Thornbush May

So many things to report this month.  Starting with last month when I met this foal named Lucy at a friend’s farm.

The next day I travelled to Orcas for the Textile Guild Meeting with a number of my textile guild friends.  Here’s a pix of Jason and me waiting for the ferry to return home.  There’s a nice cider bar conveniently located near the landing.

In early May, the weather was exceptionally nice and we got a lot done.  I made a wattle fence for my roses to lean on.  And we made some more baby steps with the cottage remodel.  I also made willow tomato cages for my twelve tomato plants.  We bought a second water storage tank because water will continue to be an issue in the future

3000 gallon tank

My birthday weekend was full of fun.  I had some friends over for a collage making party to envision the upcoming year.  And the next day went to Lopez for the Lamb, Goat, and Wool Festival which was very fun.  I demonstrated my “sprang” project and took pictures of all the textile guild members for this year’s photo-journal.  Had time to drive around a see some of Lopez including Spencer Spit

recycled fishing net sheep
yarn bombing Lopez Community Center

And yet another trip off-island the following weekend to the NW Quilt and Fiber Museum for a reception of our guild’s three-month exhibit.  I have three pieces there:  my picnic basket ala Jo Campbell-Amsler’s class last September, my random-weave dog from last summer, and my adaptation of the tempestry project scarf which I finished last month.

Me with “sentry dog”

This was “spa weekend” with my friend Liz.  She joined me at the museum event and we took in a little of LaConner.  Sunday, after a weaving study group meeting at my house, we hiked up Mt Grant.  The weather was fabulous.  Roger gave a talk on biochar at the co-op.   And the next day (in the rain) we finally got our spa experience in Anacortes.  Lots of trips off-island this month.

The hawthorns and rhodies are particularly vibrant this Spring.

To round out the month, basketry friends Francie and Mary came over to start playing with sticks.  Francie is working on a horse (perhaps) and Mary is building a “hurdle” (portable panel usually of wattled withes and stakes) and I am building a sphere.  Watch it grow over this summer!

Right now there’s a half dozen quail in the courtyard with daddy quail sitting atop the crabapple tree.  We’re going to a musical tonight at the theater and Monday there’s another potluck.  Life is good!

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Finally . . .

I can see clearly now
My brother does his blog post in Word first and imports it. I can understand why. Every time I work on this page it changes in appearance. I’ve written captions for all of these pictures at least four times and sometimes they appear and sometimes they are gone. I have no idea what this post will look like when you open it. I usually recommend opening it in your browser, but it may be more readable as an e-mail at this point. But even without the captions, I think you get the picture. Spring has definitely sprung and we have begun doing things, going on walks, working on the cottage bathroom remodel, selling more eggs. And I finished my tempestry scarf. It will be displayed in LaConnor at the Quilt and Fiber Museum along with the rest of the Tempestry Project wall-hangings that my Textile Guild is presenting from May through July.

Spring and Sprang

Hah, you are wondering about this title, aren’t you? It is actually very clever because on February 23rd and 24th, I took a class in “Sprang” from a world famous Sprang teacher, Carol James. Sprang you see, is an ancient braiding technique used to make clothing before knitting was invented.

So far I’ve made 3 pouches and I intend to make a hat soon. I’m also working on a crocheting project that I will present to this blog when finished. And I’m starting on a very big rug weaving project which got bogged down in trying to clean up my floor loom first.

The next big event was Corbin’s 7th birthday. Roger and I went down to celebrate with him by taking him to the Woodland Park Zoo. We had a very fun day, although it seemed to me that he was more interested in the bronze animals than the breathing ones.

After Corbin’s birthday we celebrated Eric’s birthday, St Patrick’s Day with the Soroptimist Fundraiser,  the First Day of Spring with a “Super Moon”, and the best weather we had seen in weeks.   And Weeks.  So we began doing things outdoors:

Roger began making copious amounts of biochar to sell at the Farmers Market, we made a raised bed for the kitchen garden, harvested lots of willow for a variety of projects, went on more walks, cut down several trees, planted olive trees (!) and pretty much celebrated Spring.

 

I’ve also been benefitting from physical therapy to reestablish range of motion on my left side.  More decisions about what to do post-cancer are ahead for me.  More on that next month.  And this last week I’ve suffered from a terrible cold which has put a damper on a whole host of projects I’ve wanted to work on.  I’ve been unable to spring into action.

My Southwest Road Trip

Feb 3

Beat the Snow out of Bellingham on our flight to Tucson to start the trip. Arrived in Mesilla, NM at friends of my travel partner, Laura.

Jeep Compass and Me

Feb 4

Hike up the Organ Mountains to Dripping Springs where the Van Patton Hotel once stood along with the Boyd Sanitariaum. In the evening, we attended a show by Roy Zimmerman at a Unitarian Church.

Organ Mountains

Feb 5

Trip to White Sands National Monument in morning and Zuhl collection of Petrified Wood in the afternoon.

Petrified Wood from Zuhl Museum

link to Zuhl: https://zuhlmuseum.nmsu.edu/highlights/

Feb 6

On our way to Santa Fe we stopped in Hatch for photo op and San Antonio Owl Bar and Café and to see Sandhill Cranes at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Stayed at the el Rey Court which brought us back in time to Old Route 66.

Feb 7

Took in three major museums in Santa Fe: Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Folk Art Museum, Indian Culture Museum. Finished the day off with a fabulous tapas dinner at La Boca.

Feb 8

Long trip from Santa Fe to Williams, AZ on I-40 with stop in Winslow, AZ to see a corner made famous by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey. Williams also heralds back to Route 66 days.

Feb 9

Fun two hour train ride from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Besides the magnificent views, I was pleased to learn about the Hopi House designed by architect Mary Colter.

Feb 10

Left Williams for a scenic trip through the Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona and on to the historic mining town of Jerome and lastly to Prescott, AZ at an equally historic, art deco hotel with the odd sounding name of Hassayampa Inn. Hassayampa being an Apache word of the “upside down river”.

mural in Prescott

Feb 11

Surprise! It snowed that night so the trip on Hwy 89 through Wickenburg was a little icy, albeit beautiful. Reached our friends’ home in Goodyear (bought by the tire company to raise cotton used in the making of tires back in the day) where we planned to stay several days.

Feb 12

Went to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) that several people recommended to us. It was sure worth it. Worth a trip to Phoenix just for this museum. We spent six hours there and saw 6000 instruments. Check it out for yourselves: https://mim.org/

Feb 13 thru 15

Hung out with our Goodyear friends drinking the Kool-Aid.

Feb 16

drove to Saguaro National Park to see the cacti and then into Tucson for the Rock and Gem Show. Great way to spend our last day in Arizona.

Feb 17

Tucson Airport was deserted at 9:30 in the morning when we arrived for our noon flight to Bellingham. Waiting took as long as flying but we made it home safely and Roger picked me up at the ferry at 6:30 (7:30 Mountain time)

Now was that not a great Road Trip?

Meanwhile, Back at home:

fallen willow

To See all 166 photos on Flickr or any subset of them, here is the link:https://www.flickr.com/photos/myake/collections/72157705464574731/

So this is the New Year

So this is the New Year

And I don’t feel any different (song lyrics by Death Cab for Cutie)

Right now it is about 40 below in parts of the mid-west. It is 43 above zero here and very sunny. All in all, January has been exceedingly pleasant, weather-wise. There have been some great walks.

January is Audrey’s Birthday Month. This year we took her to the Seattle Center’s Children Museum and Pacific Science Center. Still trying to take in the fact that she’s nine already!

running the train

The following week I attended the Textile Guild Quarterly on Shaw Island. Our keynote speaker, Betsy Mize Currie showed us some fabulous work in needlepoint. I always enjoy spending time with my guild friends.

painting with thread

A sign things are looking up in 2019–the “upstairs” hens, guided by their handsome rooster, have begun laying eggs.

click on any image to enlarge

JOY

Season’s Greetings to Everyone

Our rollercoaster of a year is ending with a smooth coast. A solstice card I received said “Amidst the darkest days, new light appears on the horizon.” After looking back over my posts of the past year, I see that all sorts of great and wonderful events took place. But for me, 2018 is the year that my dog died, I had a stroke, and then cancer. Dark days, indeed. If you are interested in those things, you can look at the months of February, April, August, and October.

But if that is old news to you, let’s press on with the good things that have happened in the last month:

So above are examples of a very, merry Christmas with family and friends. And that wasn’t all that happened this month. We finally got our new oven!

Roger installing the new oven

Also, December in the San Juans can be very beautiful.

So here’s to the new light of 2019 that beckons with promises of more time with friends and family and road trips and perhaps a new beloved pet. A 2019 that is cancer free, healthy, productive (new bathroom on the cottage?) and much to be thankful for.

Restful November

Restful November

This posting is delayed in part due to our being without the Internet for most of this week.  We now have a working (!) outside antenna on the roof for our router and are back in business.  Roger just about broke his crown getting down from the roof where he placed it but that’s another story.

That’s not the only SNAFU this month.  Our oven broke.  More specifically, our oven door broke off.  Right before Thanksgiving.  With a turkey already ordered from the Co-op.  And since we didn’t pick it up right away, it came defrosted.  Roger managed to cook a 20 lb. turkey on the propane grill.  But we had already been invited to my sister’s so now we have a freezer full of turkey.

But I digress.  I should start at the beginning of the month.   Just before my last treatment I went to a retreat for San Juan County Textile Guild in Bellingham.  I had a very nice time and took a couple great workshops:  origami lights on a branch and bio-dyeing scarves.  Here is the light branch .

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I stayed with a friend on the mainland who took me to my last treatment and then to lunch at the Farmhouse Restaurant.  Now I’m done and recovering.  (applause)

Since then I’ve been trying to make up for a lost month but am hampered by being very tired.  The third week after my treatment seemed to be the worst for me.  Roger and I had gone to Seattle for a whirlwind weekend and were followed back to the island by Bjorn and family for a fun couple days followed immediately by Thanksgiving.  This was the week I needed several naps a day.

Roger’s birthday celebration was low-key.  Dinner out with friends.  Should be a poem in there somewhere:  Roger and Anita  went to Mi Casita  turning 63  gotta be low-key  (something like that)

Audrey helping pick medlar

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Corbin

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Laid back Thanksgiving

So, yes, in-between turkey troubles, oven failures, and connectivity issues, it has been restful here at Thornbush.

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Friendly Neighbors

just what I needed.