Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beacock Music

My husband and I love music.  I was a music minor in college and we were both involved with several ensembles while attending both high school and college.  Naturally, we want to pass this love on to our children.  When we discovered Beacock Music, a beautiful music store, within a mile of our home, we were thrilled.  Going to this store is like going to the zoo for some people.  You bring your kids, eagerly point out various things you want them to get excited about, spend several hours alternating wandering and standing, spend a few dollars on refreshments (there's a great little coffee shop in the store; it's the northwest - we love our coffee!), and finally drag the kids home hungry and ready for a nap.  (Both you and the kids, of course.)  Here's my oldest (she'll be three in a couple of weeks) trying out a mini steel drum in the store. This isn't her first experience with a steel pan; my husband and I both played in a steel drum band for over seven years, and she was able to play those a few times.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Latte Da

Last Sunday some friends of ours invited us out for afternoon coffee at this little shop they really love in west Vancouver called Latte Da.  When we arrived we discovered they had live music on the patio, so we got our drinks and lounged in the comfortable Pacific Northwest July weather and listened to some great banter from the musicians between fun songs.  I'd classify their style as "folk."  It was really fun to listen to, and it was a great way to relax on a Sunday afternoon.  They were raising money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and called themselves "Clark County Benign Band."  They enjoyed watching our kids dance and jump around to their music, and were even kind enough to edit one of their songs that used a curse word since there were young ears in the audience. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Peas

These wild sweet peas grow everywhere here.  Alongside roads, in yards, next to fields...IN fields...  Another benefit to living in such a wet climate is that the wildflowers are plentiful.  A month ago I picked a few dozen wild daisies and they kept my dining table gorgeous for almost two weeks.  These sweet peas did not fare so well; I barely got a whole weekend out of them before they started turning purpley-blue and wilting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Sonja

My husband has a large family and there are several sets of cousins who live in the same area we do.  One such relative owns a sailing business and conducts regular dinner cruises and river tours on his four boats.  When my parents came into town a week and a half ago, we arranged for a two-hour river cruise on the Willamette in Portland.  This was my view for a lovely portion of the cruise.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I'll try to get a better picture of this next time I go, but this is one of my favourite parts of our local produce market, Chuck's.  My husband and I go to two different stores every time we go grocery shopping: This one to get quality, local produce for good prices, and another regular grocery store for everything else.  I just love the way they have part of their display in this awesome old truck.  Chuck's is a great store for everything local and organic, and on the other side of the store they have an old-fashioned soda fountain where you can order fresh made sandwiches, ice cream sodas, milkshakes, and more, including gelato.  They also have their own wine store, and a garden center, as well.  I love taking my nearly-3-year-old there because Chuck's carries all sorts of "foreign" fruit, such as dragonfruit, mangosteens, durian, horned melons, kiwi berries, rhambutans, sugar cane, and more.  I like to show her all the strange foods and let her feel them, smell them, etc.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Love the Wet

One thing I absolutely love about this part of the country is how GREEN it is.  And it's green because it rains.  A lot.  And it just doesn't get hot enough to kill all the green stuff like it does on the eastern side of the state.  This is another picture from the Japanese Gardens in Portland; I absolutely love all the moss - on the rocks, on the trees, on the's everywhere and it's so beautiful.  I found this flower sitting on a moss-covered rock all by itself.  Not sure who put it there, but it caught my eye.