Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Peace Garden in Minneapolis

Hi Nancy,
Have you ever been to the Minneapolis Peace Garden?
When you walk around this sculpture at the entrance,

you can read a poem, and you can read it in at least two different ways.  
There are probably more.

               Poem 1         or            Poem 2

       minds widen                      widen ideas
             ideas open                        

       ideas open                         open spirits

             spirits connect                 connect hearts

       spirits connect                    connect hearts

             hearts free                       free minds 

       hearts free                         free minds

             minds widen                     widen  ideas 

Love, Mary

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ben and Amandas' Wedding

Jim and I took Amtrak out to Portland for Ben and Amanda's Wedding. We had a great time and saw a lot of scenery. I will put the scenery up on Webshots eventually but here are people pictures. Some we already knew and some we just met.

We had a lovely time visiting with the family and getting to know Cannon Beach, Oregon. What a wonderful little town and what a fabulous beach.
But first, we landed in Portland, Oregon and got to wander around for awhile. We were sent to a neat little diner for a late breakfast and met Jim 'no last name' there. He told us how to get to Powells bookstore and suggested the Chinese Garden as a great place to visit. We went to Powells that day and saved the garden until we were on our way back.We three sisters had rented a house (Whispering Sands) from Haystack Lodgings and it was really nice. I would go there again. It was just half a block from the beach. It had an electric fireplace that kept the upstairs warm. We had our own kitchen so we could cook, a table perfect for Hand and Foot and free popcorn. What more could we ask for? Well, an iron and ironing board, and they provided that too.

So we bummed around for a day and then we had the rehersal dinner with Amanda and Ben's family on Friday night. There we met RUSS and Molly (shown with Jim). Russ is NOT named Jeff, or Geoff. Molly is one of the Bridesmaids. It was also Christy's birthday so she got a cake and a vase of the gorgeous floral decorations from the tables.
Finally, on Saturday, the wedding. Which was why we were all there to start with. Christy was the cutest groomswoman.
Ben and Amanda danced the first dance. This is a really loud video, you might want to turn the volumn down.

Then we all got a little crazy and we all danced. No pictures of that thank goodness. Did I mention there was unlimited wine?

Sunday we all slept in and I played a game of Hand and Foot with Dresdon (age 9). He beat me the sneaky guy.

Then we had a short late luncheon at Amanda's parents home in Cannon Beach. We got to talk to Martha and Jim. Martha was one of the Bridesmaids too and her Dad lives about 6 blocks away from our parents. We didn't get a picture of Martha and Jim. For some reason I didn't take my camera.

Paul and Liz and Dresdon left from the luncheon and the rest of us went back to Whispering Sands and packed to get ready to leave the next day. Jeni was really worried about the oatmeal and I had to tell her I would take it home. I lied. I needed room for yarn. Oatmeal can be bought anyplace but Noro's Kureyon is not always available in North Dakota.

On Monday, after an early breakfast with Mary, Brian and Jeni, back Jim and I went to Portland to finally check out the Chinese Gardens, superb,
and get back on the Amtrak for Grand Forks.

This is the Portland Station, but for some reason, Jim likes the Whitefish Station the best.

I wonder why that could be?



Monday, October 6, 2008

Short post

Hi Nancy,
Just a few quick pictures (Skeeter says she only looks at the pictures...well!)
I had to harvest the basil because something was starting to give it brown spots. It is a lot of basil:

I used the heirloom tomatoes you left here and made a very tasty tomato sauce, if I do say so myself:

I cooked diced chicken breast in it, and served it in a bowl with polenta on top.
I have three shopping bags stapled up, with basil drying in them. Yippeeee, I'll have plenty of aromatic flavorful basil until next year's harvest.
Love, Mary

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tulip Mania in North Dakota

Hi Mary, Yesterday I planted the bulbs I had ordered from Brent and Becky's Bulbs. I have been a customer since Brent Heath did a seminar for the Minnesota State Hort. Society about 20 years ago. He brought a bouquet of daffodils to the seminar on the plane from Virginia and talked about heirloom bulbs.
So this year I ordered 100 bulbs. All but 10 of them were tulips. My goal, dream, idea is that the back northeast corner of my garden will have tulips all along the border outside my brick path. That is about 10 feet along the north side and 10 feet along the east side. This part of the garden is totally invisible in the summer as the asparagus grows up and hides it, (and shades it). This is the north side with asparagus cut back so we can get in there to plant.
and this is the east side with similar cutting. Below is what it looks like from the back porch steps.But in the spring it is visible. Now I hope is will be beautiful as well as visible. (Unless the deer, rabbit, groundhog, skunk, voles and assorted other wildlife eat the bulbs, leaves, buds and blooms of course)
Here is my muscle.
I ordered 50 Tulipa 'Maureen'. Between every 10 of Maureen I planted another 10 bulbs of different tulips. So, ten of T. 'Hocus Pocus' which, with Maureen, is considered a single late tulip. Then ten of T. 'ViriLemon', which is a Viridiflora, a novelty tulip with partly greenish tepals. Sounds good doesn't it? (I think tepals are petals in an alternate universe). Another ten of T. 'Bright Parrot', and of T. 'Professor Rontgen' which are both considered 'parrot' tulips. Bright, gaudy, ruffled or fringed tulips. You can see why I like them. The Maureen is put in for a place to rest your eyes after the excitement of the other tulips.
Yes I know that only comes to 90. I also bought 10 Allium aflat.'Purple Sensation'. That is planted on the south side of the garden with a couple of Liatris. Hopefully they will attract lots of butterflies. Jim got the name of Liatris, aka Blazing Star or Gayfeather, from an article about attracting butterflies and we bought a couple from Sunnyside Gardens the last day we were there.

Here's to dreams.



Friday, October 3, 2008

Back in North Dakota

Hi Mary,
The trip home was uneventful. I got to stop at National Camera Exchange and also at Blue Bamboo. Blue Bamboo is one of my favorite quilt shops. It started out as online only and still does most of its business that way, but if you want to come in and browse you may. So it was sort of like going to Meg Swanson's Schoolhouse Press a few weeks ago.

When you first enter there is a little office just inside the door. However it is so covered with fabric offerings that you hardly notice it. A few feet further in you look to the left into the store and there you see fabric. Piles of it. Some is nicely organized and some is piled up all over every flat surface. (It is hard to find a cutting table that can be used) More is stacked on the floor waiting to be put away. Up above you can see quilts hanging from the ceiling and tacked to the walls. They did two of the quilts in the One Block Wonders: Encore book and you can see parts of those two in the picture above.There are fat quarters and half yard cuts and there are piles of remnants too. They have a wonderful selection of orientals. More than at any other store I have been to which is why I like this store alot. I hardly ever make it into the batik section, but it also is very large. I only spent 20 dollars there which was very restrained of me. Jim waited patiently in the car with his coffee and 4 papers from Seattle.

Before I left I took some pictures of Fatty Kitty being cute and flat,

and Mom with her purse (she is cute too.) I didn't have a picture of that purse yet.

I also took a picture of you. It is very symbolic because it is a dark picture and it always seems to me as if you fall into a black hole whenever school starts. So here you are, 'holed up' in the upstairs sitting room reading for class.

Take care.