The Run of the Roses

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." —Shakespeare Each year we always love to have a friendly bet on which rose in the gardens will bloom first.

The Rio Samba, which gets lots of morning sun, won the run of the roses this year.
The America is in a close second as the bud is getting close to opening.The Pink Iceberg will take third, but outdoes the other two with the number of buds.
The rest of the pack are close behind and they all smell as sweet.

Beautiful Results from a Mistake

JEJ is enjoying his new camera, but somehow last week the color got switched to cyanotype on the camera. His camping images and some from home were not in color. He was disappointed with the mistake. I loved the beautiful results, especially when I did some fine tuning with Picasa . Enjoy his photo images. This image caught Annie and Shelby in the window seat of the tent trailer watching for squirrels.I love this way this one frames Annie in the screened window.This looks like an old-fashioned photo capturing our bridal wreath spirea in full bloom.Here is the picnic table and the gazebo sitting in the morning stillness.

Swan Lake Part 3: Rustic Fireplace, Wildflowers, Swamps, and a Boardwalk

On Saturday we took the 1.5 mile hike around Swan Lake. It was an easy hike, but between keeping the dogs out of swampy water and watching for mud and fallen trees, it was an adventure for all. The hike begins at an old, rustic covered kitchen that can be reserved for large groups. The fireplace inside is so inviting. You want to bring in a group for a wiener roast!

The colors in the Oregon Grape stood out in the morning sun.No bridge over this creek which didn't bother JEJ, Shelby, and Annie. I was glad this part of the trail had a wood plank boardwalk that helped us through the swampy part. As we stood across the lake from the campground we could observe people loading canoes and kayaks into the water for some morning enjoyment. The trees mask the tents and campers above the beach.As we drew near the end of the hiking trail the path opened up creating an aisle through the cedars. It was so peaceful. I almost wished we hadn't reached the main road to hear some noisy pick-ups a few minutes later.

Swan Lake Part 2: Soothing Trees

On our hike around the lake Saturday at Swan Lake I studied the uniqueness of the trees. Here are some of my observations.Though rocks kept these roots from moving deep into the ground and the wind blew it over, the tree was still alive!

Eagles have good taste in choosing a spot for their nest.Woodpeckers add their own form of beauty to a tree.

Finding the forest for the trees in this cedar grove reminded me of how soothing trees can be.

" I never knew how soothing trees are- many trees and patches of open sunlight, and tree presences; it is almost like having another being." D.H. Lawrence

Sibling Assignment #64: A Jug of Cold Root Beer

I gave the sibling assignment this week: " Taking in the strong fragrance of lilacs today reminded me of Spokane ' The Lilac City'. Write about a memorable time from childhood that was spent in Spokane. " You will find Raymond Pert's here and Silver Valley Girl's here.

There were many memorable times in Spokane growing up. Grandma Woolum lived there and we took frequent trips from Kellogg to stay at her house. I recalled memories of Northtown before it was enclosed, shopping at the ValuMart on Francis before it was Fred Meyer, and bowling around the corner on Division. I also remembered the A&W Root Beer stand on Hamilton. Every time we headed up the hill after passing Gonzaga I spotted that root beer stand, the landmark that we were close to Grandma's. I always hoped some time during our visit we would get to drive down with Mom and pick up a gallon of frosty, cold root beer. I don't remember eating at the A&W as much as I remember getting the root beer to go. Back then you couldn't buy this brand of root beer in the store, so it was a special treat to get in while in Spokane. I think we also made root beer floats with the Darigold ice cream Grandma kept in the freezer on hot, muggy days in August.I have a memory of saving the gallon jug and Grandma would have it waiting on the floor by the washing machine when we came back another time because I think you got a discount if you returned with a jug. Was there also some wooden tokens with the logo on them?It seems like we drank that whole gallon while it was cold because there was never room in the frig to hold it. I like remembering these rituals that repeated themselves in my childhood. There was comfort knowing the jug would be there and we could once again enjoy that cold, tasty root beer when Mom would drive down to the drive-in.

Later the A& W lost it's novelty when more restaurants cropped up and when the root beer was available in stores. At the age of ten it was a special treat and something we looked forward to. We didn't have the fancy mugs, but it didn't seem to matter that we drank it out of Grandma's Libby glassware.

When I head north on Hamilton today I always glance over there at that building when I head up to Bridgeport as Hamilton turns to Nevada. It has been a few different cafes since the A&W closed. I can still taste that cold root beer.

Swan Lake Part I: Saturday Morning Walk

Swan Lake Campground was our destination for camping this week-end.
Annie and I took a walk Saturday morning when things around the campground were still pretty quiet. This lake is so peaceful since gas motored boats aren't allowed. This couple with their dog were out enjoying some early morning fishing.
I love the shades of blue I caught in this view of the lake.

The trail around the lake was bordered with wildflowers, blooming bushes, and a variety of trees.
After our walk Annie returned to another obsession session watching for squirrels. She tried to get Shelby interested, but Shelby quickly lost interest when she discovered she couldn't herd them.

Home to the Changes in the Gardens

one of my favorite Martha Washington geraniums

After we arrived back from camping today I did a tour of the gardens. It is amazing how changes can occur in just three days. This white columbine was at the path to greet me. The first iris to bloom is a deep purple with a dame's rocket that looks like it is growing inside.Kit was waiting at the bench by the pond just hoping he could get his picture taken.
The white lilacs held up until we returned. They were still filling the air with their sweet fragrance.
The pansies were also still blooming near the fountain. It was good to be home.

Without Wireless at Swan Lake

We are leaving after school tomorrow for a camping trip to another close, quiet destination. Swan Lake Campground is located south of Republic, Washington off Highway 21. There are three small lakes close to each other which is always nice if one campground is full. Swan Lake has a hiking trail around the whole lake, it doesn't allow motor boats, and has beautiful campsites right along the lake. How can you go wrong?

No wireless or hook-ups this week-end, but we will still enjoy the comforts of the pop up tent trailer. Rain or shine we will get in some reading, photo sessions, writing, naps, and quality time with each other and the dogs. I will return with photos after the week-end.

It's Time for the Work to Begin

"May and June. Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights. The discussion of philosophy is over; it's time for work to begin." - Peter Loewer May also bring the unforgettable fragrance of lilacs,and the combination of bleeding hearts and late blooming tulips,

and geraniums ready to breathe the outside air.

Four Points of View in the Spring

1. crab apple in bloom 2. Kit checking to see what was left in the greenhouse. 3. the red maple and the path to the gazebo 4. a lovely deep burgundy Martha Washington geranium

Sibling Assignment # 63: The Good Life

doing dishes with my parents at my grandma's house

Silver Valley Girl gave the sibling assignment this week. What is it about telling people you were born and raised in Kellogg that gives you a sense of pride?

You will find Raymond Pert's remembrance of Silver Valley voices here and Silver Valley Girl's will be here soon.

"A memoir is a piece of autobiographical writing, usually shorter in nature than a comprehensive autobiography. The memoir often tries to capture certain highlights or meaningful moments in one's past, often including a contemplation of the meaning of that event at the time of the writing of the memoir. The memoir may be more emotional and concerned with capturing particular scenes, or a series of events, rather than documenting every fact of a person's life." (Zuwiyya, N. 2000).

In sorting out certain highlights of my past I feel a sense of pride of being raised in Kellogg, Idaho. Ritual was always woven in the meaningful moments of growing up. There is comfort when events of life are always the same. It gives a child something to hang on to, something that can always be counted on. In Kellogg spring was greeted with Camp Fire mint sales. We could count on lilacs filling the air with fragrance every May. There was also the Elk's Round-Up parade that included the newly crowned Miss Kellogg, the Drum and Bugle Corp, and the Kellogg High School band. Soon after the VFW would be out raising money with their poppy sales. There was also the Kiwana's track meet to look forward to before school was out.

Summer meant standing in a long line the first day the pool opened, remembering the cool chlorinated water, hot showers, and green mesh bags that would hold your belongings. It was soft ice cream cones at the Hum Dinger, and dragging sleeping bags outside and falling asleep while watching falling stars. Summer was also slow afternoons that moved into evening with endless games of Spoons in the Terry Trailer at Absecs, Hide and Seek, Sorry, and Monopoly.

The ritual of the Fourth of July at Rose Lake was a significant event of summer. The day included sunburns, recipe sharing during the pot luck, cold drinks, firecrackers, old friends reminiscing about adventures back in the day, and a bonfire with sparklers, roasted marshmallows, a big fireworks display and a chorus of "God Bless America". The evening always finished with family members doing four-part harmony with songs like "Tell Me Why" and " Cockles and Mussels" while friends put arms around each other, got sentimental, and joined in. The final song was a loud rendition the University of Idaho fight song.

I always knew I could hang onto fall with memories of new school clothes, Sunday soup and homemade bread, the smell of burning leaves, trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, Dad's birthday,and riding bikes through the gnats that gathered around Mr. Hanson's hedge that go stuck in our noses and mouths. Fall also meant trips to Spokane for ballgames at Joe Albi stadium, the smell of dill at Grandma's house, and listening to " The Rain, The Park, and Other Things" on KJRB on Grandma's old radio. It was also enjoying Broadway musicals, old standards, and the Ray Conniff Singers on the stereo upstairs or sitting with my dad as he enjoyed brandy, a cigar, Diane Washington, Teresa Brewer, and Nat King Cole.

When the weather grew colder the rituals of the holidays were always anticipated. Thanksgiving with friends included good food, football games, women in the kitchen and kids upstairs, and the first snow. Sleigh riding, Christmas caroling, hot chocolate, and learning to ice skate created meaningful moments in the winter months. Snow up the roof, holiday food and music, snowmen, and wet boots and mittens always take me back to that growing up time.

Reflecting back on growing up in Kellogg reminds me of how those meaningful moments were a glue that held our family, friends, and community together. Rituals were essential. I can see a old friend after twenty years and we jump immediately to a conversation like, " Remember Mungy Day in sixth grade? Did Walden's really sell rotten eggs on Halloween? or Did we really wear hot pants and halter tops?" Laughter followed. We grew up with smelter smoke, lead in the soil, brown hillsides. Men worked in dangerous conditions in the woods, the mines, the smelter, and the zinc plant. Wives packed lunchboxes every morning, the whistle blew ending the day shift, and dirty work clothes came home each Friday. As long as my brother and I had Shasta pop, Super Balls, Silly Puddy, and sunflower seeds we lived the good life. When Silver Valley Girl came along that good life included strollers on the escalator, grits, and "back, butt, hair".

My parents and their friends did the same thing. Many of them were connected by growing up together, meeting in college, or sharing dangerous jobs. The stories were always there. Memories have been captured in photo albums. There was lots of laughter and feelings were worn on the sleeve. Dreams for the good life were held in the heart. They felt pride of families, Kellogg, their country and worked at continuing rituals for their children.

Take a trip back with Tony Bennett and enjoy The Good Life:

Photo Hunt: Candy

eye candy:

something purely aesthetically pleasing, that is, pleasing to the senses. can be a person, a film, a sunset, a flower, or anything else you can see.

Bedding plants are eye candy for me. I love going shopping for plants then figuring out how to combine colors and textures into gardens and planters.

I am going to do a yellow, orange, white combination with some of these plants.
I have a bare area that will be filled in with these snapdragons.
When it comes to shopping some women can spend hours and hours trying on and buying shoes. Eye candy for others are diamonds and fancy jewelery. I can spend hours and hours shopping at plant nurseries.

Now this is my kind of eye candy!

These images were captured at Ritter's Nursery in Spokane last week-end. If you are an inland empire blogger be sure to take a trip to this nursery. It is well worth the trip.

For other photo hunts on candy go here.