Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Mary Teresa Caulfield.......a daughter, sister, wife, mother and aunt was among those who lost their lives in the North Tower of the World Trade Center that sunny and clear morning, September 11, 2001.  She was an executive assistant working in her office at Marsh & McLennan, an insurance company. 
On September 11, 2002 one of my co-workers went by the YMCA before she came into the office.  As she entered the 'Y' there was a table set up, that held business size cards of tributes to the victims of 9-11-01.  Julia gathered up enough of them for those of us already at work and when she came in, she stopped at each desk to let us choose a card.  I chose Mary Teresa Caulfield because she was very close to my age. 

Mary Teresa, you would be 69 years old now, you would be retired and no doubt would have taken that dream vacation with your husband, James.  Maybe you would have even welcomed grandchildren by now...grandchildren that will never know you.  All those dreams were cut short in an instant by a senseless act of a few.  A senseless act of hatred, that most of the people in this world still can't understand. 

I carry that little green card with your name and the fact that you were confirmed dead in the World Trade Center that day~that horrible day,  September 11, 2001. I continue to pray for the loved ones and friends you left behind. 

May we never forget those who left us that day and may we never, ever  forget those few who brought about this horrible event. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Can't Believe It

I'm having trouble accepting the fact that it's September already....didn't we just celebrate Christmas?  No really I realize that for most of us summer has come and gone.  Although here in the Pacific Northwest, we are still having 75 degree plus days, however the nights absolutely feel like the start of fall.   My garden did pretty good this year and there's still many tomatoes out there that are in various stages of ripening.  I planted Sweet Peas last February and have enjoyed a bouquet on the kitchen window sill all summer. 
The rhododendrons in my side and front yard were amazing again this year.  I love them but they do make a mess after they're finished blooming. 

 I discovered last year that about the end of June both Lowe's and Home Depot have these racks of nearly dead plants at greatly reduced prices.  I've never spent more than $3 for a half dead perennial in a gallon size container.  I bring them home, cut off the dead part, water them, talk to them and I end up with a nice plant for very little money. I'm slowly switching over to perennials because they will come back year after year. Meanwhile, I've been filling in the nooks and crannies in my flower beds.   

 The week of June 25th, we packed up the truck and camper and headed south on I-5.  We went as far as Grants Pass, Oregon and then stopped in Winston at the Wildlife Animal Safari. It was an amazing, slow ride thru over 600 acres of exotic animals....many roaming free and some were not. 

Our ultimate goal on this road trip was to meet up with Pat Manning and her family.  They were visiting from England and were going to be in Smith River, California the end of June.  We left Winston and traveled west on Highway 199 ending up in Crescent City, California which is a little south of Smith River. This was new territory for us and we loved all of the beautiful scenery we traveled thru.  We found some new campgrounds and some new fun places to stop for a break. We found this beauty in Gasquet, CA....
Finally we arrived in Smith River and found a great campground right at sea level.   There was a small bay right in front of us and just past the sand spit that bordered the bay was the Pacific ocean. 
 It was a beautiful spot to camp and we loved every minute of our time there.   Saturday June 30th we meet Pat and her husband Peter.  We visited for a couple hours and made plans to meet up the next morning for the drive north to Gold Beach, Oregon.  We had booked a jet boat trip up the Rogue River.  This was my 3rd trip up the river, Bob's 2nd trip and their 1st.  We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny and warm morning as we boarded the boat and headed up the river.  

This last picture was our stop for dinner at Lucas Lodge along the river.  Served family style they had big platters of fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, home made rolls & jam and ice cream with Oregon blackberry sauce for dessert.   We got back into Gold Beach about 8pm and reluctantly said good bye to Pat and Peter.     The next day Bob and I began our journey home up Highway 101 along the coast.  No matter how often we take that route we are always blown away by the beautiful sights along the highway.    

 One of Oregon's many unique bridges.

We watched the 4th of July fireworks on the shore of Lincoln City, Oregon
 A stop at the Tillamook Cheese and Ice Cream Factory is a must. 

The bridge in the bottom picture crosses the Columbia River, at this location connecting Rainier, Oregon and Longview, Washington.  We camped here (on the Oregon side) our last night on the road. 

The rest of the summer has been pretty mundane....weeding, watering, harvesting and just enjoying being home.  Although Labor Day weekend we did go out to the coast to Westport, Washington to visit friends.   And I've picked enough blackberries at my brother and sister in law's woodsy place for many pies this winter.   I've re-stained my small wood deck so it's ready for another winter, the gutters are cleaned (a leaf blower works great for this task)....I am ready for whatever Mother Nature hands down in the next few months.