Greetings from Seattle

Friday, July 20, 2018

Phew! That Job Is Done!

July means holly pruning time. 

We have stand alone pillars and a 100 plus foot holly hedge. Tom does the stand alones, like this one,  without me. They require a tall ladder, but on even ground. 

 The hedge is another matter. Tom got a good start on it before we left for Whidbey Island. But then to get the high parts, he needs a ladder holder. That's my job. Then there's the clean up. On our yard side, we stuff most of the trimmings back under the hedge. We got all of that done Thursday.

Today, knowing it was going to get hot in the coming days, we hurried home from our Friday morning breakfast to do the outside, neighbor's side, of the hedge.  Fortunately it is all along a driveway, so we have easy access. Again I am the ladder holder and the cleaner upper. 

We worked from about 10:15 to 1:30, and then we were finished! It is such a relief to have that job done. We have to remove most of the trimmings from that side. Here they are, all rolled up and waiting for transport to the dump.
Oh, I see Charlie photo bombed this one. Since I feed him now, he follows me around outside. 

While I was taking photos of the hedge, a few other things caught my eye, like the purple drumstick alliums in the euonymus bush with the purple glass flower.  

Or the purple clematis and the white hydrangia "Pinky Winky"
 Or how the deck looks from the hedge, through the bushes. 
 The self-sown poppies and the crocosmia.
 Or the first sunflowers rising above the sweet peas. 
 The day lilies on the west property line.

And here is part of my birthday gift from Jill and the kids.

By the time we got cleaned up, had lunch, and I went grocery shopping, then caught up on reading blogs, I was not interested in cooking. We went to Red Robin.

Let the pageant continue!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

My 74th Birthday Pageant

In this family, when a birthday celebration spreads over several days to even a week, we call it a pageant. My pageant began on Monday when Tom and I took a ferry ride to Whidbey Island, to join Jill and the kids, who were vacationing there at our family cabin. 

Because it was my pageant, I allowed myself some ferry boat treats. 

When we arrived at the cabin in the late morning, Jill and the kids were just coming in from off the tide flats, so I went out for my own walk. It was hot and the tide pools were refreshing. 

We spent most of the afternoon out of the heat, reading or playing games or napping.  We came together for dinner preparation, each making their own foil packet to go on the grill. 

 By the time we ate, about 7:00, there was shade in the back yard. 

After dinner the young people took to their kayaks and paddle boards since the tide had come in and filled the lagoon.

 I went over to the bay side to catch the sunset glow.
 Then it was time for dessert. We had the first zucchini out of our garden just in time for me to make my favorite chocolate zucchini cake. We initiated it on Monday, saving the other half for my birthday on Tuesday. 

 Then we sat around the fire. Some of us had s'mores. We all used phone apps to identify the stars as they began to appear overhead. 

 The moon and Venus were bright in the western sky. 
 Tuesday dawned sunny and bright, and Tom and I got up to get the gardening done early, before it got hot. 

 It took us about two hours to get the badly neglected garden back in shape. Then we got cleaned up and I had Tom take me to the drive through latte' stand just up the hill. I spent some time on the deck chilin' with my coffee.
 The kids are late risers. When everyone was rousted, we drove up island to Coupeville to play tourist, and have fun in the shops. 
 There was ice cream for lunch. 
 Mine. This shop offers mini scoops of three different flavors for the price of one scoop. It's much easier to choose that way. 

 Coupeville is a picturesque historical village with pretty flowers and lovely views. 
 There's Mt Baker across the passage. 
 Back at the cabin there was more beach walking on the tide flats. 

 After afternoon down time, dinner was another joint effort, with hot dogs, brats, corn of the cob, watermelon and green salad.  
 It actually got chilly in the evening, so we stayed indoors for birthday cake. Jill and the kids presented me with a mini-cheese cake with sea life candles, and gifts. They even sang "Happy Birthday".
While Tom and Jill read, I played Uno with the kids. I guess I should introduce Allie, our third teen for part of the summer. She is the cousin from Nebraska. 
 We all were in bed before 11:00. When I woke up too early and got up to read for awhile, Isaac's sweet little kitty, Purr, came to keep me company. 
 Wednesday morning was cooler. I had been getting Face Book birthday wishes all day on Tuesday and took some time on the deck to catch up with all of them and thank the senders. 
 When Jill is in residence at the cabin she flies the Orca flag. I call her's the Orca pod of the Eagle clan. 
 Our totem pole.
 Then we were off to breakfast at the doughnut shop at Bayview Corner. 
 They do doughnut French toast. I had bacon, eggs, and grilled doughnut. 
Irene had a doughnut breakfast sandwich. 
 Next was a trip to Lanley, where I got my wings. 
 We posed at the usual spots.

 Langley is also a lovely village, with wonderful street plantings. 

 The glass blowers work in the old firehouse. 

 Back at the cabin it was time for Tom and me to finish projects and pack up. Then I took a short beach walk, in the presence of herons and an eagle. 

 We joined the heavy freeway traffic back into the city, and met up with Jake in Ballard. He needed to be transported to Jill's house in the south end to pick up Gus the Bus for his mountain adventure, but with the traffic at rush hour, we decided to have dessert first, while we were waiting. We went to Molly Moon's in Wallingford. 

It was good to spend time with Jake, talking and catching up and sharing views on the world as we see it. 

Now we are back to normal for a few days. But the pageant might just continue on Saturday. We have a 1:00 Sounders match, and there just might be brunch in the city before going to the stadium. It's important to sustain these pageants and treat yourself when you can.