I just couldn’t resist sharing this funny phone conversation with my mom this evening.  I was discussing a documentary I recently watched about Mt Vesuvious and the city of Pompeii and how they had discovered a bit of graffiti on the walls of these stone ruins.  I was relating how I  couldn’t believe that 1200 years ago, they wrote graffiti on the walls of these stone latrines! I asked her if it was true that some things never change?

When I asked my mom about this, she laughed hysterically and she said ” my mother always told me to never forget… ” Fools Names & Fools Faces always appear in Public Places”   I really had to laugh at the wisdom of her mothers statement.  But I really wanted to know if that was her moms statement, or a proverb of history.  My mother said she had no idea, she only knew that it came from her mother and that she had heard it preached to her MANY times.

Well, thank goodness for Google and the internet!  I proceeded to Google the saying, then with further clues, I was led to a site that listed many such proverbs, all from a man named Thomas Fuller.  My mother was so excited to know more about Thomas Fuller, because it was a link to her Mother who died when my mother was only 17 years old.   So I continued to search Google (thank goodness for our ability to multi task) while I was talking to my Mom on the phone.  I stumbled upon a website that had 9 pages of Thomas Fuller quotes, and mom and I continued to read them together and laugh.  Her final question was when did Thomas Fuller live?  After a little further Google research, I discovered that his bio was 1608 – 1661.  I almost gave my mother a heart attack!  My Mom was born in the early 1930’s, so to her the fact that her mother was quoting some really incredible quotes of wisdom from the 1600’s was pretty astounding.  She happily said ” my mother must have been a pretty well read woman”

I was pretty impressed with how cool that phone call went!  I couldn’t help but think Happy Holidays to our family,  what a legacy!


Flowers and entertaining go hand in hand and of course I’m thinking about entertaining during Seafair.

Seafair, is an annual event which began in August 1950 and continues to this day.  The festival is happening all over the Puget Sound right now. It includes the air show by the Blue Angels,  The hydroplane races,  milk carton boat races, parades, Seafair pirates and nightly parties all over town. If you want to come to Seattle during a fun time~ come for Seafair! You can read a little about the history of Seafair at the link below.


Historical ad for Seafair



Now that it’s August, and  summer has finally decided to arrive in Seattle it’s time for the first salmon BBQ of the year.  Check out the link for to find out about all of the festivities happening in Seattle for Seafair. http://www.seafair.com/







Here is my favorite Salmon recipe, a  fantastic Maple Ginger Glazed salmon. Honestly, I think it is the best salmon I’ve ever tasted

Grilled Salmon with Maple Ginger Glaze

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced or

4 cloves garlic peeled and minced

1/2 to 3/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes

Salt to taste

1 – 3 lb side of  fillet of salmon with the skin on

3 to 4 Tbsp of olive oil

Heat grill, while you make the sauce. In a small dish mix the first 6 ingredients together. Coat the salmon with olive oil with a pastry brush and place salmon on the grill flesh side down, cook 7-8 minutes until it loosens itself from the grill.  Turn salmon over  ( skin side down) and spoon the sauce over the cooked side of the fish and grill until the sauce has forms a glaze, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the grill and serve

I served it along with grilled peaches and twice baked potatoes.  It was a delicious BBQ. And please don’t forget to add a little grace to your life by adding flowers to the table!




Women cooking salmon, Muckleshoot Reservation, ca. 1950 Seattle Post-Intelligencer



Salmon have a rich history here in the Northwest.  University of Washington has a fantastic digital collection of some of the controversial issues surrounding salmon.  The collection has some amazing photographs as well. Follow the link above to browse it.


Salishan man named William We-ah-lup smoking salmon, Tulalip Indian Reservation, Washington, 1906 Photographer Edson, Norman, d. 1968.













Like farmers, fishermen run small businesses that support the local economy and provide high quality salmon at fair values for all. By supporting local fishermen, you ensure the continued availability of this precious local product. For more information on buying local salmon contact:


Puget Sound Salmon Commission
1900 West Nickerson Street, Suite 116
PMB 210
Seattle, WA 98119
Tel: 206-595-8734









Beautiful bay windows in the Great Room









The Fireplace in the Great Room











The color palette, ivory, plum and green











Spice up the palette with a little hot pink for the tables, and added a hot pink napkin to the table setting.









Ceremony area in the Great Room at the Clise Mansion.  Flowers were plum callas, cymbidium orchids, ivory roses, green hydrangea, freesia, ivory spray roses.

Thanks to a fellow florist who shared this vintage ad browser site, check out the link to it below, if you love advertising and art you’ll enjoy browsing the site!  They have a variety of subjects and categories. They also have a book and comic book cover site as well, very fun to look at all the original art they have cataloged.  Type in Florist to see the old Florist ads, loved this one to the left,  of cupid!    http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/


I’m learning lessons from lean times, I’ve learned that 75 percent of my conversations are with people I love to converse with and nearly every topic  on which I write  is about something that I care deeply about. But it is really tough setting parameters for my daily schedule because everything seems to get in the way of my productivity.

Then again  I guess that these are the decisions that  make all of us focus on the hard choices in life, things like what to cut back on, or what to focus on, should I attend more meetings or travel more etc? And then there are the sometimes plain frivolous things that eat away at your time?   How frustrating those things can be.  Am I the only person who get’s calls from ” John”?  ( If that recorded friendly robot calls me one more time at work I’m going to scream!)  Don’t you think “John”  should just leave his number & have me call him back if I am interested in his “listen up” recorded message telling me how I can get more money for my business? Isn’t there technology for such annoying time wasting things?

I’m beginning to look at the economic situation as a fresh start, I’ve been asking myself, “If I had a fresh start, what would I do with it?” It’s a difficult question to answer because so many things come into play, whether I take it from a  personal, business, or community perspective, it still comes down to choices.  I still need to figure out how to be the most productive!

I keep asking myself,  if it is the simple things I should be more focused on, like paying it forward, or sharing with a neighbor, spending  more time gardening, trying to empower more people, or work more overtime?  😉 It’s tough out there for everyone right now, so what do you do?  Life can be wonderful and I know you have to work to make it be wonderful, & I’ve learned that hardship only makes us feel more grateful and appreciate the good in life,  but  I still wonder sometimes if I am on the right path.

Lately, I have been enjoying watching the series on the History Channel, called Expedition Africa! If you haven’t seen it I would suggest it, http://www.history.com/expedition/episode-1/ If you are driven by exploration of new places, ideas, and love history, you will love it!.  I’m enjoying the concept in the show about retracing Stanley & Livingstone’s journey , reliving the history and the new persceptive is rather like a fresh start.  There was much to be learned the first time they explored Tanzania, but how much more to be learned the second time through? I appreciate the blending of old historical accounts, with the new modern techniques and how it applies  to the situation today.  Seems like a case of subtle wisdom to me…then again I am still thinking about it, & how it can help me become more productive in my daily life. I know that there is a lesson in there, I’m still just savoring the ideas.  One thing was very clear while watching the show, I’m not to fond of snakes, thanks to the photographers who did a fabulous job of convincing me of that! 🙂

So I have a peony wedding this weekend, and I was reminded by my bride of an old myth that just won’t go away.  I know everyone has a grandmother that has a story that gets passed on to the next generation.  Of course I admire that because I value the heritage and history in my family.  However it did recently come to light that grandmother’s  pot roast recipe called for you to cut the end off the roast before you placed it in the pot, when Grandma was asked about this,  she told us that the end of the roast was always cut off because it wouldn’t fit in her pot!…so there you go…that’s how myths get passed on from generation to generation.  I love that joke, and it’s great for the purpose of illustrating my point about myths.

Any way, back to my bride… there seems to be no end to the myth that ants help peony buds to open,  but like any flower, peonies will open up on their own. The ants are there because they are attracted to the sweet nectar on peony buds.    That’s it, there is no mystery here, just the truth.

I couldn’t help but laugh at this post I found on a gardening forum:

I’ve copied it and pasted it in as it was written, just to prove the point that the peony myth continues:

Do Peonies NEED ants? I know ants are attracted to them, but do they have a symbiotic relationship? I know that ants love peonies, and i know that the peonies like the ants, because they help to pollinate the peonies, but aside from pollination, what other benifits do ants offer peonies, because i am about to plant some in my yard and i HATE how plants look when an ant hill is growing up around it. so if the peony doesn’t NEED the ants i would like to know the best way to keep an anthill from forming at its base. * 3 months ago

Best answer-by voters was:   Yes, it won’t bloom without the ants.

So there you have it…the myth continues! Let me say it again,  an ant-less peony WILL open and  ants don’t need to “tickle the buds” or “lick the sugar” to help them open either.  Contrary to popular belief, ants on peonies don’t harm the flowers at all, so there’s no reason to spray them. If you have ants in the garden, they will be attracted to a sugary coating that is on the peony flower buds and they get a lot of bad pr, but they will not harm the peonies.  You can pick your peonies in the bud stage, wait until the buds are starting to swell ( like right before they open) and they will open in the warmth of the room in about 3-4  days.
A little peony history….The American Peony Society was created in 1904. One of the first major undertakings in peony history was by the American Peony Society who became involved in a joint project with Cornell University to study as many as twenty six hundred peony varieties that were being grown at that time.

Then there was another historical figure named Frederick A. Goodrich  who established a farm in 1918 with 12 peony plants and in 1921 he had over 100 varieties. By 1925, the farm had grown to 200 acres of flowers and 700 varieties of peonies.  Indiana grower Harry E. Little who was a hybridizer in the peony world joined up with Goodrich and together they developed the largest peony farm in the United States.

You can read about the rescue and preservation project for peonies from Goodrich and Little’s Indian Spring Farm here:


Flying Penguins…Are you sure about that?  These guys were so cute, I really thought they might be able to fly. My favorite radio station played the flying penguins video, and I found this BBC video which shows how they made it…nice try Bob Rivers! Thanks for the humor today, the penguins along with the legendary Seattle landmark, the PI globe floating in the sound, ya had me going for a minute.  🙂    Thank goodness it’s still on top of the building. I’d really miss that bit of Seattle history! I miss the Seattle PI newspaper,  the new online version is here http://www.seattlepi.com/

Bob Rivers April Fools joke

Bob Rivers April Fools joke

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