• 05Aug
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on A Visit From Cole

    My nephew, Cole (aka Bjorn), was here all last week and we had a ball.  He’s turning 13 on Saturday, and I’m so glad he still likes to come visit.  This photo was taken when he was here at Christmas.


    Before I load the photos from this trip, I must share with you some correspondence between us before his visit, but first some background.  Since he was tiny, if I was going to Seattle to stay at his house, I’d “make a reservation.”  He does the same when he comes here.

    On Jul 11, 2009, at 2:51 PM, Cole Paxton wrote:

    Ms. Snyder, et al:

    I write to discuss the subject of my probable upcoming visit.  I believe the first orders of business shall be to find dates and a mode of transportation for me to get to you.

    Also, a plan for our days together should be considered.

    A few travel options:

    Personal Vehicle (Direct Service)
    AMTRAK Train (Seattle-Longview/Kelso)
    SeaPort Air (Seattle-PDX-Astoria)


    To this, I replied:

    On Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 7:12 PM, Karen Snyder <washtub@willapabay.org> wrote:

    Thank you for your email re the above subject.  Here at Hacienda Hamilton we are much anticipating your arrival.  All possible modes of transportation should be considered and which ever suits your needs should be employed.  Staff from HH could meet you at your plane, train or automobile.  Your room will be readied on Saturday, July 25.  Arrival at your discretion.
    Activities to be considered during your visit here include, but are not limited to:
    Quilt making
    Tractor/Gator Driving
    Field Trips
    Automobile Shopping.
    Are there other activities that you would like our entertainment staff to investigate?
    We eagerly anticipate your upcoming visit to Hacienda Hamilton.
    Anderses Karen –
    Front desk/hostess/limousine services/cook/housekeeping, et al.

    As you can see, I listed all of my jobs.  Not to be outdone, in his next email, he had added more to his resume!

    On Jul 11, 2009, at 7:42 PM, Cole Paxton wrote:
    HH Staff,
    I would enjoy quilt making, cooking, driving, auto shopping, possible field trips to state parks and other unique tri-county (Pacific, Wahkiakum, Clatsop, OR) activities.
    I will look further into exact locations, times, fares, minor policies and other important information regarding modes of travel.
    Bjorn Paxton
    Reservations, Front Desk, Customer Service, Concierge, Housekeeping Manager, Crew Leader, Assistant Cook, Server, Janitor

    Well, we had quite a week.  In the end, the “method of transportation” was personal vehicle.  I met his Mom in Longview, and Cole and I came back via Highway 4.  We stopped at Vista Park in Skamokawa to check out possible Airstream adventure options.


    We baked cookies (for us) and a cake for Bob to take to Rotary for an auction!


    We went to the North Head Lighthouse–even climbing the stairs to the very top!


    We always have to make a quilt for a stuffed animal.


    This time it was Curious George’s turn.  Of course I didn’t have any Moda Funky Monkey fabric, but Cole was happy with the red, yellow and brown Rings.  After all, they WERE designed by his aunt!


    We seemed to find a reason to take the Gator out everyday–watering and fertilizing, a visit to the neighbors, transporting things to the cabin, etc.


    The cabin is just a short walk away, but Cole was always willing to drive me over!


    One night we had dinner in the cabin.


    I think we checked everything off his list except new car shopping!  Oh, well.  Next time.

  • 04Aug

    I have many happy memories of strawberries on my trips to Sweden.  I’ve eaten strawberry whipped cream cake at relatives houses, on midsummer day, even in a fabod.  This year was no different.


    Berit is a wonderful cook, and you never pass up an invitation to eat with her and Gunnar!


    May made a wonderful dessert with strawberries and meringue.


    When we were in Upsalla, Sven-Eric took us to a farm stand with fresh picked berries.



    As you can see, we weren’t the only ones with a strawberry craving.


    Anna served them lightly sugared with ice cream.


    Another of Berit’s creations.


    And I have to end with this plate of strawberry scones made by my friend Melinda recently for Redwork!  Check out her vintage spoon!


  • 03Aug
    Categories: Everything!, travels abroad Comments Off on A Thing of Beauty….

    ….Is a Joy Forever.  Keats


    I often wonder why it is that humans are inclined to decorate–and always have been.  From primitive times forward, people embellished everyday items just for the joy it brings to the eye.  No matter how harsh or primitive living conditions were, this need to surround oneself with beauty seems universal.

    I love visiting the old farm museums in Sweden.  In Tällberg we went to one I hadn’t been to before called Holen.  In 1910 an artist from southern Sweden, Gustaf Ankarcrona, fell in love with Dalarna and embraced the culture of the area.  He began collecting all kinds of old things–buildings, clothing, sleighs, household items–and bringing them together at his home.  In the 1930′s, his home and all the wonderful things he’d collected became a museum.


    I love the little detail here above a porch.  It’s so subtle, but shows someone cared.


    Inside his home was this wonderful corner hearth.


    Above it hung a very, very old candelabra.  The beautiful metal work didn’t make it give any better light, but it was lovely to look at.


    There was the typical built-in bed.  People slept in a sitting position, thinking it was better for their internal organs!


    I’m in love with the Swedish kakelugn–a wonderful ceramic stove used for heating.


    Here’s a shelf of useful items–many made to be beautiful as well as useful.


    Corner cupboards are also very near to my heart.


    We went into the barns with our guide.  Notice how high the thresholds are on the doors–and how low the doors are!  You have to step up and over at the same time you’re bending down!


    Mangles like these were often betrothal gifts from a man to a woman.  I suppose it’s too late to tell Bob that I’d like him to carve me one!


    How gorgeous is the cabbage chopper?


    There was a whole collection of locks.


    And hinges.


    And these fancy things sat on the back of the horses neck to guide the reins.


    The hinges on this door are from the fourteenth century!  Can you imagine?  Some artist/craftsman in the 1300′s made this functional thing beautiful.


    John Keats was right.  A thing of beauty IS a joy forever!