotely

 I have two favorites when it comes to spring spectator sports - high school track meets and soccer. The soccer might be youth soccer or professional soccer - just soccer.

When our son and daughter were in high school, both participated in track and soccer. One of my favorite things as a parent was going to the high school track meets, especially when both were on the team.

I was looking forward to repeating this pleasure with my grand kids. Isaac ran track his first two years, and we loved watching him and his teammates. Last year Irene was a freshman and ready to join the team. They had their first practices and the first meet was on the schedule when Covid wiped it all out. School was shut and sports were gone.

Now, a year later, Isaac and Irene are back in school two days a week. Isaac is a senior, 18 years old and has a job. When he turned 18 in January he was promoted to shift manager at the Papa Murphy pizza shop where he works, has been able to buy a car, and is now just treading water when it comes to high school. He was accepted at Western Washington University in December. When track season started he opted out. He would rather work.

Irene is now a sophomore. She has several years of high school to look forward to. She played soccer on the school team this winter and is now running track.

We wanted so badly to go and watch, but alas, the stadium is closed to spectators. Jill got around that by volunteering to help at the home meets. I asked why the track meets weren't being live streamed like the soccer matches were.  When she asked the athletic director, she was assigned the job. So Wednesday Jill and one other parent, using iPads, broadcast the track meet over the school network set up for that purpose. 

We got to watch Irene! She ran the 300 meter hurdles, the 100 meter hurdles, and the lead leg of the 4x400 m relay. And when Irene was competing, Jill was there to take photos and video with her phone while her videographer partner took over the live streaming. 

Live stream set up in our family room.

Irene Gibson, winner of the 100 M hurdles. 
Irene Gibson, winner of the 300 M hurdles
Irene running the 400 m relay. The other school didn't have a relay team, so they won that too. 

We loved being able to watch!

Our other team, the Seattle Sounders, are now into their season too. There are 35,000 season ticket holders and only 7000 are allowed in the stadium, so we were not among the lucky ones to score a seat. but while we miss going to the stadium, we are quite comfortable watching at home too.

The Sounders so far are at the top of their division, There is another game Sunday. I'm not sure if it's at home or away, but it doesn't matter. Right now they are all "at home". 

Sports are fun, even remotely.