Thursday, December 24, 2009


It is going on eleven on Christmas Eve, and my house is quiet. My DH is working on the new notebook computer I gave him, the cat is curled up asleep next to me as I type this and Christmas carols are drifting in from the other room where they are playing softly on the radio. I have things ready for my brunch guests in the morning. I was lavishly gifted by my family and friends, fed a wonderful meal at my mother-in-law's, enjoyed time with family and have more invitations for tomorrow than I fear I have the energy to truly enjoy. It is, simply put, late on my favorite night of the year.

My house is full of peace and hope and quiet joy. I wish the same for you.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

May your stuffing be tasty,
Your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious,
and your pies take the prize,
and your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs!

I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with family and friends, good food and good humor. Have a piece of pie for me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Favorite Quote

“I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity... I didn't feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not--more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.”~ Beverly Sills

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Family Milestones

My DH has turned 60 this past week. On November 14th we had a huge family party to celebrate this amazing achievement. Family came from near and far (California) and we wined and dined and DH blew the candles out! I think his best gift (and mine, too) was having our daughters and our son-in-law-to-be home! It's always a party when the girls are home!

Odd to think that we will have two sons-in-law and they are both named Chris....
My eldest daughter, Jen, and the love of her life, Chris, became engaged Friday night. Poor Jen tried and tried to call me, but I was at the Great Big Sea concert and hadn't taken my phone and didn't check it when I returned home. She called at 7:45 on Saturday morning and caught me lolling in bed and then passed on the happy news. We are so happy for them both and so very excited to welcome another Chris into our family. Jen's Chris is just the nicest fellow and he makes our girl so very happy. I am giddy with glee over this news!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Great Big Sea

© Roadrunner Records // Photo credit: Andrew MacNaughtan

This was one rollicking and toe-tappin' Friday night in Edmonds! One of my all-time favorite bands, Great Big Sea, came to town today and played at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, all of three blocks from my house. Nonie and I went and had front row seats! (I guess it pays to be an "official" fan of the band as I bought the tickets through their website and got these fantastic seats.) From the start to the finish, it was a night of great music, great fun, a lot of singing along and much laughter. I got to hear some of my very favorites, especially The Night Pat Murphy Died and Ordinary Day.

I should be going to bed and getting some rest before heading up to my cabin to face the clean up after the recent burglary, but I'm too jazzed from the concert and I'm bouncing around the house listing to more of my favorites.

If you ever get the chance to see the lads in person, run to buy the tickets. You won't be sorry!

Courtesy MuchMusic // Photo credit: Geoff George
This just in from our local paper, The Beacon.
"A Newfoundland Kind of Night
by David Brewster and Bill Wood for the Beacon
"Okay, so we've all attended concerts where the artists received a standing ovation at the conclusion of a fantastic performance. It happens most weekend evenings at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. But until last Friday ECA concert hall had never experienced a standing ovation at the beginning of the show, nor one that extended pretty much over the entire duration of Great big Sea's amazing concert.
"Great Big Sea has inspired a legion of fans from Canada and the U.S., and these followers, some from as far away as Fairbanks, were in full force throughout the show, singing along with nearly every song, pumping their fists high and dancing in place from introduction to the encore's end. The joy felt back and forth between the audience and the band made for a magical evening.
"The band, formed in Newfoundland in 1993 and lead by co-founders Alan Doyle, Sean McCann and Bob Hallett, performed songs from the full range of their recording career.
"On selections such as "When I'm Up," "Lukey," "Can't Stop Falling" and "Here and Now" the band and audience joined in full-throated song.
"Much of their original material shows the influence of their Eastern Maritime roots-sea shanties and story songs- and the traditional acoustic instrumentation helped put the voices right up front.
"Lead vocal duties were mostly shared by McCann's sweet tenor, which often rang out above everything, and Doyle's baritone, which was appealingly gruff around the edges.
"McCann was particularly powerful in leading an a capella performance of "General Taylor," a traditional from their 1997 album Play.
"Hallet is a multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, his skills on equal display on bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle, squeeze box accordion, harmonica and tin whistle. Doyle and McCann took turns engaging the audience with banter, improvised ditties and impromptu sing-alongs. the band is ably rounded out by Murray Foster on bass and Kris MacFarlane on drums and percussion.
"On several occasions the band praised the charms of Edmonds and the Pacific Northwest, and it will be hard to forget the power and passion of Great Big Sea's performance last week. We hope, along with the band, for their return in the future."

Monday, October 26, 2009


I had the best time at Journalfest! I met some wonderful new people, spent time with some I'd met before (and got to know them much better!) and just generally enjoyed the energy and creative atmosphere. I took a few photos and I'm posting them here, just randomly, as I am literally out the door this morning to head to daughter Annie's with my son and his family in tow. I should have many grandbaby photos to share in a week or so.

No posts for a bit but then I'll be back and try to catch up!

Happy Halloween!!!

Michele and Roberta at an evening journaling party

Tiphoni, my watercolor class instructor----she was GREAT!

Roberta at a journaling party
Karla, she of the fabulous voice who belted out Don't Rain on My Parade in a version to shame Barbara.....
L to R: Sally, Nancy, Michele and Maria
Doris Arndt, my table mate in Stephanie Lee's Book of Elements class, and one of my (excellent) instructors at the Portland Art & Soul

My mica book from Daniel Essig's class

The Jacob's Ladder covers in construction

L to R: Maria, Roberta and Michele at the Asian Noodle House, Port Townsend

Monday, October 19, 2009

Portland Redux

When I was in Portland, Oregon, attending Art & Soul, I took Saturday off to explore some of Portland with Nonie. In the morning we headed off to look for some shops that import seashells, as Nonie uses shells in her artwork and she is always looking for more sources. Thank goodness for GPS! My Honda came equipped with the most wonderful GPS unit and with its help we were able to track down the locations of these importers. All of them were out of business, but my, did we have fun hunting them down. We found one place that was waaaaaay out north and east of our location, under a bridge. I'm not sure the Post Office could find that place, but the Honda's GPS did. Too bad it was closed.

After our fruitless seashell expedition, we headed to the Pearl District and found the Saturday market. It was fun to wander about, reliving the early 70s, as many of the stalls were selling Hippie-style clothes and, well, equipment for smoking alternatives to tobacco....There were tie dyed granny dresses, vests, psychedelic patterned t-shirt, organic "fair food," candles, soap vendors and some fantastic musicians whose instruments were up ended plastic buckets. Those guys could drum!

I found the following sign on the side of building while we were walking around.....

....and this gentleman not far away. Obviously, keeping Portland weird will not be a problem.

It was a lovely early autumn day and we really enjoyed just having some free time to go out and explore a bit of Portland. Considering the number of times I've been there, it is sad to realize how little I know the city. Portland is a great place and I am planning on spending more time there.

I heart Portland!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hello Again

Yes, I am back. Well, back for a short time before I head off on more travels. I have had an amazing past few months with trips to Nantucket, Alaska, Vancouver Island and Art & Soul in Portland, Oregon. Now I am enjoying a few weeks at home. Home is wonderful. Home is, well, home and I think my recent gallivanting has made me treasure my own cozy nest even more. And my cabin...oh, how glad I was to see it last weekend. The leaves on all the maple trees were just starting to turn and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing if they are much farther along in their annual color display tomorrow when I return for one more weekend to enjoy that particular little cozy nest before I pack my bags and head out again.

Next week I head to Port Townsend and the first ever JournalFest, brought to us all by the amazing Teesha and Tracy Moore. I have all my supplies packed up, ready to head out next Wednesday. The week after that I head down to Southern California to visit 2nd daughter and her family with son and his family in tow. All five of my grandbabies will be there, under on roof, a gramma's dream come true. It will be a glorious mini reunion and I am so excited!

And then, a week to prepare for a BIG family party to celebrate my DH's SIXTIETH birthday. Both of my Cali girls will be coming home (one with her special friend in tow and the other alone as it's just too much to bring her husband and their two babies for two nights) and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their two children from California will be here, and cousins and my mother-in-law and another sister-in-law (my travel partner Nonie) and and and and AND!!! We will be having a wild family rumpus! Cake will be eaten! Wishes will be made as candles are blown out! Gifts will be given and, most of all, we will gather together to celebrate DH and his many, many years (and--oh!--many many more, please!) and we will just bask in the joy of being together for such a happy occasion. Lucky us.

So very lucky me.

My eldest granddaughters had birthdays last month and are now FIVE and FOUR and where does the time go?

I will try and update this blog every few days, Dear Reader (if you are still there!) with some photos from my travels and a few little snippets of my most memorable travel tidbits, but tonight I want to share a poem that I discovered while visiting the Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska. I hope you like it as much as I do.

There Is No Word for Goodbye
by Mary TallMountain
Sokoya*, I said, looking through
the net of wrinkles into
wise black pools
of her eyes.
What do you say in Athabaskan
when you leave each other?
What is the word
for goodbye?
A shade of feeling rippled
the wind-tanned skin.
Ah, nothing, she said,
watching the river flash.
She looked at me close.
We just say, Tlaa. That means,
See you.
We never leave each other.
When does your mouth
say goodbye to your heart?
She touched me light
as a bluebell.
You forget when you leave us,
You're so small then.
We don't use that word.
We always think you're coming back,
but if you don't,
we'll see you some place else,
You understand,
There is no word for goodbye.

*sokoya : aunt on mother's side

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Taste of Nantucket

I have just returned from a lovely, relaxing visit to Nantucket. I'd never been there before, the closest being a trip to Cape Cod when I was in high school (oh, these many, many years ago!). Nantucket is even more beautiful than I'd imagined.
While I work on my photos from this trip I thought, Dear Reader, to share a few preliminary snaps with you.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I spent an intense Sunday putting together my six pages for a collaborative color journal. Some of us, who were also members of the Sensual Journal group decided to continue on with the collaborative idea and we have now begun our work on Color. Green was our first assignment. I am leaving for a visit to my dear friend Bee on Wednesday so I had to get my pages done now and mailed off as I won't have time to do them once I return from Nantucket.

I prepared the background for my layout with three colors of tissue paper laid onto a 9 by 12-inch piece of 7 Gypsies (green!) paper which was patterned on one side and a solid on the other.

Green is not my favorite color but I found myself liking the color more and more as I began to assemble the bits and pieces that make up my pages.

I carved two rubber stamps to use on the pages. One just says "green" and the other is a set of three leaves.

I drew a pear onto a transparency and once I got it to suit me I copied it onto five more transparencies to save time.

I cut out leaf shapes that were printed with my "green" rubber stamp to use on the 9 by 12-inch layout and just printed the "green" stamp onto a tag to use for my cover page.

I am pretty happy with the final result. I'm very eager to see what the other members of this collaborative dream up for their pages. It should be a very interesting journal once it is completed.

I would like to publicly thank Catherine Anderson for being the hostess of this collaboration. Cathy is also the hostess for my Photojournal group. I don't know where she finds the time, but she does the most amazing covers for our photo books and keeps us all on task in the most gentle way. Thank you, Catherine, for every lovely thing you do for us all.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Our Summer Reunion

Lest you think, Dear Reader, that I have been lounging about, enjoying the wonderful summer weather and doing nothing but eating bon bons and drinking champagne, I post here a few photos. My daughter and son, pictured above, have five children between them. Daughter is visiting with her family from California and son and his family have been frequent visitors since sister's arrival. It has been babies from the floor to the door for almost two weeks. We do not loll. Trust me. WE. DO. NOT. LOLL.


What we seem to do a lot of, besides just GOING, is eating. Please see photographic evidence that follows.

We have had lots of time for cuddling.

We have had time to tell stories to willing listeners....some true, some made up on the spot and some from treasured story books.

We've done a lot of smiling....

....and we've done a lot of coloring.....

.....and we've had some well-earned naps.

But, truthfully, the only one who has had any time for just plain ol' lolling is, well, Grandpa!