For the Love

red leaf HEART 4x6 October 2010

Wedding picture

Whoosh! That’s the sound of February zooming past us. The adage about time passing more quickly as we age must be true. How does one otherwise explain these gray-haired people? We were young so recently! (Wedding picture on the right –> was taken 31 years ago.)

SuperDad and I took the trip of a lifetime a few weeks ago. We flew to Hawaii on February 4th and spent 10 nights/9 days exploring the island of Oahu with our friends who have been living there for the past few years. I honestly can’t say enough about how wonderful the entire experience was, from flying first class (!!) to the beauty of Hawai’i and time spent with beloved friends. It was incredible.

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Photo taken at the very windy Nu’Uanu Pali Lookout on Oahu

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Waikiki Sunset on our first full day

Here are a few pictures from the more than 1,200 photos I took.DSCN7925 (2) WEBSHARE

The USS Arizona Memorial is still closed due to needed dock repairs, but we were taken out on a boat to view it as closely as was safe. That sunken battleship is the tomb of many people and since the memorial is situated at a perpendicular angle over the top of the USS Arizona, it isn’t a simple job to repair the loading dock.

DSCN7969The process of going through my too many pictures to weed out the bad ones and decide which others to keep, along with the necessary editing for printing and/or sharing (putting here on the blog requires resizing) is taking an inordinate amount of time.  So here’s a few to whet your viewing appetite and hold me accountable for more in the coming days and weeks.

DSCN7927 Mighty Mo 4x6 of the USS Missouri

The USS Missouri, also known as “Mighty Mo” and BB-63, wasn’t built when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. However, this battleship was where the surrender was signed in the Tokyo bay on September 2, 1945., and is now located close to the USS Arizona, representing the beginning and the end of the United States’ involvement in World War II.  

DSCN8233 Honolulu overlook WEBSHARE

Despite fantasies that probably every visitor to the Aloha State entertains, we knew we couldn’t stay. Our hearts belong here at home with our family, including these two Valentine cuties. We hadn’t seen them since the beginning of the month and my heart melted when I saw this photograph. Chomper is now 8 months old!

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photo credit: Forever Photos

We flew back into Seattle and spent the February long weekend there, relaxing in a humble & cozy Airbnb and attending a wedding. It simply didn’t make sense to drive home on a Friday, then turn around and drive back across the mountain pass the next day (nearly 600 miles round-trip), and staying put in the temperate zone likely helped with our re-acclimation to winter. Seattle high temps were around 40 degrees — a nice middle ground after leaving a place where 65 degrees means folks bundle up in winter coats and before returning home where it was 15 degrees.

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This is one of two 8′ tall “Soulless Snow Sentinels”

Our resident young men “held down the fort” in our absence. Amazingly, the fridge wasn’t empty when we returned this time, even though we left them with fewer eggs. My mention of their ability to grocery shop might have had something to do with it.  Even better, the house was clean and the driveway had been regularly shoveled.

In the 2 weeks we were away, approximately 2 feet of snow fell and so did the temperatures (into the single digits Fahrenheit). I’m just crazy enough to be sorry to have missed the excitement although there’s still plenty of snow on the ground, including residential roads. There might be an igloo in our back yard.

Yes, there is an igloo in our backyard, but it’s too cold to go out and photograph it. Sorry.

Icicles IMG_20190219_155739213_HDRDaytime temperatures warmed up to just above freezing for a few days, which has made for some epic icicles. The icicles are sticking around because we’ve plunged back down to single digits.

I’m so grateful to have had a respite from February’s never-ending winter weather.

Birds and Burns

There’s a mama and baby turkey hanging out in our neighborhood these days, and by neighborhood I mean they mostly seem to be hanging out in our yard — front, back, peering in the windows, basically whatever they feel like doing.

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The first time I looked out the window at the mama turkey looking in at me was a bit startling but we’re getting used to seeing them daily now that it’s been about a month. Junior has grown quite a bit since I took these photos. My DIL who loves birds and majored in animal science tells me that turkeys normally have about 5 eggs to hatch, so we don’t know what happened to Junior’s siblings.

As I’ve written before — several times — we have a small wilderness park behind our home. Every year around the 4th of July I get a little tense, worrying about wildfires due to fools and fireworks. Well, this year it happened, more than a week after the holiday, and we’re lucky the fire department arrived quickly. (Personally, we’re lucky it happened on the other end of the street and the wind wasn’t blowing our direction so we didn’t even have to breathe the smoke.) The fire came close to several houses but only one is having to replace siding that melted in the heat of burning trees.

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It could have been so much worse.

DSCN5568 Resilient Nature WEBSIZED

And nature is resilient.

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May all of those who are so terribly affected by the [much, MUCH WORSE] wildfires in other places be shown grace, hope, mercy, and respite from the anxious worries that now consume their thoughts and lives.






First birthday, A July 2000

This sweet boy, my youngest son, is graduating on Saturday afternoon.

DSCN3507 WEBSIZED grad gown

That’s tomorrow… just hours away, really.


I’m a little verklempt tonight.

Friends from Virginia and Western WA will recognize him from his grade school years (and also my friend Gary  on whose wheel he is throwing a pot).


I blinked and my baby grew up into a handsome young man of whom I am very proud.

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Happy Graduation Day to The Scout, a.k.a, SnakeMaster!

MTM: Full of Memories


The boardwalk is a new addition but the view remains the same glorious sight it has been for centuries.

We’re in a small window of warm weather right now and everything is gorgeous — the trees, the river, the sky. I was in my old neighborhood, where we lived 27 years ago, and stopped to snap this picture. It isn’t the best part of town when it comes to socioeconomic standing but it does have some fabulous view of the river within walking distance. When we lived there we often took walks and enjoyed the peacefulness of our surroundings away from the noisy street.

When we moved back to this city a little over 5 years ago, one of the first things we did (after unpacking and setting up the house) was to raft the river. In late summer and early fall, the water is low and it’s easy to get hung up on the rocks in some places but it is always lovely.  I wasn’t able to float on the river this summer and I miss it. I fondly remember kayaking in the calmer sections and getting soaked with near-icy water in the small rapids.

In this older part of town there are huge trees that create a canopy over the streets. Sometimes I return to reminisce over our days as a young couple when we were too poor to turn up the furnace, so we wore jackets and hats in the living room each winter evening. The old rental house still has the same faded red siding, the neighboring houses are just as dilapidated as they were a quarter-century ago, but the view from the bluff over the river is free and remains as beautiful as ever.

Fifteen Years Gone

It was a Tuesday morning, with beautiful, clear, early fall weather in many places; El Paso, Texas, where I was living, was one of them. It was The Barefooter’s 9th birthday, although we had celebrated with a party & friends on Sunday afternoon (something for which he has always been grateful). We woke up to breaking news on the radio, then ran to the living room to turn on the TV. It couldn’t be true… but it was…

Alan Jackson’s poignant song is one that never fails to make my eyes tear up.

Four planes, 3 buildings, 2 cities, 1 Pennsylvania field…
Nearly 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

NYC, Spring Break 2010 253

9/11 Memorial, Staten Island

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A close-up view of the memorial on Staten Island.  The left middle section has two names: one for Deanna Lynn Galante and one for her unborn son, Matthew.

2011 June 239  those who perished in plane and building

Pentagon Memorial

“Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?”

This post is a partial re-post of one I wrote 4 years ago. It seemed especially appropriate to share today, on the 15th anniversary of so much sorrow and loss. 


Close to my heart

Tonight I came home from work to a new catalog on the kitchen counter. The scarf on the cover made me think of Jen on the Edge with its ROY G BIV colorblock design, so I opened it up and perused the contents (the catalog, not the scarf).

I like to look through catalogs that have current styles, not because I’m following fashion trends in clothing but because it gives me new jewelry-making ideas. (Not that I have time right now to be designing jewelry, but that’s another blog post.)

So… where was I? Oh, yes — perusing through a new catalog…

After making note of a necklace design I might want to attempt on my own, I came across this heart pendant:

Ash Holder Pendant
Sterling silver 1 1/4″ twist-top pendant holds a small quantity of cremated ashes (or dried flowers, or a lock of hair). The front is engraved with “Always in my heart.” Arrives with a funnel spoon and message card printed with inspirational verses from Scripture.

I’m curious… would you wear a pendant with a loved-one’s ashes?

The easy access of the Internet

A friend sent me the following in an e-mail today:

One of the most wonderful things about the digitization of almost anything and the Internet is the ability to share with the world incredible materials that were once confined to only the eyes of those who possessed them.

Testing football helmets in 1912.

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The Titanic in dry dock, 1912

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Carl Akeley posed with the leopard he killed with his bare hands after it attacked him, 1896.

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The smallest shop in London – a shoe salesman with a 1.2 square metre shoe store, 1900.

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A beggar running alongside King George V’s coach. England, circa 1920.

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Allied soldiers mock Hitler atop his balcony at the Reich Chancellery, by Fred Ramage, 1945.

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An aerial view of the WWI Loos-Hulluch trench system in France.  July 22, 1917.
British trenches are situated on the left of the photo, and German trenches on the right – in the middle of the two is no man’s land. 

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A man trying to sell his car after losing all in the Great Crash of 1929.

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Wedding rings from WW II concentration camps.
Each pair of rings represents a family, a marriage, a couple. 1945

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Leonard Siffleet, captured Australian commando who fought in WWII, moments prior to being beheaded by a member of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 1943

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Iranian woman in the era before the Islamic revolution by Ayatollah Khomeini. Iran , 1960.

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A shot from atop Pittsburgh ’s Cathedral of Learning during game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

The Pirates defeated the Yankees with a walk off home run by Bill Mazeroski.

Photo was taken moments after the home run.

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The Muffin man in 1910 London.

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Animal Tamer Captain Jack Bonavita sitting down with some of his cats, circa 1870.

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1865: Hanging hooded bodies of the four Lincoln assassination conspirators.

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The morning after a long night awaiting a Viet Cong ambush that never came

40 miles East of Saigon, Vietnam, 1965.

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A man having his nose measured during Aryan race determination tests, 1940.

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Loggers in California with the felled giant ‘Mark Twain redwood’, 1892.

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The last Jew in Vinnitsa, 1941.

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US Government mockups of how Hitler could have disguised himself.

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NASA before Powerpoint

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The end of WWII is celebrated in Moscow’s Red Square. May 9, 1945.

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What thoughts and feelings do the above photographs and descriptions evoke in you?

V 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.)

I’m barely getting this one in “under the wire” — at the 11th hour and then some! — but here it is…

Welcome to week!


V is for Vacation.  Oh, yes, I am thankful for vacations. Aren’t you?

Montana vacation destination

Montana vacation destination

DSCN2335I hadn’t planned to be absent from blogging, but as cliché  as it seems, I’ve been really busy. Work comes to mind as the biggest consumer of the time I formerly referred to as “free time.”  I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact that I have a regular job after 22 years as a SAHM. Admittedly, some of my time has been spent doing fun things with different groups of ladies:  a scrapbooking day (10 hours of nearly non-stop work on my Europe album), a beading & card-making weekend, a women’s retreat with some ladies from church at a beautifully remote and scenic spot in Montana,  and a fabulous weekend of sewing and quilting.  That all represents 4 out of the past 5 weekends. I know I am blessed. This is a great season in my life!

Morning in Montana Oct. 20, 2013

Morning in Montana
Oct. 20, 2013

Then there was the weekend of  mysterious illness (possibly exhaustion) over the only two days I had nothing scheduled on the calendar. I had planned to catch up on blogging (reading & writing); instead, I napped for much of those two days and slept like a log at night. (Do logs sleep? Let’s just pretend that they do.)  

This weekend I am venturing off to yet another vacation spot: visiting my dad in Arizona.  It won’t be all fun-and-games — I’m going alone and he is in an assisted living facility. As I wrote in September, this trip is about seeing him again before his health declines even more.  I am thankful for the addition of my small income from work that allows me to go for a visit.

V is also for Veteran.  This coming Monday is Veterans’ Day here in the United States. My younger brother is a Marine veteran of the Gulf War. He has taught his sons great respect for other veterans and I’m sure they will be doing something of service on that day. I am thankful for the many sacrifices that our veterans have made. We owe them much more than we will ever know.

What are you thankful for this week? 

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.

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.