Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Summer's Gone

I spent my second summer in Port Townsend.  I'm afraid my blog didn't get any attention.  The WIFI I had was not strong enough to download pictures and without the pics, the blog entries just didn't seem fun or interesting.  I'm hoping I can do some "catch up" entries and recreate my summer.  We'll see.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Car packed and ready to roll.  First day is always the drive to the Motel 6 in Barstow, CA.  I've been trying to upload pictures but my wifi doesn't seem strong enough to do the job.  That is why I haven't been keeping up with my blog.

Today I decided to start writing and post the pictures when I get home to my good internet hookup.

So here goes....after Barstow, I drove to Bakersfield and got on Interstate 5 and the long, and frankly boring, drive to WA.  I stayed at Motel 6 for two more nights and arrived at Marianne's house in Federal Way on June 27th.  Next night I met up with the group of Gals from my Housing Days.  We met at the 4 Seas bar in the Seattle International District to drink a toast to Richard McIver who passed away this year. The 4 Seas was his favorite place to participate in his favorite activity, meet, greet, listen, talk and drink with his constituents.  So we lifted a glass to honor him.  "Dicky" was a friend to affordable housing in the years he served on the Seattle City Council.  It was wonderful to see so many of my friends and participate in a tribute. 

I stayed with Marianne and we went to Poulsbo to meetup with her family to celebrate her granddaughter Kayla's 25th Birthday and for me to meet Kayla's baby girl, Rooney.  It was a great family night.  Rooney is a sweet little beauty.  The weather was perfect, the food excellent and I had my first "Lemon Drop Martini" in an ice glass.  Forget the birthday cake, it's Lemon Drop Martini's from now on!

On July 1st I took possession of my summer home.  The little studio cabin I stayed in last year.  It is just as delightful this year as it was last.  I have a neighbor who is a writer from Colorado.  Andi is writing a book about her experience of having her house burn down and what happened before and after.  She has a sweet little "Mexico rescue dog" named Nellie.  Both good neighbors.

On my first weekend in Port Townsend, I left to go to Lummi Island to meet up with a small group of friends from my High School Class of 1960.  That weekend deserves a full entry so shall close for now and try not to be too frustrated about not being able to post pictures.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Working the "Before I can Leave LIST"

Well, not leave permanently, although I have a pretty good set of instruction for that too.  Want to spare my son too many decisions when I kick the bucket. 

But for now I'm just getting ready to go to Port Townsend for the summer.  The LIST is about 45 items long but I'm working my way through.  Amazing all the preparation it takes to go live somewhere else for 3 months.  My friend Sandy calls it Summer Camp and she is right on with that description.

3 months of no schedules, no responsibilities, lots and lots of free time to write and read and wander.  Actually, I used to think that described retirement!  But no, retirement is filled with "must do's"....schedules, responsibilities, and surprisingly little time to do nothing.  At least that is how my retirement has rolled out.  So 3 months of "summer camp" sounds and is wonderful.

I'm returning to the place I spent last summer when I completely fell in love with Port Townsend, Washington.  This year I have some additional fun stuff to do.  A Hawaiian style wedding in July, a get together with some friends from High School...the ones I really like.  A week "apt. sitting" in a luxury, downtown Seattle apartment....and hopefully some visits from family and friends. 

So now it is on with the LIST and only good things ahead........5 days until lift off!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Say Goodby to the Palm Tree

This huge palm tree sat in the middle of my front yard and completely blocked the view from my front window, plus blocked the light.  Then I found out critters were living in it along with bugs.  It is hard to hate a tree but let's say the Palm and I have never bonded over the five years I've been living with it.

So, when I got the mailing from a company that buys Palm Trees I jumped at the chance.  Last year Troy, the owner came to inspect the tree.  He said at that moment it had been trimmed too far up and needed to have some time to regenerate so it would survive transplant.  Troy said he would see me next Spring.....and happily, "Spring is Here" and so was Troy.  Today the tree is on a truck heading to Texas and I have a clear front yard and a little money in the bank.  The following pictures of the process will give you an idea of how big a deal it was to get this tree out of the ground and on the truck.  Most of my neighbors were out with there cameras....loving the entertainment.  I should have charged admission!

Just the beginning
Now the work begins

"Chain saw cutting a square around the tree to get the root ball out
Can you see how big the chain saw is???

This was like a huge chain saw that cut through everything and down about 4+ feet

Just part of the equipment..."Tonka Toy Time"  on steroids

Big scarey swinging hook...way to close to my house

That crane was swinging that big metal hook so close to my house, for a while I thought I might be getting a skylight

Here is comes

It coming out of the ground , pulled by that huge crane

Now that is what I cal a "root ball" even if it is square

Joining the other palms on the truck

Swinging from the giant crane

On the truck and heading for Texas

The yard is now a clean slate....I'm thinking it will have something low growing and beautiful by next Spring.

Monday, April 22, 2013

St. Augustine, Florida Visit

Dancing the night away
Girl's Just Got to have fun!
St. Augustine Cross
The Lion on the Lions Gate Bridge
Pelicans in mating season all dressed up with yellow hats.
Enjoying the Ecco Cruise
In February I flew to Jacksonville, Florida and met Sandy and we drove south to St. Augustine so I could see her new home and spend some relaxation time.  Turns out I love St. Augustine.  Sandy has a nice condo that was very comfortable and close to everything we wanted to see.  We went to a great Unitarian Church, went on an Ecco-Cruise where we learned a lot about the birds and fish and dolphins.  Ate wonderful seafood, toured historic places and went out (after dark) with some of Sandy's new friends and even ended up dancing.  It was a great trip and a great visit....If you haven't been to St. Augustine, Florida, go!  It is actually the oldest town in the United States....lots of great history and buildings to see.  So here are the pictures:
Sandy at the Hydroponic strawberry farm
Local musicians at the Farmer's Market
On  the Beach at the Atlantic Ocean
 We really had a great time.  I'm looking forward to going back for another visit.  Sandy actually lives on an Island across a couple of bridges from St. Augustine.  It is just the right place to be, close enough to all the attractions of St. Augustine but out of the tourist crush....I think she will be there a long, long time.


KLUTTER BUSTERS....Remember that name if you are ever in my area and need someone to organize a garage or an estate sale for you.  Sharon is the next "wonder of the world"!  When I came back from my summer in Washington (or as Sandy calls it "Summer Camp") I was determined to get real about downsizing.  I knew I needed help and the Universe brought me to Klutter-Busters.  Sharon came over and in 2 days had my garage looking like a boutique,bookstore and hardware store.  She was amazing.  All I had to do was get everything I wanted to sell into the garage and stay out of the way.  Here is what the garage looked like on the night before the sale.

 This is what was left after 2 days of selling.......and this is me and Sharon the Wonder Women


Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Year 2013

Looks like I skipped through Christmas and New Years and am now into January.  Facebook has kept me distracted from writing my Blog.  So I have to do these catch up entries from time to time.  January has been a long, cold month so far.  I got home after Christmas and spent New Years as I usually do, at home.  This year I at least toasted the New Year with a friend.  Progress!

The flu hit me on January 3rd and hung around for a couple weeks.  Not very pleasant but now I'm nearly back to normal and getting on with things.  During "flu time" AZ. went into deep freeze and we had temps down in the 20's and 30's.  Landscaping took a beating but I think I can save the majority of my plants.  Weather is get weirder and weirder....climate change is upon us.  This past summer in WA. I spent 4 months with only a couple rainy days....wonderful, but strange.

I've got a busy time ahead for the rest of this month.  Garage sale time.  I found a women who does garage sales as her Business....Klutter Busters.  Heaven sent for me.  Again I have filled my garage with my thrifting and garage sale finds.  Collecting  has been my hobby for years but this year I am in a state of overwhelm with all the stuff I have.  Decided to put on the shopping brakes and get as much as I can out of my house and garage.  Hopefully, in the future, I will be less inclined to drag stuff home.  I'm going to move my focus to "projects"  and do one at a time.  Easier once I can actually find my workbench in the garage.  Hurry Klutter Busters!

My work with the League of Women Voters is off to a good start.  I have organized a public presentation on Immigration reform.  It happens on January 24th and I am hoping for a good turnout.  I've managed to get my news releases sent out (flu infected, no doubt) and as a result we have received a good deal of publicity.  The panel discussion will be led by representatives from a new initiative in AZ. called the S.A.N.E. approach to immigration reform.  If you are interested in more information on this group they have a website  www.therealarizona.org

At the end of the month I am flying to St. Augustine, Florida to spend a week with my friend Sandy and check out her new digs.  She finally was able to move away from Mexico Beach, Florida and is now in a much more enjoyable and supportive environment.  I haven't heard her this happy in decades.  Does my heart good! 

My most exciting news is the publication of my first poem.  I submitted to a new art and literature magazine published in Port Townsend, WA.  They accepted and published one poem.   The magazine is called "IS TOO" and is available through www.writersworkshoppe.com   The poem is called:

Beach Walking

My foot falls on wet sand
And I sink just a little
I'm not the first to walk here
But the impressions
Of previous intrusions
Have been whispered away
By the steady ripples
Of salt water coming to shore
And retreating, leaving no sign
Of who or what came before
I hear the whisper
Of my own presence
Being washed away
And I am in wonder
At the unceasing, inevitable
Movement of the water
Moment by moment
Cleansing away the
History of this sandy shore
It makes me ask
Does our being here really matter?