Friday, May 28, 2010

"Standin' on the corner, watching all the {birds} go by..."

I added a bird feeder to my flower bed by the family room window.

And it is providing new entertainment for us...all of us, even Daisie...especially Daisie!

She has a thing for birds...She wants to eat them, but has not caught one yet. She chases them at every opportunity. We even saw her jumping to try to reach one in the tree.
So it is of great interest, and frustration, to see them just outside the close, and yet... impossibly far away.

"I don't care what you say, Caitlin...My life is crap."

"But I'll keep hoping anyway..."

Friday, May 21, 2010

They're BAAACCKK!!!

The bees have arrived...only 32 hives, so far. Yea, only 32...more hives to come.
Sorry for the distant picture, but I don't get any closer than I have to.
Especially when they are working with the hives...
Some of those buzzy critters get cranky about it afterwards.

For the next month, The Farm is ruled by the bees. We've hired them in to do a job, and we plan to stay out of their way. We respect -- no, RESPECT them...and appreciate them...from a distance.
They are hard workers, and on a sunny day the rows are buzzing with their busyness.
Go, bees, go! POLLINATE! We need you!

And I sort of hate you, too. Especially when you decide to be helpful and pollinate all my flowers too.
Thank, but no thanks. Please stick to your paying job.

I used to complain to The Farmer that those bees were a racket. We were paying for them to come and make raspberry honey for the Bee Man. Shouldn't he be paying us?
Then I saw the kind of stuff the Bee Man has to do for a living...And how he keeps the little hummers happy in their hives, and returns them there if they get all fussed and swarmy...
And now it all seems like a really good deal for us...and we usually get a big bucket of honey every season.
I'd love to avoid having to deal with bees...
but since we have to co-exist with them one month every year,
I'd pay almost any price for the Bee Man to do the dirty work.
Thank you, Bee Man, thank you!

And I hope you don't read my blog before you send us the bill...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

T minus 5 and counting...

AAACCCKKKK!!! We're starting to see a lot of these...The Farmer says we are at 10% bloom, which means that 5 weeks from now, we will be picking berries. The countdown has begun!!

The rows are looking pretty filled out now...

Remember when they looked like this?

Or way back when...They were just little nippers...

Oh, the nostalgia!! Where did the time go?

Seriously, where did it go? We have a ton of stuff to get done, and only 5 weeks to do it in!!!

I guess this is when we start putting in our winter hours too...

See you in August!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Birthday Jaunt...

Usually in early May, The Farmer gets antsy...antsy to get off The Farm and see the world a little bit. I think this occurs because he can see the hands of time winding down into Harvest Time, the time of exile, the time when we are confined to The Farm for the duration...Happily, this restlessness often coincides with my birthday, and The Farmer kills two birds with one stone by taking me away for a few days.  This year he asked me, as he usually does, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do. This year, as I usually don't, I told him. Usually, I hem and haw, and try to figure out what he wants to do.  I have this phobia about being responsible for making choices that affect us both. I'd rather endure something I don't like, than make someone endure something they don't like...I've decided that it's a sickness, so this year I boldly made some choices.

I wanted to go to an RV show on Sunday in Puyallup. The Farmer looked at me oddly, then shrugged and said, "I guess we could do that." He doesn't see the need for an RV in our lives, and I see it as a possibility which is a bit fearsome for him. (He asked what I wanted to do!) Graciously, he headed down.We arrived in a rainstorm, one hour before the show closed...It made me decide I didn't want to go anymore,(The Farmer kindly showed no relief) so we went here instead.

I liked looking at the Cabela's version of stuffed animals, and we marveled at how much stuff was in this place, but all we bought was a can -- a large can -- of mixed nuts.
I guess we're just not that outdoorsy...kinda funny being farmers to say we're not outdoorsy.
But we're not that kind of outdoorsy...

So then we drove on to the destination of my most desired activity: Anthony's Hearthfire Grill!

Not really!-- I guess...though we did have a delicious meal there, looking out over the waters of the south end of Puget Sound in Olympia.  No -- really I wanted to tour the State Capitol, as I had never been there before. It's true...for all my political venting and interest, I have never been to the Capitol for any good reason at all. Forgive me!

And on this day, I was there only to enjoy it's history and beauty...which I did!
Oh! It was a gorgeous day...and then it poured...and then it became gorgeous again...and then the wind threatened to topple the giant firs on the campus...and then it was gorgeous again...and get the idea...

Our tour guide, Linda, was very knowledgeable about the building of the Capitol and the specifications, and the history of the state. You all probably know this, but I admit that I did not know that our legislature requires that each bill have only one topic or issue. If a bill is about requiring bike helmets, it is only about that -- bike safety, or establishment of bike lanes cannot be included. This helps to keep pork out of the bills, but it also means that Washington state has lots of laws on the books...lots!

The picture above is of the lovely reception room, that basically doesn't get used, as no one of any importance really cares about coming to Washington any more...wonder why...

Below is a picture of the huge Tiffany light fixture that hangs from the rotunda. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed and created all the light fixtures for the Capitol. They are unique and now exceedingly valuable. We were told that the value of the rotunda fixture, and the two chandeliers in the reception room, at this time exceed the value of the building itself. 

Oh, I learned a whole bunch of interesting things, and enjoyed this tour immensely. By the time we were finished, the weather had stabilized somewhat, and we walked around outside, and enjoyed the view over Capitol Lake.

My next destination of choice was Mt. St. Helen's...not such a good idea as the storm front seemed to be preceding our arrival there. Being hopeful, Randy kept on heading southeast to Spirit Lake Highway, which we traveled through sunshine, then showers, then dumping rain, then sunshine, then hail -- and finally snow...accumulating-on-the-roadway-snow.  We made it into the Blast Zone -- and I first thought, "Why are they blasting here?...Ohhhhhh...." (Hey! I was riding in a vehicle, getting sleepy...). When the road, now white, swept around a corner and disappeared into a cloud. I informed Randy that I had seen this before in a dream and it hadn't turned out well...He graciously turned the pick-up around, saying, "I don't think this is a blessing to you." Really? What made you think that dear? Was it the white knuckles, the stricken look on my face, or the involuntary cries? Whatever -- thank you for turning around!!

The next day we traveled from Portland to Tillamook to visit the Tillamook Air Museum. We've been wanting to make this stop for some time. The building is huge, no -- HUGE!, as it was built to be a hangar for 9 dirigibles. This base was established early in World War II when dirigibles were the best thing for scouting out enemy submarines. Two of these hangars were built almost entirely of wood, as metal was needed for the war effort in other more important ways...Amazing structures. I enjoyed the history of the buildings more than the airplanes now housed inside. Sadly, one of the hangars burned down in the years after it was decommissioned. It was being used to store over 100,000 bales of hay, when a fire of unknown origin started...There was no stopping that! This happened in the 70's so there is video footage of the overwhelming conflagration...History up in smoke...sad!

It's just too hard to show how large this building is. We tried to take pictures inside, but the image was lost in the cavernous interior...But here's a look at the construction:

Randy, of course, enjoyed the planes more than I did...And he got stuck in "The Engine Room" portion of the displays...

...and I have to admit that I do like looking a the "cutaways". Oh, the mysteries of internal combustion, open for my eyes to see...and I'm pretty good at knowing what I'm looking at -- thanks to a hubby who doesn't mind explaining it all. This was a 7 cylinder radial engine...wonderfully weird!
Mostly, I liked to look at stuff like this:

I was reminded why I never became a pilot...details, details!!

Or maybe it was because of this:

I'm not too good with danger.

After a good long time of looking at planes

...we headed to this place.

We watched them make and package cheese and we ate ice cream...Tillamook Mudslide (chocolate with fudge chunks) and Mocha Almond Fudge.
The sun was shining gloriously as we drove up the beautiful! Randy treated us to the ocean view room with fireplace and the view was captivating...Oh, I love the ocean!! At least to be beside the ocean...on the ocean -- not so much, under the ocean -- not at all! But beside the ocean? My favorite place to visit! Here's the view from our room:

We had a lovely walk on the beach on my birthday...It was a treat!

I could easily have stayed on this beach, or in that hotel room for a few more days...
but it was time to head back to the farm.
We took the scenic route home, up to Astoria and across the bridge into Washington. Then up the coast to check out Long Beach, where took a little time to drive on the beach, something we'd never done before.

It was a great little jaunt -- relaxing, refreshing -- and now we are ready to be on The Farm for the duration.

Home Sweet Berry Farm...where currently the sun is shining, making for some good livin'. Right Daisie?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh, by the way...


(If this post disappears you will know I am in SO much trouble...)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mommy Memories...

I know...I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I still want to post a few memories in honor of Mother's Day. These cute kids have taught me SOOOOOOO much...
Here are a few of those memorable moments:
My mom and I were shopping with the 3 kids at the Bon Marche. (Um -- what was I thinking??) Dillon, becoming bored in approximately 2 and 1/2 minutes, decides to entertain himself by crawling under all the round racks, and trying to get up in the middle of them. I extricate him from one of the racks and give him a  stern, and face to face impartation of wisdom. His response? "Mom -- did you brush your teeth this morning? You sure have bad breath!!"
Apparently, this was NOT a teachable moment.

We're sitting in the back of church with our two toddlers and infant. Sweet Caitlin, in her pink Sunday dress, motions frantically for me to come close...She has something urgent to tell me. I lean in for her to whisper in my ear, whereupon she sneezes a spray that covers the side of my head...Immediately, all the other occupants of the pews are silently shaking...After I clean up, I ask, "What did you need to tell me?" "I wanted to tell you that I had to sneeze."
Got it...

Little Jess and I are in the local variety store. (Remember Sprouse Reitz, locals?) I've made my selections and am standing in the check-out line. Jess has wandered over to gaze over the candy aisle, just north of the checkstands. He calls, "Mom! Come here! Come look at this!"
"No, Jess, " I reply, tired of seeing this and that, not wanting to lose my place in line,
 "You just show me from there."
He excitedly picks up a box of candy, and speaks very loudly so I will hear, " Look, Mom! Terds!!"
Actually, Jess, they are Nerds -- and next time I WILL come and look...

Oh so many funny things...

Oh so many wonderful days past...
and present...

The biggest blessings of our lives, in so many ways.
I love being your mom, you three!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (