Monday, March 30, 2015

Dozens of Cousins

My sister Laurie and her husband Arnold, who live near Winlock, Washington, hosted a family reunion Sunday.  The reason for this timing was that my brother Don and wife Sheree were visiting from the Boston area.   The five of us surviving siblings are rarely all together in the same place, so when that happens, it calls for making it an occasion. 

My sister Ilene, front and center, is the oldest and is now enjoying calling herself the family matriarch.  How did it happen that we are now the old people? I am second oldest, then my sister Laurie, on the left, then brothers Henry on the left and Don on the right, in birth order. ↓
 Here we are with our spouses: my Tom, Henry with his Cindy, Laurie's Arnold in the center back, and Don with Sheree.  Ilene was recently widowed, and we miss will Mike at these gatherings. 
 In the next photo we have the "mature" cousins. Kathy and Marshal, back left, and Lila, right front, are Norquist cousins, from our Dad's family.  Kris and Dan, back row, are Hofstetter cousins, from our Mother's family. ↓
 This good looking bunch is the next generation, all first cousins: back row  - Andy, Jake, Katie and her husband Troy, Ben, Tim, Stewart; front row - Jordan, Jill, Ben's wife Ericka, and Tim's wife Kathy. Looks like we're missing Andy's wife Jody.↓
 It took some work to get the third generation to settle for their photo.  They are a busy bunch and a little to clever for their own good. These kids are all first or second cousins: in the back - Hans and Nathan; in front - Irene, Hannah, Mia, Heidi, Larson, Oliver, and Isaac. 
There are more of us, of course. Ilene has another son and a bunch of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Two of Henry's three kids live across the country, and he has three grandchildren, with more on the way.  Don and Sheree have three children living in the east and the south with grandchildren yet to come. 

With all the posed photos, there were plenty of photographers.  

 There were a few hi-jinks with the "adult kids" too. 
And there was lots of eating and visiting. 

 Niece Katie surprised us with an anniversary cake!  It was our 46th anniversary on Sunday.
 We shared the spotlight with Henry and Cindy, who celebrated their 6th anniversary the day before. 
 Impromptu posing led to this sweet pic of cousins and good friends Katie and Jill. 
 And here's that kid who hates to have his picture taken. Ha-Ha, Isaac, you knew you risked being published!
A good time was had by all!

As you notice, we were outside most of the time.  It was about 60 degrees with light clouds and no sprinkles, just what the planners ordered.

Thank you very much to Laurie and Arnold for all of the work that went into arranging and preparing for and hosting this event. It was a great success. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Joyful Gardeners

Our little garden club, The Joyful Gardeners, meets one Saturday a month, January through October.  It is a neighborhood group affiliated with the Northwest Perennial Alliance, of which we are also members. 

We go on field trips and have project sessions, and mostly we visit and share garden knowledge.  Many of our members are fairly new to gardening and appreciate learning from others.  

Today, besides touring our spiffed up garden, we planted.  The challenge was to come up with an unusual or "funky" container and the plants to go in it.  This required some homework, finding the container and shopping at nurseries, something we all like to do. 

Many found treasures at thrift shops.  Everyone had something interesting. 

We all shared what we brought first, and then we went to work. 

 There was hot coffee and tea and food, of course. 

 Here are some of the results. 

This last one is mine.  I found the old coal scoop at my neighbor's house when we were cleaning it out and moving her to assisted living.  I wanted to try something different so I concentrated on grasses and succulents.  It needs to fluff out a bit but we'll see how to does.  The plan is to let it just get water from a lawn sprinkler and not get hooked up to our drip system, which is at capacity.  We'll see. 

We had fun, and all the work in the yard was worth it for all of the compliments we received.  Sharing the beauty is the best part.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Busy Week

This morning we hosted our garden club.  I'll post about that later.  This post is about getting ready for today.

When it rained, we cleaned out the garage.  No pretty pictures there, just lots of dirt and stuff to be cleaned up and put away and reorganized.  That's where we hosted our garden group this morning while we worked on a project. 

When it wasn't raining, we worked outside in the yard, trimming and planting and sweeping and finally, edging.  Now it's all looking quite spiffy. 

 Tom worked up another garden box and planted lettuce.  Sweet peas are also planted. 

 The first trillium to emerge have already gone pink.  Others are just now opening pure white. 
 May Apple and Mouse Plant. 

 Red trillium

 Fragrant Viburnum burkwoodii

 Japanese maples are flowering. 

We've also had a house guest this week.  Irene has been sick with the same virus that caused Isaac to develop pneumonia two weeks ago.  We had her here Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  Jill stayed home and took her to the doctor on Thursday. 
Fortunately an x-ray showed no lung involvement and today she announced that she feels "so much better!" We have the kids again today while Jill plays in the mountains again with the Mountaineers. 

Tomorrow we travel south to my sister's home for a family reunion, since my brother is visiting from Boston.  My salad and dessert are ready now.  I just finished up in the kitchen.   The you-bake pizza has been picked up. Soon we'll settle in for an away Sounders match on the TV machine.  

And then it will be an early night to bed.  We're tired.