Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quite a Catch

Amid yesterday's  chatting, laughing, sunbathing, walking, and eating Jean and I and Janice also did something educational.  We went on a tour of Fisherman's Wharf here in Cape May and saw how seafood is unloaded from the fishing boats and packed up and sent out for delivery to seafood distributors.  

Out at sea the scallop shells are dredged up from the ocean floor and shucked from their shells.  The scallops are packed into big cheesecloth bags and stored in ice until the ship gets back home and docks at Fisherman's Wharf.  The bags of scallops are hauled up from the ship in bIg white plastic buckets and dumped on a steel table. Each bag is weighed and then transferred to a big tall cardboard box. When it is full it is sealed and ready to be shipped out.  

It is an impressive operation with strong burly guys shoveling ice and hefting heavy bags.  But the man with the most important job makes little noise or movement.  He's the guy near the scales holding the clipboard, recording the weight of the haul and how much the fishermen will be paid.

We topped off our tour by eating some freshly caught scallops for lunch. Yum!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

You Gotta Have Friends

My sister, Jean, and I are having fun in at the beach in Cape May with our friend Janice from high school. Looking pretty good for gals in who've known each other for almost fifty years!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister-in-law, Kathy Ison, who is celebrating 65 years of learning, loving, and living today. 

I've known her for 47 of those years, since she married my brother Jim when she was just 18. She's a great companion to Jim, the mother of five of my delightful nieces and nephews, and an amazing Grandmother.  If her loving spirit wasn't enough to endear her to me, she is also a woman of many talents and the master of many crafts.  After conquering sewing and doll making, she now focuses on digital photography and photo editing, most often using her beautiful photos of children and flowers. 

I'm blogging today on my iPad which has only my more recent photos loaded on it, but I post this 
image of some lovely coneflowers as a birthday offering to Kathy!

Paul and I left yesterday for a vacation trip back east and I'm writing this from my sister Jean's comfortable home in southern Maryland.  Our friend from our high school days, Janice, is also here, and this afternoon we will deliver Paul to the bus that will take him to karate camp in Virginia and Jean and I and Jan will drive to Cape May, N.J..  We all have a fun week ahead.

Ben is minding the home front and also has a fun week in store since the installation of our new custom made staircase is set for Thursday.  It will have forged metal newel posts with granite caps, copper balusters, and wood railings.  The newel posts were delivered the other day, complete with the craftsman's mark, a rose symbolizing the name of his shop, the Iron Rose Forge. I know the engineering and craftsman side of Ben is going to enjoy watching this all come together.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Paul!

Paul turns 14 today! 

This picture was taken last Thursday when we brought an ice cream cake to the karate studio where he is volunteering as a day camp helper.   He doesn't like his photo taken nowadays, so this one may have to do.  

He was surprised yesterday with some fun gifts from his dog friend, Gus, and Gus's guardians, and is looking forward to his first laptop, due to arrive in the mail any day now (and for which he paid half the cost).  There will be another celebration in early August when he sees his East coast friends after he attends karate camp in Virginia next week. 

But today promises to be a laid-back birthday, with flute lesson, karate class, and time playing x-box using Mom and Dad's gift, a new TV (with no cable hookup!), for his monitor.  

I'm sorry Paul doesn't want his photo taken because I'd like to capture the excited happy look I see so often on his face since we've moved to Boulder.  And I wish I could record the contented humming I frequently hear coming from his teen heaven downstairs.  He seems to be liking it here just fine so far. 

 Happy Birthday to my funny, kind, and interesting son!     

Monday, July 21, 2014

To Push or Not to Push

Paul has been volunteering as a helper at the karate day camp for little kids, working 9-3 each weekday, and coming home wiped out from all the activity.  We expect him to read each day and practice his flute, but otherwise pretty much let him decide how to use his time.  We invite him along whenever we go out, but most of the time he likes to hang out texting his friends, watching videos on his phone, and playing Minecraft.  

We did not make Paul go along with us on our hike yesterday.  It was a very hot day with temps in the mid-90's so I googled "shady hikes Boulder" and found there was a two-mile round trip hike about 30 minutes up Boulder Canyon that led to a small waterfall and a lake.  It looked promising, so Ben and I went off to explore.  The scenery was beautiful....

...but we walked right by the trail head and instead found ourselves on a hot forest road.

 We followed it for a while and then turned back and as we neared our car saw the trail head.    Yes, here was the shady hike we had been promised.  Too bad we were out of time and couldn't do the whole hike, but at least we know now how to get there.

We also didn't make Paul go to the concert by the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra that Ben and I attended with our friends Paula and Lotus last night, nor did we make him eat any of the wonderful salmon and scallops we grilled for those friends or eat the yummy cherry cobbler Paula brought for dessert using cherries that Lotus had given her.   

But we did make him go with us to see the Acro-cats show Saturday night!  I just knew he would enjoy it and overruled his objections.  When we first talked about it he said he didn't want to go.  Later I texted him:

Me:  Please be ready to leave at 6:15 to get pizza and gelato and see the Acrocats.

Paul: Huh

Me:  Yes, we are all going out together.  Tomorrow nite you will be home for several hours while Dad and I go to a concert.

Paul:  No I'm not going to c the show

Me:  Check it out at    Very fun

Paul:  Still not going 

In the end we pretty much forced him to go.  At first he was mad, saying we were making him do something he didn't want to do, which was certainly true.  But we hadn't done anything as a family in a few days and he'd had plenty of time to watch TV and play Minecraft.

He warmed back up to us during dinner --who can stay mad eating chocolate gelato?-- and when he realized that the show featured real cats doing tricks he was all smiles.  For some reason he thought it was going to be people dressed up like cats; clearly he did not pay any attention to my description of the show or look at the link to the Acro-cats web site that I had sent him.

In the end we all enjoyed the evening and loved seeing the cute cats doing silly things like skateboarding and playing in a rock band.  What can I say?  We three are just suckers for cats.

Sometimes Mother does know best.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Visit to Golden, Colorado

Doesn't this look fun?

It's tubing on Clear Creek in the heart of Golden, the first territorial capital of Colorado.  I drove over there yesterday to see an exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and was surprised to find the creek filled with tubers and swimmers.   Boulder Creek is currently very high and rough and since it is quite rocky, tubing is a bit perilous.  Clear Creek apparently can be, especially the further away you get from town, but yesterday it looked idyllic. 

I went to Golden to see an exhibit of quilts by members of the Front Range Contemporary Quilters,  a very active group of art quilters in this area.  I hoped to come away with inspiration for doing some quilting of my own.  

I used to be a member of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and recently rejoined, and was glad to see that the facilities were in good shape and that there were many visitors to the exhibit.

I enjoyed seeing all the quilts, but Cosmic Currents by Dianna Vanderdoes got me all jazzed up to do some raw edge applique.  Here's a detail from her quilt; love the colors, the movement, and the stitching! 

It was a pretty day so after seeing the quilts I walked through the town, much of which is filled with touristy "old West" places to eat and shop.  But I enjoyed strolling through the Clear Creek History Park, a replica of a 19th century ranch, with cabins, a one-room school house, a blacksmith shop, and a farmyard, all very photogenic.  


Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I was so happy today when Ben figured out a way to raise up the dorm fridge six inches....

...using these bed raisers we found at the local hardware store.

And I was happy when he hung my star mirror up in my studio.  I love that little mirror.

When the workmen installed a remote controlled motorized shade in the skylight window above our bed this afternoon, I was all smiles as I watched the bright sunlight fade away and felt the room begin to cool.

And when the van with our new refrigerator drove up, I was so glad that I opened the front door and did a happy dance to let them know they were at the right house. 

But the thing that's made me the happiest today was seeing my son's face when Dad said "Time for a driving lesson,"  turning a the few minutes before karate camp started this morning into an exciting time of learning something as grown up as how to drive a stick shift.

After a few false starts, he actually got the car to move ahead a few inches.  Go Paul!