Dark and Foggy

Dear was ready for a walk on Saturday. Dear is a morning person, a very early morning person. I was able to stall him a bit so our walk could at least end in the light. We walked the same trail as Katie and I walked but we headed in the opposite direction.

P1040782

P1040784Since it was foggy and dark for half our walk I decided to leave my larger camera at home and I only took my little pocket camera. Being out so early we were able to hear a lot of birds chirping and quacking.

P1040785When Katie and I walked last Wednesday these gopher mounds weren’t here. This cracked me up because it seemed like this particular varmint didn’t appreciate the work the city had gone to in designating this spot to sit and watch the river flow.

morning trail4

Rounding a bend we heard this rooster crow and announce the new day had begun. He was chasing some ducks around and trying to establish his kingship amongst the foul.

P1040790

P1040792

P1040793We’ve never seen a beaver along the banks but we have seen lots of evidence of their presence.

P1040795

We always love to see eagles and we were treated to a couple eagle sightings on this morning.  I really had to zoom in with my little camera and was happy that you can tell it really was an eagle we saw.

P1040797

P1040802

As we walked back to the car we heard this group of Comorants put up a fuss and fly off together. They had all been sitting in a tree together that the eagle we had spotted earlier decided to perch in.

P1040807He now had the whole tree to himself.

P1040803Beautiful reflections on the river surface always grab my attention.

P1040808

morning trail3There is a different kind of beauty in the foggy overcast vistas.

morning trail

Because of our weather in the Pacific Northwest we have no shortage of moss, ferns, and very interesting bark here.

As we continued back to our car we had one more eagle spotting. I was wondering if this was a second eagle or if it was following us along the trail.

morning trail2

When we got back to our car we decided that a doughnut would be a nice treat on this cold foggy morning. Something to take back home to enjoy with our eggs. I’m happy to say that I didn’t feel guilty about that doughnut or the eggs!

Faithful Shepherd, Feed Me ~ Hymn

winter trail 012

Faithful Shepherd, Feed Me

Faithful Shepherd, feed me
In the pastures green;
Faithful Shepherd, lead me
Where Thy steps are seen.

Hold me fast, and guide me
In the narrow way;
So, with Thee beside me,
I shall never stray.

Daily bring me nearer
To the heav’nly shore;
Make my faith grow clearer,
May I love Thee more.

Hallow every pleasure,
Every gift and pain;
Be Thyself my treasure,
Though none else I gain.

Day by day prepare me
As Thou seest best,
Then let angels bear me
To Thy promised rest.

Words: Thomas B. Pollack, December 1868.

2013 Recap…the Joys, the Sorrows…

Here are my collages from January to December of 2013. I had to make 2 collages for September and 3 collages for December. September had our high and our low of the year. December starts with Laura’s birthday, our anniversary, Christmas and then Katie’s birthday. Too many events for one collage…

pancakes1-001We had a quiet start to the year with our first ever experience with Hoar Frost. Our sons both had birthdays in January turning 32 and 34.

2013-02-011

In February Katie came to stay with us for a month while Andrew had cold weather training in California. My cousin and his wife came for a visit, too. After 38 years we finally had our dining chairs recovered in leather. We are very happy with them. We also took a drive to see the Skagit Eagles.

2013-03-025March was filled with wonderful experiences. We took Katie to see her brother’s property in Eastern Washington. The beginning of the Sounders soccer season. Katie, Laura and I flew to Southern California for my niece Debbee’s bridal shower. Such a good time with my sisters, nieces, and cousins. Katie returned to North Carolina to reunite with Andrew as he arrived back from training just as Dear and I flew to Milan, Italy. This was my first time in Europe and we arrived in Milan on my birthday. I went to my first international soccer game and enjoyed traveling to Lake Como to experience a more quaint side of Italy.

90th-001The night we all arrived in Orange County for my niece’s wedding we got together with Dear’s side of the family for a meal at our hotel. Debbee and Lenny’s wedding was at the end of April in Huntington Beach, California on a Friday night. Another wonderful gathering with my extended family. On Saturday of this same weekend we planned a 90th birthday/ 70th wedding anniversary celebration for my mom and pop. Little did we know my mom only had 4-1/2 more months on this earth.  On Sunday we had brunch together at my sister’s in Huntington Beach and then we all walked to the beach to enjoy the surf and sand.

Canadian Geese1-001

May brought our Celebrations book launch in British Columbia. Such a good time for the 10 of us to be together. Mother’s Day is of course in May, too and I was treated to 2 beautiful Mother’s Day bouquets from my children.

USA-Panama2-001In June I traveled with the Mennonite Girls to Manitoba for several book events in Steinbach and Winnipeg. Josh treated me to a club box soccer experience for the Panama/USA soccer game. We also were happy to attend Marie’s bridal shower here in Washington and be representatives for our nephew Caleb’s side of the family.

Pictures14-001In July we finally began work on replacing all our old floors in this old house. July also brought the news that my mom had flat-lined and was in the hospital. Those of us from out of state flew to Southern California to be with my mom and pop and face the news of my mom’s future on this earth. My mom was released from the hospital to Hospice care at her and my pop’s apartment.

Hatzic-001August brought more home improvements with the carpeting going in and new closet organization. We flew to Southern California again for our nephew Caleb’s wedding and while we were there we were all able to say our in person final farewells to my mom. We came home knowing that her time was short. Dear, Josh, Laura and I were leaving for England on September 12th and my family decided that if my mom died we would postpone the funeral till our return from England. Just before we left for England Dear and I were able to drive to British Columbia for a celebration meal with some of the “girls” and their husbands at Anneliese’s parents cabin at Hatzic.

London-Jamie Oliver2-001From September 12th until September 23rd we enjoyed a wonderful trip in England with Josh and Laura. We received the news that my mom had passed away just as we arrived in England. We were sorry we could not communicate right away and get details until we reached our first destination with wifi. We stayed calm and carried on knowing that there was nothing we could do. Our trip was filled with many great events and destinations. We went to a Manchester United Soccer game (epic experience for our son Josh) We enjoyed hedgerows, villages, canals, ancient churches and lands. We stayed in the Cotswolds, Wells, Cornwall, and London.

2013-09-029We got home from England and made plans immediately to fly to Southern California for my mom’s services. We all flew in to Orange County airport from different parts of Washington. Katie was staying with us during this time (she arrived the end of August with Andrew and he left back to N.C. on Labor Day)  Andrew deployed to Afghanistan the week of my mom’s funeral. We also celebrated Dear’s 60th birthday in September.

2013-10-31 Faerie - banner-001In October Marg and John joined us for a soccer game between our team and their team. Their team won. Some of my nieces from Southern California came up for a girls weekend and we had a great time trying to get through all of Downton Abby seasons 1-3. Katie and I traveled to British Columbia again to join the “girls” at the West Coast Women’s show where we had cooking demonstrations on the cooking stage.

2013-11-29 T-Day at Spiros1-001In November we had our brilliant Pub night to thank our friend who made arrangements for us to use his parents home in Cornwall on our England trip. We had an early Thanksgiving celebration and met Dan’s girlfriend, Jaimie. Besides a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings we managed to get together at Palisade for brunch the next day.

Sounders mtg1-001December was packed full of good times and celebrations. We celebrated Laura’s birthday at Neville’s a British restaurant. Katie and I traveled to Abbotsford, B.C. for the Cookie class that the Mennonite Girls Can Cook put on at Lepp Farm Market. Dear and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington.  Josh and I also went to a board meeting for the Sounders soccer team where we got to meet some of the players. And all of this happened the first 10 days of December!

2013-12-021Katie and I took a train trip up to Vancouver, Washington before Christmas and the day after we had snow at our house! Christmas Eve we helped usher at one of the services at church and then came home for a non traditional meal of hand made tamales. Later that evening Dan arrived from Eastern Washington and Josh and Laura arrived after celebrating with Laura’s family. We all woke up together on Christmas morning except for Andrew. We missed having Andrew here. Christmas was relaxing and fun. The English Cracker tradition will now become our tradition as well. It was so much fun to see what popped out of our crackers and then to read the cheesy jokes and wear the tissue crowns. Fun times.

2013-12-28 KT b-day dinner-001Katie’s birthday is December 27th so we had a day of destinations that were all enjoyable ending with dinner at this old house with Josh, Laura, my sister Lana and BIL Steve, our nephew Caleb and his wife Marie and of course the master of this old house and his wife…me.

I talked to my pop today who is struggling with pain in his shoulder and is probably facing some surgery to help with the debilitating pain. He misses my mom but still he thanks God for all that God brings his way. He told me he has asked God to shorten his days on this earth. He is weary. We thank God, too, for all He brought our way in 2013. Time will tell what 2014 holds.

We had a very quiet New Year’s Eve until the fireworks started going off at 11:30 P.M. I was in bed by 9:00 and woke up to hear others blasting in the New Year. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Today we are having another quiet day. We watched the Rose Parade and watched a couple New Year’s day soccer games from England and now we are watching the Rose Bowl Game.

Our Second Adventure…

…on Katie’s birthday was a trip to the Seattle Center where the Space Needle happens to be and other attractions as well.

Katie's Day 068Our reason for braving the holiday crowds was to see Chihuly Garden and Glass. It was worth weaving about “all the humanity” to enjoy this extraordinary exhibit.

Katie's Day 020We first saw this wall of blankets that gave Chihuly inspiration for some of his creations.

Katie's Day 018

Katie's Day 022 This amazing piece was in the Sea inspired room.

Katie's Day 025Katie's Day 026It was impossible for me to get the full ceiling but I enjoyed capturing some sections of the ceiling.

Katie's Day 027

Katie's Day 028

2013-12-27 Katie's Day7This was a great room. “Chihuly has said that memories of his mother’s garden serve as inspiration for these “gardens of glass.” Of course I thought of our bloggy friend Pat at Mille Fiori.

2013-12-27 Katie's Day6

Katie's Day 029

Katie's Day 037

Katie's Day 041

Katie's Day 042

Katie's Day 043

Katie's Day 046

2013-12-27 Katie's Day

2013-12-27 Katie's Day1

ChihulyGardenAndGlass_Seattle-1849586-4867945-821-L

Katie's Day 057

I would like to come back on a day when it’s not raining to get some clearer shots of the needle above this beautiful glass flower conservatory.

2013-12-27 Katie's Day5

Katie's Day 062We decided to go out to the glass outdoor garden in the rain. I was happy to get several shots without getting my lens wet.

Katie's Day 074

2013-12-27 Katie's Day2

2013-12-27 Katie's Day4

2013-12-27 Katie's Day3

Katie's Day 081We enjoyed our time here and we hurried in the rain to the parking garage to drive to our third adventure which was a stop at Massage Envy to get our hour relaxation massage along with a sugar foot scrub. Bliss!

I’m joining in with Mary for her Mosaic Monday Meme. If you click over you will see some beautiful images in Mosaic form.

Tick, tick, tick …2013 is winding down. What are your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day plans? I’ll admit we don’t have any. Maybe I’ll come up with some inspiration on Monday…

All Aboard!

I’m traveling back to Katie and my Amtrak Cascades train trip to Vancouver B.C. last Thursday before Christmas Eve and Christmas activities commence!

Vancouver & Snow 001We had to dress with a few layers because the temps on this day did not stay above freezing for long.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow8We started our journey in Edmonds, Washington. For many miles the tracks are right next to the water and it felt if I leaned towards the window I could land in the water.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow2As we approached Everett, Washington I wondered if we’d see a battleship or an Aircraft Carrier.

Vancouver & Snow 010I wasn’t disappointed.

Vancouver & Snow 012I’m glad I don’t have to clean off that rust…

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow1So many interesting things to see with my camera.

Vancouver & Snow 019Vancouver & Snow 022After Everett the tracks came inland and we got to see some rural views before the tracks bent back west to the water.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow3

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow7Looking back I caught a glimpse of Mt. Rainier and zoomed in to catch our famous volcano in the distance.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow5It was fun to see the views of Semiahmoo from the train. Dear and I spent our anniversary at the inn which is right next to that water tower.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow9Seeing Semiahmoo I knew we were very close to crossing the border into Canada.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow11White Rock, B.C.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow6Vancouver & Snow 049The train station in Vancouver.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow12We were underwhelmed with the Christmas market that was our destination choice. Thankfully food is my love language and Finch’s Tea and Coffee House came to the rescue. We really enjoyed our baguettes and Lady Grey tea.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow13This was in Katie’s words a “Hipster” establishment. The menu was posted on the blackboards. They delivered most of the sandwiches on brown waxed wrap paper.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow Betty from Mennonite Girls Can Cook made the scarf next to my nice big cup of tea for me and the really cool thing about it is that she included slots in the scarf that serve as hand warmers/slot pockets.

Vancouver & Snow 058Speaking of that large cup of tea, we had to take our signature sipping tea shot!

We visited some antique shops in the Gas Town area of Vancouver and a fun shop called Old Faithful.

2013-12-20 Vancouver & Snow14We walked back to the train station and boarded our train for our long trip back to Edmonds. We were very happy that there was a dining car on the train with several food and drink choices. The trip back was in the dark so it seemed slow and long to me. It really helps to be able to see things out the train windows that are interesting to make the trip seem shorter. If we do this trip again we’d like to spend the night and only travel one way each day. I do like the quiet stress free aspect of traveling on the train.

Well here we are with just a couple days before Christmas. How are you doing? I hope you are calm and collected and that you have time for joy and peaceful moments.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Corrie Ten Boom…

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

This One’s For the Dogs…

The last garden we visited was our other favorite of the day even though I was skeptical since it was “all about the dogs”. I was happy to see that they had areas that humans could really enjoy, too.

IMGP0433

IMGP0434IMGP0436

IMGP0437

IMGP0438

IMGP0439

IMGP0441

IMGP0442

This first section of the garden that all of the photos above were from seem to be the area that the dogs don’t freely roam in. The next sections of the garden had some well thought out spaces that were dog and plant friendly.

IMGP0443

I thought this was a smart way to contain these plants in a dog friendly space.

IMGP0445

This was the only garden we visited with a tablescape so you know it won my heart…

IMGP0446

IMGP0448

IMGP0449

IMGP0453

IMGP0456

IMGP0458

A trio of flutists were entertaining us at this garden.

IMGP0472

IMGP0459

IMGP0461

IMGP0468

IMGP0471

IMGP0465

These dogs have it made in the shade for sure!

Two of our children will probably end up with pets of their own in the near future. Dear and I choose not to add them to our own home. The only pets we grew up with were parakeets and pigeons. Dear’s parakeet was named Pancho. His brother’s parakeet was named Pepino. I had a pet pigeon named Green Neck. Maybe the fact that my family had a period of time where our pet pigeons had to be sacrificed for soup that I am not fond of owning my own pet but I can appreciate other people’s pets. By the way, when us kids figured out that my parents sacrificed our pigeons for the soup we would not eat that soup in protest. We grew up with the philosophy that we have dominion over creation.

How about you…do you include pets in your household?

This is the last post from our Secret Garden Tour.

Oh no, google reader quit before I transferred all my blog links. I’m going to have to do some search and rescue this weekend. Oye…

Singing in Garden #3

When we arrived to the 3rd garden we were greeted with a musician singing songs that came easy to sing along with.

IMGP0407

This garden also had many separate areas and paths leading here and there. There were many large yard art pieces, too.

IMGP0408

IMGP0409

IMGP0411

IMGP0416

IMGP0417

IMGP0419

IMGP0420

IMGP0423

IMGP0424

IMGP0425

IMGP0426

IMGP0427

Wednesday was a very productive day for me. I was able to clear out a lot of spaces that will be re-carpeted soon. I went up and down our attic stairs many times and also downstairs to the basement where we are storing a lot of stuff since those floors will not be replaced.  My back is letting me know that I’ve done enough for a while. So happy our high school hire is mowing the lawn for me as I type and sit still. This weekend Dear is planning to replace our patio french doors.