Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wild Blackberries Season Is Here!

One of my most favorite things about late summer, next to the arrival of the beautiful new brown velvet cattails among the reeds in the wetlands, is the ripening of the wild blackberries!

I think I'll have a little bit of oatmeal with my bowl of blackberrries!
It is a great wonder that those thorny brambles, the bane of gardeners in the Pacific Northwest, produce such juicy, delicious fruit--all free for the effort of picking them!

Last week, Brent and I took an evening walk just before dinner and picked a half gallon meandering along our once around the block stroll. The next morning I stopped at a couple of spots along the road on my way back from taking Brent to work in Lynden and picked another half gallon in less than half an hour!

After I got them home, I gave them a quick rinse in the colander and put them into the freezer. This gallon ziploc baggie goes to the first sister to visit and claim them for jam! Someone from the Methow Valley, perhaps? :-)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

As I reminisce about a special day...

As my second born, my Baby Girl (even tho' she is already an adult) is getting ready to strike out for a new locale, a new job and a new adventure, I find myself looking back...

Twenty two years ago this week, I was 'great with child' as they say. At my weekly ob check up, my doctor announced that she would be out of town the following week but would be on-call all weekend, so Sunday would be a good day to deliver.

I thought that sounded like a pretty good idea. Sunday's child is happy and wise, so the nursery rhyme goes.

I summoned my parents from Oregon, along with my Japanese sister, Mika, who was visiting the US. Brent's parents came up from Everett and we all went out to Sunday brunch, including soon-to-be-Big Sister, Sirita. It was quite the party. I had decided that this was going to be someone's birthday, and I wanted to have my family around me.

After a leisurely brunch, we headed to the mall to walk. I was sure this was going to get the ball rolling, and sure enough, I did have a couple of contractions while we made three laps around Bellis Fair Mall, which had just opened and was still under construction on one of the wings. But at least it was air conditioned, an important consideration in late August! I got a lot of funny looks when I would stop occasionally to squat down to stretch out my lower back.

We tired of the scenery and the men folks tired of trailing behind us, so they headed back to our place and all of us girls went to the fabric stores. I had a hankering to start a cross stitch project. Back then we had three fabric stores in town, so this ate up considerable time while we walked and perused my options for needlework.

Finally, I decided on a counted cross stitch pattern of a choo-choo train, loaded with various zoo animals. Once I had the pattern chart, pre-made bib and floss in hand, we headed home ourselves. I was feeling rather blue, as I was so sure labor was going to start and was a bit disappointed to be going home.

After a while, I made myself comfortable to watch TV and start stitching my bib. It was a bit crowded in our apartment with seven adults and a toddler but everyone was game to humor me and stick around, just in case.

I remember it was about 6pm when I realized the tightening of my low back and belly was getting rather strong, and seemed to be happening about every 10 minutes. I got up and walked around to see if it would continue. It did, and it grew more intense, quickly, very quickly.

I announced "It's time!". Brent, Mama and I headed back to town and the hospital. As we headed out the door, I told Brent's folks not to go anywhere, 'this isn't going to take long and you'll get to see your new grandbaby before long!"

Just as I predicted, it didn't take long. This baby was in a hurry!

The doctor announced "it's a girl!" even before she was completely born, because as soon as her head was out, out popped her whole right arm 'reaching for Daddy's wallet!" When the wallet wasn't forthcoming, that little hand clamped onto the forcep the doctor was trying to clamp the cord with! Wow! was that little fist strong! Whatta grip she had!

Three and a half hours, from start to finish, and I was holding a beautiful baby girl! She seemed so tiny compared to her 20 month old sister! Only 8 lbs 6 oz! And so precious! We had a hard time wrestling her out of Daddy's arms to share with Gramma Zanna!

We called home to let Grampa Barry, Mika and the new Big Sister know the baby was a girl and found out Brent's folks had headed home to Everett. They hadn't even made it home before the baby was already here! Ha ha! I gave 'em a big 'I Told You So, shouldda stuck around!" ha ha  Gramma Diz and Grampa Iver came back up the next morning to see their second granddaughter.

Grampa Barry left Mika in charge of putting Big Sister down for the night and came to the hospital to welcome Aizia Roxanna into the world!

Have you ever seen a more beautifully shaped mouth!?!

Happy Birthday, Aizia!

May laughter dance along your path,
May joy and success walk with you, and
May love always light the way through
every step you take in your future!

As you strike out for new horizons and great adventures, remember Daddy and I love you with all our hearts and we will eagerly await to hear all about everything and everyone you find!

Happy Trails, Cowgirl!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This spoke to me today...

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
~Martin Luther King

What we do shows who we are. Our character is magnified, perhaps most visible when viewed during challenging times and situations.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer heat

It's going to be a great week for the Northwest Washington Fair this coming week, it's gonna be really warm, supposed to hit 90! I'm predicting lots of sunburns.

It's getting a little warm for me when the house doesn't cool off to less than 75 degrees overnight! I don't mind 80-90 degree days, as long as it cools off so I can sleep!

Best $20 spent this week? A box fan!

It was a wonderfully pleasant evening on the deck tonight. While trying to snap a couple of photos of the Gold Finch bathing in the fountain, I took a few of the flowers around the deck.

The top spout is the favored bathing spot for all the birds.

Acidanthera. Related to Gladiolus. Wonderfully fragrant!


The pink flower in the fuzzy foreground is a Lupine seedling transplanted out from under the giant yellow Lupine in the front yard

I'm so pleased the rhubarb has survived it's traumatic transplant.

See the string trellis beyond the arbor? It's often full of birds awaiting their turn in the fountain.
What you can't see in this picture is the pumpkins, zuchinni, and yellow crook-necked summer squash vines climbing the trellis.
I never did get a picture of the Gold Finches enjoying the fountain, maybe another time. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

Just a random photo today....
It's not a good photo because of the relections through the car window but Mom and I had a giggle over the fact that the are sleeping in identical poses! And we weren't in the store but for a few short minutes!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, 'Manda, my sister, my friend!

My first memory of you? I remember playing on the swing set in the backyard of the brick house we lived in. I was holding a new baby doll, given to me by my godmother, Auntie Marion. She gave me the doll as a ‘don’t want you to feel forgotten’ gift while the new baby was getting all the attention. (I can still remember how the doll smelled, it evokes that memory everytime I hang a new vinyl shower curtain. Her skin was labeled 100% virgin vinyl). I remember swinging and looking down at the baby doll in my arms comparing her to the real baby in the house and saying, “I can’t wait till this baby grows up so I can play with her!” I remember being excited about you, not just as a baby to adore, to gaze at while holding, but being excited about the prospect of having a sister, a built in friend, to play with!

I still look forward to playing with you! Only now, we have to coordinate our schedules to carve out Creative Memory weekends or walks through plant nurseries whenever we can!

When I was seven years old, I thanked God for the baby sister, today I thank God for the wonderful friend she has become! You are one of the blessings of my life and one I hold deep in my heart.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In past, an anniversary of a life begun; Today, an entire life to celebrate.

To celebrate my Mama's birthday, I have posted to my website devoted to her rememberance.

I share this link with you today. Roxanna Remembered.