Saturday, March 30, 2019

Marching into April

It was a sunny day near the end of the month of March when I took these photos. When spring finally arrived, it erupted! While we are away, here are a few more photos of spring arriving at Reeder Garden. 

 Forsythia in its golden glory.
 An early epimedium.
 A pretty pink corydalis. 
 Leucojum, large late snowdrops 
 with primroses.These have been re-blooming now for many years in this spot. 
 Ranunculus that plant themselves everywhere, and are sometimes dug out, sometimes appreciated. 
 The magnolia stellata is fill bloom. 

 The first trilliums.

 Pretty blue choinodoxa.
 A pretty pink hellebore that survived the snow dump. 
 Crocus mixture 
Primroses transplanted from porch pots in previous years are happy the cold days are over and they can bloom unmolested. 
 Native Oregon Grape, transplanted from my valley in Oregon years ago. 
 Geranium cuttings and tomato starts from the greenhouse, getting a sun bath. 
 Tulips will be erupting soon, and daffodils will nod farewell.
 And the birds are nesting. Chick-a-dees have claimed the church house in the rose bed and are busy going in and out.  
And look! A woolly bear caterpillar.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

50 Years Together!

Today, March 29th, 2019, is our 50th Wedding Anniversary!
We were married on a Saturday afternoon in the Presbyterian Church in Puyallup. 
The Puyallup Valley was know for its daffodil fields and its Daffodil Festival, and so, of course, daffodils played an important part in our wedding. My bride's maids, who were all my sisters, wore daffodil yellow and carried bouquets of daffodils. 
Tom and I were teaching across the hall from each other at Mount View Elementary School in the Highline School District. We announced our engagement right before Christmas break, a wild day for sure, and got busy planning our wedding when our break was extended by a a huge snow storm that left school closed for days. We set the date for the Saturday at the beginning of our Spring break. As young teachers we didn't have much money, but we managed to pay for most of our own wedding.

My wedding gown cost $50, on sale off the rack at Nordstroms, including alterations. The veil cost more than the dress.
Our attendants were all family members. My sister Laurie was matron of honor and Tom's brother Dave was best man. My two brothers, Don, far left, and Henry, second from the right,  and Tom's cousins Tommy and Danny, were groom's men and ushers. My sisters are, left to right, Betty Jo, Laurie, and Ilene. 

We were all so young then, including our parents. They, and my little sister Betty Jo, are all gone now. 

Our cake was cutting edge for the times, chocolate, with fresh flowers for a topper. 
Tom was teaching 5th grade and I taught 4th grade. Some of his students had been in my class the year before. We were both well loved by most of the kids, and we invited our classes to the wedding. Parents arranged car pooling for all the kids who wanted to go. There were a bunch, including this adoring gaggle of girls. 
Our reception was held at the church: cake, coffee, punch, mints, the usual church wedding reception in those days when we didn't feel the need for a huge party and a sit down dinner. It was all arranged by Tom's mother, who organized the church ladies.

After the reception, family members were invited back to Tom's parents' house for visiting and lots more food. That was all kind of a blur for me. Tom and I opened gifts.

Finally we were able to escape. We spent our first night in our rented house near where we worked, and then the next morning we drove to the old rustic cabin on Whidbey Island for our honeymoon. We had very little money, but all it cost us was the ferry fare and groceries for doing our own cooking. 
We settled into married life rather easily. We were good friends before we were lovers. We remain best friends today, and the love, honor, and cherish vow is holding strong. We feel very fortunate to "have and to hold" each other. 

We are celebrating our actual anniversary modestly, the usual breakfast with teacher friends in the morning, but there will be cake!, and dinner with Jan and the kids in the evening, before we leave for a few days at the Whidbey Island cabin, now new and improved. 

We are delaying our big anniversary celebration until July, when we will host a garden party, and include celebrating my 75th birthday as well as the birthdays of some of those siblings you saw in the wedding party. July is a big birthday month for our family. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


When the violets bloom in my garden, I think of my mother, Violet Hofstetter Norquist. 

Here she is at age 89, in the final year of her life with us here on this earth. Her large family misses her. 

This camellia reminds me of her too. It was grown from a cutting taken from her bush back when she still lived with Dad on the farm. 
Now it thrives in our garden. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Word About Collusion

It is a relief to know that there was not evidence that the President of the United States acted knowingly with the Russians to undermine our election process. It is a relief that we are spared the immediate need for Impeachment to try the president for treason. 

Those findings do not negate what we do know, that Trump welcomed the interference, encouraged it, and was gleeful over the resulting attacks on his opponent, Hillary Clinton, all the while denying that it was the Russians that helped him win. 

The findings also do not negate the facts we know that prove Trump is a liar and a cheat with tendencies to white supremacy. We know he surrounded himself with liars and cheats and crooks, because that is who he is too. Birds of a feather. 

Many will want this all to go away now. It won't. There will be vicious attacks on the media, and on the "sore losers" in Congress who continue their investigations. There will be recriminations and revenge seeking on the part of the president's supporters. There will be more narcissistic bloviating. 

It isn't over. The fat lady hasn't sung yet. We can only hope that the final act begins with the election in 2020. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Walk in the Park

It has been a slow Sunday morning.  But we have time to be slow. 
That's a good thing. 

I got back to doing my exercise routine after two days off. Then we went for our two mile walk over in the neighborhood park. Spring is happening there too, as the warm weather we had last week has started the natives to blooming. 

 The red currant is looking lovely.
 The Indian Plum is the first to pop out in wooded areas, 

The Oregon Grape is opening it's bright yellow buds. 

Friday we went to breakfast, as usual, then went for our two mile walk. In the afternoon we puttered in the yard. Saturday morning I took the light rail into the city for a medical appointment while Tom went without me to a garden club outing.  We puttered a bit, and sat a bit and organized a bit in the afternoon.

We were forecast to have rain but so far it hasn't materialized, and we really need it. Since it's still dry, we'll go out and work in the yard again this afternoon. There are always jobs to do. 

The University of Washington Huskies are playing right now in the NCAA round of 32. They are trailing North Carolina, and I don't have much hope. I'll probably just listen to the game as I go outside. I don't think I've earned  three hours of sitting in front of the TV in the middle of the day. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Check That Job Off the List

This was Tuesday  morning.
Four yards of compost were delivered. Tom did put his coffee down, and we both got to work.

This was noon on Thursday.  By now he was pacing himself, one load of compost, one sip of coffee.
 Yep, that pile is gone. The last of it went into this spare trash can for future use. We didn't know where to put it in the yard, having mulched everything we planned to do. 
 We got everything picked up, cleaned up and put away before lunch. Then I spent a few minutes sitting here on this bench in the sun before washing up.
The weather is changing, and by Friday evening we will probably have rain, but the warmth this week has brought out the forsythia and the first flowering plum and wild cherry trees. Spring is here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Summer Spring Has Sprung!

It reached 80 degrees here south of Seattle today. It was almost as warm yesterday, and tomorrow is predicted to reach 75.  No, that isn't normal. In fact it's the warmest March day ever recorded here. 

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 20th, is also the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring. After such a cold, snowy February, we are kind of in shock with this roller coaster weather. Rain and cooler temps will return just in time for the weekend, but the freezing nights should be over. 

So how did we spent this summer day? Well, we have spent days  cleaning out the garden beds, picking up debris and getting the yard spiffed up. Yesterday Tom ordered 4 yards of compost/mulch. It was delivered at 11:00 this morning.

 Tom is going to have to put that coffee down soon and get to work. Me too. 
And work we did! We got a good start of spreading compost around the beds in the upper yard. 

Tomorrow we'll do some more. It's a big yard and there's a big pile in the driveway. It will take a few days. 

But by a little before 4:00 today we called it quits, cleaned up, and sought the shade! 

It was time to sit and read, rest, and enjoy the balmy breeze. 

Happy Spring, everyone. My thoughts go out to those of you still suffering snow, ice, or flooding. Stay safe. Better days are on the way.