30 September, 2013

260/365 Knitting

Rhythmic flashes mark

The count as gliding needles

Untangle the day.

29 September, 2013

259/365 September Afternoon

Warm sunshine - tempered

By winds edged with the cool

Air of fall dreams - sings.

At Last

We left our driveway around 6 AM
on Monday, September 9.
Arrived in Portland
around 5 PM, Tuesday.
Wednesday was forecast to be hot so
we planned a day along the coast.
Taking windy back roads to get there made
the trip fun from beginning to end.
These pictures are from Tunnel Beach
near Oceanside.
This bit of cliff (?) juts out and during higher tides
separates the beach into distinct sections.
The view from the opening: 
Esteban, Jacob and Tim on the other side.

The cloud banks never did lift.

People we talked to explained they
were looking for agates
which wash up along this particular stretch of beach.
They were pretty intent 
so we gave it some casual effort
and found a couple teentiny samples.
We also found:

As we wandered along that day it was
inevitable that I would compare this beach
with other beaches I've enjoyed.
When someone hears those five letters
- b - e - a - c - h -
chances are they will access a picture completely
different than the one I conjure.
The variety is endless
and the personal associations, priceless.
If we both hear
- g - i - r - a - f - f - e -
we will probably have a very similar
 - fairly standard - response
because it's unlikely that either of us has
a personal giraffe experience
to help define our images.
(this one comes courtesy of googleimages)
I'll be back soon with more from Oregon
 but for now
here's to a day of lovely reflections
of your beach experiences.

28 September, 2013

258/365 September Evening

A trace of wood smoke

Scents the air as the first real

Nip of fall takes hold.

27 September, 2013

257/365 Night Sounds

Rustling leaves surround

The house, tracing the path of

Desultory winds.

26 September, 2013

256/365 Connecting

Extending oneself

Garners rewards that exceed

The initial risk.

25 September, 2013

255/365 Fall Changes

Mornings in jackets

Turn to afternoons spent in

Shorts and ev’ning shawls.


This past weekend we did
squeeze in some fun between all
necessary chores.
Tim's brother, sister and their spouses met at our place
and together we took in the
World Food & Music Festival
in downtown Des Moines
on Saturday night.
The weather was perfect.
The crowd was just the right size.
We heard great music.
and ate some amazing food.
We laughed, chatted and ate our way through
several hours of relaxed camaraderie.
It was a fun night and the food - so delicious.
Did I mention how good the food was?
But if I'd known how this was going to work
I'd have brought my own spoon.
My own family knows that sharing food from a common plate
or a sip from a common glass is a challenge for me.
They love me in spite of it.
On this night, the festival spirit required
that you buy whatever delicacy
caught your fancy
and share it among the six of us. 
Sometimes we even shared the utensil.
At  some point I began to think
that I could survive the coming apocalypse.

24 September, 2013

254/365 Opportunities

To brighten the face
Of a child requires only
Minimal effort.

The Weekend

Reviewing the trip to Oregon
 keeps getting bumped from the list
but I will cover it - soon.
These are pictures from the storm clean-up over the weekend. 
Friday found me working on the
loose branches already on the ground.  
Tim addressed the tree's condition
on Saturday, removing smaller branches 
(I had to work so I missed this phase)
getting it to this point so we could
 work together Sunday before I left for the library.
 This branch was broken and wedged among other branches
requiring a multi-phase removal.

 Here you can see that the trunk is on the ground
but still caught above.
We repositioned the strap and pulled again to dislodge it.

 Nothing was broken.
 Firewood for next fall.

 This is what's left of Aidan's tree. 
We removed two branches from the middle and lost
a good portion of a third.
It made for a long, busy day.
This story - like so many - involves
more than just the obvious, surface details.
As I was hauling branches to the front curb
- making the trip over and over -
I was thinking of how much our lives
 change over a year.
Since June I've lost 22 pounds,
again, only part of the story.
The numbers are wonderful but
the significant part of the story is how I feel.
I move easier.
Sleep better.
Have more energy
and interests.
I feel good.
I feel well.

23 September, 2013

253/365 Changing Paces

Softly shining through

Vibrant skies the sun hastens

Westward, warmth in check.

22 September, 2013

252/365 Hope

How many todays

Will a dying friend see in

Her struggle forward?

21 September, 2013

251/365 Bounty

Laughter shared among

Friends lightens the spirit and

Knits hearts together.

20 September, 2013

250/365 Aftermath

Agitated birds

Search for the remnants of their

Homes with constant calls.
I have pictures to post from our trip to Oregon.
But not today...
Today it's a quick few snaps after last night's storm.
Along with a promise to
get some other loose ends tidied up.
Soon.  Today I will be cleaning up storm damage
after I return from the gym.
Aidan's tree.

We lost several big branches from Aidan's tree - small ones
from all the others.
Hail, wind, and debris from who-knows-where
peppered the house and fences for about  30 minutes.
The wail of emergency squad sirens started almost
immediately after and was soon accompanied by
the whine of chain saws.
Several streets were blocked off and I've been
told that the elementary school
- down and street and around the corner -
lost part of its roof.
This morning the sun is shining.

19 September, 2013

249/365 Silver Linings

Unexpected storms

That scour the landscape of our

Souls can bring new growth.
we had storms last night that disrupted my internet access.

18 September, 2013

248/365 Routine

Creatures of habit,

We long for the established

Rhythms of our day.

17 September, 2013

247/365 In the Mood

Cool air through open

Windows prompts me to reach for

A handy blanket.

16 September, 2013

Home again, home again

We pulled into our driveway about 1:00
this morning.
We covered 4300+ miles in
six days and had a great time
but it's hard not to think
that we were
one phone call away
from being in Estes Park last week.
We drove through an edge of the system that
settled over the area as we went through
Cheyenne and Laramie last Monday.
And, again, as we came
through yesterday.
During our sojourn in Nebraska
we enjoyed so many wonderful days
hiking around Estes Park.
Entering Big Thompson canyon always
took my anticipation to
the next level. 
Glen Haven was a favorite stop.
It's hard to imagine the hard work
ahead for those who will try
 to reclaim what was lost.

Today was busy with
cleaning the car

Tim ran this morning and
I made it to the gym this afternoon
for the 5:30 class. 
Tomorrow we'll be tired.


246/365 Jiggety Jig

Flying past mile posts

Through the long hours as rain falls

And home draws nearer.

15 September, 2013

245/365 Inhale

Each stop along the

Road is uniquely scented,

Telling rich stories.

14 September, 2013

244/365 East through Idaho

Rainclouds darken the

Horizon, North to South, some

Baleful, some benign.

13 September, 2013

243/365 Vacation

New definition

Of a lazy day: waiting

For the hen to cluck.

12 September, 2013

242/365 View from Mt. Hood

Like wind-tossed ocean

Waves, peaks swell and break against

The far horizon.
Portland was expecting temps in the upper 90's
 today so we decided it would be a good time to visit the coast.
We drove up to Oceanside and frolicked along
the beach.  We had just learned
about agates found along the beach
and spoke with several people who were
happy to show us what
they had found. 
We actually found a few. 
And had a great time just dawdling around.
Crab bisque at a local eatery was
more than delicious.
At Garabaldi
- a working port -
we purchased fresh clams
and two kinds of fish
which we grilled for supper.
We found a couple back roads,
taking the long way home
and enjoying the sights.
Tomorrow - Mt. Hood.

11 September, 2013

241/365 Beat the Heat

Salt spray, crab pots and

Winding roads worked their magic

On a steamy day.

10 September, 2013

240/365 Mountains

Nine letters name the

Infinite variation

That meets awe-struck eyes.

09 September, 2013


We covered roughly
1000 miles today.
I enjoy Nebraska - once you reach the middle.
We ran into rain between Cheyenne and Laramie.
The first rain we've seen for
two months.
I really like Wyoming.
It's austerity appeals to me
for some reason.
The colors are subtle but
surprisingly varied.
I appreciate the serious construction of the
snow fences and liberal
hand that spreads them across
the landscape.
Another long day tomorrow.

239/365 Nebraska

Cottonwoods line the

Meandering river through

Miles of rolling plains.

08 September, 2013

238/365 Road trip

I hear the siren

Call of beckoning vistas

And long to ramble.

Sunday Evening

It's been a long, hot week.
Yesterday we had an old friend
from North Dakota
stop through for a quick
but delightful overnight visit.
 we'll be heading out for a few days of vacation.
I'm busy with last minute details:
cleaning out the 'fridge
painting my nails.
I will write my haiku
posting may come
in bunches.
I've never taken to the idea of
preparing something
ahead of time.
They really are reflections of each day.

07 September, 2013

237/365 Disquiet

Concern clutches the

Heart, voiding the comfort found

In familiar words.

06 September, 2013

236/365 Fading Light

How fast the dark night

Overtakes the dwindling strength

Of September’s days.

05 September, 2013

235/365 Phantasms

Pumpkins!  And apples!

And soups! Oh my!  Recipes

Lurk in tempting dreams!

04 September, 2013

234/365 Pace

Finesse is required

To calm the daily hubbub

As tempos increase.


Just to let you know I'm still here.
A friend recently passed along a tip to use coconut milk
in smoothies.
After reading labels
I decided to go with coconut water.
So my first experiment was
to make ice cubes which could then
be added to my protein shakes.
(I make it at least an hour before consuming
so it can thicken a bit.)
Yesterday I added 4 of these ice cubes
to my standard ingredients
fresh strawberries
vanilla soy milk
malt powder
protein powder.
It was fine.
Today I added 4 coconut water ice cubes
to vanilla soy milk
protein powder
malt powder
unsweetened cocoa.
"My word," said the bird!

03 September, 2013

233/365 Clarity

As each new piece falls

 Into place the puzzle, or

Plan, becomes clearer.

02 September, 2013

232/365 Direction


Each day requires we

Make deliberate choices

To shape our pathway.

01 September, 2013

231/365 Confusion

Head-shaking frenzy

Of thought in disarray waits

For restored order.