Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Painful but Exhilarating Day

Whoa!  I am in total body pain!  Well, really, it’s just shoulder pain. But it’s sort of fun pain, as it is the result of a very fun day with my girls. It was our first three generation run* almost ever.   A year ago, the three of us, with our friend Tina, ran in a charity event, but that didn’t really count, as Becca and Rachael shot on ahead, leaving Tina and me to trot behind for a while, and then with no  one to nag us, to decide that walking was really more our style.  Becca and Rachael, after waiting at the finish line for quite some time, considered calling the aid car in case we had collapsed en route, but happily, they decided to phone us instead.  They were not very polite when they found that we were not even half way around the course. 

Along the Swamp walk

On to the canoe station

Past a beaver lodge

Today, we stayed together for the most part, as they had promised not to leave me in the dust, and they knew that I was treating them to lunch, which I would probably not do if they deserted me. 

So why the sore shoulders?  Well after running four miles, from my house to the University via the Arboretum and Swamp Walk, we went for a canoe ride.  Our helmsman had a little trouble manipulating the canoe and we spent some time backing out of the water lilies.  This tended to make one of us, i.e., me, crabby.  But despite the lily pads and the grumpiness, we persevered, conquered,   and took enormous pleasure in the beauty of our watery surroundings.

Checking out the Bridge to Nowhere

By the time I got home, I thought was ready to die and I still had to work in the Cathedral Kitchen.  I felt as though I could not possibly do it, but that I had to soldier on.  What commitment!  Oddly, washing pots and pans for an hour, perked me right up.  I recommend it when you are feeling totally exhausted or are just in the dumps.

And finally to Duckville

*Read slow jog with lots of whining.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Fun, Busy Week

Whoa!  I had an exhausting but fun week helping out at the Cathedral Choir Camp - forty kids working, praying, playing, and mostly singing all week long.  I originally signed up to help with checking the campers in on Monday morning.  I volunteered because I like to be helpful, of course, but mostly because I wanted a Choir Camp tee-shirt.  However it was all so great that I stayed for the whole week.  The St James Schola Cantorum, (I may have mentioned this before, like hundreds of times) is a simply amazing group of children lead by several amazing music educators.  They sing real music, and sound splendid.  This year they sang, among other wonderful pieces, movements from Charpentier’s Magnificat! It was astonishing.  Charpentier is one of my top favorite composers, so I was thrilled. And when, during the Mass for the Feast of theVisitation, they sang Panis Angelicus, it brought tears to my eyes – and despite it being one of my top not-favorite pieces.  

Uh-oh!  Someone is peeking into the window!

Lots of learning and lots of creating was happening, and not only creating music.  The choristers attended a presentation on the making of a local best-selling graphic novel, given by the authors themselves (or one of them, the other being at meetings), and then the group worked on their own, depicting the high spots of the week.

On the last day, there was a mini-camp for the younger children - those in the St. Gregory and St. Cecilia choirs, in training to become members of the Schola Cantorum.   Most of them looked a little apprehensive at first, but one singer,  Cecilia, was at ease and having a great time.

You can seem more photos and get an better idea of what a great week it was here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Day Filled with Dabbling Ducks

Once summer finally arrived in Seattle, it took on a dazzling sparkle.  The days have been perfect, one after another, and have been demanding that one fill them with summer fun.  Summer fun would not be complete without at least one canoe outing, so Laura, Rebecca and I decided to hike to the University campus and rent a canoe.  Laura, a West Seattle girl, had never been on the Foster Island swamp walk, and in fact, had not really been on the University campus, so we were able to introduce her to some of our favored haunts.  First, the canoe excursion on Union Bay, through the Arboretum and Foster Island areas.  The ducks and ducklings were out in force, enjoying the day, basking in the sun, gobbling bugs, the babies scurrying across the lily pads behind Mum.

  I am always thrilled to hear and see Mr. Kingfisher, and he politely made one appearance, streaking above us over the water, with his distinctive clackety shout. Cormorants and coots greeted us as we glided by, but it was obvious that they thought we were pretty ho-hum, and were quite used to human visitors. 

En route to the restaurant, we walked through this outdoor theater, and I said that I hadn’t been there before.  Rebecca pointed out that about thirty-five years ago we had come to see a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Hmmmm!  I did remember seeing the play, but I didn't remember that it was in this idyllic spot. 

Laura was interested in the University libraries, and mentioned the famous and spectacular Reading Room in the Suzalo library. It was indeed spectacular!  Just like being in church.  Then lunch, ice cream and finally, a bus ride home.  A very satisfying day it was.

The astonishing Suzalo Library Reading Room

You can see Laura's take on our day here.  Her photos are better than mine, I think, even though her camera had took a brief swim in the bottom of the canoe. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Shopping Day

A couple of charming lamps to grace your sitting room

I had a nice little surprise outing with Samos.  I had told him I would be busy that day, but he called again on the morning of anyway, just in case.  I realized then that I had made a calendar mistake when turning from July to August, and that I wasn’t busy after all.  What fun!  We had our favorite Japanese tofu burgers for lunch and then off to junk stores.  Samos is on a spending freeze, and showed great restraint.  He bought nothing.  I am always on a spending freeze, so my willpower was lessened by the quotidian quality of my budgetary issues.  I bought a number of useless items, all things to use in the kitchen – so not entirely useless but definitely not needed.  Unneeded, but happy making.  I won’t even tell you what they are, lest you sneer at my shopping silliness. 

A prie dieu for a material girl??

These stores are always fascinating with the sometime bizarre items they have to offer.  One is forced to speculate as to what sort of person would purchase such horrors.  But maybe they (the horrors, not the purchasers) are so horrible that they transcend from horrible to kitch, to camp, to cool.  Who knows!

My new old Coca Cola bottle.  Why did I need this????   I just did.

PS  I did not buy a lamp or a prie dieu.  I wasn't that silly.