Monday, July 27, 2009

The Trip to Butternut

Saturday we stopped in the very small hamlet of Butternut where my Great Aunt Et and Great Uncle Johnny had lived for 52 years. I have the best memories of going there as a child. They were our "little house on the prairie" relatives. They had no electricity or running water. In the kitchen, there was a water pump. My aunt cooked with a wooden stove. She made the best pies! They had a pantry with home canned food, such as pickles and ground cherries, and kept butter and cream in a well outside the house. Of course, they had an outhouse – a 2 seater. I remember them letting us play on their typewriter and pump organ. They also had a wooden flat-bed cart with large steel wheels and a handle. My brother would pull my sister and me all around the yard. We were told to never go upstairs or in the garage. The garage had an old car in it – perhaps a model A or T. There were snakes by the garage, in the ferns, so that kept us away. I remember my great uncle once let me shoot his b -b gun at his pigs. I’m sure he knew I couldn’t hit them if I tried. Some of my best childhood memories took place there. We had lots of picnics in their yard. One of their grandsons went on to become a US Navy Admiral. True story. Not bad!

Today the house still stands, but one wouldn’t recognize it. There’s brown siding, new windows, and an added bedroom on the main floor. A new 3 stall garage replaced the old one. The outhouse is gone, and the new owner, who visited with us for awhile Saturday, has done some fun things with his flower gardens. One thing I liked was the use of a spindle headboard for vines to climb. It was really cute. He had a neat bird feeder too.

Across the street was the mercantile store he used to run. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been done to it over the years. It is pretty rickety. Tall plants cover much of it. There is a gas pump out in the front. The price per gallon read: $.65/gal. I don’t recall my Uncle Johnny working there, but if my Aunt Liz says it’s so, it’s so. Apparently he was also the town clerk and had registered the birth of my Uncle Vic back in the early 1900’s. I was too busy visiting with the new owner to take any pictures, but my cousin Diane took fabulous photos.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered

Dugout home on the set
Darling little girl in Plum Creek
Cousins trying out Plum Creek (this was a popular part of the bus tour)

This was the covered wagon used in the pagaent.

This past weekend six of my dear family members and I traveled to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and the pageant, Fragments of a Dream, based on the book On the Banks of Plum Creek. We arrived in Walnut Grove around 4:30 Saturday and quickly bought tickets for the last bus tour of the day to see the town and surrounding area, featuring all the places Laura and her family either lived, worshipped, or were educated. We saw places such as Plum Creek, the site of their first home - a dugout. We got to hear the church bell for which pa had given his last $3, rather than buy some much needed boots for himself.

The tour guide was passionate about their famous former resident. She shared this: until the TV production of Little House on the Prairie was aired, there wasn't much for tourists to see who took the journey down US highway 14. But seeing how the chapters in her books were brought to life in these TV programs, it inspired the locals to wake up and "fix" their town. Local school children planted over 30,000 black walnut trees to bring back the resource for which their town was named. The pageant was moved from the high school to an outdoor amphitheater with marvelous sets, special effects and excellent lighting. Over time, permanent seating was installed. It is now performed each year over three weekends in July.

After the tour, some of us ate supper in a darling home-style restaurant called "Nellie's Cafe." The food was delicious! I bought some home-made cookies to eat during the pageant.

Before the sun set, we took our seats and the drama began. Live horses and a cow took the stage along with a cast of over 40 locals, many of them children. It wasn't long and the sky was dark with millions of stars overhead. I loved this setting. The play was narrated by elder Laura. The scenes moved flawlessly from one to the next. I was very impressed with the grasshopper plague, the prairie fires, and the dancing at the church social. In front of our places (we had front row seats!) while little children performed, one little boy in particular had trouble with his suspenders. We laughed and laughed at how cute he was while trying to fix his clothing without missing a step. This experience was wonderful and I would recommend it to others.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lunch Alfresco

Our weather this summer has been nothing to "write home about," except to complain about the below average temperatures and drought. Today is different. It is sunny, warm, and lovely. It's 84 degrees. As I walked to my car to drive home for lunch, I was inspired to take Peppi outdoors so we could have lunch together.

He was darling! At first he jumped from perch to perch, stopping only to stretch his neck upwards to take in all the sights. Once he settled down, he sang and sang. I think he was telling me, "Mommy, let's do this more often!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's that I hear?

"Peppi, what is that sound?" I asked, after uncovering his cage this morning. Umm, what could it be? I opened the blinds and discovered it was raining. Yes, rain! We haven't heard that sound in so long. I opened the patio door and listened to the beautiful sound.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Butterfly Tent and African Animals at Como Zoo

He was born May 3 and will be given a name on Thursday, July 23. He was so sweet!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rosy at Como Zoo!

Rosy smelling the roses
Isn't this "Tweety" ice cream treat a riot?
Sparky with trainer during his show

Rosy at the carousel
This is after the ride. I made it!

What a treat it was to take Rosy to the Como Park, Zoo and Conservatory today. The only zoo she had ever gone to before was the Minnesota Zoo - a school trip while in first grade. Until today, she had never seen a giraffe or zebra!

We started out in the conservatory where she was excited to see papaya growing on a tree. She told me she likes papaya. I pointed out the bananas and other fruits. He eyes were delighted to see the beautiful fish in the ponds. Then we went to the south room, the part of the conservatory where Hans and Rachel were married. I pointed out the spot where they stood and the area where I sat. Today the flowers in the gardens were roses, geraniums, petunias, and there were beautiful water lilies in the pond. There again, she loved seeing the fish coming to the surface, their mouths wide open, expecting to be fed.

After walking through the Fern Room and the Rain Forest, we went into the butterfly tent. We saw many butterflies, but because it was so chilly today, none of them were in flight, but clung to the flowers and the screen walls of the tent. I was able to take a few photos of them on flowers.

In the Primates building we got to see the baby orangutan, not far from the mama. The mama had just put on a black t-shirt before we arrived, according to one of the visitors. Funny mama. The papa was chewing on some grass. What a cute? family.

My favorite zoo animals are the African animals. We got to see zebras, ostriches, and of course, my very favorite - the giraffes. The building that houses the giraffes (all but the new baby, born May 3 of this year, were outside), has a measuring stick on the outside - measured in feet. So when one of the male giraffes was standing there, it was easy to see he is 15 feet tall.

I told Rosy the giraffes can run very fast, when necessary. They are quiet, graceful animals. I showed her the giraffe that was a baby when Josiah and Annika visited Como Zoo back in the winter of 2007. She's still smaller than the adults, but not like the new baby in the building. The new baby, not quite 3 months old yet, is about 6 feet tall. I pointed out the baby's long eye lashes to Rosy. Then Rosy noticed her tongue was purple on the end and further inside it was pink. I told her that is because the giraffe must stretch out its tongue to eat its food. Because it reaches out so far, the purple part is protected from drying out.

Next we went into the Large Cat building. Inside we saw a lion and a lioness. The lioness walked past us and then lay down on the floor. The lion who had been lying down, got up and came close to the window where we were standing. Rosy asked me I could take a picture of him, which I did. Then I put my face right up to the glass, leaning down to his level. He surprised me and others watching by butting his face right up to mine. His big nose and eyes were only inches from mine. It was really neat. One man commented that he had never seen that before, to which I commented, "If the glass hadn't been between us, I never would have done that!" Outside the building we saw the snow leopards and the tigers. They are impressive animals.

What's next, well lunch and then watching the performance of Sparky, the seal. Now that was fun! About 15 minutes before the show, loud music began playing over the speakers. The crowds began to gather, filling up the seating area. Minutes before Sparky's appearance, the old song Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli, Lollipop started up. It has a fun beat, and the audience really got into it, singing and singing. I think Rosy was surprised that I knew the song. Then Sparky took the stage. He with his trainer did some cute antics. I'm sure Rosy had never seen a performing seal before.

We finished our activities at the zoo by riding the merry-go-round. This is a treasure for St. Paul. The merry-go-round was built in 1914. Each horse is carved totally from wood. The horses and their decorations have all been painted their original colors. It is totally restored. For $1.50, you can get a nice ride, lasting about 8 to 10 minutes. Volunteers monitor those getting on and off the horses. It wasn't easy for me to mount my horse, and once on it, I hung on tight because they go really fast. The delightful music comes from the original automated drums, cymbals and organ, which has also been restored. Rosy and I had a blast riding this beautiful carousel. What a great time we had together!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Automated Attendant

Very few companies employ receptionists or switch board operators any longer. Automated attendants have been "answering" the phones for many years now - even prior to our economy going south. Some of them are pretty simple: For directions, press 1; for operation hours, press 2; for accounts receivable, press 3; for deliveries, press 4. Some are not so friendly: press 1 if your service is out. I press 1. Next message: please enter your account number. I enter it. Next message: enter your zip code. And on, and on it goes. Sometimes I have been in this pattern for 3 or 4 minutes before getting to speak to a "live" person. Then there are the times when you can only leave a message. Am I the only one to find this irritating?

Check out this website: Finally someone has cracked the codes for over a thousand companies. I haven't had the occasion to try any of these numbers yet, but here's hope.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hang on to your hats! Get out your sweaters!

It's unseasonably cool and windy here in Minnesota. The average high for today is supposed to be 84 degrees. Today we made it up to 71. Tonight it is supposed to drop to 52. The forecast high for tomorrow is 63 - - and windy. We're still suffering a drought in the twin cities. I'm sceptical with the "global warming" theory.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

For the past 5+ years, my kids have been having kids. This is a lovely time in my life - watching them parenting and reaping the rewards of being a grand-parent. But a mother never forgets when she had a baby. It was 32 years ago this morning. The weather had been extremely hot: 101 degrees! Thankfully, we had central air conditioning in the parsonage in which we were living. Vacation Bible School was in progress out in our yard - in tents. This was a new idea for our church and seemed to go over well. I lucked out of not having to teach that year since I was too uncomfortable.

I woke in the morning with a slight back ache. My baby wasn't due for another three weeks. This is probably just the position of the baby right now, I thought. I passed it off. But soon the ache became stronger and I knew I was going to be delivering that day. Our sweet neighbors just across the road had 3 wonderful daughters that had become our baby sitters. I phoned them and told them my situation. 2 of the girls came over to stay with Hans and Peder, and Steve and I left for the hospital. Later that morning, around 9:45, Heidi ReneƩ was born. She weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces and was 17 inches long. Since I had two boys already, I hadn't gotten my hopes up for having a girl and had the name "Nels" picked out had she been a boy. I was so surprised when the doctor said, "It's a girl!" I remembered asking, "Are you sure?"

Once home and able to go shopping, the first thing I bought Heidi was a little cloth Fisher Price doll named "Lollie." I still have it.

Happy Birthday, Heidi. I have loved you since I laid eyes on you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Farmer's Market

My friend, Bonnie

Take a look at the chocolates!

My bouquet

Yesterday after church I got to go to the Farmer's Market in the warehouse district of Minneapolis with my dear friend, Bonnie. She often goes twice a month and has been raving about it. When she invited me to join her, I gladly accepted.

The market is huge, and very well organized. There were hundreds of booths featuring clothing, jewelry, leather goods, garden decorations, plants, cut flowers, vegetables, fruit, pop corn - both cheesy and kettle corn, huge, fresh - still warm - frosted cinnamon rolls. Bonnie and I shared one. It was nearly the size of a dinner plate! I also had fresh squeezed lemonade. After downing most of that, nothing else tempted me, including a couple of stands with home-made chocolates.

I bought a gorgeous bouquet for only $4. It was totally arranged and is making quite a statement at my desk today.

It was a dark night. . .

A half hour after I finished baking a batch of cookies in the afternoon, and just after cleaning up the kitchen, I went to my cottage to watch a little TV. I was settled into my comfortable chair with a glass of milk and a few cookies and the TV was on, when my lamp began to fade off and on. The TV went off, then on, then off, then on. I got up from my chair, turned the power strip off for the TV and made my call to the electric company. Once again (4th time in the past 6 weeks or so) my power was off - at least part of it was off.

After calling and reporting it to the automated system, I went to my patio and proceeded to phone a friend on my cell phone. All of a sudden, I heard a loud siren coming closer and closer to my building. Sure enough, it was a fire chief's vehicle. The siren abruptly stopped after passing my building. Then I heard another siren. I hung up with my friend and dashed out the front door to see what was happening. On my street, there was a big hook and ladder fire truck and three fire squad vehicles, with another hook and ladder truck out on our adjoining street. Neighbors were pouring out of several buildings to have a look. Two of the neighbors in my building reported their TVs had blown up - smoke was coming from them. Also, their circuit boards were smelling hot. Oh my!

I crossed the street to get a better look at the transformer just to the south of my garage building, and saw a fire at the bottom of it. The exposed wires were popping. Cables not yet buried from the transformer leading to our building (this is another whole story - it goes back to the first time our power was out which I mentioned in my first paragraph) were on fire. Thankfully, our lawn irrigation system had just run an hour earlier for the second time of the day, so the grass was really wet and the ground moist. No grass caught on fire, leading to who knows what! The firemen and woman went to each unit in our building to check our circuit breaker boxes. Mine was fine. Later I took a plate of cookies outside for the firemen. Only a few of them took some. The rest seemed shy.

When the electric company vehicles finally showed up, the firemen left the scene. I heard one of the electricians say our power would be out at least a couple more hours. As the sun was getting low, I went back into my home. I lit a few candles and sat in my Amish rocker inside my living room, looking out into the back yard. With not enough light to read, I sang a few songs to Peppi and myself, and then got ready for bed. At 9:30 I turned in. My power was restored at 10:40 - the lamp beside my bed comes on when the power returns. I reached up, turned it off, and went back to sleep.

Everything seemed normal this morning. I got ready for work and headed out to my garage. Guess what? There is no power to my garage, so I couldn't get the door open. Luckily my next door garage neighbor was just pulling out of her garage and she gave me a ride to work. She told me our problem is not solved and that the power company is to return today. Fun and games!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Project Completed

For a few months, I have needed to replace something because the one I had, which wasn't that old, was beginning to peel. This afternoon I put it on my shopping list and headed for Home Depot. I looked at the options, hemmed and hawed, and finally made my selection. After crossing off the rest of the things on my list, I went home, changed out of my good clothes, got out my tools, and started my project. Removing the old one was no easy task. I struggled and struggled, both with and without my glasses, and finally got it off. Wah lah! Now for the new one. I took it out of the box, lined it up, and guess what? It was too big! Argh! I changed my clothes, got my car out of the garage, and took off for Home Depot.

I must compliment the clerks at my local Home Depot. Talk about helpful. They do everything but come to your home to do your job. In about a minute, my refund was made, and I returned to the department to make another selection - this time with the right dimensions. I was pleased to see the smaller one was about $18 less! I marched to the check-out line (the second time this afternoon), flashed my plastic, and headed home to finish my project.

After changing my clothes, I opened the box and put my new purchase in place to install it. What? Not again! This time the hardware wouldn't line up. I was getting frustrated now. With my room torn up, I found my receipt for the store's phone number, and called to be sure they would still be open. I once again put on my good clothes, got the car out of the garage, and headed for Home Depot, setting the trip meter when putting the car in gear. I was curious to see how many miles I was chalking up to accomplish this task. It turned out the mileage was only 4.4 miles one way, so it wasn't that far.

I walked into the store, explained to a clerk that this was my third trip out here today and asked if someone could help me. Sure enough, a kind man took me to the right department, opened a package to see if the hardware would fit, and once again, after checking out, I was on my way home.

As they often say, third time's a charm! I now have a new toilet seat in my bathroom.


Before I went to Seattle and again this morning, I have heard a little wren singing outside my home. He has a beautiful song. I blogged about it back on June 20: Retreat. Just moments ago I walked to my kitchen and spotted the wren on my patio lattice. Then he flew toward my patio wall. I moved over to the window by Peppi's cage so I could better see him and discovered little twigs sticking out of my hat birdhouse! I continued to watch and the little wren landed on the birdhouse perch and proceeded through the entry hole. I have hung that bird house there every spring for the past six or more years. Never before has a bird taken up lodging in it.

Now what? Are there baby wrens inside? Is Mama Wren inside, sitting on eggs? Will I be fortunate to witness baby wrens?

For years I have called male cardinals "Henry" and females "Henrietta." What should I name Papa Wren? Any ideas? This is so exciting!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Choice of Airlines

I've had the occasion to fly on several airlines in the past 8 weeks: to Germany, via Amsterdam, Branson, and Seattle. I've flown on NWA, KLM, and Sun Country. Now I've learned there was another option: Lutheran Airlines:

Lutheran Airlines is now operating in Minnysota! Also serving Visconsin, nordern Mitchigan, and Nort and Sout Dakota. The next time you fly, consider Lutran Air, the no-frills airline.

Meals are potluck. Rows 1 tru 6, bring rolls; 7 tru 15, bring a salad; 16 tru 21, a hot dish, and 22-30, a dessert. Basses and tenors please sit in da rear of da aircraft. Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by free will offering, and da plane will not land till da budget is met. Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acquaint you wit da safety system aboard dis plane. Okay den, listen up; I'm only gonna say dis vonce: In da event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly gonna be real surprised and so vill Captain Olson, because ve fly right around two tousand feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably mean da Second Coming or someting of dat nature, and I wouldn't bodder with doze liddle masks on da rubber tubes--you're gonna have bigger tings to worry about den dat. Just stuff doze back up in dair liddle holes. Probably da masks fell out because of turbulence which, to be honest wit you, we're gonna have quite a bit of at two tousand feet, sorta like driving across a plowed field, but after a while you get used to it. In da event of a water landing, I'd say forget it. Start saying da Lord's Prayer and just hope you get to da part about “forgive us our sins as we forgive dose who sin against us,” which some people say “trespass against us,” which isn't right, but what can you do? Da use of cell phones on da plane is strictly forbidden, because cell phones are a pain in da wazoo, and if God had meant you to use a cell phone, He wudda put your mout on da side of your head. We start lunch right about noon and it's buffet style wit da coffeepot up front. Den we'll have da hymn sing; hymnals are in da seat pockets in front of you. Don't take yours wit you when you go or I am gonna be real upset and I am not kiddin.

After ve land ve’ll have fellowship time in da terminal. I hope everyone remembered dere pan of bars.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Seattle Vacation Photos

Chad and Heidi's birthday cake. It was delicious!
US Navy aircraft carriers near Bremerton

Marshall being entertained by wind-up toy dog. So cute!
Road leading to Johnston Observatory and Mt. St. Helens
Janet, Heidi and Marshall
Mt. St. Helens
Reading to Marshall just after his bath.

Here are some of the photos I took this past week while at Heidi's. It was a wonderful trip!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sweet, sweet Marshall

I have loved being with Marshall, Heidi, Chad and Brian this past week. Just this morning I heard him crying in his bedroom which is next to the guest room. I got up, changed him, and handed him off to my sister while I prepared a bottle for him. Then I took him back to his room to feed him. During this time, he took hold of my hand and clutched it tight. These are the memories that I take home with me - and his sweet, spontaneous smile. I don't recall a baby who breaks into a smile as easily as Marshall.

It has been fun seeing him interact with Brian. I should say it has been so interesting to see how Brian is tolerant as Marshall climbs on him, touches his dog tags, pulls at his ears or fur. I never expected that kind of behaviour. This seems unusual to me.

It's a joy to see each of my kids as parents. All of them are doing a fantastic job! And what treasures they are giving me.

Marshall, I shall miss you and eagerly look forward to the next time we get to be together. I'm sure you'll be walking by then - and probably saying a few words.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mount St. Helens

We're still enjoying our stay in Seattle. Yesterday we spent some time downtown wandering through Pike's Place Market, which is always fun. We had some lunch at a local deli, and for a beverage, I treated myself to some Grape Crush in a glass bottle. For me, that and Coca Cola in glass bottles are like fine wine. As always, the flowers in the market are beautiful. During this visit, bountiful bouquets of sweet peas were in each shop. There were also lilies and peonies, plus filler. Heidi bought a nice bouquet of sweet peas - pink, purple and white. She also bought fresh white peaches. Janet bought some gift items, and Heidi did too.

Today we drove south to Mount St. Helens. The weather forecast was for partly cloudy - and it ended up being wrong. We drove through rain a good part of the way. The drive to the mountain was really neat. There were thousands and thousands of wildflowers - such as lupine and daisies. When we got to the observation building at Johnston Ridge, the sun came out, and most of the clouds moved away from the mountain. We could see the big crater, and all but the very top ridge. In the observation building we watched a video of the volcano eruption - which occurred May 18, 1980. It was a powerful film. They said in the ten days following the volcano, ash from the eruption circled the earth. I remember ash on our cars in Austin. It was amazing. (Photos will be added soon.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

In 1775, people in New England began fighting the British for their independence. On July 2, 1776, the Congress secretly voted for independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was first published two days later on July 4, 1776. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was on July 8, 1776. Delegates began to sign the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. In 1870, Independence Day was made an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1941, it became a paid holiday for them.

The first description of how Independence Day would be celebrated was in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to his wife. He described "pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations" throughout the United States. However, the term "Independence Day" was not used until 1791. Today we celebrate with picnics, parades, family gatherings, and fireworks.

Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States, died on July 4, 1826 - exactly 50 years after the adoption of the declaration.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Happy Birthday, America!

Poulsbo, Washington

What a good, little traveler Marshall is. He slept most of the way to Poulsbo, and when awake, he talked and sang to himself. We had no problem finding our way - thanks to Map quest. The scenery was really pretty - lots of fir trees, some lupine, and at one point in Bremerton, we saw three US Navy aircraft carriers in port. We drove over a lovely bridge in Tacoma that is similar to the Golden Gate Bridge - very beautiful (hope to post photos soon with Heidi's help)!

Poulsbo is a small town that is quite picturesque. In its harbor are lots of sailboats with the Olympic mountains in the distance. The main street has gorgeous hanging baskets of flowers - full and over-flowing. Probably due to the 4th of July holiday, there were big American flags everywhere, as well as Norwegian flags. Many of the store-fronts looked European. We went in one Norwegian store and saw a big display of Laurainne Snelling's books - The Red River and Return to Red River series from Bethany House. They were currently out of Annika's Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis. In several stores, clerks and customers told us how cute Marshall was. We had a delicious lunch in a bar and grill. Marshall had his bottle and I had a California burger which may have been the best hamburger I have ever eaten!

I didn't buy much, just a couple of books for Marshall and some delicious cookies (for me) in one of the bakeries. This particular bakery had rosettes and lefse. I was tempted to buy some rosettes to take home with us for Heidi and Chad, but decided against it, since they are fragile.

We left to come home a little earlier than planned because it had gotten so hot outside. I'm glad we did because the traffic was a lot heavier going home.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Road Trip

In a little bit, my sister and I are going to venture out with Marshall on a road trip to Poulsbo, a Norwegian town on the west side of Puget Sound. I heard about it lastyear and hoped to go there when we were out here in August for the Alaskan cruise, but time didn't allow it. I took Heidi to work this morning so we can use her car. We have Marshall's bag packed - it looks like a fun day. The skies are clear and it's 65 degrees right now. I'll post about our activities later. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hello from Seattle

My sweet Marshall
Seattle tower with Mt. Rainier in the background
The Cascade Mountains
Early this morning my brother drove my sister and me to the airport for our flight to Seattle. We each had a window seat - one row apart. Initially we were in clouds, but once we were over North Dakota, we had a great view - which continued for a good part of the flight. Flying over the Rockies and the Cascades was beautiful. About 20 minutes out of Seattle, a big, snow covered mountain came into our view. Is it Mount Rainier? I wasn't sure. But from the angle of our arrival, I knew it had to be some other mountain. Heidi informed me it was Mount Baker. Mount Ranier came into our view just as we were landing. It's a clear day so "the mountain is out," the phrase the locals use for "it's a nice day today."

Arriving at the Heidi's car in the ramp, who should jump out but Brian! That was a fun surprise. He was so excited to see me and lay on the floor so I could rub his tummy. (Brian is a Golden Retriever.)

Marshall was in his bed when we arrived, but Heidi listened at his door and heard him talking, so we got to get him up. Wow, has he changed in the six months since I've seen him. He has a delightful voice - and a contagious smile. He's crawling, pulling up to furniture, and jumping in his jumper (toy).

So far we've gone out for lunch, shopped, and took a scenic ride along Puget Sound. It's been dry here, but the flowers are beautiful!