Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ocean Dream

The mighty ocean and its many moods
inspires us as we stand on its shore

Insignificant are we compared to
this magnificent creation

The rugged coastline offers a challenge to all
who would conquer its rock formations

A small town, its stores and restaurants
just begging to be explored and enjoyed

A well-loved home, silent now, watching and waiting
for a new family to discover it's every nook and cranny

Imagine sitting by the fireplace, gazing at the ever changing waves
Contemplating migrating whales or a winter storm

A life long dream, once thought impossible, now brought to fruition

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ode to Atomic Starburst


An atomic starburst flying saucer was seen today, slowly spinning in the skies over Richland, WA about 10:00 am. Said saucer looked to be round with indentations on either side and on the roof. Paintings of blue and green atomic nuclei with their electrons in orbit around them, adorned the top of the contraption. It was reported that the saucer looked very old, about the type that was seen in the 1950's or 60's. Experts say the saucer showed a few tiny defects on the ceiling, but, on the other hand, it was rather amazing that it was in such good condition for its age. No other saucers were spotted, not even in that well known scientific reference work, E-bay.

The saucer was cleverly disguised in a brown cardboard box with Fed Ex labels on it. It carefully landed on a front porch at 1926 Pine St in Richland. Residents contacted at that address refused to comment on the suspicious item, but were heard mumbling, "Kerry and her Americana kitsch...." It was noted that this was probably a code to the occupants of the space ship. The Dept. of Homeland Security has been notified and is expected to cordon off the north Richland area at any moment (or maybe in four or five days)............

A birthday poem

A little something to use
Where ever you roam
Perhaps you'll need gas for
The motor home

Or maybe groceries will be
In your cart
When you stop one day
At Camp Wal Mart

If Canada is on both your minds
Use it to camp at a spa in the pines

Or if you find yourselves out
Montana way
You might need a snack where the
Antelopes play

But where ever you wander,
Where ever you park
Come home to us safely at
The end of your lark!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Peaceful Day

I sat on the swing in the back yard. It gently swayed as I read. The book was "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom. The temperature was perfect. A gentle breeze blew through the trees, making the leaves a green ballet of motion and peaceful sounds. A bird sang its song. Next to the swing, the pond filter gurgled and running water cascaded into the crystal clear pond below. Two goldfish swam lazily around. Marbles, white rocks, and green iridescent stones shone up from the bottom, like a pirate's treasure waiting to be appreciated. A water lily busily sent up another shoot. The leaf would not uncurl until it hit the surface. Next to me on the swing was a little black dog, lolling about as I scratched her tummy. By my feet was the brown dog, chubby as a sausage. He waited alertly to announce the presence of anyone who might come too close to the back fence as they strolled through the park adjacent to our yard. But on this day, even his eyes drooped, and as his head nodded, he startled himself back to watchfulness. Red and pink roses bloomed, along with red-orange lilies, dark purple clematis and plumes of white astilbe. Summer had come to Pine Street.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hey, I'm back - after all these many months. I'm not sure how the blog fell off the end of the earth for me. Suffice to say it just did. I have no excuses to offer. But I return with a great website,, in which one can donate to teachers in various areas of the U.S. to help their classrooms. Teachers submit their proposals and the donorschoose organization makes sure it is all legit. If you finish funding a project, or donate more then $100, the class will even send thank you notes and photos. I chose to finish a project in Long Beach, MS, in a 4th grade classroom that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. 57% of the students are low income. All the teacher requested to "make our reading corner dream come true", was funding for a carpet, four bean bag chairs and a magazine rack. Many of the students are living in FEMA trailers and the school is holding class in double wide trailers. After my two relief trips to Louisiana last year, I just couldn't resist this project. So, Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there, and check out this site to do the kids of a lot of other moms some good!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

pictures of G G

A younger G G and Rob.

An old girl

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A tribute to GG the greyhound 1993-2006

aka Cee Bar Moon. She raced in Florida, retired at 3 1/2 to be adopted by us. A better dog there could never be. She was loved by all that knew her. Thoughts on GG (named by her foster mom, it stood for "Good Girl"): Her gentle spirit, her will to live through many health crises, her spindly but powerful legs, her endearing personality, her brown and black "tiger stripes" brindle soft, soft coat.

Sleek and graceful, she ran for the sheer joy of it, doing figure eights in our yard and the yard next door. Clods of dirt and bits of grass would fly, as if she were some cartoon character. She would run straight at us and swerve at the last minute, while we cheered her on and laughed.

We first met her at her foster home in North Bend, where I immediately knew she was the dog for me. She laid her big (66 lbs) body down, right in the middle of everything (A knack she kept forever). I pet her and her foster Dad said she liked me. I asked him how he knew. He said "because she isn't afraid of you."

So we formed a bond that lasted 10 great years. Whenever I drove into the garage, the whole neighborhood heard her welcoming howls. Always a "mama's girl", she'd whine if I left, or sit by the door and await my return. That whine was her way of saying "Hey, it's dinner time" or "I need to go out." (Not a welcome noise at 3 AM!!)

I swear she knew the word "walk", because whenever I said it, her ears would perk up and she'd get exicited, prancing around and lifting her foot high to tap me as if to say "Let's go, I'm ready!" But always she would walk very sedately and grandly on the leash, never yanking me along. Such a lady. We had so many people ask us questions about greyhounds and she patiently stood by as I talked about their wonderful characteristics. Rob took her to show and tell in second grade and explained how even her ears were aerodynamic - held back close to her head (although she did perk them up when interested in something). Her slim face and needle nose, big chest and powerful thigh muscles were just meant for racing. But, true to her breed, she was that "40 mile an hour couch potato," content to relax except for about every third day, when she'd get that crazy "let me out quick" look in her eyes. If I wasn't fast enough, she'd run around the living room and what a racket that made! Once out in the yard, she'd run full speed for a bit, then come back in and flop down with a "Thanks, I needed that" look in her eyes.

Those big chocolate brown eyes! So expressive, so gentle. They glowed green in certain ligths and became clouded in later life. That coat that, no matter how much it was combed, still shed. Who told me greyhounds don't shed? Wrong! Her "goofy face", when her tongue would just hang out the side of her mouth and she looked so silly. She loved to lay down and be pet. So much so, that if I stopped petting her, she would tap me with a front paw, her way of saying "Please continue."

Those GG hugs were absolutely the best! If I was sitting down, she would walk over and put her head right into my lap or my side, holding it right there with a gentle pressure. She gave me hugs on her last morning, as if she knew time was running short.

She loved having her ears scratched and would stretch out her neck and turn it from side to side to make sure all the itchy spots were taken care of.

When she first came to us she was so shy, she would cower behind me if another dog approached. But when Prints came along, he taught her how to bark and they charged out together to greet any dog that came by the fence, running up and back joyously.

They made a funny pair - she the stately, tall, quiet greyhound - he the stubby, pudgy, high energy mutt. I'm sure people made comments behind our backs! She the older sister, looking at him disdainfully, as if to say "Why did you get him?" and sighing at his foolishness. He, the younger brother, always trying to rile her up by chomping on her neck, but never succeeding in breaking her calm demeanor.

She loved water, be it pond, river or stream. She'd wade right in and maybe even lay down in it, no matter how cold it was.

Greyhounds love to wander and aren't much good at listening to human commands, so we promised to always keep her on a leash or in a fenced yard. But she had a knack for escaping, especially at night, if the gate were mistakenly left open. For awhile, our new front door would blow open with a gust of wind. She'd listen for that opening click and out the door she'd dash. Prints and I would go looking for her. Most of the time we'd find her and she'd give us a sheepish look, as if to say "Sorry about that, but I couldn't resist the freedom." A few times we couldn't find her, but she would turn up at the front door in the middle of the night, calmly laying on the door mat until we woke up and let her in.

I called her "The Dog with Nine Lives". She made it through so many tough times. Her folder at the animal hospital got to be quite thick. They loved her as much as I did, and cried right along with me when she had a crisis. She would go to the vet's willingly, but once in, she'd turn around and point her nose toward the door. "I want to go home now" or "If I don't see them, maybe they won't notice me."

When the final morning came, and the cancer had gone so far she couldn't put any weight on the leg, Jack and I took her to the vets and they helped her to gently go to sleep as peacefully and serenely as she had lived. Goodbye, sweet GG girl, your spirit will be with me forever. I once read someone's idea of heaven, "where every dog you ever loved comes running out to greet you." I look forward to seeing her again on that day.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Eclectic B&N Shopping Spree

Flush by Carl Hiaasen. The funny Floridian is at it again with a tale of money-grubbing casino operators polluting the waters of his fair state. Aimed at kids, it's has the usual mix of strange characters. A good read, but not as funny as his previous effort, Hoot. For a real hoot, check out Hiaasen's books aimed at adults.

Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper. The CNN anchor who became a household word with his gripping coverage of Hurricane Katrina gives us a view of other hellish corners of the world. Man's inhumanity to man is interspersed with stories of his own personal hell: Trying to come to terms with his father's early death and his brother's suicide. Thanks, Anderson, for being our conscience. But, hey, dude, I hope you have a good counselor.

San Juan Islands from Moon Handbooks. Continuing my search to find the perfect retirement spot. This book actually included Lummi Island, a small gem west of Bellingham which was recently discovered by Sunset Magazine. (Watch those real estate prices rise now!)

Cesar's Way by Cesar Millan. Laugh if you want, but I love watching Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel. From agressive cases to Hollywood pampered pooches, Cesar (in his own words) "rehabilitates dogs and trains people."

And one last one, The Rules of Life by Richard Templar. OK, so I'm a sucker for this type of stuff and , hey it was on the bargain table!