Wedding Bliss

February 16, 2009

I attended the most wonderful wedding this weekend in Astoria, Oregon.  My nephew Brian married his sweetheart Katie.  They are the cutest couple!

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It was a great weekend.

We stayed at the Cannery Pier Hotel which was lovely.  We overlooked the river and the boats passing by with a view of Washington just over the water.

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We did a little shopping and a lot of eating.  Best of all, I got to visit with my sisters, brother and dad.  It had been ages since we were all together.

My brother Ernie

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My sisters Leslie and Lynne and me

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And my dad and Phyllis

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I think a good time was had by all!

It’s been how long?

February 1, 2009

Wow! I haven’t updated my blog since November.  So… let’s see… what have I been up to?

We had a real nice Thanksgiving at our house with family and friends.  We enjoyed a traditional turkey with my favorite artichoke parmisan stuffing.  Kathy didn’t make it this year.  She was busy rushing off to Florida to be with her boys while she married her high school sweetheart Rick. We forgave her for missing Thanksgiving. Congratulations Rick and Kathy!

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Here are the kids and grandparents.

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I also got to have all my kids home for Christmas this year.  Not only did Dustin stay with us but he brought his cats Bea and Arthur. It was quite an experience for them with my cats Ruth and Idgie and the two dogs.  I think they did really well, considering.

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Good thing the cats stay indoors because we had some pretty crazy weather.  We had more snow than normal in December and I got to brave the roads in snow slush and ice. I learned a lot about driving in winter weather but I wasn’t very happy about it. I did get this pretty shot of the tree in the front yard.

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We postponed our family Christmas celebration because of the snow but we were able to visit with the family later in the week.  The cousins have been playing this game whenever they get together since they were tots.

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I remember playing it as a kid too.  Some things just never change.

I just have to share this picture of Ruth.  She was sitting in the chair by the fire and got a little too comfortable.  I’ve never seen her drape herself over the furniture like this before but she was like that for about a half hour.  I guess she really enjoyed the warmth.

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So, today begins February.  I am looking forward to spring and watching all the plants come back to life.

End of Daylight Savings

November 2, 2008

There have  been several times I have wanted to update this blog but I have a hard time finding time to do it. I should be practicing music right now but I really need a break, so here it goes.

We are totally and officially experiencing Fall in the Northwest. We can have some beautiful crisp days and some dismally dark, rainy days. On the good days we try to take advantage and spend some time outside. A few weekends ago Kevin came home. Dustin came up to visit so the  whole family was together.

The men went out in the street and had a rowdy game of touch football.

Fun was had by all except the game did not finish without injury. Jim took a dive into the street (at least his head made it onto the grass) and came in with some rather disgusting scrapes and a possible cracked rib. Boys will be boys, at least that’s what they keep telling me.

Then we decided it was the perfect weekend to carve pumpkins. Even though, at the time, Halloween was weeks away.

Careful with the knife, Staub

Working away

The pumpkins did last until Halloween but they were scarier than any of the trick-or-treaters. The mold that grew was disgusting and they almost dissolved in our hands when we put them out. They were in the compost bin by 9:00.

Last weekend we had a party for the fall birthdays in the family. Ann and Jim were both celebrated. Kathy was here from Kansas and Dustin and Tasha showed up too. Here are some family photos.

Dad

Tasha, Kathy and Ann

Ken

Tasha

Mom

Kathy’s dog Isabella. She wasn’t at the party. She was at our house hanging out with Bacchus and Reiner.

As always, we had a good time. Plenty of food and drink and stories to tell.

We picked names for Christmas and I got Dad. I already know what I’m going to get him.

This weekend has been a little sunny and little stormy. I did get some nice fall pictures though so I’ll share just a few. These are the rest of the walla walla onions from my garden. I was afraid the frost would ruin them. They are yummy.

The maple tree behind our house.

Another maple tree in our backyard.

And with that we had to put our clocks back today. I don’t mind getting the extra hour but I’m a little annoyed that my rehearsal tonight that is at 7:00 is really at 8:00. Yuck

Sam Runs Cross Country

September 28, 2008

I am very happy that after all this time I finally got to go to one of Sam’s cross country meets. He is a senior and this is the first one I have been able to make. Thanks to my new work schedule I get to do a lot more fun stuff.

Here he comes!!

Getting closer…..

And finished.

Now he can relax and enjoy the rest of the meet.

We were lucky to have nice weather all weekend. I’m happy that maybe some more of my tomatoes will have time to ripen. After a rainy week we went outside and found this amazing surprise.

Now, I have been criticized for posting pictures (my tomato) that are size deceptive. This, however, is huge.  I decided I would have to prove it so here you have it.

Even though it was a sunny weekend I worked indoors quite a bit. I cleaned out Kevin’s room (sorry Kev), patched the walls (no more dart board scars), ripped up the carpet and  started painting. I have great plans for this room and it will be a very nice place for Kevin to stay when he comes home to visit.

End of Summer

September 14, 2008

I have noticed lately that fall is in the air. I was enjoying my morning coffee while watching the world out the window when I realized that the leaves on the maple tree were turning red. Where did the summer go? More amazingly, there was a squirrel in the tree gorging on seeds and I was lucky enough to snap a picture.

Idgie, Ruth and I watched the critter for quite some time. I do believe he will have enough to last the winter.

There were other signs in the yard that summer is ending. My birdbath is lost in the overgrowth of grapes and weeds.

And, my Walla Walla onions are almost ready. For dinner tonight I decided to use one, even if it was a little early. It was wonderful. I will definitely grow these again next year.

Not all is sad about summer coming to an end. The Cascade Symphony started another season. Today we played a short selection at Benaroya Hall for their anniversary celebration. I had a great time, I played well and it is always exciting to play music in such a wonderful hall. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have these opportunities. Jim bought me flowers at the local farmer’s market to celebrate.

After the show Jim and I and Dustin, Lindsay and Sam all went out for lunch. It was Lindsay’s and my first time to have pho. We liked it.

After lunch we walked to Dustin and Lindsay’s apartment to meet their new cats Arthur and Beatrice. They are the most adorable baby cats. They say they’re not related but they sure look like they could be. The two of them entertained us for quite a while and I hear that Dustin and Lindsay can’t do anything but sit and watch their kitties.

This one is Beatrice, now meet Arthur…

That’s it for now.

Summer Vacation

August 30, 2008

Finally, Summer Vacation. It has been action packed, that’s for sure. After working at my new job for only a week I started my vacation with a two-day motorcycle safety class. Jim and I got up bright and early and did some classroom work then the afternoon was all on bikes. We rode scooters, not motorcycles. The first day was extremely hot, we were sweating more than we could drink water. It was insane. The second day was just the opposite. A storm came in and we were soaked through to the skin. Unfortunately, this was the day we had to take the test for certification. It was crazy trying to see through the pouring rain and even scarier to try to make the turns and stops expected for the test. Yay! I passed!

One challenge finished before we moved on to the next.

Monday we left for Orcas Island, just Jim, Kevin and myself. Sam decided his cross country retreat would be more fun for him than kayaking. We missed him but he did have fun with his friends. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday honing our kayaking skills, about six hours each day. We were exhausted and sore but we learned a lot and are anxious to get back out in our boats to practice all the new techniques.

It’s always fun to ride the ferries, no matter how many times we’ve done it.

This was the view from our condo. We relaxed on the balcony in the afternoon with a glass of wine and a good book.

Another storm blew in after the first day and we were afraid we would suffer the same misery as the motorcycle class but to our amazement, the sky cleared and we had a gorgeous day of boating.

After arriving home, who do I see walking down the street? Dustin. I was so happy and surprised. He had been in Boston all summer and this was the first time I’d seen him since his graduation. He looked great and I was very pleased to have a chance to visit with him and feed him dinner. What else can a mom do?

I am continuing to be on vacation even though I am at home. Today Sam and I finished a 1000 piece mosaic jigsaw puzzle that we have been working on since I received it on Mother’s Day. Thanks Kevin. It was really hard to put together and we haven’t had the use of our dining room table all this time. It’s going to be hard to put it back in the box now.

My Garden

August 15, 2008

Every year I try real hard to have the best garden ever. I plan and plan, then work to get it planted. Then the weeds grow and I don’t have time to fertilize and I reap what I can and hope that next year is better.

This year is no different. I have lots of things growing in my garden and I love eating the fresh veggies. However, I would not win any awards with my garden.

I found this guy while I was watering. He looks scary so I kept my distance.

I have six tomato plants this year. Three are returnees from last year. These cherry tomatoes are the first to ripen. I put the red ones in our salad for tonights’ dinner. Yum!

Try as I might, I cannot grow okra in the northwest. I don’t know why they even sell the seeds. Several years ago I had a successful crop but that was the only time. These plants barely get started before the weather cools down. I can be as stubborn as they are though… I will definitely try again next year.

Snow peas, on the other hand, grow great here. This is the second planting. These are pretty young but I’m sure they will produce before it gets too cold. We enjoyed snow peas every day for the last few weeks.

My garden blog would not be complete without a picture of my blueberries. These are my pride and joy. These plants came with the house so that makes them at least 15 years old. The last few years have been amazing with the amount of berries I have been able to harvest. Last year I canned some jam but this year we are simply snacking until they disappear. Nothing beats fresh blueberries.

Recital Time

August 10, 2008

This weekend I played in a recital at the Bishop’s house on Capitol Hill. It was a beautiful place to play music. We performed mostly as a group and with little time to practice together, I think we did a pretty good job. Afterwards a wonderful meal was served and we were able to visit with old friends and meet new people. It was a fun time.

Here I am sorting music

Now tuning

This experience has inspired me to play more. I got out a Bach concerto today and had some fun with that. I am looking forward to the Symphony starting in just a few weeks.

Lindsay made it!!

August 4, 2008

Here she comes….

Here she is!!!

I picked Lindsay up at the train station this morning. We had a nice visit and did some grocery shopping. We bought some great treats and she has promised to help cook. Yay! We even found some Okra so I’ll let her try my favorite recipe.

I was showing off my garden and Lindsay found the first ripe tomato of the season so of course we shared it.

Saturday August 2nd

August 3, 2008

Today I was going to clean the house because Lindsay arrives on Monday and I have to work tomorrow. I cleaned the fish tank but that was all the effort I could muster. I spent the day playing music, picking blueberries, doing pixel puzzles and I even snuck in a nap.

Idgie had a better nap than I did. Ruth decided she needed to purr on my chest and Bacchus decided he was ready to go outside and had to bark about it.

Yesterday Jim left for Japan. I raced outside as soon as I got home from work to see if I could see his plane leave. Sure enough the plane went by but not on the path I expected. I shot this picture just after he went by. Close, but no cigar.

Sam and I watched the funniest movie last night. Death at a Funeral. I would highly recommend it. We laughed all the way through. Don’t worry Jim, it’s not due for three weeks so you will have a chance to watch it too.