Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I pray that our Heavenly Father
may assuage the anguish of your bereavement,
and leave you only the cherished memory of the
loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours,
to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
-- Abraham Lincoln, November 1864

In remembrance of the brave men and women who have died defending our country.

You are not forgotten.


Photo by Amy

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Picturing Palm Trees

A few years ago I found my first palm tree photo and a new collection was born.  Since then I’ve found or have been given a few more, including some of my dear father taken during his time in the navy. 
I love these photos-and all old photos for that matter-for their depiction of people in different eras from today, simply  living their lives.  The glimpses into the past these pictures offer connect us to people we’ll never meet or times we’ll never get to live in-and I find that connection comforting.
Since today is rainy and cold, I thought it would be the perfect day to share my palm tree photo collection with you.  They are fun to look at, and they even help me feel like I too am in a tropical paradise somewhere-if only vicariously through the wonderful, mysterious people in the photos.
I’ve put any actual captions written on these photos in italics.  The rest of the observations are mine.  There are quite a few photographs here-so go ahead and get yourself something to drink  first-a cup of tea, or a Pina Colada perhaps, and enjoy!
I love their dresses.  I bet they were colorful!

Miami Beach, June 1942
“High Price! and Low Price!”

This is an old post card. Classic palm tree beauty!

I like how the photographer included a bit of his or her car in this one.

Lee Shatson at Pago Pago
February 1946

I love those swimsuits!  I was lucky enough to come across an old 1940’s pattern for suits just like these!

Roaring glamour in this photo!  I love the women’s hats and coats!

I bet these two were best friends-was the soldier home on leave, I wonder, or the first of the two to join up?

My dad on Guam.  

Anyone recognize where this was taken?  I’m not sure.

This photo appears to have been taken around the turn of the century-in the teens perhaps.  I’m glad there were palm tree lovers back then!

Tobe Boyd in Los Angeles California August 1937

This looks like Waikiki.

I’ve taken a palm tree photo from this angle too-a connection!

These two look like a couple of nice high school boys.  I bet they were nice to their mothers, too.

Roger and Shirley March 30-1953

A reunion of some kind, is my assumption about this one.

Snow on palm tree is written on the back, and you can see the tiny white dots of snow flakes in the foreground too.

I love her sun glasses, and her smiling face.

My dad.  What a cutie pie!

We can only wonder who these two were.  They are dressed so nicely.


Two photos taken on Guam by my father.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Tale of the Missing Tire

car no wheels

For those few days that Blogger was not working, I despaired over all the great blog post ideas I had, but couldn’t post. 

And now-my mind is a blank page.  I am at a loss as to what to write-my great ideas washed away with the rain that fell last weekend.

And so I am giving you a cute Amy story…

The summer  before Amy turned 5, we flew from Seattle to Baltimore.  On the way to the Seattle airport, Amy pointed out a broken down car on the side of the road.  It was missing a wheel.  “That’s too bad,”  we responded.  “That car won’t be going anywhere, will it?”

Hours, and nearly 3000 miles later, as we were driving away from the Baltimore airport on our way to my in-laws house,  Amy became very excited.  “Look!”  she shouted.  “I see the missing wheel from that car!”  And sure enough-there was a wheel on the side of the road.

We laughed quietly to ourselves, but we didn't have the heart to tell Amy that she was mistaken-and that the wheel on the side of the road in Baltimore couldn’t possibly belong to the car on the side of the road in Seattle.  She was just too happy with herself and her discovery. 

Oh to have the mind of a child, chock full of  imagination, creativity, and belief that anything is possible.

I’d never be short on blog post ideas again!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Wet Weekend

Last night I reposted two posts that Blogger mislaid-please read if you missed those-

And today- we are still cleaning up in the wake of the flooding in Ellensburg yesterday.   Saturday night, our fair city received almost two inches of rain in just a few hours.  It was more precipitation than the storm drains around town could handle,  forcing the water to go elsewhere.  Like our basement.  We woke up yesterday morning to about three inches covering  the basement floor.  We spent the day pumping and shop vacuuming it out.

flood 1

flood 2

flood 3

Photos taken around town. Water was over many of the roads which is unusual here because it doesn’t rain very often (or so much) in Ellensburg.

It will take a few more days to completely finish cleaning up, but I am not complaining.  I know there are people in other parts of the US who have really had a tough time.  My heart goes out to them.

On a brighter note, here are a few photos of my garden-which loves the rain!  Everything is growing fast, and I know that in just a couple more weeks many plants will be blooming!

red glass birdbath 

rake and bottle garden

cherry tree 

bird bath

sun dial

We got this wonderful sundial from Stuart’s grandfather’s estate.  I love that it  says “I Count Only Sunny Hours.” 

Pretty good philosophy, isn’t it!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Head of the Class


Front porch

This past weekend, I went to a surplus auction held by the local university.  Most of what I saw inside the large warehouse where the auction took place was either stuff that students leave behind when they vacate their dorm rooms, or extra equipment the university no longer needs-from kitchenware to spare pieces of pipe to office chairs.  I was heart broken to see many doors and windows salvaged from yet another grand old home in town that had been demolished.  I’m not sure why the doors and windows were at the auction-but the university must have owned the home and wanted the land for something else.

Anyway, I’m off track.  There was a collection of items outside the warehouse that were available for purchase-and so I grabbed one of these old school desks.  It only cost $1!   Long ago, there was an elementary school located on campus where education majors could get practical teaching experience.  I can almost see Beaver Cleaver sitting at this desk!

I put my new school desk on my front porch as a little table.  I like that I can eat lunch out there (on one of my vintage school lunch trays)  and store my books or magazines underneath on the lower shelf-just like a school kid would.

I like the fact that this little desk is living a useful life beyond what it was made for.  And I like the fact that even though it’s a bit rough around the edges, it is still a well made piece of furniture-as sturdy as the day it first graced a classroom in the 1960’s or so. 

If and when I “graduate” to something else in the way of a porch table-I will pass this on to someone else-for free this time.  I think I will have easily gotten my money’s worth out of it!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Murphy’s Law Should Be Illegal!

Vintage Bag

Several years ago I found this great vintage 1940’s rayon bag.  I loved the design and told myself I would try to figure out how it was made so that I could make a pattern and then sew it in barkcloth for my Etsy shop.

From time to time, I would take the bag out of the drawer I kept it in, and puzzle over it-manipulating a piece of fabric trying to recreate the side pleats and general shape of the bag.

Finally, a couple months ago, and years after I bought the bag-I figured it out!

Vintage Copy

I was really pleased with myself, too. I made three copies of the original, using a pretty primitive pattern-and once the bags were cut out of fabric, I had to trim bits and pieces off in places to make everything come out right.

And then, I found this-and I was so excited!  But I had to laugh.  Murphy’s Law, I said to myself.  I would have to find the pattern after I figured the bag out on my own.  But still, it was going to be nice having a “standard” pattern to use for future bags.


Pattern detail

As I sat with my new pattern on my lap, taking out piece after piece, I started to have a sinking feeling.  And sure enough, Murphy's Law had struck again.  Every single piece was there except the one I bought the pattern for!

So… back to square one.

Please tell me your Murphy’s Law stories-it will make me feel better.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Who I’ve Become


I’ve heard these words before-and not always meant as a compliment.

“ I’ve turned into my mother!”

It’s happened to me…


Every time I go outside, and smile because I feel the sun on my face-

I am my mother.

Every time, with skillful hands, I  stitch a hem in place, or sew a seam-

I am my mother.

Every time I revel  in the taste of fresh strawberry jam I’ve made myself-

I am my mother.

Every time I say hello to a stranger, just because I  want to be kind-

I am my mother.

Every time I  take joy in working the soil and tending my garden-

I am my mother.

Every time I look at my daughter’s face and feel so much love and pride I could burst-

I am my mother.


And I could not be happier.


Because every time I am aware that I have become my mother,  I know I am lucky and blessed.  And I hope and pray that Amy will feel the same about me  some day.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!  I love you!

And Happy Mother’s Day to you, and all of  your mothers too, my dear readers!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No Matter How You Slice It

I want to go outside today.  Really, I do.  But it’s cold, and the wind is supposed to pick up.  Even the weeds are hiding.

So I decided to take a poll on my blog instead.

Here is my question for you.  How do you like your sandwich sliced?  Diagonally, or side to side?  Or can you happily eat a sandwich sliced either way?


Amy prefers her sandwiches sliced straight across from side to side, while I prefer mine cut diagonally.  When I asked Stuart, he looked at me like I’d really lost my mind and left for work.

Let me know. 

(Images sourced from the internet-because I was too lazy to make and slice my own sandwiches this morning.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rhubarb Reminiscences

Amy's rhubarb

Olga and John’s garden.  The place where I learned that cucumbers were prickly. Where I experienced the novelty of picking a perfectly ripened tomato right off the vine for my bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  Where I discovered that an odd looking plant with stalks like red celery could be cooked into a sauce that tasted like summer and heaven-all rolled into one.


Olga and John 

Olga, and  John.  My great aunt, and great uncle.  John had been a rail riding hobo during the Great Depression, and Olga, embarrassed by her teeth, would often cover her mouth when her picture was taken.  I loved them both enormously.



They lived a magical life in Twin Falls, Idaho- in a tiny house with a huge garden out back.  I often think that everything, in my mind, that comprises the perfect way of life, was influenced by them.

Their backyard was my most favorite place of all.  I remember sitting around an old spool table, eating delicious meals cooked by my aunt.  My uncle, I remember, kept chickens, and I can still see them- perched up in the branches of trees.  They were his pets.  I recall drinking iced tea from glasses with different types of trout painted on them.

And always, rhubarb. Strange stuff, I thought, as a kid.  But oh so good.

Now I have my own rhubarb.  Three sturdy plants that get bigger each year.  And I couldn’t be happier.

Kona likes rhubarb 

(It looks like Kona appreciates rhubarb too!)

Below are two of my favorite ways to prepare rhubarb.  (Both, are even better with the addition of a little vanilla ice cream!)

rhubarb harvest


rhubarb crisp 1952

The sugar can be reduced to about 1 cup, and less salt and butter can be used as well.  (1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup butter for example.  I’m still experimenting with proportions to make this a more healthy version.)


I’ve modified this recipe a little bit as well:   I use about 4 to 5 cups rhubarb and 1 cup sugar.

There are many, many more ways to use rhubarb than these two recipes:  in muffins, breads, pies, coffee cakes.  Oh the possibilities…

Rhubarb is good for you too.  One 26 calorie cup contains substantial amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.  Plus it is rich in antioxidants that benefit the heart and brain.


Thanks for the memories.


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