Words to live by....

Love and Compassion are necessities not luxuries. Without them we cannot survive.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The next chapter

If I've learned nothing else, I've learned that the most consistant thing in my life is CHANGE.

For someone who has always wanted roots, craved peace and quiet, and never moved the living room furniture (EVER!!), I now find myself not only moving again, I've uprooting my whole lifestyle and view of the future.

After several long months of dealing with increasing health problems due to stress (many factors), I realized it was time to (gasp) CHANGE what I was doing, where I was living, and how I was going to approach the next chapter in my life.

SO  - I moved.  To Arizona.  About as different from my beloved northwest greens and misty air as one could imagine. 

Of course my camera came with me.  So naturally I have a new BLOG.  Afterall, I couldn't keep posting ARIZONA desert scenes with an OCEAN heading!!

Come on over.  It's rather nice.

And yes - it IS a dry heat!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Tea 'n Toppers

The only rule for Anne's Annual Summer Tea - you must wear a chapeau! Some are antiques (or almost), some are kitchy, some are casual, some are handmade - and ALL are personality-plus!

Gram declares every year, "I'm NOT wearing a hat!"  But isn't she cute!

Anne outdoes the most lavish tearoom in town. 
AND, she has a great wait-staff: Matt and AJ!  The guys were the icing on the cake, so to speak!

From the cheese tray....

to desserts...
we nibbled and noshed our way through luscious treats and tidbits!
We voted on our favorite hat - and the winner took home a jar of scrumptious, velvety homemade LEMON CURD, stirred by Matt for two hours of S -L-O-W cooking.  The recipe is a family secret, from Bill's English auntie.  So it was appropriate that an English Royal style "fascinator" was the winner.  Plus I LOVE that Lemon Curd!  By the spoonful, thank you very much. 
I didn't have time to consult with Kate on where to purchase one of her charming fascinators (let alone have several hundred pounds to spend...). But thanks to Google, I found out how to make one, for cheap.  And it was great fun!

They cost about 9 cents each - I only had to buy the elastic, everything else were from my odds 'n ends stash.

The butterfly was a "found" item - I found it in a box of "stuff" under the bed!  It had broken off  from a knick knack of some sort, a little beat up - but just what was  needed to make this fascinator work!
You can't go wrong with buttons and feathers.  I've had to beat the cat out of my feather collection so many times - she loves these Blue Jay feathers as much as I do!

Next year, we should have a fascinator-making party some spring afternoon  - you're invited!  Bring your stash, we'll share! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Neighborhood Outlaws

Last summer, the deer were fruitarians - we were lucky to get the two strawberries they left.

The strawberries are "everbearing", too - not that we could verify that, since they disappeared on a weekly basis. Leaves, berries and blossoms - all the deer left were stems, to taunt us.

They rarely nipped any veggies, and only topped the nasturtiums and roses a few times.

This year they are confirmed vegetarians. Haven't touched the strawberries - which I had decided not to even weed, why put in the effort? Of course.

So this summer we have NO green beans, most of the peas (for which this garden is famous) are pruned beyond salvage, and we just discovered some cabbage leaves with TEETH MARKS.

I heard them out there last night, romping around - but I know from sad experience, that by the time I can get to the door, the damage is done and they are off to the next sucker's (um - neighbor's - ) garden.

 Venison goes well with carrots and potatoes, I'd would be happy to remind these outlaws.

Speaking of outlaws. Racoons have a bad rap around here. But the next door neighbor's CATS have given "outlaw" a whole new definition, with a record number of bad marks in our Black Book. WAY more than the coons...

There are five cats living right next door. They eat our wild birds. They pee on the porch. They climb on the roof. The male, Buddy, has even sauntered into the house a couple of times when we have the door open.

Meet Buddy.  Yes, that is OUR bird bath.  In the front yard.  10 feet from the window.  Obnoxious beast.

Yes, he is taking a bath.  A moment before, he had his hind leg stretched out in typical cat-bath pose, grooming away.

I think mom may have just mentioned something about BB guns. Buddy has very good hearing...
and even better survival instincts.

I'm keeping the birdbath full of water now - see how he likes wet tail feathers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't mess with GG!

OK, so I'm breaking my word - but I didn't cross my heart, so it's OK, right?

The Coon Wars consist of many small skirmishes - some more dramatic than others. One day Mom and I were sitting at the dining room table playing crib, when we noticed a resident bandit was raiding the bird feeder - in broad daylight.

 Mom grumbled about the nasty critter, and I knocked on the window a couple times. He just stared at me with his bright beady eyes, and continued to shovel the seeds down his greedy gullet.

The trusty B-B gun (thanks, Anson...) was leaning in the corner. Too close to resist. Mom got the gun, cocked it, and laid out the plan of shooting the raccoon right off his perch. I suggested that might not be very nice. Mom didn't care.

I grabbed the cat off the table and headed for the living room with her, telling mom that Birdie couldn't take that kind of carnage - and THA-WACK! I heard the BB hit the window. From the inside. The window was NOT open!

Mom was appalled. Then she was mad! "I'm gonna shoot him again, just for the h_ _ _ of it - RIGHT IN HIS BELLYBUTTON!"

Birdie and I managed to dissuade her.

The gun went back into the corner. And we finished the cribbage game. With the coon watching every move.

Sometime later, I actually took a look at the hole. And discovered that the double-paned window was only pierced on the inside, no hole in the outside pane.

So where did the BB go? It wasn't in the bottom of the window frame, between the glass.

I mentioned it to mom. "Oh," she says, very nonchalant, "it ricocheted back past me, I heard it go by my head."

Good Grief.

Then this morning, she told me she wanted to show me something, in the dining room. Pretty smug. And there it was...

If you look closely, the sorta star shape just above the fence post, is the BB hole in the glass.
The BB ended up about 8 feet east, on the cart where we have the CD player.  Indoors.
"That Great Gramma is a little nutso.  I'm telling the troops to keep an eye on the window, make sure it's CLOSED if they don't want to have their hide ventilated..."

Somehow, I'm sure this story is making the rounds of the coon tribes in the area. I hear snickering at night, through my open bedroom window.

 Several bandits have sauntered by, just to check out that BB hole.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summertime on the coast

None of the following snaps are of family or friends. Mom and I took a drive up to Bar View Jetty and around the campground, just to see all the folks enjoying our beautiful area on a gorgeous summer day...

When I stopped to get this snap, the camper said we weren't the first to be smitten with his unusual family sign - I told him he should be charging per photo, to pay for this camp site!

Tide pool at Bar View - a favorite destination for young and old.  I sometimes wonder if all the little rock crabs caught (put into buckets and later released)  ever get together and share their scarey adventures...
We don't often get sail boats in Tillamook bay; it was a treat watchng her sail in!
A Coast Guard vessel you might not expect...
The bar is a busy place at high tide - comings and goings.

The classy old steam engine is a favorite sight during the summer, puffing clouds, pulling the touring cars to Rockaway Beach and back.
Our door is always open for summer visitors - homemade bread, strawberry jam, pan fried oysters, shrimp louie...good times, good memories. 
Come make a few...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Arizona stylin'

Yes, Arizona is warm. OK. It's HOT. And dry. And dusty. You learn to dress for the climate, just as we do for the coast, or Wisconsin winters.

Than and Collin are in period costume, for a four-day adventure pulling handcarts and reliving Mormon pioneer history. The youth and assorted adult support staff (including Carrie) experience it all during Trek - rough terrain, heat, dust, warm drinking water dipped from barrels, cooking in dutch ovens, even burying the baby that died. That's another story...
Than claims his black hat looked as though it had already been on Trek...
Back home, in the air conditioning, Lee models another typical Arizona head cover...
Of course it isn't all lizards and cowboys.  Where there are punks, there's MUSIC!  And hats.
Now here's the clean-cut, Eagle Scout candidate style...

 This house ROCKS!  In a modest, easy-on-the-ears style, thanks goodness.

Jayden keeps the beat...the headphones have a metronome.

Then there is the backyard pool style -

Now you know how to style for the desert! 
So long from sunny AZ!!