It you look carefully enough, you will see that the two balloon create the shape of a heart. Long ago my beautiful Brandi etched a place in my heart. Long before she was born, I felt her close to my heart when she would move around and kick and stretch. Then the moment she was born, I fell in love. She was a beautiful baby and through the years she grew and she grew and she grew from a tiny baby, to a little girl, and then a virtuous young woman, and then this beautiful woman of faith. I feel so blessed to call her my daughter. Recently she and the "little boys" visited us in Seattle. This was not an easy endeavor as she had layovers which meant she had to wrestle two boys not only on airplanes but also at different airports between flights. That is exhausting for anyone and believe me...Henry can run...FAST. She made a huge sacrifice to visit and support her brother as Dan and Tiny were blessing Charlie-Marie. It meant so much to me because I know that besides the physical sacrifice, there was also a financial sacrifice. I love you Brandi for so many reasons. You will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for teaching me so many great life lessons and reminding me about the importance of sacrifice.
Some of you know that my Louie is an avid diver. He dives two to three times a week in the Puget Sound (I know it is cold and dark). When I see the joy on his face, it makes me happy because I know he is doing something that makes him feel fulfilled. Recently Dan was visiting and he and Louie dove at Commencement Bay. Balou (Henry) wanted to join Uncle Dan and Papa for the dive and he was quite upset when he was not allowed to go into the water with them. He kept watching for them to resurface. Much to all our enjoyment Louie and Dan brought up some beautiful sea life for us to see (starfish, sea cucumbers, crabs, and much more). Lincoln thought they were pretty awesome and Balou kept saying, "Cooool."
A lot has happened...Okay, so it has been one year. A year ago at this time Louie and I were grandparents to 5 beautiful grandchildren (Lincoln, Cannon, Carsen, Henry, and Isaac) but now we have added two more beautiful little granddaughters (Brynna and Charlie-Marie). Now, hold on everyone we are also expecting another grandchild in November.
Dinner at the Met was all that we could think about for two weeks. We loved the food when we were there a few years ago and knew that one day we would make it a priority to go again. All that I have to say is BUMMER!!! I ordered a peppercorn steak. It sounded absolutely fabulous. I saw waiters carrying this entree past my table and I was sure that I would love, love, love it!!!
I didn't. I guess if you like a whole entire bottle of peppercorns (not an exaggeration) not only in the sauce but embedded in your beef then this is the steak for you. After two bites I knew I was not in love and it was devastating. This love affair with the Met was suddenly over. Our waiter graciously offered to bring me another meal. I felt horrible asking for something else. After all the waiter had warned me after taking my order, "Do you like hot peppery food?" Of course I do, and all the images of peppery foods that I love and crave filled my mind...green chile; chile rellenos; salsa made with habenoros. My tastebuds glory in hot stuff I thought. Ha! Ha! Ha! waiter take that! I live for hot peppery foods! He didn't tell me that the Met uses at least 1/2 cup of full peppercorns as the spice for "aged" beef. So, when I turned him down on ordering something else, he graciously suggested that he atleast take the meat to the kitchen, wash off the peppers, and then regrill it. That would suffice. When he returned, there was my slab of meat laying solo on a clean white plate. I eagerly cut a slice of the steak and slipped it into my mouth. It had not been grilled, just scrubbed clean of any indication that a peppercorn had once been embedded into the meat. What I tasted was something like a soured dishtowel smells like. Okay...so, now I learn that I am not too crazy about aged beef, which the waiter also informed us that the Chef had proudly aged 39 days. I had no idea what that meant. It sounded so "chefy" so Food Network expertise like. So, now I am stuck with a meal that costs more than I make an hour. Who knew that Louie loves aged beef? I told him that I would proudly serve him aged dish towel but it would take me a month to get it to its prime. He just laughed and smiled at me. The waiter asked if we would like to look at dessert. We agreed to apple pie jubilee. Whoa! talk about delicious. Yum! Yum! So, the Met redeemed its good name with dessert and we were off to see RENT.
RENT...Louie looked at me and informed me that I was fired from Broadway musical selection. Need I say more? It was a bit of a stretch for us.
So dinner and the theater--Yes! September El Gaucho and WICKED.
Louie and I both wanted to travel around the peninsula in Washington. We love the ocean and found great fun climbing over huge trees that had washed up along the shore. We played in the water. We collected rocks. We saw whales about 100 yards off the shore. What an amazing site. We stopped a resorts along the way as potential vacationing spots for us. We stopped at a Cedar tree that was hollowed out inside and took pictures. You could see clear to the top of the tree because there were places where the knot holes had eroded away, allowing for sunlight to shine through. We drove to the hot springs and hiked into Sol Duc Falls. I know it is hard to believe that we actually hiked well over a mile into the falls and then of course out that same distance. It was a beautiful hike.
What we thought Folklife Festival was and what we actually encountered were two very
different events. Louie and I heard from co-workers that we would really enjoy the
Folklife Festival. With eager anticipation we drove to the Seattle Center. But what we
experienced was nothing like we anticipated. What we experienced was at best WOODSTOCK 2009. It was a time warp...as if we had been sent back to the 1960's. We looked for those pockets of artisan wares and dancing and singing that demonstrated another culture at its finest. Unfortunately we were disappointed and found ourselves feeling like salmon swimming upstream in search of home, swimming amongst a sea of travelers with no destination. We were reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah and how the fate of the city was regarded as a warning against sensual wickedness. We thought about the great and spacious building and felt sorrow at some of the sights along the way. People were advertising for Hemp Fest. Louie looked at me and said, "I
think this is Hemp Fest." One person held a sign calling everyone to repentance...including
sports nuts. Two elderly men reminded us that possibly they still think they are at Woodstock and
just discovered each other again, "Whoa! Dude...long time no see." And yet to a small degree we are all wanderers to a certain extent. Searching for home. Searching for truth. Sometimes we are stuck in a time warp and can't seem to move on. Our body images depicting the trends and fashions of our days or of our beliefs. But in the end, we all need a little repentance. Or maybe a lot of repentance. We all need the Savior and the atonement. We are all children of God.
Two weeks ago Louie and I drove to LaConner (Skagit County) to see the tulips in full bloom. While we didn't see tulips, we were impressed with the beautiful daffodils. Today the sight was breath taking. Fields and Fields of beautiful tulips blooming in their full glory in every color imaginable. It was if God threw a colorful quilt on the ground.
Louie and I have been to Salish Lodge a couple of times. Once to celebrate our anniversary and again...two years ago when we went to Prom...that's right PROM (we chaperoned). Salish Lodge offers the best hot stone massages (trust me). I have always wanted to take pictures of the falls and so when the sun was out on Sunday (this can be a rarity in Seattle) we headed toward the falls.
While we were in La Conner, there was an Easter Parade. Louie kept me entertained by saying as loudly as possible, "Honey, I am so happy we drove all the way from Montana to see this parade." OR..."This is the best parade, Honey, I am so glad we drove from Phoenix to see this parade." When the Easter Bunny marched by, Louie said, "Honey, take a picture of me kissing the Easter Bunny."
Every Year in April the tulips bloom in Skagit Valley (North of Seattle). We have lived in Washington eleven years and every year Louie and I say, "Next year we are going to see the fields and fields of tulips." Two weeks ago, Louie and I finally made a day trip to Mt. Vernon and La Conner because we wanted to see the tulips in all their splendor;however, when we arrived the tulips had not blossomed. Instead we saw fields and fields of daffodils.