orcas island

As a thank you to Mauri on his retirement, the NFC elders and pastoral team gifted him with two nights at The Salish Seaside Escapes on Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound. It took him a while to decide who to invite to share it with him, then finally settled on me!

First we had to get there. It isn’t a terribly long drive up there, but we needed to time our arrival around the ferry schedule. There are no bridges to and between the islands, which means to get there you either fly or swim or boat it. We chose the latter.


So we drove up to LaConner for the night, but arrived around 3 to enjoy the richness of the small town. That’s our hotel on the other side of the street—Hotel Planter.



We schlepped our stuff up a long flight of stairs because who needs an elevator? That factored into the charm.


We were assigned a room at the end of the hall—#13 of 13 rooms.


It overlooked the patio.


Rather than treat you to the traditional view-from-our-window shot, I thought I’d treat you to my view from the toilet. Ha! These rooms are built for very tall people.


On our walk through town to our chosen restaurant we had to stop and admire this doggie in the window. You’re singing the song, aren’t you? Me too.


I need to remember to go to Yelp and write a review on this restaurant. High marks!

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How often do we get to eat authentic Italian food?


The next morning we were on our way in. . .rain! We’d expect nothing less.


Plenty dry inside, a pleasant and peaceful ride through the sound.


Off the ferry and now for a drive up to Eastsound.


The Salish is on the topmost edge of the island.


The Salish Seaside Escapes is owned and run by the Leonard Sweet family. Leonard Sweet is a prolific writer; you might have heard of him. You’ll see Leonard there greeting Mauri as he checked in.

We were cheerfully directed to Heron Cove—a remarkable cottage designed and built by California architect James Hubbell—and given a tour.




My pictures can’t begin to do it justice.



Up the spiral staircase.


The upstairs bedroom suite.


Yes, I took a picture from the toilet but decided not to include it. I wouldn’t want that to become my MO.


Oh, OK. You talked me into it. But you also get the traditional . . .


. . . view from the window.


Right behind our hot tub* is this enchanted garden intended for all the guests to enjoy. I think ours was the only of the six cottages occupied. (*Yes, we actually took our suits and enjoyed some time in the hot tub. No chance for photos of that!)




Our breathtaking surroundings.


We settled into our comfortable and magical space.


A rare treat (no bedroom TV at home).


If not warm, at least it was cozy and artistic.

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Even did some cooking.


We took a drive all the way to the top of Mt. Constitution, elevation 2,409 feet, but were underwhelmed by the view. No surprise, since we drove half way up through the clouds.



Thanks to the Internet, I got to see what we missed.

And then it was time to head home.


These fuzzy friends waited with us for the ferry.



Proof that I was there too.


Safe arrival in port.

Before heading down the road, we enjoyed some people watching at a nearby Starbucks while we waited for our friends Wally and Ridgely to drive down from Bellingham to eat lunch with us.


Such a lovely bonus to get to see these dear friends, even if the time was short.

And a delightful end to our Orcas Island getaway, thanks to the good folks at Newberg Friends Church. For me, it was thanks for Mauri for choosing to invite me to go with him.

Posted in travels | 4 Comments

oil pulling

Ever hear of it? Me neither.

That we learned about oil pulling from brother DK (Margaret-Rose’s brother) while he was staying with us over the weekend could indicate we’d already covered all the other topics known to man. He told a story of passing his wife, Stacey, at an intersection in their cars one day, and when he started to pull over so they could talk, she pointed to her puffed cheeks to indicate she couldn’t talk to him. Well, he got it right away; he knew that she was oil pulling as she drove. Yes, it’s perfectly legal.

What on earth is oil pulling? As DK started to explain, Mauri pulled out his nearest gadget to ask Google for more info. Before long I was pulling from the cabinet a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil while Mauri doled out three tablespoons, one each. We were about to enjoy the fellowship of the oil pulling.


DK had never tried it, so you get to witness a flinch/gag as the chunks of oil began to melt.

Why would anyone choose to swish a tablespoon of coconut (or sesame) oil around in their mouth for 15 minutes? Good question. We learned it is a natural way to achieve and maintain oral health. The bacteria in your mouth feeds on fat; therefore the fat in the oil cleans your mouth. After 15 minutes of swishing you spit it out in the wastebasket (not the drain).

A mouth full of grease feels exactly how you might guess. But we were all committed to finish our experiment and managed to keep most of it inside for a full 15 minutes (we timed it!)


We also learned how l-o-n-g 15 minutes can last. So I pulled over my computer and in our required silence we read more about oil pulling.

Following the spittoon, water rinsing, and teeth brushing, we all agreed our mouths felt heavenly, better even than having just been to the dentist for a cleaning.

Will we do it again? Definitely!

Posted in family matters | 2 Comments

while i retreated


It was a working retreat, if you can call sitting in a beautiful beachview home with some likable people talking about important matters work.


The sun neglected its responsibilities the one afternoon I had freedom to walk the beach and take pictures, but I could hardly complain about it. There’s no such thing as a bad day at the beach. Everybody knows this.


If you open your eyes really wide you’ll see the house provided for our use by a couple from our church.


The Fawvers take good care of our nourishment needs—always with flavor and flair.


Thanks, Gary and Susan!


Here we are—Gregg, Michelle, Nolan, Denise, Elizabeth, Eric, yours truly, Cindy, Steve. Here are our roles at NFC. (I work with Denise for Elizabeth.)

The whole time I was retreating, Quinn and her October team were building a house in Mexico.

October 2014 team

Notice anything different about this team from the others you’ve seen on this site?


Here they are with the freshly built and painted home. I can hardly stop grinning—my daughter and her daughters and their friends built a house (yes, with a lot of help, but still!) Quinn texted me when she got back to Gilbert: “An awesome trip, one end to the other.”

Now it’s our turn—November is just one page over.

And while Quinn and her team were building a house in Mexico . . .


Mr. and Mrs. Carlson were vacationing in Italy! On Sunday they visited the Vatican in Rome and were blessed by the pope! They’re nearly finished with their contracts in Iraq and will be returning to U.S. soil next month, just one page over.


Facebook has its down side, that’s for sure, but the good side allows me to be part of my kids’ adventures across the miles while I put my feet up at the beach.

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I might be able to run one block if I was being chased by a bear. But 26 miles 385 yards — that’s a whole ‘nother story.


Thanks to Linsey’s good reporting on Facebook, I was able to cheer for Erin’s participation in the Portland Marathon along with these littles, who were there in person.


Erin had trained faithfully for a different event that didn’t materialize. Just inside the deadline she was able to register for this marathon. Too bad I didn’t think to check out the website to learn I could have tracked Erin’s progress through more than Facebook. Oh well.

Mile 26.1! Almost there!

Here she is at mile 26.1. Almost there.

finished in a little over 4 hours!


Her pre-race goal was between 4 and 4.5 hours. Nailed it!

I’ll guess she ate a big lunch and then went home and took a long nap.

PS: Thanks, Lins!

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I credit my nephew’s wife, Lara, for identifying my description of the border grass most Floridians plant in their yards as liriope. I was a Southerner back in the ’70s when my love for the bordered look formed. Of course I posed my question to Lara years and years ago and was required to remember it until last year when I asked our yard guy to order enough plants to string from one end of the landscape to the other.


At the beginning of summer the plants looked like this, spaced.


And now, after an entire summer of Mauri’s faithful watering, they look like this, full and healthy. Notice the purple flowers?


I had to grab a few pictures before the downpour of maple leaves, due to start any minute, covers everything up.

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I left you in suspenders after showing dear Will in a body cast. Meanwhile, while you were still hanging in suspense, dear Bailey got a stress fracture and some torn ligaments playing football.

B and Tanner injured

His friend and team co-captain, Tanner, joined him on the injured list. The coach was none too pleased.

Two casted grandsons!


Happily, Will has now been released from his turtle shell.

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He will stand on his own but prefers moving about on knees and/or scooting, which is normal for the first several weeks out of a spica cast.

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And I’m happy to say that Bailey is out of his cast now too, in physical therapy, and hoping to play in Friday’s game.


He went to homecoming wearing his stylish boot, which at least wasn’t yellow. Jordan doesn’t seem to mind.

Our grandsons aren’t going to let a couple of broken bones stop ‘em for very long.

- – – – -

Bonus pic of Marissa heading for homecoming too.


She’s the beauty in the middle, silver topped.

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colin saxton meet colin saxton

How many Colin Saxtons do you know? I know several Dave Browns and three John Macys, but would you believe I know two Colin Saxtons? The first one sold me term life insurance back in my Michigan life as a Carlson, and when I moved to Oregon I discovered another Colin Saxton in my circle of Quaker friends. Some time along I mentioned to each one that I knew another with his name. And that was that.

Then along came Facebook, and before long I had two Colin Saxtons to keep straight in my list of social media friends. A couple of years ago we bid farewell to the Oregon Colin Saxton, who moved to Indiana. So now my two Colin Saxton friends live in adjoining states, leaving me the odd man out. Just think how that makes me feel!

Today I received a private message on Facebook from Colin Saxton—but which one? The Michigan Colin Saxton or the Indiana Colin Saxton? It was the Michigan Colin Saxton writing to tell me that he had met the Indiana Colin Saxton! What are the odds? Then a little snooping around revealed this:

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Oregon —> Indiana Colin Saxton’s daughter Amy posted this retro picture on the left on her Facebook page, and look who commented with a retro picture of himself with his daughter (and beard)—Michigan Colin Saxton!


Meet Colin and Leann Saxton, from Michigan!


Meet Colin and Janine Saxton, from Indiana! Small world, huh?

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