Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A Day Trip to Bellingham

 I needed my graddaughter Irene's signature on a document concerning the family Rockaway Beach Cabin. We decided it was a good excuse to road test our "new" Subaru.  

It rained , starting shortly after we got north of Seattle, all the time we were in Bellingham, and most of the way back home. We had fun anyway. 

We picked Irene up near her dorm in the Ridgeway complex. Western Washington University is build between to forested ridges and spreads up hill on either side. In fact I was impressed by all of the wonderful trees we saw as we drove around Fairhaven District and down to Bellinghan Bay. We checked out two of the parks she walks to down by the bay, but the rain prevented us from venturing out of the car. She took us to lunch in the historic Sycamore Square Building in Old Fairhaven. What a wonderful old building. The Black Cat is on the third floor, but there was a moderrn elevator so we did not climb the wonderful staircases.

These are internet photos. I was busy.

This is where we sat.

This is the first floor atrium

The food was good and we had a great opportunity to catch up with Irene. She is soon to finish her freshman year already and has a summer job lined up at a girl scout camp an Hood Canal. She is excited to get paid for going camping!

We took her to a grocery store to buy her a few supplies for when the food is "too gross" in the dining commons. 

We left her about 2:30. Her classes were done for the day and she said since it was raining she would probably go to bed. College life. 

On the way back south we sidetracked to the Skagit Valley towns of Bow and Edison. In Bow we found the Samish Bay Dairy and Cheese Maker we had stopped at before and bought a very special 10 year old Gouda and a slice of cheese cake.

In Edison we stopped at the Breadfarm to get bread to go with our cheese. At home later that evening we added some canned soup to our bread and cheese for a very fine supper. 

Tom did all of the driving and he was very happy with the Subaru. The larger side mirrors mostly made up for not having blind side detection. The cruise control, once he set it on the rainy freeway, was wonderful, so much improved from what we had before, slowing down and resuming speed automatically. I set the onboard GPS and it worked great while we listened to my iPhone music. 

We are happy with our "new" car, and it was a good day trip. 

Sunday, May 26, 2024



There is a green wall outside my upstairs office window. The Korean dogwood had finally opened its pointy petals. It's Sunday morning of Memorial Day Weekend and the rain has returned. Those pointy petals are drooping, weighted down with water.

All those folks planning outdoor activities around here will have their plans dampened.

We studied the weather forecast and knew this was gong to be a rainy day, so we are doing our Monday indoor chores today, so we can be back outside working in the garden tomorrow. 

I'll turn on the Indy 500 while we are working around the house and doing laundry. I usually watch some of it, but sitting in front of the TV for hours seems like a waste of time when you can be outside. For me, I guess the rain is a good thing today. 

We aren't doing anything to commemorate Veterans Day this year, no cemetery visits, no parades. We have Veterans in our family, but no war dead or injured. We thank those who served and gave their lives for our nation. We hope our nation continues to deserve that dedication. 

I was awake too early this morning so I have been spending time on the computer reading your posts. Now it's actually time to get up, so I'll get going. Thanks for the visits. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Seeing Red

 Seven years ago we decided we were ready for a new car. Our old Toyota was developing issues. Almost every day when we went anywhere we drove by a rental car used car lot, and we would notice that little red Cruze in the lot. We had driven a little Chevy as a rental car when traveling and liked it. One day we stopped to check it out, and sure enough, we bought is. 

We have been very happy with it, but now we were  wanting something with a little more leg room, easier to get in and out of, and with more up to date safety features. 

We looked on line for used cars. We haven't bought a "new" car for a long time, having been satisfied with used rental and dealer cars. 

We weren't sure what we wanted, but then we found a 2020 Subaru Crosstrek with only 25,000 miles on it at a Suraru dealership near us. And it was RED!

Bright RED, almost the same color as our Chevy. Red was one of my criteria, by the way. 

We were out at a garden event on Saturday which was near the Subaru dealership so we went to see if it was still there. It was. We bought it.

Wondering how long ago we had bought the Chevy, I found my memories on FaceBook and discovered that it was exactly 7 years ago to the day! Meant to be?

The dealership offered us a low trade in value, so we opted to keep the Chevy and will be selling it to Jill for a bargain price. She is ready to ditch her old RED Toyota. It seems that driving a stick shift isn't as much fun anymore, now that she is 50+, and she isn't ready to invest in a new car yet. 

We have spent time the last few days studying the features of our "new" car. It's complicated. But we know how to use the back up camera, I've figured out the GPS, and the Bluetooth is now playing my iPhone music. Technology is amazing. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Work and Play on Whidbey Island.

 It's Thursday afternoon and we are winding down our short stay on Whidbey Island. We arrived late on Monday evening and after a slow start Tuesday, we spent a long morning cleaning out the cabin garden again. We were tired then so we mostly sat, but we did take a walk on the lagoon dike to check out the Nootka roses just starting to bloom.

In the evening we spent some time on the beach watching the sunset.

With the work done, we spent much of Wednesday playing. We visited the Meekkerk Rhododendron Gardens up island from us.

I'll post some of those photos in a separate post.

Then we went out to lunch in Langley and walked around the village before coming home to rest and relax. Thanks to Jake's help previously, we were able  to use my laptop to connect to the big TV downstairs to watch the Sounders game in the evening. We lost. Then we used the laptop still connected to the TV to watch a series on Netflix that we are in to. 

Today we are taking care of a few lose ends. We spent time at nearby Bayview Gardens Nursery especially for the purpose of seeing the Laburnum Walk.

This Laburnum Walk is designed in the style of a similar arbor in the garden of Rosemary Verey at Barnsley House in England. When we visited there it was past bloom time. Here on Whidbey we can time our visit to see it in it's full splendor. 

Tom's cousin Dean, who has the cabin next door, is over visiting and I am listening while finishing this post. Then I think I'll have some ice cream - in the afternoon - and read, until it is time to pack up. We have different rules when we are at the cabin. :-)

Sunday, May 12, 2024

It's Mother's Day And I Get To Rest


When the days are long and the weather is warm, it's time to start living outside. But that means there is lots of work to do first. The winter grime and pollen scum needs to be washed off of everything. Plants that were being protected under cover and in the greenhouse need to be moved out. New plants we have been accumulating need to be planted. That's what we have been doing this week. 

Sometimes Tom and I work together, sometimes he does jobs I can't do and I do what I can.

I took everything off the house wall, brushed off the dirt and spider webs, and put it all back.

Tom helped with the nozzel collection when I ran out of gas. 

We moved all of the tender and spikey plants out onto the patio.

We cleaned furniture and swapped out winter chairs for summer chairs.
Tom got his bonsai collection set up. Everything has to be hooked up to the drip system, a big job for Tom all over the yard. 
Tom got the deck cleaned up and hung the old windows. The wisteria is blooming now, but only lightly this year. 
A place for contemplation: "Truth", "Patience", "Breath easy", "Just because". We both sat here for a while this morning after Tom brought the last pots down and hooked them up. It's a beautiful morning. 

The only mosquito I like. I put out all of the yard art this week too. 

Tom kept the lawn mowed and I edged it, scissoring it and then crawling around to pick up and weed the edges of the beds. My knees held up, just barely. I may have overdone it a bit. 

Yesterday with a little help from Tom. who had other jobs, I put out all the glass flowers. Here are many of them.

Then I was spent. Saturday afternoon we took off to go spend time with Tom's sister Jan sitting on her deck. 

Today I am slowing down. I need to. We'll watch the Sounders on TV this afternoon and then our adult "kids" Jill and Jake will come over and together we'll prepare a grilled dinner to share on the patio. Jill is making a rhubarb dessert. 

It's noon and 69 degrees, heading for 75. Perfect.

Happy Mother's Day, even though you will probably find this too late. Hugs to all.