Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Sweaty Day

 Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting,
For fear of little men.

Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together,
Green Jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather.

William Allingham. 1824–1889

Up the airy mountain

Down the rushy glen

We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men

This little man was quite lovely in his green striped jacket, although he did give me a start when I almost stepped on him, and I gave him quite a start in turn. As he slithered into the bushes, Samos was able to take a photo of his green jacket, but not his little face.  It was a remarkably dainty face, I was surprised to note as we stared at one another for a few brief seconds before he disappeared altogether into his leafy lair.

And where did we meet him?  Samos and I took a hike up Tiger Mountain yesterday.  I had wanted to do this for years, but hadn’t the initiative, and also, I didn’t quite know where Tiger Mountain is.  That was not a very good excuse as its base is about a fifteen minute drive from my house.  Samos, however, took the initiative, and also knew where it is and how to drive there, so --- all problems – solved!  Up we went.  It was a ton of fun, although the trek up to the top was a bit of a toil.  We kept meeting frisky folk descending the mountain, and were rather resentful of their seeming liveliness, but on the way down, we too had jolly smiles for the sweating folk struggling up.

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all togeher

Green jacket,

Red cap,

White owl's feather

Thanks to Samos for sharing his photos.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Fun, Fun Evening

My main blog buddies have already beaten me to the draw, er - the post - about the fun Ministries Dinner.  You can see their photos here and here.  

I adore mariachi music, and was thrilled to find that there was a wonderful mariachi band, consisting mostly of a fabulous family, the Mariachi Juvenil Voces de México to entertain us!

Jim and Father Ryan joined the musicians for an encore.

Marvelous Martha was obviously having a great time!

The exquisite Twins were enjoying the music and cuisine.

Joanna was enjoying the company of Jessica!

Jim was enjoying everything!

But Little Elizabeth thought it was all a bit much!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Reminiscent Day

Looking like we like it.

More like we were really feeling.

Last year, Rebecca and I were shocked, horrified, and desperately upset to hear that our local, the Canterbury, was going to close.  We, not just Rebecca and I, but bunches of my family had been going there for lots of years.  Like well over thirty, in fact.  Rebecca reminisced about being taken there as a little girl, by her grandparents, and having the only vegetarian item on the menu - terrible lasagna with undercooked carrots.  I recalled going there for breakfast once with my quirky Aunt Dakki, and my adorable Uncle Robert - long ago, as Uncle Robert went to his Eternal Reward at least twenty-five years ago. Dakki and I ordered pancakes, which were horrible leaden blobs, and Uncle Robert, to my absolute mortification, ordered several martinis.  He probably ordered pancakes too, just for show, but he didn’t eat them.  We had to assist him home.  I went there with one or the other of them many times, but this was the only time with the two of them.  I think Uncle Robert was a little afraid of Dakki, and had to have something to steady his nerves.  Those nerves were a constant problem with him and needed frequent steadying.  Rebecca and I went there often after her work, or a strenuous outing, either to have dinner (a lovely, greasy grilled cheese sandwich) or just to lift a glass.  The food was, as I have hinted, dreadful, but the ambiance was comfortable, with timbered walls, old cigarette advertising posters, a knight in armor, and a cozy fireplace.  The floor was always a little dirty, the windows dusty, and the menus tattered. It had a juke box with Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, and where we sat, it was just loud enough to hear and enjoy, but not so loud that you had to shout at your table companions.  This is an important feature in a restaurant or bar, and in the latter, it seems to be more and  more of a rarity. The waitstaff was inefficient and grungy,  but pleasant, and they always knew what we wanted before we even ordered.  In other words, it was a real dive, but we loved it.

Then we heard that it was going to open again with new management.  We were thrilled, and anxiously watched the progress, and checked their facebook page for updates.  Finally, it opened.  The initial reports from fans, were not favorable. Rachael and Becca went to check it out, and Rachael was horrified and refused to go in.  It had  morphed into something that was a cross between chrome, plastic, and faux Tudor cuteness. The menu was posh (not a good sign,) the music was blaring raucously, the two giant television screens had different loud sporting events on them.   Becca and I decided to try to have an open mind.  I ordered my usual shandy, and she had some sort of mule thing.  My shandy arrived and it had ice in it.  Yuck!  I had a sip, and instead of tasting like a delicious mix of beer and ginger ale, it tasted like watery beer.  I sadly drank about half of it, and then was feeling decidedly tipsy.  We looked at the menu and saw that instead of beer and ginger ale or lemon soda, their version of a shandy had vodka in it.  I don’t think I had ever had vodka before in my life.  The whole thing was the essence of awful.  Why do those wonderful neighborhood snuggeries have to disappear, or worse yet, turn into the same place as the other three unpleasant establishments on the block?    

The French fries were good. 
Check out the wateriness of my shandy!  You can even see it.  And ice!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Medical Day

Earlier this week, my handsome little man took a long procrastinated trip to the vet for his shots and a check-up.  Whenever we took his Uncle Michael, God rest his soul, it was a horrific ordeal.  From the first, Michael completely understood what the vet was all about, and the shrieking started as soon as the cat carrier came out and continued on until he was safely home again. Getting him into the carrier was a major task, requiring two people. The drive was a nightmare. Once at the vet, he was adept at making himself almost impossible to remove from the carrier, bracing both his hands and feet against the door and sticking fast with all his strength.  He snarled and scratched at the vet, and so had to be taken into the back and put in the stocks just to be looked at – to say nothing of having his temperature taken.  We sat in the waiting room, me mortified and annoyed, Rebecca tearful and sympathetic, and the other patient's families gaping in disbelief at the screams emanating from the treatment area.  All this has led to very negative feelings on my part about cat doctor visits.  But alas, sometimes, it has just to be done.

I got out the carrier the evening before so that Tobias could not slither into the basement and hide just as we were getting ready to go.  In the morning, I confined the two of us to a small part of the house so that he could not secrete himself upstairs, where he has several favorite crannies.  I put the carrier on my dining room table with the door open for easier insertion.  When the time came, I couldn’t find him!  Growling, I checked his usual nooks, but he was in none of them.  Finally, I glanced into the cat-carrier, and there he was, looking calm and comfy! All I had to do was close the carrier door.
At the vet, he was a real gentleman, stepping out of the carrier when he was supposed to, and back in when it was time to go.  He did, at one point, leap to the top of a high bookshelf.  I had to stand on a chair to get him down.  But other than that, he was a perfect boy.  He was even polite, when the vet said those words we all hate to hear from our doctor ---   “He could stand to lose a little weight!”  I think he is perfect, just as he is.  And he knows it. 

"Thank goodness that's over," he says.  Actually, that's what I say too. 

The two Michael Ryans

Michael was a very good cat, as long as he wasn't going to the vet. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Sweaty Day

A few weeks ago, Rebecca and I decided to trot to the University District for our run.  We thought this would be a long, exhausting trek, but that the idea of lunch at a favorite restaurant at the end of our exertions would be a lovely reward, a light at the end of a sweaty tunnel. Instead of running in a big circle, it is fun to have a destination.  A circle, however, has the advantage of ending up where it began.  We had no desire to run back from the U District, i.e., straight up a giant hill, so our plan was to jog there, visit the magazine store and a used book shop, have lunch, and then take the bus home. Well, our run took no time at all, and when we arrived, Rebecca’s fancy little watch told us that we had gone two and a half miles.  In other words, waaay less than we expected and not nearly as far as we normally go even on a bad day.  “Let’s do it again”, Rebecca suggested, “but next, time, we’ll go a different route.”  Our route was definitely different.  We went through the Arboretum, circling around on horrible rough trails, gravely service roads with giant gravel, and then across Foster Island, which, while usually a pleasant walk, seemed now to have become an icky swamp.

Horrible rough trail

Icky swamp where someone lost a flip flop!

 Not only was there horrible icky swamp, but in several places, the trail was submerged.  The under age ten set thought that this was wonderful, but I was less enthusiastic.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Exploration Day

Yesterday, my nurse pal, Laura and I went on an expedition into the wilds of wonderful West Seattle.  Every time I visit Laura, I think that West Seattle would be a nice place to live, with its forested parks primeval  and its beautiful beaches.  However, my Grandmother used to say that the closer one lives to Fourth and Pine (site of Fredrick and Nelson, Seattle’s wonderful, sadly departed department store) the better.  I am afraid that while not really an enthusiastic shopper, I do rather feel that one should live within walking distance of Fourth and Pine.  Fredrick’s is gone, but there is so much else that is marvelous nearby.  But – back to West Seattle.  Laura and I have been on several thrilling West Seattle excursions, and this time we explored Camp Long.  It was originally – well, it still is – a WPA project, built as a scouting facility. But now, people who are not Boy Scouts, like Laura and I, can enjoy it.  

We found a poor little dead mole on the pathway, and after admiring his dainty little hands, his velvety fur, and general beauty, we gave him a proper burial.  Minutes later, to our horror,  we found another.  We hoped that there was not some dreadful mole scourge going on.  

And a few more minutes later, as we were both thinking about food, we simultaneously realized with sinking hearts, that our close examination of the little fellow would really necessitate washing our hands before we enjoyed our little picnic.  Happily, we found a fountain, and then had a delightful repast.  It was a very fun day.  

A fun adventure followed by a fountain delight!