Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

October 31, 2006

Tagged by Eliza this time!

I've been tagged to do T by Eliza.....and I suppose anything starting with "the" doesn't count, eh?

"Talk Talk" by Talk Talk. I saw them open for the Psychedelic Furs in Boston in 1984; they were great! ("Talk Talk Talk" was also the name of the Furs' 3rd album. )

"Tiny Dancer" Sir Elton John. Some people I know actually thought the lyrics were, "Hold me closer Tony Danza". Now, of course, I can't sing it any other way.

"Telephone Line" by ELO, one of my all time fave rave bands; I had such a crush on Jeff Lynne & Bev Bevan. And Richard Tandy. OK, so basically I had a crush on the whole band.

"TSOP" by MFSB aka "The Sound of Philadelphia" by MotherFatherSisterBrother. This came out in about 1974 and you'd all remember it if you heard it. Great horns and strings, featured on "Soul Train" a lot.

"TV is King" by the Tubes.

Blessed Samhain

(This is a design for a cross stitch that I did a few years ago).
I've no idea why this first paragraph is underlined...
Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween.
Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer's end.” In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

In the country year, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. All the harvest must be gathered in -- barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples -- for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time of family reunion, when all members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter feasts to come. The endless horizons of summer gave way to a warm, dim and often smoky room; the symphony of summer sounds was replaced by a counterpoint of voices, young and old, human and animal.

In early Ireland, people gathered at the ritual centers of the tribes, for Samhain was the principal calendar feast of the year. The greatest assembly was the 'Feast of Tara,' focusing on the royal seat of the High King as the heart of the sacred land, the point of conception for the new year. In every household throughout the country, hearth-fires were extinguished. All waited for the Druids to light the new fire of the year -- not at Tara, but at Tlachtga, a hill twelve miles to the north-west. It marked the burial-place of Tlachtga, daughter of the great druid Mogh Ruith, who may once have been a goddess in her own right in a former age.
At at all the turning points of the Celtic year, the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain, so many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest. Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the fire, and at the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the home fires of the tribe, as at Beltane. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

The Samhain fires continued to blaze down the centuries. In the 1860s the Halloween bonfires were still so popular in Scotland that one traveler reported seeing thirty fires lighting up the hillsides all on one night, each surrounded by rings of dancing figures, a practice which continued up to the first World War. Young people and servants lit brands from the fire and ran around the fields and hedges of house and farm, while community leaders surrounded parish boundaries with a magic circle of light. Afterwards, ashes from the fires were sprinkled over the fields to protect them during the winter months -- and of course, they also improved the soil. The bonfire provided an island of light within the oncoming tide of winter darkness, keeping away cold, discomfort, and evil spirits long before electricity illumined our nights. When the last flame sank down, it was time to run as fast as you could for home, raising the cry, “The black sow without a tail take the hindmost!”

Even today, bonfires light up the skies in many parts of the British Isles and Ireland at this season, although in many areas of Britain their significance has been co-opted by Guy Fawkes Day, which falls on November 5th, and commemorates an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in the 17th century. In one Devonshire village, the extraordinary sight of both men and women running through the streets with blazing tar barrels on their backs can still be seen! Whatever the reason, there will probably always be a human need to make fires against the winter’s dark.

Tagged by Val, this time!

OK, N songs! I think I'll mix it up a bit, and not do all Dead stuff!

"Nowhere Man" by the Beatles (this one's specially for you Val!)

"Now & Then" by Orchestral Manouevers In the Dark

"Neverending Story" by Limahl (he has not aged well)

"Never Say Never" by Romeo Void

"Na Na Hey Hey (kiss him goodbye)" Steam
Thanks to Google Images.

October 30, 2006

Tagged by Madi

Madi gave me the letter "B"

Born Cross Eyed


Bird Song

Black Peter

Brokedown Palace

First Frost!

We woke up to a thick blanket of frost this morning! The first of the season. It is icy cold but clear. Yesterday was very blustery and there was snow at Snoqualmie Pass, about 45 miles or so away from us. Reminded me of a quote by Dr. Ruth, "When the weather's hot and sticky, it's no time for dunkin' dicky, but when the frost is on the pumpkin, it's time for dicky dunkin'..."

Speaking of pumpkins, here are some cute pictures that made the email rounds last week!

October 29, 2006

The reddest tree I ever did see.

This is a tree in my neighbourhood. I never noticed it changing colour, it just sort of appeared out of nowhere last week. I grew up in Massachusetts, went to college for 2 years in Maine and visited New Hampshire during peak foliage time, but I've NEVER seen a tree turn this red before. I'm not very good at botany, but up close the leaves look like Japanese maple.

I came across this little mini-farm on the way home from taking pics of the tree. They have 3 cows in their yard. Bonney Lake was much more rural than it is now, in the not so distant past.

To make up for the big ass pumpkin picture

It's "fall back" time again! Hmmm, what to do with that extra hour.....any ideas?

Pics: Google Images & TheReel; Oreo cookies t-shirt from eBay.

October 27, 2006

It's nearly Halloween!

And I have yet to get my pumpkins for seed roasting! Hoping to do that this weekend or I'll be "SOL" as my dad used to say.

October 24, 2006

A feel-good story

It would be so incredibly easy to write about some local tragedy, or a lengthy diatribe about the state of national and international politics, but what good would that do? We already have enough stress and strife in our lives, the news is so crappy every day, so instead I'm going to write about a lovely letter I received yesterday.

Several months ago, I'd have to say in the early spring, there was a news story about a golden retriever named Pickle, whose family could not afford to pay for his hip dysplasia surgery. We sent a donation to the surgery fund which I forgot all about until yesterday, when I received a really sweet letter from the woman who organized the donation drive. Her name is Lori Shorr and she lives in Carnation, a small town off Highway 2 in the North Cascades. She works at the animal hospital where Pickle received his treatment. Lori also raises guide dogs for the blind.

Lori's mission in life is to help others. Why? Because at the age of 31, Lori was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent chemo and radiation, only to find out that the cancer came back 4 months later, so she had to have chemo and radiation for a year!!! Her cancer was gone, but the treatment destroyed her heart. She was put on the transplant list and within 3 hours, a perfect match was found and she received a new heart. Lori wanted to give something back, so she started trying to help Pickle by making and selling bandanas. She also contacted the Issaquah Press newspaper who spread the word to all the Seattle news networks.

Lori collected $5,000 in donations for Pickle's surgery. He is a happy, healthy doggie now, and grateful to his human helper. Pickle's family has since moved to Florida and at last word, he's doing great.

While looking for a dog on, Lori came across George, another golden retriever in Vancouver, BC, only 11 months old and suffering from hip dysplasia and he needed total hip replacement surgery. Lori still had $2,225 left over from the Pickle donations, so she donated it to Canada West Vet Specialists & Critical Care Hospital. Needless to say, they were absolutely thrilled with the donation.

Thanks to Lori Shorr's efforts, two sweet dogs got a new lease on life. I've tried to put some cute golden retriever puppy pictures on here but they won't upload!!

October 22, 2006

From USA Weekly

This little story was in the Sunday USA Weekly section of the paper, talking about fans of the CSI and L&O franchises. I'd say that the description of LOCI fans is pretty accurate for me. How about you?

October 19, 2006

Ever have one of those days?

So I did the STUPIDEST thing ever today. I set my backpack down on the trunk of my car this morning so that I could grab the trash cans and bring them down to the bottom of the driveway. It was 6:30 a.m., pitch dark and pouring rain. I went into the garage, got in the car, and left for work. Drove the whole 22 miles between Bonney Lake and Fircrest. I get to work, and I realize, oh shit oh shit oh shit, where's my backpack? Inside it are my purse with wallet, all ID, credit cards, checks, check register, etc. etc. etc. I dashed into my office and called hubby on his cell. He wasn't far from home yet so he turned around and looked all over our yard and street, to no avail. Being the type that cries at the drop of a hat, I of course burst into tears.

My boss, Steve, sent me home to retrace my steps and start dealing with the bank, credit card people, etc. I looked like crazy on the way home, but my commute involves 1 major freeway (Interstate 5), and 2 smaller highways, 410 and 16. Not to mention the entire length of River Road. I never saw it. On my way in to work on River Road, someone did flash their lights at me when I passed them.....I swear that I did not cut them off and it was a few seconds after I pulled in front of them that they flashed me. If they were trying to get my attention at that point, then the pack probably fell off as I accelerated up the I-5 ramp. Which means it probably got run over about a million times already.

So I've spent my Thursday at the police department in town, at the bank, at the Department of Licensing to get a new drivers license, and on the phone w/ the credit card companies, ad nauseum.

And the thing that really pisses me off? The loss of the purse which I made myself, the loss of a wallet (it took me forever to find one I liked), my old Grateful Dead patches on the backpack, my "frequent buyer" cards for bead shops I frequent, the loss of a really pretty pillcase. At least my glasses and cell phone were with me.

So at this point in the day, 12:00 noon, there's no sense in going back to work, so I guess I'll just make myself some lunch and watch one of my new Vincent movies to try to cheer me up.

Thanks to Eliza for the picture.

October 18, 2006


I love this picture of my dad and me. The date stamped on the back by Kodak Processing says "Dec. 66", so I'm guessing the photo was taken in the late fall. I turned 2 in November of 1966 and my dad was 44. I think he had just started wearing glasses full time, and my mom said that she remembers him always taking his glasses off if someone was taking pictures, so that's why he is holding them in his other hand.

This picture was taken on the back part of the driveway at their house. There's a red reflector in the back near the stone wall. My dad used to stake red reflectors along the edge and back of the driveway so that the snow plow would know not to drive off the edge (it was a bit of a drop) and where the rock wall was. It's funny to me to be able to see the sky through the trees behind us, because it's all dense trees and thickets now.
I miss him so much.

October 17, 2006

It was 17 years ago today.....

October 17, 1989 is forever burned into my mind as the day Ma Nature said, "Time to shake things up a bit." It was a very warm, still day..... "earthquake weather" as it's called. My husband and I had just moved to San Francisco at the end of July and had already experienced one minor quake in August. October 17 dawned sunny and we decided to call in sick and hang out. We were eagerly awaiting the World Series that evening, the Oakland A's at San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.

At about 4:45, Brian started spaghetti sauce and I was painting a design on one of my jean jackets. We settled in to watch the game at 5:00. At 5:04, as I was plugging in the iron to set the fabric paint, the apartment started shaking. I sat down on the couch and Brian was in his chair and we had our arms around each other, waiting for the shaking to stop. It didn't. It got louder and louder....and Brian yelled, "into the doorway!" and we ran to the den door. But the floor was pitching up and down, and contrary to what people say about quakes sounding like trains, this one sounded like a pile driver. BAM! BAM! BAM! Brian crawled across the floor and shoved the TV back into place b/f it fell on the floor.

The shaking finally subsided and you could hear a pin drop. The entire city was brought to its knees and was completely silent. Then you could hear the screaming start from different buildings in our neighborhood. We had two quick aftershocks. I was alternating between crying and laughing. We first joined our landlord in the lobby for a quick building inspection and everything was fine. Then we went out to walk around. Most of the facades in our neighborhood, the Richmond District, are brick or stucco, over wood frames. So while the homes themselves were fine and flexed during the quake, the facades had cracked or fallen onto the streets.

People were walking around in a daze, listening to the radio. We didn't realize how bad things were till we rounded the corner and saw the plume of smoke coming from the Marina District. The Marina District was built on landfill. After the 1915 Panama Pacific Expo, all the temporary buildings were knocked down and pushed into the Bay, and multi million dollar homes built on top. So when the shaking started, the ground turned to jelly. Our neighborhood, the Richmond District, was built on top of sand dunes. It's a bit less stable than bedrock but we held our own.

We managed to find a working pay phone and I called my parents. My mom must have been sitting on the phone b/c she answered after half a ring, in near hysteria, telling the operator yes, yes, she'll accept a collect call!! It never occurred to me that with all the media in town for the game, that everyone else in the country was seeing live pictures of what just happened, while the residents of San Francisco were literally in the dark with no power and only hit or miss telephone service. Some of our friends were able to get through to us that first night and day, and I was not amused when my friend Jack said, "Hey! What's shakin'?"

We spent a very stressful night with little sleep, but the power was on for us by the morning. We both suffered terrible post traumatic stress after this quake. Any little movement that shook our apartment building caused us both to have anxiety attacks for months. I will never forget how San Franciscans and Bay Area residents pulled together to help in any way we could. We were all alone, cut off from everyone else and it was our time to shine; everyone was your friend. Bush #1 was in the White House at the time and you know what he did? He sent that idiot Dan Quayle to survey the damage about 2 weeks after the quake.

Since 10/17/89, we've experienced several aftershocks and minor quakes, and in 2001, we were here in Washington for the Nisqually Earthquake. I think we've had our fair share of major disasters.

This is the Marina District. 3-story apartment buildings were reduced to rubble. People on the 3rd floor found themselves looking at the street after the shaking stopped. The fire was terrible. This quake was so reminiscent to the 1906 quake when the entire city burned down.
This is the Cypress Structure, aka The Nimitz Freeway, which pancaked and crushed people in their cars. It was 5:00 p.m., the height of commute time.
Here's a picture of a car that nearly ended up in the Bay when a section of the Bay Bridge dislodged and fell to the roadway below. The Bay Bridge was closed for one month as engineers worked 24/7 to get it back together. Traffic was a horror show as people had to use the already stressed Golden Gate Bridge to get to the East Bay.
Another Marina District building.

October 15, 2006

Canine Fest 2006

Canine Fest 2006 was held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds this weekend. We took the "kids" yesterday. It was a very cold, foggy day so there weren't a lot of dogs and their people out and about, but we still had a good time and Pepper & Sagan enjoyed all the extra attention, pets and meeting new doggie friends.
I probably should have saved the pictures to my computer first instead of downloading them from my camera because I have no way of rotating the picture in blogger. Oh well. Sagan still looks smart in his Halloween bandana.

We were unprepared to have either dog attempt to jump into the water to fetch a toy, but next year we'll bring towels. The dogs that were jumping had a blast and I can totally see Sagan diving off enthusiastically. I'm not sure Pepper will jump; she doesn't like water very much, including rain, although she did get herself completely soaked when we took her to Cannon Beach in Oregon last year!!

October 13, 2006

Frisky Friday

My boss is closing the office at 12:00 noon today because we've been working so hard for the past month. Have a great weekend everyone!!! Thanks to the VDO Vault, TheReel, Val & anyone else I got the piccies from!!