Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Walk In the Woods

I walked out my back door this morning, looked up, and saw this.

Isn't that a cheery view to start the day?

Gunnar rode off to school on his bike,
and I headed out on a walk, and then...
look closely at the photo.
Look at the dark trees to the right...

From where???

Oh well.
A delivery man - stopped along the road - and I looked at the sky and had a good laugh.
It only lasted a minute or two.

More signs of spring in the woods.

Yellow twinflower.

Roberts Geranium - more lavender than pink when you see them in person.

Thimble berry blossoms everywhere.
(Yes, they're in the rose family.)

And these, I've forgotten the name of.
A tall spike with inconspicuous green flowers.

If you look closely, well...
they remind me of spiders.

Wild blackberry.

Nootka rose.

And the star flowers are blooming.
Seems right out of a fairy tale, doesn't it?
Like elves would dance here.

And, though Kerry hates them,
I love the common dandelion.

This, however, mystifies me.
I've been watching this house go up for several months.
This is obviously the front of the house -
lots of windows -
while the back has hardly any.

And while the "front" faces the narrow road and the neighbor's
overgrown ivy-and-blackberry-infested hedge,
the "back" faces this view:

Even if I wasn't an architect's wife, I think I'd still be stunned by that design decision.
Maybe they just bought the plans out of a book and
didn't give a moment's thought to the actual building site.
What a wasted opportunity!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An early morning walk... again

Outside my window... a breeze, bringing a change in the weather.

Neighborhood pest

Hearing...  Wyatt grousing about taking out the garbage.
So. Much. Work.

I wonder where the sheep have gone?  The grass is getting long.

Pondering...  I'm working on a quilt.
The piecing?  So much fun!  Color!  Design!  Visible progress!  Fun, fun, fun!

Aaaand I've reverted to Dick and Jane...

See Julie.  See Julie sew.  Sew, Julie, sew!  Fun. fun, fun!

You know what's NOT fun?
The part where you tape the backing to the floor,
spread out the batting on the floor,
lay out the top on the floor,
and pin it all together on the floor...

The rest of the work is at the table ;D

Nootka rose blossom

Praying...  Wyatt needs a job.  Again.
He had a great job, but apparently the funding for the
summer project had to be diverted.

Morning in the woods

Thankful...  the school year is winding down,
Kerry is really busy with work,
and the sun is finally shining in Washington.

Creating...  a baby quilt I can't show yet.

I love this stretch of trail :D

Going...  to bed early.
Because I love-love-love clean sheets, fresh from the clothesline.

Chinese Empress Tree

Reading...  just about to finish Aimee Byrd's Housewife Theologian.

Looking forward to...  finishing one project and starting another ;D
I read quilt blogs and they talk about all their "WIPs" -
their Works In Progress.
Some of them will have 10 or 20 projects going at a time.
I'd lose my mind.
I start a project, and I want to see it FINISHED.

Wild strawberries.  But you know who will get all the berries.  Deer.

In the kitchen...  festival dinner tonight.
That means everyone gets to raid the fridge for leftovers,
because it's CAP night.
(But it sounds a lot more fun than leftovers, doesn't it?)

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar has two weeks of history and one Biology lab left to do for homeschool.  Whew!  Public school runs to June 16, though.
And Tate goes until the 20th.

It's an explosion of green this month.

Around the house...  everything getting back to "normal" after hosting friends :D
Well, as normal as it ever gets...

Noticing that...  I was admiring the blooming Scotch Broom when I noticed something...

... a busy visitor

And yes, I know Scotch Broom is a nasty, invasive weed.
It was intentionally introduced into Victoria BC in the mid 1800s
and has spread all over the PNW.
And nothing eats it.

But at least it's a pretty, nasty, invasive weed.

The Mother Load...  
* get Tate and Kerry new jeans
* have a "calendar summit" with Kerry
* defrost the Big Freezer, which isn't as cold as it should be
* clean out the family room closet (stuff to sell???)
* finish this baby quilt
* get groceries
* go by the post office to mail a package
* keep practicing violin...

A week ago, temps in the 40s.  Yesterday?  85.  Pic by Gunnar.

Something funny to share...  I was up at WWU and saw this...

... so tell me about those pizzas?!?!

A favorite quote for today...
I would always rather be happy than dignified.
(Charlotte Bronte)

Our neighbors have a grafted dogwood.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
chip away at the Mother Load.

In the Sunday morning sunshine!

A peek into my world...

it's so green this time of year, it almost feels like being underwater.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Choate Tuesday

With our last full day of Choate-filled goodness ahead of us,
Wyatt and Kerry took a day off work, and Tate and Gunnar skipped school
so we could make "Adventure Tuesday" possible.

Apparently it was red/pink day and almost everyone got the memo ;D

We could have filled weeks with special activities and outings
and not seen half of what our corner of the state has to offer!
(So much to do!  So much to see!)
Aaaaand we could easily have overwhelmed our friends
with a barrage of EVERYTHING,
when they were already dealing with jet-lag and culture shock.
(Or so I'm told, they sure didn't show it :D)
We tried to strike a balance between low-key days
and "adventure" days.

Looking across Puget Sound at Port Townsend and the Olympic Mountains

I'm so glad Wyatt suggested Fort Casey,
a historical state park in a gorgeous setting.

Disappearing gun in the "up" position

Fort Casey, Fort Ebey, and For Worden formed a protective triangle,
guarding the salt-water route to Seattle and Tacoma.
All three are now state parks with campgrounds.

Disappearing gun in the "down" position

Though we're all interested in history,

... the main attraction for me was my friends :D

I'm so thankful for how seamlessly the kids - from big to small -
blended together and enjoyed the activities and the new friendships.

And the underground bunkers!

Admiralty Head Lighthouse

Love those happy faces!

What a gorgeous day, too!

Fort Casey sits right next to the Coupeville ferry landing, so we saw the ferry shuttling back and forth to Port Townsend through the morning.

We could've stayed there all day, but after a picnic lunch we headed back north to the Deception Pass bridge, and stopped on Pass Island for a look around.

The kids were quick to take off to explore.

The tide was coming in while we were there and I'm amazed
at the volume of water that moves through that narrow channel.

Blue Camas

180 feet above the water.

So much personality!

From there it was just a few minutes to Rosario Beach,
a lesser-known part of Deception Pass State Park.

More exploration requires sustenance,
in the form of "the cookie mountain".

I love this little corner of the park.
It's often much quieter,
and it holds a lot of happy memories for me.
I lived with a host family here during one of my summers
with Reachout Expeditions.

Hard to believe this is the same ocean they live by in the Solomon Islands!

Imagine the next two photos side by side...

There's a wonderful (small) bluff with beautiful little bays on both sides.

It doesn't take long to walk around it,
and the views are totally worth it!

You'd want to hang on to small children though, because there's a 30? 40? foot drop into some very cold and rocky water.

I wasn't really worried about our crew ;D

Aaaand the bay on the other side... lovely :D

And I love the CCC picnic shelters :D

All too soon we were headed back to Chateau Grasshopper, for an early dinner,
leaving time for the master packers to get all their gear ready for a 2:30 am call time.

For some crazy reason I don't have any pictures
of our early morning farewell at the airport!

It was all worth it!
Let's do it again :D