Friday, July 29, 2016

Eight Days of Political Conventions

WARNING: This report is totally biased!

I am a bit of a political junkie. When it comes to watching big political events, I'm in. 

So except for the first night of the Republican National Convention (RNC), when I was traveling back home from Whidbey Island, I watched every day of the RNC and the DNC. This week, with the Democrats, most days I turned on C-SPAN at 2:00 and let it run in the background as I tended to other things, stopping to listen when something really interesting was on. 

And so, yes, I saw it all.

I saw the Republicans put on the best show they could given that most performers and party powerful didn't want to have anything to do with the nominated candidate.  Mr. Trump showed up every night, not wanting to miss the spotlight, and to watch the parade of his beautiful children take the stage to support their father. 

I heard lots of attacks on Hillary Clinton and hardly any praise of Donald Trump. Follow up fact checking indicated that truth was in short supply. The tone was dark and pessimistic, except when The Donald assured us that "I am the only one who can fix it". Trump still wants to build walls that separate us. 

The tone of the Democratic National Convention was much more upbeat. On Monday the theme was "Love trumps hate" and Cory Booker spoke eloquently on the theme of love. He and other speakers tried their best to embrace the Bernie Sanders supporters, who frequently shouted out protests throughout the convention. Bernie got to address the convention too. Then the highlight of the evening was Michelle Obama, who delivered a magnificent speech from her perspective as a mother of daughters. The line I remember most was "Our children are watching us." Many of us had tears in our eyes. 

On Tuesday Bernie got his roll call vote and his people got lots of opportunities to cheer, but when he conceded, his hard core Bernie or Bust supporters staged a walk out. It was democracy in action in all its messiness.

But then there was Bill. Bill Clinton took us back to the day he first met Hillary and told of their life together over 45 years of good times and bad. He explained that he was telling us about the "real Hillary", and not the caricature created by those who have tried to diminish her. I personally loved it!

Wednesday night's stellar lineup included Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, and Tim Kaine, the VP candidate who looks to be the perfect guy to replace Joe Biden, sweet, thoroughly good, and very capable of taking on Trump, and the office of president should that ever be required of him. 

When President Obama took the stage, it was the topper of three days of praise for HRC and all she has done and accomplished to help others. That hug at the end, when Hillary made an appearance, was just the best moment of all for me. 

On Thursday night Chelsea Clinton made her introduction of her mother personal, telling us of her childhood with a mother who loved her dearly and how much fun they had together. 

And then it was Hillary Clinton's turn to speak and accept the nomination. I thought she did a wonderful job. She showed her compassionate and caring nature, but she was also in command! And besides that, she looked great! I liked  her message that we are stronger together, that we can all rise together. And my favorite "When there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit!"

And she was having fun!

I am now ready to leave politics behind for a few days. I will follow the news and maybe read a few editorials, but not much. 

I will be ready later, though, to help elect this good woman to be our next President of the United States!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Family Activities

On Sunday Tom and I attended a combination family reunion and birthday party for my sister Laurie,   celebrating her 70th birthday. 

The festivities were held at my nephew Ben's home in Winlock, Washington. 

There was lots of visiting and eating. 
 We were blessed to my great nieces, Maggie and Della with us, granddaughters of my brother Hank. 
 Auntie Jordan loves her nieces and they love her.  
 Their beautiful mother Jessica has her hands full while her husband is away going to military school, but she is doing a great job, with the help of her family. 
 Siblings and cousins gathered together. 
 Old friends surprised Laurie in what was a sort-of-surprise party. 
 More (Mohr) cousins joined the party. 

 Young cousins wore themselves out playing. 
 And there was birthday cake!
 Laurie with most of her grandchildren. 
While we were partying, Jill was delivering her kids to scout camps. She dropped Isaac off for his ride in the morning and then she and the girls visited Snoqualmie Falls before taking them to Girl Scout camp at Camp River Ranch. 

Then as we settled in at home to walk, garden and watch political conventions, Jill went mountain climbing. 

Monday she drove to Mt Baker and climbed to base camp. 

Then on Tuesday she and her companion climbed the 5000 ft glacier climb to the summit. 
Then she climbed back down, got in her car and drove home, all on the same day! 

Tom and I have been watching a lot of both the Republican and Democratic conventions. We will be glad to have it all come to an end tomorrow. I'll write a post about it them. 

Then I can get back to spending more time in my garden. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Our Open Garden

Over a week ago, on Saturday, July 16th, we hosted an open garden as part of the Northwest Perennial Alliance Open Garden program. 

Members of the NPA use their Open Gardens book to find gardens most weekends May through September. One of the pleasures of being members is being able to tour so many private gardens. You have seen photos here of many of those gardens. There will no doubt be more to come.

Last Saturday it was our turn. We also invited personal friends, and the result was about two dozen visitors, trickling in throughout the day, allowing us time to visit with each one. 

At 4:00, after the garden was "closed", I went around with my camera to photograph the garden as it was on this day. The bright sun and shadow made photography tricky, but with a little exposure adjusting, they turned out OK.

But before I take you on my tour, I would like you to follow the link to see the photos of our garden taken by Peter, The Outlaw Gardener, who is a fellow blogger, NPA member, and a friend we have met through gardening and blogging. It was so much fun to see his post today, and see our garden through his eyes. 

Peter started at the front of the house, and so will I.

 Into the secret garden.

 Irene was at the Whidbey Island cabin with her family, so we set up a plant sale for her.