Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bird of Parrot-dise :-)

My lovely, colorful parrot! Haleigh is dancing in her first "real" ballet recital this Sunday. She did a stint in dance when she was 3, but we've recently started up again and she is learning beautiful things. It amazes me to see her loooooong arms and legs gracefully moving across the stage.
This year's recital is Peter Pan, and Haleigh's class is portraying parrots on the pirate ship. This mama (and a very proud Grandma, too!) can't wait to see it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Mighty Pacific

When I moved to Washington almost 7 years ago, my perception of "beach" was based on a life lived on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Florida has beaches of white sand and warm, clear water, and it is HOT! You have to coat yourself with sunscreen and try not to bake to a crisp. The sand burns your toes, and every time you swim out into the waves (at least if you're paranoid like me), there's the curiosity lurking at the edges of your thoughts about what exactly is swimming alongside of you. A day rolling in the waves and blistering on the sand leaves you completely spent, craving rest and hydration. Georgia does have some beaches that are a little more "natural" (brown sand rather than blinding white, slightly murkier water), but they are still sand and marsh with bugs, humidity, and heat.
The Pacific Ocean is a whole other creature. It is dark, and cooooold. You don't necessarily wear your swimsuit here, unless you're a brave kid or it's one of the 4 or 5 days of the year that are almost warm enough. There are no real sharks to speak of, at least not up in our neck of the woods. And these beaches are BEAUTIFUL. Don't get me wrong, the east coast has its perks, but you can literally look around and see the evolution of our planet along the Washington coast. When you walk along the waves, you walk on smooth beautiful rocks or dark sand. There are fascinating sea creatures clinging to the rocks in tidal pools along the shore at low tide. There are towering trees housing a multitude of birds, including the impressive bald eagle. The most visible difference on the west coast is the sight of enormous rocks along the beach and out in the water. And by rocks, I mean gigantic things on which trees grow and you could climb if they weren't basalt and might crumble beneath you at an inopportune moment. Yes, you have to wear the Washington uniform - bundle your top up in fleece or other warm hoodie, but wear shorts and sturdy waterproof shoes for climbing and exploring the tide pools - but you want to be prepared so you don't miss anything!
I would be hard pressed to choose my favorite. Both coasts have a lot to offer, but I lean toward my new home, especially after a day at a place as magical as Rialto Beach, and watching bald eagles swarm around me at La Push.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'll soon be heading to bed, trying to get plenty of sleep before getting up nice and early for a little road trip. Matt and his mom left this morning and Haleigh and I will join them tomorrow to spend the day on the water in the area of Forks, WA. You know . . . . the land of Twilight. Believe it or not, it was a pretty awesome place before vampires invaded the sleepy little logging town and made teenagers (and an awful lot of adults) across the country completely insane, LOL. I should note that I have not read any of those books, because I'm sure I'll get hooked, too, and I haven't had time for that yet! :-)
I've been a busy little bee this week, and I'm looking forward to this beautiful weekend. I hope everyone's weekend is full of sunshine - if not in your skies, then in your hearts!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quiet morning

It is a nice, quiet morning here on the homefront, which is especially appreciated by me today! Haleigh has just headed off to school, and I am alone in the living room for now. I am looking out at a lovely park with clusters of pink rhododendron blooms on a slightly overcast day and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.

I am appreciative of the peace and quiet because last night our little street was a flurry of mad activity. My neighbor's house, which is about 5 feet from my house, caught on fire last night. The home belongs to an elderly lady and her daughter is currently staying there, as well. We know them both although we don't see the mom much because she mostly stays inside. She is a gatherer, as older people tend to be sometimes, and the back bedroom where the fire started had lots of things to act as timber, including lots of paper, so we are all thankful that it was contained as easily as it was. There was mostly a lot of smoldering and smoke damage, and of course the fire hose damaged everything.

I was sitting on the couch when I saw one of our police sargeants pull up with his lights on, then jump out of his car and take off running across my yard. I opened the door just in time to hear him ask my neighbor "where's it at?". We had, just a few minutes before, smelled a strange burning smell but thought it was something maybe in the oven since muffins were baking. I walked to the back of the house, and that's when I saw the smoke. At that point I went back up to the front to make sure that the mom was outside ok and verified that she was safely away from the house. I lost track of the daughter for just a little bit while she was locating the cats, and then a fire medic truck pulled up. Those guys hopped out pretty quickly and pretty much instantly there were multiple fire trucks blocking the whole street - not to mention the bystanders beginning to line the sidewalk and the newspaper photographer. (Speaking of him, here's a link:

I walked back to the back of the house, and that's when I saw lots of smoke, and two firefighters getting ready to bust a window. That's also when I panicked a little bit. Fortunately, we never saw any flames, but they did have to pull some smoldering stuff through the windows and douse the entire back of the house with the fire hose. I asked one of them if we needed to worry, and he chatted with a firefighter inside then told me we should be ok. After things seemed a little more under control, I went to look for my neighbors, and they were sitting on the porch of the house on the other side of them. It was starting to drizzle a little and I brought them some coffee. They assured me they were going to be ok, and Red Cross was on the way to help them make plans. Their house is not a total loss, just lots of smoke and water damage from what I understand, so hopefully they'll get all patched up in no time. I let them know we would keep any eye on it while they are gone.

So, that was how we spent our Monday evening! Today I am going to make recital costumes for Haleigh's class. Well, I'm going to cut and glue things and leave the sewing to a friend who actually knows what she's doing . . . but that's a story for another post. :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Backyard excitement!

There has been a lot of action in our backyard lately. The new sod looks beautiful, and the weather has been lovely so we've been outside enjoying it. It is slowly but surely becoming a lovely, relaxing little area.

This morning, Ms. Robbin, Haleigh and I walked downtown for the Armed Forces Day parade, and we all enjoyed it. There was even a fly-over by a C-17 (I'm pretty sure that's right) that got everyone on their feet. When we got back, it was such a lovely day that we decided to eat our lunch out on the deck. While we were out there, a green hummingbird flew into the yard, looking for a treat. I wasn't quite sure that's what I was seeing, but it was indeed an emerald green hummingbird!

I was distressed that I didn't have anything to offer him, so this afternoon I headed out to buy 2 feeders! The first one was a beautiful antique-looking green glass thing that turned out to be a total lemon! The pieces of it are now in the garbage. The second one, a more "classic" version, is hanging from a tree in a spot that will provide the ultimate viewing pleasure if I can entice them back into my yard! I hope I see one tomorrow!

Friday, May 15, 2009


As it turns out, the chocolate pudding fruit is only partially too good to be true. Its flesh looks and feels like chocolate pudding, and it does taste wonderful and sweet . . . . just not like chocolate pudding. I learned all this from "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman." I also learned that I want to move to Australia! :-)
Speaking of foods, I managed to drop my cell phone in a smoothie on Wednesday, and have been without it since then. As it turns out, it didn't get enough moisture from the smoothie (it basically just "dipped" in) to do any big damage, but my phone already had a glitch in the power buttons and the battery wasn't so great, so this just sped up the process of it dying. I'm chomping at the bits to go get my new one today. But, if you had asked me before this happened, I would have sworn I was not addicted to a silly cell phone!
Yesterday was an exciting one at our house involving a long-awaited project in our backyard. Ms. Robbin documented it all beautifull over at Cedar Chest of Dreams. Go check it out! My poor hubby hauled a lot of soaking wet sod, and he is soooooore, but boy what a nice reward to look out our back doors and see GREEN! Pretty soon, Ms. Robbin's dreams of standing in her open french doors looking out into a lush green wonderland with the breeze blowing her hair will be coming true!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Too good to be true?

The other evening, the Travel Channel was playing in the background as we tended to some important farming and quizzing on facebook (it's become a mind-numbing habit). Suddenly, we heard something . . . somewhere on the edges of our subconsciences . . . could it be? Did we hear that correctly? Did he just say . . . chocolate pudding fruit?!!!????!!!??

As it turns out, we DID hear it correctly. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!!!! It appears that there is a fruit that, when completely ripe, turns dark brown and looks completely mushy and rotten - like chocolate pudding. But here's the kicker: it TASTES like chocolate pudding, too! You can cook with it and make decadent desserts, and it's HEALTHY because it's FRUIT!!!! A mad googling frenzy ensued and alas, it's not easy to have the darn things shipped directly to you. I could order the plants all day long, but who knows if they would grow here? The Pacific Northwest is rawther different than their native southern Mexico.

In a few minutes, the chocolate pudding fruit episode of the Travel Channel show about weird foods is coming on. Well, it's actually about many foods in Australia, but I blacked out after "chocolate pudding fruit." I plan to do my research. I'll get back to you.