Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Celebrating the First Frost...

It happened yesterday, but I am still happy about it today!

Frost! I love it, and find it so beautiful...And it's about time. The berries need to get serious about going to sleep so they aren't full of sap and vulnerable to a true cold snap, as happened last year.

But while I am celebrating this happy occurrence of frostiness, I noticed that we had a good frost on exactly the same day last year...And then it decided to stay warm for a while...And then we had 2 days of winter that smacked the berries on their tushies...

So I need to be realistic -- but I can still celebrate the Happy Occasion of Possible Wintery-ness!

Like snow paints the landscape beautiful, frost adds wonder to things we take for granted.

I've been finding some ripe berries on my morning walks lately, evidence that the temperatures have just been a little too warm. These premature berries leave canes that will not fruit next year during harvest. Every year this happens -- to some degree, but the more you see, the less you like it.

These little berries were frozen solid on the bush, and I ate every one of them. I have to say that though I've eaten a lot of frozen berries, this is the first time I have eaten some off the bush. They were delicious! (Actually, if I found berries like this in the summer, I would pass them over for better ones, but in November, we have a whole different standard!) ;)

I love finding frost clumps on my boots! Clear and cold -- my FAVORITE weather!

Imogene and Barnaby are fuzzy with their winter coats, and here they are crowded in the corner because that is where the sun was hitting this frosty morning.

They had just spent their first night in the inside goat pen. The Farmer built indoor digs for them a couple weeks ago, but they have chosen to sleep outside, snuggled together. This was the first morning that I found evidence of wallows in the shavings inside. Apparently, 28 degrees is their breaking point for outdoor sleeping!

I'm hoping that they have more nights where they stay inside, and more beautiful frostiness, and eventually a real winter...

My apologies to dairy farmers for the wishes I am making that are antithetical to yours.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Long-Time Friend I Hadn't Met...

I finally met my long-time friend…

Yes, you read that correctly. Sara and I have been friends since 2002, and I finally met her this September.

I tell you, the internet can be a blessed thing…

Back in 2002, Jess was on tour with the Lynden Christian High School band. At one of their stops in California, he and friend David Vos were guests of Sara and Terry Umbaugh. Their daughter, Tessa, was about the same age and attending Central Valley Christian where the band had a concert.

Sara kindly sent me an email with a picture of the boys having breakfast in her kitchen, and a note about their visit. And thus, our friendship and correspondence began!
A copy of the email that started our friendship...

Without ever having met, we hit it off, and found we shared many interests and convictions. We often said, “I think we would be fast friends were we living in the same town.” Over the years, our correspondence was sporadic, but sincere – and we could always pick up just where we left off. When The Farmer, with his brother and nephew, planned to drive down to the huge Tulare Ag Show near Fresno, Sara offered them a place to stay as they were close by.

It was kind of a wonder to me that this friend I had never met would be so gracious to house three guys she had never met, simply because I asked her for hotel recommendations. And Sara is one of those Hostess with the Mostest types…They had a great time there!

In the next few years, Sara and Terry moved to Texas, for work, and then back to Auburn, Indiana – close to family – and where they wanted to retire.

I wondered if I would ever get to meet them…

Then this Fall, they decided to visit the Pacific Northwest, and adventure up into British Columbia – with a stop to stay with us in Lynden! I was excited to finally meet face to face, and a little nervous that they would feel comfortable with us in real life!

I had a great time re-doing Jess’ kid wallpaper, and transforming his room to a guest room. Their visit was the perfect motivation to get that procrastinated project done. Even Jess is past the soccer and footballs on the wall! It was past time…and it kept me busy as I anticipated their arrival.
From Kid Room... grown up guest room.

My nervousness vanished in the first five minutes after they arrived. Sara and I talked and talked and talked! We, indeed, have much in common from interests to our outlook on life. The Farmer and Terry talked about as much as we did. Both of them have an affinity and aptitude for understanding how things work, and how to make things work better. Terry was very interested in the berry industry, and you know how The Farmer loves to talk about it!

They were easy guests and just wanted to tour around Lynden and the farms and get a picture of our life here…which is just the kind of thing we would want to do if we were visiting them! We had such a good time with them!

It’s a marvel to me that God connected us. It seems so random that we would make contact – and so amazing that we would then end up being such like-minded friends. It is a gift – and just a fun blessing to have gotten to know Sara and Terry…like a bonus from God!
Sara & Terry with our mountains in the background. Later Mt. Baker peeked out from behind the clouds so they could see what we enjoy every day.

I guess God can use whatever He wants to bless us…even the internet!

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. (