Holiday reports

Nancy wrote this report on the holiday season in Seattle:

Dear Out of Town Family, It snowed on Thanksgiving but the sun shone on Christmas. Today we had snow showers, hard at times, but it didn’t stick and in between the showers, the sun came out and the mountains showed all gleaming and white all the way down.  Steve, Cate, and Ben arrived last Wednesday and left to today. They took the light rail from the airport and we met them down town and had a late lunch at a Vietnamese place across from the art museum. Dick just returned from taking them to the airport and reported that the highway was clear all the way until he got to the airport drive where there was glare ice where the cars had driven.  Friday we are going to Lopez for New Year’s Eve with Mike and Julia.  In between we had quite a time with lots of togetherness.

We started with a shank half of ham thinking there would be food for lots of lunches and meals if need.  The next night Steve, Cate and Ben had dinner with Cate’s brother and sister, and Amy and Lib, just back from skiing at Big White in BC came over to trim the tree so we had ham and scalloped potatoes.  Friday Mike and Julia arrived by train, getting off in Edmonds. That was Christmas Eve.  David, Janice and Alexa came early in time for a walk.  There were 12 at the table with just the family minus the four in California.  I made the traditional crab bisque for dinner.  We had a big spread for Christmas morning including scones made by Steve and Cate and mini quiches I had picked up at Costco and smoked salmon also from Costco.

There seemed to be a lot of gifts even though we have vowed to not give presents to the adults except for spouses and significant others, but Alexa wanted to give something to her grandparents and she showed excellent taste in her choices. After opening everything, the sun was out and everyone except Janice and me went for the traditional walk down to the beach and back.  We had a huge roast beef which David helped me put in the oven along with baked potatoes.  Cate cooked green beans, Steve made the Yorkshire pudding, Dick made to salad. I had made the rum cake for dessert.

Sunday Mike and Julia had to leave so Steve took them to the train station while the rest of us slept. That evening the ten of us went to see the Black Nativity.  This is a show that the Intiman Theater puts on every year.  The first half has an enactment of the nativity scene with lots of music, dancing and singing and words from Langston Hughes, famous black poet.  Dick and I had already seen it twice, once with Alexa, and last year with Ben.  This year the adults wanted to see it too. Monday Amy and Lib had made reservations for Steve, Cate and Ben at the Science Center to see the Harry Potter exhibit.  How much science I am not sure, but i guess it was a money maker for the Center.  David, Janice and Alexa joined them there.

Cate had announced earlier that she wanted to have a crab feed on Monday and she told me that she was going to be in charge and I didn’t have to do anything.  They bought the crab in the market.  They were huge.  Cate’s brother, Mark, and his girl friend joined us so there were 12 of us at the table.  Yesterday, Amy and Lib left for cross country skiing in Winthrup so we had a small family with crab cakes made by Cate with crab left over from the night before. Since their plane was not until this afternoon, Cate had washed and dried the sheets and made the beds.  What wonderful guests!

Meanwhile the “four in California” had a splendid dinner at Arcadia and Rodney’s house; on the menu was (quoting Arcadia’s e-mail from the day before ) . . .

I’m about to go to Rainbow for a grocery shop. Here’s what’s officially on the menu for tomorrow:

Tuscan Bean Soup
Spinach Salad with Prosciutto Dressing
Roasted Cauliflower with Sage Butter
Champagne — and of course Crixa for dessert!

If I can manage it I’m also going to make cookies today, including your Russian Tea Cakes. Yum.

She did manage the Tea Cakes (and the bread and gingerbread cookies and unbelievably moist chocolate cookies) with all of which we hardly got to the “Dundee cake” (from Crixa Cakes in Berkeley) that Leslie and I brought for dessert! Everything was DELICIOUS! I took the picture below on my phone without a flash so it’s a bit grainy, but sitting down to dinner we did all get to comment on the days when Arcadia and Rodney thought they might have to put a veil over the Obama print you can see on the wall behind the table — but that the veil would definitely be off now — hurray for the “lame duck” session!!

There seemed to be a lot a lot of gifts after dinner here too, so many that Leslie and I found we’d lost track of time and had to leave all in a rush to get our City Carshare back before it turned into a pumpkin!

Christmas Eve 2010 (with wedding champagne!)

Dachshund Fiesta in Washington Square Park

As Nancy and Dick will attest, some organized thing or other is always happening in Washington Square Park! This past Saturday was warm and sunny, and as I crossed the park on my way to the library, I couldn’t help noticing that there were little dachshund dogs, everywhere–often two or three to a person!  They were very cute in their multiplicity!! When I got back home, I “googled” “dachshunds Washington Square Park, April 24, 2010,” and lo and behold, what I’d stumbled into was the 2010 Spring Dachshund Fiesta! Here’s a video posted on YouTube by a proud dachshund owner:

And here’re the words to the song that you can hear a little bit in the background — along with a link to a recording of it:

There’s no other dog like a dachshund,
Walking so close to the ground,
They’re stubborn and sly as a fox and
The happiest pet to be found.

Most kinds of dogs seem to either
Have shapes or proportions all wrong;
They’re only one way or the other,
But dachshunds are both short and long.

Dachsie, meine dachsie,
The best canine under the sun,
Call you “wiener” or “sausage” or “hotdog”,
We know that you’re number one.

. . . and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street, er Washington Square!!

Christmas report

This Christmas report courtesy of Nancy (thanks!):

Christmas started early with the arrival of Steve, Cate, Ben and Maggie the dog on December 22. We had Crab Bisque waiting for them on their arrival. Amy and Lib came over the next night to decorate the tree that Dick had cut down from the side of the house. I made a big batch of Mexican luncheon for the group. Ben seemed more interested in the computer, so Amy. Lib and Cate did the decorating. Christmas Eve dinner was at Amy and Lib’s and included David, Janice and Alexa in addition to the Boise family. Alexa brought her guitar and we managed some singing after dinner. Julia had to work on Christmas Eve so they didn’t arrive until afternoon on Christmas Day when the rest were off on the traditional walk to the beach. There were 14 of us for dinner including Cate’s brother Mark and his girl friend Ann. So we had a little table set up giving me a chance to use the table cloth embroidered by Auntie Bea.

The weather cooperated as it was cold but sunny so during the week after there was time to meet with David, Janice and Alexa for a walk in Discovery Park. Alexa, just turned 16 and Ben, almost 12, had a good time together during the times together so that was happy. Cate’s birthday is December 27, so Steve and Cate met friends for dinner and we took Ben to the Black Nativity that has been a Christmas specialty for the last several years. Lots of drums, dancing and gospel singing, audience clapping, gorgeous costumes. Ben told Cate it was awesome. Steve and Cate had time while here to see the Michelangelo drawings and the Calder exhibit, to see friends and more of Cate’s siblings

They left the morning of January 30, Dick worked at his part time job and we went to Lopez on the 31st to celebrate the New year with Mike and Julia. We decided Boise time was late enough to stay up. So the 2 of us had a long lazy weekend spending more time with M and J, then with Mike after Julia went to work, coming back home on Monday, stopping for oysters at the Edison Tavern.

As Nancy explained (or re-explained) to me later, Autie Bea was one of GG’s sisters, so she was Beah’s aunt. Nancy said she was single and worked in a bank I think, maybe  in Chicago. When Betsy and Sid’s parents died–who were Beah’s cousins and children of the children of one of GG’s brothers–Auntie Bea moved to Seattle to take care of them “and stayed here to be their Mom.”  While Frank and Beah were in Berkeley, Beah spent a lot of time with Auntie Bea; that was the year before Nancy and Dick were married, which is what led to Auntie Bea making the beautiful tablecloth and napkins for her.

A Calder Mobile

Just in time for Christmas: Thanksgiving Report!

This report of the Thanksgiving festivities on Lopez courtesy of Dick:

[Nancy and Dick] went [to Lopez] on  Wednesday to make beds, clean up, buy food, etc. The etc was a stop at Nancy Bingham’s studio to pick up a new Turkey platter. Nancy B. had asked, “Do you want a turkey on it?” Nancy R. said, “No, I want a heron or a fish, or an eagle.” She got all three, and it is beautiful!

Steve, Cate and Ben made it as far as 18747 Wed. eve and came on to Lopez Thursday noon. Amy and Lib came also but on a different ferry. All were gathered in time to be assigned and to complete their tasks. Also, in time for a walk around Pavey loop.

The great big dead bird was ready about 6:30; we had Lopez Riesling for a taste and Lopez Malbec with dinner. Then another walk for some, around Pavey loop. Mike produced three pies, and Julia’s friend Wendy Buffum arrived with pieces of three more. (Ben was beside himself deciding which luscious morsel to choose.)

Friday was kind of rainy. We dismantled the jigsaw puzzle from last year (actually Thursday afternoon) and started on a new one, much bigger and maybe harder. Some went to town to shop. Steve and Ben, with help from Cate, built a “survival shelter” from brush around here and there. In the process Mike and I found some serious leaks in the drain from the road to the beach, which we were able to fix! Now there is a very respectable stream of water coming out the beach end.

Saturday was the Lopez PreSchool Annual Bazaar, so we went to that. A., E., and C. went to the Islander to watch the Apple Cup game in the afternoon (UW  won 38-0). Saturday eve we had the third dinner from the turkey: a delicious soup. Sunday the Boise crowd left before dawn to catch the 6:40 ferry, Amy and Lib left on the 1:35, and we went back to Nancy’s knitting ( at the moment a Christmas stocking for Arlo), and I to a book that’s been lying around that I have not been moved to read: All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

Now we can look forward to a resounding end of this year and beginning of the next.

Excellent! The “survival shelter” enterprise sounds especially fun!

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!