Sunday, May 31, 2015

Around the Northwest, A Visit to Cashmere

 A few weeks ago while on retreat in the mountains we had a couple of hours of free time so several of the ladies decided to make a quick trip into the little historic town of Cashmere, WA.  Nestled in the foothills east of the Cascades and surrounded by fruit orchards, Cashmere is a quiet place that is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the Bavarian tourist town of Leavenworth just a few miles away.  

 The first place we stopped to visit was the Aplets & Cotlets factory and Country Store. I didn't think to take a picture while we were there, so I had to borrow one. These candies are shipped all over the world. If you would like to see how they are made you can go here.  No tours were taking place that day, but there were samples to be tasted and a number of ladies decided to pick up some goodies to take home.                                                                               

Those of you who have read C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, will recognize this confection as Turkish Delight.  Although I'm not really a fan of the taste, I think it looks very pretty on a plate.

 Upon leaving the factory store, we began wandering down the street, stopping to look in the little antique shops along the way.  

It was there, in one of those little shops that I spied this carousel horse.  I have always loved carousels, watching them spin round and round as the prancing horses glide up and down the poles to the sound of the music.  In fact, I have several little carousel horses as well as music boxes packed away.  This has inspired me to think about bringing them out again and putting them back on display.

As we continued our stroll along the street we discovered this bakery.  There's me reflected in the window taking a picture.  It seemed like a good place to stop and take a little break.

There were lots of delicious looking goodies to choose from.

As we waited our turn to be served we found this basket filled with Bunnies made from bread.  The shop had made them as Easter decorations.  Aren't they cute and clever?

 After our break, there was just time to hurry across town to check out the Pioneer Museum. 


But after a quick consult, we decided there wasn't enough time to check it out properly and we decided to head back to the retreat center.  So that was our short little jaunt into town.  Hopefully we will be back for another retreat weekend and another opportunity to stop by for a visit.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Car Show

Americans have been in love with their automobiles since Henry Ford first made the Model T, available to the average working man in 1908.  It changed the way Americans lived, worked and traveled.  As time went on, bigger and faster cars came along, roads were paved and by the 1950's that phenomena known as car cruising was at its height. Clear up through the 70's Small towns all over America were filled on Friday nights with cars cruising up and down their main streets.  The small city of Everett, WA was no different.  And while those cruising days have quietly disappeared, every year on Memorial Day people come from all over the state to show off their cars.  The city has grown and the cars are parked now.  The roads are thronged with people instead, but the memories are present and stories of cruising glory are shared with complete strangers as everyone enjoys a look at automotive history from days gone by.  The Investigator and I were a part of the fun as we took a stroll along Colby Avenue in Everett this afternoon.


 There were people as far as the eye can see all down the avenue, as well as the side street all the way down to the bay.
There is The Investigator heading towards the old woody on the right.  He used to be a surfer boy in his high school days and before moving north. 

Here he is  posing in front of this Chevy Camaro,  similar to one he owned when he was in the service.  I think I am married to a pretty handsome guy.

 The Investigator could just about name every type of car there.  I just took photos of the ones I thought were either unusual looking or painted pretty colors.

 Here was a car that could be driven on either land or water.  Just think, you could drive to the lake, into the lake, drop anchor and go fishing and then drive home, all without leaving your car.  Pretty cool.

Of course, car cruising wasn't complete without car hopping at the drive-in restaurant, having your order of burgers and a shakes brought to you by a server on roller skates.

 That was all just a little bit before my time but these skates did remind me of when I got my first  pair of shoes skates for Christmas when I was ten.  I loved them.  I skated in them until I finally wore them out.

Here is your classic "Gangster" car.  Can't you just see this roaring around the corner with a man hanging out the window with a tommy gun in hand and sirens blaring behind him?

 The Investigator was pretty impressed with the "First Aid Kit" fastened to the back.

But of everything we saw today I think this was the car that he enjoyed looking at the most, a 1950 Chevy painted the same color and looking almost identical to the 1951 Chevy which was his very first car in high school.  It brought back a lot of good memories of cruising around town with his buddies.

So that is how we spent our holiday.  How about you?  Do you remember your first car?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Garden Planter

 I got up at 7:30 this morning, sent a quick email, and immediately headed outside before I had even had a cup of coffee or tea.  I wanted to get a start on the weeds in the back flowerbed which have been catcalling to me for the last couple of weeks.  Five hours and five large bags later that bed is cleared.  So now after a nice hot shower (bliss!) and some lunch I am ready to share some photos of a garden project my husband put together last year.  I promised to share these with my friend Connie last fall so Connie this is for you.

Let me set this up by saying that we were at a local fair with my mother a couple of years ago when she spied some garden planters made from wooden ladders which she fell in love with.  She really wanted one but had decided it wasn't something she could get at that time.  So, when our children returned this old wooden ladder they didn't need anymore my husband decided to make it into a planter to give her for Mothers Day.  He took some scrap lumber he had in the garage and built a planter box which he attached to each step.  Then, he used some cabinet door handles he had kept from when we replaced our kitchen to make handles on the front of each box to look like drawers. My mom loved it.  She had it stored for the winter and now we have placed it in her back yard all newly planted for the summer.  It looks cute.  Knowing Connie, she would probably paint it some lovely bright color but my mom likes a more rustic look so we left it as is.  Although,  I think I will put some kind of a sealer on it in the fall. 

It's going to really look spectacular once the flowers begin to cascade over the sides.  So what do you think?  Should we leave it rustic, stain or seal it, or paint it?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday, A walk through a Spring Garden

I'm not really much of a  gardener in the true since of the word. Oh, I have sort of played at it over the years, cutting, pruning and pulling weeds when the mood strikes, but rarely with the dedication my garden probably deserves. That's why I am always so amazed when spring comes and I am surrounded by all this color and beauty. I took a stroll around the garden the other morning.  After several days of spring rain everything looked so bright and fresh;  rich greens and pink petals all combined into a glorious portrait of color.  Let me take you on a little blossom tour.

 This first picture is of the cherry trees in the field behind our yard.  Even though it's not really part of our property it's the first thing I notice every morning as I look out the dining room window.. 

Looking out the front kitchen window is our Golden Chain tree.  Isn't it lovely?  My husband has never liked it, and over the years I have had to threaten him whenever he has considered cutting it down.  I think it's beautiful when it's in bloom. I remember how our kids loved to climb in it when they were little.

 I think the red leaves of the Japanese Maple make a beautiful foil for the yellow blossoms. 

The contrast of texture between the white blossoms and the shiny leaves of this shrub are striking.  I don't remember what it's called, some kind of a mock orange, I think.

This is beginning of the rhododendron season. This bush is right next to the house,  Aren't the colors on these blossoms exquisite?  Look at all the detail on each petal.

Moving around to the back finds us at one of my favorite spots, under the dogwood tree.  The tree was only about four feet tall when my husband planted here the first summer we moved in .  Now it's about 30 years old.  It has suffered some damage from when the big house behind it was built but it's still a beautiful tree.  The brilliant reds of the rhododendron are striking as well.


 And we mustn't forget the apple blossoms.

There was just one lone blossom left on the pear tree.  Most have already come and gone...
 leaving behind the beginning formations of the fruit the tree will bear by summer's end.

Last but not least, are the lilacs, almost forgotten behind the garden shed.

  How can one one not be thankful surrounded by so much beauty?  And the reminder that after the dark winter, spring always comes.

See how the lilies of the field grow.  
They do not labor or spin
Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these
Matt: 7:28-29