August and September went to the dogs

August and September went to the dogs

August started off with Maggie Mae entered in the Community Theater Dog Parade Fundraiser. The next week I attended the Island Childrens’ production of “101 Dalmations”. And every Monday for a couple years now, friends with dogs have joined me for a walkabout at Thornbush. so . . .

My friend Francie came to craft with me on Fridays along with her dog Chulo. And I played around with making an owl for a friend.

Our local museum had a fabulous display of African photographs by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. Ms Beckwith spoke at the museum one night but Covid restrictions limited the audience to the big donors.

It was a little escape but I had an actual field trip later in August when my Transmission Waste Reduction Group travelled to Orcas and Lopez Islands to learn about their recycling options. (They do it a lot better than we do)

visiting Nikki on Lopez

In September, the paint finally came in for the cottage and work began both on the outside and in tilework on the inside. I’m still painting trim around windows. And the tiling is moving at a snail’s pace, but —progress!

Went to my 50th High School Reunion in Seattle and stayed a few extra days to visit friends. The Reunion had two events that I attended. One at Angelo’s Italian Restaurant in Burien where I grew up. And the main event at a place near the airport called Cedarbrook Lodge. We had a relatively small class at Kennedy HS of 173 and a large percentage of these came from my grade school as well. So some of the folks I knew back when I was six. Not enough time to really catch up with folks, but had some great conversations over the two nights. Masking during the evening was not all that fun and brought on some anxiety due to the Delta Variant spike. Must have worked out because two weeks out, I feel fine.

Frank, Mary, Me and Antoinette

A highlight was taking in a Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives concert with friends later in the week. We had to show our proof of vaccination and wear masks during the show. But very worth it to listen to great musicians doing live music.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Fall posting without mentioning the “Tyranny of the Harvest” . Yes, it has arrived. We’ve been dehydrating fruit non-stop. Picking apples and nuts. The quince and asian pears are not quite there yet. I made a very interesting jelly out of aronia berries.

This is the last week we can walk around Zylstra Lake Preserve. The preserve is closed to dogs for six months to protect waterfowl. And who wants to walk there if you can’t bring your pooch?

The Saga Continues . . .


On Saturday, August 25th, WSU Extension hosted a Forest Owners Field Day at Thornbush.  There were about six or seven workshops repeated throughout the day.  Due to Roger’s hardwork mowing and clearing clutter, the place looked great.

There’s a lot of waiting involved with this cancer stuff.  On August 30th I received (is that the best verb?) my lumpectomy.  And then waited almost three weeks to talk to an oncologist about what it might mean for me going forward.  The surgeon meantime had given me both good and bad news,  good–they got it all, bad–bigger than they expected.  So I wasn’t completely surprised that they would recommend radiation therapy.

In the meantime, I wasn’t just waiting around, there’s a lot of stuff to do in September.  Two good friends visited right after Labor Day.  And even though there is no bathroom on the cottage yet, the framework for the deck had been completed.


And now we have a new deck and are starting to clear space for the new addition.

Also, there’s the tyranny of the harvest.  The racoons got most of our plums and a good portion of our hazelnuts.  But we managed to pick a few hundred pounds of apples, pears, and Asian pears.  I’ve already canned the orca pears with our neighbor, bartlets next week.  And we’re bringing in a lot of veggies as well.

Last week I was on Orcas Island at a willow workshop.  Our project, taught by a leading willow instructor, Jo Campbell-Amsler, was a picnic backpack.  The setting was a beautiful farm called Morning Star.


picnic backpack

my basket–so far, not finished

20180921_174638_HDR (2)

I worked on my basket for three more days after I returned home, only to run out of weavers right before I was done.  I’ve set some of my own willow to soak and hope to show you a finished basket in my next post.

By my next post, I should also be able to tell you the schedule for my radiation treatments.  After much consideration, and a few consultations, I’ve decided to “bite the bullet” as they say.  This will involve weeks of travel off-island, to a hospital in Sedro Wooley, as they do not do radiation here on the island.  Chemo, but not radiation.

You’ll also see some great pictures of the Eighth Annual Farm Parade.  Stay tuned.

apple harvest