Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I am home again, and so happy to be here.  However, it makes it a little more difficult for me to just veg and lay low.  Yesterday a friend took me to the grocery store.  I discovered that even though I don't seem to have double vision, my equalibrium is still out of whack.  The brain has some more adjusting to do, so I am thankful for my dear friends who come to my aid.
Today she picked me up to take me to Second Chance, our local Thrift Store and Social Gathering Place.  It's so funny.  Everyone knows my likes and style now, and they find things and hold them for me.
First thing in the door, my friend picked up this vintage beaded purse.

It will be hung on my bedroom wall.
Then I found this dress with beadwork.  It's too big, but for the price, we can easily remedy that.  Now I have to figure out where I will wear it. 

Another friend found this apron for me.  I think it will work well for my costumes when I demonstrate spinning.

Then, this red quilted coverlet for my bed.  Adds a bit of warmth to the room.

This is the scarf I made out of that new funky yarn.  I've added a felted flower and just love it.

My blogger pal, Pat, from Virginia, sent me this bag of lichen to try for dying.  She and I have exchanged some very unusual items in the past year.  I sent her starts from my hops plants, and she sent me a hug sweet potato that I can use for planting this spring.  By the way, according to Sunset Magazine, it is time to sow your greens, potatoes, and peas. 
Well, I think I can wait a few weeks, especially since it's so cold.

I received these flowers last week, the day of my surgery.  I had to remove the spent roses and
Gerbera daisies, and replaced them with Helloborus from my yard.
I've had a nap, so I think I'm ready for "Kept in Stitches" at the library tonight.  I think I will just sit and talk.

BTW, I've been trying to change my background, but can't seem to do it successfully.  What happened to Minema?  Can anyone help me?

Sunday, February 19, 2012


My son came to get me this afternoon so I could spend some time with Cadel.
My other son, Chad, and his partner, Harry, took turns with me holding the babe.  Chad is just beside himself with delight at being an Uncle.
We stayed for a couple of hours, and then decided to go to the Freemont Street Fair.
We walked for over a mile along the Burke Gilman Trail.

Formerly a rail road right of way, the trail runs for miles.  Here it runs along the Ship Canal.  About 35 years ago, I did the Title research on the property that became this trail.  Eeweeee, what a job.
I love this tree.  Think I will have to find out what it is.  I need plants that provide color year round so I can always have my bouquets in the house.
I would love to live in this apartment.  Is this Artsy Fartsy, or what?  And such a view. 

Chad and Harry kept getting ahead of me and having to wait as I took pictures.  They are so patient with me.

I love this nude hanging on the fence at the Canal Coffee Company.

Finally, we arrived at the Street Fair.  This is an exceptionally eclectic event that is held every Sunday, year round.  You never know what you are going to find.  The only thing I was interested in was a rest room.
After looking at all the vendors, we went to catch the bus to downtown Seattle.

If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you will see that the people waiting at the bus stop across the street are actually statues.  Residents of the area dress them to celebrate different events.  I'm sure tomorrow there will be an Abe Lincoln.

The boys accompanied me to the underground bus tunnel to catch my bus back to Mercer Island.  By this time, my feet hurt so bad.  I have walked the trail through the woods to the shopping center every day for the past week, and today's walk resulted in blisters.  I was dreading the walk back up the hill when I remembered that I had met a friend of my brother's who had told me to call her if I needed ANYTHING.  Hallelujah, she was just coming home and was five minutes away.  I walked to the Starbucks and arrived there just as she was driving in.  When I got home I had to soak my poor feet.

This is a view from my brother's kitchen, showing the woods I walk through each day.  Bald Eagles live in the tops of these trees, and I hear them calling in the mornings before the sun comes up.
It's nice being here, but I'm missing my little place.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Memory Lane

Staying here at ny brother's house is like a trip down Memory Lane.  I don't think he has ever thrown anything away.  I find dumb little gifts I gave him years ago.  Wow.  Well above is my Dad's  teddy bear.  If you want vintage, here it is.  It is proudly displayed in his living room.

Here you can see the bear is stuffed with straw.

This coffee mug is one he had made for my Mom back in the 80's.  She and my Dad were avid beachcombers and agate hunters.  Their beagle, Herby, was always with them.

Here is the one made for my Dad.  They bring back such good memories.

Change of pace.  Here I have my "office" set up at the breakfast nook, where I am starting to do my taxes.  Ugh.

This is a gift my new SIL gave me yesterday.  My brother is on a business trip, so we celebrated Valentine's day together.  I cooked her dinner and we talked and talked and talked.  Female bonding at it's best.
Today we are going to see the baby!  Yippeeeeee

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love at First Sight

Okay, now I get it.  Why Grandparents are so looney over their grandchildren.  It was definitely love at first sight for me.
Cadel's name was inspired by the winner of the 2011
Tour de France, Cadel Evans.  My son and his wife are obsessive sports fans.

Here is the proud Papa,, standing next to his Alma Mater's flag, which they had hanging in their room.

He looks very much like his father at birth, except for the nose, and the fact that his dad weight nearly two times as much.  Cadel was very tired yesterday, as were his parents.

They look good, don't they?

And here is a very happy Uncle Chad.  He is ecstatic and can hardly wait for Cadel to be walking so he can take him to the Aquarium.

We had quite an adventure, just getting to the hospital yesterday.  I'm here without a car, and Chad does not have one.  Finally, at about 1:30 I told Chad I was heading for the bus and would meet him in downtown Seattle.  So off I went down the wooded path again to the shopping center.  Two minutes after I got to the Park and Ride, the bus arrived.  I was in town at Nordstrom in less than 10 minutes!
Chad and I met at a coffee shop, and then waited for an hour for a friend of his to come pick us up.  He had put a request for a ride out on Facebook, and a friend who he meditates with came to the rescue.  She was able to get us to the hospital, but we would still have to get home.
When we arrived at the hospital campus, we started walking around trying to find the birth center.  Then a wonderful woman, a nurse who was just going off duty, saw that we were confused, and she accompanied us to the center.  We would never have found it without her.  She must have recognized an anxious Grandmother and wanted to help me.
Finally, we called my niece, who had the day off as it turns out, and could have been driving us all day!!!  But we didn't know.  She came and got us and brought us home.
It was a long day, but such a thrill, and as usual, Chad and I had a wonderful time together.  We never run out of things to talk about.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Granny B

I have a little story to share.
When I was 26, I was one of the "older" employees at my company, with alot of new college graduates coming in and learning the job.
One of them came to my department looking for some advice, and asked if one of us "older and wiser" ones could give him a hand.  My co-worker, who was older than me, said "Grandma Bylsma here can help you".  The young man smiled and said, Okay Granny B, what do I do. . . . . . ?
The name stuck.  It grew in significance because I was captain of our women's softball team.  I was a base hitter, but a slow runner.  The coaches had to be very careful who came up to bat after me so that they wouldn't pass me up in running the bases.  In other words, no home run hitters.
When I was running the bases, it was common to hear the fans shouting "Go Granny, Go."
So, you can understand that when I heard I was going to become a Grandmother, I claimed the moniker of Granny.

So yesterday was the baby shower for my DIL.  We had a wonderful time.

Here she is showing off the Baby Babushka quilt I made.

And here is the tag quilt I made.

Most humorous gift received.  I'll have to get a picture of my son wearing this.
So, the baby is not due until March 15, but last night I got a call from my son informing me they were at the hospital since the water had broken.  They will be monitored closely for 36-48 hours, hoping she will go into labor.  If not, they will induce.  The baby is doing fine and is past the 36 week stage.  I could receive a call at any minute.  My other son, who does not own a car, is trying to arrange a ride for the two of us to the hospital so we can be with them for the big event.
I actually dreamed at about 4 AM that my DIL called me to tell me it was a girl and they named her Olive.
It's actually a boy, and we have known for some time, and they have not disclosed the name.
Well, I'm anything but calm and collected today.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Merriweather Lewis I am NOT

I am house sitting for my brother for a few days, waiting for my eye surgery coming up in 8 days.  At the end of his driveway is the head of a trail that goes down to the shopping center of this island community.  I decided I would take this trail every day, starting yesterday.

Above is the entrance to the trail.

The trail does not just go DOWN to the shopping center, it also goes UP.

And UP.

Okay so it eventually went down, and I did make it to the center.  I had some grocery shopping to do and filled my postman's bag up before heading back.

So off I went, but it always seemed as if I was going UP.  How could That be?
At one point I looked up and saw that I still had to make it to the ridge as shown below.

Then I noticed that there were little clumps of lichen lying all about the path. Lichen is supposed to produce a lovely shade of lavender dye.   So, not only was I walking vigorously, I was bending over to pick up lichen about every 5-10 feet.  It's a good thing I had my hat with me.
So finally, I am climbing and climbing and I see still more stairs ahead of me.

Well, it seems that I was supposed to turn left before I got to this last series of stairs.

When I got to the top of these stairs, I was nowhere near my brothers house.  I finally had to call him and ask him where I was.  Oh, about half a mile away.
So, I got home and had about 30 minutes to take a shower and get ready to meet the family at the Spud in
I take over the basement here, where I have an enormous king sized bed with my own bathroom.
I even have my own pookie bear to sleep with.

Tomorrow I am taking yarn with me to mark the left turn.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Longing for Spring.  I was at Costco the other day and picked up some flowers.  I added them to the sticks and twigs and greenery from my yard.  I'm making lists of what to plant this year. 
Fortunately, I saved alot of seeds from last year's crop, so will be ready when the ground warms up.

So, here is the clean up work from the tree work done at my place last week.  They were going to go dump this load of chips at the City Park.  I said "No Way!"  I can use those.  So, I have a huge pile to spread under the trees and enrich my soil.

The middle tree here was the dead one.  They gave me the choice of taking it all the way down, or leaving it as a wildlife tree.  I chose the wildlife tree.  As it rots, the bugs will come, and then the woodpeckers and flickers.  I like that.

This is all that was left behind, except for the wood chips.

The tetter is back in it's place.

Tools of the trade.

My place as viewed from down the street.  You can see that large stand of trees.  There are a total of 17.5 now.

Snow on Sumas Mountain that day.

It's been unusually warm and sunny in our area lately, with some days in the 60s.  Has me nervous.
I, however, am moving to my brother's in Seattle for about a month.  The baby shower for my grandson is next Sunday.  I will move into Bro's basement and stay there until sometime after my eye surgery.  I don't know what to expect as far as recovery, other than I will have double vision until my brain adjusts to the new position of my left eye.  My brother's new wife is an RN, so that is reassuring.  I also have friends coming to stay with me.  I take over the basement.  I have a HUGE master suite with an enormous King size be and my own bathroom.  I think those two rooms alone are the size of my entire house here!!

I have alot of packing to do, since I will need things to keep me occupied.  So, yarn for knitting, fiber for spinning, all of my records so I can work on Taxes and a budget for this year.  I won't be bored, that's for sure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Ever since I moved here 10 years ago, I have been terrified during high wind storms.  When branches break out of our fir trees, they are as big as an entire tree.  It takes me days after each storm to clean up the mess.
So I finally called in the tree service.  They started work late yesterday afternoon.
My neighbor and his Grandson got front row seats.

This chipper does short work of the branches.  They let me add all the prunings I have been doing this winter, too.  My yard will look better when they leave than when they arrived.

This antique, horse drawn tetter was under the trees, and the men respectfully moved it to safety before beginning work.  They appreciated the horsedrawn equipment that we found out in the blackberries.  I had it moved here for yard art.

Ken #2 gets ready to climb the dead tree that needs to be removed.

Daniel had to go get his little sister, Elle, to get in on the excitement. 
I gave them buckets and put them to work gathering horse chestnut seeds.

The equipment was left here over night, and the work began again promptly at 8a.m.
This is how the yard looks right now.  This is also how it often looks after a storm.

Here is Ken #1.  He is thinning the really big branches that are likely to break if we get a big snow or ice load.

I think this next picture puts perspective to how big these trees actually are.

That short one is the dead one that has been cut down.  If I had left it, it would have blown down onto my little garage.

I don't know this guys name, but once again, quite the perspective.

Ken up in the bucket pruning.

They aren't close to being done, so I have more pictures to take.  I'm sure they will be here the entire day.