Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Easter Bunny Came

This bunny wasn't moving very fast, so I had to help out. 
After a great ham dinner, if I do say so myself, we gathered on the patio in the sunshine for the egg hunt.

Somehow I was too busy to take many photos.  Since I was the Easter Bunny, it seems I had to keep circling the yard, checking to see what wasn't found yet and then give clues.

Big kids and little kids had fun.  But rightly so, the little kids got the most eggs.

Some eggs had candy, and some had cash.  The chocolate was melting in the sun, so shade was needed to harvest the candy.

Jake, who is not into candy, set up a candy store.  "Hey Irene, I'll sell you my candy for some of your cash."

 My Aunt Evelyn was content to sit in the sun and visit, along with my cousins Kris and Dan, and Tom, there under that chapeau. 
 When it comes to photography, Corey is even more attached to his camera than I am.  He found lots in the yard to photograph, which kept him happy.
It was a lovely day.  There was even dessert, lots of it.  Here is Jill's creation, a sunflower cake made from Peeps.
Now the guests are gone.  The kitchen is cleaned up and the dishes done and put away.  Tomorrow I'll pack up the decorations and plant out the flowers I used for the centerpiece. 
Tomorrow will be a slower day.  And for now, it's time to rest.  And maybe have some more dessert!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

We're ready.

The table is set.
 There is candy, and flowers....

...and Easter baskets for the kids.
The patio is cleaned up and the outdoor furniture is arranged.  It's going to be a sunshiny day!

I love the beauty of Easter - the colors, the flowers, of course the candy, and the time of renewal, of celebrating the return of the sun, or the Son, as you choose.
This post card was sent to Tom's mother, Bernice, when she was four years old, in 1914.  Isn't it wonderful that some people kept everything! Things like this are today's treasures.  
May your Easter bring you the fresh burst of Spring, and memories to treasure.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Forty-Four Years

...and still living, learning and loving together.
Puyallup, WA
March 29, 1969
Look at all of those young faces!  Time marches on, not always kindly.  From left to right: my brother Don, my sister Jo, Tom's cousin Tommy, my sister Laurie, the newlyweds, my sister Ilene, Tom's brother Dave, my brother Henry, Tom's cousin Danny.

We lost sister Jo and cousin Danny much too early.  But the rest of us are happy, healthy and still making a positive impact on our world.

The Puyallup Valley was known for its daffodils, and yes, that's what the bridesmaids carried and the groomsmen wore on their lapels.  Daffodils have always had a special place in my heart.

And so does that handsome young man at my side.  Youth is fleeting, but love is not.  Tom has been my life partner and best friend through all these years.  

And we have many more to go.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Farm Girl

I was raised on a small farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley.  It wasn't an easy life.  We were poor by today's standards.  But some parts of that rural life were wonderful.
Yep, that's me, feeding a bummer lamb.  My cousin sent me this photo last week.  There aren't a lot of photos of me at this age, about four or five years old.  

Every spring we would get a bummer lamb from a nearby farm.  A bummer is a lamb that is raised away from its mother, because she had triplets and could only feed two, or because she had twins and as an old ewe she could only feed one.  

We bottle fed the lambs until they were old enough to be weaned.  They were cute and fun when they were little, but by the time they got too big to handle they became lamb chops and leg of lamb for Easter dinner.  No, we didn't romanticize farm life.  We were realistic.  A pet today is meat tomorrow.

We had milk cows and chickens and sometimes a pig or two, maybe a runt also raised by hand.  Every summer we had a big vegetable garden. as well as fruit trees.  Berries were easy to come by from nearby farms, where we spent summers working to harvest strawberries and raspberries and beans.  We had maybe a week off to get ready to go back to school.  And yet, strangely, I loved summer.  I still do.

I left the farm at age 18 and came to Seattle to attend school at Seattle Pacific College, now University.  I spent summers back on the farm, working in crops or in the cannery. It was by then always a relief to get back to Seattle and my college dorm in September.

From college on I have been a city girl, never longing for that old country life.  And yet, you can't take the country completely out of that girl.  I still love long walks, bird song, drives through rural areas, exploring country roads and  identifying crops in fields.

And I still plant things.  I guess that's why I am a gardener. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bad Driver!

About two years ago we put up an expensive locking mail box, because we have trouble with mail theft here.  It allowed us to be gone overnight for a day or two without having to put a hold on the mail.

But for some reason, drivers don't seem to be able to keep their cars on the (bleeping) road!  Now, for the second time, the box, and the neighbor's next to ours, have been wiped out by careless drivers. 

The first time, Tom was able to straighten the box out and re-use it.  Not this time.
This happened Friday.  We had to be gone all day Saturday so we just hung a note on the smashed box for Laurie, our mailman, and she left our mail on the front porch.  Late Saturday afternoon Tom bought a new box and got it put up.

Our neighbor didn't replace his with an expensive one.  Maybe we shouldn't have either?  The driver of the car did come back and pay for the neighbor's box. We weren't around to meet him.  Our neighbor said he was a young man with three little kids who really couldn't afford the $40.00 for the neighbor's box.  
So even though the bad driver's car took some real punishment, I can't even feel good about that now.  

But we have a new box.  We're back in business.

I think I'll leave that piece of broken car there for a while.  Maybe at least that driver will slow down and look where he's going.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Salvage Yard Saturday

Our little garden club, the Joyful Gardeners, meets once a month to share tips and ideas, and to go on field trips. Yesterday, for our March meeting, one of our members organized a visit to three salvage stores, where we could shop for treasures that might be re-purposed into landscape  features or "yard art".

Out first stop was in Ballard at ReStore.  It turned out to be the best, because it was the junkiest.  
I pointed this out to tTom for an idea right away, but he rejected it, even though there were plenty of options to choose from.
We met up with our other members as we shopped.  Here Janet and Fran discuss possibilities.
 Sondra likes stone and tile, but she drives a hard bargain.  Sherril and Janet look on.

 Trang and Fran explore the plumbing.
 I loved this salvage yard cat.
 Tom checks out doorknobs.  He bought a few, thinking of them as bird house features.

Along with the door knobs, we bought several glass light fixture shades for making glass flowers, and these two pieces. The blue window will have mirror glass inserted and be hung in the garden in some strategic location, and the little yellow shelf will be added to Irene's playhouse, which this year will become her garden shop.
We went to two more places, and several people found things, but they were much more suited to useful elements of building supply.
 It was good, though, to see all of the materials that are being recycled for re-use in small scale construction instead of going into the landfill.
Perhaps the best stop was for lunch at Macrina Bakery in SODO.

 Maybe I like it best because we had a good chance to visit.  We are still getting to know each other.
Or maybe it's because I had this!
Brioche french toast with Marion berries and hazelnut cream, served with chicken/apple sausage.  Oh My!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Vernal Equinox

Welcome Spring!
Well, yes, it's raining.  It's about 45 degrees.  But it is spring.  Rain is what happens here in spring.  At least we're not buried in snow, as many of our blogger friends in the northeast are. The vernal equinox occurred at 4:02 AM here in the PDT zone.  

As gardeners, we pay attention to the weather, so we can "make hay while the sun shines".
That's our lovely verdant lawn after Tom thatched it.  Much of that green is actually moss. 

We spent most of Monday and Tuesday working outside, getting as much done as we could.  The lawn has been raked, and lime and fertilizer applied.  Plants have been dug and divided and replanted.  The rain arrived Tuesday afternoon just as expected.

For now we'll enjoy Spring from indoors.

Happy Spring to you all!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Walking It Off

The problem with loving a sports team is that they are bound to let you down.  In sports there are winners and losers, or in the case of soccer, neither one.

We had a big Sounders match at the stadium at 5:00 yesterday.  After some heavy showers earlier, the sky cleared and it didn't rain!  That in itself was a victory of sorts, because 45 degree rain is not fun.

Our opponent was our great rival, the Portland Timbers.  The Sounders scored a goal early, in the 12th minute, and held off the aggressive Timbers until the 90th minute, when they scored to end the match in a tie.  It felt like a loss. All of us Sounders fans are bummed out today.

To add to that, standing on concrete for the march and the match annoyed my sciatica issue, which I had had under control. I was hoping it was gone.  I slept poorly last night.

But this morning the sun was shining, and while it was still cold and breezy, I announced to Tom that we were going for a walk together. It would not be an aerobic walk, but just a walk, someplace where there were things blooming. 

We chose a park nearby that was created in the clear zone under the flight path of SeaTac Airport.  There is a small botanical garden, and a small Japanese garden, both of which were created with plants and structures saved when the area was cleared of homes.  

North SeaTac Park has old streets, plants and shrubs that used to grow in front yards, and a paved walking trail around the complex that contains play fields and playgrounds.

As we strolled we passed kids playing soccer, rugby and baseball.  Other people were out strolling or walking their dogs.  It was a great way to walk off the blues and get the body moving again. And there were things blooming.  

 Catkins on the contorted filbert are flowers too.

 Remnants of last season still linger.
 Alder catkins may be the pollen producers that are causing some of us to start spring sneezing already.

Spring is starting to pop out all over now.  And Spring officially arrives on Wednesday!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Happy Spring!

And yes, walking it off did help, but I still nodded off for a few minutes in my recliner at 2:30 this afternoon.  With no energy for cooking, we're going out now for burgers.  

Maybe it's just spring fever.