A Lake in the Olympic National Forest

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You may have wondered where I have been. I have been on a road trip that began the end of June. This photo is my favorite photo of the entire trip. You see, my grandchildren are the silhouettes on the two piers. It was a lovely place and a calm beautiful evening. The crescent moon and the north star hung in the sky as the tiny lake waves lapped against the beach. I wish we had been able to stay there a couple of days. When you’re on a road trip, it’s hard to not plan ahead and give yourself the authority to stay an extended time, especially when you are caring for two little ones.IMG_1004With all that said, we drove through California, Idaho, Washington, cruised into Alaska, stopped in Victoria, drove through a different section of Washington, Oregon, and California to get back to Graeagle so the kids could go kayaking. I’ll be filling you in on the places we went in the coming weeks. What I want to leave you with today, is this photo of Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Forest in Washington. If you ever get the opportunity to go, do it. It is an amazing slow-paced place. It’s a bit like going back in time and there’s nothing wrong with taking a deep breath and slowing down a little now and then.

Tea Time

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It took me a couple of weeks to put this posting together.  I needed the assistance of my grand-daughter.  She was staying over and took Great Grandma’s childhood dolly and chair and moved it from upstairs to downstairs for a party.  We ran out of time so I put the dolly (she calls her Jasmine) on the chair and moved her to the side of the living room to wait for the conclusion of the party.

Dolly Play

Dolly Play

I knew my grand-daughter would be back later that week and I went in search of the tea party set.  Dolly was waiting when she arrived and the tea set was on the dining room table.

Preparing for Tea Time

Preparing for Tea Time

She was delighted to see the tea set and quickly moved Dolly to the family room.  She set everything up and started to play.  She suddenly turned to tell me that she had forgotten something upstairs (off she ran)…….I thought I knew what it was and I was correct……

Teddy Bears Tea Party

Teddy Bears Tea Party

Dolly had invited some of her best friends to have tea and play along.

I do so love watching my grand children play.  It takes me back to younger, less encumbered days.  I encourage you to find your own escape with a friend.  One of my favorite things to do, is to leisurely spend time with people while having a picnic.  I suppose it is my grownup tea party of sorts.  Go out and do something fun with someone you care about.  Life really is too short; we should spend as much time as possible with the people we love and cherish.

Go seize today or at least make plans for this weekend.

For the Young at Heart

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my father and how he never seemed too enthusiastic about that holiday.  Really, he wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about any holiday.  You never would have found him making seaweed hearts in the sand.  (I would have loved to have seen that.)

Seaweed Heart

Seaweed Heart

We’ve been looking at a single story house this week and I’ve been going through some of the stuff that we have acquired with the thought that we have too much junk to move.  Now is the time to unload it.  In doing so, I’ve come across the tetherball that my father had kept for so many years.  He liked playing tetherball on the old pipe pole that he had made by putting cement in an old tire.  It was one of those things that he couldn’t part with.  I wonder what memories, seeing the flat ball, brought back.  He certainly never talked about it.  The ball is now in my garage, and what should I do with it?  His memories were his and my memories of playing the game with him are still quite vivid in my mind.  I’ll have to give this some real thought. 

Heart of the Anemone at the San Francisco Farmers Market

Heart of the Anemone at the San Francisco Farmers Market

While my mind is sorting through this dilemma, I thought I’d share this flower that I found in the SF farmers market last weekend.  It had been raining the day prior, but the morning was clear and we had brunch down by the pier.  It was a lovely morning with all the sights and sounds of the city.  Do go out and have an extra special Valentine’s Day this year.  Do something fun and memorable!

 

Old Oak

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I was out on a walk the other day and stopped to watch the cattle gazing on the hillside near my home.  I do so love cows!  I’ve loved them since I was a child on High Street in Santa Cruz.  We lived out in the country and there weren’t many people around.  The cows always came to the fence to entertain me.  Truth told, it was myself who was trying to entertain them by singing silly made-up songs.  This shot reminded me of those days as a child in the hills of Santa Cruz.

Afternoon Grazing

Afternoon Grazing

I have another memory of an old oak tree that was up on a hill in Soquel, CA.  My friend and I used to cross the large field at the top of the hill and ride on a branch that hung low enough to the ground so our feet could push the limb up and down.  We’d pretend that we were riding horses.  She loved horses and I loved cows.  Life was so simple then.  

I do so hope that you have a simple and lovely 2015!

 

Winter Sunburst

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My Backyard Mandarines

My Backyard Mandarins

We were shopping at Whole Foods last weekend and came upon this recipe that I just have to share with you.  It was a rainy day and the recipe looked like something refreshing.  It gave us a delightful taste of winter.

Satsuma Jicama Salad

serves 4

Ingredients

2 satsumas

1 medium jicama, peeled, cut into matchsticks (great place to get out the mandoline slicer)

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced and cut into half moons

2 limes, zested and juiced

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

Directions

Segment the satsumas: cut enough off either end until you see orange flesh, not the white pith.  Cut the skin off around all sides.  Over a bowl with a small knife, go between each segment and gently cut them out.  Toss satsumas segments into a bowl with jicama, radishes, lime juice and zest.  Garnish with chili powder and cilantro.

Now, this is the part where I tell you how I handled this…..

I peeled the satsumas and cut each segment in half.  I added 1 avocado cut into small pieces and added fresh prawns (cooked and chilled) cut into quarters.  

There is no oil in this recipe and it is delightfully refreshing.  You could sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds on the top as well.  You can change it up anyway that you would like, but it is really good just as it stands.  (Cuties, Mandarins, Cara Cara Oranges, all would work for the citrus.)

1 of 4 Remaining to Savor

1 of 4 Remaining to Savor

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Centering

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Somehow, with all this swirl of change embedded in my life, I have failed to keep up on the practice of Yoga.  I don’t know why this became the one thing that I couldn’t seem to find the time for, but it has worked out that way.  This photograph of the poppy is a bit like my life.  It all looks good and vibrant, but it is a little off-center.    

Delicate Poppy Center

Delicate Poppy Center

Today, I am pledging to get fully back on track, Yoga and all.  You see, although the photo is beautiful, there is a piece of it that doesn’t exactly fit.  It’s not about being perfect; it’s about the  feeling we have when we are centered.  It brings you a strength and peacefulness, the very things that I am always searching for.

Navigating Peace and Forgiveness

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Last evening I went to a group grief session.  I’ve never done anything like this before but I thought it might be helpful going into the holiday season.  We were asked why we were attending and I was the only one that answered with the thought that I was searching for peace and forgiveness.  As I was listening, I found it interesting that I was the only one looking for these things.  It made me think.  I have been searching for peace my entire life and finding it around every turn.  I can find peace in the simplest of things, for instance, Stanton Lanier creates songs and plays the piano in the most soothing of ways.  It’s quite peaceful.  Taking my grandchild for a walk and stopping to watch the Cormorant fishing in the pond, watching the birds fly as we approach them, greeting the doggies along our path, are things that bring both of us delight and a calming peacefulness.  Everyday we are greeted with a sunrise and left with the beauty of a sunset.  This sunset made me think of my mother last weekend while we were stuck in traffic along I-80 near Dixon.  What a lovely way to be stuck in traffic.  Mom always liked a good sunset.

Peaceful Sunset

Peaceful Sunset

I think that I have the peaceful part of what I am searching for realized because, it surrounds me everyday and everywhere I go, all I need to do is look for it and be aware of it when I see it.  Searching to find forgiveness is the tricky part.  I don’t often need to find forgiveness but I realize that it is an important part of finding peace and joy in my life.  It is interesting that those people who I feel I need to forgive seldom even notice that something is askew in the relationship.  I have come to find that there are times when I simply need to accept them for who and what they are.  I can not expect them to be anything other than who they are.  I forgive them for being themselves and just figure that it is all they have to give.  I know these things but implementing this idea proves to be a struggle for me.  I need to find a solution so I can move on with the peaceful part of my life.  See, peace and forgiveness are intertwined for me.  I must remember to immerse myself in those moments of discovery and beauty.  It is there that I can bathe in the glorious act of acceptance and forgiving.  

I hope all your sunsets this week are exquisite.