Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Thoughts v.6.28.12


Linking up with Sar for another round of Thursday Thoughts.

Here's what's on my mind this week:


We lost one of Sarah's best friends this week at the much too young age of 26. I've been breaking into tears at random moments. I cry for the loss of Chelsea, I cry for my daughter because she lost a great friend, and I am absolutely heartbroken for her parents. I can't even begin to fathom what they are going through. It shouldn't take a tragedy such as this to remind us how important it is to tell those you love exactly how you feel. Please remember to hug your children often.


We are getting closer to actually painting the house. After many repairs and much primer, Wally power washed the house this week. Then we spent a small fortune yesterday on paint. Still need the weather to cooperate, though, and it looks like we'll see a small window of good weather next week. Too early to tell!


I was searching through my recipes the other day and decided that I need to do a much better job of organization. I use a recipe card box, just like my mom did. Unfortunately, it's filled to the brim and the overflow has spilled to several other locations. I have recipes on pages cut from magazines, recipes I've printed from emails from friends, recipes on scraps of paper, and some recipes I only have electronically. I used to try to convert all the different formats to recipe cards and file them away. I'm way past that point now. I think I'm going to try using an old photo album with plastic sticky pages and just insert the page/sheet/note as-is. My current recipe cards should fit 4-6 to a page, too. Might be a good time to review and toss those recipes I don't use. I'd love to hear how you keep track of all of your recipes!



Hard to believe it's almost July! We have a busy month planned. In addition to painting, we hope to catch Wally's former little leaguer in action next week when the Mariners host the Baltimore Orioles. The following week we get grandkids Kayden and Ava for the week, and look forward to ferrying them to soccer camp. Later in the month we head to Loon Lake in E. Washington for a long weekend to visit good friends. We should finally see some hot weather there! We close out the month by going to the Mariner Hall of Fame game with my sister and her husband. Whew...when did I ever find the time to work?

And how is your week going?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Waco Is A Trip

Our daughter is attending grad school far far away in Waco TX, and we miss her terribly. Fortunately, she usually comes home for a visit at least twice a year. Unfortunately, that is not enough Sarah-time, so her Dad and I try to visit at least once a year. Most recently, my sister and I visited her over a year ago during spring break, Wally visited early last summer while I was in Europe, and then my husband and I made a quick stop in August during our three-week road trip.

This year I am planning a trip to Elk Grove, CA to visit my aunt, so Wally will head to Waco to visit Sarah. He and Sarah were supposed to check their schedules, locate hopefully reasonable airfare and book the flight. As usual, I had to light a fire under them. I sent them both text messages when airfare dropped, proposed dates to each of them and begged each to contact the other to plan, plan, plan. All for naught. Airfare dropped again the other day, so I took the bull by the horns, checked our schedule, asked Sarah to consult hers, and bought the tickets. Mission accomplished!

Sarah and Wally have already had quite a few special experiences together. They drove a U-Haul (towing Sarah's car) to Texas when Sarah relocated. They went to Disney World during one spring break, and to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark (voted the nation's number one waterpark) during another daddy-daughter visit. On yet another trip, they visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Note that I, her beloved mother, have never been to any of those places. But that's OK! I am so grateful they have such fun together and enjoy each other's company.

Which is very long lead-in to my story.

I was standing in a long line at the checkout counter when a magazine caught my eye: The South's Most Scenic Drives by Southern Living. I bought the magazine, thinking Wally and I might enjoy some of the "55 Memorable Road Trips!" during our next road trip to Texas.

Imagine my surprise in finding that one of the scenic drives is in the Waco area! I thought this might be a fun outing for Wally and Sarah during the upcoming visit. The destination is Homestead Heritage Crafts Village, "A Century Away from Dallas"; "Visit the take-your-time world of handcrafting in a tiny village." The village sounds beautiful, and includes a working forge, a gristmill, a potter's house, a cafe and a barn where you can watch hand crafted furniture items being created. The village also offer classes, so I could picture Wally (who is a closet pyromaniac) working the forge, or Sarah throwing a pot. Fun, huh?

I decided to check the cost and availability of classes on the internet. As I typed the name of the village in the search engine, the auto-fill recommended the following: "homestead heritage cult", "homestead heritage beliefs", "homestead heritage church." Now they have my attention! Of course, I absolutely must select the "cult" suggestion and consequently find a whole slew of newspaper articles, opinion pieces, blog posts and web pages. Many of the listings compare the village to another famous cult in Waco, but others just list a litany of supposed-offenses, ranging from corporal punishment, to sexual abuse, to child abuse. I read quite a few of the accusations, and not quite as many rebuttals. Nevertheless, I'm thinking if it looks like a pig, and smells like a pig...well, you know what I mean. Take a look for yourself here. Needless to say, Homestead Heritage Crafts Village is obviously not the idyllic location it's made out to be in the magazine. Although, to be fair, the village probably is as advertised "...a retreat to simplicity." Just depends on what kind of simple life you're looking for!

I don't think I can recommend this scenic drive to Wally and Sarah...they're better off doing their own planning!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Thoughts v6.21.12

Linking up with Sarah for another edition of Thursday Thoughts. Here's what's on my mind this week:


Had a wonderful time wine-tasting last weekend in Lake Chelan. The weather was gorgeous, and bought a few bottles to refill my wine racks. Too bad the mini-vacation was bookended by calamity; shredded a tire crossing the North Cascade highway on the trip to Chelan, and then managed to knock the rear view mirror off the windshield on the way back home. Just minor problems in the big scheme of life! We had a visitor of two while we were gone...and they like my strawberries! Dear deer, leave some for me!


SO looking forward to painting the exterior of our house, because it would mean that all the nasty prep work is finally over. Luckily for me, my share of the work is routine and monotonous (cleaning, priming, pruning). Unfortunately, my husband found several damaged soffits that need to be replaced, and he has spent way too much time accomplishing repairs precariously perched on ladders and scaffolding. I think we see the light at the end of the tunnel, and painting is just around the corner.


Due to hip limitations, I haven't attended yoga since last December. But I've had my new hip for four months now and feel pretty darn good. I plan on restarting yoga in the fall session. However, I was invited to a special solstice and birthday celebration at my yoga studio last night. I hadn't realized how much I miss the camaraderie of my fellow yogis, as well as the peaceful relaxation after a successful yoga class. I am not nearly as flexible as I once was, but was able to modify the positions when needed and had an absolutely wonderful experience with great friends. Namaste!


Lots of good movies out right now, and we've seen a few of them. Husband and I both enjoyed "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", but it's definitely geared towards a senior audience. We also saw "Prometheus" in IMAX 3D. Nothing like excellent picture quality and sound in a horror film! This is definitely NOT my kind of movie, but the husband loves this stuff. I just look away when it's obvious something scary is about to happen (or go to the restroom). Seriously, it was not as horrific as I expected. But it was very confusing. At the 2:08 mark (in a 2:15 movie), just as one lead character was explaining something to another lead character, the sound of the movie went out for about a minute! Holy cow, talk about disappointing. On a good note, the theater gave us free passes for another show and a free small popcorn to boot. But the movie was so confusing, I don't think the dialogue we missed could have made much of a difference. Wait for the video!

So what's on your mind this week?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Thoughts v.6.7.12

Linking up with Sarah for some Thursday Thoughts.
Here's what I'm thinking about this week.


I love the fact that our house will be painted soon, but I'm not so crazy about the minor damages caused by some of the prep work. Oh, well. If I can't fix it, I'll just have to go the nursery and buy a new pot!


We have some fairly tenacious weeds here in the Pacific NW, and they are likely worse this year due to the mild weather. Here's one example... a horsetail shooting up through the middle of our asphalt driveway! AAAHHHHH!!!!!!


Do you know how to tell when a plant cutting is ready to be planted in a pot? Usually once a few good roots have established. Definitely by the time the cutting blooms! Ooops.



My gorgeous lupine is starting to turn to seed. This normally occurs when spring is just about over and the weather starts getting nice and hot. Unfortunately, we're still waiting for our weather to improve, and warm weather is still not in the foreseeable future. Rats.



We're planning a trip to Eastern Washington to find some warmer weather. But I do have an ulterior wine racks are getting bare! We should have some fun exploring the wineries in the Lake Chelan area, and the sunny weather will just be a bonus.

Hope your week is going well!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Husband and I went to Seattle with good friends to see Chris Daughtry in concert last weekend. I was a little disappointed in the quality of the show; Chris' voice was obviously not in top form. The music was great, though, and he performed a good variety of songs. Overall, not a bad show. But I'm not in a rush to go back to another concert of this type, and here's why.

We sat three rows behind a woman I dubbed "crazy hand dancer". CHD decided to stand for one of the opening acts, and rarely sat down through the entire evening. As a person who is vertically challenged (I might be 5' 2" on a very tall day), I often have a difficult time viewing events when people stay seated. Luckily my husband is a trooper and usually offers to swap seats with me to improve my viewing angle. Unfortunately, in this case, CHD managed to disrupt the view of a large number of folks, and not just by standing. She kept her arms over her head and "danced" to the music the entire time! Of course, this encouraged her companions to do the same. And since they stood, we stood. And since I'm...short..., this meant standing on tiptoes and bobbing & weaving the entire time. Here's a shot I took towards the end of the show, after CHD migrated down her row out of my direct line of vision where she had been most of the show. On the plus side, I'm glad I wasn't seated behind the two women who waved lighted multi-colored foam batons over their heads the entire show!

So what's behind the idea of standing for the entire concert? Many people think that since they paid good money for the ticket, they have the right to do whatever they want in their seat. There are also those who think that standing is a way of showing respect for the artist. But what about respect for fellow concertgoers? Have we become so self-centered that we don't care how our actions reflect on others? In the case of concerts, at least, I think that is a true statement.

From now on, I'll be a little more careful when choosing seats for a show. If I have to pay big bucks to get front row seats in the balcony, I'll do it. Otherwise I won't go. I will continue to attend shows where people don't usually stand, like outdoor concerts at the winery, or free concerts at our local casino, as well as other events where the audience is typically older and hopefully more considerate of others.

On a side note, we bought tickets last year to a concert at our local casino, only to discover that seating for paid events is different from seating for free events. In the free concerts, you may bring a blanket or low lawn chairs, or use the provided folding chairs. In the paid concert, you are prohibited from bringing in anything to sit on. Worse still, absolutely no chairs were provided! Concertgoers either stood the entire time, or sat on a patch of grass far back from the stage. Neither of those options were acceptable, in my mind. Consider me fooled once.

I think the selfish approach of many concertgoers is another reflection of the selfishness prevalent in today's world. It's the idea of ME FIRST, to the exclusion of all others. Well, I don't buy into that. And I hope you don't either.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Dear Monday v.6.4.12

Linking up with Megan to start the week out right!

Dear Monday, I definitely was not prepared to greet you today. We saw Daughtry in concert last night in Seattle, and didn't get home until 12:30. Either I'm getting too old for late nights out, or I'm just out of practice.

Dear Seattle, Finally saw the huge ferris wheel under construction on the Seattle waterfront. Not sure I'll ever go on this ride, though. If the height itself isn't scary enough, imagine the ride out on the end of a pier, almost over the water, on a windy day. Nope, not my kind of fun!

Dear Wally, It's been fun (for me, at least) watching you prep the house for painting. I really get a kick out of listening to you sing along to your iPod. With a playlist that includes music from Led Zeppelin to Abba to the Dixie Chicks and just about everything in between, I hope the neighbors are enjoying the loud music, too!

Dear June, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Where in the heck is our warm weather?!?! Don't get me wrong, I will also complain if we hit 80 degrees. But I'm tired of waiting for 70 degrees!

Dear Good Friends, Thanks for all the recent lunch dates! I appreciate you all making the effort to keep in touch with this retiree. I know it's not always easy since some of you are still working, but good friends are hard to find so let's hang on!

Hope your week is going well!