Reflecting Back On May

British Columbia, Canada May 2018

The Seattle Japanese Garden 2017

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San Antonio River Walk 2016

Chewelah, Washington May 2015

Bellefontaine 142Bellefontaine Cemetery St. Louis, Missouri May 2014

British Columbia, Canada, May 2013

I’m still working through cleaning up my blog because of the Photobucket change of policy which resulted with them replacing 8 years of photos with ugly black and grey boxes asking for money to release my photos. I’ve made it to 2010 and have miles to go before I delete all those boxes. In the meantime I have these highlights from past posts in May. So much to be thankful for over the years.

We are in a warm weather pattern right now with just one wet day predicted this week. Right now a high of 75 degrees expected for Mother’s Day! We had a nice mostly quiet weekend here. The highlights of the weekend: time with Josh and Laura on our deck after the Sounder’s game, church on Sunday morning, and an afternoon meal on Sunday with friends in Kirkland. Hope you all had a good weekend.

Historical Hodgepodge

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

A very manicured home or a completely cluttered home. I like something in the middle with comfortable places to sit.  Driving on snow and ice throws me over the edge. Lying in a dentist’s chair makes my blood pressure go up. Right now because my master bathroom is totally gutted (see photo above) I’m way out of my comfort zone.

2. Your least favorite spice?

This is a tough one for me. I like a variety of spices but not used in an overpowering way. I’ll say my least favorite is curry.

3. What’s a small change you’d like to make?

Flossing so I can use up the 500 free floss containers the dental hygienist has gifted me over the years. BTW: she wouldn’t think this is a small change.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes?  What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been?

Yes, and yes. The closest historical buildings I’ve been to are located at Bothell Landing. Yes I’ve been to the landing but I’ve only seen the outside of the buildings.

Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they’re as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway’s home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list?

img317In the early 1970’s my best friend and I made a trip east from Southern California and one of the places we visited was Mount Vernon. I have a post about my first plane ride and all we saw and experienced here.

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Biltmore 002Our daughter and I were at The Biltmore in Asheville in May of 2014 on a cross country trip we made. I have several posts of the gardens and grounds. One of the posts and photos is here.

If so, of the homes you’ve visited which one was your favorite?

I’ll have to say that the Biltmore was my favorite of these homes.

Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

Since I’ve never been to New Orleans I’ll say Longue Vue House and Gardens.

5. What’s something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Dvd’s and dvd players. I’m pretty neutral about it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are having an early family Thanksgiving this weekend. We are going over the mountains and through the woods to granddaughter’s house. She’ll be 8 months old on November 20th. We’re slowly accepting some big changes at this old house. We are finally saying that Dear is retired instead of unemployed. With that fact there are many new choices to consider.

Here we are halfway through November! How did that happen?

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

My Surprising Life Hodgepodge

1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Looking back the things that have surprised me most in life are the people God has put in my life, the places and adventures I have enjoyed and the protection from God that I benefited from on these adventures.
Here’s a short list of some surprises in my life:
That God brought Dear and I together during our time as part of a Christian Rock Band performing in the U.S. and Great Britain.
That we had three children.
That we moved to Washington State away from all our extended family for Dear to pursue a whole new career.
That our three children married helpmates who love God and we’ve enjoyed so many adventures with all of them.
That through my blogging experience God blessed me with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Who would have guessed I would be part of this group of women who love God, their families, are growing disciples of Jesus and who love to feed orphans and widows with our royalties? The adventures I’ve had with this group alone is mind boggling.
That we are now enjoying our first little grand.
That it looks like we’ll be moving away from the City to the Country. I’ve been a city mouse all my life…
That God is good to me and has surprised me my whole life long.
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
It’s a toss up between butternut squash soup and sweet potato fries.

3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

I went to Goodreads and looked at their list of top 200 books from Washington State and I haven’t read even one. My daughter read all the Twilight series. The top votes went to Snow Falling on Cedars. The only book on the list that looks interesting to me is The Boys in the Boat.
4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

No, I have not shopped at all yet. We have just had our family discussion on what Christmas will look like this year. The only thing that is organized for the holidays is the fact that I have everything in the attic in it’s proper containers. The holidays that I choose to gather decor for have their own bins, etc. I hope our kitchen will be completed before Thanksgiving or before Christmas.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

SeaJack #6 010The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

SeaJack #6 025Back in May of 2014 our daughter and I drove from Seattle to Jacksonville, North Carolina to set her up in an apartment just before her Marine husband returned from a long tour of duty in Afghanistan. We drove through part of Tennessee to get to North Carolina. Our first stop was Hendersonville to spend the night at the home of one of Andrew’s Marine buddies who was in Afghanistan with him. The next day we drove through part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and had a sandwich in Gatlinburg. We drove through Pigeon Forge to get to Gatlinburg. That is one weird town. Click here and you’ll see my post from our drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

I’ll have to pass on traveling to Tennessee again.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Mommy and Addy. We had 7 days enjoying her and watching her every move from October 12-19. She cut her first tooth upon turning 7 months old.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond who asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers. I appreciate your time and comments.

 

A Year Ago…

For InSPIREd Sunday and Spiritual Sundays I’m going back to a road trip our daughter and I took to get her back to North Carolina to welcome her husband home from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Marine Corps. One of the places we took time to visit was Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

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The Legend of the Dogwood

There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber of the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it: “Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross. ..two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember.”

I recognize that this is just a legend but I wanted to post this entry because I’ve always loved the Dogwood blooms. If I look at them and think about what my Savior did for me that’s a good thing. He created the tree, the beautiful bloom, and you and me to enjoy it!

We will be taking a short road trip to Canada on Saturday. I’ll share about our time next week. It takes us under two hours to get to the U.S./Canadian border from where we live in Washington State. Hope you have a wonderful first weekend in May!

Cross Country

For my flashback post this week I’m posting some photos from Dear and my trip from California to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We made this trip in 1976. We stopped in Denver, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan and Canada in our little yellow 1976 Honda Civic.

Road Trip 1976Somewhere in Colorado on our way to Denver to visit Dear’s uncles and aunts on his mother’s side. Just as we entered the fine state of Colorado the state patrol decided we should contribute some money for the state’s economy!

Road Trip 19761Dear had 2 uncles that never married and they cared for their mother till she died. We had a good time in the kitchen and I helped Uncle Cliff make his famous Rhubarb pie. This was my first experience ever with Rhubarb. Uncle Arnold was the poet of the family and historian. We spent some time with Uncle Red (Chester) and Aunt Jeanette at their cabin and Dear helped Uncle Red saw wood. We also stopped to see my sister’s SIL’s family who had moved to Denver from Chicago, Kenneth and Lillian Semenchuk. (Upper left photo). We would stop at another of my sister’s SIL’s in Michigan.

img234As we continued east we went through Kansas and stopped at Dear’s Great Aunt Matilda’s. She was single all her life and never forgot anyone’s birthday. We all received cards every year while she was alive.

Road Trip 19762Our next stop was in Peoria, Illinois to visit Dear’s paternal grandmother and his uncle Harry at the family home. We visited other aunts and uncles while in Peoria but I don’t have photos. One uncle was a pig farmer and those pigs scared me. So huge! From Peoria we made a stop in Wheaton to visit our friend Andrew Semenchuk who officiated our wedding and his dear wife, Pauline. They worked for Slavic Gospel Association so we visited the offices in Wheaton.

Road Trip 19763From Chicago we drove to Michigan to my sister Kathy’s sister-in-law’s home. Peter and Ruth Leonovich were so hospitable and generous to us whenever we ended up at their home on the lake. I learned to water ski here.

img220We continued on our journey into Canada from Detroit with a plan to stop at a China shop in Windsor to complete my Royal Albert china set. All I had was a tea set that I purchased on one of our trips to England. We found a shop that had a good selection of seconds and we bought service for 12 in my pattern. We decided to continue on and visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We also visited Niagara on the Lake. If only I had a digital camera then. I would love to visit this area again.

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Road Trip 19764

Have you ever visited Niagara Falls? This was my second visit. In 1970 I visited friends in Buffalo, New York and they took me to the U.S. side of Niagara Falls.

img306It’s good for my brain to document these trips we took so long ago. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the world of photography since those days. When we crossed back into the U.S. from this trip we were given the 3rd degree about our camera. They would not believe we hadn’t purchased it in Canada. I gave them all the receipts for the China but they did not care about the China, all they were concerned about was the camera! Oye!

This week I’m looking forward to a visit to my hairdresser and then our tax return appointment with our accountant. It will be nice to have that behind me. How’s your week shaping up?