Monday, September 26, 2011

What's New? Not Much.

But maybe that's a good thing!

After some very busy times, we're slowing down a bit.  Well, wait a minute. That's not exactly true.

Last Friday I picked up the kids at school for early release 
Friday and we had a good time playing here until Jill picked them up.  On Saturday we attended Isaac's soccer game, and then we all went to the Puyallup Fair, which, for those of you who are not local, is our state fair.  It was hot and muggy and very crowded on the next to the last day.  Jill and the kids had been there already, so we just did the things they missed the first time.  We had free tickets for all but one, so leaving after about four and a half hours was fine with us.  We had fun while we were there.

Saturday evening Tom and I settled in front of the TV to watch a Sounders match vs Vancouver BC, one of our PNW rivals.  The Sounders were victorious and were awarded the Cascadia Cup, a fan based award for competition between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland.  

Yesterday, I got in my 3.5 mile walk in the morning, and sort of watched football.  The Seahawks finally won one.  I'm finding football to be kind of slow after watching soccer, but it means there is plenty of time to read the paper, read blogs, and putter while watching.

Today it has been raining steady.  While we may hit 70 again later this week, summer is definitely over.  I got on my stationary bike for the first time since last spring and did ten miles/47 minutes.  I have stalled in my weight loss and really want to get back on track.  Exercise is an important part of that.

I also spent quite a bit of time in thrift stores today and the fabric store, working on a pirate costume for Isaac.  I bought some pieces and will be sewing the rest.  I'm also working on some doll clothes for Irene's American Girl doll.

And trip planning goes on.  I got in a couple of hours of reading tour guides and mapping out routes.

Yep.  Not much new.  Just the same old busy, busy, busy!

Friday, September 23, 2011


 As all of my regular readers are well aware, we love soccer.  Tom and I are season ticket holders for the Seattle Sounders FC.  Son Jake has been a season ticket holder since the start up three years ago.  He sits here, in the Emerald City Supporters (ECS) section.

See that big black flag with the diagonal stripes.  I sewed a new pole sleeve for that one a couple of weeks ago.  Jake is flag manager for ECS.  Flags like this are fondly referred to as BFF's - Big F****n Flags. :-)

Now that Jill and the kids are living here, they go to some of the Sounders games too, but more importantly, the kids PLAY soccer.  Yes, after many years of being a 'soccer mom', I am now a 'soccer grandma'.  Jill got the kids registered to play youth soccer as soon as she could after the big move.  Action started right after Labor Day.  Now she and the kids have either soccer practice or a game every day of the week except Sunday!

Isaac is an experienced player.  He's played in Colorado, and has a game going every recess at school.  Last Saturday was his first game as a Yellow-jacket.

Game over.  Cheer for the other team.  They need the boost, since the Yellow-jackets won something like 10 -2.  We sort of lost count.  Isaac scored twice.
Now, Princess Irene is another story.  She "played" last year, but is much more interested in the apparel and accessories.  She wasn't at all sure about actually playing. 
 She's got pink soccer shoes, of course.
 Starting out on the 'bench' was fine with her.
Once she took the field, it took a while for her to get into it, especially when she heard the ice cream truck pull into the parking lot.  Oh, no.  You see, Irene didn't have good humor trucks in Fort Morgan, Co, and here she's only been able to take advantage of them once, on Whidbey Island.  She has been terribly frustrated at hearing them in our neighborhood, but never being in the right place at the right time.

Of course no one could stop playing to buy a frozen treat, but she wanted to, and was reduced to tears on the field at another missed opportunity.
 But she recovered.
 There was an injury time out.  Little girls are very sympathetic to another's tears.
 Back to the action, Irene is getting into it!
 Is that a smile?!!
 Wow! She's been practicing her high kick!
More time on the bench, to contemplate grass.  It is a lovely green field they get to play on.
 You go, girl!
Game over.  Time to learn the cheering part.  Fun!  They play three on a side, so the teams are small.  What a great way to learn.
So how did you like soccer, Irene? 

"It was good!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Travel Planning

There is one Southwest state I have not traveled to, and I have been trying to work out a trip there for several years.  It seems something always gets in the way of my getting to New Mexico.

Finally, I found a nine day window in October and bought airline tickets   We're going.  Now I'm trying to get the time to plan the itinerary.

I really wanted to get to Carlsbad Caverns, but there is so much to see and do in the northern half of the state, and it's just too far south to do in less than three days.  So I think I will eliminate this national park from the list, much as I love national parks.

We will fly to Albuquerque and rent a car.  We'll concentrate on Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos, and areas surrounding them.

Any "must see" suggestions from those of you who have traveled there? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Peas In September

Because of our cold spring and early summer, my sweet peas just didn't grow.  Finally, in August, I got my first few blooms.  Then half of the vines promptly dried up in the sudden heat.  But a few vines are still green and healthy, way past the time that they have usually all shriveled up.  It's wonderful to have a small, sweet smelling little bunch of beauty to perfume my house.

More typical of late summer are the zinnias and asters that are now in abundant supply to pick for long lasting bouquets for the kitchen table.  I love the riot of shocking color combinations they provide.

It's cloudy this morning, but warm, and I got my three plus mile walk in fairly early.  While walking I was thinking about what to fix for dinner, and decided we needed some beets to go with the pork chops I had taken out of the freezer.

The beets and carrots apparently have enjoyed the unusual summer weather, because we are getting some lovely treasures from under the soil.  We'll enjoy both the beets and the beet greens for dinner.

The zucchini and beans are about done, but a few cucumbers are still being produced.  As the sun gets lower in the sky, our garden plot gets less and less sun.

Over on the west side of the garage, the tomatoes are finally producing lots of ripe fruit.
 We have fresh sliced tomatoes for dinner every day now.  There's nothing quite like home grown tomatoes.
The little brown ones are chocolate tomatoes, from the Chocolate Flower Farm in Langley on Whidbey Island.  They are mild tasting, but no, they do not taste like chocolate.  They're just brown.  Kinda' fun, though.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Operating System

Tom and I have been struggling a bit getting to know our new operating system.  

Our computer was having issues and so a week and a half ago our tech guy, Tad, cleaned it up and installed Windows 7, where before we had Windows Vista.  Lots of things have moved around.

We backed everything up with Carbonite.  Tad worked on the change remotely last week while we were away, and Carbonite restored many of our settings and programs, so when we got back last Friday we were anxious to see how it worked.  The real test for me is downloading photos and publishing them on my blog.  I found I still had to install Google Chrome to sync right with my blog.  Picture storage is more complicated because there are so many more options, and I have to remember which tab or screen has which tools, like 'Crop' and even 'Delete'.

We will need some advice about how to set some things up to work better for us.  How are you supposed to know how to do things when there is no manual? "Help" seldom does.

It's taking me a bit longer to select photos and post them, but as you can see from previous posts, I'm finding a way.

One thing is for sure: if you want to keep up in this modern era, you have to keep learning.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beach Sunset

It takes just the right conditions to get these photos of the sun setting between the Twin Rocks.  I have had good luck on our fall visits, twice taking similar photos on the autumnal equinox, which has special significance. 

I was a little early this year.  The equinox, the last day of summer, first day of fall, is September 23rd, this Friday.

But last week the conditions were right, and we set out about 7:00 to find the right spot with the right alignment.  On the way I couldn't resist shooting this wonderful sand castle that someone had build during the day.

The sun fit into the notch in the rock.

 And down it goes.

 And into the ever present fog bank.
 A look back before calling it a day and heading to the cabin to settle in.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Deer On The Beach!

In all of the years we've been going to the cabin at Rockaway Beach, this was a first.  

I was out on the porch doing some exercises when I looked up and saw deer on the beach!

I grabbed my camera for proof, and took these photos from the porch.

They were a bit skittish, and moseyed on down the sand and out of sight.  Then as were getting ready to leave they were back.

I don't know if the locals see this often or not, but it was new for me.

It's always good to experience something new.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back Home Again

We left for the cabin at Rockaway Beach, Oregon, last Monday, and while we got home last night (Friday), today has been a busy day, so it will take me a while to catch you up on our adventures.

After a week of sun and heat in Seattle, the cool weather arrived, but I didn't mind the clouds and morning fog.  It was somehow soothing.  Our little old cabin endures.
 And the Twin Rocks still grace our beach and demand to have their picture taken.

Tides were just right for morning and evening walks.  We also ventured into the woods at Oswald West State Park, where the trees grow big in this temperate rain forest.
The old and decaying provide nourishment for the new and thriving.
 This way to the beach.

 Beach stones.
 And big trees.  These are Sitka spruce.
 Oh, fun!  A suspension bridge!

 And another path to the beach.

This evening Tom and I are drying out after attending a wet soccer    match at the stadium.  The rain held off for the first half, but then got serious and stuck around.  But with a 3-0 win over DC United, our spirits weren't dampened, just the rest of us.

Earlier today we attended Isaac's first soccer match.  But I'll have to get back to you on that.  It's getting late, and we have a family brunch to get to tomorrow morning.  I'll also try to catch up with what all of you have been doing, that is when I'm not going out to lunch or attending another soccer match.  Busy times, and I'm lovin' it!