Archive for July, 2008

Give Me Five Monday – Fun Childhood Summer Vacation Memories

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
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Becca, of BeccA’s Buzz asks us to list

Five fun summer vacation memories from my childhood:

  • I enjoyed the summer recreation program at the school. That was Apache Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona. In the room which did double-duty during the school year as the auditorium and cafeteria, various stations would be set up for such things as board games, four-square, and ping pong (table tennis). I remember walking to the school, and staying there most of the day.
  • We had the most beautiful and large outdoor swimming pools in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. I recall taking swimming lessons a couple times. I was terrified of swimming for a while, but then learned to love swimming underwater, along the bottom of the pool. It took longer to become brave enough to jump in, and then to learn to dive in. Once again, I sometimes walked to the pool, in the Arizona sun, and would return home quite sunburned. Once the pool was evacuated because of a dust storm. By the time everyone was out of the pool, vehicles had to have their lights on, the brownish-yellow sand and dust was so thick.
  • I enjoyed picnics and camping trips that we would take to Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff is at an altitude of 7,000 feet. The typical summer temperatures there are between 82 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Compare that to Scottsdale’s 106 high and 76 low typical summer temps. I can remember highs of as much as 120! You can imagine what a relief it was to travel from the burning heat to such a temperate climate, travelling with the car windows rolled down.
  • When I was 13, my family moved to Campbell, California. For fun we would go to Sunset Beach, south of Santa Cruz, California, where we would cast sand candles in the damp sand, and go swimming in the ocean with our dog, a Newfoundland/German Shepherd mix. She had webbed paws and LOVED to swim in the surf.
  • I loved doing things with my two best girlfriends during the high school years. We would go on long bicycle rides, go to one another’s homes to hang out, once we went to San Francisco’s Chinatown, and we would play music together (One girlfriend played violin and I played the flute.).
  • Just one more: During the high school years, I enjoyed taking extra electives during the summers. I remember taking a homemaking class that would be considered advanced by today’s school standards. I sewed a tailored shirt that summer, as well as a pleated skirt. I took a typing class another summer. To practice typing, I typed up a thick book of favorite recipes that summer! I still have that old binder and use a few of the recipes.

The Story of a Sign

Monday, July 21st, 2008

My brother sent me the link to this short film, The Story of a Sign, by Alonso Alvarez Barreda. This film was the winner of the NFB Online Competition Cannes 2008.

The movie has beautiful music, and almost no talking, but really gives you something to think about. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Some Summer Poetry

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

The writing prompt this week at One Single Impression is REST, submitted by The Manic Gardener.

I suppose I can blame the Stream of Consciousness for taking me from REST to RELAX, which brings me to SUMMER, a season which I find particularly relaxing. Summer in the Pacific Northwest will be the subject of my poem.

I’m trying a new poetic form this week – Sestina – about which I’m inordinately excited! Using this form reminds me of playing Scrabble and Sudoko. If you’re interested, here is the link to the Wikipedia article about Sestina, and how to Do It Yourself. If any Sestina experts out there want to set me straight on any poetic faux pas I may have committed, please speak out!

With that introduction, I am pleased to present


After the cold drizzle of winter, I desire summer

When spring foliage deepens to a darker shade of green

And the beauty and buzz of nature bids me relax.

Sweater, jacket and scarf can finally be shed in all this warmth.

Encouraged by the lovely weather, I want to play

Even if that occasionally means playing in the rain.

In the Pacific Northwest, though, we don’t mind rain;

Yes, we have overcast days and drizzles, even in the summer.

Best of all though are blue-sky days, when billowing clouds play

Across the sky, pulling their shadows along the green

Earth beneath them. “Partially cloudy” warmth

With a light breeze can provide the best setting to relax.

During these lazy days, a park is often where we relax

With a covered shelter (Just in case there’s rain.).

For barbecued burgers with the fixin’s you don’t need warmth,

Though warmth helps; after all, it IS summer!

Kick the soccer ball; toss the Frisbee across the grassy green;

Put up the volleyball net. It’s time to play!

There’s more to do during these summer days than play;

Until the chores are done, it’s difficult to relax.

(I mean chores dealing with the super-abundance of green.)

The grass and the weeds grow faster with this rain.

The rototiller, the mower and the weed eater make the sounds of summer.

This necessary work is made more pleasant by the season’s warmth.

When our children were small, summer had a special warmth,

The warmth of my enjoyment as I watched them play

In their bush-clump forts, where they adventured through the days of summer.

As a special treat, I’d serve them lunch outside, the routine relaxed.

Up on the porch they would shelter, when it rained,

Which it sometimes did in their playroom green.

During summer – this season sometimes balmy, but always green –

I find it difficult to remember chill and ice. A deep warmth

Saturates my being, body and soul; I don’t dread the rain.

Being accustomed to this climate, we continue to play

And work during the inevitable drizzle. “Relax!”

We tell new-comers: “This is a Pacific Northwest summer.”

A summer season here, with the sun shining through green

Leaves, is a time to relax, in appreciation of long-absent warmth,

A time to continue with our work and play, even in times of rain.

Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I found some YouTube music that I really like. These ladies, Nancy Koch, Lynn Noel and Diane Taraz sing with the Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society:

The Bellingham SLAM Basketball Team are the winners!

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Tonight we had a great time cheering on our local minor league basketball team, The Bellingham SLAM, as they battled The Elkhart Express for the International Basketball League championship. Initially, the SLAM seemed intimidated by the Eastern Division champs, but, after an exciting and hard-fought game, our guys claimed the victory, with a final score of 118 to 111.

Most Valuable Player is currently a toss-up between two of our favorite players, Paul Hafford and Tyler Amaya. Our SLAM coach is Rob Ridnour, father of Luke Ridnour of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics.

For stats on this exciting team, check out their website. (Added on 7/19/2008: Here’s a link to a Bellingham Herald article about the game.)

For more information about the International Basketball League, check out this article on Wikipedia.

Thursday 13: Favorite Fast Foods

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

(This header was made by Thoughts Out of My Head.)


Thirteen Favorite Fast Foods (or “junk” foods):

  • Mocha Moo Latte (Dairy Queen)
  • Fish Sandwich (Dairy Queen)
  • Curly Fries (Arby’s)
  • Jamocha Shake (Arby’s)
  • Cheesy Gordita Crunch (Taco Bell)
  • Nachos Bell Grande (Taco Bell)
  • Little Caesar’s Hot ‘n Ready Pepperoni Pizza
  • Papa Murphy’s Chicago Stuffed Pizza
  • Papa Murphy’s Gourmet Vegetarian Pizza
  • Costco Chicken Caesar Salad (from the Food Court)
  • Subway Sandwiches (Italian BMT; anything, really)
  • Costco Mocha Freeze drink
  • Sour Cream and Onion potato chips (no particular brand)

3WordWednesday Tanka

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The prompts this week for Three Word Wednesday

  • History
  • Narrow
  • Spent

In response, I present you with this tanka:

Small kindnesses shown,

Mundane works oft’ repeated,

Days spent quietly;

The history of my life

Would fill a narrow volume.

Ten Memorable Vacation Moments

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Yano at Ten on Tuesday
has asked us to list Ten Memorable Vacation Moments:

  • When I was growing up we lived in Phoenix, Arizona. I loved traveling north to Flagstaff for picnics. My brothers and sister and I enjoyed trying to notice when the flora changed from cacti to evergreens. We never could tell, exactly; the changes were that gradual.
  • The first time I saw the giant redwood trees and sequoias in California as a child was memorable. Our own children enjoy our drives through The Avenue of the Giants now.
  • My first time going to Disneyland at the age of 12 was a memorable vacation as well. I only wished that the lines to the rides weren’t so long.
  • When I was a freshman in high school, our marching band was invited to perform at – Disneyland! Afterwards came free rides. Yay!
  • We love Inverness, California, where my in-laws live. We have visited there many times, and it still remains a favorite vacation destination.
  • Our favorite way to travel to California from Washington is down Hwy. 101, along the Washington and Oregon coasts. We enjoy “camping” in a yurt (think: hybrid tent/cabin) on the Oregon coast. This is cheaper than a motel room, and much nicer (fresh air, beach access, shower facilities, outdoor barbecue pit cooking, etc.).
  • I loved seeing Zion and Bryce National Parks (just over the Arizona border in Utah) as a child.
  • Driving over the Canadian Rockies, from Washington to Alberta, was a wonderful experience, for the aqua rivers, peak after majestic peak, and all the wildlife, such as mountain goats strolling across the road.
  • My first time going sailing, on our honeymoon, was memorable for romance, but also for pain. I hadn’t realized how sunburned a person can get out on the water, and I did get very uncomfortably red.
  • I started with Arizona, and will end with it. Someday I hope our children will have the opportunity to appreciate the stark beauty of the desert. I particularly remember visits to the Grand Canyon, to the Painted Desert, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, Hoover Dam (all that WATER enchanted this desert child), and the Petrified Forest.

Why Do You Blog?

Monday, July 14th, 2008

“Why do you blog?” This is the question being asked by Rebecca at Ramblings By Reba. She asks that you post the answer to this question on your own blog, and then link your post over at her blog to enter her contest. She is giving away a matted 5 x 7 print of one of her lovely photos and a $10 gift certificate. That sounds very generous to me, so here is my answer:

  • I blog to stay in touch with friends and family, both near and far. We share funny happenings, things we’re thinking about, photos, recipes . . . all those good things and more.
  • I blog as a creative outlet, participating in such things as Give Me Five Monday, Ten on Tuesday, 3 Word Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen, One Single Impression and Haiku Friday.I enjoy blogging so much that I joined the group Blog365, where we (obviously) try to blog every day of the year. 😛
  • I blog to make new friends. This happens most often through the above writing prompts, as those who participate visit one another’s blogs and comment on one another’s posts.
  • I blog to be a positive, uplifting influence to some little extent.
  • I blog to record things I might otherwise forget, which is a virtual form of scrapbooking, I suppose.

That’s about it, folks! Oh, I found out about this giveaway through my daughter’s blog. She did a much more interesting post on why she blogs, in case you’re interested!

Some Sunday Stuff

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

(I made this graphic using tools available at the site Picnik.)

This has been a beautiful, relaxing Sunday afternoon. It’s a sunny 80 degrees here in the Pacific Northwest, and Rick’s fishpond is looking especially lovely. The water lilies are blooming.

After a simple sandwich lunch (to minimize work for the mama and her helpers), Lydia, Rebecca and Debra were doing some sketching. Here is a photo of Lydia wondering why Dad is taking her picture; she’s only trying to draw, after all:

Rick and Debra also “entertained” our future son-in-law, Justin (pictures of Sarah and Justin coming soon) by reciting almost the entire Westminster Shorter Catechism. That’s 107 questions, folks, from

Question 1: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

To Question 107: What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
Answer: The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, [which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.] teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him. And, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.