Friday, June 30, 2017

A Working Trip to Whidbey Island

We had a couple of days to squeeze in a trip to Whidbey Island this week. since i had an appointment Tuesday afternoon, we waited until after the rush hour to go north through the city and to the ferry dock at Mukilteo.

The sound was like satin on this calm evening.
 We only had to wait for one boat, so we had just enough time to stretch our legs and watch the ferry come into the dock. 
 And then we were on our way, leaving the mainland behind. 
 We rent our cabin out one week each summer, always to the same family. It provides revenue to help us pay our taxes and other expenses. It also serves as an impetus to get in and do a through cleaning. We keep a list of jobs posted and each family member checks them off as they get done.  

One of our jobs is to maintain the garden, since we planted it. It was looking very crisp, except for the plants that are drought tolerant. 
 Working together, Tom and I spent three hours Wednesday morning, clipping and weeding and hauling out the brown debris. 
In the afternoon Tom went after cob webs inside and I put teak oil on the deck furniture and washed all the other outdoor furniture. 
I took a few minutes to walk over to the beach on the bay side before sitting a bit. 

 After dinner, we live streamed the Sounders match being played in San Jose. The sounders got scored on late in the match to loose 2-1. 
 We were tired, but we took a little stroll in the twilight. Our summer evenings are long and lingering. 

Thursday morning we did more cleaning jobs inside, and then took the afternoon off to read and visit with Tom's cousin next door, and get some deck sitting time. We returned home Thursday evening, satisfied that we are well on the way to having the cabin ready.

There will be some family members enjoying the cabin this weekend and over the 4th of July, and then they will do the final cleaning.  Our Whidbey Island cabin is an extended family project and a shared treasure. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

An Unexpected Gift

A week ago the McMicken Lunch Bunch met at a local restaurant for our monthly get-together. We are all educators who worked at some time at McMicken Heights Elementary School.

I worked at McMicken in various jobs, both classified and certified, for about 20 years. It is also my neighborhood school and the school my children attended.

Our group meets once a month, and there are about a dozen of us on the list, but each month we have whoever can make it. It's always fun to get together and visit. Most of us are retired, but occasionally we get someone still working in the district, and then we can get all the latest scuttlebutt. 

Last week there were seven of us, and Andrea had a surprise for two of us. She has a friend who "dabbles" in water color painting, and she brought a chickadee painting for DeeDee, who loves that little bird.

When she saw this little painting, she thought of me.

Andrea follows my blog, which I usually link to Facebook, so she knows I have foxgloves blooming in my garden right now. She has also been a guest in my garden for various occasions. 

What a lovely surprise! Thank you, Andrea.

This photo was taken by DeeDee, and Chris had already left to return to work. She is a principal. Andrea is next to me, and next to Tom are Linda M. and Eileen. 
When I got the little paining home, I had to decide where to hang it. It blended so well with a painting I already had in the kitchen done by Nancy Spaulding, a San Juan Island painter, so I collected another by Spaulding - we have several - and made a little grouping.
 How delightful to receive an unexpected gift!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Fun

The Reeder-Gibsons began their summer fun full speed ahead in their first week of freedom. Jill and Isaac went to Idaho on a Boy Scout Adventure. Irene went to stay with her Aunt Jan for the first part of the week, then an overnight with one of her best friends , and then Thursday night with us.

We did our usual stuff - gardening, walking, a few trips into the city, for an appointment and for a soccer match. and we made sure the kids' kitties and garden were watered and fed. 

Friday morning Irene went with us to our usual breakfast. Then, after stopping by her house to check on the cats, we stopped at Des Moines Marina to see what the low tide looked like and walk out on the dock. 

 There were goslings being watched over by their mama. 

Then we drove to Kent to the Carpentino Brothers Nursery and Produce Stand. I was looking for some good local strawberries. 
 We found some strawberries and some corn too!
Meanwhile, Jill and Isaac and the Scouts were making their long drive home after quite the adventures. They backpacked into Louie Lake. (These are the photos Jill posted on Facebook. I wasn't there, of course)
 Then they climbed that peak you see across the lake.
 Jill, being a Mountaineering Instructor, got five of the eight Scouts to the top. It turned out to be a very advanced scramble, and Isaac, leading the others, didn't quite make it to the top. The "other dads", as Jill referred to the other adult chaperones, were not quite up to it. 
Then they spent several days white water rafting on the Salmon River. I have no photos. I understand they were too busy trying to stay in the boat. 

We hadn't planned on them making it back very early, but when we got an update that they would make it home by about 6:30, I added to my dinner plans, and they rolled in about 7:00, ready to devour everything in sight. 

There were grilled teriyaki chicken sticks, grilled asparagus, corn on the cob, green salad with pear, cranberries and walnuts, and for dessert, strawberry shortcake!

We we had a great time sharing all of the stories. 

And that was just the first week. Today Isaac and Irene are off to Colorado to spend time with their dad and their other grandparents. There will be camping. Jill is off to Oregon to climb two of the Three Sisters Mountains. Tom and I will do cat and garden minding duty, and take off for two days ourselves, to the Whidbey cabin. 

Fun in the summer!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kicking Off Pride Week in Seattle

 There was Sounders Soccer game last night. They painted the steps in a rainbow.
The band played on.

 The Pride Flag was flown proudly. 
 The first 10,000 of us were given arm bands.
 Rainbows were everywhere.

 The rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air.  As my son posted on Facebook, "Pride" is really about freedom. 
 And some extra sparkle. 
 The Emerald City Supporters showed their support. 

We had received an invitation from the Sounders FC organization to spend the last twenty minutes of the game watching from down on the field. We accepted. It would be a new experience. 

Here's for view from the south end zone, field level.
 The ECS was cheering and chanting behind us. Tom craned his neck to make sure I got him in the photo from over my head. 
At times we were right in the action.
Unfortunately, Orlando scored in the last seconds of the game to tie the game and steal our victory celebration. 
But I guess we were just sharing the Pride. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Of Birds and Bees and Blooms, and That Stinky Flower.

Last week I discovered an empty Junco's nest in the coal bucket planter.
Today as I was out poking my camera lens into things, I flushed out the Mama Junco and discovered four speckled brown eggs. 
 I hope I can watch the development here without bothering the parents too much. They sure do chip-chip at me if I get too close. 
I brought my camera out late this afternoon because I discovered that the Voodoo Lily was blooming. 
 Dracunulus vulgaris, also called Dragon Lily, is one of those blooms of the type that smells like rotten meat. By tomorrow it will be attracting flies, and there are quite a few buds yet to bloom. Stinky, but oh, that color!
 The Bumbles were busy on the spirea. 

 A sprawling type of clematis has popped open. 

 Nature creates amazing color schemes. 
 The volunteer Shirley poppies are popping. 

 Finger mittens for foxes? 

 Columbine are nearing the end of their season. I will miss them. 
 Welsh poppies perform all spring and into summer. 

 A hardy geranium rambles and weaves its way where it wants to. 
 A Pacific Coast iris. 
 Yellow water iris, Iris pseudacorus, lives down by the dry pond.
 The two peonies we have managed to keep going.

 And roses - Old English types - are beginning to erupt in their first flush.

 The blue eyed grass I bought at Joy Creek.
 An old Asiatic lily.
 I do believe Summer begins today! I'm ready for some outdoor living!