Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Other things that happened in 2010

Celia and Keith returned from Japan in early May. Celia brought me a Kimono! I don't know how to put it on, of course; that is a complicated process.

Shortly after their return, we hosted a get together for some of the people who had supported them in some way while in Japan. Celia prepared several Japanese specialties.

The family was together on Mother's day. Pretty special for Mom. We followed a long standing tradition of visiting the Arboretum.

At first, Celia and Keith thought they would be living in Vancouver, but didn't feel right about it. After a lot of prayer and thought, they moved in with us, on the upstairs floor. Thus began a long process of relocating and selling furniture we had no room for. For a while our entire garage was filled with the overflow.

Many have asked what Dan is doing in retirement. He has enjoyed experimenting with new recipes on his nights in the kitchen. The one below is quite creative... it is called Army base stew - it originated during the Korean war as a use for the ingredients scavenged from the army base.

He has been very active in musical groups, including the Continuo Ensemble, where he plays his baroque guitar, Matteo, and performs opera. Often tenors play the comic female, and he played a nursemaid in a recent opera. I took lots of pictures, but I'm saving them for bribery.
Dan and Allen, our neighbor, purchased a really big planer, to use for planing wood that they cut down in our yards. I think they are trying to look like woodmen in this photo.

We took a couple trips in the summer. Below are some highlights from our trip to the Kootenay region of Canada. It was a multi-adventure tour, including hiking, biking, canoeing and soaking in mineral springs.

Huckleberry picking near Snoqualmie pass - we picked about 6 quarts.

At our yearly Chili Cook-off, Celia's chili won a prize this year!

Dan took a trip to Mexico this fall with his brother and sister in law. He is checking out a vihuela at this store, which he ended up buying - and altering, to make it sound better.

Originally, I was to go as well, but my parents were going through a very difficult time at that point and I needed to be here. They have moved twice since May. They were in need of more care, since they both have dementia. The last few months have been very demanding and difficult for my brother and me. They are settled now, and seem to be doing pretty well at their new home. Changes are especially hard for those with dementia, so I am grateful that they are adjusting.

About this time, we started up KidREACH again - that's the after school tutoring program we are doing at our church. This year we are adding a second day, so every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon I am having a blast with a bunch of elementary aged kids and their tutors. I love doing this - providing extra support for kids, helping them to succeed in school, and loving them like Jesus does - it's my passion.

We had a visit from Dan's cousin, David. The weather was miserable the day he was here, but we had fun doing some indoor things. We went do dinner at Salty's and he enjoyed the view. We all did.

I love it when the snow falls early and the leaves are still on the trees. This snowfall happened before Thanksgiving.

We spent Thanksgiving with the Craig family - all of us together for the first time in a long time. We ate at Mom and Dad's assisted living community, Aegis Lodge in Kirkland. The food and service were exceptionally good - not institutional at all.

Dan and I and Celia and Keith had the opportunity to sing at the Christmas luncheon at the church. We sang several four part a Capella pieces, and Dan and I sang O Holy Night, with Celia singing one verse in Japanese. Celia and Keith played Ave Maria on piano and cello. It was very well received. Nice to have a musical family!

This Saturday we do our last Opus 7 performance of the year. It is such a joy to sing with such great vocalists.

Celia and Keith are spending Christmas with Keith's family in the midwest, and Colin is spending Christmas with Jiayun, his girlfriend, in Texas, so we decided to go away ourselves. On Monday we leave for Costa Rica.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More from California

Add Image...and ate dim sum in china town.
We met our longtime friends, Sheila and Jeff in Monterrey.

Quite a site to see... and to smell.

The next morning we were all up bright and early to go tidepooling, since low tide was at 7:00 am. Near where we explored the tidepools was this lighthouse which is behind dunes and well inland.
The rocks were quite slippery with kelp, but none of us fell.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Visit to the California Coast

The first day of our road trip was a long day on the freeway, listening to The Life of Pi on CD to keep us alert. We cut over to the coast at Grant's Pass. Shortly after arriving in California, we encountered the Redwoods. We just had to take a few minutes to walk a nature trail through an impressive grove.

I don't think they harmed any trees making this road...
On our way to the campground, we enjoyed some beautiful color over the ocean.
We spent our first two nights camping at Prairie Creek State Park. This is the park that contains the official tallest redwood - 379 feet. We didn't see it, but we did have a fun bike ride on small roads and trails, through the trees and along the ocean. the highlight was fern canyon.

After leaving Prairie Creek campground, we stopped at Patrick's point where we hiked along the coast and looked at the tidepools.

While at Humboult State Park, we took a long hike through the largest continual grove of Redwoods. Lunch was set on a large redwood over the creek. After about four hours among these huge trees, we felt very small, and our necks hurt a bit from looking up so much.
This is the coastline where Highway 1 begins. It's a slow drive, but who would want to go fast?
While staying at McKericher State Park, Dan went shopping for redwood for a guitar top. We learned that the most resonant guitar tops are made from redwood "sinker" wood, which comes from a log that has been salvaged from the bottom of a river or ocean.
This is where we ate lunch in Mendocino. The photo is taken from the deck where we ate. Not too bad. Mendocino has one of the most spectacular settings on the coast. Nice shops, too. There was a yarn shop...

Note the sea lions on the rocks, not an uncommon sight along this stretch.

One of the crazy roads along the Sonoma coast. It doubles back on itself a couple times.
After a week on the coast, we went inland in Sonoma County. We found the wine tasting especially nice in the Russian River and Alexander Valley areas. It wasn't crowded, so we were able to ride our bikes through really beautiful countryside. I enjoyed the gardens that were often found on the grounds of the wineries. Below, we are in the cave at Bella Winery. It was really cool, literally.

Currently we are in San Francisco, where we have taken a tour of Chinatown, eaten our way through a farmer's market, and visited Fisherman's wharf.