Before Moving, Last Tamale Party

Ana and I love to cook massive amounts of food and then share with family and friends so several years back we started making tamales and throwing a party. Attendees are always provided with an option to learn how to assemble their own tamales to take home for later consumption.

This last event was a grand success thanks to Bob and Pam for sharing their home and for all the wonderful friends and family members who contributed fun.  If you were not in attendance, no worries! We will host another event in Mexico where you can eat and make tamales until you get sick of seeing them. More pics here:

Best Tamale Party ever! 2014


Vashon Island, Strawberry Festival 2014

My earliest memories are of life on Vashon Island when my father was still living with us. When he and my mom split, she was asked to move away from the small community because now since she was divorced, somehow that presence would disrupt the tranquil vibe of the other “stable” families. I wonder if they really meant,  “We can’t have our women know what freedom looks like….they may get ideas in their little heads”.  That was the culture in 1961-62 time frame on the subject of divorce.

All is forgiven now, the little house built over the water where we lived, is long gone and I am confident women of the island found their freedom via multiple paths.

Speaking of women on the loose…4 of us took a trip there to experience the Strawberry Festival. Don’t know if you remember but Vashon used to be booming with farms and was a big producer of strawberries years back. These independent women helped keep the local economy afloat by purchasing a ton of merchandise.  You are welcome.


City Chicken Tours, 2014

city chickens
city chickens


DCIM100GOPRO Summer, summer, summer, hot, hot, hot! Saturday July 12 was a scorcher!

Thanks to Judi; Susan, Ana, Tracy, Judi and I attended the annual City Chicken tours where we wore stickers to indicate our registration, followed a map and visited regular people’s city yards where they showed us how they raise veggies, fruits and livestock in an urban area.  We collected some great ideas including a simple design for an outdoor processing kitchen and I found a “blueprint” for the ultimate yard-farm incorporating art. I have work to do in our Mexico yard which will be excellent.  We wound up the day by stumbling on “Bastille Day” in Madison Valley. Click on the photos to find a link to more pics.

I think the title is actually Coop Tours:



Mt. St. Helens trip was a Blast


Mt. St. Helens Trip was a BLAST!

One of our final trips was to hang out at Mt. St. Helens with Portland friends, Tom and Raina, since none of us had ever actually visited the place …. before or after the big bang. The day was magnificent; truly glorious weather and an easy drive from Renton. Ana had “sort-of” heard of the eruption back in 1980 but since it was before her move from Mexico, she either did not pay close attention to the details or the news coverage in Mexico was slim at the time.

Natives of this area in 1980, however, will never forget the gruesome and horrific images and details of the eruption and destruction that day.  Exhibits at different locations helped educate us on methods to collect volcanic data to death and re-birth of wildlife. Several people unfortunately lost their lives on May 18, 1980…. and I hope their families are able to find peace since that fateful day.

Mt St Helens from Johnston Ridge


Yard Sale Success

20140705_135909 Yard sale is now complete, and most of our items are in someone else’s home. We made sure to price items low to move and it worked. A few more items will be given to specific family members and friends with about one more load for donation and hopefully all that is left will be our truck load to Mexico. Oh and as for this pic, Chuy sat on a chair that was sold and the tag transferred to him…..he is not available.

Memories: some are just painful

Part of the process to prepare for our big move is to purge our household goods. I came across a letter that I wrote to my step father (who I miss dearly) when I spent a summer in San Francisco after graduating from High School. It was obvious in the letter that I was homesick even though I was planning on moving there to study art. (in case you are curious, I ended up visiting Seattle at the end of summer and found myself unable to return to the Bay Area, I never moved there)

The painful part came as I read my words to him imploring him to see a doctor because of a cough he developed…..and telling him not to be so stubborn (he hated doctors and the medical system). The letter was written in 1977. Unfortunately he never did see a doctor. He died of lung cancer in February 1989. I miss you Richard Charles Rand. You were an amazing presence in my life.

Letter to my Step Father
Letter to my Step Father


Graduations Everywhere!

Not only do we have 2 new college graduates in the family, we also have 2 new High School graduates as well! Carl and Sarah held a celebration party at their moms place and Ana and I attended to wish them well in their future plans.  Carl plans on enlisting in the military and Sarah will attend Le Cordon Bleu:

Congrats and best wishes for your plans!