Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vacation Stop

That's what it's called when you put a hold on your mail and newspaper.  We have done that.  Now I am putting a hold on blog posting.

Our bags are packed.  The weight has been checked.

They are both under 40 pounds.  We're good!

The taxi has been ordered.  The cat has been provided for.  The refrigerator is mostly empty.  The yard is on hold, too.  

Yesterday evening we sat down to watch a little TV and relax, and found Rick Steves, in Athens!
We will be there soon! I have been studying his guide books. Yesterday we downloaded his app to our iPhones for some tours of Venice and Rome. We are signed up for excursions for most stops on the two week cruise of the Eastern Mediterranean. 

I am not taking a lap top, just our smart phones.  I will not even try to blog during our travels.  I hope to post to Facebook and I've learned how to send group emails on my phone to stay in touch with family.  

If you see me on Facebook, great!  Otherwise, I'll see you all later. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ups and Downs

It began Friday night.  We had another lovely evening for a soccer match.  The Sounders were playing west coast rivals, the Vancouver BC Whitecaps.  Seattle was favored.  The city was beautiful, the sky was dramatic...

We founds friends on the light rail.
 We marched and chanted our way to the stadium.

 The field was colorful and we got to sing Oh Canada!
 The tifo produced by the Emerald city Supporters was grand! 

Then it all went south.  After a tense 90 minutes of play, Seattle lost.  The Whitecaps fans celebrated the winning of the Cascadia Cup while the rest of the 55,000 filed out of the stadium, disappointed.

Saturday morning the weather looked to be good as we traveled south to my brother's house in Chehalis for the annual Norquist Family cider bee. 

We got to work cutting and grinding and pressing apples.

 Samples of freshly squeezed cider were tested.
 More family crew arrived.

 The cider was strained into jugs.

 Cousins had fun. 
  I borrowed some photos taken by my niece Katie from her Facebook post.

I left the apple crew to go shuck the corn for lunch.

 Just before the lunch stop we had some heavy rain move in.
So lunch was moved to the garage.

Tom and I had to leave then to go to Olympia to attend a memorial service for a too young member of his extended family. We drove through rainstorms and rainbows to get to this lovely place.

We heard that the apple squeezers produced 75 gallons of cider, to be divided up around the families. We brought some home too.

Sunday has been another dry day.  We got up late, I did some grocery shopping and then Tom and I went for a walk.  We settled in front of the TV at 1:30 to watch the Seahawks play the Dallas Cowboys in Seattle.  At half time we went to Jill's house to take them some cider and applesause I had made last week and give Isaac a new rain jacket we shopped for at REI Saturday evening after we got home. He goes to outdoor education camp this week and the rain is coming back the the northwest. 
Unfortunately the Seahawks lost too!  Bummer.  

Tom and I think it's time to leave town.  This week will be about getting ready to do that. We fly away on Thursday.  I'll tell you more about that later.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Working Vacation

It was a quick trip we made to the island.  We had work to do there.

But the good thing about working there is that you get to be there, on Whidbey Island. This time of the year it is very quiet, with the occasional scolding from the gull on a neighboring roof. 
 There was grass to cut,
 and a neglected garden to clean up. This is the "after".  The "before" was ugly. 
 And after about three hours of work, we took a few minutes to sit and contemplate the lagoon.
 I walked over to the bay side of the road.  Passing the front garden I decided it looked pretty good now. 
 The persistent fog lifted enough late in the day to expose the thin layer of clouds.
 Rafts of water fowl floated on the glassy bay.
 This morning the fog lifted outside about the same way as it lifted in my head - slowly.
 More projects - Tom made some adjustments to the roof of his shed.
 I washed the plastic deck furniture so it would be ready to stow away.
 We both planted tulip bulbs in the front garden. There was no sitting by the lagoon today.
 Except for this heron, who spent quite a bit of time perched on an old piling. 

 After lunch we tidied up the cabin, and then the work was done.  It was time for a walk on the dike along the lagoon. 

 Apple seedlings long ago escaped from an ancient orchard and now grow on the dike. 

 Most of the blackberries are long gone, but a late crop persists here and there. 

 My zoom lens spies out peek-a-boo views. 

 My favorite madrone tree. 

 I love the subtle colors of the autumnal fields and wet lands. 

 Well, hello there, you on your perch.

 Good bye. 

 Looking back across the lagoon to the Sunlight Beach road "cabins". 

 Turn around time. A view of the dike from across the lagoon in the cabin back yard.
 The sky was lightening as the fog lifted, so we crossed the road to visit the beach.  There were loons in the bay!

 Fog and clouds battle the sun over the distant Olympic Mountains.

We are back home in Seattle tonight.  We feel both tired and rested.  So it is with a trip to our island.