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

October 28, 2009

Happy Accidents

Ha. I got the Vincent Vixens' attention with that one, eh?

Actually, I'm talking about a happy accident that happened on Monday.

I took a mini vacation, from last Wednesday afternoon through yesterday. On Monday, I checked my emails from the weekend and found one from my old friend Gene Morrow, who is a merchant marine. He always sends out a mass email to everyone before he ships out to let us know that he'll give us his ship-email address as soon as they are underway. As I read, my eyes bugged out and I yelled loudly, "HOLY SHIT!". His email went on to say that he was currently Seattle, would be staying overnight in Tacoma on Tuesday, and that his ship was leaving from the Port of Tacoma on Wednesday morning. I was floored. All I could manage to email back was a quick, "YOU ARE IN SEATTLE???????" He said yes he was, and confirmed that he would be staying in Tacoma on Tuesday night. He was apparently under the impression that I was on the other side of the mountains, in Eastern Washington. His younger brother John kept telling him no, Joanne is near Tacoma. And Gene kept saying, "No way, she's on the other side." He emailed me his cell # and I called him and we made plans to meet up as soon as he arrived down here on Tuesday afternoon.

What a fantastic surprise! And to have it fall on a day off was just the best too, although I would have taken a half day at work (and I know Steve would have let me too) if I had to. I was so excited to see him and as usual, we had a great time together. Walked around downtown Tacoma, had lots of laughs. We even stopped by Brian's new office so I could introduce them. Had a good meal at The Ram. Lots of catching up on 'town gossip' (Gene knows everyone!) and our mutual friends & family news.

Here he is on the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.

My parents are Gene's godparents (he always calls me his 'godsister'). My parents and his were best friends starting in the mid-1950's. Gene, Jr. (or as we used to call him "little Gene") is 10 months older than me, Marybeth (his sister, aka MB) is 6 mos. younger, and John 5 years younger. My dad often hired their dad to help him with plumbing jobs. We went to NH together in 1972, and after we kids were grown or in college, my parents, theirs & a bunch of other couples always took an annual trip to Maine together every fall from 1986 through 2002.

Gene, Sr. nicknamed me "Binky" when I was a baby b/c I loved my pacifier. I have always been, and will always be, Binky, to him. When I was in high school, I was mortified if he referred to me as Binky in public or in front of any of my schoolmates so he really made an effort to say, "Hello Joanne" but a look would always pass between us.....gratitude on my part for not 'outing' my nickname and amusement on his part. And I have to give the Morrow kids a ton of credit for never, ever calling me Binky in the halls at school or when we were with our friends. My life at Sandwich Elementary and High Schools would have been miserable. But I saw Gene, Sr. at my dad's funeral and was quite comforted when he called me Binky. My dad's casket had the American Legion Honor Guard, at the funeral home, which is what is done for our war vets. Gene was one of them. He also presented the folded American flag to my mom at the graveside.

My mom and Carol still, to this day, yack on the phone for 2 hours or more. We kids literally grew up in each other's homes from babyhood through high school. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of spending time with their family. Every time I got together with the those guys, it was guaranteed that, at some point, one or all of us would be spraying liquid out our noses & mouths from laughing. They were "town kids" and they knew everyone. They still do. That house was always busy with activity, people dropping in, tons of kids going in and out. It was a lot of fun, especially for me, who grew up on a lonely, quiet road with no kids my age, in a rural part of East Sandwich. Their annual January 1st "Bloody Mary New Year Brunch" was legendary in Sandwich in the mid-70's. Their large, old home was packed stem to stern with adults, and us kids would be outside playing in the snow and sledding.

Here's Marybeth in 1978, in the apple tree at my house.

John in June, 1983, at MB's high school graduation party. He's married and has 2 kids and lives in Arizona. He's trying to arrange for his family, MB & her hubby Al, and Gene to all take a trip to Seattle so we can hang out. That would be a blast. I hope it comes together.

When we were little kids, Carol and my mom used to call Gene and I "The Twins" because our personalities are so much alike. We are both extremely stubborn and brutally frank....and our tempers are pretty similar as well.

Gene in 1975, trying to get my mom not to take his photo.

I am very lucky to have these people in my life. A very happy accident, indeed.

October 22, 2009

Tahoma Beadworks

I finally got some decent photos of my jewelry.

October 16, 2009

It's done. It's finally over.

After years of threatening, I finally did it. I cleaned the damn garage. The last time I recall doing this was some time in 2004 and boy did it get out of hand. Click on the pictures for the full view of what Fibber McGee's garage would look like if he'd had one.Boxes and crap piled crazily here and there, balancing precariously on top of other junk. Holiday decorations improperly stored.
I park on this side of the garage. Every time I opened my car door to get out, I'd smash it into some gardening tool which would then of course topple over, usually against the table, which would then set in motion more crap rolling off the table and onto the floor. I found a squished roll of duct tape under my tire one day.
What the hell is all this crap?
(the 'CASSA-D" license plate was on my old Toyota when I lived in Massachusetts in the late 80's. It's a tribute to Neal Cassady and also one of my fave Dead songs, "Cassidy").
Brian's work boots, last used at the end of the Clinton Administration.
After 5 hours of steady cleaning and purging on Saturday, another 2 hours on Sunday, frequently fogged up glasses from sweating, and many aches and pains later, I finished it. I finally assembled the garden tool holder. Now when I open my car door, it smashes against the holder, but at least nothing tips over or threatens to conk me in the head, like some slapstick comedy movie where the guy steps on a rake.
I swept a fir tree's worth of pine needles off the floor. I had to use the snow shovel to scoop them into the barrel.
Items properly stored. There's even room for the lawn mower this year!

We gave our new next door neighbors the unassembled weight bench and unassembled garden cart. The dream is over, ladies and gents. Brian ain't gonna be liftin' any weights any time soon, nor is it likely I'm going to be killing myself doing enough yardwork to warrant a cart, either. That's OK. The neighbors are a sweet, young couple just starting out. They have the energy for this crap. We don't. They were happy to get the stuff for free and we were happy that we didn't have to load them up and haul them somewhere. We gave the unused, 6 year old bikes to another neighbor for his kids. I took 2 huge carloads of stuff to the Goodwill on Monday & Tuesday, filled the recycling bin and 3 trash cans.

This corner was the worst of all. I'd cleaned the whole garage up to the freezer on Sat. and the last 2 hours on Sunday were devoted to this area. I think that "Weekly World News" would be interested to know that I found both Jimmy Hoffa AND Amelia Earhart in this part of the garage.
OMG I can finally BREATHE again! We can finally fit both our vehicles comfortably again! I can get to the freezer without stepping on all kinds of junk or knocking things over!!
Totally worth the aches n pains. Now I won't have to do it again till 2013. lol

October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Because I just can't get enough of LOL goggies.

Happy Hump Day!

October 11, 2009

Messin with the Moon

We had a beautiful harvest moon last week.So I started messing around with my camera.

After I saw this one, it gave me the idea to try and draw a pentacle with the full moon.
This was my first attempt. Close, but not quite....
Then I nailed it.

October 8, 2009

The Web

No, not Worldwide, but Spider. It's been foggy the last couple of mornings, and I shot these at work today. Click on the pics for a larger view.

Note how they billow in the breeze.

Later on in the day, the sun came out. As you can see, the foliage has finally started!

October 4, 2009

Northwest Trek

Back in June, we spent the morning at Northwest Trek, a beautiful and brilliant wildlife preserve featuring animals found in the Pacific NW. I was very disappointed that the woodland creatures weren't out, and the otter tank was being cleaned so the otters were elsewhere. The bear exhibit was closed, and the wolves & big cats were elusive. Shooting the birds was difficult because of the low lighting in the woods, yet the flash made them looked washed out. But the big game animals came out great and most were shot from a moving tram!