Our summer solstice/birthday bash started our summer with a memorable experience. Many of our “people” (swimmers, teachers, skiers and of course family), were  able to come to help us celebrate our birthday and the start of our favorite season – summer!   Some of our party guests were treated to a rare sighting of a pod of Orcas off of iceberg Point!
Last week we bicycled with Adventure Cycling in the Cycle Washington ride.  Our tour took us to many beautiful spots in Washington. The tour started with a bus ride up to Stevens Pass. We rode down to Leavenworth through the beautiful country around Plain. The next day we rode along the Columbia river to Lake Chelan. From Lake Chelan, we had a beautiful ride along the Methow River to Winthrop.  Our fourth day took us up and over Washington and Rainy Pass. We were able to climb up to Washington pass easily in our lowest gear. The fifth day was an easy day with rolling hills to Deception Pass State Park. The next day we rode up and down the hills of Whidbey Island. The last day was from Langley to Redmond. Also on the ride, were five other participants of our cross-country ride.


We have two trips planned for the second half of our summer.  1)  We are driving up to Edmonton Canada to watch Kayla Wheeler compete in a paralympic swim meet.  2)  We are going to Vermont to ride in another Adventure Cycling tour.  We are arriving early to spend a week in Montreal and Quebec without our bikes.

Bella the smart and powerful ~

Arcadia sent me a link to this video Rodney took of their usually very shy kitty Bella, fiercely guarding her territory from the neighborhood cat, Texana:

Leslie pointed out that Bella is “definitely smarter than Texana, in that she seems to know that the window will protect her, while T. thinks *she* can break through it.” What a smart kitty . . .

Fog Lifting

It was a wonderful day here on Lopez the other day for watching fog lifting–lifting and lifting almost all day! I’m inserting two pictures taken from the cabin deck only a few minutes apart and then another from along the route of a bike ride later in the day.FoggyMorning1 The morning made me think of some lines in Wallace Stevens’ poem “Sunday Morning”:

” I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings.”

Of course as the current resident of Snug Harbor Sleep Haven, I think that by the time I’d woken up the birds had pretty well established the reality of morning!


Dick reported that it was foggy in Seattle that morning too:

It was quite foggy here this morning, too. But we persisted in our plan- to hike at Obstruction Point. It was glorious there! I had a good hike, while Nancy played with her camera and paints, after achieving the top of the hill. Stopped at the Three Crabs in Sequim for oysters on the way back.

Sounds wonderful!FogLifting

Nancy’s Onion Leek Pie

Nancy e-mailed me her Onion (or Leek) Pie recipe; here it is complete with her annotations — and a link to printer-friendly version:

Cooled Pie Dough –store bought is OK! (that’s my, Martha’s addition)

Slice thinly 2 1/2 Lb sweet onions or leeks

Melt 3 T butter

Add the onions.  Stir and cook over low heat until they are translucent.  Cool them well.

Combine and beat until blended:
3 eggs
1 cup cultured cream
1 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
(1T minced fresh herb or 1 t dill or celery seed) optional

Stir this mixture into onions.  Brush the bottom of the pie shell with 1 slightly beaten egg white.
Fill it with the onion mixture.

Place over the top 4 strips of bacon , diced, or crumbled cooked sausage (optional).

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.   Reduce heat to 300 and bake until the  crust is light brown, about 1/2 hour.

I have usually used 2 large walla walla sweets which is less than 2 1/ 2 lbs but more wouldn’t fit in my other frying pan.  Instead of using another egg to brush on the pie shell, I dip a pastry brush in the white of the 1st egg before it is mixed and brush that on. I have used celery seeds because I had it.  Two strips of bacon (not cooked) cut up is plenty if you want to do that.


printer-friendly (.pdf) here.

Oppede, Cassis, Nice, LOPEZ

The title of this post partly explains the recent hiatus in posts; I’ll let some of the photos in “snapshot alley” and the linked Flickr account speak for Leslie’s and my sojourn from Oppede to Cassis to Nice, and concentrate on the grand Fourth of July festivities on Lopez!

The first item on the agenda was a Fun Run beginning in Lopez Village at 8:30. Participants could do 5- or 10-kilometer routes; 5-K participants could enter as walkers or runners. Dick and Amy and Lib and I all went for the 5-K option; Amy and I walked, Lib ran, and Dick entered as a runner and walker. Amy will have you know she would’ve run except for having crashed on her bike a few days ago, which left her with a big bruise in a running muscle; my excuse for walking was just that this was my very first Fun Run ever (!!), and using my running muscles for walking was good enough! Walking or running, we were finished quite a bit sooner than we expected: finishing in 32 minutes, Lib was the first–and 5th in her brand new age group–Dick came in next at 40 minutes, Amy next at 45, and I came in a close last at 45 minutes and 50 seconds.IMG_0360

So we were back to the cabin for showers and a second breakfast/early lunch in time to turn around and go back to town for the parade! Some of the parade highlights were the procession of tractors, a really great series of floats on the history of Lopez, and a hippie extravaganza, including giant earth-headed puppet wearing a sign reading “Love Your Mother” (pictured here).

The next event of the day was a “retro” Fourth of July dinner: grilled hamburgers with all the fixings, potato chips and potato salad–with a Lopez Island cabernet (not sure that part qualifies as retro!)–all followed by ice cream and fresh strawberries–yum!

The day was topped off by a spectacular fireworks display, which began at around 11:00 when it was finally good and dark and just a minute after the Friday Harbor fireworks ended, which we could just catch a glimpse of across the water. We had the perfect spot for watching the show: a bank of a little peninsula of Fisherman’s Bay facing west towards the spit where the fireworks were being launched. Our viewing site let us see the fireworks twice: once in the sky and once in the water–truly breathtaking!

On our way back to the cabin around midnight, it was clear from the steady stream of tail-lights along Center Road that the weekend of the Fourth is the busiest of the year on Lopez–and I can see why!