Saturday, August 30, 2008

Picnic Food

I have been cooking today. Tomorrow we head back to Whidbey Island for the big Phosie-Gertie Picnic!
I'll tell you more about those ancestral sisters in a later blog, but they are the great grandmothers who link the family members who will be gathering at the family compound tomorrow. Besides the cabin I have shown previously on my blog, the next door "rustic" cabin is owned by cousins. Tomorrow, three generations of Fosters, Fullers and Reeders will gather there to celebrate each other.
Many are already there, and cooking will be going on in both kitchens. Others, like me will cook at home and bring their offerings to the picnic spread.
There will be games, visiting, hugs, photos, awards, and lots of laughing and eating.
Today's pickings from our garden. The beans, zucchini and cucumbers were shared with neighbors. The herbs went into the potato salad.
We had just enough Gravenstein apples from our little espaliered tree for one mile high apple pie. For the chocolate lovers, like me, there are fudge brownies.
We will be staying on at the cabin into most of next week. We love the beach after all the summer folk have gone back to school and work. What a luxury our retirement is, and we feel blessed and grateful for our good fortune, as well as the gift of family.
Wishing you all a happy Labor Day weekend, with fun, food and love of family.
PS - As a follow up to my Bayview Market/Community Yard Sale post: some of you asked me what I bought. The answer is brownies, flowers, and this little treasure, a "find" that I will add to my extensive Pottery collection. At $4, it was one of the priciest items on the tables, but no where near its commercial value as a collectible. Some day I'll share our "collecting".

Friday, August 29, 2008

Surf's Up

Last Sunday morning began with a glorious sunrise (see last post), and the wind was blowing strong and steady. But it was warm. About 10:30 I noticed kite surfers out on the bay, so I grabbed my camera and headed for the beach. Useless Bay, usually empty at low tide or calm and smooth at high tide in the summer, was gray, with white caps, and surf pounding the shoreline, rocking the boats at anchor.
Over by Double Bluff, a group of about eight kite surfers were out on the water. Two others strayed over my way, surfing just off Sunlight Beach and in the channel to Deer Lagoon. I sat and watched the show and took photos of the action.
(Click any photo to enlarge for details. Maybe you know these guys!)
It was great to watch the surfers go airborne, but hard to catch on camera.
Just off shore from where I was sitting, a small motor boat was being swamped by the surf. There didn't seem to be anybody home in the beach houses that might have owned it. But one of the surfers saw it from above and decided to mount a rescue. His friend came to help. They struggled with the boat awash in the waves and did manage to get it closer to shore. By then Tom had joined me on the beach, and we tried to help by hauling on the rope.
We were unable to get the boat on to the beach, but the surfers retrieved the floating contents of the boat and got it tied up.
Then they resumed their surfing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Glorious Morning

After a lovely sunny day last Saturday on Whidbey Island, during the early morning hours Sunday the wind came up. The bluster woke me up, and I got out of bed to check the sky. Sky watchers do that. What I discovered was the beginning of a glorious sunrise. I stood out on the deck, in my night clothes, and watched and took photos, marveling in the beauty I had been allowed to witness.
As the color at the epicenter began to fade, it spread out around the sky, over the lagoon, to the clouds in the north, to the east and the west.
My Lord, what a morning.

Bayview Saturday Market - Whidbey Island

Tom and I seldom get to this craft/farmer's market during the summer, because our cabin belongs to our extended family, and we usually defer on weekends to those who have to work during the week. As old, retired folk, we have more options. But last weekend opened up, and we took it purposefully to be able to attend this fun event.
As it turns out, they were also holding a community yard sale at Bayview. I even found a few "treasures".
Have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, Three bags full.
This shopper had her basket full of home produced goodies.
South Whidbey Island is an interesting mix of yuppies and hippies, artisans and farmers, island residents and summer vacationers. Expect anything, and enjoy it all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Friday On Whidbey

It was a lovely early afternoon as we rode the Washington State Ferry from Mukilteo, on the mainland, to Clinton, on Whidbey Island, with Mt Baker in the background. From there it's about a 10 minute drive to Sunlight Beach.

Sunlight was the story of the day. We had some lunch, and then roused ourselves enough to tend to the cabin garden. It's looking pretty good in it's late summer mode. Good thing we planned it to take care of itself most of the time.

Then we settled in to laziness. Dinner happened without much effort. We watched a bit of the Olympics, but more importantly we took time to sit on the beach and watch the sun set over the bay, lighting up Mt Rainier, and silhouetting the Olympic Mountains.

A lovely start to a peaceful weekend.

Ah, Bill.

Who could have doubted that Bill Clinton would come through for Barrack Obama? Once again, he met the challenge and showed the political world an example to live up to. Well done, Bill. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh, Hillary!

Four years ago Bill Clinton opened the Democratic National Convention on Monday night with a beautiful, rousing speech. I knew I had to vote for John Kerry, but I wanted to vote for Bill again. Tonight Hillary Clinton spoke to the convention. She was magnificent! She radiated grace and beauty and knowledge, wisdom, skill and eloquence. She told us that if we supported her, we needed to support what she believed in, and to do that we need to vote for Barrack Obama. I will. But I still want to vote for Hillary.

Time To Pick The Flowers

It's always good to be back home, even after a lovely, long weekend on Whidbey. I'll be posting some of our good times as I get photos sorted and ideas arranged in my head. We did watch some of the Olympics, as well as the closing ceremonies. I don't like to miss things, so sometimes the tug and pull of watching and listening versus getting out and doing causes me consternation. The same is now true for the Democratic convention. As you may know, I am very tuned in to politics, and I'm quite concerned about the outcome of our next election. But I really need to limit myself and not have the TV and radio on all day. There is so much more to enjoy as summer winds down, time to spend outdoors soaking up the now reluctant sun, tending the garden, going for walks, just being. Clouds are moving in already, preparing for tomorrow's rain. But I got some time in the sun, and time to pick the flowers that will bring the sunshine indoors tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Going, Going......

We're off for another Whidbey Island weekend. I'll be checking back in Monday. Keep those comments coming. I love them! If you are new to my blog, feel free to scroll through old posts for great sights in the Pacific Northwest. .....Gone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Needle and Thread

Photo taken 08-11-08 during our Space Needle Monday. For more on that day I invite you to see my older posts.
Click Skywatch for more sky photos.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Raindrops on Roses

It's raining in Seattle. Some of you might say, "So, what's new?", but honestly, it really doesn't rain like this here in August. Last week we had a Seattle heat wave, which means it was mid-80s or higher for five days, over 90 for three days. After our family visitors left Tuesday, we opted out of yard work due to the heat and steam cleaned the carpets instead. It was good drying out weather.
This week were going to devote to gardening, getting to tasks we had been putting off. Monday we dodged showers. Tuesday we got rained on once but stuck it out and got a lot done. The result was a good portion of the yard is weeded, snipped and clipped and groomed for late summer. The old raspberry canes have been cut, ground and composted and the new canes tied up. The compost bins are piled high with the "debris" from my slashing through the perennials.
We were both tired and stiff and sore, and I am coping with a swollen, itchy hand and wrist from a bee sting. I inadvertently found a yellow jacket's nest in the ground while pulling aphid laden nasturtiums. Bugs and beasties have their own ideas about whose garden it is. For example, the squirrels think the zucchini are for them to chew on. The moles love our green lawn with its supply of juicy worms. Why is it that when a trap is placed in a mole hill, the mole pops up somewhere else, evading our attempts at its destruction? Survival of the fittest, I guess.
In the last 24 hours we have had nearly in inch of rain. I got out for a while this morning during a break in the precipitation to take a few photos of the H2O jewels adorning the flora.

So for now we'll be entertaining ourselves indoors, while the outdoors refreshes. There's always the Olympics, where apparently it's raining, too!