Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Wonderland in Kirkland

White fluffy snow is not often seen in the Seattle Area.  Quite a blanket of snow covered the city.  though it was beautiful, business in the city just is at a standstill. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kyler Graduates from Western Washington University!

Kyler is the speaker at commencement!

Kyler with the President of Western Washington University

I was the proudest Mom at the commencement program at Western Washington University Saturday December, 13th in Bellingham! Kyler was the the student speaker on the program and captured the attention of the students and faculty with her story about how she cried hysterically when I told her when she was very young that someday she would grow up and move away from home. "Mommy, I never want to leave home!" she wailed. With French quotes from Victor Hugo and President William J. Clinton she motivated her fellow graduates to pursue a career they loved and to get involved by volunteering in their community.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Visiting Ashland Oregon

My dear friends, Ahna and Peter, moved to Ashland, Oregon last year. I have always wanted to visit the land of Shakespeare Theatre. Though, the classic festival was over, art and theatre abounds in this cute town. They live walking distance to shopping and parks. It was so fun going to a play at the local college, going for a walk to the park, and shopping in town.

Oregon with Mankus Family

Luanne, Roger, Emily, Judy, Ruby, Natalie

Luanne taking photos

Judy, Ruby and Emily at the Falls



I was so excited to be able to spend the day with Roger and his family! They were in Oregon for Thanksgiving to visit Judy's family. We spent the entire day along the Columbia River and Multnomah Falls. Ruby and Emily are growing up so fast. I wish I could see them more often. Someday I hope their family comes to visit my family here in Washington State. Maybe someday I will get to take them on the Rophy... I'm sure sometimes they miss it. Luanne is Judy's sister.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

McMenamins Edgefield is my Favorite Inn

Whenever I get the chance I try to stay at McMenamins in Troutdale, Oregon... just outside of Portland.  It is the most interesting hotel I have ever experienced.  Whether I am just in awe at all the art on the walls, relaxing in the huge outdoor soaking pool, taking advantage of the spa, watching a movie with a beer in the Pub, or having a yummy meal... there is always something to do....even if I am alone. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mini Buildings bearing Huge Results

This is a photo of Model of the Gates Foundation proposed complex/campus in the South Lake Union area of Seattle. I was at the Model Exhibit reception the other night for the Seattle Architectural Foundation in Rainier Tower. Though I suppose I guessed that models were made.. and I have seen some in movies, I didn't know that it was a huge business. It was fascinating to see how they were built, the different materials, the different scales, the detail or lack thereof and the complexity of each of them. As I entered, I met Alec Vassiliadis of SOUNDMODELS who built about 4 of the models including the Gates Foundation model. It was so exciting to have a tour of much of the exhibit with a few friends from Alec.

My daughter, Kyler, graduates in just about a month from college and has a dream of working for the Gates Foundation someday because of the difference they make in the world.

I lead walking tours in Downtown Seattle with the Seattle Architectural Association and there is always room for you! If you are interested in volunteering as a tour guide.. join me Thurs night at a reception!  Roberta and Sydney run the Architecture Foundation.  they are amazing getting so many volunteers and supporters to make the programs happen.  Chris came to the event with me.  Diana and Louis also came.. Diana has been volunteering.

Roberta, the tour director
Sydney, the administrator/ director of the foundation
Chris, my friend who came to the event

Diana and Louis ... Diana has been a volunteer at SAF

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yacht Club Cruise to Port Orchard

This weekend was the Annual October Chowderfest Cruise with the Seattle Singles Yacht Club to Port Orchard. It was such an awesome time had by all. On this trip I was "crew" on Lynn's 49 foot power boat with Anita and David, Jane, Paul and Stephen. I love these adult slumber parties that include dancing, eating (oh so much food) and strolling and touring all the boats that come. And the cool quiet peaceful mornings are always so memorable as we all hang out with a warm cup of coffee.
Check out my website for almost 100 photos.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Missing Mom

Seventeen years ago, Sept 20th, my mom was killed in a car accident when the whole family was in Boston for my brothers wedding. I was 36 years old, a recently divorced single mom with two children ages 8 and 4. My mother loved me with the kind of unconditional love I feel for my own children. She was the most powerful force in my life giving me the wings to take off and live the life that I wanted. She supported me through my painful divorce from a husband who wasn't happy and shared so many difficult traits of my father. There are days that I would do just about anything to see or talk to Mom.

Mom, Phyllis, was a brilliant, sensitive, creative and loving woman. I see her photo every day in my living room and remember her just as beautiful as that day. Mom grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a large Irish Catholic family. She had three sisters and one brother. Her immediate family was quite large because her mother, Leila, and her sister, Helen, married two brothers. She attended St Philip Neri school. She went to a special high school/college program at the University of Chicago. When Phyllis was 27 years old she married Roman. I was the oldest of her four children.

Palette 'n Pen was the name of her art studio. She was an artist that created magic with a paintbrush and calligraphy pen. Her paintings hang in just about every room of my home as the palette she used include my favorite colors. She painted with watercolor, oil and acrylic on canvas. Also, she was a Master Calligrapher specializing in illumination using gold leaf.

Impulsively, I left for Chicago last weekend and spent time with my family on the day of the anniversary of the of the car accident. It has been a long time since I have been to her grave, but instead of going there, Aunt Florence, her sister, and I went by the house that she designed and I grew up in. Fortunately, the current owner was in the driveway and graciously gave us a tour of the house and all the remodeling that had been done. His daughter, Natalie, who is now in her 20's grew up in the same bedroom that I had. Isn't that special?! The house looks stunning filled with the most beautiful art in every room. I was most taken by the feeling that the rooms were so much smaller than I remember ... but I haven't been in the house for over 25 years.

Over the years I have hear my moms voice and words echo out of me. She is still so much a part of my life.