My Town Monday: Hail to the Chief

DSCN0269 Chief Spokane Garry monumentIt’s a blustery day here and the wind chill is hovering near the freezing point.  If not for the sunshine and fresh air, I would have stayed inside.

Today I walked over to the monument erected in honor of Chief Spokane Garry.  This is believed to be very near the site where he held the first school in 1830. The monument reads that the building itself was 50 feet by 20 feet, constructed of pine poles and covered with with a roof made from mats of dried grasses woven together by the native women.  But the chief’s story begins earlier than 1830. It is believed that he was born in 1813; in 1825 (at approximately the age of 12 years) he was taken* by Sir George Simpson of the Hudson’s Bay Company to the Red River Missionary School near Winnipeg, Canada, where he was educated. Chief Spokane Garry was teacher and missionary to his people for sixty years.

* I don’t know if he was taken by force or by request. Sometimes I wonder…

click on pic to "embiggen"

click on pic to “embiggen”

The land near this site is considered by some to be an historical site. Those 12-14 acres are held in conservation and have been marked by the city as an undeveloped park since 1950. Some of the tribes send a crew twice a year to clean up windfall and work on the trails.

There is loud construction a few blocks away. Heavy machinery is chewing through solid rock. A developer is following through with long-term plans to build housing on the edge of a hill and in what we had thought was part of “our” park.  The large boulders that I had thought were there to keep out motor vehicles were really there to mark the boundaries between privately owned land (developer) and the city-owned park.  Since this particular park is one that was such a draw to purchasing our house, I am feeling downhearted about the development of the private land. The neighborhood banded together years ago to stop the developer from putting in a larger number of condominiums, but it was always his land to develop. I’m sure the new tenants will enjoy the park, too, but it will feel smaller to the rest of us. I am sad to see the loss of what I had originally believed to be undeveloped park-land in conservation.

I love to walk in the wilderness right here in the city — now there is a little bit less to enjoy. The wetlands in springtime will still be there but houses and people will be that much closer, and something inside of me fears pesticide and fertilizer contamination. Call me a pessimist.

I wonder what Chief Spokane Garry would think and say?

You can read/see more about this little park here, here, and here.

U is for…

Count your blessings, name them one by one…


I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

Welcome to week!


U is for Umbrella

DSCN2386 umbrella

A number of years ago (and I write that phrase because I cannot remember the number) my dear husband purchased this lovely umbrella for me. Impressionist art? Check! My favorite flower? Check!


U is also for UFO…

quilt squares, J&J quilt

This is an example of an UnFinished Object.  I happen to have a lot of them in every type of creative outlet that catches my eye — including beading, blogging, and quilting. 

We come in peace UFO

Retreat Theme: “UFOs… We Come in Piece”

It’s not that I love having unfinished projects, but I am grateful for the opportunity to create. Did I mention I’m going on a quilting retreat at the end of the month?  Our retreat theme this year is — you guessed it — UFOs.

I have plenty of UFOs in my house.

Right now I have a lot of fabric that needs cutting and stacking before next weekend’s big quilting retreat.  Yes, there are projects to organize… and complete!  I am thankful for the opportunity to turn those UFOs into something beautiful.

Some of them might even become Christmas presents.

FINISHED PROJECT last December:   The Lovebirds with their new quilt (top folded over so you can see the back)

FINISHED PROJECT last December: The Lovebirds with their new quilt (top folded over so you can see the back)

And finally for this week, U is for Understanding…

Normally, I try to post these gratitude pieces on Thursdays — after all, I do categorize them as “Thankful Thursday” — but that obviously didn’t happen this week.  However, I know that my readers are pretty understanding , even when they don’t know that I put in a long day at work then rushed off to a game to watch my son in one of his final gigs as a drum major.  So thank you for being understanding! This morning, I got up with the kids to get them off to school, then went back to bed and stayed there until nearly one o’clock (dreaming about time travel of all things). After my husband woke me up for the second time, I had some tea and protein and headed back to the office to finish what absolutely had to be done this week.  I’ve easily put in an extra day of work this week. Technically, I’m only supposed to be there for 6.5 hours on Tuesday and on Thursday. Either I am a perfectionist (guilty) or still struggling with the learning curve (somewhat), or there is much more to the job than there are paid hours available in which to accomplish those tasks (true).  I need to establish better boundaries. I’m working on it.

The good news is that I’ve paved the way to a much easier week NEXT week, and the information needed to get things done is all there.  The announcements are already written (sadly, mostly by me — see above comments about perfectionism and boundaries), and  I won’t need to chase down bits and pieces of the worship service since the person preaching is our part-time pastor. He’s actually already given me a printed copy of what he wants done.  It’s nice to look forward to an easier work week, even though I know other tasks will be coming my way.

I think I’ll go to bed early tonight.

How has your week been? Do you have plans for the weekend? Any gratitude points you’d care to share?

TWT: Summer Wedding

I was going through a few more of the old photos that my mom had stashed away and came across this one. At first I thought it was my sister standing in my grandparents backyard in Montana in the early ’70s and not me at all, but the date on the back of the photo finally cleared up the confusion.

RSCN2260 TWT July 1974 CaliLA wedding

July 1974.  Ah, that would explain the bows on the trellis! This was taken at my uncle’s wedding in Southern California. My dress is a little cattywampus on the shoulders because we had spent quite a few hours in the motel pool the day before and my siblings and I each had pretty bad sunburns. (Pacific Northwest kids were unfamiliar with the SoCal sunshine.)  Mom had sprayed us all with Solarcaine and got us dressed for the wedding, which was held in my uncle’s backyard.


Time Warp Tuesday is brought to you by Jenn at Juggling Life. Visit here to see the other participants and their photos.

Beading like a mad fool

Last Friday I drove north toward the border and met up with some crazy Canadians for a crafting weekend (including this blogger). The other gals scrapbooked but I worked with beads until my fingers cramped… and then I switched over to card-making… and then I switched back to beading.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Weekend creations

Nearly everything in this collage of 5 photos was sold as fast as I could make it — and there were others, too.  Not everything has been photographed but I did try to take pictures of the things I sold. I have some awesome Canadian friends. ♥

Jen will be pleased to know that I experienced glamping over the weekend. I have seen the light. Glamping is awesome: you can sit around in your pajamas, giggle yourselves silly, and crawl into bed (if you can figure out how to climb into the bunk without falling down) — all without stepping a foot outside in the cold night. No long walks to the bathroom!

In the meantime, life goes on:  more work than I can get done in 2 days each week, a church women’s retreat this weekend, a work meeting to prepare for on Monday night, the constant laundry and housework here at home (It was hard enough to get it all done when I was a professional housewife!) …and this is where I should probably point out that the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are nipping at our heels…   You’re welcome.

So while I’ve been busily getting a supply of product built up for a craft fair in early December, and working, and heading out on 3 retreats in 4 weeks (I know. It’s awesome) there are a few things that get pushed to the back burner… including reading blogs. Honestly, I was completely caught up a few weeks ago. It felt so good! But  book group, downtime spent with my husband, and kids’ activities take precedence over blogging.

And that is why there was no Thankful Thursday post this week. It will return next week, I promise!

What has been capturing your attention lately?

Thoughts for the Day


Things to consider:

  • The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
  • The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are ‘XL’.  Do you think the clothing industry knows this?
  • The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble.
  •  When you put the word ‘the‘ together with the ‘IRS’ it spells…  Theirs.

About Aging:

  • Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
  • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way.  I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.
  • The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight…   because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.
  • When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.
  • You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
  • One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.  (Just don’t tell my frenemy, Arthur Itis!) 

*Thanks to my friend Carol who shared these with me in an e-mail.


T is for…

Count your blessings, name them one by one…


I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

Welcome to week!


This week I am thankful for  TRAVEL.

When I was a kid, my parents set aside vacation days and money (and for many years, there wasn’t much of that), and each summer we would take a 2-week vacation.

Now I could discuss how this vacation usually involved piling 4 kids and 2 adults who did not get along very well into the Chevy Impala station wagon, traveling hundreds of miles each day in a vehicle which was not air-conditioned but which did have black vinyl seats…  but this is about thankfulness, not fighting brothers or fighting parents or yours truly who was easily nauseated in moving vehicles.

What I gained from those summer trips was a feel for much of the United States — and impressive bragging rights. By the time I was 21 years old, I had spent at least a tiny bit of time in each of the fifty states.  We made several long treks to the Canadian Rockies (we would spend a week camping near Banff, hiking each day in a different place and then returning to the old tent trailer at night) and an equal number of visits down the coast to Disneyland. I’ve been to Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  We took one epic 3-week-long vacation to Alaska in 1978, riding the ferry from Seattle to Skagway, then driving from Haines to Fairbanks and on to Anchorage before driving back down through Canada.  You simply can’t put a price on that experience and I am extremely thankful to have it in my past and in my memory.

This weekend I am driving a much shorter distance north (not quite all the way to Canada) and spending a few days working on craft projects. Last Saturday was a scrapbooking day here in town; this weekend is for beading and card-making and generally time spent away from home.  I’m thankful to be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

What are you thankful for this week? 

Five Things I love about Autumn

  1. Cooler weather (time for hoodies and fleece and yoga pants)
  2. Football and marching band
  3. Pumpkins and Apples
  4. Smell of woodsmoke
  5. Leaves in the wind

DSCN2245  Shadows & Light

There is such a richness of color, scent, and flavor in Autumn. After the heat of summer, things once again feel fresh and sweet and new. I sit outside and listen to the windchimes in the breeze, feeling renewed and energized by all of the richness that surrounds me.


S is for…

Count your blessings, name them one by one…


Here’s your sign…

I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

Welcome to week!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I am thankful for the volunteer Squash that keeps growing in our garden.

(People who put the innards of squash in their compost in the fall get surprises growing in the garden each summer.)

I am thankful for the beauty in the change of Seasons…

Autumn leaves with shadow and sky

Autumn leaves with Shadow and Sky

Simple pleasures



My four boys, summer 2000. Note the very dark tan hand around the baby's middle.

My four sons in the summer of 2000

Sometimes I am amazed to look at old pictures like the one above and realize that it has only been 13 years (not so many, really, compared to 50!) and yet our sons have grown up so much during that time. Youth is fleeting.

Your turn…

What are some of the blessings for which you are thankful this week?