One Season Following the Other

 

 

We did have Thanksgiving.   We really did.  It just came so quickly after Halloween and was quickly overtaken by the Christmas season.  I just want to slow everything down. Take one day at a time. Savor each moment.  Remember why we celebrate.  Spend time in prayer.  Go out into nature. Play with the dogs.   Knit.  Sit quietly and just be for a time.

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I was lazy this year and used paper plates and plastic glasses. My excuse was that then we would have time to spend time with family, play games and not be in the kitchen all afternoon.  We had ten to eat and way too much food.  I am going to have to rethink my portions and how many leftovers I want to have. The dogs and chickens got some special treats after Thanksgiving.  We really could not eat all the leftovers and it’s hard to freeze salads.  I still cook for twenty or thirty and there are never that many around our table.

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The boys modeled their turkey hat.

We played “Say Anything,” which is really a fun game for everyone.

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Gobble. Gobble.

Then it was time to decorate for Christmas.

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Out came the Christmas quilts and pillows.

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“Light” the fire.

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Set up the tree.  Every year it is fun to find the ornaments we have put up year after year.  I bought a couple of new ones this year, but most are decades old.

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I love our tree.  I don’t always enjoy putting it up and decorating it, but it is always worth it when it’s in all its glory.

Our town has a Festival of Lights every year. This year there was a Christmas village with vendors and games for children and a magician.

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We took our two youngest grandboys.

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First we took them to the indoor playground. It was packed with children. This is a climbing thing that all the kids seem to love.  It looks scary to me, but the children were climbing on it like little monkeys.   It’s a long way up there.

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The magician performed and made a little girl this hat from balloons.   He also pulled a scarf from my grandson’s sleeve. I asked him if he knew it was up there and he said, “No!”

Then we went outside and waited for the parade to start.

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The Cheer Guild was giving away cups of hot chocolate.  My grandsons enjoyed that.

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Santa made an appearance.

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Then the parade began.

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A vintage Coca Cola truck all decked out in lights.

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So many pretty, lighted floats.

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And what do you know?  Santa appeared again.  The end of the parade.  There were fireworks, but we were all hungry so we decided to drive out of town and get something to eat.  It took so long to get out of the parking lot we got to see some of the fireworks.

It was a fun night.  Only nineteen days until Christmas. I plan to enjoy and embrace every day.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hither and Yon

Another eventful week.  Veteran’s Day morning was spent at our youngest grandboys’ school where there was a Veteran’s Day celebration.  I had to get up way before my wakeup time, but I managed to do it. How did I get up so early for years and years?  Getting kids ready for school.  Sending David off to work and sometimes me just getting home from work.  When I cleaned our church years ago, I would go in at two o’clock in the morning and clean until I had every bit of that church clean and come home in the late morning and go to bed.  It really messed up my sleeping schedule.  I am finally on an eight or nine hour a night sleep schedule that seems to work well for me.

Anyway, this isn’t about me sleeping.  It’s about the Veteran’s Day celebration.  All the veterans were met at the door and asked to wait to be seated in the cafeteria.  The rest of us went to get seats.

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This is our daughter, the mother of our youngest grandboys.

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The veterans came in.  I think David was the oldest one and probably served longer than any of the other men.  Thirty-seven years in the army National Guard.

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There he is again.  Or is that Santa Claus?  That little boy is thinking, “I’m sitting right in front of Santa Claus!”

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This is the school principal. They make them young nowadays.  She gave a little talk and introduced the veterans, the pianist and this boy who played taps.  He goes to the school.

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Taps always sends a chill down my back.

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The children who had a veteran there were asked to come stand with them.   Our two grandboys there.

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Although they don’t look too thrilled to be there, our daughter said they were real excited about the day.

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Each class sang a patriotic song.

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One of the songs they sang was Amazing Grace.

The younger classes had made cards for all the veterans and David got a handful.

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This is the  one our grandson made for his grandfather.  It is hanging on our refrigerator.

We walked through the halls of the school looking at all the things on the walls.  It always amazes me how talented children are.

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This wall of quilts  caught my eye.

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This was quite a project.

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Minions always show up when you least expect it.

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It was a very nice morning, but we had places to go and other things to see so we said, “Good-bye,” and off we went.

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David at the wheel, we were going to northern Ohio to a Folkart and Antique show.  I read about it on Facebook a while back and said I would like to go, so we went.

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Over the rivers and through the woods.

To a tiny town called Peninsula.  The show was held in this building.

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Inside were lots of beautiful handmade things.  All kinds of treasures and a few antiques.

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I bought this in honor of our next president.

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And this because I collect Santa Clauses.

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And this because the man who had the booth literally put it in my hands and said I needed it.  Like two heads, but I bought it.

Because sometimes serendipitous things happen to us, there happened to be an estate sale in town.

 

At this log cabin.

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On this busy street.  Ha.

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Plus the log cabin was for sale and all its contents.  It had belonged to an antique dealer who was quite the collector of primitives.  The cabin was stuffed and everything was for sale.  And this was the second week they were doing it.

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Signs telling us we must behave ourselves.

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See that green chair in the corner?  It was twenty dollars and I am crazy about old chairs, but we didn’t buy it.  We went back the next day to see if it was still there, but it had a sold sign on it.  Always buy something when you first see it, because it will probably be gone next time. Oh, well.

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This room had stacks of really old, but beautifully kept quilts.  There were so many things to see that I forgot to take many pictures,  but it really was amazing what one man can collect in a lifetime and now, it’s all being sold.

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There was a forgotten little garden outside with the cutest picket fence.

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We saw this sign while driving around.  Thought I might try making one like it.

After we were finished at the cabin, we looked for some other antique stores and quilt shops.  We were directed to the town of Seville, Ohio by one quilt shop owner who told us there were a lot of antique stores there.  And wouldn’t you know it? Another serendipitous moment because all the stores in town were having a pre-Christmas sale! And, yes, there were several antique stores.  Really good ones. With good prices.

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Ummmm?

And here are some of our treasures we purchased.

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Vintage Christmas tablecloths.

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Vintage sewing paraphernalia.

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Cute little clothespins with a clothesline.

 

 

 

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Vintage children’s books.  I love the graphics in them.

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A Jim shore Santa Claus at a VERY reasonable price.

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Some of the stores even had pretty bags.  I am not throwing this one away.

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We got this little lampshade back at the cabin, I forgot to show it.  But isn’t it adorable and only one dollar.

Tired and hungry we ate at this restaurant that night where I had the best penne pasta with Alfredo sauce and shrimp that I have ever tasted.  With crusty bread, it was a very delicious meal.  They also do carry out because the night before we ordered food at our motel and I had a wonderful turkey sub sandwich which was so big, I could only eat half of it.  We brought it home and the dogs had a real treat with the rest of it.

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Anyway, this was a really good restaurant. Good service too.

So coming home the next day, we took mostly back roads.  We saw a sign that said, “covered bridge,” so of course, we had to check it out.  Remember the Big Cedar?  We drove and drove and drove and David said, “This isn’t going to be like the Big Cedar and nothing is going to be there, is it?”  But, there was a perfectly nice covered bridge and several people were there.  Men were fly fishing in the river going under it.  We walked across it and spent some time taking pictures.

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We were surprised that the fall colors were still so brilliant this far north of us.

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We’ve traveled many roads together.  Some of them have been bumpy and hilly and some have been smooth, but we have been over them together and that is all that matters in the end.   It was a wonderful trip and I really hated to see it end knowing we won’t be going anywhere until next year, but we have such wonderful memories.

Hope you are making memories or remembering fond things in your past. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Autumn Happenings

It seems like when Summer is over and school starts, the year speeds up and there are so many things to do and places to go.   With five grandchildren, there is always something going on that we grandparents must attend.

Every year about this time my three older grandchildren’s school has grandparents’ days.  One year we went to the elementary, middle school and high school to attend for all three.  This year we only went for two days, for the middle school and the high school.

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Every child in my  grandson’s class had made a poster for their grandparents. This is the one our grandson made.  I thought it was very appropriate.

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We attended classroom activities and chapel.

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There was an election for mayor and our grandson was in the running.

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I always take pictures of their lockers so I can use it for blackmail when they are older. Ha.

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I love this boy.

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He is so much fun to be with.

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I see this picture and think, oh, my, he’s taller than me now.  He was just a tiny boy a few days ago.  I always tell him he reminds me of my father and tell him I hope he grows up to be just like him as my father was a very wonderful man.

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The next day it was the high school’s grandparents’ day.  These are my two oldest grandchildren and the tallest one is not the oldest.

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The school was putting on Sound Of Music and our granddaughter designed and painted this sign for it.

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We are very proud of how talented she is.

We took them both out to eat and spent a nice time with them.   Love how nice it is to carry on a conversation with them.  They are not ones to sit and say nothing, that’s for sure.

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Next we had Halloween, Thanksgiving and a birthday all on the same day since three of my grandchildren will be in Chicago for Thanksgiving.  So I asked the grandkids to dress up.  This is a Blue Man and a Wizard from Harry Potter.   The other one is dressed like a teen-ager.  I don’t have pictures of our other two, but one of them was dressed as a prisoner in a black and white striped suit and the other was dressed as a policeman.   They were so cute.

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I had made a birthday cake for the boy in blue. He requested my chocolate chip applesauce cake for his birthday.  He had already blown out the candles, so I asked him to re-enact it so I could get a picture of it.   Our younger grandson thought this was funny!

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I’m getting ready to paint our kitchen.  I don’t know why I do this, but every time there is a holiday, I think I have to paint something or rearrange something.   You can’t really see this yellow very well, but it’s really pretty. David said I just picked this color because it had the word, “chick” on it.  Maybe.

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Next up was the musical.  Sound of Music.  One of my very favorites.  I had been singing the songs from it all week and was so excited to see it.

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Our granddaughter played one of the nuns. “The grouchy one,” she told me.

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Here’s our son with his daughter.  He was in several musicals in high school and in college.  It runs in the family.

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The orchestra tuned up.

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A sold out crowd.

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The whole play was so good. There are some really talented young people in that school.

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Maria being dressed by the nuns for her wedding.

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Some of the nuns.  There were a lot of them.

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“Climb Every Mountain.”  That song always brings tears to my eyes.

I always look forward to the musicals at this school as they are so professionally done and of course I am not a bit proud of my granddaughter’s parts in them.

This week we are going to our two youngest grandchildren’s school where they are going to have a veteran’s day program.

We have some other plans, but I will tell you about that in a later post.

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Nothing like the pure blue skies of Autumn.

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And nothing like a hot cup of mocha latte with whipped cream on top.

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With birds feasting at the feeder.

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And knitting socks with beautiful yarns.

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I’ve finished a pair with this yarn.  I have become a sock knitting machine.

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Time to get out my Jim Shore Harvest Angel.

Time to pick the last roses of the season.

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I wish you could smell this rose. It is from one of David’s grandmother’s rosebushes that we dug up and brought to our house after her house was sold.  This has that old fashioned rose smell that is so wonderful.

 

I hope you are enjoying Autumn.  It goes so fast just like every season.  So wrap your arms around it and take pleasure in each crisp, lovely day.  Soon, the snow will fly.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Riding a Train

It had always been a dream of mine to travel on a train.  I’ve taken day trips on trains, but never slept on a train. I thought it sounded so romantic and fun.  Watching old movies I have seen people traveling on trains, sleeping in the sleepers, eating luxurious meals on white table cloths in the dining car and singing songs on the train.    People in those movies wore suits and dresses and hats and seemed to know exactly how to deport themselves on a train.

Well, it’s the twenty-first century.   The train station in Chicago was big and there were long walks carrying our luggage to get to the ticket booth.  Thankfully, there were redcaps who put our luggage on carts and took us to the train or we would still be wandering around trying to find it!

People don’t dress up on the train anymore.  Shorts, tees and jeans were the usual wear  A lot of younger people.  I felt overdressed in a nice top and black pants.

Eating on a Train

Breakfast and lunch was on a first come, first served basis.  I only ate one breakfast while on the train.   You had to make a reservation for dinner.  They said we could pick when we wanted to eat, so when the man came around to get our reservation we asked for 5:30.  ” Oh, no, you can’t eat then,” He said.  “We have 7:30 open.”  Well, since we didn’t have a choice we chose 7:30.  When your time came they would announce it and you would go to the dining car. A walk through several other cars. You would lunge from left to right walking down the aisles of the Coaches hoping you didn’t fall into someone’s lap.  You finally get to the dining car and a very arrogant man with his nose in the air actually snaps his fingers at you and says, “Come, come,” and you run after him where you are sat at a table with complete strangers who are sitting just a few inches away from you.  Thankfully, we were sat with a very nice couple and she and I talked to each other while the men ate.  They were from south of Columbus, Ohio.   The man who waited on us was very nice, but I noticed the man  who had snapped his fingers at us(who I started calling “the Jerk”) waited on people like it was the last thing he wanted to do.  The whole time we were on the train every time I saw him I would tell David, “There goes the Jerk.”  He always seemed to have a smirk on his face.  Anyway, I ate three meals in the dining car.  One time we ate with two ladies who were from Defiance, Ohio where my older brother lives.  They didn’t know him.  They also missed their connecting train because our train sat on the tracks for several hours letting freight cars go by.  It was one’s first train ride and she said it was going to be her last.   I didn’t blame her.  But it wasn’t as glamorous eating on a train as I thought it would be. I just kept waiting for Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, and Rosemary Clooney to come into the dining car and sing “Snow” from the movie White Christmas.

Taking a Shower on the Train

The shower on the train was just down the aisle from our sleepette.  I could not go a whole day without a shower, so I bit the bullet and decided to try it.  Our car attendant told me to be sure the door was completely locked as there had been some people startled in the shower because their door was unlocked.   I did not want that to happen.   I opened the door to the shower and gulped.  How was I to take off my clothes, shower and put clothes back on a semi-wet body?  It was smaller than any closets I have in my house.  A small seat piled with soft, fluffy, white towels, Hm, that was nice.  A little basket full of soaps which smelled very good. That was good. So, I carefully locked the door, checked it twice and proceeded to get ready for a shower.  Once undressed, I turned on the shower. Cold water.  I adjusted the handle. Cold water.  Well, I was undressed and really wanted a shower so I took a cold shower.  Very quickly.  As the train rocked and rolled, so did I in the shower, but I managed to get washed.  Then I had to get out and try to towel off as best I could.  I kept bumping into things, but finally I was ready to dress. Ever try to dress in a two by two foot space?   It’s not easy, but I did it and I did it three times while riding the train.   Thankfully my other two showers I had warm water.

Walking on a train

When we took a trip to Alaska on a ferry we learned how to walk on a boat without falling down. Most of the time the ride was pretty smooth and we could walk very easily, but at times the sea was rocking and so were we.  People would walk like drunken sailors.  Well, on the train, you pretty much walk like that all the time.  Lunging back and forth as the train rolled along.  We had to go through several cars to get to the snack car where we purchased something to eat when we didn’t want to eat in the dining car or to the lounge car, where we sat and watched the scenery go by.  We walked through the coach cars where people who didn’t have sleepettes would be laying across their seats covered up sleeping.  I really did not want to fall into one of their laps.  You learn to sway with the cars and hold on to anything you can grab to keep yourself upright.  When we got off the train, David said his legs were still walking like he was on the train.  It took him a day to get his “land legs” back.  Same thing happened to him on the ferry. It took him a couple of days to walk right on land.  It didn’t bother me at all.  I was just glad to get off the train.

Sleeping on a Train

I always thought that  sleeping on a train would be so relaxing and fun.   To get ready for bed, first we had to pull the two seats together to make a lower bunk and then pull down the upper bunk. Poor David slept in the upper bunk because he can sleep about anywhere.  You are given two very thin blankets and pillows with hardly any stuffing in them.  We didn’t know you could ask for extra blankets and pillows the first night. We got ready for bed.  I wore clothes to bed because the bathroom was down the aisle and I didn’t want strangers seeing me in my pjs.  That first night I froze all night.  I didn’t know we could turn on a heater.  I heard David snoring above me while I tossed and turned.  Thankfully, I had my Kindle with me and could read.  I watched the stars and just lay there listening to the train wheels clickety clack.   I will tell you the second night with extra blankets, the heater turned on and two pillows, I slept very well. Maybe if we had been on the train for a third night I would have slept like a baby.   It wasn’t like sleeping on the ferry, though, where I think I slept the best I have ever slept with the boat rocking gently and being in a warm cocoon in my little bunk.  It was heaven.  Anyway, sleeping on a train was an experience and I hope I haven’t made anyone not want to try it.

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This is my last post about our trip.  Next, Grandchildren!  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Little Towns and Up a Mountain

We continued our drive up the Olympic Peninsula.  So many beautiful sights.  Not much traffic, which we love. At times we seemed to be on the road all by ourselves.  Coming in the off season made our trip much more enjoyable.  I am sure in the Summer the highway is much busier.

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This is Juan De Fuca.  It is connected to the Puget Sound.  This scenery reminded me so much of Alaska, so if you cannot get up into Alaska, you might like this trip up the Olympic Peninsula. This view actually looked exactly like the view we had in Wasilla, Alaska from our motel and just two blocks down the street was Sarah Palin’s house.

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Just to prove we were there together we did a selfie!  I look at this picture and think,  “Wow, is my man handsome!”

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We drove out the northeast tip of Washington and found this little town  This fish character was in town also, wearing athletic shoes.  Here she is wearing skates.

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A little town far from nowhere.  Of course we drove around it.  Not much there and it was hilly, but they sure do have a beautiful view from any of those houses.

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Views like this.  I could live here.  It’s cool and mountainous and there’s water.  Everything I love.

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On we drove. If you are a hiker, there are all kinds of trails to take in these woods.

Then we came to Port Angeles.  A beautiful town right on the water.

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Views like this all over town.

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But t was getting late and we had miles to go before we slept so we drove on.

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Past little general stores. We stopped in and this store had everything one would need.  Since it is probably the nearest store for some people, it’s a good thing they do.

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Past things like this.  People are wonderful to provide us with these things to see.

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We saw a lot of these signs all over.  I was pleasantly surprised.   And that is all the politics I will talk about!

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We reached our destination for the next two days, Port Townsend.  Who wouldn’t love a town that has bunting across its streets?

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And gorgeous Victorian houses everywhere.

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And whimsical things like this. Shoe forms used as yard art.

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I couldn’t get enough of these houses.

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Then I met this man on the street while we were shopping.  He had what was called a
“free speech corner,” where signs of all different political persuasions, religious beliefs and no beliefs were written on boards for all to read. I thought you could pay to write your own sign, so I was going to do it, but when I got to him, I found out he wrote them all.  I talked to him for a while.  He was really interesting.  We talked about Jesus and free speech and why do people get so angry with each other when they disagree.   He had a sign I really liked, but because I know it would probably insult people, I won’t put it here on my blog, but you can find it on my Facebook page.   We are in a time in our country where free speech is being squelched and I believe we need to guard each other’s speech, whether we agree with each other or not, because to lose our free speech would be a tragedy.

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Of course I shopped and we stopped in at this perfectly darling little garden store.  It was set right in a corner and was tiny inside, but packed with lots of wonderful things.  I bought a calendar and a rooster towel.  We shopped in several other stores. There was a great bookstore and a store with outdoorsy clothes that I loved and bought some Christmas gifts.  I could have stayed in this town another day or two, but we only a few more days before we were to get back on the train, so after two days we set off for Mount Rainier.

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David had reserved two nights at this lodge.

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It was a typical lodge with a fire in the fireplace and big comfy chairs to sit on with antlers and deer heads on the wall.  Sorry for the deer.  David said this was the quietest place we had ever stayed in.  And it was true.  You didn’t hear many people talking. Of course that might be because there were just six rooms filled the first night.   Off season, you know.

After a good night’s sleep we drove to Mount Rainier.

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They were working on the roads.

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Through more tunnels.

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Fall foliage in all its beauty. Up, up we went.   Out my window, it was straight down.  We have driven up Mount Rainier two times before, but always during the Summer. This was a whole different experience.  Very little traffic.

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Fog in the mountains.

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There’s David right by a cliff again.  He flirts with danger.

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Past mountain streams.

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It was getting chillier the farther up we went.

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Past glacier fed rivers.

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Up, up. My ears were popping.

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Yes, we were down there.

Then we were high enough that there was snow!  They were expecting from one to five inches that night.  Probably a good thing we drove up when we did.  We might not have made it up another day.

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It looked like a Christmas card.

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Made me so glad we have snow in Indiana.  I love snow.

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Always on the look out for bears, but we saw none this trip.

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There’s that handsome man again.

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I would love to have a house on a mountain facing the sea.  With a field of horses and five dogs and all the chickens I want.

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Which reminds me we saw this Road sign.

Down the mountain once again we ate at this restaurant.

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Everything had bears on it. The napkins, the walls, etc. The food was very good.  We also ate at this lodge during our stay.

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There was only one other couple eating  there.  The food was good, but I think the server was new or just very nervous.   But he did a good job.

We ate  at one other place at the foot of Mount Rainer at another lodge where we had the best blackberry cobbler and ice cream.   We also had chili and chicken and rice soup.   They know how to cook in Washington.

But, vacations must come to an end and we had to drive up to Seattle to  meet the train heading east.  We stayed in the town of Snohomish.  David and I both want to come back there with our car because they had such wonderful antique stores.   We couldn’t take all we wanted to buy back on the train.

Our final day was spent in Seattle where we found a yarn shop where I bought more yarn for more socks.  Then we ate at a Cheesecake Factory before we headed to turn in our rental car and get to the train station.  My next post will be about riding and eating on the train and taking a shower on the train.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking the Big Cedar

On up into the Olympic Peninsula we drove.  It is so beautiful there.  Forests and mountains and rivers and mossy trees.  You can imagine a Sasquatch walking in these forests.  I really would not want to spend the night in them!   The landscape reminded me a lot of Alaska.

We kept seeing signs for Big Cedar.  Now we have seen the Sequoias and I don’t think any tree could be as big as they are, but, hey, there was a big cedar waiting to be seen so we decided to see it.   Finally we saw the road off to the Big Cedar and we parked and walked about a half mile back into the forest.   We met a couple coming from the opposite direction and asked them if it was a Big Cedar?  “Pretty big tree,” one of them said, but I thought I saw a smirk on their faces. so we continued on the path until its end and this is what we found.

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Yes, a big, DEAD, Cedar!   At one time it ruled these forests, but not anymore.  We laughed and went back to the car.  Well, it was a good walk, anyway.

So on we drove when, “What?!?  Another sign for a Big Cedar.  Could there be two or did we just get fooled?   So, of course, we followed the road back to this Big Cedar. Five miles.  We drove and drove. I wanted to turn around and go back, but David was determined to see the Big Cedar.  We passed one car coming from the opposite direction and I wondered if it was the same couple and if they were laughing at us for driving to see the Big Cedar.   Then we came to the end of the road.  There was an old wooden path and a bridge to the Big Cedar.  This is what we saw.

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Another almost dead tree standing there in the forest with two crazy people looking at it.  Did I hear laughing somewhere?    Well, it was a good drive and a good time to stretch our legs.

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At one time this tree was magnificent, but it’s seen better days.  I had bought a post card to send to one of my grandchildren that had a really big cedar with a man standing by it. I think it might have been this tree in the fifties.

So, on we drove.  With glimpses of the Pacific.dscn4011

Isn’t it beautiful?  We do have a grand and glorious country.dscn4008

David almost took a tumble at one of our stops when he stepped on some loose rocks at the edge of a cliff.  I was thinking I would appear on the ID channel as a wife who pushed her husband off a cliff to get her inheritance.  It really did scare me, though, because we had no cellphone reception and cars were few and far between.  I pictured me trying to get down the cliff and get David back up all by myself.   I really wish he would not get so near cliffs.

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Since watching Treehouse Masters on tv, I have been wishing for a tree house.  Now this is a real tree house we found along the way.

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Isn’t it cute?     We had more to see and a motel to find so onward we traveled. More my next post.  Bye.

 

The Northwest

David and I arrived in Seattle, rented a car and off we went on our adventure in the Northwest.   We couldn’t wait to get out of the city.  We are not city people.  We headed toward the Pacific Ocean where we had a motel for two nights at Ocean Shores, Washington. Being that is was off season it was not very busy in that area.

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Our room faced the ocean side and this was the sunset we saw our first night.

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There was a beach if you wanted to walk about a mile through bushes and beach growth and wonder if there were snakes around.   I don’t think this beach path has been used for years.

Instead we drove around the town and did some shopping and sight seeing.

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You know you are in a beach town when there are sharks and seahorses around.

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There were cute little shops and this was my favorite one.  They had so many things I would have loved to buy if we had our car and weren’t going back on the train.

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It was cute on the outside and the inside.

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I bought this  bottle of hand soap just because I liked how pretty it was.

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Suddenly we started seeing deer.  Deer everywhere.  I had noticed a sign outside of town that said no hunting.  I guess the deer knew this.

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Does and this little fawn.

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And these gorgeous boys. They were smaller than our deer here in Indiana.

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“Aren’t I handsome?”  He was not at all afraid of us.

Everywhere we turned, we saw deer.   Then we decided to drive onto the beach.

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We had it almost to ourselves.  Just a few people.

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I love the ocean.  There is something wild and wonderful about it.

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We ate at this place one time.  All the locals seemed to like it.  You cannot go near the ocean and not eat fish.  Well, David didn’t.  He ate a hamburger.  But I had cod and clams and it was good.

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The water was so cold the fishermen wore warm, waterproof clothes to fish in the water.  They looked like they were freezing.  I walked in the water and it was icy.

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One of my favorite birds.  I have seen sea gulls on both coasts,  the gulf of Mexico,in Alaska, and in the Virgin Islands.  They all fascinate me because they are so aware of everything around them.  Drop a crump and suddenly you have twenty or more flying around you. I don’t know how they know when food is around, but they always do  They act solitary until food is around and then, bam.   Every bird for himself.

We left Ocean Shores for the Olympic Peninsula.  We didn’t get up there the last time we were in the Northwest and I always hoped to get back.  It’s about a three hundred mile loop around it so we decided to take three days to drive it.

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There are lodges all around it. We stopped at this one to eat lunch.

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How cozy is this?  It was chilly out and a roaring fire in the fireplace was just what was needed.  Big, comfy couches and chairs around it.  Wish we had stayed here.

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As it was off season, there were a lot of empty tables.

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We were seated right by the window and could look out at a beautiful lake and at birds eating at the bird feeders.

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We learned this was a Stellar Jay,  not unlike the blue jays in Indiana.

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This was our view while we dined.  All the Adirondack chairs waiting for people to come sit and look at the scenery.

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Anyone could be a Sasquatch.  Just put your face in the hole.    Sad to say, we saw no Sasquatches while in Washington.

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Maybe next time we will stay at this lodge.

We continued up the peninsula in search of the Big Cedar.   That will be in the next post.  Stay tuned. Bye.

 

 

 

Westward Ho!

David and I took a trip the last couple of weeks.  We decided to take the train to Seattle, Washington, rent a car and drive the Olympic Peninsula and visit Mount Rainier.  We began our journey by driving to Chicago to meet the train.  Let me tell you.  Union station needs to modernize.  Once you park your car in their garage, you have to haul all your bags that you packed(with clothes I ended up never wearing)  to the station through hallways and up stairs. The people who worked there couldn’t have been nicer. We were put in a lounge for all the other sleeper car people where they had finger foods and cold drinks and even wine if you wanted it.  We didn’t.   Then they called us and asked if we needed a redcap who would take us and our baggage to the train.  David chose at that time to head the wrong way and I was heading the right way and I had to put down my baggage and I ran shouting to him like a crazy woman, down a hall, that he was going the wrong way!    He was in the line with the people who were walking to the train and it was quite a far distance to walk.  Finally got him and we got on the little cart and the redcap took off like a bat beeping her horn sending people scurrying out of our way or get hit.  I am glad we didn’t have to walk to the train because we would never have found it.   It was a good distance from the lounge.

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Chicago was foggy that day.

 

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We rode the Empire Builder.

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In the sleeping car.

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This was our home for two days and two nights.  A pull out bed and a bunk bed.  Yes, we are crazy.  It was cramped, but we managed. One of the rooms down from us was just a little larger and four big men were all sleeping in there.  I don’t know how they did it.

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We read, did fill-in books, and played Solitaire on our computer.  We did not have internet on the train.   There was a lounge car, but it really wasn’t as comfortable as our own little room.  So I spent a good bit of time in it with David bringing me ice, water and crackers.  I called it my “train diet.”

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We ate in the dining car.  Well, David did mostly because I didn’t like their food that well.  I will write a separate blog about eating in a diner on the train.    This is my plate.

 

 

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This was David’s. He really liked the steak dinner they served.  It does look like he licked his plate!

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This was our car attendant going out.  Connie.  She’s getting married next April.

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We rode through our beautiful country.

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Through flatlands and hills.  Mountains and by lakes and rivers.

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By woods where the trees’ leaves were changing color.

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The weather was glorious.

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Then we got into Washington state.  This is the Puget Sound.

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There were egrets every few feet it seemed and lots of sea gulls, one of my favorite birds. Some people call them flying rats, but I just love them.

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It got cool in our little room  so I put on my hand knitted warm socks.  You knew I couldn’t write a blog without mentioning knitted socks!

We arrived at our destination, rode a taxi to the car rental and got our car for the drive of our life.  Will tell you more about it in the next blog. Bye.

 

 

I’ll Be Back

I have a zillions things to talk about, but I have been kind of busy the past several days.  So much has happened and I have seen so much that I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Getting on a train for a long journey in a little while, so see you on the other side.  Bye.

Saving a Bird

Okay, I don’t have any pictures today because I have been too busy to take any.  I went boating with my daughter’s family and didn’t take the camera.  Went to two of our grandsons’ soccer games and didn’t bring a camera.  Maybe my next post will have pictures.  I don’t know. I’ve been living in the moment lately and too busy for pictures.

Anyway, today I went outside to fill the bird feeders.  We have this metal one and a bird had gotten its head caught in it the other day and I managed to slip it out and free it.  Today I went out and once again another bird had its head stuck.  I worked and worked trying to get that bird out, but it was still stuck, so I went inside and got some cooking oil and rubbed over as much of the bird as I could and tried to slip its head out, but it was still stuck.  The only thing to do was take apart the bird feeder.  Now this feeder is metal and put together very well.  I took the lid off and used a screw driver to try to loosen the area where the bird’s head was.  That bird had its head wound around in there so tight, there was no getting it out without completely dismantling the feeder. So with screw driver I pried and pulled at that bird feeder while continually talking to the little bird telling it I was trying to save it.  I was also doing a good deal of praying For God to help me.  He must have been having a good laugh in Heaven, because He wasn’t that quick to help me.  I worked on that bird feeder for over an hour trying to pry it apart. I kept checking on the bird and it kept blinking its eye at me.  I then went and got some pliers to see if they would work.  They did a little better than the screw driver, but still that bird’s head was stuck.  Then I remembered the wire cutters David had so I found them and began to snip at the metal around the bird’s head while telling it I was really trying very hard to get it loose.  Finally, after much prying, pulling and snipping the little bird’s head got loose and it took off flying so I knew it was okay. Wonder how it explained to all its friends how it got oil all over itself!

But my day of saving birds had not ended.  We have this circular bird feeder that the birds eat from the bottom. I went to fill it and yes, another bird had its head stuck.  I got that one out pretty quickly, but I got rid of that feeder too.  Then, I went to get a watering can and there was a dead bird inside it all moldy.  What are birds doing around here.  Committing suicide?  Or are they just so greedy they stick their heads wherever they think they can get more delicious birdseed?   I was just about done with birds by then.  I was almost afraid to go out and feed the chickens for fear one of them had stuck her head in something, but they were all okay.

That’s all I have for today.  Feed the birds and hope they don’t get their heads stuck.  Bye.