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 .


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




Laid back Thanksgiving

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


Friendly Neighbors

just what I needed.





Fall, flying, and fog

this oneI finished my picnic backpack!  And just in time to show it off at the SJ Textile Guild Quarterly Meeting on Oct 6th.  It was a bit tricky as I ran out of willow from the class and had to use some from my own stash.  But I think they blended well enough.

Right after the meeting I ran over to the Fairgrounds to participate in the 8th Annual Farm Parade.  You’ll note I am wearing an authentic Francie Hansen original sweater dress.  This particular dress is made of two of my own sweaters that I donated.  The green one was one my mom won in a church raffle back in the early 60’s.

banner holder

farm parade trailerHooray for the Farm Parade!  Our friend Barry helped again this year with the Thornbush entry and as a photographer.

The following week I started my daily radiation therapy regimen in Sedro-Wooley at their Cancer Care Center.    Sedro Wooley is a small town just east of Burlington on Hwy 20.  It is about 40 minutes from the Anacortes Ferry Terminal.  But a trip to and from takes about 8 hours by car, due to the long interlude between trips to Friday Harbor.

Fortunately, I was able to hook up with the San Juan Eagles, an organization of pilots from the island who have been flying patients to oncology appointments since 2002.

john geyman plane

Dr Geyman and his plane

The weather the first 18 days of October was fabulous. I got to fly four times with various pilots and the views were gorgeous. Fell in love with the place all over again.

One Sweet man even flew me over my own property so I could take pictures.

But then, the fog rolled in.  Back to the ferry, back to eight hour trips.

20181019_160349_HDRWhy, it’s like having a job again.

The treatments don’t hurt but I do get sore and they say I will get very tired by the end.  Nine more trips to go.  And maybe the fog will lift and I’ll fly some more.

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

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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

Burying the Lede

Lede:  the opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story:
“the lede has been rewritten and the headline changed”

Who knew?  I thought it was always spelled “lead”

Not wanting to be accused of burying the lede like last April “Wait for It”.  I am telling up front, that this summer I have had a series of tests culminating in a biopsy on July 23rd which found cancer in calcifications in my left breast.  I have scheduled a lumpectomy for August 30th.  This is a very early, 0-stage? d.c.i.s. (ductal carcinoma in situ) I will visit the oncologist mid-September to find out what happens next.

Now that I have gotten that news out of the way, I can tell you the fun stuff that has happened this month.

The Project: Our friend Jay came up for a week and helped twist the cottage a few degrees clockwise.  It was quite tedious as there were many adjustments along the way.

Poor Jay, wish I could say we had some fun times while he was here.  Maybe he’ll come back in another 8 years.

20180805_163509_HDRJay wasn’t the only one put to work.   Our eight year old granddaughter Audrey joined us for the following week and she helped as well.

After the cottage was turned, we raised it nine inches with house jacks and new posts so that it is at the same level as the house.  So once the deck is rebuilt, you can walk from cottage to house without the two stairs.  Then we poured concrete in all the new post holes.  Next comes the skirting around the foundation.

Audrey’s Visit:  Luckily, tractor driving counts as fun for Audrey.  She also got to ride a horse for the first time, have art lessons, go fishing, attend the county fair, among other fun activities.


The Fair:  Roger and I worked several shifts at the Fair this year.  Roger judged the 4-H youths in horticulture.  I hung around the Fiber Arts exhibit as docent among other chores.  Audrey got to make fiber beads as a Courtyard Activity.  She also got to go on a number of rides.  Her parents and siblings joined us later in the week and attended the Fair as well.

Family Visit:  So Bjorn’s family went to the Fair one day and we went to the beach the next day.  After that, the forest fire unhealthy air attacked us and we stayed close to home.  There was this game about deactivating a bomb (fun, right?)  and a puzzle among other games.

Coming Soon:  The air finally cleared today (8/23) at least for awhile.  We have a forest owners field day at our house this coming weekend.  And next week, my surgery.  I will hopefully be reporting on these events as well as more cottage project advancement.

I’ve placed a new sculpture next to Willow Man in the front courtyard.  Remind you of someone?

20180819_183551_HDR (2)

Stayin’ Alive at 65!


At Duck Soup

Picking up the story where I left off, in honor of our 30th Wedding Anniversary, Roger and I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Oakland for a few days in late April.  We were met at the Jack London Square station by my niece and her two children.  We then drove to Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley where we had tons of fun riding the Redwood Valley Railway, a carousel, and visiting the Botanical Gardens.

We stayed in Berkeley that night and took BART to San Francisco the next day.  In S.F. we spent a lot of time at the Ferry Building and riding streetcars and cable cars.  It was quite the transportation holiday.  Here are some pictures: pictures of trip

Click above link for 44 photos of our fabulous vacation.


A week after we got back I was on the go again to Seattle for a meet up of some Metro friends for lunch and then a Mexican themed party at my friends Diane and Craig’s house.

Meanwhile, Spring is busting out all over here at Thornbush.  We’ve been gardening, mowing, making raised beds, and enjoying the outdoors through walks with friends.


Partied with friends the week of my birthday and then I was off again on another trip, this time to Portland to attend the Association of Northwest Weavers Guild’s Annual Meeting.  My friend Karen came down with me to visit her daughter.  And I also managed to see my dear friends Lou and Wes and their dog Micro.


Lindsay’s House

Tilicum Crossing

Now I am actually going to stay home for awhile.  I’ve started a new random weave sculpture, we’ve got some home renovations planned, and of course, there is always the gardening.



Wait for it

March 13 – Corbin’s 6th Birthday

Took him to the Pacific Science Center for the day.  Hasn’t changed much since we took Bjorn there 30 years or so ago.  A bigger thrill was riding the Monorail up front with the driver.


I finished my basket project– a shade for the lamp in the cottage:


And one couldn’t talk about March without mentioning March for Our Lives wherein the students took to the streets to advocate for gun safety after a terrible shooting in Parkland, Florida.

20180324_123705_Burst01 (2)

March 20  Spring finally showed up in a few spots around Thornbush.  The weather has been wetter and colder than I would prefer except maybe when these photos were taken.

Anita on Porch (2)20180331_153551_HDR20180331_153514_HDR

April 1 – 7  Easter and the twins twelfth birthday came and went. The Friday Walkers came and walked Zylstra Lake property with me.  Roger started back in again at the Farmers Market selling trees and shrubs.

Roger Farmers MarketAnd then, and then

April 12 – 8:15 AM  Roger called 9-1-1 and they came and took me away in an ambulance.  I had stood up and discovered I could not control the left side of my body.  I was experiencing a minor stroke.  Fortunately, the symptoms were no worse than that and went away in a few hours.  By then, I had been examined at our local hospital and flown by helicopter to St Joseph’s in Bellingham.

At St Joe’s I underwent a bunch of tests including an MRI which our local hospital could not provide.  After 24 hours of testing and observation I was released. The trip which  had taken 15 minutes by helicopter took Roger about 4 hours by ferry and car.  We got home about 7pm on Friday the 13th.  Lucky day for me.