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

April 30, 2013


When I was a little girl, there was a fairly popular drink in this region known as ZaRex.  This cute zebra was the mascot.  

My parents were pretty much against my having sugary drinks, but it couldn't be helped when I was in the company of other children at their homes.  There was a family from Boston who rented our beach cottage every summer for a couple of weeks, and they became friends with my parents.  They had 3 kids who were a little younger than me.  Whenever I was invited over to play, we were given ZaRex.  The lemon/lime flavour.  I've never been a huge fan of lemon/lime but that particular drink was refreshing, especially after we'd spent hours playing on the beach and swimming.  I begged my mom to buy it.  Begged, pleaded, cajoled, until I finally wore her down.  She came home with the lemon/lime flavour and I helped her to unpack it from the grocery bag.  I couldn't wait to have some!!  When mom went back to the car to get the last bag, I poured myself a nice big glass.  I wondered why it was so thick and why it took almost the entire bottle to fill my glass.  It was the colour of antifreeze.  Mom came into the kitchen in time to see me tipping the glass back to take a big swig.  She yelled out, 'Joanne NO! That has to be MIXED WITH WATER FIRST!'  It was too late.  I had a mouthful of strong, ultra-sweet, sticky concentrated syrup.  I don't remember if I swallowed it or spit it out, but I never drank ZaRex again.  

A big thank you to the Blogging A-Z Challenge hosts and the Grand Poobah, Arlee Bird, for organizing this month of blogs! It was a great time and I'm glad I was a part of it. 

April 29, 2013

Yosemite National Park

I was very lucky to get to visit Yosemite on two occasions.  The first was in 1988, when my dad and I spent three glorious weeks touring Northern California, and the second in 1992 when my parents came out to visit me in San Francisco.  

Dad and I headed to Yosemite from South Lake Tahoe, by hugging the very arid eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and entering Yosemite from the east.  I kept seeing these magnificent cliffs from the highway and it turned out to be Tioga Pass, Yosemite's eastern entrance.  I didn't take any pictures of the pass itself  once we got there, because it was just too huge and couldn't be captured on film.  I even tried to find a good close up of it on Google Images and there aren't any that truly capture the jaw dropping beauty of it.  

Heading west into Yosemite's heart.  This area is called Tuolumne Meadows (pronounced:  too-AHL-um-nee).

 El Capitan

Dad and I drove to the summit of Glacier Peak.  I felt like we were on top of the world.  That's Half Dome.

Looking straight down at Yosemite Valley.  Did I mention I'm scared of heights till it comes to getting a good photo?

These next pics were taken in 1992 when we went w/ both of my parents who were visiting us in CA for a couple of weeks.   BTW, I was damn sick on this trip, with bronchitus.  The drive through the mountains & subsequent pressure changes in my ears had me weeping with pain...I had to go to the Yosemite Medical Clinic in the park, be seen by a doctor & get the antibiotics prescription filled, all on site. 

Yosemite Falls and mule deer in the meadow.  

Yosemite Valley

I sure would love a do over on this trip and take digital pics.

Giant sequoia.  Did you know that 'sequoia' is the only word that contains all the vowels?

Yosemite is in Central California, in gold country.  We stayed in the town of Mariposa, about 30 miles from the park's western entrance.  Dad & I went in August, and during the 2nd year of what was a 6 year drought, so the waterfalls were pretty non-existent.  Temps topped the high 90s every day, which was a drag.  It was also really crowded; we are in major danger of loving that park to death.  They even thought about a lottery system for the summer months.   When we went in April of 1992, the drought was breaking and the waterfalls were awesome from the snow melt.  I would recommend going in the spring.  It's also less crowded and much cooler.

April 27, 2013


OK X is a tough letter for which to find a decent topic.  I almost went with the Xenia, OH super outbreak of tornadoes from April, 1974 but there was just too much info.  Perhaps next year for the 40th anniversary.  Thus began the 'dance of the truly desperate', googling subjects that begin with the letter X.  

I finally decided to settle on Xanadu, that horrible roller disco movie from 1980 starring Olivia Newton John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly.  That last one always surprised me.  Why would Gene Kelly agree to get involved with this awful project?  He surely had enough money by then.  ONJ was riding a huge wave of popularity by 1980 between 'Grease' in 78 and her string of hits after that.  Michael Beck was in the cult classic movie 'The Warriors' the year before.  

My interest in the movie was solely due to ELO's contribution to the soundtrack.  I was a rabid ELO fan at the time and a couple of the songs had been pre-released before the movie came out, including "I'm Alive".  I only went to the movie in the hopes that they'd be featured performing.  Instead they showed The Tubes.  The movie was, and remains, just wretched.

Did any of you see this train wreck of a film? What did you think?

April 26, 2013

Wacky Packs

I first became acquainted with Wacky Packs in about 3rd or 4th grade.  I used to beg for them all the time.  My dad would sometimes surprise me with a pack or two when he got home from work.  I got them in my Christmas stocking and as a reward for good grades or good behaviour.  There were about 10 stickers in each pack, and a stick of crappy gum that I chewed anyway.  I gave away my original collection back in the 70s but I was able to purchase back my entire collection from that era off eBay a few years ago.

To this day, I still refer to some products by their Wacky Pack names.  'Kentucky Fried Fingers, they're chicken lickin good' remains my fave (bottom left).

Dutch Boy paint will always be Ditch Boy to me.  Same with Land O'Quakes butter (Land O Lakes is the real name).

Mop & Glo goes on my grocery list as Mop & Glop.

The backs of the cards formed a puzzle of one of the stickers.

Did anyone else collect these from the mid-70s?

April 25, 2013

Vintage Christmas

I know we're in the throes of spring, and the holiday season is but a distant memory, but I want to share some pretty vintage Christmas images that I just love, love, love.  These pictures really evoke major nostalgic feelings in me.

I want to make something like this.

I looooooooove old rhinestone Christmas Tree pins.  My mom gave me her pin and matching earrings and when I see them, they bring back memories of my elementary school years.  

Love old ornaments too!

April 24, 2013

Underground Tour

I didn't get to do near as much as I wanted in the Seattle area, but I did get to go on the Underground Tour in the summer of 2010.  It's well worth it.  

A good portion of Olde Seattle was originally much lower on the marshy flatland just off Puget Sound.

Kinda hard to see the photo, but the present day street goes right over the tops of the buildings and the space between it.  Those are the buildings which are part of this tour.

Looking up at a skylight.  The clear glass was treated with manganese and that has turned the glass to rich shades of purple over time.

It should be noted that some people with claustrophobia would not like this tour at all.  It includes navigating through narrow doorways, stairs and passages, with fairly low ceilings.  There are three sections of this tour, and so it is broken up with trips up to the streets and sidewalks above for a few feet before descending again to the rooms below.

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour is located in Pioneer Square.  Seattle is a very difficult city in which to navigate by car, I'm not gonna lie. At least it was for me. Find a parking garage near downtown, grab a map and just walk from there.  

April 23, 2013

Timberline Lodge

I first saw Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of Stephen King's "The Shining" in the late 80s and loved it.  I was especially taken with the exterior shots of the batwing-style Overlook Hotel with a mountain right behind it.  (See the lenticular cloud?).  At some point I found out that the exterior shots were done at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon.  This is a screen shot from the movie.  

Here's an aerial shot, taken from the opening sequence of the movie, link HERE when Jack is driving up there for his interview.  I'd always hoped to see this place in person.  Every time I so much as think about Timberline Lodge, the Shining music that plays in the beginning of the music starts up in my head.  

I got the opportunity to see it in the fall of 2007!  The lodge is at the 6,000 feet up the side of Mt. Hood.  It stays open year round despite the average 20 feet of snow that falls.  Oh, and the drive up to the hotel is not at all what is featured in The Shining.  That is actually the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana.

A special snow shed entrance is erected over the stone entry way because the massive drifts make it impossible to access the doors on the first and second floors.

While the inside of the movie's Overlook Hotel was based upon the interior of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, seen below.....

.....the Timberline's interior is way more rustic and cozy.

I couldn't resist shooting a picture of this.  Fans of 'The Shining' will recall that it was the hotel/house controlling Jack and driving him insane.  For example, when Lloyd the bartender tells Jack that his money is no good there, he adds, '...orders from The House'.  So when I saw this 'house phone', I got a little creeped out.  

The first floor is a small museum and info center.

Beautiful wood carvings all over the place, especially near the stairs.

The second floor has all these cool writing and sitting nooks.

And Mt. Hood right behind it.

I'm glad I got to cross this one off my bucket list!

April 22, 2013

Salish Sea

The Salish Sea has been officially recognized by both Canada and the United States as the bodies of water that straddle the border between British Columbia and Washington.  It's pronounced SAY-lish, and named for the Coastal Salish people that lived on the shores.

It includes Puget Sound (taken from the top of the Seattle Space Needle).

Strait of Juan de Fuca (looking back at the Olympic Mountains from the Coho ferry).

Saanich Inlet (taken from Mt. Malahat on Vancouver Island)

The Strait of Georgia (taken from Chemainus, BC, also on Vancouver Island).

These are some of my fave pics of the Salish Sea, taken at sunrise from Willows Beach in Victoria, BC on my last trip in 2010.