Friday, October 31, 2008

'Tis the Season

I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween. I've never gone trick-or-treating, and I haven't attended a costume party since I was two. (I dressed as a clown, and was adorable, but don't remember a thing.) Last year some friends invited my husband and I to a pumpkin-carving party. I had never carved a pumpkin before and was super excited. What you see above is my very first attempt - EVER - of creating a jack-o-lantern. Hope all of you have a safe Halloween - and are more creative with your pumpkins than I was.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


This beautiful window is located at the front of the First Congregational Church in Walla Walla. The sun is positioned just the right way to make the yellow autumn leaves glow golden. When I took this shot, there were no other people in the sanctuary yet, and it was silent and sacred. The window caught my eye, and I fortunately had my camera. This is one of the most beautiful churches in the valley - inside and out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dollhouses 6

More little dollhouses with their miniature yards. I just don't see how anyone could live here. Yes, the houses are beautiful, and the location is great, but seriously - is it really worth living two feet from your next-door neighbour and having 9 square feet of yard? Seriously, there's no point to owning a mower. Even a goat would starve in a yard that small. And just in case you're wondering, yes, the green house is for sale. Seems to be a lot of houses up for sale these days...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dollhouses 5

I showed you a summer view of this street in the Dollhouse Village (as I call it) in early September. This is what it looks like in the fall: One of the best views around, if you ask me! See how tiny the stop signs are? I'd probably be taller than it! Anyway, I just love the colours of the trees, with the sunlight glowing down there at the end of the row.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dollhouses 4

In early September I started a series of posts called Dollhouses. I call them that because this neighbourhood has always looked to me like a bunch of dollhouses. The houses are small and compact, the trees are minature (because they are young), the yards are tiny, and even the stop signs are miniature. I love driving through the neighbourhood (and walking on their walking trail, which I will photograph soon), but I would never want to live there. I like my space! This is a shot of one of the houses up for sale. You can see how small the house is by comparing it to the for-sale sign which is regular size. It's a cute house, no?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Courtyard

This is the mural on the brick wall next to Rogers Bakery (see yesterday's post). It is an ocean scene, with sunset, reflecting water, seabirds, palm trees, and beautiful colours. It really hides the fact that you're sitting, really, in an alley! I do not know the name of the artist, but if anyone does, please share it. I think he/she did a marvelous job, and it has really made the patio dining at the cafe so much better than it originally was. It's very inviting, and I really do love eating out there. It is, unfortunately, getting a little too chilly to do that for much longer, though! So I'm enjoying it while I can. My husband and I ate lunch there on Thursday. If you can get to the Walla Walla Valley sometime, make sure you try this little bakery and cafe on College Avenue.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rogers Bakery

At the north end of College Avenue in College Place is a little place I love to eat called Rogers Bakery and Cafe. It is run by a friendly couple who have owned it as long as I've been in town; I'm not sure who originally started it. They serve sandwiches (hot and cold), burgers, salads, soups, coffee, ice cream, and desserts. They have the best cookies, donuts, bagels, and bread in the area. This little courtyard is the outdoor dining at Rogers. It's sandwiched between a wall of the bakery itself and the brick building next to it, but opens up on one side to the street, and is, of course, open air. The brick wall is hardly noticeable since they had a mural painted on it, and it is my favourite place to sit when eating here. Tomorrow: A close-up of the mural.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome to Oregon

Apologies for the not-so-artsy photo today. This is a regular sight for a lot of people in the Walla Walla Valley. With TONS more jobs in Walla Walla/College Place than there are in Milton-Freewater, and with the cost of housing significantly lower in Milton-Freewater than in WW/CP, many people choose to live in M-F and commute in to CP/WW every day. It's only 10 minutes (15 in bad traffic) from downtown M-F to downtown WW. Then, at 5, when everyone gets off work and heads home, they see this as they cross the cleverly named Stateline Road.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yesterday I was visiting a friend in her office when I noticed this man outside the window. I watched him for a couple of minutes, trying to figure out what was so interesting about that bush. Then my friend explained. Apparently there have been a lot of bee-type insects buzzing around that bush, and every time anyone walks past it, they can hear it buzzing. As it is right by one of the two main walkways to their building, it caused some concern. In talking with the gentleman, it turns out the insects were yellow jackets. He was so fascinated because yellow jackets dig their homes into the ground - they don't make hives in bushes. He works there, and was trying to figure out what to do about the buzzing bush. So now you've learned something new for the day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No Hunting?

The autumn foliage is out in full swing here in the Walla Walla Valley, and the temperatures are getting lower and lower every day. This doesn't stop my husband from geocaching, however. After work the other day, we took a detour on the way home so he could grab a quick cache near this delapidated sign just on the west side of College Place. I'm not sure what it used to say, but my guess would be, "No Hunting." What do you think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Halo Effect

As the sun starts to slip toward the Western horizon, I pause to enjoy the view across the campus of Walla Walla U. The steeple belongs to the University Church, which holds over 1,000 people every Saturday morning, and close to that every Tuesday morning for the university's CommUnity service. It's a familiar church to me, as I've done concerts and performed for church services in it for over 8 years now. Though when I first started spending time in the church, I thought it was a rather unattractive building, it has grown on me, and it's almost like a home to me.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is what my kitchen looked like all weekend. Apples everywhere. Sticky apple residue on everything. Dirty dishes filling the dishwasher. And more apples. Yes, apples. My family was here visiting and my dad, husband, and I were carrying out an annual tradition of applesauce-making. Some friends joined us again this year and we also made a few pints of apple butter. Our dining room table is full of several dozen quarts of sauce, and I am so happy, because homemade applesauce is incomparable to store-bought. If you've never had homemade applesauce, you are truly missing out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Morning Beauty

This view, when it's sunny outside, greets friends of mine who live in Milton-Freewater. What a fantastic way to greet another colourful autumn day. A stream runs beneath these fabulous trees.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fit for a Queen

No, this wasn't taken in the Walla Walla Valley. But it was viewed through the eyes of someone who lives there. This was the gourmet breakfast I discovered upon removing the cover from this tray brought to my hotel room in Denver. I was there for a conference, and as they weren't providing breakfast, I thought I'd splurge on room service. It was delicious...and is making me hungry now. I have to admit my favourite part of this entire meal was the miniature jam, ketchup, and tabasco sauce. I love miniatures!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autumn Edifice

There is a lot of construction going on around the Walla Walla Valley, most of it in Walla Walla itself. There is never construction in Milton-Freewater...from all I can tell that's because the city isn't really all that interested in improvements. At any rate, there are plenty of orange barrells and orange cones and reduced-speed detours around the valley. This area is one of the areas that has seen a lot of backhoes and trucks and hard-hatted construction workers wandering around. This beautiful building on Rose Street in Walla Walla has no name yet. It has what appears to be a drive-through (perhaps for a bank?) on this one side, and room for at least 3 other businesses. But what will go in there? I hope it's something fun and useful. We don't need more banks, credit unions, or military recruitment places. I vote for a smoothie shop!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

When You Aren't Looking

I spent 4 days in Denver, Colorado last week at a conference. When I returned, I noticed a lot more colour around me. Trees that were still clinging to that summer green when I left have now surrendered much of their fullness to vivid yellows, reds, and golds. This bush is no different; it sits near my office and I see it every day. It really caught my eye when I got to work Monday morning, because when I'd left, it was green. It is now, as you can see, dressed in Christmas finery. I love this time of year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Advice

This graffiti was scribbled on a wall of the scenic overlook shelter in yesterday's post. It caught my eye because 1) it wasn't full of swear words, 2) it was small print and only one colour, and 3) it started with a word not usually found in graffiti. It made me think. I hope it says something meaningful to you today.