I had great plans about making a really up-beat, happy post today.

This morning the maintenance man brought my new combo storm/screen door for the front of the house, so now I can open the front door, see who’s there, even talk to them through the door, and still not feel like I’m opening my house to the world. Also, it has a pretty decent lock, so I can leave the screen part open and the regular front door open and get a cross-breeze when it’s warm. Nice way to air out the house.



Then this afternoon I went to Chef Tim’s monthly talk and learned about the difference between prawns and shrimp (not much – although they are different species). We got to sample a tiny shrimp cocktail, and then he cooked shrimp scampi and we each got to taste three of them. Informative and fun!



BUT – when I picked up the mail there was a notice from a collection agency saying that I owed the North Texas Tollway Authority $74.27. I turned in my Tolltag before we left Texas and got a receipt from them. I’m not sure what this is all about but now I get to worry all night long because by the time I got the mail it was 4 p.m. here on the left coast, and after 6 p.m. in beautiful downtown Carrollton, Texas.




A Lazy Sunday

I was up early to teach adult Sunday School at Bethany Presbyterian Church. Heard a great sermon by Pastor Sarah, and then home to get Big Al and off to Sunday lunch at a nice little neighborhood Italian restaurant.

Apparently my passion that was stoked at the workshop yesterday spilled over at church, because I have been asked to be the congregational representative to the local Bread for the World organization. The first meeting is tomorrow night.

My brother, Bill, called to say that he and his family will be coming out to visit in early August this summer. That will be great as they are, so far, the first to come see us on the left coast.

After our beautiful weather the last week, today is cloudy and VERY blustery.Capture

I think I’ll go start the fire-place going, and read a book while listening to the wind chimes tinkle.

A little less discouraged

I went to a workshop this morning put on by Bread for the World. They are a group that is dedicated to doing away with hunger here at home and in the world. Our current focus is on An Offering of Letters – a way for churches to effectively lobby congress for government programs to help with hunger of all kinds, but especially childhood hunger.

There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet 1 in 6 families can’t afford enough food.

“Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table when [we have] the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all [hu]mankind with the basic necessities of life? … There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will.”

Martin Luther King Jr., in his Nobel Peace Prize lecture.

Check out this little 4.5 minute video by Hans Rosling.

WOW! Huh?

So what can we do about the poverty and hunger and illness in the world? You’ve seen and/or heard me say that there is enough money in the world for every single person to have $1,000,000. How can we distribute it more equitably so no child goes to bed hungry and no parent has to make the choice between eating decent food themselves and feeding their family?

We support the local food bank in Pierce County, Washington. My sister and her husband tend a community garden that gave over 1,000 lbs. of food to hunger projects in Texarkana, Arkansas/Texas, last year. I usually give donations to organizations like Heifer, International, as Christmas gifts to my family.


I know that it would be impossible for private sources to make up the difference if the government should cut back – even 6% – on the food support the government gives. And the sequester forces a 10% cut in things like Food Stamps (SNAP) and school lunches. Food banks supported by the community and private donations from churches, synagogues, and mosques are already stretched to the limit. There’s no way to make up the 10% cut from the sequester.

It seems to me the only possible way is for the government to get pro-active. Unfortunately, legislators are like teenagers. They want to do the right things, but they need to be constantly reminded what the right thing is. That’s where we come in, by writing letters and making phone calls and visiting our representatives.

One further thing you/we can do is go see A Place at the Table when it comes to a theater near you. Or you could see it on iTunes.

But I beg of you, gentle readers, get involved and DO something. Little kids are going to bed hungry – right now – on our watch – in our country.


Just a regular Friday

Today has been filled with the mundane.

  • Stripped the beds because the maids were coming for their bi-weekly visit.
  • Washed and dried the sheets.
  • Read my email and most of my blogs.
  • Checked the bank and made sure nobody made off with the few shekels we still have.
  • Checked Facebook for anything new with the family.
  • Stewed about the stupid Congress getting right on the Air Traffic Controllers while leaving kids in Head Start hungry, and libraries closing because of budget cuts.
  • Played a game of Curvy.
  • Scurried over to Lillian Pratt building for the knitting club.
  • Came home, fixed lunch (barbecue pork sandwiches and slaw).
  • The maid came while we were eating lunch.
  • Watered the plants on the deck.
  • Did a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Walked down to the mailbox.
  • Walked over to the Wellness Center and used the recumbent cross-trainer for 40 minutes.
  • Walked over to the Garden Apartments for Happy Hour.
  • Came home and read the snail mail (sent most of it to the circular file).
  • Read all the email that had come since this morning.
  • Visited Facebook and stewed about the government a little more.
  • Checked Ancestry.com to see if there were any updates to the genealogy from anybody I’m connected with.
  • And now I’m writing the blog.

That, my friends blows a perfectly good Friday.


I’ve never been familiar with rhododendrons – never seen them up close and personal. I’m entranced with the way they flower.

First you get tiny buds that look like they are just trying to be new leaves.


Then, the buds swell and start to turn slightly pink or red (or whatever the flower is going to be).


Then they swell some more and you can see that each bloom is a whole bunch of flowerets.


Then one or more of the flowerets begin to open.


Then several of them open, but some stay closed for a while.


Finally, they all are open. Those blooms all came out of the same bud. And they’re BIG – probably each floweret is 2-4 inches in diameter, and the whole blossom is 8-10 inches.


They range in color from palest pink that almost looks white from a distance, to dark red (not on the same bush). I’m just fascinated with them.

She’s Baaaa-aaaack

I know it’s been a while, and I hope to be better now. I’ve been playing with the genealogy and putting most of my writing there.

That, and IT’S SPRING in the Northwest and it’s lasted over a month, with new trees blooming and things in my yard sprouting and me planting stuff. After spending so long where Spring lasts about a week and goes straight from frost to 90 deg. I’m avoiding spending any more time indoors than I have to.

I got the rocking chair that I got for Christmas put together, and I love to sit on the back porch (they call it a deck) and rock and listen to the birds and read a book or just vegetate.


There are these wonderful puff-balls of red all over, lining the roads on campus.


The rhododendrons are starting to bloom.


The bed just outside my front door is covered with blooming violets.


And we’ve planted pots with primroses, variegated ivy and hellebore (three things the deer won’t eat down to the ground).