Friday, July 24, 2015


Hooray! Relief from the heat. Today it is cool and rainy. A Facebook friend was joking that's because she and her husband just had the roof torn off their house for a remodel. I also know of a co-worker in another office who has an outdoor wedding planned this weekend. So perhaps not everyone in Western Washington is greeting the rain with joy. But I am!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The weather has cooled off. I have some windows open right now and we don't need air conditioning. Huzzah.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Went to my sister-in-law's Sunday afternoon. Here she is working on a quilt.

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Looking out the window behind her, I could see some cows that belong to my niece and her husband.

They saw me looking at them, and they looked back at me.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday morning coming down

This was a favorite song of my brother Dan. He said it was the song that made him go back to church.

I'm guessing the poignant lines, it took me back to something that I'd lost / Somewhere, somehow along the way, affected my brother, and:

I stopped beside a Sunday school 
And listened to the songs they were singing. 
Then I headed down the street, 
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing, 
And it echoed through the canyon 
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

We have Sunday observance in our bones in my family. I thought of posting this on Facebook with the remark about my brother, and then I imagined one of my church friends saying, "What would it take to make you come back to church?" And I imagined myself replying, "Pray for me."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A link to a good poem

Reading Out Loud to my Father, by Jane Kenyon

Things that take longer than you expect

I went out on my deck this morning, determined to do some work since it was perfect weather--we've had a cooling trend, so it was cloudy and pleasant outside. I wanted to plant some lavender and wallflowers but thought, first I'll get rid of that box. I had a huge box full of large pieces of styrofoam, which had contained the disassembled bench my sister-in-law and niece put together for me more than a month ago. I thought I could break up the pieces of styrofoam and put them in a big black garbage bag and then cut the box down into manageable pieces. Well, it took three big black garbage bags to hold all the styrofoam, and then cutting the box up was not as easy as I had imagined. The right tools make all the difference, and I had the wrong tool--a pair of scissors, open wide, instead of a box cutter. Once I did get it cut into smaller pieces and bundled them with string and carried box and bags up to the garage, my allotted time for work on the deck was done.

I came inside feeling hot and sweaty. I remembered my mom's advice when I was a little girl and came in overheated from playing outside: Just sit quietly for a while and you'll feel cooler. (When I was a kid I hated that advice. Few things are more boring to an 8-year-old than sitting quietly, and a "little while" to my mom equaled a long time to me.) But as I sat down I wondered, What if a spider crawled up my pant leg? There had been spiders setting up household in that box. I tried to ignore the idea, but finally had to hurry down the hall to the bathroom, take off my clothes, turn them inside out and shake them vigorously, then put them back on (right side out).

Finally ready to sit quietly for a while, I thought that I would get on the internet and quickly use the program my dad uses to send out invitations for our family reunion. It's a clunky, non-intuitive, user-unfriendly site, and today it was running slower than molasses in January. Every time I clicked to the next step, it would sit for a while saying "waiting for" before moving on. After I went through my dad's address book on the site, clicking every relative one-by-one (and I have a large extended family), I went over the list of those I had chosen and realized one cousin was missing. So I went back into the address book and clicked that cousin. Well, then it thought I only wanted to send one invitation to that one cousin, so I had to go in and click each person again and get it right this time. Seven aunts and/or uncles. 30+ cousins, plus my own parents, siblings, and their children. Got it right then paid for the cards and the mailing. The site has this goofy system where you buy "points" to send out the cards, and pay dollar amounts for the postage. Got it all done, entered my dad's credit card information, and submitted the order. After spinning for some time, the site said Oops, some kind of error. I had to go back through the process again. Just about the time I'd planned to finish lunch and head over to my folks' I got the order confirmation screen and was free to start making lunch.

Well, even if I didn't get my lavender planted, I did get rid of that unsightly box on the deck. I don't have to keep looking at it and thinking I really should get rid of that. And even if I was late to my folks' I did get the invitations mailed out for the family reunion. My glass is half full. I think I'll make it a full glass...of gin and tonic.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Smoke gets in your eyes

This evening after I ate dinner, I sat down to read and immediately fell asleep. I woke up twice momentarily to check the time and be astonished that I was sleeping before falling asleep again. I'm awake now, at about 10:30 p.m., but I hope I haven't slept just enough to keep me from sleeping all night.

Meanwhile, in addition to hot weather, we have smokey skies. Large wildfires are burning in British Columbia, across the border to the north of us, and the smoke is blowing south to us. We need rain to clear the air and douse the fires.

Now, by mind association, here is a song I've always liked:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Scorched earth

Wow. It's hot. About an hour ago, my upstairs neighbor told me it was 97 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, and a Facebook friend here in Whatcom County posted a picture of her back yard thermometer hitting 100! That simply doesn't happen here. This is Lynden, Washington, not Phoenix, Arizona! Nevertheless, it is happening.

This morning, when I took my dog out, a hot wind was blowing hard. I took a picture of my lavender plants by my shed (#1 of 3 sheds). Those are lavender plants I had in pots last year, and sometime, I forget when, I planted them in this little bed by the shed. They're doing pretty well, actually. Lavender are drought-tolerant plants.

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Meanwhile it's a challenge keeping the potted plants on my deck alive in this weather. No relief is in sight. The extended forecasts show it staying hot and dry for at least the next two weeks. I'm so thankful I have air conditioning both at home and work. Most people in this area are not so fortunate. Air conditioning is not considered a necessity in Western Washington. I did read on the net that the local UPS station is overloaded with window-unit air conditioners that people have been ordering.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I ain't missing you

I saw an ad on the internet yesterday. I suppose it was for an electronic device or software. The slogan was: "Never miss another meeting." I thought, Is that supposed to make me want the product?