June 28, 2013

Who Was She?

She was the wife of a patient.

One would think that a profession or an office would shield one from those angry attacks, which is true to some extent.  But it takes a steeled mind to walk away unaffected.  This one got to me.

But today is Friday...

A new day.  New hope.  And the anticipation of two fun dinners.  And a belated, overnight getaway for our anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 27, 2013

Her Anger

She was so very angry.

Angry at the doctors.
Angry at her tears.
Angry at the world.
Angry at her loss of control.
Angry at her future.
Angry at her husband's terminal diagnosis.

Her fireballs of wrath were spewed out on me.

This will be on of many conversations to come.  Maybe 2 or 3 or 14 visits later she will see that we genuinely care.  We will walk this journey with them and ease their way.

June 26, 2013

Can You Come Over and Play?

Remember being a kid and asking a friend to come and play?

It is hilarious that Miss Elsie has several favorite friends to enjoy play dates with.  Duke is one of those pals, and they love running like the wind together.  The faster the better!  They are two peas in a pod...both sweet, playful, and good-natured.

And yes, our kids are quite embarrassed by these kinds of pathetic reports about dog things.  All the more reason to keep talking.  Hahahaha!

June 25, 2013

Crowded By the Door

Are you coming?!  

Our eggs are laid, we've scratched and pecked everything possible in our coop, and we're ready to get out!  Could you kindly hurry?  Perhaps just a little faster? We have grass to eat and bugs to catch!  

June 24, 2013

Dinner on the Back Porch

It was a delightful dinner on the back porch. It started raining, but since it was still quite warm out, we decided to go for it.  We pulled the little table out, threw on a clean tablecloth, and ran out and gathered flowers - vĂ²ila!  Our regular evening was suddenly elevated to something special. We savored a fine meal of salmon, "smashed" potatoes (boiled, then smashed, and roasted to a crisp with tons of olive oil, sea salt, fresh rosemary, and pepper), roasted carrots, and a strawberry/banana fruit salad. Dessert was a lovely chocolate number, accompanied by a pour over for those needing coffee. We shared old stories, listened to the birds, smelled the fresh air, laughed about our misadventures of the week, and enjoyed just being together.

And now that Sir Bradley is home and I am working all week?  I'm off of dish duty.  Woohoo!

P.S. I think this is proof that knives and spoons are often extraneous utensils.  =)  But I could never properly set a table without them.

June 21, 2013

Insect Beauty =)

Only on this most strange and lovely blog will you ever find such a wide range of topics!!  Do you feel whiplashed going from silver and china to dogs and now insects??  However, I figure if we're looking for the extraordinary we've got to keep our eyes peeled, and sometimes in the strangest of places.

Sir Bradley spied this one, thinking at first there was a new scratch on the car.  Instead he discovered some type of insect laying eggs, and each egg was held straight out horizontally on a thin filament. Absolutely fascinating.

We have since figured out this is a green lacewing, a friendly little beneficial critter who eats pests.

Here's to a weekend of new discoveries!  Happy Friday!

June 20, 2013

School's Out!

School is officially done for the year!  Woohoo!  Yesterday was a clean-up morning for Sir Bradley, followed by a 4-1/2 hour nap.  Today is the beginning of freedom.

Miss Elsie is sooooooo happy to have him home for the summer!

Me, too.  =)

June 19, 2013

Delicious on a Silver Platter

Food honestly tastes better with beautiful dishes!  Even humble granola is elevated to something special. Beautiful china, a silver platter, and fresh air out on the deck...all simply delicious.

June 18, 2013

French Olives?

It doesn't take much to tickle my fancy these days, so either I'm getting closer to my goal of living an extraordinary life or I need to get out more.  Ha!

Recently we discovered the Oregon Olive Grove in the Willamette Valley.  There are over 13,000 trees there along with an Italian mill to process the olives.

I spied this colorful kitchen towel and couldn't resist bringing it home.

Might these be FRENCH olives?  Love it!!

June 17, 2013

Lavender Harvest

Everything seems to be blooming early! Timing is everything with lavender, and this year the harvest just couldn't wait until July.  The moment we came home from celebrating Father's Day and I headed out back. The plants were just loaded with flowers, and an hour later I came back up to the porch with a bushel in my arms! It took forever to pick, sort, and hang to dry, but the evening was beautiful and the birds were singing and all was good.  It made for a lovely evening.

June 14, 2013

Graduation Day

It's finally done...5 years, a lot of Nutella, too many all-nighters, a billion experiences you'll remember for a lifetime...it all culminates today in a teaching degree.  A teaching degree AND a Spanish degree.  I'm convinced that the flowers made all the difference.  (Loved our coffee time together!)

Happy graduation, Sus!  We couldn't be more proud of you!

I'll give you 3 days to rest and then I need you to teach me Spanish.

June 13, 2013

Up on the Roof

It's beautiful and it's innovative, but I'm convinced that an eco-roof is not for everyone.  Weeding every year?  Seriously?!

But I sure got a good laugh. =)

June 12, 2013


As we walk alongside a dear one getting closer to the end of life's journey, we've hit a few bumps in the road.  It's given us reason to think more about aging in general - mostly, what we wish to avoid.  Ayayaya, I do dislike this whole aging thing.

It seems to me that we spend our growing up years learning to do the right and responsible thing.  As adults we then do the right and responsible thing and model it for our own kids.  I cannot find anything to support the reasoning that this should not continue into old age.  While the decades keep clicking away, we should continue to make good choices.  No one is going to begrudge us a little extra extravagance.  (Daily donuts for breakfast? Can't wait!)  But that doesn't mean we should live selfishly, ignore good reason, eat with abandon, give up exercise, etc.  While our minds may slip away, our efforts should stay the same, as best we can.

Years (many, many, many, many years) down the road, we hope to model to the kids what graceful aging looks like. It might be a little slower, and hopefully it'll come with a little pluck, but if it is within our power we must never abandon our life calling, and what we know to be true and right.

June 11, 2013

Lightning Speed!

The girls are always quite interested in my activities.  Henrietta (if she had a name, that's what it'd be) whipped her head around to see what all the clicking was about... and the camera caught her little dibble dabble things flying about.  Ha!  Now that's curiosity at it's best!

June 10, 2013

Rose Parade 2013

There is always so much activity leading up to the actual parade...coordinating schedules and meeting times, digging the camping chairs out from the depths of the garage, packing lunch and snacks, remembering sunscreen, dressing in layers, taking the MAX downtown, and hauling everything through the city streets to find the perfect location.

And then the wait begins.  It's part of the tradition.

In order to get a good spot, you need to arrive early.  And so you sit and chat and laugh and eat. And after an eternity, it finally happens!  The woop-woop of the police sirens are heard from blocks away and everyone starts clapping.  Let the parade begin!

I took 257 pictures.  =)

The Clydesdales, as always, were so stunningly huge.  Note the character in the middle, itching for a little stretch.

The parade slowed to a stop for awhile, so we got to enjoy this fun-loving float and the 60's music.  You can't see from this picture, but if I had legs like those gals, I'd be wearin' white go-go boots every day.

Oh, now this must be a real princess!

This friendly gator was made from lemons and limes.

So many colors with the international participants!

Whew, these are beautiful gals.

Loved the bands.  I clapped extra hard for the band parents.  =)

June 6, 2013

Safely Home!

The kids arrived home in the wee hours of the morning...25 hours from India to Portland!  It was a happy reunion, and this mother's heart was very relieved.

I'd claim 'em all, but the one on the left is mine.  =)

There will be many stories to come, but we did briefly hear how they were invited to an Indian wedding.  They brought their gift, enjoyed hours of food, saw hundreds of people but no one they knew.  They were in plenty of photos, as everyone wanted to have their picture taken with them!

Turns out it was the wrong wedding.

June 5, 2013

The Field Fascination Continues!

At the risk of completely boring all of you, I share more field pictures.  Just give me one more day.

But seriously, look at those grasses!  The sun arrived this week, perhaps another inspiration to take a closer look at all of the fine colors.

(And for the record, today I have a lovely, fiery-red neck to show for my fascination.  I guess this confirms that I am a princess...not an Indian princess, but a perfectly ice-white Scandinavian one that requires gallons of sunscreen per square inch.)

June 4, 2013

Chicken Coop Honeysuckle

Years ago we happened upon a very fun nursery and saw the biggest honeysuckle known to man! The owners shared that the plant started all on its own, right by their own chicken coop. They figured the birds dropped the seed.  They were selling starts, aptly named "Chicken Coop Honeysuckle."

Too cool to pass up.

June 3, 2013

Lupine in the Fields

We walked a mile down the road to enjoy the lupine, and oh, they are gorgeous right now!  The fields are just beautiful.  We took Miss Elsie along and she enjoyed herself immensely.

I dare say that this rivals anything in Europe.  =)