Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Birthdays and More

Message on the answering machine on Thursday night: "Hello, this is Rena. Glen and I were just talking and we'd like to pick you and Wally up on Saturday for a little mystery trip for your birthday. We know your birthday is Monday, but that's also Memorial Day, so let's shoot for Saturday instead. Call us back and let us know if that works for you." SATURDAY:

How could we say "no"! So on Saturday afternoon our charriot arrives to pick us up and we head south on I-5 and drive...past Mt. Vernon...past Stanwood. Where are we going, we wonder? They giggle, but will disclose nothing! Glen turns off at the Marysville exit and we find ourselves at the Golden Corral which is a chain of buffet restaurants which started in Fayetteville, NC, back in the '70's. We remember Glen and Rena telling us about this place.

We were not prepared for the bounty of mouth-watering choices that awaited us.
Glen couldn't help himself when it came time for dessert, it's hard to "just say NO!"
They were so tickled with themselves for dreaming up this little treat. God brings blessings into my life in so many varied ways!

SUNDAY: After church Wally and I made a stop at Greenacres Cemetery to pay our own tribute to those who sacrificed it all on behalf of our country that we might enjoy precious freedom. It is always a moving sight to view the 1300+ flags that are put on display for Memorial Day. They represent a mighty cost.

A balloonist was catching a bird's eye view!

Afterwards we made a trip out to Birch Bay to watch the sunset. We saw a pair of porpoises having a grand time dipping and diving. A very nice end to a great day.
Wally wisks me off for another mystery tour to Seattle. We walked the Seattle arboretum and were able to catch the last of the blooming rhodies. My favorite part was the trellis full of fragrant wisteria vine. Heady stuff.

Then it's off to a small putt-putt course somewhere near Redmond. Wally only had directions, so we're not sure what "town" it was actually in, especially since it was in a rural area. It was a grueling match...I won...by 6 strokes...whoo hoo, must have been my birthday or something. We grabbed a bite at the little grill on the golf course, expecting that it would be a minimal menu. Imagine our surprise when we were able to order the lobster louie salad AND the meatloaf sandwich. Our waitress talked us out of ordering more because she claimed the portions were huge. "Oh sure" we thought! But she wasn't kidding!
It couldn't have been a better birthday weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buyer's Market

Last year a delightful chickadee couple moved into the purely decorative birdhouse that we brought back from Yakima several years ago. We delighted in watching these industrious birds care for their babies as they spent hours and hours catching bugs and delivering them to their wee ones. But a random act of violence ended it all when a pair of sparrows began harassing them. The male managed to enter the birdhouse and kill the babies and that was the end of that. After doing some research I discovered that this is a common problem for chickadees as they are in competition with the sparrows for nesting sites. The murdering sparrows in our yard, however, showed no interest in this nest. So much for that theory. I also learned that I needed to make some alterations to this birdhouse to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
At a local "birding" store I found a copper plate that I could place over the too-large opening on the birdhouse. Now only chickadees can get in and out. I also had to remove the "perch" where other birds could sit and bother them. Chickadees can hold onto the opening itself, but larger birds cannot. I also purchased another birdhouse designed especially for chicadees.
Both birdhouses have been out since last fall and I was hoping that some lovely couple would move in to at least one of them.

Yesterday I noticed a pair of chickadees scoping out both houses. It was such a treat to observe. First the male checked them out, looking carefully at the outside then the inside. Much "discussion" took place and then the female followed suit. I'm not sure what their decision was. Time will tell!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Little Tree That Could

Once upon a time, Betty Whitaker gave Ridgely a small twig. It was a gift, a cutting from one of Betty's Dogwood Trees. It wasn't an impressive twig. However, it's plain outward appearance belied it's inward beauty. Ridgely took this gift so lovingly bestowed upon her and carried it home where she placed it in a glass of water and waited for the magic to happen. She waited patiently until one day she noticed small roots growing out of the bottom of the homely twig.

As soon as the weather permitted, she dug a small hole in her yard and planted the twig. She spoke words of encouragement to it and even played soft classical music for it, because she had heard that plants, like people, respond to beauty. Ridgely's family snickered at her, but she was not deterred.

At the end of that growing season, the little twig had responded to the warmth of the sun and the life-giving water ( and no doubt to the words of encouragement and the classical music!) by sprouting tender leaves. Ridgely enthusiastically observed the twig as it thrived and grew. After several springs she was thrilled to see that the little twig was producing blossoms. And the little twig was thrilled to declare, "I'm not a twig anymore, I'm a tree."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Work and Play

It was a beautiful weekend and we managed to cram a lot into it. Saturday was cloudless and warm, so we tackled some long overdue yard work. I had to chuckle at Sherry's recent post about the new "gadget" Mauri has acquired for his yard work. (See "cutting edge" http://www.mauriandsherry.com/) And I can't resist adding a pic of our handy dandy edging tool!

On Mother's Day we drove up to Semiahmoo to walk the beach. It was a hazy, humid day, warm enough for shirt sleeves and a long, leisurely walk along the beach. We saw a plethora of wildlife including a curlew--our first. There were lots of sea ducks, herons and a juvenile seal who was having the time of his/her life leaping out of the water, turning sommersaults and flapping its flipper on the water...that's the first time I've seen anything like that. Just as we were leaving at dusk an eagle landed on the snag tree next to our car and I was able to get a quick, blurry shot of him as well as the little bunny that was working hard not to be the eagle's appetizer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Birthdays All 'Round

Our family has LOTS of "springish" birthdays so this year we decided to celebrate 4 of them at one time. We all rendezvoused at Wayne's place in DesMoines and spent the day laughing uproariously and eating way, way too much. Wayne predicted 70 degree weather for our Bar BQ, but he missed it by a day. Instead we had clouds, rain, sun, thunder, lightening, more rain, some more sun and then just clouds. Not to be deterred, there were still hamburgers and munchies. And of course, there was cake made by none other than himself and Kris. My sides were sore from laughing so much. The best part was the "scream" blow up doll that Terry and Kris have been passing back and forth for years. This year Kris dressed her up in fine spring attire, complete with "hair", a bonnet and a lovely pink boa. It's going to be hard to top this one.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy 27th Anniversary To Us!

Flowers by Wally....table runner by me!