Archives for the month of: January, 2013

Elwha-exhibit-Banner The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is currently hosting an exhibit called
“Voices of the Elwha” which explores the various people and cultures that are being affected by the removal of the two dams that crossed the river and largest watershed restoration project in our nation’s history.

This is a National Historic Park located at Pioneer Square in Seattle.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, which runs until April 29, our kids and the Lower Elwha Klallam group of dancers, singers and drummers performed at the museum. Our kids participate in this group and were excited to take part in the performance.

regalia owls

It was too dark to photograph at the museum performance, this photo was taken at the Heritage Center

We arrived at the exhibit early and things were quiet so they had a tour given by the Park Rangers. They played a treasure hunt game and were rewarded with “Ranger Badges.” The next day they decided to play “Ranger.”


Ranger Seneca


Ranger Raven

The museum itself tells the story of the excitement, hardship, joy and disappointment of the gold rush. It was particularily interesting for me as I had just read a story from that setting, TRUE GOLD by M. M. (Meg) Justus, a fellow quilter.

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park is FREE (our favorite price) and we and our kids certainly recommend it. It is an indoor exhibit, perfect for a winter afternoon.

I still love to play with dolls. I like to dress them and arrange them and make up little stories to go along with them. And I am not alone, there is yahoo group of doll people who are fans of an American doll artist and creator, Wendy Lawton of Turlock, California. These people have become friends and we see each other from time to time at doll conventions around the country. Each month we have a theme and we create photos or stories to go with the theme. January’s theme has been “Favorite Season” and I put sweet Patty in the nursery, waiting to go outside to play on a warm spring morning, wearing her little knit sweater.

patty right

Waiting to go outside to play

I have been helping to coordinate prizes members donate for the monthly drawing and I was surprised and thrilled to receive a beautiful hand crocheted chrstening dress for a tiny doll from Wendy Lawton as a “thank you.”

Jafry in the christening dress

Here are some of my other photo entries.


Joy on the 4th or July


Bobbsey Twins with my childhood story book


A walk in the woods


Playing paper dolls


Red Riding Hood meets the wolf


Ready for Trick or Treat

Dolls give me platform for play, which I think more adults could use. Or maybe I am just a grown-up kid.

This week I learned about macro-invertebrate, tiny creatures that can live in rivers, while on a field trip with Raven’s fifth grade class to the Dungeness River. We found many different types and I can identify several, my specialty being stoneflies. They are one of many signs of a healthy environment for salmon. We were out in the cold for a couple of hours, actually in the river part of the time. It took a days for me to warm up. The field trip was financed by the Dungeness Rive Audubon Center, an organization that writes grants so all fifth graders from Port Angeles can participate. This organization actually provides many opportunities to learn about the natural environment on the Dungeness River.

Raven is ready to see what kinds of creatures are living in the river.

Raven is ready to see what kinds of creatures are living in the river.

Recorders ready to collect data

Recorders ready to collect data

field trip along the river

We lined up along the river to check water temperature and oxygen content of the water.

field trip read for action

Creatures will swim into the net to be identified and counted.

field trip collecting samples

Creatures are collected from a small grid of area.

Identifying and Counting the Creatures.

Identifying and Counting the Creatures.

Considering the number of little creatures found that can only live in clean water, the temperature and oxygen content of the water, and the size of the rocks and gravel in the river bed, it was concluded that on that day in that spot it was a healthy environment for salmon.

Great Wolf small feet right

Ted and I had a weekend of foster parent training at Great Wolf Lodge while the kids got to go to Kids Camp there, and play in the water park. We got some good ideas about how to handle difficult behavior and it was nice to share with outhers who live with challenging kids. One of the hard things to implement is to learn to avoid saying the word “no” which often does bring on a tantrum. So we are practicing. We all enjoyed the water park in the evening.

Ted and I also got a little “alone” time which is a treat!


great wolf lodge

ear rings

I was lucky to find my true love early in life and in honor of that I like to wear heart-shaped earrings for a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day and then from time to time throughout the year. Today I got out my little collection and most looked pretty dingy. They are silver and probably have never been polished. I got out the silver cream which was actually pretty dry and caked, but it shined them right up. The two at the top are missing their mates, but I am still hunting. Meanwhile, don’t forget, Valentines Day is coming!


Our first granddaughter, Susie, turned 35 two weeks ago. She spent a lot of time with us when she was little, she lived with us when she started school here in Port Angeles. She lived many places in her childhood and we visited her in South Carolina, Kansas, and Korea. She is a special girl and when I was corresponding with her about her birthday she mentioned that last year she had created a list of 35 random acts of kindness she wanted to accomplish before she turned 35.

I asked for the list and received it with the list of what she actually did and the result or reaction. I won’t share the entire list today but I hope you might be inspired to include a few “random acts of kindness” into your lives.  I am.

little susie

3. Tell someone how much they mean to me.
This was an emotional one. I talked to a friend that was going through some hardships and thought it would be great to let her know what she meant to me and that she is NEVER alone. I got all teary eyed but it was good.
4. Leave a large tip when I go out to eat.
My mom and I were eating breakfast out and we had an exceptional server, which is unusual these days. I asked and found out that all the servers kept their own tips. The bill came to $18.69 and I left her a $100 tip. I didn’t stay to see her reaction.
5. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee.
I went to Starbucks drive through to grab coffee and paid for the car behind me. Somehow the car caught up with me and the driver honked and waved with the cup of coffee in her hand. That was cool!
7. Bake goods for the local firefighters.
I was thinking of baking some cookies myself but I was afraid that they would not eat them as many people don’t feel safe eating what radnom people make. So I went to Costco and bought an apple pie and some pastries. I dropped them off and the person who took them was really grateful. I hope I conveyed how grateful I am for the job they do each day.
8. Let someone merge during rush hour.
Easy as pie.
10. Compliment a stranger on what they are wearing.
Again, very easy to do.

I have picked my favorite from her list of 35, I’ll write about some of the others later, but you get the idea and know why we feel lucky to have this wonderful granddaughter.

Susie laughing

These women have known each other for over 60 years. We went through school together, raised our kids together, shared the joys and frustration of family life, health issues, careers, and marriage. We all like to cook and when we gather once a year, eating is a major activity. We also enjoy quilting and crafty projects and have created some lovely things at our at weekend retreats.

There were 10 of us plus one who lives in Arizona and participates in our email group. This year two died and when we met over the weekend, memories were shared of Mary who died in August and Joan who had hoped to pariticpate in the retreat but died last week. These very old friends were missed.

There is something very special about sharing memories of teachers, camping trips together over the years, children’s escapades and lives challlenges in general with friends who have lived through those experiences with you. We are very lucky to have this group.

Quilting is an activity we have shared and Glenna made this quilt top for a great granddaughter due to arrive shortly.

Glenna's quilt

Studying directions after breakfast

Sandy flashes her lovely smile

Jeanne and Merrily share a quiet moment

<a href=””&gt;Jeanne and Merrily

Pat has encouraged Raven’s violin study and they played a duet for us.

<a href=””&gt;concert

An uninvited visitor made an appearance


Yesterday I was able to spend nearly the whole day quilting. I started with this basket of scraps.

smaller scraps

And when I finished it was too dark to take a photo, I had to wait for daylight today, but this is what I had—very satifsying!

pinwheels and block sewn

I was also able to finish the back of the Christmas quilt I bought as a kit, on sale, after Christmas 3 years ago. Then I broke my arm and for a year and a half I wasn’t able to sew. Last summer I began the applique for the snowflakes, a big job, and finally for the back I cut strips from my stash of Christmas fabric, Ted helped. I’ll put it aside now and sandwich and quilt it next fall.

Christmas quilt backChristmas quilt

AND, I finished the blocks for a block exchange that don’t need to be turned in until the end of February, I am way ahead– Does the pattern look familiar? It is the same one I used for the scraps. What fun.


It takes a long time

A dear friend gave me this sign, it hangs at the end of our kitchen.  She always laughed when I introduced her as my oldest friend, we have been friends since 4th grade, over 60 years, and that is a long time!

She died last night.  She had a long fight with cancer and it finally won.  She was amazingly strong and positive through the battle and she faced death with dignity.  She said she wasn’t afraid, she knew there were good things coming.  She chose her time and had her family around her.

It is stormy today but the sun came out while I was driving on an errand.  There was a rainbow and would you believe the end was right above her house—

What do you do on rainy weekend day? The answer is “projects,” of course.

We bought these old chairs about 25 years ago and have been using them in our dining room. The canning is giving out and having done some canning before, we ordered a bundle of cane and yesterday Ted began the project. It is slow going but he is making good progress.

chair reduced ted and chair reduced

Someone posted a photo of a sewing machine made of Legos and Raven set out to create one–it turned out very well and my little dolls like it. Raven even found a piece of fabric for it to sew.

Lego sewing machine sewing machine creator

I was given two bags of fabric that I was told were scraps. There were lots of “scraps too small to save,” but I was thrilled to find many pieces of hand dyed fabric which I washed and ironed yesterday. The “giver” assured me they were colorfast and I found no evidence of bleeding, I am now at the stage of planning projects.   On to sewing!!

small scraps reduced size Washing and ironing