Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Two Weeks in Seattle

The remains of the Christmas pudding and sauce, Boxing Day in Seattle.
Still dark at 7:00 a.m. in Seattle. Dark outside and dark inside this house. Seems no one is awake except me. Oops, I hear someone now and the rush and pounce of cat paws across the dining room floor. My suitcase is packed, though I do need to remember to tuck in that package of frozen rhubarb, now stored in Caroline's freezer. Gone are the three dozen tamales I brought with me so my suitcase should weigh in well under 50 pounds. Yesterday, I mailed a 25 pound box of books from the post office. Happily, everyone gifted me with books this Christmas and I bought a few on my own. Finally took back that very, very heavy Italian cookbook that I gave Caroline years ago - that definitive Italian cookbook, translated into English for the first time. The name escapes me. She and I agreed that she'll never dip into this book, after all, she said, get gets recipes on-line.
Thank you Jeanne and Dan for hosting our family's Boxing Day gathering. Yes, we all brought dishes and treats, but you had a house to tidy and table to set. And for the first time, Dad was not present for his share of the Christmas pudding and camaraderie. I missed him and am still floored with the notion that I am now the oldest member of our family. Really. And thanks to Caroline for organizing the gift exchange.
My friend Mary Jane brought her Seattle family to the party. What could be nicer than this photo?
Here's Steve contemplating his gift as Charlie looks on, approvingly.
The esteemed Hansen women, 2014.
Lauren contemplates the hot dog grill, the gift that appears every year. Lulu ended up taking it home. Where will it be a year from now?
Lovely to see Audrey, who is examining her Bama's silver bracelets, yes those two I inherited and love and wear almost every day..
Yesterday, Charlie Bean and I visited Dad's adult family home, gave hugs to his caregivers and catnip to the gray house cat. All feels and looks the same, except there is a new person in Dad's room and her name is Eileen. She and I shared a conversation. She is quick witted and said this was the place for her as she can't drive anymore.  So it goes, the same and not the same.
Charlie and I had a Thai lunch and once again, do I ever learn? Asian sauces knock me out. Spent the afternoon asleep, well, passed out would be a better description, as a really big food headache set in. Should a New Year's resolution be to stay off of Vietnamese and Thai and Chinese foods? Resolutions last only so long because I long for those tastes. What's in Asian sauces that sends me bad headaches and knocks me out?
So, here are more photos, highlights of these last two jam packed weeks. I arrive back in Houston at 8:00 this evening and tomorrow I tear back into the HAA grant application, due January 6. Happy New Year to all.
Caroline and I always engage in a 'clearing clutter' project. On this visit, it was her kitchen counter. Wish I had the before photo. This clearing job took three hours.
Walk with Mary B before she left for Portland. We're in Seattle's Tilith Demonstration Garden at Bradner Gardens Park. It is definitely winter time and those are definitely Brussels sprout stalks.
Caroline's Christmas Eve dinner - baked halibut with corn, bacon and scallions.
Lauren and I shared a photo shoot. Lots of tiny ladies and moss. I see another book ahead.
Craft afternoon at the Kleban's. You can see a bit of the 'before' kitchen counter in the background.
I suspect this is the last blog post for Rockbridge Times in 2014.  I'll upload to Blog2Print for hard copy, that is a book with all the posts and photos. Links won't work, but the words will between covers.
Happy new year! Horoscope predicts a busy and creative year. I am assuming that means 'Finding Our Way', scheduled for October 8 - November 14 as a part of FotoFest 2015. I'm on it.

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