Friday, December 18, 2009


1. Reading the Christmas story from Luke.
2. Twinkling lights.
3. The sky always seems to get crystal clear at Christmas time.
4. Creating joy for the children that I gift.
5. Being with family.
6. Solstice.
7. If you catch an afternoon moonrise at this time of year (the 31st this year) it is always magnificent.
8. Remembering Christmases past.
9. Enjoying Christmas present.
10.The friendliness of people this time of year (leave a comment if you read this).

Thursday, December 10, 2009


1. Clean desks.
2. My miniature basket collection
3. Writing with a good old fountain pen, given me by my Dad
4. Old things out of place.
5. Temporary collections (like the seashells sitting by my desk from Bainbridge Island).
6. Christmas carols.
7. Old wooden boxes.
8. Soft skinned babies.
9. Well behaved children (which means the parents have worked on this).
10.Handmade tools.
and last but not least tonight I experienced this.
11.Being able to burp when the tummy hurts (Didn't God make us wondrously!)

I'm thankful tonight that we didn't have to make an emergency trip to the avian vet. Beignet caught her wings in the cords for the curtain and wrapped them around her wing and twisted them around her feet. She was very upset and scolding, but she didn't bit once. We were so proud of her. I asked her later and she lifted her wings to show me they were find and shook her head yes, they were just fine. I'm so glad I can communicate with her. I'm also so glad she didn't get hurt. We have a few changes to make.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


1. Waking up early in the morning refreshed.
2. Getting my hair washed at a salon.
3. Listening to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.
4. Cuddles from Beignet.
5. Picking up seashells (ranks high on my favorites list).
6. School supplies. The very thought of them makes me drool uncontrollably...!
7. My grandson Sam.
8. Pictures of Sam.
9. Videos of Sam.
10. Talking to Sam on the phone.

As you can see in this particular post, Sam is nearly half of all of my favorite things. I love his smile and his laugh and sense of humor.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


1. Raindrops twinkling on bare branches.
2. Layered dusky mountain ranges.
3. My two red tabby cats now four at Halloween and still kittens.
4. My sweetheart parrot Beignet who continues to astound me with her wisdom.
5. My husband who loves me so dearly and has taken care of me when I was sick with flu.
6. Wind in the trees and the perfume that it creates.
7. Crunchy tart apples in fall.
8. Tofutti sour cream and cream cheese. Life savers for the dairy intolerant.
9. Fat crunchy grapes that burst in your mouth. Beignet likes these too.
10.Ticking clocks. They remind me that time passes and that I am using the ticks.

One more my sister and I share...fresh black smooth asphalt.

Monday, September 14, 2009


This week it is one thing and only one thing. Refreshment after vacation. I am renewed! That is all I want to say!

Friday, September 04, 2009


It has been a busy week, so Tuesday has gone and here is Friday. Beignet is sitting on her little portable perch beside me and she wants to write something:

rrrrrrrrrrs reza. That is Beignet's message to everybody. She stood on the keys.

1. I so love that Beignet continues to grow in her abilities. She now whistles a specific number of times and I reply the same number of times. Then she says, "Good Girl!" She has become a teacher and I'm the student:D.

2. The sun is still shining here in Washington and I feel grateful for each ray of sunshine. Soon the rain will be here and we will experience all the colors of the grey spectrum which I personally find quite interesting. Good thing, because here we get rain forest type of rain all the time.

3. I'm grateful for the friends that are in my life and for their support to me and for the times I can lend support to them. If the whole world functioned on this simple system we would have peace.

4. Okay, I was going to wane philosophical on this one, so I'll put it into a more personal mode: I love my husband so much and I love that he loves me back. I love our life together and the way we are able to work side by side. I love the little things of love that happen when we work side by side, the tiny little things that make marriage a good thing like the wink of an eye or a giggle at the right moment or a simple glance. Connection to each other with regularity is what makes it work. I think every couple should prepare their dinner together. The dynamics of work together for a common goal provides a significant means to great camaraderie in a marriage. For this I have profound thankfulness.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Okay folks, we were at Detroit Lake State Park last week and had a blast. We took 8 month old Sam swimming in his first COLD water. He loved it (and was wearing an appropriate life jacket). He is going to be a fish just like his Mom. This was the first time in 14 years (how time flies) that we went camping.

I missed my 10 Things Tuesday column, so here goes for last Tuesday:

1. Wow, it looks like it's going to be warm today

2. I want to go swimming right away.

3. Boy, I'm hungry.

4. Need a nap.

5. Aargh, sun on tent, napper too hot.

6. Why did we swim this morning? We should go now.

7. Mmm. Spaghetti is on the menu.

8. Mmmmmmm. Bob makes great spaghetti.

9. My assigned job - drying dishes.

10. Toasted marshmallows, then brush teeth and off to bed. A fine day at the lake.

The next day we swam in the afternoon and it was fabulous. Snorkeling is one of my favorite things even though I have to override that very strong human law that says, "Do not breathe when the face is in the water - no matter what!!!!!". It is always amusing to me how strong that law is, even though the brain knows that the snorkel will bring the air to the mouth. It always takes me a few breaths to get it regulated. The first few are jerky, untrusting and downright scary.

Sam and I had this fabulous little game of peek-a-boo going one night as I babysat. I loved it. That is his picture at the top. His mother tells me this morning that he has begun standing up on his knees. He wanted to be in the play pen during the week because then he got to stand up. I think he is going to be walking before we know it. He is a real acrobat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


My niece who is, by the way, 35 weeks pregnant has posted on her blog a great idea, name any ten things on Tuesday. After all in our city Tuesday is Junk Mail Day, so what am I going to do with my spare time except think of ten things.

1. I am abundantly thankful for good health care for me and my husband.
2. I need to rescue one of those roosters that nobody wants and have it for dinner. This, of course would mean that I would have to kill and prepare it for cooking. It would keep me in contact with why I would really rather be a vegetarian.
3. Having a grandson is the fourth greatest thing that ever happened to me. The others were getting married, having Aimee, getting a son (in-law), and then holding Sam the night of his birth while his parents slept. We whispered secrets all night.
4. God bless this place where I live. I'm awestruck every time I go outdoors or walk on the hardwood floors.
5. Five days of intestinal virus is W A Y too much.
6. When traffic is too heavy, just get off the road and have dinner:)
7. Finding swim fins in August is poor planning.
8. AAA has a great travel store. I've been buying purses there for years.
9. Having somebody to cuddle up next to at night is pretty nice.
10.Third hip injection is over with and it seems to be working. We'll know in three months when the MRI is repeated.

So, that wasn't so hard once I got going. But, there is a #11
11. It's okay for the deer to eat the columbines. We saw the Mom last week and she was really thin. They were here before I was. It's not really our land. The bank can complain if they think the deer will comply.

Friday, August 07, 2009


The weather in the Northwest has been particularly hot in the past two weeks. This week it has cooled down, but here is a shot of what that hot weather does to animals. This little gal had been on another chair in a similar position. Our two cats were watching her and then I joined in to see what was so interesting. The squirrel hopped down and then up to this chair and assumed the "Darn, it's so hot today!" position.
The moon was full last week and we saw it as we came home from our Chinese class. I couldn't resist a quick shot.

Here is the sunset from the building that our Chinese class is at. This was a week prior when the hot weather made the elevator riding up to the place where I shot this a miserable toast of a ride. The elevator faced the sun and it was near 100 degrees out, so we guessed that the elevator was at least 130 degrees. Now I can slightly sympathize with our guys in Iraq.

I continually find the rising and setting sun and moon to be something of a fascination. My attention is held fully in the images I see. Beauty is all around us and I count these little glimpses of life to be small miracles in the bigger miracle of the universe.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I saw a doe and her fawn recently in the yard and watched them for quite some time. Bob came home driving down the drive and the doe moved away a little bit, but not far. We were going out for dinner when he came home, so I went out to the car. The doe had walked a little bit closer, but the fawn wasn't in sight. As we left she sauntered up the driveway ahead of us and over into the neighbor's driveway.

The next time I saw her I saw the fawn first and then...another fawn. Then Mamma dear came up behind them. We call her Scarbourough because she bears a scar on her left shoulder. Last year we saw her with her yearling fawn. She seems to know which plants to eat and when. Our columbines had bloomed beautifully this year. I wanted them to go to seed so I could start some in our back yard. One day I came home and most of the seed heads had been carefully nibbled off. Evidently she has been taught from her mother just when these columbines are richest with seed. Now the fawns are nibbling the columbines to the ground. The hostas have suffered the same fate. I'll be looking for deer proof plants next year.
Cute little fawns with all of their spots and huge ears. They are a much smaller deer than is seen in the Rocky Mountain region.

Mamma deer is gently guarding her babies. She seems quite unafraid of me.


What total glee is present in this photo. Kids are so pure and unreserved about expressing their feelings. Look at the hands held in little fists. As adults we do the same thing when expressing sheer joy. I giggle every single time I look at this and actually giggled most of the way home last night after taking Nithya and her Mom home. We had as much fun as she did.
Here it is. After clicking my camera constantly I was rewarded with the perfect picture. She is anticipating the water with eyes closed just a bit, the dress is swinging as she turns and the water splashes out to illustrate what has been happening. I don't remember ever getting the perfect shot, and this whets my appetite for photography. Thanks Nithya for a great day.


What child doesn't delight at the idea of playing in water. It is an irresistable urge that is common in most people. My friend Samatha and her daughter Nithya are regular visitors at our home. On this warm summer day we walked around the yard and then settled in on the deck to watch Nithya play. She soon found the water and this is what happened. First is that anticipatory look of "what will happen if I put my hand in the water?".
No self-respecting child could resist the urge to drink out of the birdbath - "NO NITHYA!" shouts Mother. I just giggle.

She is such a beautiful child with zeal for living. Her little gauze dress is soaked at this point.

"I'm having SO MUCH FUN!" and it is so evident in every fiber of her being.

And I thought the other picture was soaked. Now this is really soaked. Stay tuned for part 2.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Thank you, thank you to those who follow my blog and make comments. I always go back and read them and they uplift me so much. Bless you for being my friends and family and blessings to those who might find me by accident.


Believe it or not I'm still here. We have been busy every weekend either travelling or working in the yard trimming shrubs and pulling blackberry vines the invasive weed of the Pacific Northwest. I'm getting settled in my studio space and have begun making a bit of jewelry: a gold colored freshwater pearl single strand necklace, a black freshwater pearl three strand necklace and learning the process of cold joined metal. Reading a lot is how I learn best, and that means not only books, but using the Internet as a tool for research. Both are time consuming.

Last week we saw a doe and her speckled fawn, probably a month of age. I took a video of them that is sweet, but until I learn how to edit it and prepare it for upload, you won't see it. It is a very small breed of deer that lives here in the Northwest, unlike the large Mule Deer that live in the colder Northwest areas.

I keep delighting in the growth of Sam and his gentle spirit. I think he gets that from both of his parents who, I might add, are most excellent parents with a wonderful sense of patience, love, and encouragement.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I realized by the last comment that I didn't say anything about Sam's Mom. She has been busy finishing her last two terms of university to get a degree in economics and a minor in business. She graduates June 13 and we are very proud of her. Four days after having a c-section for a 10# 4oz. son, she took her final exams from fall term. She is one determined woman. Nobody wanted Sam to have to be in day care while she was in school, so the two grandmothers and Dad worked out a system where we could all share his care and Aimee could finish school. She has had high grades and will become a wonderful CPA. I am so extremely proud of my daughter. She has always been more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I have a friend who has been asking me to post some of my art work. The pure and simple truth is that my art has recently been spent on helping to raise a child, my grandson Sam. His other grandmother and his father each take a week and I take the third week. Then we start the process all over again. I travel 6 hours by train there and six hours by train back. Another 45 minutes is spent each way in travel by car, and that doesn't count packing and unpacking at which I have become expert. One of the best ways for me to pack for the same place repeatedly is to leave the things in the suitcase that I always take as travel items and a list of the things I will always need. One must consider as well, that I have horrible food allergies and must pack all of my own food for the trip and part of the food I will eat while there for five days. I have my bags down to a small computer/overnight bag, and a backpack. So, that has been my most current art work - the art of being a loving grandparent and parent.

When I have free time I have settled down to work on a pad of Bristol paper that I bought as a sketchbook. The first drawing it was so much fun that I decided to do a series of all of the pieces of paper in the pad. I use the same #2 pencil for all of them to keep things transportable. Each drawing originates with one single shape, which is then repeated over and over until a texture is knit upon the page. Then I add darks. If I run out of room for large shapes, then I make underlayers of those images beneath the existing ones. A close up shows the scribbly and scrawly filling in of dark values. I'm not fussy about coverage, just the value. I have only six of the pieces finished, but two are total failures. There are 20 papers in the pad, so that means that if I'm really lucky I'll end up with 13 or 14 good pictures, but then one can never count on luck, only skill and practice. I don't think there will be 20 six by six drawings.
Please accept apologies for my editing errors. I am unable to find a 'delete image' spot on this editor, so there are two of one image.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Today I was supposed to be working in the house, but it was sunny outside and I ended up outside all day long. It was so gorgeous and I was able to walk about and see what was growing in our yard. I found some steps going to the upper property that had been hidden under blackberries. It is always fun to find surprises in one's garden. I always liked finding salamanders in Oregon, but haven't found one on this property yet.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


We have finally unpacked the last box and the boxes have been hauled away as of yesterday. We now have an open and airy garage. Wahoo!

Plants in the yard are growing daily by the inch (hostas) and I've been out pruning blackberries which are also growing by the inch daily. I thought my hands were protected, but this morning I have numbers of broken off thorns in my fingers. Leather gloves don't seem to stop a razor sharp blackberry thorn. Does anybody have any ideas?

We are certainly not done weeding out all of our posessions, because the house has too many "things" in it. However, the boxes are gone and that is a big load off our shoulders. May day was the day it was all over. We moved July 24. Nine months and two full moves along with moves to storage units. I don't know how people move every couple of years. It is expensive, emotionally draining, and just a #!*/# lot of work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


There have been women in my life who have been grandmothers and all of them have bubbled with joy about the experience. I always wondered what made them remark about this experience as opposed to the wonder of having one's own child. Now I know! Sam is at that stage where he grins all the time and coos sweet little sounds and melts my heart. When he was born I thought he looked just like his mother. Now I think he has the shape of his mother's eyes, but looks much more like his dad. Every once in a while I see a resemblance of many different family members and I personally find joy in seeing this. Before Sam was born I thought that I would most want him to look just like his mother, but seeing all of the different "faces" in his face is like seeing a family photo in one face.

This feeling of family and connectedness from generations past to present overwhelms me sometimes. I'm a bit (well, truthfully a lot) nostalgic. I have the watch that belonged to my great great great grandmother. It has been passed from mother to daughter for that many generations and it still ticks! It is as if it is really time being passed from one generation to the next.

So, as I write this tonight, I am saying to anyone who might be or who might become a grandparent that the experience is like one you can never imagine until it belongs to you. Thanks Sam for making me your Maemae.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


You don't want this. I'm staying home so nobody else gets it. You really, really DON"T want the flu. Stay healthy, wash you hands often, take your vitamins and drink lots of fluids. Remember to keep sanitizer to use after driving a shopping cart or writing on a checkstand with somebody else's pen. Meanwhile, I mend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Such beautiful people, such a sweet baby boy. This was taken at Sam's third baby shower. I understand that newspapers only print 5 generation photos now because people are living so much longer and four generations is pretty normal.

Monday, January 05, 2009


We knew when we moved to this house in the woods that there was wildlife. It didn't take too long before we began seeing a doe and this years' fawn (that is the fawn on the left). They have been frequent visitors to our yard. Just before this photo was taken the rose bush on the very far left, almost off the photo had the last leaves nibbled by these hungry deer. I suspect they are the ones that snatched the ripe pear off the pear tree last fall before we moved in. There are definitely coyote, bobcat, and we have heard reports of wolves and cougar. I will keep my ears and eyes aware when gardening in our yard and hopefully the only critters I'll see are the slugs and an occasional salamander. However, from this entry you will note that gardening is a while away yet.


I'm holding Sam while he is trying to sleep. He looks pretty normal sized in my arms with my stature a wee bit on the short side.

Sam's Dad is 6'3" and Sam looks like a newborn in his arms. In Grandpa's arms with chin to head Sam looks pretty normal sized. Now look at second cousin Jenn. Sam looks HUGE. At 5 weeks Sam is wearing 6 month sized clothes. We are hoping that if Jenn has children they will be born closer to her 5#?? birthweight. These photos were all taken the same day.