Saturday, July 29, 2017

Celebrate This Week!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.

Jack has reached a milestone.  He sits up all by himself!
Teddy and his mom are still enjoying summer in Utah.
I love these pics of him in a little red wagon.   


My tomatoes are ripening!  This week I'll have my first taste.  

I finished an absolutely delightful adult read.  News of the World by Paulette Giles is short (just over 200 pages), beautifully written,    and was a finalist for the National Book Award.  Perhaps some of my fascination with the title is because I know Texas.  I loved the map that allowed me to trace Johanna and Captain Kidd's journey

Gorgeous hydrangeas and hanging baskets fill me with joy.
So I pause to snap pictures that I can revisit later.  


We had a gray, misty morning.  I've missed those lately!  

I love this opportunity to pause and find the joyful moments.
Thank you, Ruth, for this community of friends
and the opportunity to celebrate each week.   

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Slice of Life: Infinity Mirrors Exhibit at Seattle Art Museum

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.


We arrived 30 minutes before our ticketed time.  Imagine our surprise when the line extended for an entire city block!  As we neared the end of that block, we realized that this line was for people hoping to get "day of" tickets to the exhibit.  In fact, there was a much shorter line queuing up for the 10:15 admission.  My husband knew this would be a popular exhibit, so he procured our tickets on the first day they became available to museum members.  I'm glad that he was prompt to purchase them.  There were six in our group + Jack, our almost six-month old grandson.

The exhibit, Infinity Mirrorsfeatures the work of Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama.  Her work was featured in a solo exhibition in Seattle at the Zoe Dusanne gallery in 1957.  The current exhibit is playful, colorful, and thought provoking.  Future stops for the exhibit include  The Broad in Los Angeles (October 2017–January 2018), the Art Gallery of Ontario (March–May 2018), the Cleveland Museum of Art (July–September 2018), and the High Museum of Art (November 2018-February 2019).

It was the perfect introduction for Jack to the world of art.  I couldn't help but reflect on a memorable visit to an art exhibit in 1988 when Blake and Sara were not quite two and four.  We drove from Houston to Dallas to see a centennial exhibition of Georgia O'Keefe's work at the Dallas Museum of Art.  It's an almost five hour drive, and we went there and back on the same day.  Watching the awestruck faces of our young children made the long car trip worthwhile and is a memory I still treasure.  

So with no further ado, join us on a brief stroll through our pictures from the Infinity Mirrors exhibit.  
 Jack and his mom framed in the sun
 Love the colors on this sculpture
 Who can resist smiling with color like this?
 A recreation of Kusama's original 
1965 Infinity Mirror Room-Phalli's Field
 My favorite Infinity Mirror - 
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity 
features lights that dim and illuminate again.
 Jack and Grandma hang out
in the Dots Obsession -
Love Transformed into Dots room.
Our friend Ryan peers into the 
Infinity Mirrored Room - Love Forever
to snap a pic of Jack and his mom
at another window.
The Obliteration Room, originally 
created in 2002, where participants
are given dots to transform a white room
and its furnishings.  Jack and parents loved it.
These paintings and sculptures are 
featured at the beginning of the exhibit
and they can be revisited as you finish the exhibit.  
The 87-year old artist continues to work in her Tokyo
studio.  This series, My Eternal Soul (2009-present),
is making its North American debut and is my
personal favorite from the exhibition.  

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Celebrate This Week: Grandchildren!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.

Last week we were in Park City, Utah spending a few days with our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.  They're in Utah visiting her family and we escaped to a cabin in Park City for a few days.  

Everyone asked what we did.  Our main activity was playing with Teddy as you can see from the pics I'm sharing.  The thing that surprised us most about Teddy's growth since his visit to our house in April is that he's chatting all the time.  He's at the stage where you have no idea what he's saying, but you know that he's carrying on full conversations!  His current favorite toy is a red ball purchased by Grandma Barb on a Target visit.  

 Balancing the big red ball
Hanging with Grandpa on the deck 
Playing with Grandpa at the park
Shopping at the Outlet Mall with Dad
 Clapping with Mom
Chatting with Grandma 
Teddy was napping & Grandma was visiting a 
friend when these moose came chomping
and clomping right beside the cabin.
I enjoyed a visit with my good friend Renae 
who now lives in Park City (and Arizona).
We connected with our friend Coleen
for a book club google chat.
Maybe if I take Grandpa's shoes he can't leave! 
Playing with the wire basket from Grandma's lunch
just before she and Grandpa leave for the airport
We love this pic that Stefi took
of the four of us on the deck.
 When these hydrangeas bloom just outside
our public library, then I know it's mid-summer.
I returned just in time to spend
Wednesday and Friday with Mr. Jack.
Admiring that boy in the mirror
Not sure who's happier, 
Jack or Grandpa!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Slice of Life: An Ordinary Bookstore Stop Turns Extraordinary!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

There was nothing special about this stop at my favorite indie bookstore, Island Books.  I was picking up a new picture book favorite. My husband reads the library copy to grandson Jack all the time. (Jack's mom has already told me that she wants her own copy).  I wanted to purchase a copy for Teddy, our other grandson so we could share it with him when we saw him and his parents on our quick vacation to Park City.  I know you're curious.  This new favorite book that will be in both grandson's libraries is Together by  Emma Dodd.  If you haven't seen it yet, stop now and request it from the library or check with your favorite indie bookstore to see if they have it in stock.

Like I said, there was nothing special about this stop at Island Books UNTIL . . .  Lillian reached under the counter and handed me an advance reader copy!   And not just any ARC,  but the ARC of a book that I'm eagerly anticipating that doesn't come out until this fall.  I fairly danced out of the store with Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's The War I Finally Won tucked under my arm.  I read it on our short vacation. Tomorrow I'll drop it off to my daughter, Sara.  She's a fast reader and will be able to finish it in time for me to return it to Lillian so it can continue to make the rounds of other lucky readers.  Thank you, Lillan, and thank you, Island Books!  I love this sequel as much as the first book.  And thanks to Emily Brubaker Bradley for this continuing story of Ada's life.   

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Celebrate This Week

Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.


I stepped out of the meeting room and into the main part of the library. A father and son were playing chess just outside our gathering.  I asked them if we were being too noisy. They assured us that our noise level was just fine.  I stood for a few moments, happy to savor the babble coming out of the room from members of our book club.  It was delightful to listen to the cacophonous chatter from this group of fourth to ninth graders who chose to gather and talk about books during the summer.

It was our first summer meeting of Books, Brownies, and Beyond.  Our group included regulars from the past year, a cousin of one of our members, friends of members and new book friends.  We welcomed Ms. Cifu to our gathering who will be in the library at IMS in the fall.

We began by going around the table, introducing ourselves, sharing our favorite genre(s) and what we've been reading so far this summer.  Ms. Bowman and I filled the table with book ideas for summer reading.  But the best suggestions came from fellow readers.  And everyone took advantage of a blank summer reading list page to record possible titles for future reading.  

Almost everyone present experienced book envy because Katie had the final installment for the Land of Stories series which had just come out that day.  
Everyone  chose a free book, compliments of Island Books who shares their ARCs with our book club.  And of course, we had cookie bars.  Here’s our parting shot that captured most of our attendees for our first summer meeting. 

Happy reading until we meet again on August 22 in the small library meeting room from 4-6 pm!   

Friday, July 14, 2017

Poetry Friday

Head over to Tabatha Yeatt's blog, 
The Opposite of Indifferencefor this week's
round-up of poetic goodness.  
Thanks, Tabatha, for hosting this week!

When our good friends, the Grahams (part of our chosen family), come to visit, we eat our way through Pike Place Market.  This poem captures a few favorites from members of our family both present and absent with a nod to Macaroni and Cheese Day and a link to a recipe.   


A Family Stroll through Pike Place Market

Hum bow at Mee Sum, Blake’s best treat
Macarons at the Le Panier, Lauren’s love
Piroshkys because Walt wants them & is willing to wait
A stop by Three Sisters Bakery for cookies for all
and sourdough bread for Lance
Peaches and cherries and green beans for later
And the final stop?
For Beecher’s mac & cheese, Sara’s favorite,
Heaven in a cardboard container!

-Ramona Behnke



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Slice of Life: Ten Things I Bought on the Tenth!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

It's late, but still Tuesday in my west coast world.  Today, I'm sharing ten things I bought on the tenth, a variation of last week's slice of 4 things I loved on the 4th of July.  

A friend and I headed out for a Costco run yesterday.  I asked her if she would be willing to join me for an extra expedition to University Books.  It was the first day of their 90% off sale and I purchased ten books for less than eight dollars.  I felt like it was Christmas in July!
  • 4 books on STEM topics for my niece's classroom
  • Lootas, a sea otter at our aquarium, written by a local author on the island
  • 1 favorite poetry book for gift giving
  • 2 books by Mem Fox to share with my grand boys - Tough Boris and Tell Me About Your Day Today
  • 2 serendipitous finds - Mrs. Harkness and the Panda, a delightful book illustrated by Melissa Sweet and I Know Here, a book I loved sharing with my students when we did personal narratives
And here's my friend, Shelly, with her stash of
four finds for her granddaughter.    

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Celebrate This Week - What's Fun?

Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.


Thanks, Ruth, for this morning's reflection of time spent with Sam, your resident early riser.  I like the idea of deciding what we want to be busy doing.  Today's post includes fun from the past week as well as fun that I'm anticipating!
  • Being reunited with Mister Jack after his first trip  (He was gone for ten days!)
  • Jack's first ferry ride and some pre-4th of July fun with Will's family
  • Pics of Teddy enjoying the 4th in Utah with Grandma Barb, Aunt Amy, and Mom

  • A belated birthday celebration with friends - good food, gentle breezes, a shady dining spot, and book conversations
  • Watching Grandpa and Jack read together
  • Reading picture books before bed  (A big thanks to my blogging friends whose recommendations fill my holds shelf at the library and keep my picture book basket full!)
  • Waking up to bird songs at 6 am instead of 4 am
  • Anticipating Island Celebration today and Jack's first parade
  • Anticipating our book club's annual summer gathering at Shannon's place (There's something magical about our summer discussion that includes spouses and friends, dinner, and discussion with views of the lake and Mt. Rainer.)
  • Anticipating time with Teddy, Stefi, and Blake at a cabin in Park City