Memorial Day

I try very hard not to get on my high horse and pontificate about political things here on this blog, but I feel I must say something about the disconnect between the government and the military this Memorial Day.


Check out this article…


“Until America has the resources available to take care of its vets and families, it should stop creating them.”

Shame on all of us for allowing this to happen!

Spring Tea at Franke Tobey Jones

Yesterday, we had the Spring Tea in honor of Franke Tobey Jones’ birthday which was May 21st.

In 1922, …representative women of Chapter C of PEO (an international women’s charitable sorority) set out to fulfill member Virginia Mason’s dream of establishing a community in which retired people could live in pleasant surroundings with all the comforts of home, but without the burdens of home ownership.

On July 5, 1923, Mrs. Franke Tobey Jones, wife of Charles Jones, who had significant holdings in the Tacoma Lumber Company, expanded the vision by donating a building site and $150,000 for the erection of a permanent home for the elderly. Mrs. Jones’ gift provided the entire sum needed to build the home on a four-acre site with views of Commencement Bay and Mt. Rainier.

The Franke Tobey Jones Home opened in February 1925, with accommodations for 65 residents, each with one room and a bathroom shared with a neighbor. At the time of opening, it was only the second home for the elderly in the state, and soon was recognized as one of the most outstanding facilities in the nation. (From the History of Franke Tobey Jones).

The Tea was held in the Solarium and Dining Room of the Tobey Jones building.

The Solarium

The buffet table was in the Dining Room.

The Table

There were chocolate-covered strawberries

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Tea Sandwiches

Tea Sandwiches

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies

Smoked Salmon Crostini

Smoked Salmon Crostini

Mango Blueberry Scones

Mango Blueberry Scones

Cheese Cakes and Sweets

Cheese Cakes and Sweets

Lemon Tarts

Lemon Tarts

more Tea Sandwiches

More Tea Sandwiches

Birthday Cake for Ms Jones (long deceased)

Birthday Cake

and coffee, tea, punch, and mimosas

Coffee, Tea and Punch

All accompanied by a Chamber Music Quartet from one of the local Universities.

The Entertainment

They really do things up grand here. All the food was wonderful, and, needless to say, I didn’t have any dinner last night.

A Review of the Past Year

As promised, here are some of the highlights of the last year (cont.).


The year began with really spectacular weather (particularly for the first part of January). On 1/1/2013 we were able to see the mountain!

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I continued feeding and watching the birds.


We had been notified in late November that we would be able to move into a duplex in January, so most of the month was spent packing boxes, picking out paint and rugs, and generally being confused. But we moved, happily about the 20th and consequently were without computers and Netflix for quite a while.

Our Duplex (2)


We got ourselves settled in, including getting the TV hooked up to the network, getting all the wiring done and ordering a couch and chair for the living room. Notice we have a working fireplace with gas logs that is absolutely Da Bomb! for cold winter evenings.


Things started blooming that had been planted by previous residents. It’s such fun to see what will come up and bloom when and where you aren’t expecting it.

Outside my door

I also got to know my four-footed neighbors.

From my deck

Franke Tobey Jones took a bus trip to the Trillium Winery on the Kitsap Peninsula, and we really enjoyed wine-tasting and learning about how “Mine Host” made the wines.

Mine Host at the Winery

APRIL 2013

The weather warmed up and the bushes and trees around our house burst into bloom. Azaleas all over campus, followed apple trees in bloom.




It was warm enough for us to return to lunches outdoors at the restaurants on the sound.




MAY 2013

You all remember the early part of this month. The flowers delivered by one of the staff on May Day,

May Day 2013


Back Porch

Sitting in the sun on the boardwalk at Titlow Beach.

Titlow Beach (2)


Kate Smith


A Review of the Past Year

As promised, here are some of the highlights of the last year.

JUNE 2012

We arrived in Tacoma in mid-June and moved into our apartment at Franke Tobey Jones (temporary until one of the duplexes on campus came available.) There wasn’t a lot of room, and even less once all the boxes were delivered.


We did enjoy the folks we lived with there, and still see them regularly at social events and around the campus.


We hadn’t been here long before we found the restaurants and views along the Sound, just at the bottom of our hill.


JULY 2012

One of the first things we did was take the ferry across to Vashon Island and drive around all over the island.


The first trip we went on with the community here on the Franke Tobey Jones bus was to Mt. Rainier. On a clear day it’s visible from all over Tacoma, and I’ve come to judge the weather by whether we can see the mountain or not.


In July we found our church, Bethany Presbyterian Church, which is about as different from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church as could possibly be. Bethany has fewer than 100 members – Preston Hollow has over 2800. Bethany is much more liberal than Preston Hollow. There are many other differences, but gospel is preached and social justice ministries are important in both.

Bethany Presbyterian Church (2)

We discovered Point Defiance Park, on the other side of the fence in front of our apartment, and spent many happy hours driving around in old-growth forest, looking at wildlife, and seeing spectacular views of the sound.

Vashon Island Viewpoint


The next trip was a boat ride out of Seattle on Elliott Bay to “Meet the Fleet”, also sponsored by the community.


We came back from that to find a large Marquee on the front lawn, all set up for the Annual Picnic.

Tent for tomorrow

Also during August the community sponsors an open air concert every Thursday night. Lots of neighbors come, bring their lawn chairs, and enjoy the music in the cool of the evening.

Concert in the Park

Also, in August, Tobey Jones took us on a trip to Mt. Saint Helens. At one time Mt. Saint Helens looked very much like Mt. Rainier. And then 33 years ago yesterday, the whole top blew off the volcano. All of these majestic mountains around here are still active volcanos, and we occasionally have earthquakes and worry that Mt. Rainier will blow up, too.

Mount St. Helens crater

In August, Bethany had a potluck picnic at Spanaway Park and we explored more of the surrounding countryside. and we got to listen to our church’s Blue Grass Band Loose Cannon. (Yep, that’s Santa Claus playing lead guitar).

Loose Canon at the picnic

Toward the end of the month we had the first appearance of the Peace Cranes at Bethany.

From East and West


Franke Tobey Jones sponsored a dinner for all the residents in independent living in September. It was a Hoedown, with barbecue and live entertainment.

Roe Family Band

Toward the middle of the month Al and I took several days and drove around the Olympic Peninsula. First up to Port Angeles, where you can see Canada in the distance across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca.

Pier and port at Port Angeles

Then by Crescent Lake,Crescent Lake, reflecting

Then down to the seashore at Pacific Beach where the Navy has a military recreation area. We looked at the waves and watched the seagulls and enjoyed the cloudy, cooler weather. (We didn’t have any rain from mid-July until mid-October.

Old fuzzy butt (2)


Franke Tobey Jones sponsored a trip to Vashon Island. We took the bus on the ferry and went out to visit the lighthouse across the Sound from Sea-Tac Airport.At the Lighthouse on Vashon


My mother’s cousin died the end of October, and since she was the last remaining person of her generation, I packed up and traveled to Texarkana for her funeral. I had to fly down (because of the short notice) and I vow I will never fly again. I went Space Available on #1 son’s employee ticket, and both planes were packed (I almost didn’t make it on board). Couple that with the fact that it was a red-eye flight from Sea-Tac to Chicago, and I wasn’t a pretty sight. I did get a chance to visit with my brother and his family who picked me up from DFW Airport and my sister and her family in Texarkana. Bill (#2 son) drove up from Covington, LA, and got me and I had a week-long visit with him. I got to see his new house (which they moved into in August). Then I rode the train (the City of New Orleans) back to Chicago and from Chicago took the train (the Empire Builder) back to Portland, with a ride from Portland to Tacoma on the Amtrak Cascade. It was very enjoyable – much more so than the flight down – but I had picked up a cold from my granddaughter, so I wasn’t fit company on the train.

Al and I had Thanksgiving Dinner at Franke Tobey Jones. and really enjoyed it. (At least I didn’t have to cook or clean-up.)



They go all out here at Tobey Jones for Christmas. I think they have 18 (or maybe it’s 21) decorated trees, as well as all the other decorations in the public areas.

Christmas Tree at TJ

They also have a lovely sit-down dinner, catered by food services that all the independent residents are invited to.


Bethany had a Christmas play where they performed “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.


I invited a family from church to be my family at the Children’s Christmas Party here on campus – kid food, snacks, a magician, Santa Claus, and more.


Big Al and I had a great Christmas. It was quiet, but very nice. We went to the Lobster Shop for dinner, and spent the afternoon groaning from eating too much.


It looks like this post is getting too long again, so I’ll finish off with the early part of 2013 tomorrow. Stay tuned for the big move to OUR DUPLEX in January.

One Year Ago Today

This is the anniversary of the day we finally closed on the house in Dallas and began the adventure to the rest of our lives.

10514 Pagewood - Copy

We started out the next morning driving to Texarkana where we had a short visit with my sister and her family.


Then we took the train to Chicago and met my future daughter-in-law and step-grandchild (that’s my #1 son in the picture, too).


Then back to Texarkana, and some time spent checking out the cemetery, Old Washington, and Hope, AR – all important for my genealogy interests. The obligatory “State Line” photo in front of the Texarkana, USA, Post Office.


And of course a trip to Bryce’s Cafeteria (where I met LeMichael James’ aunt).


Next it was a visit to Burns, TN, to see my cousin and spend a couple of days with her.


Then we drove down the Natchez Trace…


…on our way to see #2 son and his family in South Louisiana.


Then began our trek across the country. I declared I didn’t want to mess with Interstate Highway travel, so we kept to the regular US highways as much as possible.  This is a stretch of the old Route 66 that’s still there in Western Oklahoma (or maybe the Texas panhandle).


While we were in Amarillo, we got a chance to visit Palo Duro Canyon, and really enjoyed our time there, particularly since it was a little rainy and not too hot.


Unfortunately, we still had to ride on the Interstate in some places, like here in New Mexico.


We took a couple of days and drove up to Santa Fe and Taos.


Then due south through New Mexico and turned west again on I-10. We got to see White Sands.


And then into Arizona where we took a detour to see an old trading post and Indian war Fort.


A couple of days in Tucson, and then north through Phoenix and into Flagstaff where we finally got to see some trees again.


Then the Grand Canyon


Bryce Canyon National Park


and Zion National Park


North through Utah, and into Idaho where we saw Craters of the Moon National Park.


And on to Spokane where my father was born. We found one of the houses he lived in as a child.


Then across the great state of Washington, including the Columbia River Gorge.


and in to Tacoma, and Franke Tobey Jones.

Picture 091

Thus endeth our trek from Dallas to Tacoma.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to review a few of the highlights of our year here.

Summer Flowers

I promised this post to you yesterday, but it was so gloomy and rainy and blustery and cold I didn’t even want to go out on the deck to take pictures.  Today is beautiful, so I hope these pictures come out well. They might even be too bright.

I spent the family fortune at the garden store on Saturday, but I got most of these plants then, and got them planted before the weather changed.


These are cute little fuzzy purple flowers. I have no idea what they are called but I liked them.

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These are three lupine that I got about a month ago. I think the first and third ones are going to be blue and the middle one will be white, but we shall see. They were barely seedlings when I brought them home, but I’m assured the deer won’t eat them.

IMG_1016 IMG_1020

These are two daisies of some size, shape or description. I have no idea what color their flowers are going to be, but the top one looks like it’s going to bloom any time now, so I won’t have to wait to long to find out. They also arrived as seedlings about a month ago, and you can see the bottom one got bent over, either in the wind or chasing the sun, at some time in the past. They are also guaranteed to be anathema to deer.

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These are two new window boxes that are going to be hung up with brackets on the rails. They are mostly verbena, I think, and the deer supposedly don’t like it. They are also supposed to attract butterflies. I have more of it in the hanging baskets.

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Two more verbena, in blue and red. They spread out all over the place (as you can see) and should be great to fill in around the bottom of other pots.


This hanging basket was here when we moved in. It was originally filled with all different kinds of succulents, but most of it had died from lack of water while the house was empty. I cleaned a lot of it out and the two tall things grew up from whatever rootstock was left. I added the blue-green and lime-green mounding things. I think they are a relative of Hens and Chickens, but I’m not sure what they are called.


I got this little pot of viola at the spring Women’s Association meeting for the church. They are thriving!

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These are two flat bowl-shaped containers that I put begonia, and more verbena in. There also a little white flower that I can’t remember the name of, and there’s more of the dwarf petunias in the bottom bowl. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know they aren’t dwarf petunias, but I don’t remember their names either).

I know I said I’d never have begonias again after they were the only things I could grow in the shade in Dallas, but aren’t those flowers the prettiest things you’ve ever seen? I just hope I have enough verbena sprinkled around that the deer won’t be tempted to come up on the deck to nibble the flowers of everything else down to the ground.


My computer woes seem to have been solved – thanks to the kids, although I spent most of the day yesterday messing with it. I’ll just post a few pictures from Friday, then tomorrow, I’ll take some pictures of the flowers and plants I got on Saturday and spent several hours getting into their (semi) permanent homes. Then I should be caught up.

First some views from lunch at the Ram, sitting outside on the deck, watching the sound.

Brown's Point Container Ship and Sailboat IMG_0417 IMG_0418 IMG_0421 IMG_0422 Port of Tacoma (2) Port of Tacoma

Followed by some good shots of the neighbors here at Tobey Jones at our Duplex Social that we have once a month. The weather was so great (low 70s and sunny) we thought we’d have it outside in the Gazebo.

Kate Smith Maxine and Jim Neighbors (2) Neighbors Phil & Gwen Phibbs Refreshments

We finally got our server at the Ram to admit that the reputation the Pacific Northwest has for rainy skies and cold weather year round is just the residents blowing smoke, trying to keep the rest of the country from finding out how wonderful it is around here. It’s been years since I’ve had a REAL spring (in Arkansas and Texas it goes right from summer to winter and back to summer – usually twice in the same week).

Have I said lately how much I love it here?

Computer Woes

Apparently in their great wisdom, Microsoft decided to fix something that wasn’t broken, and in messing with their Exchange Servers, Big Al and I have lost our Outlook connection. The family Microsofties tell me to create a new profile in Outlook, but when I try, it tells me it can’t find my email on any of its servers, and, oh, by the way, my Outlook has to be connected to do this.


The reason I’m doing this is because my Outlook won’t connect.

I’ve even tried telling it what server to look on (the one that is happily feeding my email to my iPad and iPhone), and it says I’m certainly not there.

I guess it will be okay until I have to change my password. Then I don’t know what I’ll do, because I can’t change it from the Apple products, but I can’t connect on the Microsoft stuff.

I REALLY don’t want to start over with a new email account somewhere. My life (calendar, contacts, RSS feeds, as well as email) is in that Exchange account.



Big Al and I went over to the Tobey Jones building for Gamers Club this afternoon.

Sundial in Tobey Jones garden

It was 3 PDT, but as you can see it was really 2 p.m. sun time.

Original entrance to original building

I think this was the first time I had ever gone in the original entrance. It’s usually closed and locked, but they had the doors open today because it was so warm.

Kate, the program director, had forgotten she had a trip to see the Tacoma Rainiers (minor league baseball team), so she wasn’t there, and consequently, the games weren’t there either. We didn’t have too many people show up, so there was no great loss, but it would have been nice to play something (either bridge or cribbage or something).

Oh, well, we’ll play bridge tomorrow afternoon, anyway.

We did get a good look at THE mountain (or as one of my friend’s kids say, “Mount Reindeer”).

The Mountain in May

I may get tired of looking at it one day, but not yet. Not for a while yet.