Sunday, September 28, 2008

Over The Hills And Far away

This weekend we traveled to gather with family to say good by to a loved one. Gordon, Tom's cousin, suffered heart failure and died a month ago. This weekend we went to the place he called his paradise, Lake Chelan, to celebrate his life. There we met friends from the various stages of his life who, together, could complete the whole story that was Gordon. Many of his years, in youth and in maturity, were spent on the shores of this lake.
Lake Chelan is a deep natural lake surrounded by the brown hills and pine woods typical of central Washington state. In summer, this lake is buzzing with activity as it is a major recreational water sports destination.
This Saturday there was some noisy boat racing on the lake, but by evening, when family gathered on the lake shore for an impromptu picnic, the scene was quiet and peaceful.
Lake Chelan empties through a water control dam and a short river into the mighty Columbia River. The banks of the lake and the river here are lined with fruit orchards. Harvest of the abundant apples is beginning and will continue with intensity as the fruit ripens in October.
The first signs of fall are appearing on the other side of the mountains. Pumpkins are on display at the fruit stands. Some of the leaves are starting to turn. The huckleberry bushes on the ski slopes on Stevens Pass formed a beautiful carpet.
We're settling in for the evening. Tomorrow we're back on the road, going to Oregon to visit my mother.
Catch you later.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Comings and Goings

The beach at Rockaway Beach, Oregon I'll be disappearing again for the weekend, this time over the mountains, and then again the early part of next week. I'll catch you as I can. To all my cyber friends - stay well, stay informed, and keep on expressing yourselves!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Skywatch - Autumnal Equinox Sunset

On Monday the sun set on another summer, as autumn officially began. I captured the sunset over the Pacific, between the Twin Rocks, near Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Autumn began gloriously. Enjoy Skywatch.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gone To The Beach

View from the cabin porch. Sittin' on the porch, enjoying a good book. This photo is a bit out of date, but still good reading. We're not expecting much sun this trip, but you never know. See you all later.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

To Every Thing ,turn, turn turn,There is a Season, turn, turn, turn, .....

Today I woke to the sound of rain. It has been a while since I heard that light, persistent patter. This is a gentle rain, brought in steady gray bands from off the Pacific. It has none of the violence of a summer thunderstorm or the winds of an autumn tree basher. This rain lands gently on the still unfurled patio umbrella and the foliage of the trees still in their late summer greenery. It slowly soaks into the dry earth. I stepped out and heard a bird singing, welcoming the refresher. This rain will persist, strengthening slightly in a shower, subsiding into a drizzle, with the steady drip, drip of the trees as they collect the drops and disperse them at gravity's rate in the form of tree rain. This will be a gray week in Seattle, as summer turns to autumn officially with the equinox Monday. There will be warm, sunny days again, but they will not be summer days. For those we will now have to wait.
I attended a memorial service today. The son of a retired teacher friend, this man, at 51, was not quite yet in the autumn of his days. After a day of work, a lovely evening with his wife that included a walk by the beach, he took his beloved motorcycle out for a late evening ride. He hit a curb, crashed, and was gone. He left a grieving mother, brother, wife, and two young adult children and a host of friends to sort through the memories and the mourning. Once again I was reminded of how little we know about a whole person until we hear them memorialized. Simple people can be great people. The sun will shine again for those grieving his loss, but it will be awhile before they feel its warmth.
But every day, even a rainy day, is another day to embrace, to relish, to use and enjoy, to spend time with loved ones and cherished colleagues. To tell someone you love them. Days pass quickly.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Oregon Coast

Today I'm using one of my archive photos, taken several years ago. This is Twin Rocks, taken from in front of the family cabin in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. I'll be heading there next week for another stay. I sure would love to have blue skies overhead again.
Enjoy Skywatch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Collecting Pottery

Here is how it all started. It's my sister's fault. Laurie lives near Centralia, WA, which is an antique center in Western Washington. She gave me these two pots as gifts.
The turquoise vase introduced me to the famous McCoy mark. Then I picked up a Martha Stewart book and saw some of her McCoy collection. I loved it.
The white vase introduced me to the beauty of the form and texture of matte white. While I do have pieces of color, most of my collection is in white, whether matte or gloss. I love the way white allows the form and texture of the pottery to dominate.
This was my first antique shop purchase of white McCoy. I found it in Aurora, Or. I was visiting my mother. I paid full price, and I did not tell her how much I paid. She was not sure why I would buy such a thing. Surely they could easily be found without paying much. Most of these pieces are from the 40s and 50s, not especially old to my mother, and frivolous to someone who had survived the depression.
This is my latest purchase. I bought it on e-bay. About 1999 I discovered shopping on e-bay. It was a dangerous thing! Eventually I cut myself off. Then last month Pay Pall informed me that I had money in my account that they would give away if I did not use soon. I had no idea why I had money there, but since I did, I used it!
I collected from shops all over the area, loving the fun of the hunt. But prices began to climb, thanks to Martha, so I became more interested in finding "bargains". I bought books on McCoy and Shawnee pottery and checked values, reveling in getting good deals. Once in a while I paid full price for a "must have".
The swan was a Tom find. Turns out the value was four times what I paid! The McCoy jardiniere was my biggest e-bay purchase - a great deal.
As I filled up my display space, I realized I needed to slow down.
Then my first grandchild was on the way, and I had a whole new pottery focus, juvenile! I had Tom build more shelves!
Of course, I didn't limit myself to vases, or McCoy or Shawnee. When in Colorado we stopped at the Van Briggle pottery works, still in business, and bought new "old" designs. The antique shop in Brush, CO supplied cool finds in blue and pink, vases I use a lot, even though I don't know the maker. The swans are a collection in themselves. Another piece of furniture was needed.
There are, of course, other pieces scattered around the house. I have thought about what I would do if I had to downsize. What would I keep? How would I choose?
I couldn't decide, so obviously I'm not ready to move.
Posting this blog reminded me that I still have some money in that Pay Pall account. Oh, oh.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Collections or Stuff?

Sometimes collecting results in official collections, and sometimes it's just stuff. Either way, it amounts to treasures we have invested time, money and/or interest in.
When Tom saw my posting yesterday, he said, "It's fine, but you didn't show the other stuff on the back wall". No,I didn't. And some of you are hinting at wanting to see that pottery. It's coming. As I told him, I'm just getting started, but I'm supposed to be taking it easy, and some of the staging takes time, the right light, and more energy than I had then.
We do have a lot of stuff! Here is Tom's watering can collection. He could easily add to it, but not at the price he is willing to pay. Most of these do get used.
In addition to the nozzles and sprinklers you saw yesterday, he has more of his sprinkler collection on the back interior wall of his green house. Again, cool attracts, but the price must be reasonable, so these did not come from designer garden shops.
We also have a collection of out door stone art, mostly by Caruth. We love his face designs.
When I was photographing these this morning, I discovered that one was missing. The gate was open yesterday, and it seems that someone came in and took it. We do have a crazy neighbor whom I suspect.
Finally, the back wall of the garage, with its overhanging roof line, is a perfect location for the potting bench. It is also the display area for miscellaneous old garden and farm tools. Some of these farm tools - the hay fork, the cowbells, the funnel and scoop, are from my grandparents farm, where my mother was raised, and as the oldest child, helped her father with the dairy cattle.
It's time to but my day back in balance, so that will do for now. This guy's purpose is to remind me never to take myself, or my hobbies, too seriously.