31 October, 2013

Reflections on a Lazy Night

It's Beggar's Night in Grimes.
Answering the door falls to me, so
tonight's tasks can't be anything that needs
undivided attention.
With knitting and reading out of the question
this seemed like a good way
to occupy my time.
I've been enjoying the rhythms of the season.
Harvest has ended for many local farmers.
One has begun planting posts for
snow fencing.
The trees have been lovely.
Over the weekend we drove past a
fairly new tract of homes
and I was encouraged to see how many
new trees had been planted.
For some reason those spindly trunks topped by
their brilliant scarlet leaves
made a statement about young
(presumably young) homeowners
investing in the future
when a new patio set may 
have had a more immediate payoff.
I'm also feeling a certain
squirrel-like urgency in these last
 few days before daylight savings ends.
Darkness late into the morning  and
falling early in the evening
makes the day too short and too busy 
when there are projects to tackle!!

290/365 Lost Time

Darkness crowding both

Ends of day makes each minute

As precious as light.

30 October, 2013

289/365 Vagaries

Laugh, cry.  Black, white, red!
Short, long.  Together, alone.
Today, tomorrow.

29 October, 2013

288/365 Secrets

Shining eyes disclose

The excitement that careful

Wording seeks to hide.

28 October, 2013

287/365 Mixed Reactions

Joy and sorrow, at

Times, sit too closely making

Our tears bittersweet.

27 October, 2013

286/365 October Morn

Scarlet leaves atop

Thin branches quiver, touched by

Autumn’s frosty air.

26 October, 2013

285/365 October Outing

Sunshine, reflected

In smiling faces, warms a

Lovely afternoon.

25 October, 2013


Did your week pass as quickly as mine?
Two days were spent sitting in
the dark as training sessions introduced 
the staff to a new cataloging/records
system for the library.
That kind of disruption in normal routines
always challenges my sense of
You know that feeling, right?
It has been a productive week, though.
Furniture has been re-arranged.
Closets and cupboards addressed.
And with the onset of colder days my
kitchen has seen some action.
These two ideas/recipes were from
 These pumpkin muffins contain just a dab
of molasses which makes them so
moist and mellow.

The apple chips - easy and oh, so tasty -
were a hit at work.
So I started thinking...
why wouldn't this work with potatoes?
Guess what's in my oven?
I used our garden potatoes - flavorful! -
 tried different thicknesses
sprinkled salt
and added cayenne to a small sample.
The very thin slices took hardly any time
to crisp and were so delicious!
Yes, that past tense is correct. 
My mantra for the rest of the day is

24 October, 2013

284/365 Refuge

From low‘ring clouds and

Spitting rain throughout the day

The warmth of home calls.

23 October, 2013

283/365 For Pops

Certain events will

Prompt remembrances of those

Dear to us.  Go Cards!

22 October, 2013

282/365 Tuesday

Warm scents of baking
Fill the house holding biting
Winds and sleet at bay.

Ya Gotta love it!

For as long as I can remember
any occasion involving gifts
generally includes  a conversation
with Naphtali along these lines:
N - I got your present today.  Do you want to open it?
Me - No, I'll wait.
N - I found it at a little shop downtown,
it's gorgeous.  Do you want to open it?
Me - It's only a week - I'll wait.
N -You're really going to like it. 
Do you want me to tell you what it is?
Me - Really, I'm happy to wait.
Honestly, that routine is aired
several times each year.
When I arrived on Thursday afternoon
one of the first things she said to me was that
she had put my birthday present in my room.
With that in mind I should be excused
for taking a peek, right?
I did peek - it was only a bag - and
found four beautiful fabric bundles with
tags that didn't help me identify them.
So I commented on the beautiful fabric
- said thank you -
and asked if they are bath towels.
You guessed it:
Mom!  Those are for your birthday!
You weren't supposed to look yet!
Naphtali is a very generous gift-giver.
She loves to give, and
she loves the search for something special.
I think she scored, again,
with lovely foutas for my bathroom.


21 October, 2013

281/365 Family

Bound by durable,
Proven ties we take delight
 In shared memories

Tea Time

Several weeks ago,
while I was sick,
I drank copious amounts of
hot water with lemon and honey.
It made me think that maybe it was time to revisit
my quest to learn to drink tea.
After all, how much different would tea be?
So, I have been trying.
google images

I've worked my way
through a box of Lemon Zinger
-which in some minds may not even qualify as tea -
but it was progress.
Polite company would doubtless
look askance at the amount
of honey added to my cup, but it was progress.

More helpful, though, was that
I finally understood my difficulty with tea.
It's not the sweetness, but the lack of saturated flavor
that I miss.  Maybe double bagging would help.

Today, I've brought home a
 lemon-based green tea. 
Fresh lemon has been added, as has
and honey.
Less honey than I've been using.
Progress, I tell you, progress.

20 October, 2013

280/365 Sunday Routines

The familiar sounds

 Of home surround me like a

Favorite blanket.

19 October, 2013

Saturday Night

The day is winding to a close.
The radiators have us all feeling coddled
and a scrumptious dinner has put
us in a mellow frame of mind.

Chickpeas with cumin and tomatoes
fingerling potatoes roasted in olive oil and rosemary
grilled chicken breast
a salad that defies its simple designation
warm baguette with dates and feta.
How will we'll actually remember this evening?
A good meal after a busy day
served with love by candlelight.
Aidan whistling nonchalantly as he scootched
his chair toward the light switch.
Waving a cutting board under the fire alarm.
Several times.
Dogs inching closer to the table.
The butterscotch versus caramel debate.
Plenty of laughter.
Tomorrow will find us headed home
- trying to avoid construction delays -
and thinking about our own
projects to tackle before winter.
We have everything - and a few extras -
crossed off Naphtali's list
for  this weekend.
Her cottage is cozy and ready for
whatever weather comes their way.
Aidan's homework is done.
Grandpa is tired.
And we'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

279/365 Welcome

Cozy warmth spills out

The door as guests crowd in, cheered

By friendly voices.

18 October, 2013

278/365 October Afternoon

Pallid sunshine and

Chill winds conspire to hasten

Winter’s arrival.

17 October, 2013

Thursday Morning

Ooh! but it's dark and cold, now, in the early morning.
Bumps in my schedule have sent
me to the gym for the 6AM class
twice this week!
Once I'm up and out it's okay
but getting out of bed and ready to go
can be a challenge.
I do enjoy the different sights of an early morning
 (those that can be seen in the dark) like:
the reflective spots on the runners' shoes
 bobbing along the path
the moon - nearly full - hanging
huge, low and golden on the western horizon
the single light shining in a dark house
a surprising amount for 5:37!
Today we'll head north for a weekend
with Naphtali and Aidan.
There are a few last details to attend
and then Charlie and I will hit the road.
Good times.

277/365 Early Morning

Winking tail lights trace

An intricate path as folks

Make their way to work.

16 October, 2013

276/365 Anticipation

Preparations add
to the growing excitement
surrounding a trip.

15 October, 2013

275/365 Slow Night

Crawling painfully
past each number the clock's hands
bring me no relief.

14 October, 2013

274/365 Windy Day

Russet, gold and green

Quiver against cloudless skies

As autumn winds blow.


Who am I kidding?
There will be no wrap-it-all-up
posts to finish the trip to Oregon.
We returned about a month ago
 and I don't know how that is possible.
Much has - as it does - happened in the last month
and keeping up is enough of a challenge
without always trying to catch up.
So forget about a description of the
incredible fresh crab bisque
I enjoyed at the coast.
Not going to happen.
There will be no tales of
grilling fresh fish
fingerling potatoes from the garden or
steamer clams.
 featuring peppers, onions and tomatoes
from the garden?
You'll never hear about them.
Fresh eggs from backyard chickens?
Pretend it didn't happen.
The polite, handsome,
who offered to replace our broken
windshield wipers in Laramie
will not get the ink the deserve.
The last blurry, rain-soaked
seventeen hours in the car to make it home
will simply remain a memory.
I'm through talking about it.
It's 5AM Monday morning and
I'm headed to the gym.

13 October, 2013

273/365 Autumn on the Lake

Crisp reflections on

Still water mirror scarlet

Accents set in gold.

12 October, 2013

272/365 Twilight

Tasks left for day’s end

Are rescheduled, as fading

Light forces a halt.

11 October, 2013

271/365 Friday Evening

Shared conversation

And food create mellow moods

And week’s end good will.

10 October, 2013

270/365 Peek-a-Boo Moon

October crescent

Hangs low above the roofline

Hidden by treetops.

09 October, 2013

269/365 Hummingbird

Green flash against clear

Azure sky seems misplaced as

Golden leaves languish.

08 October, 2013

268/365 Conspiracy Theory

Our best intentions
Are thwarted as well-meaning
Loved ones interrupt

07 October, 2013

267/365 Making Hay

Bold in the warm sun,

Marauding squirrels pilfer

Nearby bird feeders.

06 October, 2013

266/365 Fire

Flickering chatter

Warms the room holding the damp

Autumn night at bay.

Short Shrift

I'm afraid Mt. Hood and remaining portion of our trip
are going to be condensed.
Lessons from Daily Living 101
interfered with our plans
 for a day of hiking on Mt. Hood, but the necessary
phone calls were made,
details feel into place,
a late start was deemed better than no start
and we drove over to the mountain
on a cloudless afternoon.
Mt Hood is a beautiful sight. 
Unfortunately, an unexpected camera glitch left
me with no pictures.
You'd be right in guessing we took the long way
and enjoyed our glimpses of it's  
classic, snow-capped shape as the curving road
brought us closer.
Tim and I also went on our own
one afternoon when Jacob was working and
found Lucia and Moulton Falls
near Battle Ground, WA.

 We clambered around on the rocks,
Tim picked up bottles and cans left by
inconsiderate partyers,
and we marveled at the size of the trees.
This was the type of old Pacific coast forest region
that I'd been expecting.
The food deserves better treatment
than to be summarized thus:
it was great!
So I will put together one last post


05 October, 2013

265/365 Relaxation

Weekend rhythms slow

As homely concerns call for

 Leisurely efforts.

04 October, 2013

264/365 Sick Day

Of all the ways we

Express those “three little words”
Chicken soup’s matchless.

03 October, 2013

263/365 Waiting for the Rain

Dark clouds gather, pass,

Then re-form, through a long day

In which no rain falls.

Sauvie Island

The next stop on our recent travels
in Oregon was Sauvie Island.
Only 10 miles from Portland, Sauvie Island is
a blend of agriculture
and wildlife.  And shipping.  There are several camp grounds
and a marina of house boats.  It's one of Jacob's
favorite local spots.
My guess is that this is the Sauvie Island
excursion boat.
But this one is on its way to the ports.
As we stood there we googled the name of the ship
and were connected to a real-time gps signal
 tracking it - including our location - and its
progress toward Portland.
Who knew?

We drove through orchards and truck farms.
These are hydrangeas
- one of several fields -

and the were surrounded by fields of roses.
We stopped at a local market and bought
sweet corn
pepper jelly
and a beautifully utilitarian market basket.
We followed a sign to a nearby orchard,
looking for gravensteins,
and heard some of the local
history/legends from a woman who grew up
on the island.
A good day.

02 October, 2013

262/365 Serendipity

Unexpected gems

Drop from unknowing lips to

Prompt inspiration.

01 October, 2013

261/365 Focus!

Sweeping second hands

Chides us about dawdling as

Deadlines creep nearer.