Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Sometimes what is broken cannot be mended.  Sometimes what is lost can not be found again.  Sometimes what is ended is final.  So it can be with love once felt, and marriage once committed to.

Corey left his family this week.  On Monday he packed his cameras and his computers and his clothes into his car and headed back to Colorado.  There he will resume his old life, his old job with the county sheriff's department.  For now he will live with his father.  

Why?  This kind of broken is a long process.  Corey was not happy here. That the relationship had faded was becoming obvious, but the sudden announcement that he was leaving was a shocker to everyone.  Just as with his job here, we all had two weeks notice. Yes, he intends to return to visit his children, but the distance is great in miles, and also in emotional damage.  

I'm sure this was not an easy decision for Corey.  He will need the love and support of his family in Colorado.

Jill and the kids went off to school Monday morning, knowing Daddy would be gone when they returned home.  None of them made it through the day, too upset to be anywhere but home comforting each other.  They went home at noon.

Jill and the kids will be all right eventually.  Jill is strong, and has essentially been a single parent much of the time over the last eight years because of work schedules and the move to Seattle.

Now there will be lawyers and hurt feelings and financial stress in this transition time.  There is sadness and a sense of failure, and there will be anger.  We will try not to fix blame.

Jill and the kids have a large, supportive family here.  We will take care of them.

I read a quote over the weekend about mothers: "A mother is only as happy as her least happy child."  We're all a little low on happiness right now.

Update:  Tom and I went to Isaac's baseball game this evening.  Isaac was having fun with his teammates.  Jill was busy being the team scorekeeper.  Irene reports that the school day "was just like any other".  They are back to "normal", and life goes on.

Resilience is a wonderful thing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Help in the Garden

Friday is early release day in our school district, so we often have the grand kids here.  

Today Grandpa picked them up from school and they stopped off at a park near their school to meet up with some school mates to play a while.  When they arrived here, we plopped ourselves down on the lawn while Tom and the kids enjoyed ice cream sandwiches.  Then it was time to go to work.

They kids used to have a small garden at their place in Colorado, but now that they are in a rental house here, they aren't able to grow much.  We really wanted them to participate in our small vegetable gardening activities.  After a week of sunny, warm weather, it was time to start some planting.
 Grandpa and Irene prepared the seed bed for the peas, and then she and I planted them.
 Isaac planted potatoes.
 Isaac helped prepare the bed for beets and carrots.  Grandpa showed Irene how to broadcast the carrot seed over one area, and then they got the beets planted.

Isaac wanted radishes, too, and Tom found some seed and got those in.  

Later there will be pole beans, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, tomatoes, and flowers.  Irene needs flowers for her flower shop.

Hopefully our spring will stay mild this year and we will be able to watch our crops grow and the kids can help with the harvesting and the eating.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Week

Finally!  Gardening weather!  Clear skies, sunshine, and even a little warmth.

The cool mornings have been good for getting my latest sewing project done.  There is a bridal shower for my niece next Sunday.  This Sunday I finally decided I would attend - it's a hour and a half drive away-and I would also make my gift.

Using mornings and evenings, I got these tea/dish towels done in two days.  This is machine embroidery. But even so, each one represents about three hours of work.  And notice the Earth Week theme?

That left me the sunny afternoons to get out into my own good earth.
Edging the lawn requires crawling on hands and knees, but the results are so satisfying.

 See that red spot in the back ground?  That's Tom finishing the weeding.  I think we've got them for now.  But you know weeds.  there'll be more to come.
Tom was finally able to plant sweet peas today, and some plants came out of the green house and into the sunlight for the day.  Soon we'll be planting everything out, and and getting more seeds and seedlings into the raised beds.
 But Spring can take her time now.  It's beautiful as it is; there's no need to rush.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Irene's Birthday Pageant comes to a Grand Close

On Wednesday, Irene's real birthday, she shared treats with her class at school.  At home that evening, she received her second American Girl doll, which she named Marie, her own middle name.  And she blew out her candles on her favorite pie - pumpkin!

Meanwhile, after my little get away to see the tulips and spend a night on Whidbey Island, I came back to work on the grand finale.
 Table linens were prepared, including making a new table runner.  Dishes and serving pieces were selected.  Decorations were hung, and flowers were arranged.  Jill and Irene helped on Friday.

 This morning Jill arrived with the American Girl cake.
 And the birthday doll herself.
 High tea was served to the guests in four courses:  Scones with butter and jam, raspberry sorbet, tea sandwiches and mini-quiches with fruit, and finally, sweets.
 Each two quests shared a tower of savories and then sweets.  Jill  kept the tea cups filled with four different selections.

 Of course there were more gifts too.
And while we certainly didn't need it, cake!

Happy Birthday, Irene. You are now officially eight!

And I am resting.

PS - Tom is wonderful at clean up.  He is a life saver!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Whidbey Island Visit

There was sky drama over the mountains and the edge of the Skagit Valley as we left to cross over the bridge to the north end of Whidbey Island.

DJan, my blog friend from Bellingham, had just recently posted about a Thursday hike in the Cornet Bay area of Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island. In all of the time Tom and I have spent on the island, we have never been there, so we decided now was the time.
There were no threatening clouds here at Cornet Bay!
DJan had mentioned that there were wonderful old growth trees here in this rain forest.  Big trees are my thing, so we set out to find some.

 Can you see me at the base of this tree?  Yep, that's a big one all right, and it had plenty of company.

 Growth of all kinds is lush here in the temperate rain forest. 

 We didn't do the nine miles up and down the hill like DJan and her fellow hikers.  After enjoying the company of the trees for a little while, we turned around and returned to the bay.

We did some more poking around and finally reached the cabin, dumped our overnight gear, and went to find some dinner.  As a matter of fact, we found some nearby, at Bayview.  We ate at Joe's (wood fired pizza - a new place and very good).

The sun was setting on Sunlight Beach and Deer Lagoon by the time we were ready for an after dinner walk.

 Look closely in the photo below to see the sky scrapers of Seattle and Mt Rainier in alpen glow.
 It's tulip time at the cabin too.  The garden looked great but we could see the millions of tiny weeds sprouting everywhere.  That would be our job for the morning.
It took us both about four hours and a lot of hard work, but now the yard is back to ship shape.

While the cabin is a jointly own family place, the garden is our project.

 By mid afternoon, with all the work done outside and inside, I roused myself for a short walk on the dike trail along the lagoon.
The clouds were beginning to gather for the predicted rain, which held off until later that night.
 After the winter browns, the dike trail is going green again.
 Scotch broom is ready to burst it's buds, and Oregon Grape is in full bloom.
 Looking back, you can see our cabin from the lagoon side, the brown one, second from the left.  The tide was out during the daylight hours, so no sky mirror this trip.

The light from the cloudy sky gave the colors in the garden a softer glow as we said goodbye and headed for home.