Thursday, May 31, 2007

sore butt, happy heart

I took a therapeutic break from reality last weekend by going to Vancouver, BC. Da was heading north to visit old friends in Victoria, so he dropped me off at the good old Buchan Hotel.

Ahhh, the Buchan. It's old stylie, shabby chic...with an emphasis on the shabby. But it's inexpensive, clean, charming in its own way, and best of all has the PERFECT location. It's only a block from one of the greatest places on Earth, Stanley Park, and not much further to English Bay. Down the street is a stretch of eateries that could feed any member of the United Nations with authentic home cooking.

I brought my bike and a good back pack. Since my subconscious caused me to leave my cell phone in the car as Da drove off, I was without a phone or a clock for those two and a half days. Not even in my modest room was there a clock. Serendipity.

I awoke when it seemed right and I didn't rush the morning. I found the perfect spot for tea, done right, as they so faithfully do in Canada.

I biked constantly, stopping whenever something caught my fancy. The small fleece throw I had in my pack served me well for spontaneous lounging on my travels, and I also had a good mix on my ipod. I ate much sushi. And I read a lot. The Blackbelt Librarian. The Art of Possibility (which has my head spinning with yes, you guessed it, possibilities). England, England by Julian Barnes. Still slogging through that; not my fave of his, for sure. I also read a People magazine. Cover to cover. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I rode all over Gastown, even the scary parts, and I scoured the Denman--Davie area. Dig this picture of Critical Mass riding straight down Denman. They stretched for miles! I would have joined them if I hadn't recently dismounted and locked up near the library down the street. It was time for sustenance.

And may I just add, thank god for the Joe Fortes Public Library. It was via their kind guest passes and free internet that I was able to make arrangements with Da for my pick up. While I didn't have his number to call (it was in my phone), I knew he always had his pocket PC on him. The one with the wireless internet access wherever he goes. Total tech geek.

Most of all I explored Stanley Park. The big storms last winter did major damage, and a section of the seawall on the northern point is closed. The silver lining was that I took this great detour though the deepest part of the Park's forest. The trails were far more interesting and some were quite adventurous. There's still full on old growth in there, and a whole heapin helpin of earth's beauty! And critters to spare! Here's some visual proof.

This monster cedar had fallen across the trail and someone marked its age, based on the rings. You can see my bike next to it, which should give you some indication of the size of the tree.

Hard to see (click on photos to enlarge) are the blue heron left of center, and the turtles and mallard on a log below center in this picture of Beaver Lake.

I lost count of how many great blue herons I saw, but here's one on the hunt, while a duck is mid-flight, and in the distance another log of critters.

These curious young raccoons were searching under every rock in the shallows of Lost Lagoon.

Stanley Park has beautiful totem poles.

The statue Girl in a Wet Suit sits watching the tide go in and out.

This getaway refilled my well. I came back ready to allow for possibility again. -k8-

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

hey mom

Recent quotes from Rowan:

"Hey mom, didn't we descend from someone who came over on the cauliflower?"

"You know, mom, pokemons first came from monsters that could minialize in your pocket."

Saturday, May 19, 2007


My father is a scientist and a deep thinker. So I can always count on him to draw my attention to important matters of great relevance. Like this one from Japan. Be sure to watch it to the very end.

Then there's this trailer for a sure Oscar contender. Not actually from my father, but in keeping with my video theme for today. -k8-

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

beautiful day, ugly fish

Last Sunday, it was good to be the Mom. The morning began with gifts, including an excellent Kid-Made™ clay bowl and an African basket filled with goodies. This was followed by a walk through the Ballard Sunday Market to gather flowers and produce for dinner. We ate breakfast as we strolled. I had a tasty spinach crepe made alfresco.

After heading back home, Da hung with the kids and went grocery shopping for us while Tim and I took a Metro bus downtown. We were on the KEXP guest list for an afternoon show at the Triple Door. I'd not heard of this quirky, Swedish threesome, but Tim had and got us both excited about seeing Peter Bjorn & John. I can now say with great authority that they're a poppy, hipster-duffus sensation! Catchy and cool, it was a short session that left us time to walk down to the Pike Place Market. We wandered through a labyrinth and found a hidden away courtyard almost under post alley, where we enjoyed our lunch alfresco (I see a theme emerging).

After hopping the 358 back up Aurora, we walked home through the cemetery. Lots of visits to moms of yore going on there; lots of families and flowers. Back at the crib, I succumbed to a rare nap and as usual, awoke feeling like an ugly fish swimming through cloudy gelatin. Yes, it's as enjoyable as it sounds. Luckily, nothing clears away the fog quite like sipping a cup of tea in the hot tub. Just say NO to naps!

Meanwhile, in keeping with our dining theme for the day, Grill Meister Murray did some mad mixin & scratchin alfresco. Ribs, asparagus, hush puppies (no sh*t, hush puppies!), and a wild mushroom saute. Oh, and he and the kids baked a rustic apple pie-ish thing, too. Not too sweet, the way I like. With fresh whipped cream.

Why can't every day be mother's day?! -k8-

Sunday, May 13, 2007

mother's day = peace

Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation, penned in Boston by Julia Ward Howe in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage, For caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country Will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!" The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! Blood does not wipe out dishonor Nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, Let women now leave all that may be left of home For a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means Whereby the great human family can live in peace, Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God. In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask That a general congress of women without limit of nationality May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient And at the earliest period consistent with its objects To promote the alliance of the different nationalities, The amicable settlement of international questions. The great and general interests of peace.

Happy Mother's Day to all, or in other words, peace! -k8-

Sunday, May 6, 2007

end of week

It was an overly full weekend, but lots of good stuff happened, so I can't complain. Highlights:

Sarah and Bill's annual Cinco de Mayo potluck, this year doubling as a housewarming party for their newly finished dream castle in Issaquah. We all went, including Gramps, bringing the makings for Sangria (with cinnamon sticks and lots of fruit). It was an insanely packed affair. How can they know that many people?

There was not one, but two pinatas. Starting with the youngest and working up from there, Bill spun the blindfolded kids before their turn. He even allowed interested adults to join in on the 2nd pinata. I was going to volunteer, but a big strong guy got to it ahead of me and that was that.

Once candy hit the ground, Rowan became a human vacuum cleaner (though when he noticed a little girl who hadn't gotten any candy, he gave her some...very smooth!).

In the picture of Rowan, you can see Bill on the far left, Maya holding hands with her fella on the bench, with Max up high to the right. In the picture of Larkin, you can see a creative teen on the right who turned the obliterated 1st pinata into a festive mask!

L and R stayed behind at their cousins' house for the night, while Tim, Da, and I headed back to Seattle. Once we hit downtown, we drove to the Seattle Art Museum. After a long and ambitious expansion, SAM reopened Saturday morning with a public party lasting 35 hours straight and free to all. Though they had to regulate the entrance line throughout the event, we magically arrived during a lull that allowed for us to walk right in.

Though photography is prohibited in many of the galleries, I managed a few shots. It was an exciting night and we didn't leave until I'd purchased a family membership. It's so good to have SAM back again, and to see so many people as excited about it as I am!

Sunday morning we all drove east again to my sister's Unitarian church in Bellevue, where Maya was going through a Coming of Age ceremony. It was really lovely and Maya just beamed. What a beauty!

Leaving there, we drove further east to visit Mary Kay and Niko, and see their new house for the first time. It's in Preston on the Raging River. Niko was at their old house, so we didn't get to see him, but MK gave us the full tour. They have a river in their back's so awesome!

See the rocks & trees on the left side of the river? That's not the opposite shore, that's their island! Their property line extends across the river...I believe they have arrived! -k8-

Friday, May 4, 2007

me dear ol' da

You may have felt a disturbance in the force or caught the glint of aluminum or detected that certain scent in the air...that's right, Charlie's back in town!

With a few days notice, Gramps arrived yesterday for a month's respite in our driveway. As most of you know, he's been a perpetual turtle with an airstream trailer for his shell ever since retiring in 2001. This time he left all hares in his dust, traveling from Prescott, AZ, to Seattle in 4 days flat. He'd decided this is where he wanted to be, and we're glad to have him.

Note the beautiful colors and artwork inside the Silver Weenie. Also note the many aquariums behind Rowan that each house a tarantula--my father's latest interest. He's always got a new hobby going and I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.

Rita was so happy to play with her old friend, Toby. This was our first time seeing him post eye surgery. Now he's a pirate dog with a permanent wink...Arrrrgh!

On a completely different note, I was trying to take some shots of the clematis blooming on our deck. It is so breathtaking. But Tim was feeling disruptive and kept leaping in front of the camera. I threatened him that I'd post the pictures if he kept it up.

He kept it up. -k8-

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

twin falls

Our hike on Sunday to the Twin Falls in Olallie State Park was refreshing, invigorating, sometimes awe inspiring. My sister Sarah's family and our friend Dave met us out there. (In fact, it was Dave who'd originally suggested the hike.)

It was perfect for the kids, though plenty of hills and miles to traverse so we all got a workout. I really felt SPRING out there. So many wildflowers and a thousand shades of green.

The falls are something else. Pictures don't do justice since you can't get a true sense of size.

We spent some time river side having snacks and admiring the surrounding beauty.

The girls whispered away on a boulder. After a refreshing dip, Rita stretched out in the sun. Happy kids. Happy dog. -k8-