Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Adventure Continues

I hooked up with my friends in Ellensburg, and this is what the sun looked like at about 11A.M.  It's a week later as I write this, and the fires are still burning.  The three separate fires have merged into one, which gives them a perimeter to work with, and they anticipate having it under control in another week.
I stayed with the In Laws of my friend Fabiola.  Karen and Doug are Llama breeders, and now that they are retired from their real jobs, they are raising beautiful orchard grass hay for sale.  Funny, as an alpaca breeder, I was so picky about my hay.  I would want to see the field it came from, walk through it and see if there were weeds and thistles.  The folks who are buying this hay do the same thing.  I swear to you, there is not a single weed in this field.  I wanted to buy it, just because!!!
So, anyhow, they have this adorable little cottage that I got to stay in.  I slept like the dead.  
Friday was Karen's Birthday, so Fabiola had made this Garden Cake for her.  It had alot of Bailey's Irish Cream in it.  The leaves on the carrots were tiny mint leaves.  The girl is so talented.

Karen and Doug have three St. Bernards.  Below is Max, enjoying one of his 30,000 naps of the day.  Doesn't he know how to relax?  One of the other dogs, Blue, shows he likes you by nipping you in the butt.  I'm proud to say I was nipped the first time I met him.  My goal each time I wanted to get in the house was to get past him without the nip, but he learned how to trip me!!  I thought for sure if I fell down, I would have three giant dogs standing on me slobbering drool all over me.  I didn't pack enough clothes to accommodate them, so I had to avoid the situation.  Otherwise, I would have been in heaven.

Karen has been very anxious for me to visit her so I could teach her my crock pot method of dying fiber.  She learned well, and below is the first cloud of dyed llama fiber we did.  We used three different colors to accomplish this.  Llama fiber is not nearly as dense as alpaca, so it fluffs and dries beautifully, creating a "cloud" of color.  
We were thrilled with the outcome.

Fabiola has a Peruvian dance troupe, TUSUYPERU, that needed a place to practice on 

Saturday morning.  Only three girls and one boy showed up, so as they were learning this dance, Karen and I stood in as boys.  I had seen this dance in Peru, and
Fabiola's mother had made me a national costume from this area, the mountains of Cuzco near Macchu Picchu.  I have the music, and dance around to it all the time at home, so I caught on to the routine rather quickly.  In a short hour, they had it down and were doing a run through in this video.    Well, Google wouldn't download that video, too long, I think, so I had to use this one.  You still get the energy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Linda and Cynthia's Excellent Adventure

My friend Cynthia spends 10 days every year at the Yakima County Fair where she sets up a booth and paints children's faces.  Last week on Wednesday she was heading over, so I asked if I could hitch a ride as far as Ellensburg.  I've been wanting to visit Fabiola and her in laws since Spring, so this was the perfect opportunity.  We got started at about 4PM, with the car packed tight.
We arrived in Leavenworth on Hwy 2 around 7 and stopped at Micky D's for a quick bite and a potty stop. 
The young men there were kind enough to inform us that Bluett Pass was closed due to the forest fires.
OH, NO!!!!
It would be another 2 hours to take the alternate route.  We were tired.  Plan B was established.  We stopped to buy a bottle of wine and ask the clerk in the store where to stay.  He directed us to the sweetest little Motor Inn.

They don't make 'em like this anymore.  While we were checking in, Cynthia jokingly asked where the hot tub was and the clerk told us just across the parking lot.  Glory Be!

We got our room situated and enjoyed half of the wine.\

Let's take a closer look at that wine.  It was GOOD.

These old Motor Inns come with standard two bedrooms.  I remember staying in these when I was a child.  Here is the main room and Cynthia's bed.

My bedroom.  Not fancy, but so quiet and cozy.
So, we had not packed swim suits for the hot tub and had to improvise.  Since it was right on the road, we didn't think nude would be appropriate.

We sat in the tub until it closed at 9:30.
Back to the room to finish the wine and fall into our beds.

This is our place in the morning.  Flower boxes were everywhere, containing massive amounts of petunias.
We went in to the office to have breakfast, and the clerk advised us Bluett Pass was now open.

This is what we drove through all the way to Yakima.  It seemed like dusk.

And here you can see the scorched land.  There had been three separate fires and one of them came back through this way again that day, closing the pass once again.

Many people have commented on how sorry they are that our plans were disrupted, but we just laugh and call it synchronicity.  We had a blast.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Harvest Time means WORK

I don't know what I would do without my little wagon.  Those of you who have followed me for a long time know her as the JennyMac2000.  My friend, Jenny, was visiting me from California, and wanting to help me with my chores.  Before long she said this work was too hard, she was going to buy me a wagon.  I couldn't believe it, but she really did, and I am eternally grateful to her for this gift.
Today it has hauled a bucket full of pears to be made into juice and pearsauce for a certain Grandson.

And, a bucket full of Glowing Coal apples for the same purpose.  I have enough adult style applesauce on the pantry shelves to get us through the rest of this year.

Below is my new Steamer/Juicer that can be used for oh, so many things.  It's much easier to make apple juice with this than with the cider press.

Also in the kitchen today is a big pile of coffee beans.  My friend gave them to me raw, and I have been attempting to roast them.  Quite honestly, I don't think it's worth the time.

Now we will go outdoors.  Since the chickens have left, I finally get to eat the strawberries in my back garden.  Yum.  These are everbearing.

These are the new raspberry plants I acquired this year.  It is named "Ann" and it ripens the end of the summer.  They are ripe now, yellow.  Huge and juicy.  And once again, I do not have to share them with the chickens.  I have to say, my little venture with the organic chickens and turkeys was not a good one, and I count the days until all of them are out of my barn.  The pastures will be tilled and reseeded, thank goodness, because they are destroyed.

About those moles, do you think they could cause any more damage?

This is my friend and neighbor from the 'hood, Hunter, with the turkeys.  Hunter is 23 and is a special needs boy.  I have never worked with people with special needs before, so this has been a learning experience for me.  Hunter lives up the street in an
Adult Care Facility. One day we went blackberry picking together, and I was showing him how to do something, and he tells me:  "Slow and easy is how I go, Linda".   He is bored and wants to work.  He comes around here every day, and I try to find jobs for him to do.  Today he took me back to where the turkeys are kept and showed me how he had cleaned up the area.

He had done this of his own accord.  (the barn is a total mess)
So, I put him to work with JennyMac2000 spreading bark in my flower beds.

When he left he told me his arms were killing him.  Glad he did this for me.  Thank you, friend.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I was at the City Park bright and early yesterday to start preparing for the big celebration.  I established a "command headquarters" for myself in the gazebo, and provided a table and chairs for the musicians to use while not playing.  I got to work washing down all of the picnic tables with bleach water.

Being me, I had floral arrangements on all of the tables.

One of the posters on display

 Here I am with my friend Char and Pastor Bob.  Bob provided the sound system as well as sang in the Barbershop chorus, the Bellingham Blend.

This is the historical display that was set up in City Hall.  There was always a crowd in here, going over the papers.  I did not get a chance to see them, since I was busy at the part.  However, I heard they even had the minutes of the very first meeting of the Nooksack City Council.
This handsome pair picked up passengers at City Hall about every 20 minutes.  They pulled a large carriage full of people on a tour of my farm.  My place is really the only place to go in Nooksack to see and experience what it might have been like 100 years ago.  With the Homestead house and the 100+ year old barn, along with the crazy turkeys and two mules who were very excited every time the horses came through, it was a huge success.
The highlight of my day was getting to drive the team on the tour in the late afternoon.  What a thrill!  It's quite a sensation to realize you have two very large and powerful animals at your control with just a gentle movement on the reins.  I was totally taken, and I'm thinking of taking driving lessons.

 Here are my two dear friends from the 'hood.
 Some of the crowd milling about.  Those men in the vests are part of the barbershop chorus.
 The food table.  We served 350 hot dogs and 336 pieces of cake.
This is the bluegrass group I found at the last minute.  They had never played together before, but they did a great job.  Thank you Hjardar, Jane, Jordan and Angus.  You were spectacular.

I will be getting many more pictures from others who were at the picnic, so I will be posting more in the days to come.  Today, at church, we are having a big potluck after services to welcome all of those former members who came "home to Nooksack" to join in the celebration.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Time to Catch my Breath

I have been so busy lately.  Work on the Nooksack Centennial Celebration has taken a lot of my time.  You think I would concentrate on that, but, nooooooooooo, I see things I want to do and just do it.  I had this small can of green paint and decided to paint the front door.  I like this.  It goes well with the new roof.

My son and his wife brought my Grandson, Cadel, for a visit on

Cadel is such a happy little guy.  He is very busy with his arms and legs, but is not crawling yet.
I made Blueberry/Blackberry cobbler for dessert.

My DIL was attempting to eat hers while holding Cadel, but he caught the dish with his foot and it ended up on the floor, whipped cream side down.  That was okay.  A carpet can be cleaned, and there was plenty more cobbler.

The next day, a new friend of mine came over to help me in the yard.  We got a real chuckle at the duck's curiosity.

They followed him all over as he spread the wood chips in the flower beds.
I'm getting my yard spruced up for the Nooksack Centenial Celebration.  People will have the opportunity to take carriage rides through the town, and it includes a trip through my farm.  I want everything to look perfect.

After a long day of work, I took my friend over to visit my old alpaca herd.

The other night at our church's Ladies Night Out, we had the opportunity to hear Sherri Sheppard speak about marriage and Faith.  Our Pastor's wife requested that we all bring our wedding pictures.  It was her anniversary, and she thought it would be fun.
I chose this picture, because it included our best man, who was my Pastor's older brother!

Gordon, our best man, unfortunately died three years later while working on ski Patrol on Mt. Baker.  I have duplicates of this picture, so I sent one home to Pastor Bob.  What a small world this is.  I didn't start attending this church until last winter.  To discover this connection was such a surprise.  But, it is a small world, and these kind of surprises are popping up all the time.

So, Saturday is the Celebration.  This week I lost three of my entertainers (Oh NO!) but serendipitously, found a bluegrass band to take their places.  It's going to be a beautiful, warm day, just right for a Birthday Party in the Park.