Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Grandpa and Nicole

Grandpa and Nicole with her first birthday cake

Early photo with Jeff

Here is Nicole on Jeff's lap.
I have heard Jeff say, what a special time in life.
He says there is no other time like the baby stage.
Jeff and Julie did go out town for a change of scene for the Christmas holiday.
Back home for the new year.

Early Photo

A very cute picture of Nicole with her Mom, Sharon

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kitchen Time

Nicole, busy in her kitchen
I have been off work for the holiday time. During this time, I have been cooking more.
Gary is happy with my cooking.
Next week, I will be back to work and can see a Papa Murphy pizza, about Tuesday.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post # 80

Meggen and Nicole, April 2008

I was reading on the couch, this morning.
Meggen was sitting beside me.
I thought, these 2 photos of Nicole and Meggen are perfect for post # 80.
Twenty posts to go for a blast on post # 100.

Stayed tuned in for # 100.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day

Boxing day is Dec. 26, a Canadian and British holiday. My take on Boxing Day, is the Boxing Day Volkswalk in Chilliwack area of BC, Canada. Typical 10 kilometer walk, Gleuvien (hot spiced red wine) is served the midway checkpoint. It warms you inside and out. We still have lots of snow, frozen compacted snow on the ground, with current falling snow. Looks like another day at home for us. Our road in front of the house, is not as rutty looking, this morning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Last evening, Santa stopped by our house.
Meggen was outside, when I answered the door, there was Santa and Meggen.
Santa arrived on the fire engine, with our local volunteer fire department.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Gary was surfing around the TV, and stopped on the movie "Ice Age". Nicole and I went to "Ice Age II", one spring break. I remember talking about the characters and our favorite parts of the movie. Another movie, we saw at the theater was "Fire Dog". It was a good movie, too.
I am hoping my brother can find a happy memory, every now and there. I am sure the holiday season is very challenging.
I worked 1/2 day, today. My dental office is closed until January. yippee, days to play for me.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I did go to work, this morning. As soon as I got to work, I manned the snow shovel, to at least clear some trails from the parking lot. I pushed a patients' stuck car out, too. Otherwise, it was just a regular day at the dental office.
The only holiday baking tradition for me is "Real Scottish Shortbread", recipe from Laurie. It has 3 ingredients, butter (real butter), sugar, flour. One time, when Nicole was here, the debate started, why is it called shortbread? Well, it is not very long or very tall. The end of the debate, Gary and Nicole decided to call it "Tall Bread". I have made a few pans of tall bread, since Thanksgiving.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Fall, 2008, Dad, Julie and myself
Dad is Jeff and JoLynn's Dad
Julie is Jeff's fiance'
Jeff was probably not feeling very photogenic, just out of the hospital.
The farm, Dad, Mom and I moved to the farm in 1956.
Jeff was born in Pasco, a couple years later.
Dad and his wife, Dorothy Ann live on the farm.
The farm is about 20 miles north of Pasco.
Nicole liked to visit the farm to check on the barn cats and the cattle, when there were cattle.
We had more snow overnight, and is currently snowing.
The temperature is up to a balmy 30 degrees.
Meggen, Gary and I went for a morning walk in the snow.
It is getting deep enough, Meggen goes on existing trails.
Chest deep snow is getting hard for her to blaze her own trail.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sun and Snow


It is cold, (15 degrees), and clear.
Lovely contrast between the bright white snow and the clear blue sky.

Our total snowfall is 1 1/2 feet dry powder snow.

Tomorrow is the first day of winter.
Our forecast includes high winds over the next 24 hours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank You, Jan

Jan, her link is in my sidebar (I have not figured how to make it clickable in this text). Jan had a very nice posting, 12/16 about our loss of Nicole and the slow, sometimes challenging healing process.

Gary is resting from his surgery on Monday, progressing nicely at home.

We got a couple more inches of snow, overnight, as it continues to snow. It seems like a heatwave, up to 30 degrees from a low of 15. I know, other part of the country are much colder. Meggen and I did go for a walk to make more tracks in the snow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Festive Flowers

Gary had surgery, yesterday, all went well. We are volunteer fire fighters. Our fire department brought Gary the flowers, Sunday evening. He was overnight patient, and is home, napping.
The flowers are nice holiday colors, which is our total decorations. I am not a big Christmas fan or decorations. I did send checks to Make-A-Wish and the Skagit Humane Society in Nicole's honor and memory. She will like the help for kids and animals.
The art work in the background is part of my puffin art collection. I have other Alaskan art as well. I do love to visit art museums, too.
Weather forecast is for more snow in western Washington. I took all week off of work to care for Gary, so no worries about getting to work. I did go to town, this afternoon, important items, wine for me, take the paycheck to the bank and a new sock knitting book. I could be happy for days of being snowed-in.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nicole feeding animals # 3

Nicole and her love of animals

Nicole feeding animals # 2

2006, Wallowa Park, Nicole spent an hour (at least) feeding all the animals.

Nicole feeding animals # 1

2006, Wallowa Park in northeast Oregon feeding a marmot.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wallowa Lake

Jeff and Nicole having fun in bumper boats at Wallowa Lake.


Meggen, knee deep in the snow

Meggen, making tracks

Baby Sweater

Originally uploaded by jlwboo
Another knitting project, a baby sweater modeled on the knitted penguin. Sweater is for a co-worker's baby, a boy, due in May.

More snow photos

5 inches of new snow overnight, back yard
front yard

across the street

Meggen, Gary and I went for a short walk in the snow

Socks in snow

We had about 5 inches of snowfall, overnight. I finished knitting a pair of socks, this morning.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Nicole and her new aquarium, Dec 2003
The little horse in her hands has a permanent place on the bathroom counter.
Between, Christmas and New Years 2003, I drove over to hang out with Nicole.
We even went on a sled ride in the snow with Grandpa pulling us on the sled with the tractor, all the way around the farm.


Nicole and a giant Snowman, 2006
It looks like, Jeff and Nicole used all the snow in the his yard to make this snowman.
Snow has been in the forecast for western WA, which makes folks crazy, here.
So far, no snow in my yard.
The wind is predicted to blow and drop the temperature.
Good day to cozy up at the home front.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse, South Dakota is the location of the most attended volkswalk in the USA. In 1998, I went to South Dakota for the volkswalk (recreational walk). That year was the 50th anniversary of the first blast in this huge project.

1998 Crazy Horse, South Dakota, JoLynn

Crazy Horse Walk 1999
JoLynn and Diane

Crazy Horse Walk 2000
Diane, JoLynn, Chris, Donna
In honor of my 60th blog post, I included these memories.
2008 was the 60th anniversary of the first blast.

bright color

Yesterday, after work, I went on the famous Costco run.
I got some yellow roses for our house for Nicole.
Funny, at Costco, all the groceries and wine shopping.
The very young checker, asked if I was old enough to buy wine.
I laughed and said yes, do you want to see my ID?
He said, yes, bring out your ID.
He looked at it, quickly.
I think I laughed all the way, home.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spring 04

Nicole at Multnomah Falls, Oregon
spring 2004
Jeff and Nicole on a road trip, which included a stop at the Portland Zoo.
Nicole's love for animals, includes Portland Zoo visits, numerous visits to Woodland Park Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium, Greater Vancouver Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo.
Once, we went to Northwest Trek, she asked "where are the monkeys?"
Northwest Trek has only animals native to the northwest, no monkeys.
Today, I was to be off work. Got a call from work, can I cover part of the day. said sure, the afternoon. Phone call with the boss was at the same time, as we (fire department volunteers) were headed out of the door on a medical aid call. I was asleep, when the pager went off.
so, started my morning with a blast awake.
Now, I have had coffee, showered and dressed for work.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade picture of Nicole, 2007

Third Grade

Nicole's third grade picture, 2006

Second Grade

Nicole's second grade picture, 2005

First Grade

Nicole in 2004 school picture, first grade.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Reading Followup

I just finished "The Shack" by Wm Paul Young. I had mentioned, previously. It is one of those books, that you tend to hear a little about, here and there. Then, when the time is right, you read it. I will not retell the story. Just don't resist reading the book, if it seems to call out to you. Yes, I did have some leaky eyes (tears), this morning, as I finished reading it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Beauty of Nature

This morning, Gary took this photo of the a double rainbow over a ham radio antenna in our backyard.

On Friday, Gary, Meggen and I went for our 3 mile loop walk. The sky was mostly cloudy. On the horizon to the south, a band of brighter sky, we could see Mt Rainer. Mt Rainer is out about 150 miles from us. It is a rare occasion, that we can see Mt. Rainer from here.

There is a type of cloud, that filled the rest of the sky, yesterday. I love the clouds, a texture of swirls, waves, shades of grays. I would compare the look to the texture of an oil painting. During the summer, an impressionism exhibit was at the Seattle Art Museum. One of the paintings had a sky, similar to yesterday's clouds. It looked like lots of colors with texture of the oil paints. I may try to photograph the clouds, when I see them again. I will hope to get a good photo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nicole and pets


Nicole and Kayden
On a camping trip in Granite, Oregon, 4th of July, 2005, Nicole found Frank the frog.
Of course, Nicole the animal lover, wanted to bring Frank home to live.
Frank comes home and lives with Jeff and Nicole.
Frank's diet consists of live crickets, about a dozen a week.
Frank is moved from his water tank, to a dry container for his feeding.
When I was staying at Jeff's house, Frank was having a cricket feast and my cell phone was on the coffee table. At the hospital in Jeff's room, there were so many different cell phones ringing.
I had put my phone on vibrate. So, when my phone rang on the coffee table, next to Frank's dry tank, it made all sort of racket. At first, I thought it was Frank making all that noise.
Since, that moment, my cell phone is now named Frank.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Jeff, Julie, JoLynn and Gary

Jeff and Julie drove to our house, Wednesday evening. Three hundred miles across the state, uneventful, but long drive for them. Thursday (Thanksgiving), started the day with coffee and hanging out. Julie and I went for a 5 mile walk in my neighborhood, went to beach via the public access. Photos of the beach with Nicole, Jeff, Gary and myself sitting on the cement step (posted "More Photos" 10/5/08) The weather for the walk was dry, cloudy, a bit of a nip in the breeze at times, great walking conditions for Julie and I with Meggen, our dog. We were enjoying the scenery on the beach, I saw another dog coming down the trail. Julie, myself and Meggen move down the beach to give the dog and it's people room to come down the stairs. So, here comes, 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 goats down the trail, they walked the other way on the beach. At the same time, Julie and I say "Nicole would have liked to see the goats for a walk on the beach". A bit more time, enjoying the view, then we head up the stairs and walk back home.
For Thanksgiving dinner, we had an evening meal with prime rib cooked by Jeff. Green salad by Julie, garlic mashed potatoes by me, fruit salad by Jeff. Gary was in charge of setting the table. We had our fill of dinner, then lounged all evening.
On Friday, my treat for Jeff and Julie was a massage by my friend and massage therapist, Gina.
Both Jeff and Julie loved their massages. I loved the time, just hanging out, waiting and knitting.
After the massages, we drove through part of the valley saw snow geese and trumpeter swans, both spend the winter, here. A short stop in LaConner, was kind of rainy, so we didn't linger. Then, the rain stopped for a brief visit at Bayview State Park, one of Nicole's favorite beach (photos in October, Bayview State Park). We lingered until the rain started up, again.
Friday evening, we went to the Chuckanut Manor for the seafood buffet, (photo at the beginning of this post). Lots of good food.
Jeff and Julie drove back home, today. Again, a long, safe return to their home. I went to Anacortes for a sock knitting class. The weather is rainy and gray, today.
So, this is my 50th post, wow, 50 and long, chatty post, today. I called today's post "Bittersweet", as it is good to get together, but also, Nicole and Jeff came here for Thanksgiving in 2004 and 2006. Jeff came in 2003, too. So, some memories for Jeff rolling around in his mind over the days, with visits to Bayview State Park. All part of the road of healing a tiny bit at a time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A walk with Eagles

close up of a immature eagle on this morning's walk

same tree with the eagle flying out of the photo
Gary, Meggen and I went for a walk, this morning. I decided to take my camera. We saw two eagles, which is very common, here. I took two photos with an eagle sitting in two different trees. Then both eagles took flight, and I didn't get a good photo. The photo is of a young eagle, as his head feathers have not changed to white feathers, known as a bald eagle.
One of Nicole's visits, we did spot some eagles.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Gary

I knitted the above sock for Gary. He is so very happy, with new socks on his happy feet.


One of our traditions for spring break, Nicole and I would go to Borders at Columbia Center. Nicole was great reader, liked books. She would take her time to make her selection. Spring break '07, she choose a 4 book series, "The English Roses" by Madonna. The book were about young girls, their lives and friends. The first book of the series was a journal, Nicole had written in her answers. I enjoyed watching make her thoughtful selections at Borders, and then reading during our time, together.

Spring break '08, Nicole read in the car, traveling to and from Jeff's house. She was a good rider, even for 300 miles. We did get delayed on the pass, due to a snow slide. It was sunny and warm enough to sit in the car without the engine running. We chatted during that time. On the return trip, Gary, Meggen and I drove Nicole back home. Nicole was watching her DVD and had her arm around Meggen. It looked like Meggen was watching the DVD with Nicole. I was knitting a scarf for the bear, that I knit during spring break. Got it finished on the drive. Stitched the eyes and nose on the bear at Jeff's house. So, the bear was finished and stayed with Nicole.

"The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young seems to be reading material for our family, now. It has been on the bestsellers list. A couple of friends mentioned the book to me. Jeff heard an radio interview about the book. Julie and I each bought the book at Costco, last month. Jeff had finished it. Julie started reading it, last night. I am a little way into the book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bike ride

We went for a walk, Meggen and I.
Gary rode his bike.
Nice, fresh air, a little crisp.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Exploring the backyard

Nicole wanting to explore in the backyard.
I am guessing age 2.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bayview Park, today

It was a nice, sunny day. Gary, Meggen and I went to Bayview State Park with some yellow flowers.
We sat on a piece of drift wood for a bit.
In the fall, the beach is covered in eel grass, Nicole and Gary would have had to clear the eel grass to find the rocks hiding the little crabs.

We sent the flowers out to sea.
Meggen did try to retrieve them for us.


The sound of giggles can be seen in this photo.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nicole's Blog

I clicked over to Nicole's blog, yesterday. Sharon has found out her password and is continuing Nicole's blog. So, here, today is a photo of Nicole and Sharon. Nicole with such a cute smile. Sure do miss Nicole.

In my sidebar, you can click on Nicole's blog for a visit.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Visit to the Alpaca Farm

It is a beautiful, sunny day, here. We went to visit the alpacas and took a few pictures. The alpaca, named Nicole has been sold and is moving to a farm in Lynden, WA. Lynden is about 45 minutes north of here. The farm is Chuckanut Alpacas, near the town of Bow, WA.