Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What’s Your Number?

 images 19  

Lucky number, that is.

I’ve always been partial to 19.  I’m not exactly sure why this number in particular, or even when my crush began.  But if I end up being the 19th person in line, or leaving the 19th comment on a blog post, or receiving 19 Hershey kisses, it makes my day.  I could even try to  claim that the year I was 19 was the best year of my life…

But it wasn’t.  That would be exaggerating.


Back when I was in college, I had a good friend named Chris.  I think he may have wanted to be an even better friend.  He gave me a t-shirt emblazoned with Hey 19, and when that didn’t soften me up he gave me an entire MILE 19 road sign, complete with the post still embedded in cement, and covered with dirt. Lots of dirt.   Chris left it outside my dorm room door for me to find the next morning.  It was quite a surprise, to say the least, though I had to spend the better part of the morning  tracking down the dorm janitor so that I could borrow a vacuum.  Poor Chris.  His heart was in the right place, even if mine wasn’t.

So while Chris was left, those many years ago, to find true love somewhere else, my fondness for 19 has endured.

images 19 again

And my favorite perfume?



No. 5


Do you have a favorite number, and if so, which one?


Monday, April 25, 2011

Eye on the Pie

cherry tree

This weekend, the weather in Ellensburg was really nice.  I can say that now because it’s over and I don’t have to worry about jinxing it.  And when I say nice, that means NO WIND!   A rarity in the spring around here.

Saturday Amy said she wished we had some more fruit trees.  After taking inventory of available yard space, we decided we could definitely fit in one more tree, and two at the most.  In our back yard we already have two huge old maple trees, an old apple tree, and a young lilac-small now but getting bigger every year.   So we headed to the local nursery and picked out one new tree, a little cherry tree. 

I know that planting a tree represents hope for the future, and we feel that-looking at the tiny sapling as it stands in the shadow of the mighty maples that were once just tiny saplings too.

But mainly…we are looking forward to those future cherry pies!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Living in the Sun


This morning, when I went upstairs to make the bed, there it was.  Neat as a pin.  Already pulled together, and with my zillion barkcloth pillows carefully arranged on it too.  A  secret surprise meant for me to discover later, after she’d already left.

For the zillionth time, I paused and said a silent prayer of thanks that I am so blessed.  And again, I was left to wonder, why me?  What made me so deserving?

I was no saint in my youth.  If  blessings were handed out on the basis of merit, I’d be working overtime trying to right the many wrongs of my past. 

But still.  One peek inside the room with the lime green walls, and the leopard bean bag chair and the stacks of books- and I know it’s true.    I am blessed.   Amy.  My daughter.  My beloved.

Deep dark fears?  There are too many to name.  It’s part of the deal you make when you  give your heart away completely.  At even the happiest of times, I often sense a shadow passing over the sun, and I shiver.

But then I  reach out to hold her hand, or ask her for a hug. Some gesture to bring me back into the sunlight.  The present moment.  The here and now.   Because that’s what matters. 

So to those deep, dark fears that lurk in the coldest corners of my mind, hoping and waiting for the chance to stir up one heck of a storm…listen up. 

I’m not about to stop working on my suntan any time soon. 

Amy and the umbrella 

This piece was inspired by the Red Dress Club prompt to write a letter to your deepest darkest fear.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Spring!


I’m so glad it’s gardening weather!  Today Amy and I worked on extending the size of our garden plot so that we can  grow even more vegetables, and we planted our first batch of  lettuce.  Our rhubarb is getting bigger by the day and it will be ready to harvest in a couple weeks. ( I’ll be posting my recipe for rhubarb crisp soon!)

I finished off the day by planting  pansies in some of my tiny vintage flower pots.  I love how sweet and nostalgic they look, and I also love that spring, with all of its color,  is finally, finally here!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mrs. Wingert



Third grade.  When I look back on that year, it still seems magical.  I had, you see, the very best teacher who ever wrote her name on a chalkboard.

The year I had Mrs. Wingert for a teacher was her last year.  And maybe that is why she was so memorable.  Maybe she was trying hard to make it a magical year for herself too.

She told us stories.  Like the time her husband got mad and punched  a mule in the mouth and broke his hand.  Or the time she watched as birds landed on a telephone line only to be electrocuted and fall to the ground.  As a class of 8 year olds, we were mesmerized.  As an adult, I can see through these tales for the fiction they probably were.

She also knew the power of praise.  I will never forget her remark about my observation that pomegranate seeds were heart shaped.  “Brilliant!”

Towards the end of the year, Mrs. Wingert started to clean out her classroom.  She held daily drawings.  Mysteriously, every kid won something, every day.

When Mrs. Wingert retired, the school presented her with a new handbag.

But I had already given her my heart.


Who was your favorite teacher?


I intended to post this yesterday on Lisa’s blog Two Bears Farm for her Memory Lane Friday linkup, but my computer was “sick” all day.  Here it is now-and Lisa-I’ll try to link up next week. 


Pictures sourced from the internet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue Hawaii


The movie:

Filmed in 1961 to showcase Elvis.



The drink:

Invented in 1957 by a bar tender named Harry Yee to showcase the signature ingredient-Blue Curacao.

  • 3/4 oz. Light Rum
  • 3/4 oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 3 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix


Combine all ingredients and mix well. If using ice, mix the ingredients in a blender. Serve in a tall glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

I tried a Blue Hawaii this last trip, and I’ve added it to my list of Hawaiian favorites!



And speaking of another favorite-

I always liked Elvis.  But I was never an Elvis fanatic.    After I read about his involvement with the Arizona Memorial project, though, I became one of his biggest fans.

On March 25th, 1961, Elvis held a benefit concert in Honolulu for the memorial  that raised $65,000.  He was already in Honolulu to promote his newest movie, Blue Hawaii.    The concert  renewed public interest in the project so that enough money was eventually raised to complete it. 

“Elvis Presley gave of his time and fame to ensure the memories of those who sacrificed on December 7, 1941, and the lessons learned from the attack on Pearl Harbor are never forgotten.”

- Tom Shaw, President and CEO, Pacific Historic Parks.

Elvis, that makes you a king in my eyes any day.



Credit for drink photo Shutterstock

Monday, April 11, 2011

Old, and New

This past Friday, I visited a favorite shop of mine-a second hand store I’ve been frequenting  for 10 years now.  Unfortunately, they are going out of business. Everything was 75% off, but as  I only had about 5 minutes,  I took a quick look around and told myself I’d come back the next day and spend more time.  I saw a cute blue vase-that I didn't really need, but decided that if it was still there the next day, I’d get it.

On Saturday, I could hardly believe what the sign on the door said.   I had to ask the owner to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me.  Yes indeed, everything was free!  The little blue vase was gone, but I found some other great treasures, including this plate-a piece in the Desert Pine pattern by Primrose China Company (I see a new collection starting.)


Some of my other treasures included an old school lunch tray from 1966, a vintage 50’s  Hawaiian shirt, a couple of pink vases, and some vintage upholstery fabric.  Everything added up to $150 worth of free stuff.  Not bad.  And just imagine  if I’d only gotten there a bit earlier in the day…

Yesterday morning, Amy, Stuart, Kona and I headed towards Vantage Washington where we hiked through the sagebrush for a couple of hours.  When we first moved to Eastern Washington I thought this particular landscape was so severe and harsh.  It took me awhile to get used to it, but now I think it is absolutely gorgeous.


As we walked, here and there we saw bits of petrified wood. It’s hard to believe that this was once a tree.  Over many, many years, the wood has been replaced by minerals leaving the structure of the original tree intact.  Pretty cool!

petrified wood

In the afternoon, I spent some time in my garden.  It’s slowly coming to life after the long winter.  The tulips and grape hyacinths are blooming, and I love them!  Pretty soon,when all danger of frost is gone, I’ll be able to remove the protective blanket of dry leaves, and then my garden will really come to life.

tulips and hyacinths   garden

Here’s hoping all of you have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hawaii, Through Amy’s Eyes



This collection of photographs was taken by my daughter Amy.  I think they are really, really good, and granted, I am biased because she is my daughter.  But I also think I have a pretty good eye.  And so it seems, does Amy.












There’s my heart-right there where I left it- in Hawaii…

Monday, April 4, 2011

Writer’s Block


She sits at her typewriter, tears offering to come more readily than words.

Her scattered thoughts, her random ideas, are at the moment,  adding up to nothing.

It’s not as if she could walk away though.  Writing, she understands, is as much a part of her as her own name.  But right now, her belief that she is a writer, with something meaningful to say, is laughing at her behind her back. 

She sighs, and makes a wish.

Carefully, she removes the blank, white, mocking sheet  from her typewriter, and fetching a pair of scissors cuts the paper into a  square.  Folding it first one way, and then another, she finds that  this task, at least, comes easily.

She sets the first perfect crane in front of herself, and reaches for another piece of paper.


An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes will be granted their wish by a crane.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Morning Hike, in Pictures

out west

A week ago today I took a morning swim in the warm Pacific ocean before going to the airport to fly home from Hawaii.  Don’t worry-I changed out of my swimsuit first-back into long pants, with a sweatshirt at the ready.  I knew we were heading back to a colder climate.

This morning we went for a nice walk in the woods, Pacific Northwest style. (We are still trying to work off all that Hula pie.)  It was cool and windy, and we knew most definitely that we weren’t in Hawaii any more.

The scenery was still beautiful-and interesting, and here are some photos I took.


This is the sign that greeted us at the start of the trail.  Luckily, it’s still too early for the snakes to be out of hibernation.


cattle guardmail box

Two reminders that we do indeed live in the wild west-cattle guards and elk antlers on things like mail boxes.


lone pine

I liked this lonesome pine tree, and the way it was growing on the edge between sagebrush terrain and the denser forest.


snow flurry

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it was snowing and the sun was shining too.  There must have been a “snowbow” somewhere!


ponderosa pine

The bark of a Ponderosa pine.  If you scratch it, it smells like vanilla.


raging river

Between the recent rainfall, and snow melt, the rivers are full to overflowing.  There has been quite a bit of flooding lately…


beaver work

…which would explain how this beaver chewed log came to rest in the middle of the old road trail we were following, high above the river.


wet Kona

One little side puddle was just a little deeper than Kona thought.  She was quite surprised!


around the next bend

The eternal question.  To stop and turn around, or keep going long enough to see what is around the next bend.


After a couple hours, it was time to go home.  It’s hard to believe that our house  is a mere 13 miles away from this wild place!