Friday, September 28, 2012



This morning, filled with despair over the current state of my hair, I grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped several inches off the length.  I don’t think I did too bad of a job, and besides, my hair is very curly.  I can get away with uneven.

It made me recall though, a haircut years ago, when Amy was a baby, and I guess I’d read too many articles about the ease of super short hair for busy moms.  My hair was shoulder length at the time, and I figured that getting a pixie cut would be just about as easy care as I could get.  Are you sure?  My hairdresser asked, with deeply furrowed brow.  I assured her with a confident Yes! as visions of my cute pixie cut self-now transformed into the coolest mom on the block-ran through my head.

By the end of the haircut, I was probably in shock.  The paramedics may even have been called.  I don’t remember.  Everything is a blur now, as it was then.  Leaving the shop, I fought to keep the tears at bay, my pace brisk in hopes of getting home as quickly as possible before running  into someone that I knew.  And as for the haircut freeing me up to be super mom?  Hardly.  I must have spent hours in front of the mirror, trying to figure out a way to salvage what was left of my hair, and my self esteem, while Amy screamed for attention in the back ground.

Luckily, bad haircuts grow out.

So I think I did ok after all today, playing beauty parlor at home.  I’m writing this, instead of standing in front of the mirror, obsessing over the damage I’ve inflicted on myself.  But tell me.  What was your epically worst haircut ever?


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ship Out!


Well, not exactly!  Don’t worry, my dear readers, you don’t really have to enlist.  The kind of fighting I’m talking about is the fight to replace plastic grocery bags.

To help do that, I’ve sewn these two reusable shopping bags. 



You can see them both here. 

MAN OVERBOARD!    (Just kidding…)  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Best Ever


I can still remember the way they tasted.  Sweet.  Sour.  And deliciously crisp.  No matter that I had to watch out for the occasional worm.  Small and green, with peels a tad on the tough side, they were hands down the best apples I’d ever had. 

The old apple tree,  standing just a pace or two away from the back porch steps at my grandmother’s house, must have been planted decades earlier.   Now gnarled and stooping with age,  it was still bearing fruit.   That I could simply waltz out to the back yard and pick some of that fruit whenever I pleased never ceased to be a novel experience.  It’s not that I’d never seen an apple tree before, or picked apples for that matter.  It was the idea that my grandmother had her very own apple tree.

bowl of apples

Where we live now, we too have our very own ancient back yard apple tree-gnarled, and stooping as much as my grandmother’s tree did.  Though I don’t know what kind of apple tree it is, the apples are just as sweet, just as sour, and just as deliciously crisp. Occasional worms, and peels a tad on the tough side-our apples have those too.

I know new varieties of apple trees come along all the time, in the quest to make a better apple. Granted, some of those apples are pretty good, with their thinner skins, bigger sizes and absence of worms.  But our apple tree is like an old familiar friend.  Blossoming in the spring, and quietly going about its task of making apples while we go about our own garden tasks of planting and weeding and watering.  And when fall starts to creep in, and the garden begins to die back in preparation for winter-leaving us feeling melancholy that another summer is ending, our apple tree beckons us with a sweet promise, just as my grandmother's apple tree beckoned me.

Come have an apple!  The best you’ve ever had!

apple tree 2

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wildfires. Enough is Enough.


First there was the Taylor Bridge Wildfire last August.  It destroyed dozens of homes and millions of dollars worth of property.  While the fire was eventually contained, it is still burning.  And now this area is being devastated by the Table Mountain Wildfire which was sparked September 8th when severe lightening storms moved through the area.  The outlook is bad, too.  Dry lightening is predicted for this weekend, and there is no rain in the forecast for the next seven to ten days.  Adding fuel to this fire as well, so to speak, is that it’s burning the very forests that we visited when my niece was here-I remember seeing many, many, dead trees, victims of the spruce bud worm and pine beetle.  Trees that are now providing a huge amount of “firewood.”

I read yesterday that the Table Mountain  Wildfire is now burning roughly 30,000 acres and that the plumes of smoke billowing into the atmosphere have reached as high as 40,000 feet.  Once again, lives and property are in peril.

Here in town, air quality is consistently classified as being in the extremely hazardous zone, and while it’s unsafe and highly inconvenient for us, I worry about the firefighters who are out there on the fire lines.  They are suffering from exhaustion, frustration, and the overwhelming uphill battle to contain this fire. And in the worst kind of news, sadly, last Monday, a firefighter died.



In an effort to continue helping, I’m extending my 20% Etsy shop donation through October, with the money I raise going toward fire fighter relief-buying supplies like bottled water and high energy snacks. 


Our local fairgrounds, where just a few short weeks ago we were all having fun.  Now it’s a base camp for firefighters so that they have a place to rest, eat and get away for a while.

Now, if I could only donate some rain and snow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avast, Me Hearties

Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This day, not only do me mark th' passage 'o another year 'o me life, but this day be also international speak like a scurvy pirate day. Either way, a scowl 'n an arrrrr be in order. If ye’d like to spy wit' ye eye ye moniker translated into a scurvy pirate moniker, ye can take 'tis quiz. I guarantee it be pretty silly, but I like me moniker fer this day!

After ye take th' quiz, then be tellin' me what ye moniker be if ye like, me bucko!

Mad Mary Flint

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fresh Air


I have to admit that I’ve been in a bit of a funk today, sad to see the weekend come to an end.  Amy and I had so much fun together.  We canned peaches, made soup, and even went shopping to pick out a few Halloween decorations.

The thing is, I love my daughter.  And not only that, I really enjoy being around her.  I’ve heard that it’s common for kids this age to prefer the company of just about anyone other than their parents.  But not Amy.  We get along as companionably as those two peas in a pod.

Amy is a junior this year.  Next year she’ll graduate, and leave the nest.  And after having her at home for more than 18 years, it’s going to be a huge adjustment.  True, the day she does leave for college is still well into the future, but sometimes the thought of it overwhelms me.  Like today.

Not long ago, I found the following quote by Ann Frank:

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

I went out into my garden this morning and really took the time to appreciate the flowers that are in bloom-like my chrysanthemums.  I love that mums seem to be everywhere this time of year, because they are nothing short of spectacular.  What would fall be without them?

Ann Frank was a very remarkable young woman, and at the time of her death at the tender age of 16, she already possessed more wisdom than some of us gain in a lifetime.  It makes me so sad to know that during the last years of her life she was denied the remedy of  peace and comfort she wrote about.  There is so much truth in her words.

Happy Monday, dear readers!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Reminder


I love this quote by Sailor Jerry, legendary American tattoo artist known for his high standards regarding his own work. 

No matter what your art or craft, calling or vocation-don’t ever doubt the importance of who you are and what you do.  

Have a great weekend, dear readers!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall in the Tropics


New in my shop, this autumn inspired bag!  I had a small piece of this scrumptious chocolate hued barkcloth left over from my dining room curtains-enough for this cute little purse.  In perfect Snapshot Sailor style, it’s got that great tropical attitude, but in colors that are perfect for the coming fall. 


This bag is something of a lucky charm, too.  It’s my first project using my new iron, which bigger and a bit clunky compared to my old iron.  As I was working on this sweet little bag, I wasted no time in knocking my new iron off my ironing board.  Miraculously-it landed hot side up and spared the rug in my sewing room!  I’ve “ironed” the rug a couple of other times before.  What a mess!

Hope you are having a great week, dear readers!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012



The last few weeks I’ve been a bit like the bee in the picture above.  Busy with houseguests, getting Amy ready for back to school, and doing home and garden work.  What I haven’t done in ages is sew.  Today, that’s exactly what I plan to do.  I’ve missed it.


To mark the end of summer, and to make room for some of the new fall bags I have planned, I’ve put this little sunflower mini messenger bag on sale in my Etsy shop.


These two sweet  little friends of the sunflower bag are on sale as well!   


The end of summer makes me feel a little sad, until I feel that first hint of chill in the air, signaling the coming of fall.  I love fall!  And even though I know these sunflowers will soon wither and go to seed, they hold the promise of a whole new crop that will appear in my garden next spring, ready to welcome the busy bees of summer once again.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Hay Season


In this dimly lit room, she can see that very little about the hospital has changed in 15 years.  Sterile white plaster walls.  Brown linoleum floors.  Scents of antiseptic and soap.  The memory she draws upon is from the last time she was here.  A happier occasion.  The birth of her son.  This time, though, she is here to be with him while he dies. The doctor has confirmed her worst fear.  There is nothing more to be done.

This son of hers, Jack, lays motionless on a narrow bed.  In an attempt to make his few remaining hours more comfortable, he has been covered with a blanket, a damp cloth placed on his forehead.  Traces of blood at the corners of his mouth are the only visible sign of the accident, almost letting her believe that her son is not so terribly broken after all.  She remembers the night he was born.  A perfect little boy.  But still, a mixed blessing.  Sons in this family grow up to be farmers, and if there is one certainty in farming, it is that nothing is ever certain.


The boy’s father is not at the hospital, as one would expect.  The cut hay is ready to be baled, and rain is forecasted.  Hanging in the balance is the livelihood that one thousand acres of sweet timothy will provide.  But as he hurries to bale row after row, anguish consumes him.  Farming is a gamble. Rain. Insects. Fire.  Drought.  The risk of serious injury.  Still, he should have realized that his boy was too inexperienced to drive a tractor so close to the irrigation ditch.  So close that a wheel happened to catch the edge of the slope, and the tractor rolled, crushing his son beneath its iron bulk.


Around two a.m. she loses her fight with exhaustion and nods off, but is roused a few hours  later by an insistent Wake up Elsie! She is alert in an instant, heart pounding.  Her eyes, full of questions, seek answers from the owner of the voice.  Her husband.  Tears are streaming down his face.


Her tone is shrill.  His words spill out, cracked with emotion. 

It’s ok , Elsie!  Look!  Jack’s conscious! The doc thinks he’s going to make it!

It takes a moment for her disbelief to turn to relief, and then, utter joy, and she rushes to cradle her son, her boy, her baby, in her arms.

For now, Henry decides, the news about the rain can wait.

image         Haying in Ellensburg, circa 1910

This week’s prompt is to write a 350 word piece in which a local or regional item or industry plays a role.

Hay farming plays a huge part in the economy of my town, Ellensburg, Washington.  What I’ve written here is a fictionalized version of real events that happened to the husband of a friend of mine.  Critically injured in a tractor roll over at the age of 15, he was left in a hospital corridor to die, but when it was discovered that he was still alive the next day, he finally received care.

The top photo is of the old Ellensburg hospital, built in 1919.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fair and Rodeo Weekend: Part One


It’s official.  Summer is over.  Amy went back to school today, and to keep my mind off of missing her, I thought I’d finally get the pictures from the busy rodeo weekend posted.

There are lots of photos here, so if you want, go grab a cup of coffee or tea.  Enjoy!


The royal rodeo court in their bright white outfits.  A nice contrast to all of the denim and dust.


3 What the well dressed sheep is wearing this year.

4Only in a western town like Ellensburg-chimneys that look like saddles!


 5The dog show.  I loved them all.

6 When in Rome…

7This horse was waiting patiently for his rider to show up during slack-the competition to choose the finalists who get to compete in the actual rodeo.  I wonder if he was watching the other horses and riders and taking mental notes?



At first I was amused by this cowboy talking on his phone while riding, and then I noticed the anchor brand on his horse!  Very Snapshot Sailors!

11 This boy managed to stay on for the entire ride.  More than I can say for some of the adults who gave it a try.

12Every one of these roses was gorgeous, and the scent was heavenly, too!


Fair and Rodeo Weekend: Part Two

There were 145 entries in the rodeo parade this year. Here are some of my favorites.

flag_thumb5Horses, horses, and lots more horses.


Bag pipes-a perennial favorite.

car_thumb3 The Shriners. Grown men in tiny cars-but for a good cause-helping children.


A new entry this year- from Hawaii!





Men in heels. The point of wearing them was to raise public awareness on the issue of domestic violence. This picture was taken at the start of the parade-and I bet there were some blisters by the end.

salmon_thumb3 The Department of Natural Resources entered a salmon this year. As you can see, it was so big it had to be carried by two guys.


A motorcycle stunt team from Seattle. I loved those vintage style uniforms!

tractor_thumb3This one is for my dad, a former farm boy, who loves these wonderful vintage tractors.



sin_thumb2These trailers belong to members of a local club of camping cowgirls. They were all very cute and very cool, too!

rollerderby_thumb2Ellensburg’s very own roller derby team.

horse_thumb1 Another interesting brand-a bear paw.

costumes_thumb2 I think this is about the most colorful photo I took. The costumes were stunning!


I took my camera to the rodeo, but only snapped a couple pictures before I decided to put it away and just enjoy the show.


I did get a photo of this guy, rodeo clown JJ Harrison. He did a great job keeping us entertained for three hours!


And there you have it!


See you on Friday! Hope you are all having a great week!