The wonderful things.

Even after nearly 15 years my husband still surprises me and does sweet romantic things for me.  One of the big ones is flowers, I was really a pretty practical person and even told him that I tend to not really like receiving flowers and even then my favorites were carnations, not roses. Even now Carnations are still my favorite but I am learning to appreciate roses. Over the last few months, I have been gifted with many flowers for my table. They always make my day and even my week as I keep looking at them.

A few of the recent floral gifts.

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These are from the last few months. As you can see I tend to like more unusual roses or combos. The 1st roses on the left are some impressionist like ones and have differing color tones, I also got some more recently. I adored the unusual color of the orange roses and they remind me of a neighbor who was an emigrant from Greece who lived on the next cul-de-sac, he had huge yellow and orange rosebushes in his front yard along the walk.  The other flowers are my birthday bouquet, they are yellow roses with pink and white mini-carnations. In the last photo you can see the carnations over a week or 2 later near the end of their life.

For my birthday I also was given a beautiful jewelry set from my husband.  They are little mini hand painted enameled Faberge eggs. I have purple earrings with gold roses, and a matching pendant on a gold chain. They are just gorgeous and I think I have found every excuse possible to wear them nearly every day since I received them. These photos really do not do them justice at all, they are just gorgeous and make me happy every time I wear them.

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I knew my husband was planning something else for my birthday but I did not know the details at first. I only found out all the details on Wednesday when I started getting calendar requests. He is very romantic but also practical. As a computer professional that specializes in email he uses his calendar very seriously and often I will find out the details of something from a calendar invite while he is still working. This time I had about 6 different appointment requests for a getaway. They started with a ferry ride on a small leg of the ferry system here in the Puget Sound that I had not been on yet. A small personal goal I have is to ride every single route of the ferry system here in the Puget Sound. Then it was checking in at a bed and breakfast on Whidbey Island in Coupeville. It is called the Blue Goose Inn  http://bluegooseinn.com/  followed by a dinner reservations at a restaurant nearby called  Christopher’s on Whidbey  http://www.christophersonwhidbey.com/ .   We had an appointment for the return home on the ferry the following morning.

If you wanted to read what my husband had to say about the experience himself you can read the post on his blog at http://www.thecabal.org/2011/01/getaway/  . He sums things up better than I do as he is an excellent writer. It was a very relaxing and romantic getaway with my darling and I felt appreciated and cherished. What I am most impressed with now is how easy it was for him to find places that could and would accommodate some of my rather restrictive dietary needs. I was impressed with what I was offered to eat in both places. Again I do not feel a real need to repeat all the same things that my husband, Devin, wrote up so much better than I would.

I do however have a few photos and other comments.

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On the left is the bed which was probably the most comfortable bed I have slept in when not at home. The second is my husband at breakfast. The next is the photo out the breakfast room. Then my husband Devin while doing his most favorite thing ever, being on the water on our ferry ride back home.  I was very impressed with the dinner especially as I was easily directed to which things I could eat and what I could not.

The last part of my Saturday was my Christmas present from my children. A trip to the Seattle Art Museum as new members and ticket to see the Picasso exhibit. Now somehow my children thought that I was a huge Picasso fan and he was my favorite artist, which is actually not the case. I actually find most of his work not to my taste and even at times very disturbing. However his view of art and how it was supposed to affect the viewers and even his effect on the rest of the art world I greatly admire. This was a fantastic and once in a lifetime opportunity for me and my family. It was only here for another week at most and I am so glad we went. I was told this was from the Smithsonian and since the area that usually housed it was being renovated was going to be traveling around the country.  This was wonderfully curated and followed his life starting with his early work and progressing gallery by gallery to show his work a decade at a time and even talked about what was going on in his life and the world at the time. It ended with stuff from just before his death including a self-portrait that was very interesting. A lot of what I learned actually caused a greater appreciation for the artist’s unique viewpoint. As parents we often got some dirty looks from others as we talked about art with our children. This was their first experience at an art museum and so really did not understand what the point of much of it was. As we talked to them we explained that art was often to get a reaction and asked what they felt a specific piece was about or said or how it made them feel.  That said what surprised me was what pieces I admired the most outside of the Picasso exhibit. There was a large piece done in a traditional chinese calligraphy style that was a waterfall complete with some faux rocks on the floor. The replica Japanese tea room was exquisite as was the Quileute tribal displays, which is the tribes educational reaction to the prominence of their tribe in the Twilight series.  Going back to the art museum is high on my to-do list, as I need to see some of the exhibits without it being nearly so crowded. I also want to go back to the Asian Art Museum as well. I have been at least once, but with all the changing exhibits I feel the need to go more often. I did not actually take any photos at the art museum and wished I had taken a bit more time to see things, but it was crowded and dinner time so we ended up leaving. 

I did one other important thing for my birthday. I finally made 2 phone calls and within 30 minutes had my first violin lesson scheduled for the following week. I just had my 3rd lesson earlier this afternoon, and am nearly wondering why I waited so long. I am still very much a beginner and playing very simple songs and am learning only a few notes or fingerings each week. However I am pleased that I know as much music theory as I do and that I am beginning to understand how things are working. My hands, shoulders and arms are already stronger. About the only difficulty I have run into so far is from a very old injury to my hand, however that is slowly becoming easier and with the continued daily practice I know it will get even better. I am actually feeling confident that I will be able to hit my goal for the violin by my self-appointed deadline. I just want to be able to play a specific Christmas carol for my mother for Christmas. Now that I know more violin music theory it will actually take quite a bit of work and some skills and notes I will not learn for quite a while. Why start playing now that I am 38? Well I don’t want to give this up and besides if my friend can start piano lessons in her 70s why can’t I start violin now? I want to be as vivacious, energetic and mentally happy as several of my older friends are. They are that way in their 70s and sometimes I feel they have more energy than I do at half their age. Well I am tired of waiting and have decided to start doing.

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