Tuesday, December 23, 2014


When I was a little girl, I loved playing with the Christmas village that my Mother set up under our Christmas tree.  It allowed me to play make-believe to my heart's content.

As I grew older, make-believe faded a bit, until it occurred to me that I might have my own dream village, and with that, THE COLLECTION began.  It took over 20 years to amass the houses, barns, cows, boats, lighthouse, forest, people, etc., etc, but I finally had my own village - "JoJo's Village" - which fit into a large area of my home.

When we moved to Sequim and downsized our dwelling, I pondered what to do with my collection, until my Mother moved into a retirement community with lots of empty floor space.  It's been my delight for the past two years to set up JoJo's Village for the enjoyment of the residents, and I've challenged them to pick a character and invent a life story for him or her.  It turns out that you're never too old to play make-believe!  Who knew?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

JOY - Just off the Road

We had some snow last week - not much, but enough to cover the ground and make it look rather festive.  To our surprise, it lasted several days since the temperature stayed below freezing.  Our grandson, who moved here along with his mother and us last year, was born and raised in Alaska, and he insists that he's got Alaskan blood which equates to shorts all winter long, and seldom a need for a coat.  The snow has melted, but our fearless offspring continues to flaunt his thick blood and lack of need for any type of external warmth.  Grandma has been luckless in trying to get him to wear at least long sleeves and long pants, but this lack of shoes is really about more that I can bear.  Oh well, maybe next year...

"LITTLE BIT" - Just off the Road

 My grandson has been bugging his mother for a year to get a snake, gecko, lizard, or some sort of reptilian species.  For a year she made him do his homework, researching the different types, what they require, how to care for and feed them, how long they live, etc. etc.  To her surprise, he was diligent and she finally caved.  The new resident of their home is a water dragon which, according to the pet store lady, is the easiest and least problematic member of the lizard family.  The rub came with the task of selecting a name.  They've ranged from Bob to Wizard to Nacho to Steve until at last, under threat of "nameless" the choice has been made to go with Little Bit.  He is, after all, a small lizard, and though he eats mealworms and kale and live crickets, he's pretty benign.

Little Bit has been accepted by the cats, the dog, and the grandparents, though my husband has yet to hold him.  He's the newest resident of our little bit of heaven - just off the road.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS - Just off the Road

 In downtown Sequim there are a myriad of Christmas lights at the main intersection.  There are lighted trees, walls, bushes, tractors, reindeer and sleigh.  Not being one to take anything for granted, my photographer spouse spent an hour last week fiddling with his camera and the lights.  What he came home with was a whole new way to look at decorations.  He says the reindeer shot was an accident, but it inspired him to see what else he could create.
 This shot is the result of zooming backward with his wide-angle lens.  Who knew that Christmas lights could generate fireworks?  I think I'll send him out again this week.  There are all sorts of decorations that might need a new perspective.

DUNGENESS RIVER - Just off the Road

Not far from our home is the Dungeness River.  Over the past year it's played host to rock skipping, jumping from a rope swing, wading, hiking, gazing, and just plain awe!  This river hosts a myriad of fish, birds, bugs and people, but its beauty lies in the variety that each season brings. 

 One of its most famous features is Railroad Bridge.  It's at the beginning of a wonderful trail that we've explored on several occasions.  We've walked the dog, dodged bicycles, avoided horse droppings, sweated while cycling on a too-warm day, and generally enjoyed this natural feature of our neighborhood.  What a special place we live in!