Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crazy for Tulips

Hope you enjoy me transporting you to the tulips... minus cold, wind, and raindrops! Couldn't help but post a line up of these blooming beauties, arrayed finer than Solomon in all their glory, even while those close by have lost their heads and others are holding out for a late bloom.

Tulip Beauty

I told the kids that I'd take them to the tulips. We fit it in today just before a massive rain squall. The cold wind pierced through my skull, giving me a knifing headache. But all was well for the bliss of photographing tulips.

Tulip Town

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurrection Day

Father and son changed out of their festive clothes after a beautiful Sunday message of our risen Lord and His imputed righteousness that gives us life. Then Marshal and Gabe set out to improve the yard before the coming rains.
Sheba and Tigey are learning to tolerate one another. They have to, as both covet their preferred locations with their favorite people. .....Dandelions! We grow them well. I'm against spraying. I'll have to learn to take advantage of their many uses!
The lovely septic tank field in the front yard. The settled earth has been successfully leveled by Marshal's hand and seeded.
Tigey reclining in the midst of the action.
A simple meal for a special day.

Tulip Drive-by

Saturday of Easter weekend was a gorgeous cloudless day in the Skagit Valley. Everyone decided that they had to get out in the first WARM day of sunshine and see the tulips! Thousands poured into the valley off of I-5. We did a drive-by. I told the kids I'd bring them back this week in the rain, without the crowds. Marshal took us to his favorite burger stop and on a drive through the back roads of the county.
Here is a close up of a roadside bed from the car window, tulips and daffodils.

Minor AA Little Leage

Gabe is back to playing baseball and loving it. Ready position in the outfield. He was back on the pitcher's mound last week for two innings. He threw some good strikes, got one out on first, and hit three batters at the plate, who proceeded to steal home!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Admiring Sunshine on the Green

Self-portrait, looking through the glass. My mom finished knitting a beautiful multi-colored scarf, which she sent to me upon completion. Thank you Mom. Warmth, beauty, glowing colors, handwork of loving hands.... I received the package and promptly put it on. It goes with everything! I believe I'll be able to wear it year round on Whidbey too!

Marshal cut the grass yesterday, so happy with a new, used John Deere. Baseball pitching target and block is set up for Gabe.
No more picket fence. Gabe started the demolition of the last run of fence, and Marshal completed it yesterday. It was too rotten to tidy up. I'll keep the sturdy trellis.
Sunday afternoon sunshine and a bucket of balls.

What to fix for dinner?

Aidell's chicken apple sausage from Costco comes to the rescue for the age old dilemma, "What's for dinner?" Think I should start documenting some of our meals, so I don't have to think of something new every evening! My meal plan or inspiration comes down to what is in the fridge today, quick to thaw from the freezer, or in reference to the scones below, what old dried fruit I discovered in the pantry cupboard! Last night it was aidell's, dinner candy really. A side of Bubbie's sauerkraut might make it more digestible, get those good enzymes going? The fluffy white side is steamed cauliflower, mashed with a potato masher with a good dollop of grass-fed butter, covered with a bit of vintage white cheddar and parmesan, and held in the oven. Local lettuce was at the co-op last week, and oh the greens are buttery soft. Red onion, celery, a hint of parmesan, lots of cold-pressed olive oil, a dash of Italian red wine balsamic, half a meyer lemon, and sea salt and pepper dress it.
White flour indulgence. I had found juice sweetened cranberries in the cupboard. They were pitifully old, like my saved candy from childhood. My mom will remember that! They were still little delectables with fresh orange zest, juice, and honey in the stand-by Williams-Sonoma scone recipe. Raw milk kefir and farm fresh egg yolk must negate white refined flour deficits, right? Anyway, they contributed to the love of eating.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Indian Canyons - Home of the Cahuilla (Kaw-we-ah)

Entered Palm Canyon - the world's largest California Fan Palm Oasis, also land of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians.

These streams in the desert were so beautiful, so lush, so pure, a place of salvation from the desert heat, refreshment, life giving and perpetuating. I kept saying in my mind over and over, "streams in the desert." They are God's provision for a desert people. What a beautiful illustration of the "future glory of Zion" as prophesied in Isaiah.
Isaiah 35:1-2,
"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
...They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God."
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For the waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And the streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water;
In the habitation of jackals, where each lay,
There shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

Indian Canyons -Agua-Caliente Reservation

Granite Spiney Lizard

Vibrant Green Palm Fronds

Walking on the return loop of the Andreas Canyon trail.

Soft grasses bending heads in the wind.

More vibrant color of cactus flowers!

Pool Time in Rancho Mirage

The dream slide at the hotel family pool.

Green Bomber!

Slide Excitement!

Who is that mermaid?

Mastering the back float/swim. Last months swim lessons paid off!

Living Desert

Lydia was very excited about the camels. She exclaimed, "I've never ridden a camel!" I replied, "Neither have I!" I still haven't. But she and Gabe can now say they have. They said it felt like they could easily fall off!

Lydia found a new friend, or at least a friend to her shirt! This lovely butterfly didn't want to leave.

New butterfly metamorphosis everyday by the dozens in the hummingbird and butterfly garden.

The Living Desert

Spring in the desert. We actually experienced the earthy, clean smell of raindrops on the dry earth. Recent rains have greened up the landscape. The desert was in full bloom.
Magnificent cat native to our continent. The sleeping Jaguar.

Cactus blooms!

Delighted to see a wild Roadrunner darting among the desert flora. This one was uncaged, spotted on a remote garden path before we exited the park in the afternoon. His black top notch is camouflaged in the shrubbery. Gabe was thrilled to see the "real" animals in their natural habitat. We saw the most beautiful humming bird too sipping nectar from desert flowers, outside of captivity, as well as butterflies and squirrels.