Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another fun day!

At St. Joe's

I’m feeling like a giant slug – and one who has seriously exerted herself gobbling up all the tender shoots in the garden.  Actually, all I have done today is go to the dentist and take naps.  In other words, no exertion whatever.  I did have a pleasantly exhausting day on Sunday.  First off, there was church, which is always fun.  Somehow, fun doesn’t seem like what church is supposed to be, but there you are.  It is.  A beautiful ambiance, wonderful music, great readings, inspiring homilies, friends gathered together!  What more could one ask?

The Grotto at Holy Names

After Mass was the second (or maybe third) annual Camino Rosary Walk.  The route went from the Cathedral to five other nearby (sort of) churches with Marian shrines.  We said a decade of the rosary at each one.  And then back to the Cathedral for the windup prayers. Last year, I was working that day, and so couldn’t go.  I recall reading about it and thinking, “Hmm! That seems like a long way to walk in the summer sun.”  This was a sort of comfort in my disappointment at being unable to participate.  This year I read about it and thought, “Hmm! That seems like a long way to walk in the summer sun. How will I stand it?”  I girded my loins, packing up a water bottle and some emergency rations of nuts.   It was a lovely day, not really that hot, and perfect for chatting with old friends and meeting new ones as we made our way from shrine to shrine. I arrived back at the Cathedral tired but unscathed, except for a blister on my poor foot.  Some clever folks brought mysterious little walking apps, which told us we had gone five miles.  Not bad!

Feeling tired but virtuous after such valiant exertions!

Yet Another Fun, Fun Day

 Sprouted rice and cucumber salad

Sunday was a busy day from dawn to dusk – fun busy, that is.  I didn’t really do a single constructive thing.  After a humungous Camino walk, I came home, set my alarm, took a nap, woke up, and cycled to Becca’s house for a fabulous dinner.  She had also invited Brooke, an adorable work colleague, and my darling Aunt Dakki.  The meal she prepared was incredible, and also incredible – we played gin afterward, and….. I won.  This is unprecedented.  There are several games that I never ever win (Scrabble and Monopoly are two others,) and gin is high on that list.  I tried hard not to smirk!

These tofu stuffed mushrooms surprisingly tasted remarkably like fish cakes - a dish we all miss as vegetarians. Yum!

Eggplant something or other.

Savory carrot pudding.

Mango pistachio popsicles!  Dakki, one of the world's least adventurous eaters, was a bit skeptical.  But she bravely tried it and realized it was yummissima!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A "Yay!" Day

Photo taken by A Twin when I couldn't get my camera to work.

As I said in my previous blog post, I lost my camera.  I had been going to post pictures from a Camino Walk through the Olympic Sculpture Park with The Twins, and another through the wilds of West Seattle with Laura. 

Longfellow Creek in West Seattle

I was not unduly upset, because (A), I had a cadre of friends and relations interceding with St. Anthony, and (B), I felt that it had to be somewhere in my house.  Once my mother went clothes shopping, and stopped at the grocery store on her way home.  A few days later, there was an unpleasant aroma in her closet.  Checking it out, she discovered a thoroughly thawed and bloody chicken among her many shoeboxes.  Horrified, she got rid of it and then immediately checked the freezer.  There was her new dress, still in its box, quite chilled, and neatly stowed in the meat section of the deep freeze.

I was quite certain that something similar had happened to my camera. The last time I had used it was on my outing with Laura, and while I couldn’t find my camera or the pouch which I transfer from purse to purse, I did have my Dumpling Dynasty coin purse which I keep with the camera.  I reviewed the day numberless times.  I searched the purse I had used over and over.  It is difficult to lose a camera in a purse, I know, but … whatever.  There was always a chance, knowing St. Anthony’s tricks and manners.  Sometimes he puts the lost object in the exact place that you have looked at least five times.  I looked in the my car.  No luck.  Finally, today after doing grocery shopping, I opened the boot to put the groceries in, and there was a totally other purse than the one I was positive I had used.  Just like our former president, I had misremembered.  Then I recalled considering which purse to take, given the length of our walk (very long,) the heat of the day (very hot,) and the stuff needed for the outing (seemingly a lot – bird books, plant books, refreshments, etc.) I had changed my mind at the last minute. 

Seaside flora

So now I am here to say, “Yay!  Thank you St. Anthony, and thanks to all my friends who prayed to him for me.”  He is an amazing fellow!!!!!

An artistic photo of an artistic thing in the Sculpture Park

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Watery Day

Yikes!  It’s been ages!  I have been mostly sulking about with my tail between my legs.  That’s because I fell off my bicycle right onto my tailbone, and it hurts – still, a week later.  This has seriously cramped my style.  I seem to feel yucky most of the time – except when going on a walk or other adventure with friends.  Even a run (slow trot really) with Rebecca – usually a cause for serious whining – perks me up.  Then I come home and feel bad again.  I am such an incredible wimp.  What would I do if I actually had real aches and pains?

I have gone on several fabulous Camino walks – one with The Twins through the Olympic Sculpture Park, and another with Laura through mysterious West Seattle.  And why haven’t I shared these adventures with you?  Because I lost my camera!!  With the relevant pictures in it.  I can’t even imagine where it could be, but I am sure it must be in my house somewhere and will eventually turn up.  However, it’s been a lot of days, and I am becoming less hopeful.  Sigh! 

Mummy duck and her four fuzzy babies

On Monday, I was out from early morning till mid afternoon with my phone turned off, and Samos, who had been calling and texting since the evening before (when I was working and couldn’t reply,) was certain that I was lying dead or at least seriously injured.  When I arrived home, I was astonished to find him sadly peeking under tables and into closets looking for my body.  Since I wasn’t dead, we comforted ourselves  with a canoe ride.  He kindly took photos so that I could properly document the afternoon.  It was a wonderful day for drifting about in the Arboretum.  Everyone, including the ducks and the other canoers, was all smiles and happy greetings.  I even saw a mighty kingfisher!  He, unlike the others, didn't bother to say "Hi,'' but just swooped rattling by, unconcerned with us, but concentrating on the business of getting his dinner. 

Some very large objects (freeway ingredients?) on a barge being moved along by tugboats

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Sporty Day

The Water Tower at Volunteer Park

Laura and I had a delightful bike riding day planned.  She has a new two bike rack for her car, and this meant that we could go to pleasant places far afield, without the onus of the hills and traffic in the way of getting there.  Seward Park and the bike path along Lake Washington were on the agenda for the day.  Laura said she had been fretting about getting the bikes on the rack, but as I was not going to be the one dealing with this, I didn’t bother to fret about it.  Getting her bike on was easy!  I guess I should have fretted, because getting the second one on was decidedly not easy.   After some struggle, we realized that due to a difference in bike anatomy, the rack would accommodate two boys' bikes, but not two girls' bikes. What to do?  I thought my neighborhood was pretty boring for a bike ride, but I guess if you don’t live here, it is a tiny bit fabulous.  So we took a bike tour around the home territory.  You can read Laura’s take on it here.  It turned out to be a great ride, and seeing the local scenes through another’s eyes gave me a new appreciation of them. 

The Volunteer Park Conservatory

Thinking about bike anatomy reminded me that when I first started riding a bike, I wanted a boys' bike.  I was sure that the difference in the two bicycle sexes was somehow due to male chauvinism somewhere along the line.  Despite my pleas, my parents insisted that I get a girls' bike – it was a blue Hiawatha, which I rode for well over twenty years. I considered that bike one of my special friends and treasured our long happy relationship.  Nonetheless, I continued to harbor a certain resentment against those sexist bike makers who differentiated between girls and boys.  It wasn’t until possibly fifty years later, when I tried to ride a boy’s bike in a skirt that the light went on!  It was simply not possible.  Or at any rate not possible to do and remain modest and dainty. 

Checking with Pauline to see if she is receiving.

But about our next bike ride - not to worry, Friends!  Laura actually has two bike racks, so next time we can have our trip to Lake Washington after all.  It will just mean taking the bikes on two cars.  I am very much looking forward to it.  One of life’s true pleasures is a bike ride with a friend.  

A cool treat after a fun ride.

Update:  I didn’t mention that we went by Bruce Lee’s grave because Laura covered that aspect of our ride.   I was telling Becca about all the people there and how at first we thought it was an actual funeral, and then we realized that it was fans, and how surprising this was, as I had never seen anyone there before.  Neither had she, she said, but she and Rachael had taken a walk through the cemetary just the other day and she took a picture of Rachael.  I was certain that you all would want to see it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Typical American Family

Fourth of July dessert prepared by The Twins last year!

Happiest Fourth of July to all my dear friends and family!  

And a safe one too, please.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Fun Walking Day

Hmmmm!  The Cathedral looks upside down.

Yay!  Camino Seattle is here again!  For those of us who can’t quite make it to Spain for a genuine Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, there is an abbreviated version right here in Seattle.  St. James parishioners gather to walk, pray, meet and greet other parishioners, see some local beauty spots, and mostly, have a lot of fun.  You know,

 "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There's always laughter and good red wine.
At least I've always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!"

Well, though generally the Camino walks do not have good red wine, all the other elements are there.

Last week, I was disappointed that I was unable to join any of the scheduled walks.  It seemed like there was some other compelling thing on every single day.  We get little stickers in our booklet whenever we go on one of the walks, and I am like a child in the grocery store expecting a sticker for not having overbalanced the grocery cart or not grabbing candy bars from off the shelves.  I covet the stickers.  And none all week! Sigh!  But on Saturday evening I got off work early (too many nurses, not enough patients – my heart sings whenever this happens) and shortly after I got home, The Twins texted to say they were testing the walk they would lead  the next day.  Would I like to come along?  You bet I would.  We collectively decided that this earned us all a sticker.  They are the bosses of the stickers, (Maria is the creator of the whole thing, in fact,) and so can make these executive decisions. And we all got another sticker the next day for going on the real walk.

The walk was a neighborhood Catholic history walk, and included new and fascinating information  - new to me though I live here and was born just down the street.  We passed through Seattle University, saw the Garrand Building, the original Seattle U edifice and now the School of Nursing, and then viewed the site of the Maryknoll Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish church and school.  

This parish served immigrant communities – primarily Japanese and Filipino.  After Proclamation 9066, the Japanese parishioners were relocated to Minidoka and their Maryknoll pastor moved with them, along with two Maryknoll sisters to minister to their needs in the internment camp.  The parish continued serving the immigrant population, then primarily Filipino until the 50’s, when it finally was closed. While I knew about this parish and school and had friends who had gone there, I did not remember it, didn’t know its history, and didn’t, in fact, even know exactly where it had been.  Such history nearly next door! 

We continued on by historic Providence Hospital, founded by the Sisters of Providence in 1878.  This, on the other hand, was my early stomping ground. In fact, I was born there. 

Then on to Seattle’s oldest church, the Church of the Immaculate Conception (familiarly known as “the Immac.”) 

Corinna is filling us  in on the history of The Immac!

 My aunt was married there, I was baptized there and played the organ there for many years. It is one of my favorite churches ever.  It is very nineteenth century funky, and everything is a little overdone. The aroma is one of years of prayer and joy.  Just perfect! 

The Lourdes shrine was one of my favorite things in the world when I was wee!

 Then on to the Carmelite monastery where my father was an altar server as a little boy. You can read its interesting history (which I knew nothing about,) here. 

It was a fun walk, but the Catholic sun did shine a little too brilliantly for my taste.  I am not a sun worshiper.  But then, most of the walk was in the shade so were saved from the evils of too much sunny brilliance and could bask in the Corinna and Maria brilliance.