July and August by the pix

The beginning of July was quiet.  Still Covid conscious, we did not attend the Fourth of July parade this year.  We had family over for traditional BBQ on the porch.

Spent a lot of time mowing as the wet Spring gave the grass quite a boost.  But I managed to enjoy the water and go on group walks to various gardens around the island.

Near the end of the month my friends came up for a few days and we enjoyed showing off the island and our new, improved cottage.  And the new carriage doors finally arrived and were installed.  A good month for home improvement projects.

Segue into August and the improvements and visits from friends continued.  Jay helped Roger fell several “mostly” dead alders when he came for a week.  And then our new range hood arrived and Roger and I put it up ourselves (whew) with the help of large books and a hydraulic lift.

The BIG event of the month was Emily and Will’s wedding at the Chihuly Garden at the Seattle Center.  Saw a lot of family we had not seen in quite a while and the ceremony itself was very nice with a fantastic setting.

We topped this off by meeting with the Ellison side at Lil’s house in Twin Lakes where we met Bree’s twins Kloe and Kaia for the first time.  They’re two already!  And James’ boys have grown so much since we saw them last.  (I know this is all cliché, but it’s true!)

This is us

Not missing a beat, we collected two of our grandkids on the way home.  The San Juan County Fair started immediately.  Roger and I volunteer for our various organizations and we had the kids so—yeah, we were tired.

After a ten-year hiatus, I decided to enter the Trashion Fashion again.  This time with a costume created from long collected Rosamonte Yerba Mate packaging.  It is shiny and red, black, and gold and is from Argentina so of course I went as a flamenco dancer.

The twins had joined us so four grandkids in all.  There was a lot of game playing, some pond activities, train rides, sand castles, and a lot of sitting around looking at devices.  And at least one possible case of Covid before they all went home on Tuesday.

This week we are resting up for the next round of activities.

That’s Azolla, Folks!

Time Flies–the last eleven weeks

June sunset by Christopher Teren

Sheesh. Had no idea it’s been this long. Thought I just had to review June. Who can remember what happened in May let alone the last two weeks of April? Hope I took some good pictures. Maybe I was just waiting for something interesting to happen. Very little did. The weather has been lousy (although we did have some nice wildflowers this Spring) Covid hit the island hard in May but has abated some. I will look to my journal for some highlights.

chocolate lilies at American Camp

April 16th, the last day I posted, we went to a Roger McGuinn concert. April 20th, friend Liz from Seattle visits–nice hikes around island. May 6th, sister-in-law Lil and her sister Paula visit. Very fun showing off the island. Lots of zoom meetings in between. Birthday zoom as well and then out for pizza. working on cottage and started tapestry and regular walks with friends with dogs. big windstorm on May 18th. May 24th, an 18 year old shot up an elementary school in Texas. (it’s all bad news after that).

June. Spending a lot of time with Transition San Juan Waste Reduction Team. Hosted a booth at the Farmers Market, posted on Facebook for “Plastic Free July”. Wrote emails, attended Port meeting and many Zoom meetings. Made more beeswax wraps with Tina.

Art Studio Tour Weekend–Went to four studios of friends, mostly. Bought some pottery. Bought new tires in Anacortes, new gutters for the cottage, streamed a lot of shows. January 6th committee begins hearings. Three little chicks are hatched, two survive. More rain and wind storms come through. Grass grows tall but nothing else is growing, no pears at all this year, fewer apples, everything two or three weeks behind.

June 14th. The Sun comes out. Book club is so excited they insisit on an in-person meeting outside on my deck. First in-person meeting in a year? June 17th, Willow Basket teacher, Maria Bullock arrives from Orcas to teach class on Grange deck. She stays in cottage. Basket class a success. June 20th–Summer arrives-finally! June 24th, Roe v Wade overturned. June 25th, long-time Metro friends Nancy and Mary arrive. Fun ensues. We go to Orcas for the day on 27th.

Meanwhile, Roger busy with tons of Grange stuff including blackening cedar and making and teaching how to make biochar. Also, mowing, mowing, mowing.

Cedar blackened for use as planter box

See? Very little happened.

May and June zoom by

May and June zoom by

sometimes they go by because I have nothing to say and sometimes they go by because way too much is happening. I would say this time is more like the latter. Two whole months! How shall I ever remember and recount? Having a hard time remembering anyway–Covid brain, they call it. Or in the “before times” we would call these senior moments. Let’s see now . . .

View from our room

Way back in May the big event was a mini-vacation to Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop Washington which is not all that far away in car miles but definitely over the mountain and through the woods. Roger and I stayed at the lodge with half the family some I hadn’t seen for a year and a half. We are all vaccinated now and could hug and go out to dinner with only a little trepidation.

What made the trip even more interesting is that I have friends in nearby Twisp and were able to meet up with them and a mutual friend for a long hike and a fabulous luncheon featuring a garden in a pizza. To top it off, they have a donkey named Maggie Mae.

Me and Maggie Mae

It was great to spend time with my brothers and sister and their spouses, to hike among the wildflowers of eastern Washington, to shop (!) in the westernized town of Winthrop, and to drive over Washington Pass which had just opened for the season. Gorgeous.

So that’s pretty much it for May. Well, I should mention that we hosted a May birthday party for myself and some others and Roger and I went out to dinner at Duck Soup Inn. Those were giant post-Covid activities. In June, no trips–all my friends came to see me. One week we had five different visitors staying from one afternoon to five days. And no, the cottage bathroom is not finished. But there is water and a toilet. We’ve been working steadily on plumbing and tile prep. I’ve looked at tons of tile on line and on a trip to Bellingham. Crossing my fingers we have finally figured it out and ordered the tile. But I digress. It was fun to see my friends and to take a break from routine and actually sit on the beach for a few minutes. We do live in a beautiful place and nature does not disappoint.

Manya, Maggie Mae and Jack at False Bay

Also, the groups I belong to are finally getting together in person. A dinner party here and there, a couple of potlucks, and now meetings in person, not just on Zoom. The Artist Studio tour was fun and well received. I belong to Transition San Juan in the Waste Reduction team and we are hosting Plastic Free July on the island. This includes setting up a table at the Farmers Market to introduce the concept and get people, businesses, and our local government behind the idea. Plastic Free July – Be Part of the Solution

Grange picnic at Jackson’s Beach

The Northwest had a few days of intense heat under the “heat dome” and our island was not immune. Some towns in Eastern Washington got up to 118 degrees but our 102 to 104 was barely bearable especially as we do not have air conditioning. A couple of days were spent reading in my craftroom in the basement. The heat took its toll on birds, bees, flowers and trees. By all accounts its going to be a long, hot summer. No rain in sight.

note the many helping hands

One event that has opened up– the Fourth of July Parade took place. It was very last minute but our governor opened the State up on June 30th. And it you open it they will come. Two years ago my friend Francie got a lot of us together to push shopping carts down the street collecting food for the food bank and the Family Resource Center and we revised it again this year. The theme: Lending a Hand.

Maggie Mae greets Bishop

Looking forward into July–more visitors. Stay tuned.

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:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/myake/albums/72157710857378583

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.  https://www.pitchwoodalehouse.com/pitchwoodinn

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.  http://www.pafac.org/

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.

Red is my Color

Red is my Color

Family:  So, starting off with the last weekend in June in Concrete, Washington site of the 2nd annual Barreca Gathering at Ovenell’s Heritage Inn.  Big event this year with uncle and cousins from San Diego, St. Louis, and Craters of the Moon joining our family.  Nieces and grand-nieces and nephews as well.    Highlights were of course, music by the Outlaws and In-laws, a big potluck dinner, plenty of outdoor activities.  And Dad’s 97th birthday celebration to boot.

Independence Day:  This sent us into July 4th activities with a bang (hee-hee).  Both Roger and I participated in the big parade.  I drove a shopping cart with the “Legends in their Own Minds” crew.  We won a prize for best costumes!  This was the first ever food drive during the parade and we accepted a pick-up truck’s worth of food for the food bank.  Roger walked with the Farmers Market gang.

That evening we spent our second Fourth watching the fireworks from the Grange deck.  I brought raspberry sorbet to the potluck dinner that night.  Raspberries have been a big part of this month.

working on the floor now and ceiling next

Projects:  Working on the cottage bathroom, pulling out English Hawthorn, watering the garden, picking tomatoes and scarlet runner beans.

blown glass fish at “Deep Dive” exhibit

Art:  Working on the whorls within whorls, visiting the “Deep Dive” exhibit at our local art museum featuring artists inspired by the Salish Sea.  Attending a concert by the Space Lady at the Alchemy Art Studio on Wold Road.  If you’ve never heard of the Space Lady, check her out at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Lady

Jamie knits little bitty socks

Then, in keeping with our keeping it in the neighborhood theme, we went to The Merchant of Venice at Island Stage Left.  And in the same week, on the same road, I visited the Lavender Festival as some of my friends had booths there.

Visiting:  Our friend Jay came up for almost a week and helped in the garden planting beets.  Went to Anacortes one day to visit an old friend, and hosted a neighborhood potluck for a new neighbor.  (featuring more raspberry sorbet!)

That dirty no good robbin’ Maggie Mae

New Addition:  And now for the ultimate Red news—we got a new poodle puppy!  Her name is Maggie Mae and she’s Red.  She was just shy of nine weeks when we got her.  And her parents—Willy and Shelby are both pedigree poodles—also red.  I got her at Pilchuck Poodles in Snohomish.  But to check out how she might look in a year, look at Gingerbred Poodles in Lakewood to see where they came from.  http://www.gingerbredpoodles.com/

Yes, it is a lot of work and a lack of sleep raising a new one.  She’s got sharp little bitey teeth and is on the willful side.  But she’s also smart as a whip and seems to be fitting into our life here at Thornbush just fine.

Baskets of Fun


Cathy and Mary visit

Someone asked who my high school friends were that visited last month. Haven’t changed a bit in 50 years.  Here they are at the lavender farm. After they left a college buddy and his wife sailed in to Roche Harbor.

Basketry Conference

The following week it was on to Tacoma for the National Basketry Organization Conference at University of Puget Sound campus. I took a class in Bull Kelp from Shannon Weber of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Here are a few baskets from various classes and teachers at the conference.
NBO Conference Link

I had a lot of fun hobnobbing with basketmakers I have known and known of over the years. Lots more pictures where those came from. But here is one of the baskets I made in kelp class.

While I was in Tacoma I had a great evening with a lot of Ellisons at Lil’s house in Twin Lakes.

After I got home and recuperated somewhat, it was time for “Encampment” at English Camp and Roger and I donned our 1859 apparel to attend the Candlelight Ball.

Plum Excitement

The next day, we found half of our Japanese plum tree on the ground. We picked about 75 lbs of fruit off of it and then just gave up. Roger bolted the torn trunk back together. I guess we’d better pick the plums still on the tree tomorrow or we may lose another limb.

unbearable fruit

frankenstein tree

easy pickin’ from the ground

I’ve also been picking tons of berries. The last of the raspberries, the boysenberries in full swing and tonight–the first quart of blackberries!

We’re having a heat wave. It got to 90 today on the porch. But worse, forest fires smoke from British Columbia has blanketed the area and air quality is very bad. Makes for beautiful sunsets, though.


This is the view we had from the NEW deck on the Grange Hall.  The very deck that Roger has been working on off and on with mostly two other guys from the Grange for more than a year.  It was very satisfactory to sit with friends on this deck and celebrate the deck, the friends, the summer.

Roger and I were in different parts of the parade.  He joined the Farmers’ Market gang and I was L77 in the Protect the Orcas L-Pod.  We won the Judges’ Award–there were 130 of us!

The night before I had just gotten back from Victoria, British Columbia where I attended the Association of NW Weavers Guilds convention.  Canada was celebrating their 150 anniversary of confederation and were in a celebratory mood themselves.  600 people were at University of Victoria for this convention.  I stayed in a dorm room on campus with a friend and we attended several great workshops, attended a fashion show of fabulous hand-woven attire and heard the head of Maiwa give the keynote address on the “slow clothes” movement.

The weekend before I spent on Orcas Island attending a basketry class taught by a Spanish friend of Maria Bullock. I made a basket out of willow and bulrush. The setting and weather was beautiful and I got to stay with my friend Ann who lives in Deer Harbor.

And the weekend before that was “spa weekend” with my friend Liz. Massage and facial at a great place in Anacortes. Then, really nice Father’s Day meal at Duck Soup Inn on SJI.

Of course, the weekend before that was Dad’s birthday–a joyous occasion that brought the whole family together.

Since the Fourth, I’ve had a visit from my two buddies from high school. We are talking friends from 50 years ago. There’s been some other celebrations on top of that. And next week, I attend a National Basketry Convention being held in Tacoma at UPS. I intend to take a workshop to make a sea kelp basket. The fun never stops!

Celebration and Activism in 2017

Celebration and Activism in 2017

New Year’s brought in with Laughter

Good Friends brought Good Cheer over the New Year’s Weekend again this year.


Finishing two projects and thinking about the next ones

Novelty Yarn Scarf and Crocheted Shawl



Rally against Kinder-Morgan and the Transpacific Pipeline


That’s me in the middle

Joining the Womxns March in Seattle

One of 175,000 others concerned about the loss of our rights and the bigotry of the new administration


More to Celebrate –
Audrey turns Seven-Spending the day with our middle grandchild




Another Milestone – Barry at 65


Mid-Century themed Party (because we are turning back the clocks to a pre-civil rights era?)




Adventures in Paradise


September got a little crowded.  Fortunately, the weather cooperated.  In fact, it’s been glorious all month.  I was able to squeeze in visits from three sets of good friends from Seattle.  It’s a good month to visit, but you may be put to work canning pears or pressing apples.  We have a lot of cider in the basement right now.–a lot–15 gallons!  Besides the visits we hosted a Friday Walkers walk on Sept 23rd and a Farm Tour on the 25th as part of the month long “Savor the San Juans”.  These last two events involved a lot of grooming the gardens, nursery, orchards, so now everything looks good going into the Fall.

Mid month my friend Elizabeth and I took a few days off to explore the Southern tip of Vancouver Island.  We took a loop from Sidney to Port Renfrew past Sooke Harbour (sic) to Lake Cowichan, Duncan, and back to Sidney.  We hiked China Beach and Botany Bay, dipped our feet in at Honeymoon Beach

China Beach

China Beach

and Arbutus Park on Lake Cowichan, took a ferry across Saanich Inlet and managed to take in Butchart Gardens before we headed back to Friday Harbor on the Sidney ferry.  The weather and scenery were both spectacular.  But we barely even scratched the 12,400 square miles of Vancouver Island.  Click picture below for a complete set of pictures from this trip.


Waldron Island is just shy of 4.6 square miles.  I’d never been to it.  But that was rectified last Thursday when I joined a small group of people on a full day excursion to visit Thousand Flower Farm.  We traveled in style on Greg’s 32′ Grand Banks Cabin Cruiser.  We got to step inside Margaret’s weaving studio and get a demonstration of the hand built tools Joel has been using on his farm off the grid for the last forty years.  A highlight of the day was a visit to poet Sam Green’s house and Brooding Heron Press and Bindery.  He gave a poetry reading from his porch! more on Samuel Green Topping the day off, I even got a wave from the famous choral composer Morten Lauridsen.more on Morten Lauridsen  A pearl of a day (right, Peggy Sue?)

welcoming madrone on Waldron

welcoming madrona on Waldron


Lunnette admires one of a Thousand Flowers


Samuel Green reads from "The Grace of Necessity"

Samuel Green reads from “The Grace of Necessity”

img_8129 img_8144

Brooding Heron

Brooding Heron