"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Friday, July 31, 2009

Clinging to Shade

~Our Front Porch~
It is still too hot for us. We cling to the shade when we are outside, and sit in front of fans while inside. Fortunately our bedroom has a small air conditioner and we are able to get some sleep. I have already spent 2 nights with heat sickness, and am looking forward to more normal temperatures in the upcoming days. Either that or I am moving my work into the air conditioned bedroom.
May your sun-filled days be blessed with shady spots for rest, may your Son-filled life be blessed with spots of reflection on His mercy and love.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hot Doggies and Hot Days

Record high temperatures for the Pacific Northwest make for hot doggies! Hawk has retreated to the swing by the pond for relief, but at 90 degrees or more, even near the pond, there is not much relief at all. This Vizsla is having a harder time coping with the heat than my 5 Labrador Retrievers. Go figure!
The plants, even heat loving plants, are wilting and shriveling shortly after watering.See these beautiful plants and blooms? While watering them I discovered .....
...this cute little frog hiding in the spear shaped leaves. "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." Mark Twain
The pond, though wet, seems hot and humid, and though green, is not the respite from the heat I need. The temperatures around here were higher than anywhere in the U.S. We beat the deserts. Goodness, triple digit temperatures frazzle us North westerners who are very happy picnicking and camping in the rain under tarps and wearing sandals with our rain gear. "What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance." Jane Austen
But Hawk did enjoy the swing by the pond. "As a rule , man is a fool, When it's hot he wants it cool. When it's cool he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not." anonymous

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spot on Dye Day at Reflection Farm

This is Thor, sheep guard dog ( Maremma ) in training. He is only 4-5 months old and he is very friendly. He also wants to be with us as we dye and spin wool. He did spend a lot of time with the ladies but Alice , shepherdess of Reflection Farm, sent him back into the pasture with the sheep he is supposed to bond with and protect. Isn't he cute? Don't you just want to cuddle this big floppy puppy? One of Alice's sheep. Alice jackets all her sheep to protect their wool. Alice's sheep produce beautiful wool that is pretty near free of the debris you will find in the wool of my au' naturel sheep, and her wool is prized by hand-spinners and knitters. The third Monday of every July is 'Dye Day' at Reflection Farm. We ladies bring our dye pots and kettles, propane stoves, a dish to share potluck style and some handwork. As you can see, while kettles simmered most of us spun wool and visited. Alice's other dog, Kellee, sniffs for hidden snacks amidst the spinning wheels.
Look at the wool just pulled out of the dye pots and drying on a sheet in the sun.
More of Alice's sheep, wearing their jackets.
My just - dyed wool fleece drying on a hot metal fence near my sheep, shortly after bringing it home. Look at the fuchsia ,violet, and lavender wool fleece to be spun into yarn, can't wait!
I also dyed some yarn I had already spun up, in the same dye bath as the fleece.
Joey Cat enjoying the comfort of a plush wool bed.
We had a good time under the trees at Alice's. Alice's shop is where ladies ( or men so inclined ) can gather the third Monday evening of every month to spin wool into yarn or work on any handwork of their choice while we visit and share our knowledge ( or lack thereof ) of wool working and sheep raising and whatever else comes to mind. Some ladies bring their knitting or crocheting. Sometimes I work on a rug...some ladies just visit for awhile. A nice evening out.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rush Hour To Seattle and Back

"Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?" Robin Williams Mork & Mindy This is NOT what the traffic conditions looked like as I drove to Seattle-Tacoma Airport Friday at RUSH HOUR to pick my husband up from his 5 days in Florida. No, oh no!
Anyone who knows me knows I go out of my way to avoid the freeway whenever possible.( might have something to do with being rear ended as I drove the drivers' ed. car on the freeway , so very long ago) The highways and by-ways are very scenic you know and I really don't mind stopping at all the traffic lights , just more opportunities to see the sights more closely. At least when you are stopped at a traffic light you have the hope of the light turning green and you can go on your merry way to wherever .When you are stopped, nay, PARKED on the freeway with hundreds and thousands of other people , I begin to get a little panicked and I think maybe I should have packed a meal and some water...maybe a pillow too, because sometimes you can be parked on the freeway from the Tacoma area to Seattle and back for a very long time. As I began to drive onto the 512 freeway to then merge onto I-5 to pick up my much missed husband, I saw immediately that this was an even more extraordinary traffic jam than usual. I almost turned around and went home, but that would have been impossible because of the JAM! So I had to stick it out to the end, just hoping this was not my ending , because my Hubby was expecting a ride home. Did I mention I always prepare for death when I have to drive the freeways? Just a little quirk of mine. As I drove, and alternately parked, drove , parked , drove I-5 to gather my beloved I prayed and would say to myself, " boy, oh boy...I only do this for someone I love..a LOT!" Cutting to the chase, ( what chase, you could outrun the cars most of my drive there) I arrived in time to pick him up, he drove us home..again , driving, parking, driving, parking, and we are safe and sound at home. Next time he better book a flight to arrive at 2:00 a.m. Now that's MY time!
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it." Dudley Moore

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just As I Am....

It is hot here in the Pacific Northwest, but our Joey Cat cannot pass up a chance to nap in freshly dyed and dried wool. He glared at me for disturbing his nap, but quickly fell asleep. All the animals here are taking it easy because of the high temperatures , and the ducks have parked themselves at pond's edge, dipping into the pond more frequently in the afternoon. May your Sunday be a day of rest , relaxation, and reflection.....enjoy the Celtic twist on an old song " JUST AS I AM" by Eden's Bridge.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where Did The Time Go?

This is a honeymoon picture of my husband. We had hiked 9 miles one way to Flapjack Lakes in the Olympic National Forest. We camped on an isthmus in between two very beautiful and pristine alpine lakes. There were, and still are , no motor boats, vehicles or ATV's there. We back-packed everything we needed for the next few days, but not as much food as we should have. The fish we caught were very much appreciated and consumed, as were the berries we found. I love this picture of my mountain man husband ( above ). Before we were married he climbed to the top of Mt. Rainier, and he has spent many enjoyable vacations back-packing and hiking the beautiful, wild, and precarious trails in our mountains and rugged coast lines.
My husband paddling a canoe he made. This week was the anniversary of our wedding 36 years ago. My husband has had to be away on business all week. He is coming home tonight. Yay! Happy Anniversary Jim!
"Are you fishing for dreams ? Then bait your hook With a bit of reality, then swing out and cast your line Far out into Life's sea. Let every dream have a fighting chance, Give it plenty of slack, But settle only for the biggest and best- Throw the little ones back. Are you fishing for dreams? Then I wish you luck, It's a good dream-fishing day, May you catch a beauty-but oh, take care, Lest the big one get away." Helen Lowrie Marshall
Thank-you Lord the "big one" did not get away and we have more days to "dream-fish"!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some Snap Shots of A Great Time

Some last snap shots of a great time we had in Port Angeles. Although my Hubby was there on business, we did have a good time together, enjoying the beauty of the water front city and each other. Here are some last snaps of our few days there. Above is a view of Port Angeles from Hollywood Beach. You can see ships to the side and off in the distance.
Patrolling Port Angeles policeman. This makes me laugh ( sorry, no disrespect intended).
I snapped this picture from the dock on a very calm and clear day.
Barn with mirrors reflecting a view that made it seem as if the fields and woods went on forever.
Harbor seal looking at us from the port.
Ciscoe Morris, a local gardening celebrity. He was the featured speaker at the Sequim Lavender Festival. I really like to watch and listen to him. 'Caffeinated' is the very best descriptive word that one can use to describe him. He is tiny,energetic, and fun to listen too. Someone in the audience asked Ciscoe "What's the trick to growing hibiscus here"? His answer, " buy a new one every spring, we can't grow them worth a boulahopper here". Note the word 'boulahopper'. Ciscoe makes up and uses all kinds of interesting words...after giving that answer, he then proceeded to tell the audience how to grow hibiscus.
My dear husband sitting by one of the many beautiful flower beds along the water front.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lavender & Sweet Music

Water wheel at Lost Mountain Lavender farm in Sequim, Washington.
The annual Lavender festival held in Sequim, Washington started the last day we were in Port Angeles. Besides TWILIGHT and vampires, the Port Angeles area is notable for the lavender festival. Port Angeles is basically next door to Sequim ( pronounced 'squim' ) and the hotels and trades benefit very well from the over 440, 000 people that attend this event. There is a big street fair along with tours of several lavender farms. I was excited to see the festival I have heard so much about , so on our way out of town we stopped in Sequim. The whole town is beautiful, flower baskets everywhere, and lavender is a mainstay in the town landscape. Lavender in bloom everywhere! We caught a shuttle from a mall to the street fair and checked out all the booths. There were so many , most packed with lavender influenced merchandise, lots of jewelry booths , lavender bundles, sachets, crafts, lavender infused honey, etc. The booth I loved the most had nothing to do with lavender. The booth of George and Anwyn Leverett caught my eye and ear.
This is George Leverett. He and his wife made this instrument. Isn't it beautifully crafted? Not only were the instruments he and his wife make beautiful, they also play the instruments and sing. This is a hurdy gurdy they made. I am in love with these instruments, and if I were younger I would have invested in one and learn to play it. I decided it was more practical for me to buy a CD of their music and spin and weave wool while I listen to their music.
This is Anwyn Leverett holding a 5 stringed hurdy gurdy they call the 'Aquitaine'. Click on the picture to enlarge and view the details of this instrument.
You have to click on this picture and check out the trees and detailing! Anyway, I love the type of music they make and my husband picked out a CD from them that has a some songs about spinning and weaving, just perfect for me to listen to as I weave my home and hand spun wool! The youtube video below is Anwyn and George Leverett singing 'SWEET BECKY AT THE LOOM', however the youtube quality of this video is nowhere near as lovely as the CD really sounds. To see their website click on Altarwind Music. The following song sings about sweet Becky at her loom. The words 'shuttle',' warp and weft',and 'sleigh' are words pertaining to weaving. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

View Of The Past

See the tower ? It is on the end of the dock in front of our hotel, and near the ferry loading docks.The ferries come and go to Victoria , Canada several times a day. As one walks on the dock to get to the tower you pass a building..... ...the roof of which is seen here from the tower. The building houses a Marine Life museum and hands on Marine life experiences for people. The sides of the building have 4 very large, life size murals depicting the early history of Port Angeles. So I am going to give you a small history lesson...it's not too uninteresting. "This depicts the 1750 Indian Klallam Village, I-enn-nus. The name Klallam means 'strong people' in their language. They were primarily a hunting / gathering culture but also practiced forms of agriculture." "Today many Klallum cultural and traditional practices continue among Native people here on the Peninsula." "This 1889 scene shows The Puget Sound Cooperative Colony. It's founders, frustrated with the world as they found it, decided to create their ideal of an utopian society." "These people were responsible for building the first opera house, many of the first Christian churches, first schoolhouse,steam shipyard and lumber mill as first depicted in this mural. Unfortunately , this cooperative as an organization did not last more than ten years due to internal conflicts of interest, however, many of the people stayed and helped make Port Angeles what it is today." The mural artist, Cory Ench, spent many hours researching for this mural." All quotes were copied from the sign on the dock explaing this mural.
"I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work God has done from the beginning to the end." Ecclesiastes 3:10,11

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Port Angeles and ...Vampires?

Isn't this just beautiful? My husband had to , just HAD to go to Port Angeles , Washington for business and I got to come along on this trip. Our daughter A.Joy was taking care of our animals and my husband and I had a 4 day get away in a part of Washington that brings back memories of our honeymoon. He did have to attend meetings though and I had the first 2 days to myself, then we would spend the evenings together. Port Angeles is one of the gate ways from the U.S. to Canada.37 years ago we went to Canada on our honeymoon and caught the ferry from Victoria, Canada to Port Angeles on our way home. Victoria and Port Angeles are more beautiful than words can describe.
Flags flying at the ferry loading dock.
My husband and I were fully aware that this weekend is the Lavender Festival. ( more about that in next post ) We were very un-aware of the power and attraction of vampire lore in Port Angeles though. Our first evening in Port Angeles we walked up 2 blocks from our hotel in search of a good spot to have dinner and this restaurant appealed to us. BELLA ITALIA . The savory scents wafting out called " come hither..." and we hithered on in. Boy oh boy, was it packed, on a Tuesday night!We were told there was room at the bar, or we could wait an hour or more and they MIGHT have a table for us. We took our 2 seats there at the bar because we were hungry and everything smelled so delicious. As we sat there we visited with the other patrons at the bar and they were very friendly, the food, absolutely ALL of it was exceptional, from the salad, to the chowder to the meal itself...even the garnishings. Nothing on the plate was below exceptional. Now we knew why the restaurant was packed, we thought! We did not realize a very powerful draw to the restaurant was VAMPIRES! Yes, vampires. Apparently , this place has something to do with Bella and Edward in the Twilight series of books by Stefenie Meyer. I admit, I have not read the books, I did see the movie on DVD at home, but did not register this fact. As my husband and I were talking to other local patrons there we mentioned the TWILIGHT books and a pre-teen girl behind us squealed loudly. She had heard us and was so excited to be in this very restaurant because of her TWILIGHT addiction. Then I looked around and saw most tables had pre-teen or older girls who were showing various signs of TWILIGHT addiction....hmmmmmmmmm....
Across the street from the restaurant is this store. All merchandise relates to the TWILIGHT series of books. We also discovered many of the shops have added 'Bella' to their name, or a room or dish, drink, etc. named 'Bella', and various other allusions to the books' characters seem to pervade the town. From what I have read, the story itself takes place in Forks, WA which is about 45 - 50 miles away. Apparently Bella and Edward ( the vampire ) visit Port Angleles, thus, the claim to fame.
Look, a bottle of sparkling syrah made , named and bottled in honor of TWILIGHT.
Alas, we did not see any vampires, just beautiful scenery. Here is a picture of our hotel from the ferry docks. We had a wonderful and relaxing ( well I did, I wasn't here on business ) time in Port Angeles. I think anyone would love it here, with or without vampires!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family Reunion!

Family reunion. A time for family to come together and enjoy each others' company. This is my favorite photo. Brother-in-law Tim snuggles with his grandson Simeon. The reunion had many Grandfathers in attendance, and all were seen at one time or another snuggling, tickling, and playing with their and each others' grandchildren. The family reunion began the night before, our sons ( youngest on the left, oldest on the right of me ) made the 5 hour drive to join with family. I hug them both, I love them both so much! ( we missed you Breezy) The family begins arriving, and mingle and greet each other on the sidewalk. I make them face the camera . left to right, Hubby's mother,his cousin Phyllis, niece-in-law Daniella, sister Joanne, behind her, sister Judy, sister Jean, brother-in-law and neighbor, Joannes' husband, Thom, and then Jeff, son of Jean, husband to Daniella. Whew!
It was occasionally rainy, but not cool. We had plenty of covered areas to congregate and visit.
And visit...after all, that is the purpose of a family reunion!There were 50-60 family members here this day. That's a lot of visiting and catching up to do.
The men all supervise the barbecue King, our precious son-in-law, Tom ( aka Birdy Balaku).
Is this a big barbecue or not? The menu was Sliders ( see Noble Pig ) , hot dogs, barbecue chicken, and lots of salads and desserts the many relatives brought. YUM!
I made some of the little cousins stop and pose for me. They were having soooooooo much fun together and watching the children play together made me so happy.
Even the big kids had fun!This Grandpa was playing with his granddaughter( far left) and mine.
My husband said no organized games were necessary and he was right. The children ( and there were many ) ran, played, bounced balls, watched my animals, ate, played some more.....rode bikes, played dress-up,ran some more....snuggled and cuddled relatives they love....picked and ate berries..ran some more.....
Simeon being cuddled by his father.....
.......who played the guitar around the campfire at the end of the day. He played many hymns , we all sang together, enjoyed each other, and before everyone went home, gathered around our oldest son to pray for him and God's protection for his daughters....the most wonderful time ever around a camp fire and to realize we had so many in this family who know and love God , to encourage each other, lift each other up in prayer and encouragement, WOW! The many blessings and rewards for my husband , his siblings and cousins and their siblings....because they have and had Godly parents who raised them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and trust Him when all seems bleak and hopeless. What a privilege it is to see their lives rewarded in their old age with Godly children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. What a precious heritage, and eternal heritage. Thank-you Lord!