Cocooning in the Cottage

With Covid. Caught at the tailend of a road trip with my friend Nancy to see friends and waterfalls from here to Montana and back.

iconic Snoqualmie Falls

Avoiding I-5 I drove to Nancy’s past Snoqualmie so why not stop for a picture? Next morning we drove over Chinook Pass Through Yakima and stopped to see my brother John and his wife Marilyn for lunch. They just celebrated their 49th anniversary. Whoo-hoo!

Spent the night in Pendleton which has a nice historic downtown. Did not get a pciture. Next day it was on to Picabo, Idaho to visit my cousin Rose. We had to travel through a lot of smoke from a recent fire. In fact, smoke followed us all along our journey. It is fire season in Idaho and Montana. Rose was the perfect tour guide. We went to her quilting group’s annual picnic. Next day toured Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Rose took me on an adventure climbing through a Lava cave. It was difficult! After a brief rest she drove us through Haley and Ketchum to eat at Sun Valley Lodge. This was all new territory for me. Thanks, Rose!

Our next stop was Dillon, Montana where a friend of Nancy lives. Dillon had a fun antique store called Gracie’s. It had historic buildings. And Nancy’s friend Ronnie had dogs! Two were doodles!

So Dillon was a success. The next day we arrived at our ultimate destination, Linda and Tom’s place on a ridge near Livingston. Nancy and I visited their place in 2009. There have been some changes–notably they are building a guest house. We heard elks trumpeting, saw a bear, had a strange bat/moth experience. It was wonderful. But smoky.

We stopped in Bozeman on our return trip to visit with Nancy’s grandson Noah. We went to the Montana Ale Works in an old Great Northern freight house. Cool place but I think this is where I might have caught Covid. Will never know for sure.

Nancy and Noah

Onward to Lolo Pass. What a beautiful drive. We stopped in Orofino at a place right on the Clearwater. Still feeling pretty good at this point.

view from our balcony

The next day was our much anticipated trip to Palouse Falls. I hadn’t been there since my Pullman years and Nancy had only driven by the sign. Even though this is the lowest water time of year, it was still a wonder, coming out of the desert like it does.

remind you of Dry Falls from my April trip?

We spent the night in Sunnyside which is completely different topography from our night on the Clearwater. What variety on this trip. Our last day, we left Sunnyside to take Hwy 12 “White Pass” home. There had been a fire near Packwood a few days earlier so we felt we were taking a chance. At Clear Creek Overlook I found another water fall. Bonus!

Clear Creek Falls

By this time, I was feeling pretty run down and had a serious headache. I took a test in Eatonville and it came out positive. What a surprise after the umpteen negative tests I’ve taken in the last two and a half years. Not wanting to infect Nancy’s husband, I elected to make the long trek home that night. Getting in about 10 PM, twelve hours after leaving Sunnyside. What an ignoble way to end a gorgeous journey.

So far, Nancy, Linda and Tom have all tested negative. fingers crossed.

But as many of you know, I have a sweet little cottage with a very nice bathroom. And my husband has been feeding me. So I will get through this. So long for now.

(friends, I know many of you read my posts on your phones which is fine and easy. But the formatting is much better if you read them on your browser.)

April Adventures

April First. Grandtwins turn sixteen. Celebrated with Pho lunch in Burlington.

April Sixth: Road Trip with friend Francie and her dog Chulo. First Day, made it to Wenatchee with stops in Index and Leavenworth.

Sun halo above Index

April Seventh: Wenatchee to Republic with stops at Dry Falls, Bridgeport and Omak.

Dry Falls

April Eighth: Republic to Kettle Falls with visits to Rachel in Rose Valley and April, Tony and James in Curlew.

in front of Rachel’s place

April Ninth: Kettle Falls to Spokane (Colbert): Stopped on Lake Roosevelt beach, toured Joe and Cheryl’s place, stopped Colville, Chewelah, Loon Lake. Stayed at Mary’s.

April Tenth: Colbert to East Wenatchee via Highway 2, Grand Coulee Dam, Ephrata, Quincy. Worry about pass conditions spurred us westward a day earlier than planned, eliminating our exploration of Spokane.

Grand Coulee Dam

April Eleventh: East Wenatchee to Friday Harbor via I-90 with blizzard in Vantage, stop in Ellensburg.

Of course I’m leaving out tons of pictures of scenery and family, but this gives you an idea. We covered most of Northeast Washington. We laughed, we cried. I’ll make a photobook like the one I made for our trip to Olympic Peninsula in 2019.

April Fourteenth: I got a haircut

2019 Highlights

Just had a look back at all my posts from 2019 and I must say, I had a spectacular year.  Wow.  I really don’t know if I can reduce it all to one post.  You may have to go back and read the whole year like I just did.  But I will call out a few highlights.

Lots of friends (and family) visited this year.  Some for a week, some just for the day.

Three fabulous road trips starting in

February  -most fun road trip taken with my friend Laura to see my friend Tori in Arizona.  Including meeting wonderful people in El Paso, travelling with them to Santa Fe, and riding a railroad to the Grand Canyon.  Excellent Adventure!

April thru the Present– Work starts on the cottage bathroom addition and continues throughout the year.

May – Textile Guild exhibit at the NW Quilt and Fiber Art Museum in LaConner has two of my pieces, my backpack and a random weave canine I call “Sentry Dog”

June –Supernatural road trip to Prince George, British Columbia with my friend Nancy to a weaving conference.  Including visit to Whistler and First Nation Cultural Center there.  And trip to historic Barkerville with re-enactor friend Judy.  And first trip to the magnificent Sunshine Coast.

Also family gathering in Concrete, Washington 

July – Picked up Poodle Pup and named her Maggie Mae.  Puppy and training take over my life.

September – third fabulous road trip of the year, this one with my friend Francie to Olympic Peninsula.  New to her and nostalgic to me visits to Cape Flattery, Lake Quinalt, Hoh Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, and on and on and on.

November and December – Reality hits with long illness and quick decline of my father Joe Sr., the Barreca Patriarch who lived a rich full life to the age of 97.  Celebration of Life family gatherings.

December – Trump get impeached.  And busy, busy with family, friends, holiday, and dog

And a Happy New Year!

Olympic Trails

Olympic Trails

My friend Francie and I went on a Road Trip to the Olympic Peninsula for the week of September 9 thru 13.  It was wet.  But that’s what one expects when they go to the rain forest, right?

Here is the link to all the pictures:

at Fat Smitty’s

And so, inspired by books such as “Backroads of Washington” and “Weird Washington” we set off to explore.  And we were not disappointed.  First off, after two ferry rides, we ate lunch at Fat Smitty’s.  Decorated in dollar bills from ceiling to floor it fit in nicely with our aspirations for the trip. 

We visited Marymere Falls in the rain and dropped by the Lake Crescent Lodge, ending that day in Sekiu in a very cheesy motel room.  This became somewhat of a theme for us.

Sekiu, WA

The next day we headed to Neah Bay for the Makah Museum and the not to be missed walk out to Cape Flattery.  It did not rain on us on this day.  After stopping in Clallam Bay, Forks, and Kalaloch we made it to Lake Quinault that night.

Francie at Cape Flattery

The next day we walked the 3 mile Forest Loop at Quinault and then headed to Raymond to my friends Brent and Kathy’s house.  We made arrangements to see Kate O’Neal’s art work and visit the gallery in South Bend.  That night in keeping with our theme we slept in a whimsically decorated room at the Pitchwood Inn and Ale House.

imaginary tea in Kate’s eclectic back yard

On Thursday we made our way to Ruby Beach and in a chance, serendipitous, coincidental moment ran into my sister-in-law Brenda and her hiking buddies on the trail coming up from the beach.  Amazing.

Then it really started raining and we made our way to the Hoh.  We saw a Roosevelt Elk on the path.  Then made our way to Sol Duc Hot Springs which I had not been to since I was a child.  It has changed.  We had a nice soak in the rain.  Wish we could have stayed there but no room in the inn and we made our way to Port Angeles. And there on our last day we discovered a fabulous five acre sculpture park called Webster’s Woods at the Fine Arts Center.

dog? in Webster’s Woods

What else has been happening in my world?  Well, Maggie graduated from Lucky Fido Puppy Class, she is 17 weeks old now and 23.4 pounds. Our skylights arrived.  Roger put a porch on the cottage while I was gone, but I wish the roof was further along now that it has started raining in earnest.  Then there is the tyranny of the harvest.  Pears are all picked, not all the apples are ready.  The hazelnuts rescued from the raccoons. And don’t even talk to me about tomatoes!

cuz they’re cousins!

Oh, and visitors!  Lots of visitors.  Roger’s cousins came over from Lopez and my friend Karen from Portland and brother Marc and his wife Nancy stopped in on their way to Vancouver Island.  And more are coming!

Check out the rest of the pix–and Happy Trails to you until we meet again.

Super Natural June

Super Natural June

June is naturally beautiful, but this June was Super. Weather terrific. Flowers abundant. And Fiber Arts stood out as well.

View from Turtle Back, Orcas Island

I went Orcas to attend a workshop on Salish Weaving techniques taught by Chief Jan George who figures into a later story. Before class, I took a hike on Turtle Back.
“Buddy” Joseph warping loom

The next day Roger and I went to a couple Artist Studios on San Juan as part of the annual tour. The Tempestry Project was installed at the Grange. And Mary M and I worked on more willow projects in my back courtyard. I’m calling mine “whorls within whorls”.

We have been working on the cottage. Here’s a pix from early June:

On June 10th I met up with travelling partner Nancy W in Anacortes and we drove up to Canada. After telling the border guard our intent, he told us to be sure to look up Mr. PG upon our arrival in Prince George. But our first stop was Whistler, a place I describe as Leavenworth on steroids. Highlights were a pedestrian corridor to walk, watching trail bike riders go up lifts and come down the course, and a trip to the Squamish Lilwat Cultural Centre that Chief George suggested we see and that she helped design.

The scenery between Whistler and Prince George was fabulous. We stopped the night at 100 Mile House.

And then, we arrived in Prince George for the Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds Conference. My firstworkshop was not until Friday morning so we had all Thursday to look around the place.

We saw a lot of trains first. At the Railway and Forestry Museum and then a steam train ride (2’ gauge) at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.

I attended three workshops at the Conference. The first was about Peruvian Weaving. The second, ethnobotany of the region, and the third and actual weaving workshop with hints on easy ways to warp the loom.

Peruvian textile in a purse

Oh, it was a terrific conference. There were exhibits from several guilds, a gallery of individual weavings, a vendors’ area, wrapping up with a fashion show on the last night.

And I won a raffle prize!

We left PG on Sunday, June 16th and found my friend Judy A in Quesnel along with her husband Mike and two dogs, Serena and Jasmine. Judy took us to Barkerville, a historic mining town preserved as a National Historic Site of Canada.

Judy and me at Sing Kee Herbalist building

Judy convinced us to take the Fraser Canyon route to our next destination—the Sunshine Coast. We were not disappointed. Following the Fraser River down to Vancouver is not to be missed.

Fraser Canyon Route along Hwy 1

This had us staying overnite in Chilliwack and then taking the ferry the next morning to the Sunshine Coast. We soon realized that it would take more than the three days we had allotted to do it justice so we just stuck to the South and did not take the 2nd ferry to Powell River. (Another time)

Madeira Park, Sunshine Coast, BC

park in Gibsons with Heron

Davis Bay Pier
Last night at Davis Bay

For more pictures, go to my Flkr album at:

progress on cottage- note more posts



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:

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:

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:

A Journey to the Wild, Wild West


Barry and Straw Boss

Barry and Straw Boss

On October 2nd, the day after the sixth annual Friday Harbor Fall Farm Parade, I left the island for a two week adventure.  My friend Nancy W and I were going on a road trip.  One that had been months in the planning; we were intent on visiting both Crater Lake and Yosemite National Parks.  The first one I had seen when I was maybe nine years old.  The latter I had never seen.  I also wanted to visit Sisters, Bend, and Ashland, Oregon.  Our trip was planned to take the backroads rather than the interstate.  We saw a lot of eastern Oregon and Northeastern California.

Denim house in Sisters, Oregon

Denim house in Sisters, Oregon

Nancy lives in Covington so it was easy to start off toward Crystal Mountain and Chinook Pass.  The leaves were beginning to turn but nothing like the aspens we saw later in our journey.  Bend the first night and Crater Lake the second.  Crater Lake had four inches of snow on the ground when we arrived–at 2pm (but still in time for lunch in their beautiful lodge).  There was no lake to be seen, it was all shrouded in mist.  Unbeknownst to me, Nancy made arrangements for us to stay in the lodge that night.  There was a chance the weather would lift and we would be able to see the lake.  The veil did lift for about fifteen minutes, enough for us to get a few pics of the lake from our room.  But then it started snowing again and did not let up for the rest of our visit.

should have been able to see the lake from here

should have been able to see the lake from here

The Subaru has all-wheel drive and I wasn’t worried.  They do plow the road at least to the lodge every day by check-out time.  We next went to Ashland and then via Klamath Falls to Susanville.  Susanville has two prisons and a few murals.  But we were most impressed with the tame deer calmly eating in the front yards right off of main street.  After Susanville came Truckee.  And a visit to the Gatekeeper’s Museum and Steinbach Indian Basket collection in North Lake Tahoe.  A highlight for me.

Susanville's pet deer

Susanville’s pet deer

Going down the west side of Lake Tahoe, we stopped for views along the way at Emerald Bay,  Monitor Pass, and Lake Mono before arriving at Mammoth Lake at a fancy ski resort.  No snow, thankfully, as we planned to tackle Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet the next morning.  This was a beautiful, albeit long drive through the Park to our cabin in Wawona.  Nancy’s brother-in-law was generous enough to let us stay there for three days while we explored the Park.

Wow.  I think I will let the pictures tell the story.  Click on picture below for all my travel pictures:


Not wanting to repeat ourselves, we left the Park by a Southern exit and traveled up the westside toward Folsom and then across Highway 4.  Now this was a backroad.  Ebbets Pass, elevation 8,732 feet–no guard rails.  Yikes, it was scary–but amazingly beautiful.  We made it to Carson City that night.  Then a very long day to Madras, Oregon and finally back to Nancy’s via Hwy 26 near Mt Hood and across the Warm Springs Indian Reservation–another new road for me.

Lots of buzz about a big typhoon heading our way chased us home a little earlier than we might have been using I-5.  The rain and wind outside of Centralia was worse than anything the typhoon dished out.  But we didn’t know that then.  I left Nancy’s at 5:40AM and made the 8:30 ferry with time to spare.

We laughed and called it the Crones’ Journey (both of us in our sixties).  Quite an adventure, really.

Nancy and Me at the Majestic nee Ahwahnee Lodge

Nancy and Me at the Majestic nee Ahwahnee Lodge


Thinking Globally, Acting Locally


Local Meat discussion, Quimper Grange, Port Townsend

On 4/12/15 at Quimper Grange in Port Townsend we watched a documentary called “American Meat” which raised the question about whether US could be fed on ethically raised rather than commodity (read factory) raised animals.  It was followed by a panel discussion with local farmers in the peninsula area.

On 4/14/15 Roger participated in a panel discussion following the viewing of “Restoration Agriculture”.  This is the second in a series that the Ag Guild is presenting.  The first was “Symphony of the Soil”“ having to do with better practices in farming.


Kah Tai Lagoon Park, Port Townsend

On 4/16 we will be attending the 3rd in a series of evenings at the Grange Hall devoted to watching a Showtime series called “Years of Living Dangerously” about Climate Change. The fact that corporate farming is one of, if not the main factor in carbon dioxide emissions which are ruining our atmosphere is brought home in many of these events (that and Coal Plants which are also on our radar)


Farmers Market, Port Townsend near Red Dog Farm booth

See the pattern here? Of late, we’ve been immersing ourselves in “Transition Town” issues: Resiliency in the face of Climate Change, improving the soil, learning to feed ourselves, developing community.


Roger surveys Kinzie Artillery site at Fort Worden


“Art Bus” on Water St in Port Townsend

And yes, we’re worried about coal trains and oil pipelines and spills in our Salish Sea.  It would be nice to wake up every morning, not turn on the news, and live in our own private Idaho (SJI) That seems to be what the majority of Americans are doing.