THE WRITE PLACE…

to find Patti Singleton these days.


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Phall Photo Friday; A Few Map Inches and 3 Counties

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Or…between The Cascades and The Olympics.  Like the eyes on the portrait that follow your every move, these mountain ranges gaze down at you, no matter the direction you travel. You may not always even see them, but they are there… more Between Inlets and the Ocean photos on myPhall Photos blog here: http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-fU

My regular dental clinic is only 40 minutes away, a beautiful drive through coastal forests and along Willipa Bay.  I spent my birthday yesterday traveling over 200 miles, to and from, a visit to the oral surgeon. From the Pacific Ocean, into Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, flow inlets, bays, canals, lakes and rivers. They flow over, through and around the luscious green forested lands of Western Washington. I did thoroughly enjoy the drive home across a few unknown map inches and three counties.

A Lesson: Let Go Of The Worry and Grab Onto The Good Stuff

My neighbor drove as I fretted and worried: Would the surgeon require I.V. sedation? How would I come up with the advance cash to pay for it? Could I convince him that I am just too afraid of general anesthesia (which I am)? Will luck be with me and the surgeon be a decent person? I was prepared to walk away if he was a stoic, judgmental creep, like some that have worked on my teeth.

How many dentists, dental students, assistants, and hygienists have had their fingers in my mouth over the years? Such an intimate thing, made clinical by necessity. Probe my ears, look up my nostrils, but please leave my other orifices to me.

I didn’t request one single photo stop on the way there; I was too busy worrying. What a waste of the beauty on the scenic route we traveled! After the two-and-a-half hour trip I was buzzing with negative energy. After pacing the waiting room floor for an hour…well, you may wonder if the dental surgeon even survived our meeting. 

The black-clad assistant led me to the consultation room. I studied the detailed tooth poster on the wall. I nervously eyed the instruments on the counter. The assistant displayed the panoramic x-ray of my mouth and jaw on a small screen next to me. She took my blood pressure (high, for me) and walked out the door, making promises about how soon the doctor would be in. 

Every one of the employees wore black tops and bottoms. Weird, after all the cheerful? bunnies and rainbows and colorful uniforms on personnel at the many hospitals and clinics I have been in. I kind of liked it. Sure, black may have been a bad choice for a place where clients are mostly afraid and nervous, but I liked the uniformity (pun?) of them all wearing the same color.

In walked Dr. Calm and I fell instantly, deeply in love. Not with the man, per se, but with the feeling he brought into the room with him. The atmosphere filled with calm, until there was no space available for my fear, anger, angst and worry. He spoke softly, he smiled, his movements were casual, he kept eye contact, and he laid aside every ounce of worry baggage that I had brought along with me. I gathered up that pile of worry and dropped it into the garbage can on my way out the door.

The drive home was spectacular.

Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Patti, the worry-less one (for now)


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Phall Photo Friday; The Bay and The Bike

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Wild Bleeding Hearts, Phall Photo 2014

See The Blossoming Of The Garden Bike on my photo blog, Phall Photos http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-fH

and Morning Glory Evening On Willipa Bay at http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-fq

I’m setting this to publish on Friday morn, as I’m off to more adventures. I’m going to see Kevin in Packwood. Hopefully, we’ll have good weather and I can go check on all the wild plants that I’ve been following with photos. I look forward to seeing how Kevin’s veggie garden is going too. Oh, and the hummingbirds. I hope to see some new birds at the feeders with seeds.

Saturday morn, we’re taking off for the Portland area to see his mom, Mrs. M. We’ll stay over one night, then head back to Packwood Sunday afternoon. The latest school shooting took place just down the road from his mom’s place. I can only imagine the anger, fear and sadness of that community. I took a lot of photos there this fall and it was one of the places I was going to take Kevin, but we’ll probably do that next trip. Instead, I hope I can find one of the back roads to some vineyards and a great view of Mt. Hood.

If we’re not too tired, we’ll probably play a game of pool and listen to some music. I’ll head home Monday, with a stopover in Centralia to see my children, grands and maybe an uncle, aunt or cousin. If there’s things for me to do at my aunt’s, I’ll probably stay the night at Sara’s.

Then I’m home for the rest of June, except a trip to Bremerton to consult with an oral surgeon. Since I got some white picket fence from my aunt, the secret garden has been extended, so there is a lot of work to do on that. Greg does most of the structure work and I do the planning and planting. I hope to incorporate a sampling of the wild plants, berry bushes and shrubs from the strip of woods on his property. They will go along the length of my beach cave, where there is mostly shade.

I’ll post again on Newsday Tuesday. Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Take Care,

Patti, the gypsy cave woman 🙂


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Memoir Monday 3

Wild Yellow Flag Iris with ivy-covered ghost cabin in background. Phall Photo 2014

Wild Yellow Flag Iris with ivy-covered ghost cabin in background. Phall Photo 2014

Nature Heals: A Non-Scientific Study, Part 1

A 5-year, blinded by multiple deaths of loved ones, study.

After Paul died (Aug 2009) I spent my few waking hours out on the back deck of our home. From my lofty vantage point, I soaked up the panorama of our own overgrown lawn and gardens and the wild acreage surrounding them. Beyond all the love and support of our circle of family and friends, nature itself helped bring me back to life.

Excerpts from my first few emails in late August to early September 2009 to our family and friends:

I’m watching the deer on the hill & the chickadees are singing their evening lullaby. There are many things I should be doing, but I will probably go back to bed. I did finally turn the soaker hoses off…after 3 days!

I woke up to a longggg, LOUD roll of thunder this morn. The pounding rain on the roof woke me several times last night, still pouring now. Bring on the ARK!

Oliver (my cat) is curled up next to me on the porch swing, dreaming of the good old days when he could get around better and we still had Paul and Jake (our dog) with us. I know what Oliver’s dreaming, cause that’s what I’m dreaming…

Earlier I described a gloomy, rainy day. Now, however, the sun has come out, the rain stopped, and a mist rises from the grassy field on the hill. I’ve been watching a fledgling red-tail hawk learn to fly. He’s resting on a high, thick fir tree branch, his wings drooping at his sides. Trying to balance his heavy wings, he follows the branch towards the center of the big tree; I think it is siesta time.
A light breeze just came from the south and swept away all of the dark clouds, leaving some bright white ones on the horizon, pushing the others to the north. The porch chimes are singing and one of the ducks on the pond is yakking. People, this is amazing! I’m listening to all sorts of birds singing about the sun coming out after nature’s shower.
I keep wanting to turn around and knock on the window to get Paul to come out and see these wonders; he never failed to show his enthusiasm for my discoveries. He never told me to wait a minute. He would put down whatever he was doing and mosey on out to see what I had found. He usually grabbed the camera too. Now, that makes me cry–how could we lose someone that special?
 
Pretty crazy weather day. That same breeze just filled the sky with more dark clouds and I’ll be damned if it isn’t raining again! Yesterday I finally planted the thyme, moss, and ornamental grass that have been sitting by the side of the house in their original store pots since May. I salvaged most of them and planted them in a big round bowl-shaped pot and sat it in the tall pot with dead things in it on the back porch. Another new rose bloomed in the temp perennial garden. This one is a large, fluffy pink one. I cut it yesterday and added it to a vase with a pink and light lavender gladiola. Collected and stored seeds from a cool Canterbury bell-like flower yesterday; one was light lavender, the other a deep purple. Hopefully we’ll get a couple more dry spells to collect more seeds, she says, as it pours buckets of rain on her garden… “What wild hopes lie here.” author unk.
Part 2, excerpts from beach cave notes and conclusion of my tongue-in-cheek “study” will be posted on June 23rd.

Thank you,

Patti

 

The Memoir Monday feature will be posted every other Monday.


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Phall Photo Friday; The Wild Side

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See Getting Wild On My Dentist Travels on my photo blog, Phall Photos http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-eQ

My dentist is 40 minutes away. I have to go, but I can have some fun on the way back!On the way to my appointment I was running late and could barely keep my truck on the road… I kept seeing cool things to photograph and explore. That’s why it took me two hours to get home 🙂 The road between Grayland and Raymond is filled with pullouts and logging roads. The winding 2-lane road holds back Willipa Bay on one side, and the wilds of the forest on the other side. Big job for such a little road. Of course, I was enticed by the wild side.

Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Patti, the wild one


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Patti’s News Day Tuesday 3

M. Angelou quote

Maya Angelou’s recent death is not necessarily news now, but one thing she said in a 2009 CNN interview, has stuck with me. I think it is the most news worthy thing I have read in the last two weeks, so I have dedicated this News Day Tuesday to her.

Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something — that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children’s ward and offer to the nurse in charge an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children’s stories or poetry,” she said. “And go to an old folks’ home and read the newspaper to somebody. Go to your church or your synagogue or your mosque, and say, ‘I’d like to be of service. I have one hour twice a month.’

“You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel,” she said. “And good done anywhere is good done everywhere.

From http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/us/maya-angelou-obit/index.html

Two more short, but powerful quotes I love by Maya Angelou:

 “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” 

“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” 

This is the last line in a tribute that Maya wrote for Nelson Mandela, His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute. I believe that it also rings true about her.

“We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.” 

Gratefully Yours,

Patti


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Phall Photo Friday; Mount Rainier and The Beauty Below Her

See Mount Rainier and The Beauty Below Her on my photo blog, Phall Photos http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-cV

Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

3 views of a bouquet that my friend, Greg, picked in his yard at the beach and a few of the secret garden…

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Patti


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Photo Friday on Saturday

Dandelion in seed

Dandelion in seed

Out gallivanting and missed my deadline to post photos on Friday. Have fallen far behind on posting them on my photo site, but hope to catch up this coming week, when I’m done gallivanting. I love that word!

I had a unpacking some old boxes, installing cupboard, gardening, crafting and repairing frenzy Thursday night and Friday morn. Finally got in my truck to head to Leslee’s near Olympia for a visit. She is still pretty frail from her stomach surgery and broken shoulder. Leslee doesn’t let anything stop her for long.

We had a wonderful visit and I took her some irises, then planted them and a few other plants that needed my help. Two big tomato plants, a bleeding heart, a phlox, the irises, along with a few stray bulbs? maybe daffodils or tulips? She sent me home with all sorts of home and garden goodies.This is an iris that I finally got planted in the secret garden. They got tugged out of the earth in late fall and spent all winter and spring on the lawn in a black bag. The one in the photo has 3 blooms! The ones I planted in Greg’s yard and our shared front garden are purple and blooming away. Hopefully, Leslee’s fares as well.

irises

I had to call her on my way there, because I kept stopping to take pictures.

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I hope you enjoy. I’m off to more gallivanting and visiting family and friends for the rest of the weekend.

Patti


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Rain Coats and Fairy Slippers In The Forest

vanilla leaf vase

Vase of vanilla leaf.  PHALL PHOTO 201

 

ONE NIGHT THIS WEEK: Kevin is in the kitchen making one of his irresistible pizzas, while I work

vanilla leaf in forest

Rain drops on vanilla leaf in forest.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

in the office space he set up for me. The wild back yard here is carpeted with large, thin Vanilla Leaf plants and Kevin brought me a bouquet of them for my desk one morning.

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Leaf, achlys triphylla, also known as Deer’s Foot and Sweet After Death. That last name is in reference to the vanilla smell of the dried leaf. Both dried, and fresh leaves, are said to repel flies and mosquitoes.

Carpet of Vanilla Leaf

Carpet of Vanilla Leaf

When I got here to Kevin’s house in Packwood, WA last Friday, we set straight to unloading the gardening goodies that I brought. The seeds that we started in March, along with those Kevin has planted since then, are all ready to be transplanted to their own pots. Just before I arrived, Kevin got a small box in the mail from my mom. She sent us some yellow fragrant day lilies from her Alaska garden!

We’ve been rained-in since then. One day, I kept looking at the vanilla leaf bouquet and thinking about all the amazing understory plants that were coming up in the nearby forest. There is a very distracting book shelf next to my “new” desk and I just couldn’t help myself…I found a favorite, which I also have at home, Northwest Foraging by Doug Benoliel (1974). Each plant has line drawings by Mark Orsen that are almost as good as color photos, especially when coupled with the perfectly detailed plant descriptions.

Then I came across the 1984 edition of Plants and Animals of the Pacific Northwest by Eugene N. Kozloff. There are 3 sections with very good color photos of the trees, plants, moss, fungus, snails, slugs and a few common bugs in our woods and fields. That’s it, I proposed a walk!

pierisKevin and I pulled on our rain coats and our rainy walk began with the colorful Mountain Fire, pieris japonica, shrub in his front yard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flowering tree

Next, a bright pink flowering fruit? tree in a neighbor’s yard. I’m still using the camera in my phone and downloading to email, then to photo file on my hard drive is a tedious, slow process. Kevin brought his camera, but had battery issues. I don’t care. I am maddeningly determined to show you our woodland discoveries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

??????????????????????Entering the forest trail, the first plants are the Vanilla Leaf, Oregon Grape, and the delicate and mysterious Fairy Slipper, calypso bulbosa. She’s a pretty one, but aside from several dozen at the beginning, we (Kevin) only saw one more all the way to the falls and back.

 

 

 

 

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20140504_143728Another of my favorites is the Smooth Violet, viola glabella, with its tiny yellow flower and heart-shaped leaves. We saw trillium ovatums, but well past their flowering stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugging the ground in sunny spots, were the white little wild strawberry flowers. The Indian Plum/Oso Berry, oemleria cerasiformis rose from waist high, to above our heads. They were still dripping with flowers and bright green new leaves, which smell like cucumber when crushed. These small trees will yield the first ripe berries in the woods, but the birds eat them so quickly, humans rarely get to see them.

20140504_151158_resizedThere were ferns, chickweed, mosses, fungus, and a lot of Trail Plants, adenocaulon bicolor, which we always called Pathfinder Plants, because the backs of the leaves are silvery and easily show where someone has walked through them. There were plenty of Cleavers, galium aparine and Avens, geum macrophyllum.

 

 

 

 

 

20140504_145442 20140504_145851 When we walked this trail to the waterfall in March, it was pretty quiet. Today the air was filled with the trilling birds serenading us all along the path. I recognized the American Robins, round from a plentiful diet of worms, and chickadees flitted everywhere and nowhere, never landing long enough, or close enough, for us to catch sight of them.

 

 

 

 

Some spiders had a busy spring weaving webs in interesting places.

spider web

This sturdy web is weaved on the root of a fallen tree, with a ray of sun shining through a hole in the back.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140504_144839Last, but not least, was a beautiful (to me) snail, Monadenia fidelis, and a couple of slimy Army-green slugs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been many years since I walked the woods, then came home and learned about the flora and fauna with my children. Much of it comes back, as I wander through these woods with Kevin, and reacquaint myself with my old green friends. In the past, I have made salads, and medicinal oils, tinctures and salves from wild things in the forest. For now, I’m satisfied photographing and sharing them with Kevin and you.

I apologize about all the spaces in this post.

Also see Jill Swenson’s recent post here about spring surprises on the east side of the country.

I hope you enjoy this back woods tour,

Patti


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Phall Photo Friday; Art Along The Way

Horse farm sign

See Horse Manure and Art on my photo blog,

Phall Photos http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-aJ 

Dan Klennert's signDaniel Klennerts “Spirits of Iron” Sculpture Park is located off State Route 706 on the way to the west entrance to Mount Rainier National Park in beautiful Washington State. NW Trek is up the road a piece too. Klennert’s life-size (and bigger) wood and scrap metal sculptures, Spirits of Iron, have been displayed all across North America. He has web page http://www.danielklennert.com/, which includes photos, a map, and the title of a movie that his art is featured in. 

Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Patti


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A Blog Schedule? Me?

mail box

Ground mail. Rusty abandoned mail box.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Yep, I’m going to break down and try the blog schedule thing. I also added a mission statement and a link to my Facebook to the sidebar, and I updated my HOME page.

So here’s the plan:

MEMOIR MONDAY- Every other Monday (beginning May 12th) will be all about memoir—yours, mine and theirs. An excerpt, poem or story from my memoir-in-progress, and/or links, news and reviews relating to memoir reading or writing.

NEWS DAY TUESDAY- Every other Tuesday (beginning May 6th) will be my writer-reader news roundup. Whatever I come across that is newsworthy and of interest to writers and readers.

PROMPTLY WEDNESDAY- If I join in a photo or writing prompt, I’ll post my entry on Wednesdays.

PHOTO FRIDAY- Beginning May 9th, I’ll add photos from the current week and/or photos from my archives to my PHALL PHOTO blog. I’ll pick my favorite photo and post it here, with a link to the photos I added on my photo blog. If inspired, I’ll include a poem, short story, or a quote relating to the photo.

Later, I may add THOSE WHO CARE THURSDAY for care-giver news, fiction and non-fiction stories and information.

So, each week I will have a Monday OR Tuesday post and Friday photos. The rest are occasional.

As usual, I’ll probably include one of my photos to each post, whether it’s relevant to the post, or not 🙂 If you have a post (yours or someone else’s) that relates to anything I post, feel free to add a link to it in your comments.

I doubt that I will be able to completely curb my wide streak of spontaneity, but this schedule will hopefully make my busy life easier, AND allow you to follow posts that interest you.

I’m sure you will, but please let me know what you think about this blog schedule plan. Do you have a schedule or have you tried to implement one? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Patti


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Hiatus

Hiya friends and family. I’m taking the last few days of April off. Not actually off, just off the internet. I have X,Y & Z posts lined up to automatically publish over the next three days. I will be back to catch up on any comments that I miss on social media on CORRECTION!!!!! MAY 1st. I’ll leave you with this slide show. Photos taken with my phone yesterday. Peace Out, Patti

Phall Photos 2014

SAMSUNG MORNING IN THE GARDEN

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Photo Journal; Mountain Valley to City to Beach Cave

 

Near Kevin's in Packwood, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

Near Kevin’s in Packwood, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Kevin's kitty waiting for me to leave.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Kevin’s kitty waiting for me to leave so she can have him to herself again.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Wooing me with homemade pizza...it worked very well.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Wooing me with homemade pizza…it worked very well.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

A woodpecker neighbor in Hidden Valley, Packwood, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

A woodpecker neighbor in Hidden Valley, Packwood, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Before... Morton, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

Logs before…
Morton, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

After. Morton, WA PHALL PHOTO 2014

Logs after.
Morton, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Moss draped on trees along Hwy 508 outside of Morton, WA. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Moss draped on trees along Hwy 508 outside of Morton, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beautiful Salmon Berries usher in spring. Hwy 508. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beautiful Salmon Berries usher in spring. Hwy 508.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

This dog at Kevin's daughter's house wants to know who I am. Missed the tilted head look it gave me. PHALL PHOTO 2014

This dog at Kevin’s daughter’s house wants to know who I am. Missed the tilted head look it gave me.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Flowering tree at Centralia College, where Kevin's daughter works and my daughter lives next to.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Flowering tree at Centralia College, where Kevin’s daughter works and my daughter lives next to.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

My grandson as whirling dervish superman. This is his speed unless he is sleeping. Love my Cameron. PHALL PHOTO 2014

My grandson as whirling dervish Superman. This is his speed unless he is sleeping. Hard to capture a still photo. Hahahaha! Love my Cameron.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Bulbs I planted in December before I went to Alaska. I almost missed their blooms. Weeds are history right after I took photo. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Bulbs I planted in December before I went to Alaska. I almost missed their blooms. Weeds are history right after I took photo. Westport, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

 

Seriously? Pile of hail at downspout. I have witnesses. Sara & Tiffiny came by later and Sara grabbed a handful of it. I was working in garden in tank top right before rain then hail started. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Seriously? Pile of hail at downspout. I have witnesses. Sara & Tiffiny came by later and Sara grabbed a handful of it. I was working in garden in tank top right before rain then hail started.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

A crop of morel mushrooms grew while I was away. Cool. PHALL PHOTO 2014

A crop of morel mushrooms grew while I was away. Cool.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Weed after hail storm. PHALL PHOTO 2014

Weed after hail storm.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Pile of weed in front of the pond. The primroses that were blooming in winter are still blooming! PHALL PHOTO 2014

Pile of weeds in front of the pond. The primroses that were blooming in winter are still blooming under the Camelia!
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beach sunset ends my first full day home. See another sunset on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/patti.hall.3950 PHALL PHOTO 2014

Beach sunset ends my first full day home.
See another sunset on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/patti.hall.3950
PHALL PHOTO 2014

 

 

 

 

 


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Water not sky.  Packwood, WA.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

Reflection. Water not sky.
Packwood, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Photo of small creek through twigs and branches, with drops of water clinging to their tips.

This week’s photo challenge calls for reflections, literally and figuratively. This fits my world well. Much reflecting going on here. Going to see kids and little grands in a few days, on my way back to beach cave at Westport, WA. Have doctor and dentist appointments, as well as cleaning and sorting to do. I miss my peeps and my beach, not so much, my dentist!

Peace,

Patti