27 May 2011

Morning in my little garden ...

The morning of life is like the dawn of a day, full of purity, visions,
and harmony. 
        - Chateubriand -

The last few mornings, at my house,  have been sunny & bright and the birds chirping & flitting about in my little garden always seem to lure me out - usually clad in only my pj's, slippers and coffee in hand.

 And as I sit - I am in awe of the glory of God's creation.

Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment
    - Chinese Proverb -
As I breath deep the start of each new day, alone, outside, I watch life begin to unfold  - flowers stretch & reach for the sun, birds chatter and I sit smiling, overwhelmed, with the knowledge that I am one of  luckiest people on earth.

To be able to just sit and watch.

I am grateful to Mike every single day for this gift.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must
carry it with us or we find it not
.        - Ralph Waldo Emerson -
 These jewels hang from the branches of my new Coral Bark Maple Tree.

I hung them off some of the branches to weight them down to encourage them to lie down & help the tree become less upright.

They sparkle when the sun shines & everyone enjoys watching them twinkle - even the Green Man smiles.

There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature.     - Aristotle -

The Blue Jay's stopped by for an early morning visit while I was outside & I was happy to see them again.

I rushed to put out a breakfast treat out for them, thinking how marvelous they look - so colorful and comical.

Nature is the art of God.    - Ralph Waldo Emerson -

A little Humming bird stopped in for a drink while I was sitting outside - I sat very still, careful not to disturb him.

Have you ever noticed that you can often hear them coming before you see them?

Stop every now and then. Just stop and enjoy. Take a deep
breath. Relax and take in the abundance of life.
- Anon -
I put up a new beautiful blue feeder for them a couple of days ago but so far they still prefer that old, plain red one.  

I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Look! Look! Look deep into nature and you will understand everything.     - Albert Einstein -

I was excited to see two chickadee's popping in & out of my old birdhouse.

I have yet to hear any peeps or tweets from inside the house so I don't know if they have nested in it or yet.

Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising than the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.    - C. Thaxter -
My garden is very small & it really doesn't take me more than a few steps in any one direction to move about it but even still - I can spend hours on my knees - just looking, admiring & watching it grow.

There is something so humbling about standing back & admiring my garden only to realize that I had played such a small role in its growth, survival or beauty.

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26 May 2011

Ocean Shores ...

- April 9,10, 2011 -
Mike & I spent the weekend of April 9th down at Ocean Shores, Wa.  We had a wonderfully quiet & uneventful weekend together. 

- Us -
Bliss ...

- Shilo Inn -

I had a Groupon for the Shilo Inn at Ocean Shores so off we went - the hotel turned out to be a wonderful. 

The hotel itself was nice but it was catapulted into the 5-Star range by way the incredibly hospitable & thoughtful way they treated us.  

First, the staff was so friendly & accommodating.

Secondly, they upgraded us into a suite.  

And third, they also had a plate filled with yummy chocolate chip cookies & strawberries waiting for us in our room for us along with a personalized Welcome Letter.  

Very thoughtful - a step above & beyond.

The Groupon also included a voucher worth $45 at the Steak & Seafood restaurant located in the hotel and so we enjoyed a nice dinner.

I do so love me a good Groupon, so much so,  Mike keeps telling me I need a Groupon Intervention!

We had incredible views of the ocean from our balcony ....

- marshes with dunes & ocean beyond -
Once the sunset the frogs in the marshes serenaded us all night long.  

Mike didn't appreciate their music but I love it (once the balcony door was closed you couldn't hear them)

- Horses walking along the beach -
Early in the morning I caught sight of these folks taking a horse-walk along the beach.   They brought their own horses & would drive their trailers onto the beach to unload them but I'll bet you can rent horses somewhere nearby ...

From the hotel it is just a short walk past the marshes & through the dunes to the beach ...

Miles & miles of undeveloped coastline.

- Mike -

The beach in April is definitely a place where you can go and find some peace & quiet.

Readjust, rethink & reconnect - with life, the earth, yourself, your love & God.

I love the coastline along Oregon & Washington.

- Mike getting lost in the Sand Dunes -

There is something so peaceful & uninterrupted about being alone amongst the sand dunes.  I love them. 

 At this time of year it is possible that the only noise you will hear besides the waves are the shore birds & seagulls.

A another trip to Ocean Shores is definitely on this years agenda.  I would love to go again in the fall for some storm watching.

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25 May 2011

World MS Day ....

May 25, 2011 is world MS day.

Today - Let us pray for a World without MS

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23 May 2011

Big Backyard 5k ...

The Big Backyard 5k

Mike & I went on first ever 5k event Sunday morning at Marymoor Park - our big backyard.

It was the 2nd annual Big Backyard 5k and all the money raised will help support the King County Parks System (everyone's big backyard).

King County manages over 26,000 acres of parks & wildland with more than 175 miles of trails and yes, this is a government sponsored run.  Times are tough & we love our parks.

Marymoor Park, just down the road from our house, is King County's oldest, largest (640 acres) and most popular park (3 million visitors a year).  It is located at the northern end of Lake Sammamish and including a 40-acre off-leash dog.

And, because it was a dog friendly walk - I brought Sneakers along.  She loved it.

I love their slogan, " Run Your Backyard Off ".

Last year was the 1st year for the event and they had about 500 participants and raise just over $20,000.  This year there were about 1500 runners & walkers and we raised $55k.

Everyone started off at 9am promptly, everyone except Mike, Sneakers & I (and a few other folks) because I needed to hit the Porta-Potty before I could start.  We were one of the last groups to head out.

The skies were filled with clouds & mist when we started out but otherwise it was nice.  Not raining or cold.

I'd say about 1/3 of the people ran and the rest of us walked - looks like some little people even hitchhiked on their dad's backs.  

We were dedicated, very dedicated and when we passed the Mac & Jack's sign saying they were open for tours (and they give out samples) we keep walking ... even though we were thirsty by this point.  

By the time we hit mile 3 the sun was out and the day was filled with all kinds of wonderful.  

Sneakers was such a good dog through the entire walk.   I think I was limping more than she was by the end.

I am committed to doing 5 more 5k events by the end of the year but I'm not sure if  Mike or Sneakers is.

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22 May 2011

Roche Harbor ...

- You & Me,  Roche Harbor   03/2011 -
This post should have been made in March so please bear with me while I try to catch-up.

Jess, Aidan & I got back from Seaside, Oregon on a Thursday afternoon (March 24, 2011) and they left to go home the next day, Friday and then Mike & I left moments later.

We jumped in the car and headed off to Anacortes to catch the ferry  over to the Roche Harbor Resort on San Juan Island.

We had never been to the San Juan's before but I had always wanted to see them but they are on my 2011 Washington Bucket List.
When we decided to move back to Washington from San Diego I promised myself that I would finally go visit all the amazing places this state has to offer but we had never bothered to go see.

Washington is such a beautiful place to live and I want to see, hear, smell and experience all of it.

This my 2011 Pacific Northwest Bucket List: 
  1. Hoh Rain forest
  2. Forks (Hey, if I'm lucky enough to live near the Vampires I'm gonna go see them!)
  3. San Juan Island 
  4. Orcas Island
  5. Gonzaga University
  6. The Petrified Ginkgo Forest
  7.  Elwha Dam
  8. Ghost town
  9. Washington's MaryHill Stonehenge
  10. Grand Coulee Dam

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago located about 65 miles north of Seattle (about mid way between Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA).   

We caught the ferry over to San Juan in Anacortes.
    The archipelago is made up of the American San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands and collectively there are more than 400 islands.  The 3 largest inhabited islands are the San Juan, Orcas & Lopez Island.  Roche Harbor resort is located on San Juan Island.

    The biggest town on the island is Friday Harbor and the Roche Harbor is about a  15 - 20 drive from the town of Friday Harbor.

    Friday Harbor is a beautiful little island town but you can see evidence of economic troubles all over the town which is riddled with 'For Lease' signs.

    The Roche Harbor resort is so beautiful.  While most of resort is closed down for the winter season there is still much to see & do - kayaking, canoeing, fishing and hiking.

      Roche Harbor was originally settled by the Hudson Bay Co. in 1845 but by 1886 it became the Tacoma & Roche Harbor Lime Company. It was a company town and the workers were paid in scrip which was good only in the company store until the company was sold in 1956 (but the workers receive in currency whenever they wanted).

    I found some old pictures of Roche Harbor back when it was a mining town and I thought it would be fun to have a look at the Old and the New.

     Here is the main harbor as we saw it during our visit ...

    The harbor in the early 1920's ...

    Boats in the harbor today ....

    and the boats of yesterday ...

    The Hotel De Haro today ...

    And yesterday ...

    The Owner's home (from the hillside above) which today is a restaurant & bar ...

    and years ago  ...

    Beautiful gardens surround the house today, in fact, a friend's daughter is getting married in these gardens in a couple weeks.

    and in years past the mine's owners hosted many elaborate parties in these gardens ...

    The Company store today ...

    it hasn't changed all that much ... 

    Now ...

    Then ...

    I love a good trip through yesterday ...



    All in all we had a wonderful trip. Incredible weather - sunny but cool - people about but not crowded. 

    We just relaxed and enjoyed the peacefulness of our surroundings and each other.

    - Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA -
    March 2011

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