Monday, October 30, 2023

2023 Norquist Family Cider Bee

 The tradition began on our little farm in the Willamette Valley way back when these two were kids. Our dad collected apples from neighbors and we used our grandfather's old cider mill. 

Laurie and Linda
Now we are the matriarchs. Our children and grandchildren provide the crew.

The apples from east of the mountains

The grinders

The cutters

The Juicers

The head honcho

Ben: It's his house.

The talkers and watchers

The youngest, enjoying an apple

Pepper the Dog's Friends
I did actually get up and move around. Pepper and I played fetch too. 

We had all of those apples squeezed by 12:30. Then we took a group photo. 

Quite a crew, I think our biggest ever. We were so happy to have so many, in three generations, from our sister Ilene's family. We miss her. 

And then we ate!

And then those of us who are trustees for our Rockaway cabin had a meeting. Our brother Hank joined us via computer from Georgia, as well as a niece from Spokane.

Some of our college kids were absent, but excused, of course.
And I guess we'll excuse these two,

They were at the Seahawks game. We won!

It was another wonderful day of family fun and the continuance of a beloved tradition. 

Photos by Katie, Tom, and Linda

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Pumpkins and Apples

 It's almost Halloween and almost the end of the month of October. We are having sunny, crisp weather for a few days, and Tom has been doing a lot of work in the garden. I even got out for about an hour this afternoon, working on collecting and storing yard art.

But most of the day I was busy with other things. 

Sunday, tomorrow, we'll be going to Winlock, to my nephew Ben's home, for our annual Norquist Family Cider Bee. In preparation for the potluck lunch I was busy making food: pumpkin pies and Macaroni salad.

While I was doing that my sister Laurie and her son Ben were east of the mountains getting the apples we will be pressing for cider. She posted this on Facebook. 

Meanwhile Jill was underwater, carving her pumpkin. She said the experience was just OK, and didn't offer any more details. 

These are the pumpkins that the divers carved underwater.

Jill said the bumpy one, for her earlier party, was too hard to carve. Her underwater "ghost" she says looks more like a fish. I think she had fun in spite of the results.

Then this afternoon she want hiking. 

After resting up from being on my feet all morning, I worked outside for a while. I had another rest when I came back in and then I carved my pumpkin. 

It was thick and took some hand strength but I stuck with it. When it was finished, we smiled at each other. Yes, it's a happy Jack-o-lantern. I always carve happy pumpkins. No gory or menacing Jacks for me. 

I even collected the seeds and roasted them. 

We won't have any trick-o-treaters or any parties or even any grands for Halloween. The Jack-o-lantern is just for me.

Carving it was fun. It makes me smile. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Seattle Japanese Garden

 The Seattle Japanese Garden is an authentic Japanese style garden opened in 1960. It is 3.5 acres of beauty nestled in a ravine, surrounded by woodland and adjacent to the Washington Park Arboretum. Just south of the University of Washington campus, it is a city gem. 

Our garden group had an outing there on Saturday. I wasn't sure if I could handle it, but I was so glad I tried. It was in its autumn glory. 

If you are local you should try to go there in the next week or two. If not, here your go, with the whole tour. :-)

Our group studying the structure of an old maple. One of our members acted as a docent  and gave us a guided tour. Because of my poor hearing and difficulty standing in one place, I was usually in the background or wandering off to take pictures. 

Leaves are just beginning to fall here.

Footing was a bit tricky in some parts. I relied on Tom for assistance, but it was so worth the effort. 

The tea house, where tea ceremonies are held regularly. 

I was sitting here taking a break when a lady approached me exclaiming how beautiful it was and that I should let her take my picture. I was holding my phone, so I let her. She was right, about the background any way. 

Japanese gardens are always centered with a pond.

The trunk on this old wisteria is huge. 
In spring all these azaleas are in bloom. 

Our group pausing under a Gingko tree going gold. 

I hope you enjoyed the tour.