Knee deep...

We spent the day on a road trip through some of our favorite parts of Western Washington, and ended up in a place we've never been before: Grand Mound. And just a bit north of this small town, we discovered the most amazing place. A huge open space park full of trails that wind through a sea of wildflowers.

I hadn't taken ten steps into the meadow before I was reaching  for my big girl camera, and it's a wonder I kept DW in sight, as much as I kept stopping to take pictures.

We stopped to chat with a woman with a huge black dog, who said a bear cub had been sighted earlier, out at the edge of the trees. Hope we don't run into it; the trees are where we're heading. But first, more photographs of the camas.

And the small purple violets, and the bright orange paintbrush, and the purple and white flowers that I couldn't identify.

As we walked back toward the parking area, the light was beginning to fade in the late afternoon, just as a family headed out into the flowers with their young daughter and two Golden retrievers. I was too far away for a really sharp image, but I love the light.



Winter was back this morning, hopefully for the last time. I woke to a chilly 33 degrees, but it warmed up quickly once the sun came up over the hills.

I fixed oatmeal for both of us, then headed out to run errands and go fabric shopping. I've made a sizeable dent in my neutrals and civil war fabrics with all the quilt kits I've been making, and found some beautiful replacements. Dave headed out for some solo caching, ending up in North Bend.

The garden is in transition. The lilacs are fading, and the camellias are gone. But there are buds on the poppies and the peonies, the bachelor's buttons are in full bloom, and the hostas and liatris and garden phlox are already tall.


The long way...

Today was my favorite kind of day. Heading for home, but going the long way 'round. Not many people would go from Leavenworth to Kent by way of Grand Coulee, Dry Falls, Vantage, Ellensburg, and Easton, but that's where our Pilot took us today. The wildflowers were gorgeous every place we stopped.

We skipped dinner, and at 10:30 pm we were in the snow above Snoqualmie Pass, looking for geocaches by flashlight. What a day!

When we walked in the door, Madison jumped up and down, she was so happy to see us.


Wild above Cashmere...

We drove the back roads between Leavenworth and Cashmere in search of a geocache or two... and found wildflowers instead.


A day with friends...

Wine tasting at Martin Scott. Lunch at Wenatchee's Pybus Market. Winemaker's dinner at Mountain Springs Lodge in Plain.



The lilacs are early again this year... and stunning. Their fragrance overshadowed the apple tree's more delicate scent, but the mingled white and lilac blooms were beautiful. Usually we get high winds and a lot of rain when the lilacs bloom, shortening their life. But this year we had warm temperatures, and the lilacs are lingering.


In bloom...

This morning I finished cutting whites for the new quilt kit. I'm really going to like this one. It's a lap quilt from one of my old books, from the days when you cut fabric using templates and scissors. Thank goodness someone invented the rotary cutter! It's a simple pattern made from two alternating blocks: a sawtooth star, and a 9-patch with a larger center square. Together they make a really cool design. I'm still trying to use up scraps; just needed to cut into a few more fat quarters to fill out the colors: red, brown, blue, gold, and rust.

I should be working in the yard, but we're getting ready for a long weekend out of town, so I turned my back on the outdoors. It was hard. The yard is beautiful right now. The lilacs are still in full bloom, and the perennials are ready to burst into bloom. This is my favorite time of year in the garden.



I slept in until 7:30 this morning. As I dressed, the sun began to come over the ridge and spill into the valley, and lit the pastures to bright white. White? I checked the thermometer, and it was 28 degrees. Whoa... what happened to spring? This is the coldest morning for weeks. I grabbed a coat and went out with my camera, knowing this will  probably the last time I'll see the white stuff this winter.


The sheer bliss of socks...

I've never had a cat that didn't love socks. But Madison is way, way above the rest. She "helps" me fold then, catches them when I toss them her way, and when she's completely exhausted, she climbs up on top of the pile, and falls sound asleep.


A carpet of pink...

A hundred flowering cherry trees bloom in Auburn, most of them in the parks, but some soften the lines of the old brick buildings in town. We walked through Pioneer Park today, and a brief windstorm overnight brought a carpet of pink down to the ground.


A cemetery with chickens...

Near our old farmhouse is a small pioneer cemetery, which used to be located in the creek valley just below us. It, like our old farmhouse, was part of a Finnish settlement that was established at the turn of the last century. Suise Creek was a community of loggers and coal miners and their families, who lived their lives near the banks of the creek.

The community is long gone, but some of the bones of the old settlement are still here, if you know where to look. Like the steps out near our county road, which once climbed to a white clapboard church. The old barns are slowly decaying and collapsing, to my great regret. But many of the original farmhouses still stand, and the names of the settlers live on the names of streets and schools.

The settlers established the cemetery too close to the creek, and the first time it flooded, they relocated it on top of the hill, out of harms way. The county changed the spelling of the creek to Soos Creek, but the cemetery still bears the original (and correct) name of the community.

Today we shared this peaceful place with a flock of chickens from the farmhouse next door.


A park for horses...

Bridle Trails was a mental magnet for me as a kid... the thought of a state park just for horses was amazing. I wanted to visit all the time, just to watch horses and envy their riders. When I was old enough, I got to do a girl scout summer camp there. A week of bliss, riding and grooming and learning about horses. The park has three big riding rings, and miles of trails through the woods.

Many years later, I was lucky enough to keep my horse near the park, just a fifteen minute ride up the shoulder of the road to get there. I took lessons in the big ring, and helped with horse shows, and knew every inch of the trails.

A geocache brought us here today, and we walked the trails for an hour or so, exploring. I remembered more than I thought I would, and it was fun to show DW around.



We met friends in old town Kent tonight for dinner at a Cajun restaurant. We caught up with the past two months of each other's lives, then walked next door to a martini bar to sit and talk some more. It was a perfect evening with friends... and this was the picture perfect Lemon Drop.


Spring tea...

Today was a good day. I puttered in the flower garden, worked on a new quilt kit, and did a solo cache on the way to pick up a friend. We spent the evening visiting with the ladies (and men) of a nearby quilt guild, and had such a good time, we've both decided to join.


New favorite place...

Madison's new favorite place is on the arm of the sofa, right next to me. I think Dave is a bit jealous, but personally I think Maddie really just wants to be close to the warmth of the table lamp. And today I had the blinds open, to let the sun shine in. She spent hours watching birds and spying on our neighbors.

Check out Maddie's fuzzy, hairy toes... all that long hair is a hallmark of her Siberian breed.


In the city...

Today was one of those amazing spring days. A day spent in a part of the city we haven't been to in a very long time. A day with geocaching friends. A day of walking on Queen Anne Hill, along the Montlake Cut, in Shilshole Park, and on the streets of Ballard.

If I were ever to live in a city, I'd live here. Ballard has a narrow business district along the water, and the rest is full of bungalows on tree-lined streets, old brick storefronts that now house coffee shops and local businesses, and the rest is quiet neighborhoods that follow the slope of the hills down to salt water, and out to Puget Sound.

We finished the evening sampling some local brews, then enjoyed a pizza at an old favorite, the Northlake Tavern.

This may be the best reuse of a container 
for a geocache that I've ever seen!