Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Rain Is In The Forecast September 17, 2017

Filed under: Colours,Environment,Gardening,Gardens,Seasons — Janet @ 3:00 pm


My star in the garden – it has been quietly blooming all summer.  Still going strong while everything else in the garden is shutting down.


Interested In Maine History? July 4, 2017

IMG_3646  Here’s the book for all history enthusiasts.  In a book store in Mystic Connecticut, I found this book about the history of Maine – titled The Lobster Coast, Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier, by Colin Woodard.  As one would expect, there’s quite a bit of detail about fish and the fishing industry, particularly  lobsters.  But there is also a lot to make one think about the rights of Native Americans and the rights and relationships between the original settlers and the subsequent waves of  “newcomers”, right up to the present day transformations of land use and the questions of distribution of wealth.

In my genealogy research I have been able to trace most of my ancestors back many generations.  At present I am trying to concentrate/focus on the immigration experiences of these branches in my family tree.  These would be the 6th-9th great grandparents.  About 90% of these forebears came to New England.  I have one case of an abrupt end of the trail with my 3rd great grandparents Joseph Reed and Sarah Maddox.  They were each born in Maine in the late 1700’s.  Joseph died in Maine in 1850.  Their daughter Abigail was my great great grandmother.  She was born in Gloucester in 1804.  But I do not have any information re Joseph and Sarah’s forebears, my 4th great grandparents etc.  Did they come to Maine as immigrants?  What happened to them in this remote and harsh part of the American frontier.  Did they perish in an encounter with one of the many tribes of Native Americans who raided the settlers villages and isolated dwellings.   I wonder.


Skagit Valley Trip April 7, 2017

Filed under: Environment,Flowers,Seasons,Skagit Valley,Spring — Janet @ 3:38 pm

17834031_10154457672657043_1903145563944206139_o   Daffodils blooming in the Skagit Valley

Photo credit: Llomsdalen

I’ve been trying to organize a trip to the Skagit Valley this past week.  Each day it didn’t happen for one reason or another.  Plans have now shifted to next week when the tulips should be in bloom.  Such a gorgeous vista – I want to see it LIVE.

Meanwhile     17761008_10154455319952043_917550322397938132_o




Out With the Old – In With the New September 26, 2014

Filed under: Ageing,Ballard Seattle,Environment,Urban Change — Janet @ 12:30 am

IMG_3603  here is what I saw this morning on my way from a trip to the bank and the drug store in downtown Ballard.  I was in a quiet residential neighbourhood within a stone’s throw of 2 substantial church buildings.  I had passed this site just an hour before – the second story of what was once a fine old house was still somewhat intact.  An hour later it was completely torn down.  What will take its place?  Guess – an apartment block.  This is an example of what is happening in Ballard – more and more holes in the ground – more and more apartment blocks.  Sad.  I’ve been told though that there is an ordinance to prevent it happening close to us – we wait and see.



For more on the situation in Ballard see the Seattle Weekly, Sept. 9    (thank you to Jay Moor for sending me this article)


From the Kenya Side of My Life September 26, 2011

Filed under: Africa,Environment,Kenya — Janet @ 9:56 pm

My blog entry for today is from the Kenya side of my life.  Namely the time now 20+ years ago when we were  living in Nairobi and were very involved with activities at UNCHS and UNEP and the U.S. Library of Congress.

  this photo is from the BBC.  Wangari Maathai is receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.  She was the first African woman to be honored in this way.  Sadly she has now died, at the age of 71, undergoing treatment for cancer.  A strong activist and a woman to be much admired.


The Sword of Damocles, aka Colours of October in Seattle November 6, 2010

Filed under: Colours,Environment,Late autumn,Photography,Seasons,Seattle — Janet @ 12:12 am

I have been trying to follow a sequence of posts where different people around the world post pictures of the colours of the month in their part of the globe.  The sequence was started by Sue in New Hampshire on her blog Life Looms Large.  The series started a year ago and now October was to be the last month.  I entered into this with gusto, enjoying the changing seasons, selecting appropriate photos for my part of the world for each particular month, and seeing other people’s photos.  The list of participants was long.   But now the year has drawn to a close and I am eager to complete my participation.  We are now into November but the deadline for the October colours has been extended to November 15th.  I suspect that other participants have found it difficult to find the time to continue this theme.  Now I feel sort of as if The Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head until I complete my “voluntary” participation.  i.e. the sword is self-inflicted.  So here they are – my colours for October in Seattle.   Red, orange, yellow, brown, black – and increasingly bare branches.  And more colours besides.

                                                                                                                      The leaves are falling, outside the Nordic Heritage Museum

View from the Museum of History and Industry (the MOHAI)

One of my cousins from the East Coast was visiting and we had a  wonderful day exploring in the Museum and then enjoying the beautiful late autumn sunshine.  Her perspective on early American history is far more rooted in the past in the early settlement of New England in the 17th and 18th centuries.  The emphasis here in Seattle is later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  But to give MOHI its due, there was a lot of information about the earlier years and the Indians who preceded the first pioneer settlers.


                                                                           Array of trees near the MOHAI

 I can’t let October go by without posting a Halloween photo.  Here are some of the Seattle McKee’s all set to go trick or treating.  Ethan is the only really colourful one here in his Tigger costume.


                                                                                                                                                                                     Here he comes, trick or treat.

Picasso pumpkin, very cleverly carved as were so many of the pumpkins we saw that night

The day before Halloween, we had a festive family birthday dinner.  Happy Birthday Grandad.  Baby Sean turned his back on the proceedings but Ashley and Caitlin were enthusiastic helpers in blowing out the numerous candles on the delicious chocolate birthday cake.  

The Friday before Halloween there was a carnival up at the local primary/elementary school.  We had all the colours of the rainbow there as almost everyone came in Halloween costume.  Ashley’s 3rd grade teacher was Chiquita Banana, or maybe Carmen Miranda.  Here she is offering sweets to Little Orphan Annie and Pippi Longstocking.  What a fun evening it was.

(My apologies for the way some of the captions have been tossed around – WordPress has a mind of its own.)


September Equinox September 21, 2009

Filed under: Colours,Environment,Gardening,Seasons — Janet @ 12:12 pm

Here we are, September 21st, and my calendar tells me it’s the autumnal equinox.  The nights are drawing in and the days are getting shorter.  We’re at the halfway point between the longest day in June and the shortest day in December.  According to the Irish Times weather report, the sun rose today at 7:09 a.m. Irish Summer Time and is due to set at 7:26 p.m. IST.  That makes slightly over 12 hours of daylight.  If I check out my weather pixie (click on the widget in the sidebar) I can see that in Seattle the sun is due to rise at 6:53 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and set at 19:11 PDT.

The flowers in the garden are wilting.  The hydrangea blooms are turning a deeper red.  The cosmos, on the other hand, are flourishing, as are the pansies.   And the nasturtiums in the front of the house are still spreading and lo0king colourful.  Last night I planted wallflowers to show some greenery and to have colour in the Spring.  Thinking ahead.


Environmental Issues February 6, 2008

Filed under: Environment,Knitting — Janet @ 5:54 pm

What was I doing while I was doing my mindless knitting (see previous post)?  I was reading a very interesting book which I happened to find in Seattle as we were on our way out of Barnes & Noble on the last day of our Christmas visit.  One particular book on the display table caught my eye – Wandering Home by Bill McKibben.  Bill McKibben was not a name I had encountered before – but lo and behold, I find that he is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont and he is an ardent environmentalist.  (Middlebury is much in my mind this year as I approach my 50th reunion this coming June.) 

Now I have read his book – and knit 2 more squares for my hodge podge.  In doing a google search on Bill’s name I came up with this very interesting New York Times article on wind turbines.

Wind turbines aside, Bill’s book is rather philosophical in approach as he reflects upon the meaning of wilderness.  He airs his thoughts as he does his walk from Ripton in Vermont across the Champlain Valley and the Adirondack Mountains in New York.  A lot of familiar names there for me so I found the book extra enjoyable.

Now imagine my dismay when I read this article about underage drinking and rampant vandalism at the Robert Frost homestead there in Ripton.  The Vermont State Police have their work cut out for them.  But I just wonder about the young men who are being cited for their more than wild behaviour.