Slice of Sunshine

It rained virtually all day yesterday, and at times, it poured. It made for a lazy day. And since I know you've all been waiting on tenterhooks wondering whether I went swimming yesterday, I'm happy and proud to say that I did! Yay me! This morning, Sue and I walked, which makes four days of exercise this week. I get an "A" for the week for the first time in 2014. And since I've been trying to get an exercise program going since October of 2012 (yes, you read that right), it's been a long time coming.

Today we awakened to dazzling sunshine, which was certainly a nice surprise. Sue and I walk rain or shine, but shine is definitely preferred. We started out with oatmeal at the South Store Cafe, and then we did the walk I like to refer to as Lower McCormick Hill:

It's the longest of our usual three walks. When I was using my pedometer, I pegged this walk at over 14,000 steps one time. On the left side, the way is almost entirely uphill, and we are puffing and panting by the time we get to the top. Fortunately, it's all downhill from here. The satellite image above was taken sometime post harvest. Everything was much greener today. When we were about halfway (which would put us at the top of the image above), this is what we saw:

It's the most beautiful time of the year in the Northwest...at least, I think so. Right now the dogwoods are in bloom. We saw quite a few along the way. I stopped for a picture of this one.

Everything at our house is about a month behind everything at the lower elevations. This is what our dogwood tree looks like right now.

We planted this dogwood tree nearly ten years ago, and it's never really done anything. Maybe this will be the year, but it's not looking very promising.

These very curious cows approached the fence...not anything like their shy neighbors just down the road.

On the other hand, the geese in this video were none to happy to see us at all.

If you can't see the video, click right here to see it on YouTube. They were as vicious as any guard dog!

After our walk, I came home and filled the birdfeeders. I always take a little walk around the yard to see what's new. One of the rhododendrons is getting ready to open.

And this clematis is starting to open now too.

It is thick with blossoms, unlike its neighbor just around the corner that is just now beginning to leaf out. It just goes to show you what a difference an abundance of sunshine makes.

I'm surprised to see as many tulips (which translates into "not many") as we have. I thought the squirrels had cleaned us out, but each of the whiskey barrels has at least a few. 

Now that Smitty has convinced the squirrels to find another zip code, they might actually fill in some day...after I'm long gone.

The wisteria at the front door is covered with buds now, and while it doesn't look like much at this point, it's going to be very pretty in a week or so.

A few of them are just starting to form flowers.

And the plum tree is starting to bloom now. Hopefully, the pollinators will be able to do their thing between rain showers.

So that's about all that's new in the yard right now.

Today I'm going to do a little housework, and then at least get started on my sampler top for the long arm class I'm taking in about ten days. And speaking of classes, yesterday I learned about a quilt symposium going on in Tacoma, Washington, this summer. Tacoma is about a three hour drive for me, but some of the classes looked really interesting. I decided to sign up. (See how brave I am these days?)

The symposium is put on by the Association of Pacific West Quilters. If you click on that link, you can see the brochure about the classes that are available. I've signed up for all three days. On Friday, I'm going to take the class taught by Lyric Kinard, entitled "Elements of Art for Quilters". Interestingly, I just bought her book about a month ago, 

and so to be able to take a class from her this summer is something of a coincidence. I have no art background whatsoever, aside from volunteering to teach art literacy when my kids were in school. When it comes to design, I know absolutely nothing, and I want to. So I'm excited about that class.

On Saturday, I signed up for another class she is teaching entitled "Abstract-A-Licious". And until I typed those words, I didn't realize she was teaching both classes. Obviously Lyric and I are going to become best friends before all this is over, and I'll get her to sign my book while I'm at it.

Then, Sunday's workshops are half day workshops. I signed up for one taught by Barbara Olson, entitled "Thread Creates the Design"...something else I'd like to learn more about.

So I'm looking forward to this now. The symposium will be held at the University of Puget Sound. My admission fee pays for all the workshops, meals, and lodging in the university dorms. It sounds like fun to me. There are still slots available. Join me if you like. The dorms have single bedrooms with a common living area, and it is possible to request roomies. Wouldn't that be fun? Since I never lived in a college dorm, I'm going to make up for that missed experience. I should probably plan some sort of mischief or something...just to get the complete college dorm experience. On the other hand, I might injure myself doing something like that. Staying up past midnight is probably all the mischief I'm up for...or maybe, 11:00 p.m. is more realistic. 

That's about it from me for today. I hope you're week is coming to a nice close and that you have a great weekend planned.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Looks like a great walking area. Love seeing everything coming into bloom - we will be a few more weeks behind you. And look at you! More classes - whoot!

Dana Gaffney said...

I need to start taking my camera with me when we walk, we've seen some really pretty things and animals.
I'm proud of you for signing up for all of those classes, I wish I could join you, you know we would get into some mischief.

WoolenSails said...

I see you got a good walk in today, nice terrain to walk at. Hopefully we will get our outdoor day tomorrow, looks like a beautiful sunny day.


make.share.give said...

I've missed waiting on tenterhooks! Thank you for reminding me that's what I'd been doing. Happy weekend!

Junebug613 said...

Sounds like a great walk. The symposium sounds like fun and I'm proud of you! Look who has really blossomed! :)

Judy H. said...

University of Puget Sound is my alma mater. It's a beautiful campus -- you'll love it. The symposium looks like a lot of fun, too.

Jacque said...

Yes, I was on tenterhooks, and I'm relieved now. LOL Good for you, getting the swimming done, and the walk, and even signing up for those classes! Woot! Wish I could join you, and we'd be roomies -- oh, the trouble we'd get into! Haha!

Brown Family said...

It was a beautiful day for a walk. Lovely flowers all aroung and a great view. The Herefords look very happy to see you. The Geese my Dad had were the best watch dogs ever!

Tami C said...

Congratulations on getting your first "A" in 2014. I just love dogwood! I hope you'll get to see lovely blooms in a moth at your place. I love clematis as well. We used to have a beautiful patch of clematis at our old house. Yours looks like it is going to be gorgeous!

Cherry said...

Still waiting on Spring here so the tulips were a welcome sight to see! More importantly - congrats on the summer class sign-up- very brave indeed! Sounds the the session you are taking will be very interesting.

quiltzyx said...

Congrats on your A week! Thanks for more bloomin' pictures too - I always appreciate seeing your flora & fauna. :)

The symposium sounds like a lot of fun - can hardly wait to see what you learn there!

Kate said...

Congrats on the sucessful week of excercise. The flowers are beautiful. Our rose bushes have buds on them, I'm looking forward to the beautiful flowers.

Sounds like a great three days of quilting. Hope you enjoy your classes.