Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After Christmas.....a corny poem by Martha

Tis the day after Christmas
 Our home still a mess
But Christmas was great fun
Very little stress

The food, it was great
but it could've been less
Fed all the no-meaters
the fussy, the quirky
And did it all
 with no need for Tofurky

Family was perfect
Nary a complaint
I'm sure  some day
They will all be called Saints

No praise do I seek 
I am humble and meek 
Just looking forward to
No cooking for a week

Friday, December 21, 2012


Joe and I attended the Jazz concert at Sealth High School and as always it was entertaining.
This concert was impressive for anther reason. All students and teachers wore green badges in honor of the children who lost their lives in the horrific school killing spree.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stormy Weather....Sleepless Night

After laying in bed listening to the wind howling, hearing branches hitting the ground, I decided to get up and get something done.
I don't understand how Joe can sleep through all this but I'm glad...he needs the sleep.

As I'm feeling my way through the darkness, I find the kitchen window, just in time to see lightening.
I decided to head downstairs and work on the Christmas cards..a quiet job.

It is finally light out and I can see there has been some minor damage which will require clean-up but so far nothing major, like a tree across the driveway. Also power is still on, so that's a bonus.

Our friends Chinh, Michelle and Kenny were over for dinner last night, before they happily head for the holidays with family in California. They can't wait to leave and I'm sure this storm adds to their glee.

 Hope everyone  is safe.  When the weather is bad I can't help but think of the homeless.

We are so fortunate to be in a warm home.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our thoughts and Prayers........

How many times will I need to say this to a person who has lost a loved one?
The shooting in Connecticut brings such sadness to all of us. We don't know these people, still
the sadness is there. I can't imagine being one of those who lost a family member in this way.
It is so senseless.
It is difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain to a child, who feels safe in the Lord's care, how this could happen.

However, the Lord gave us a free will.

Is there an answer to this problem of violence. I'm sure we will hear all sorts of comments on who to blame,
the healthcare system, those in charge etc.

Think about it...this has been going on throughout history.  With the advanced methods of communication,
we all share the information, sooner, complete with film of the events, interviews with witnesses etc.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all.  May God give you the strength you  will need to cope with this horrific experience.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Are They?

Are parishioners at St. James Cathedral a little spoiled?  When it comes to music, I think some have no realization of the great music program  present at St. James.
e.g. This morning we had to begin the Magnificat a few minutes before the beginning of mass. This was necessary to fit the music into the time frame of the service.
The people were talking, as is customary before the beginning of the service, but they continued to talk while a gifted violinist played.
I admit that  I am easily distracted,  but this gifted  teenager had my attention and admiration the minute she began to play.

Julianna is a lovely talented young woman. We are very fortunate to have her with us.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm back............

My brain seems to have re-entered my body, and Christmas preparation is underway.
I managed to make filling for pasta shells and fill eighty of the little imps. Just don't want to sit still
while being filled. The first batch looks Martha Stewart perfect. The second batch is Martha MacKenzie
imperfect. Oh well. They all taste the same.
Now, I have to decide what else I can make ahead, and stuff into the freezer. Biscotti for sure. Maybe a Strata.
Liz just suggested I ask for help. Sounds like a plan. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yes Sister.....Yes Sister

Sunday we visited our friend at Mt. St. Vincent, I first took Judy to St. Joseph's so she could visit her friend
Sister Marie.  On my way from one building to the other...there were  women with walkers or in wheel chairs  looking cheerful, and giving me unsolicited advice and direction. I would just smile and say thanks.
Later, I thought about it, and realized they were all nuns.  I laughed to myself and thought, "Does it ever end?"  Am I still in parochial school?

Bless them all!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Precepts of the Church

We covered several in the last few days.
 Our wonderful nephew, Tony, passed away on Nov. 26.from a brain tumor.
We attended the Vigil  and Memorial Service at St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Renton.
Father Ed White presided over both and was extraordinary. The Church was filled for both services.
Tony was loved by many people and they were anxious to share their stories.
There were about one thousand persons in attendance. It was truly inspiring.
I was doing fine holding back the tears until Father White shed a few during his talk. He also made me laugh.
He was spot on when he said that Tony had perhaps performed his first miracle since his Dad (my brother, John) was in the front row of the church. He is always in the back with one foot practically out the door.

We had a few relatives stop by our home after the reception. Everyone was inspired by the service.

Sunday, Judy invited us to lunch, we accepted, phoned Liz to ask her the location of a good place to eat in West Seattle.  Judy invited her along and she accepted, drove us to an excellent place to have a healthy lunch.

After lunch we visited Sister Marie Colorossi. She attended Immaculate with Judy. Sister Marie is suffering from a brain tumor and is in residence at  St. Joseph's, near  Providence Mt. St. Vincent
where our friend June  is recovering from a stroke. We combined the visits and although it was sad, we felt good that we had made the effort to visit the sick.
June is in rehab and will be fine in a few months. Sister Marie is close to being in heaven.

God Bless both of them. May  June heal without  too much pain.  May Sister Marie go in peace.

On a less serious note:
This morning the power went off 4:30 a.m.    Joe got the generator running. I cooked breakfast and lunch in the microwave.

Judy just called from Sea-Tac. Good thing we left early as she barely made it to the correct gate in time to board the plane. They had changed gates!

Joe is in the garage trying to find out why the anti-freeze is leaking from the truck.

I think it's time for a trouble free Hallmark moment!  


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Family Day

Thanksgiving was a great family day. Food was good....everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Zoey (missionary extraordinaire) came equipped with her ukelele and a hat. She wanted to raise money for
Nature Conservancy. Her donation will help save a portion of the rain forest.
Zoey has a lovely voice, and has quickly learned to play the ukelele.
Fund raiser in the future? It wouldn't surprise me.

I wish I had a recording of some of the conversations. I'm always busy and miss the stand-up routines.
They are just having normal conversations but seem very humorous to me.

I was pooped out yesterday but managed to do a little Christmas preparation. Easy stuff. It will be a while before I get in the mood for my ridiculous amount of  decorating.
Received two Christmas cards already. Does anyone actually read the first ones?
I have to use up all leftovers before I start reading the Christmas cards.

A Happy Anniversary

It has been 58 years since Joe and I were married in St. Anthony Church in Renton.
I remember being very nervous, waiting to walk down the aisle.
We have had a wonderful life together made richer by our children. Like all couples we faced our share of challenges but for the most part feel very blessed.

Photo of Helen MacKenzie Joe's mom....Martha and Joe

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Harvey at Tumwater High School

In spite of the long drive in nasty weather, we really enjoyed the production of "Harvey".
Our Grandson Ian played Elwood and did a great job. Several other students also did well.
Of course, I am a critic at heart, and if I was the drama teacher, would slow down the pace of the dialogue of some of the actors. Also, they need to remember that they are playing to the entire theater, not just the first few rows. I remember watching my sisters Gloria and Barbara in High School plays. Their voices filled the auditorium at Renton High School. It is a gift to be able to do this without yelling. Ian has this gift as well.
 That said, it was a enjoyable way to spend the evening. We had a bonus since five of our Grand- children were there (including Elwood).

The picture on the mantle was created by James MacKenzie.............

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giving Back

Joe  came indoors to tell me that  deer were in our back yard.
 He knows how much I love to see them.
I love to see them destroying  plants. By this time of year I really don't care.
 So, as I watch them having lunch, I notice one of them fertilizing the area, for better plant growth....They must have attended a  Cisco Morris class...Ooh la lah!'

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Japanese Maple....Last color standing

While most of the leaves have fallen, we still enjoy the brilliant red of the Japanese Maple. I remember buying this as a very small tree. As I planted it I wondered if it would last. I wonder no more.
I asked Joe to take a photo with his new camera.  My photo was good but colors not true.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lesson Learned.....Feed the Birds!

This was my week to bring treats to st. James for the choir. I always enjoy having Joanna as my partner.
Now, for the part I didn't enjoy.

I decided to get my sourdough out of the freezer and see if it still worked, After thawing and removing a few chunks of dough it seemed to be fine. I decided to make bagels. They were slow to rise (not a good sign)
but I went ahead and shaped, boiled and baked. The directions said to roll in a ball, make a hole with your finger. I did that a few times but it was taking forever, so I tried a different way. Unfortunately, my way was the wrong way. The circle came apart....blah blah blah. To make a long story short..after all that work, the bagels looked like turds.  I thought about giving them to the birds or squirrels but them decided, that broken up, it would make a good crust for my strata.   It was actually delicious.....but some of the bagel stuck to the bottom of the pan. It took me at least a half hour( after soaking ) to clean out the pan. It was like trying to scrape melted and dried gummy bears out of the pan.   No more bagel bottoms.

The rest of the food was welcomed by the choir. Joe (our organist) asked for the recipe for the Raspberry Coffee cake. I almost left it home as I thought it was dry.  This was caused by the rice flour I used to make it gluten-free.

It was a lot of work, a lot of fun and I'm glad it only happens once or twice a year.

Thanks to Joe for all the help carrying and setting up.

Joe also tried out his new camera in church.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Eighty Years Young

Our family celebrated the birthday of Joe MacKenzie  at our home yesterday. It was a great day.
It was suggested that I let the children do the work and I must say, I enjoyed the new concept.
Photos  follow including family wearing shirts John printed up using family photos of Joe in different stages of his life. The rest are from party.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day at the Dentist

Thank God my camera was not with me, or you would see my mouth jammed with objects, while x-rays are completed, cleaning done, and finally a tooth filled.
As much as I dreaded this experience it wasn't that bad.  Methods have greatly improved.
Our regular dentist was on vacation so a young newbie was in charge. He said I needed a new filling. the nurse said it was scheduled for a crown...I groaned. " It doesn't need a crown, just get rid of the small cavity, the old filling, and it will be fine."  He then offered to do it this morning.  "Yes, please, let's get it done." It took less than a half an hour and feels great.
 I am at home, happy & contented. I  feel a little sneaky, as I know our regular dentist would have done a crown.
I must mention that if I was unmarried, a half a century younger, and looked like a model, I would have a crush on this handsome young dentist.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Fruit Juice of our Labors

Dear Deer,
I hope next year you will devour our grapes.
We used our Jack LaLanne juicer. It is difficult to clean, noisy and messy.

The yield was not that bad, since we had one bowl of grapes.
The juice tastes like grape-flavored lemon juice.
I must stop complaining. Joe and I had fun and I actually like the refreshing taste.
It is now resting in the freezer so we may share it with the family.

Force them into trying it.

Monday, October 1, 2012


 Years ago, there was a lovely catalpha tree in a neighbors yard. I could see it from the kitchen window. It was such an interesting tree. After flowering, long pods, filled of seeds, hung from the branches.
 One day while on a  a walk I spotted another catalpha  in a different yard.
There were seed pods on the ground so I helped myself to a couple, and planted them in the wooded area of our side yard. Since then, both  neighbors trees have been cut down. 
 Periodically,  I check to see if the seeds I planted sprouted, but no luck.

Yesterday, while checking out our neglected yard, I noticed  leaves that looked like those of a catalpha tree.  I got very excited and decided to investigate.  I checked it out in my garden book.
Lo and behold, we have a catalpha tree. The area where it is growing, has a variety of trees, butterfly bush,  plus pesky Himalayan blackberries.
The catalpha tree will have to fight for space to grow.

I'll be watching.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Web Of Change

                                             After The Rain......................
Joe spotted this web on the cable line. As soon as the line dried the spider moved on.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Gift of Love

I have always told my children that the most important gift is one of love.
To me this is shown with a kind word, card, phone call. Gifts are not necessary.
My birthday is soon, and already I have received a lovely gift from Joe, Deb & family.
It is a beautiful necklace, purchased during their trip in Ireland.
 The fact that they thought of me while on vacation is a gift  of love.
 The necklace is a bonus that I  will enjoy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Kid on the Block

The birds have been having a convention in our yard.  This morning there was a small woodpecker on the suet feeder...a first. I ran downstairs to grab my camera. It had moved to the top of the bird house.

I think it's a Downy woodpecker. I've never seen one this close.
Such fun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arlene...Arlene..Arlene..Arlene (to the tune of Jolene)

I was looking forward to the Kennedy/Highline soccer game last night for several reasons.
Joe and I would see our family, and maybe have a visit with my first cousin Arlene.
Arlene attends all the games that include her Grandchildren. Her Grandchild, Sierra, plays for Highline.
Our Sami plays for Kennedy...Grandchild versus Grandchild.
 Joe and I don't take these games seriously...we learned our lesson while raising five sons.
We talked to Tim ( Arlene's son) and asked if his mom would be at the game. He told us that she was here,
but wouldn't enter the stadium as she was upset with the young man collecting the tickets at the gate!

The young man definitely had an attitude. When I noticed the no re-entry sign, I asked,
 " What if you need something from your car?" He quickly answered, " Get it now!"

John and Kelley (Sami's parents) arrived and said they think they saw Arlene. Then Kelley's friend, Kelley,
asked if Arlene was the women sitting outside the fence watching the game. Oh my God!
It was an interesting night. We had a nice visit with Kelly & John, saw a close game that Kennedy won, and Sami got to meet her cousin. Sierra is a a very nice young woman and they seemed to enjoy meeting each other.  Alex (Sami's twin brother) was already out the gate. We tried to get him to go back and meet his cousin, but being shy he avoided the opportunity. When I realized it was hopeless I added, but Alex, she is really nice and you are distant cousins, so you could marry her if you wanted. At least we had a good laugh.

When I arived home the phone was ringing. It was Arlene explaining to me why she stood her ground and refused to enter the stadium. The gate-man (gate-boy) was drunk with authority and wanted her to pay even though she had a season pass.
  When her son said MacKenzie's are here, she thought he meant a girl named MacKenzie.Arlene said if she knew it was us she would have paid the extra $2.
 We had a good laugh and decided she was a little crazy but not certifiable.

I've heard of hugging a tree for a good cause, but a chain link fence?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dinner with a view

Having dinner at the home of June and Roger is always a good thing. The view is fantastic, the food is delicious and the company always interesting. Roger said his own grace and it was inspiring and sincere.

Last night was a wake up call for those of us in the latter years of life.
One of our friends is in poor health and this was her first outing in months.
She was in a wheel chair, since part of her foot had been amputated. She was not
in good spirits, and I accepted this as a challenge, to help her enjoy her evening.
This was not an easy task. She mentioned suicide. Since I had just attended a family funeral
of a cousin (by marriage) who had mentioned suicide quite often and was found dead in a bathtub,
(either overdosed or intentional), this upset me.
Perhaps it was just a dramatic comment to emphasize her discomfort. Still I felt the need to point out
what she would leave behind if she took such a drastic step. 
Not being one to give up easily, I was able to help her relax and laugh at some of the humor being passed
around the room.
After a bit she seemed to enjoy her friends and dinner.
Her husband is very kind. He wheeled her to the bathroom, to the table and to the view.

All in all, I think she enjoyed her first outing and hopefully the next one will show a more positive

I hugged Joe when we arrived home and decided I would always be kind to him and never argue etc.
Of course, this is unrealistic, but at that moment I was sincere.
I know we are fortunate to have a good marriage and be in relatively good health and pray that if and when things change, we will leave it in the hands of the Lord and accept whatever happens.

I'm getting way to serious. We actually had lots of laughs. I told the story of a man who was caught speeding by the State Patrol. He told the officer that his wife had cheated on him with a State Patrolman, and he thought he was chasing him to try to give her back.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

True Confessions

It is time to admit, to anyone interested, that I am not perfect.
What's that? You already knew. Well, boo hoo and wah wah, now my feelings are hurt!
On with the story of my Lost in "Spacey" weekend.
Friday....we're.sitting in St. George Church listening to inspirational words, when Joe mentions that I have my blouse on inside out. All the various tags were in plain sight. I was in panic mode. Luckily, I had a sleeveless blouse under it, so I left the main church and quickly righted the wrong.

Saturday, in the hall at St. James, I entered the bathroom, used it, then noticed urinals. As I left I noticed the MEN sign. Lucky again, No man was near. At least I wasn't dragging toilet paper on my shoe.

On the way home I missed the James Street turn to get on the freeway. I decided to keep going and try to go home on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Somehow, I missed it and drove to Renton via Rainier Ave. S.
Not a bad way but at least 15 minutes longer. It was interesting though. Every time we reached a light, a man in a nearby car, would jump out and extend his arms as if he were on a crucifix. About the fourth time he did this, people started honking..I just wanted to get away from him.

When I arrived home I pushed the remote to open the garage door. The alarm went off. It rang loud enough to wake up the owls.
I quickly backed out of the garage, closed the door, unlocked the kitchen door, and turned off the alarm.
It probably only lasted a minute but it seemed like forever.

I decided to check out the fig tree to see if I had missed any figs. I  found a few to share with friends, and life was good again.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Gifted Violinist

During our Music Retreat at St. James, we were fortunate to be the audience for a performance by
a truly gifted violinist, MarianneMartinoli.
Marianne is an amazing musician at age 15.....what can I say.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

You missed the party!

Waiting with Patience

                                              Play date anyone?