Tuesday, July 11, 2017



A day trip to Multnomah Falls gave us a chance to hike up to the top and splash for a little bit in the river before the falls. It was a fairly busy day on the trail, but thinned out as we neared the top.  Being so used to the high daily temperatures of the Yakima area, I forgot that the weather would probably be different once we got further into Oregon and did not pack extra sweaters.  Silly me!  The girls made do passing a jacket back and forth depending on who was cold at any moment, mostly giving the jacket to little Rosie-pie and insisting they were not cold.  Sweet girls.  

After a picnic lunch and the hike, we headed a little further down the road to Portland, where we parked at a park and ride and took the train downtown, just a block or two away from Powell's bookstore.  I was able to find some of our school books for the coming year and a few fun books too, then we grabbed dinner at a food truck on the walk to the place we needed to get back on the train to our car.  It was a fun adventure (thanks to my brave husband who pushes me to trust his way of doing things even though I like to have everything carefully mapped out in advance) and way nicer than trying to find parking downtown and then feeding the meter repeatedly!  The drive back was late and we were tired the next day but I enjoyed the extra knitting time in the car to work on Millie's Sorello.  We're also reading aloud Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins so there was some of that too!  
I am looking forward to another little day trip tomorrow, this time nearer than the last, and I hope to read and knit and relax and splash in the lake and play games and picnic restfully.  I'm trying hard to finish up Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher:  The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward S. Curtis by Timothy Egan.  Last year when I read The Boys in the Boat I realized I really enjoy historical biographies, which makes perfect sense with my past love of reenacting and history coming to life.  So when I saw Short Nights in the bookstore and flipped through it and saw the stunning (and some familiar) photography that was included, I tucked it away in my mind to look for when I had time.  It jumped out at me from the library shelf a few weeks ago and I grabbed it.  I am finding it very interesting, not even having realized that Curtis was from the Pacific Northwest.  If you don't know who he is, you can google historic pictures of Native Americans and most of what you see will be his work.  He was prolific, trying to capture images of the way of life of all the tribes on the North American continent before it changed drastically. He largely tried to keep his work out of the realm of politics, but as I think is inevitable, once he began to realize the level of injustice and cruelty that had been enacted on the tribes over and over again, his work began to reflect that frustration and sorrow.  I find it interesting from so many angles - Native America (of course), local and national and tribal history, and photography.  

I love that picture of me and the girls up there.  It's nice to catch one of those every now and then.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Independence Day 2017


Hello my friends; I don't even know if there are any of you out there still - this sweet space that means so much to me has been so neglected lately and I haven't been able to visit some of my favorite places on the web either.  I find myself using my blog to help me remember things that I can't remember - dates and years of different trips or activities, and the photos are continue to accessible and special to the girls who love to look at things here too.  We have had a whirlwind of nonstop visitors to our new home the past month and we have so enjoyed sharing our space and spending time with them but are admittedly worn out and enjoying the quiet of the past few days to catch up on cleaning and other chores that have been pushed aside in favor of more important things.  The next few posts will hopefully include some pictures of our latest doings, but I decided to start with the Fourth of July for fun. 

We walked down our long driveway to our neighbor's house for a big fun old-fashioned party.  The girls spent most of the afternoon racing down the slip 'n slide hill with lots of friends.  At first they were hesitant and unsure but after a few tries, they were keeping up with the fastest!  My favorite was watching Rosie get a running start and then sit on her bottom with both feet straight in front of her using her hands and arms to push off and get up speed as she sailed to the bottom.  What a delight it is to me to see them having such fun and trying new things!  

Our neighbor graciously paddled a few sets of girls around their pond and Lyddie with her new friend Bella could hardly wait their turn; she kept the lifejacket on from the second she realized she was going to get a turn until she got back from the trip.  Her face, all lit up in that canoe picture above, looked just like that all evening as she flitted from one thing to the next.  The picture where she is waving to me behind the camera is so bittersweet to me because I am aware that these days of unfettered and un-self-conscious joy are limited and I eat up those little gestures all the more because of it.  

(Fireworks ended up being kind of traumatic because there was an accident so that the fireworks others were setting off shot at all of us who were sitting in its line of fire. I won't share more for the sake of privacy, but we did end up with a trip into the ER and the injured party is recovering now and should be fine.  All of my girls were safe, for which I am endlessly grateful.  Bottom line - be safe in your fireworks plans every year and take every precaution for safety.)

We were so thankful for the happy memories that we got to make with friends and family that evening surrounded by beauty and nature and music and laughter.  Happy Summer.  💗

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

pleasant surprises


I am so amazed when I think about all the natural beauty we are surrounded with here in central Washington.  We can drive just a fairly short distance and reach oceans, mountains, plateaus and prairies, glaciers, river gorges, waterfalls, and more.  Today was a day off for Jesse so we hopped in the car and drove an hour and half to the Columbia River and planned to visit a museum I had known about but never really researched.  I was so pleasantly surprised by the experience!  Since we were able to get in free because our library provides a free family pass to the Maryhill Museum of Art (which meant I really wasn't sure if it would be that great since free doesn't always equal stunning), it was well worth the plan and if it was a bust we'd just head further down the Washington/Oregon border to some little hike or something.  No hike needed.... the art museum was incredible, housed in a mansion atop the Columbia Gorge, right above the river rushing by below.  The museum had a big variety of exhibits, but our favorites were the Native American articles from all over North America; Plateau tribes, Coastal tribes, California tribes, Southwest tribes, Inuit tribes.  The collection of baskets and baby boards and tools and photographs was beautiful and I wished I had more time in there but the kids were getting antsy.  I had no idea there was a pretty large collection of Rodin sculptures as well which was my other favorite.  Many of his plaster casts were there which was fun to think about - practice models for the marble work later.  There were also several Greek artifacts from several thousand years ago!  The grounds contain several outdoor sculptures and a picnic area, so we enjoyed relaxing in the grass and since I am recovering from a sinus infection, I rested while Jesse took the girls around to see the sculptures.  It was a sweet day and the girls were sad to leave. It was quiet and calm with no crowds, and we really only got through half of the museum or so, so another trip is in our future.

While I rested I worked on my newest knit:  a little short sleeved shirt (pattern: Sorello) for Millie in some gifted Fancy Image Yarn yarn from a sweet reader here.  Isn't the yarn stunning?!  I am thrilled by the bright vibrant colors as they unfold in each row and Millie says, "Oh mom!  Is that for me!!?"