Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Trip to the Christmas Tree Farm

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are finding
time to make sweet memories
as we celebrate this special time of year. 

One of my favorite memories, so far this season,
was our recent trip to the Christmas tree farm. 

It was a cold, misty morning when we started our journey,
 along the foothills of the Cascades, to meet my two son's, 
their wives and my little grandson. 

Mist settles into the landscape of sleeping farms and 
leafless trees as we travel the back-roads of Washington State. 

There is beauty in every season. 

Mural depicting logging history of town on side of building

We traveled for over an hour without passing through 
another town, finally arriving in the historic 
logging town of our destination. 

The sign points the way.....

We were on a mission........

To find a tree for my son and his wife. 
My son has snapped his Achilles tendon - oh, I know, 
so painful and so worrisome ..... but he is on the mend, 
a long and slow process, and is now able to hobble 
around on crutches (Jen is his crutch here :). 

Here are the rest of us, all bundled up on a cold, winter day. 

Hmmmm.....did anyone bring a saw?

The tree has been selected, cut and brought down for 
wrapping. That's my Ramblin' Man in the lead. 
He can still keep up with the young guys, although
with a few extra aches and pains the next day.

Meanwhile, the 'girls' and I found our way into the gift shop.
I found a few little things to take home :)

Afterwards, we all met up in the cafe'
for a cup of hot cocoa.
Uncle Dustin warms up the little guy.

The ceiling was strung with twinkle lights and chandeliers.
Santa came and sat in a big chair by a decorated Christmas tree,
but my grandson was too shy to say hello :)

So we took a little train ride.
My grandson was so excited, but very serious
about this momentous occasion.
He loves 'Thomas the train',
a favorite book series and children's television show.

It was the best part of the day.

We all meet at Dustin and Jen's for pizza and to
help set up the tree. We nicknamed it 'Dumpling'.

It was a wonderful day.

Thank you for coming along, Dear Friends!


P.S. I've postponed my narrative of our trip to Italy
until after the New Year, so I will share that soon.
It's hard to believe that the new year is 'soon', isn't it?

I've been so busy decorating and hanging out with
some fat little elves (my grand-babies), so will
share the results next time.

'Tis the Season!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Hanging Garlands on a Beautiful Day

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you had a lovely weekend
and a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Today is a rainy, stormy day, but yesterday was mild 
and sunny, so I took the opportunity to hang 
Christmas garlands along the deck rails. 

As you can see, I had a little help. 

Whitey Bear keeps me company and is always on alert. 

Along with Kai. I don't think I could live here, 
on the edge of the wilderness, without 
my two loyal guardians and defenders of their kingdom. 
Ramblin' Man is not always around.......
although he wishes he could be.

It was such a beautiful, late autumn day, with long, 
golden rays of sunlight shining through the trees. 
The sun stays low this time of year, even at 'high noon', 
here in the Pacific Northwest. 

The dappled sunlight brought back sweet memories 
of lovely summer days, 
but every little breeze reminds me
 that Old Man Winter is not too far away. 

I stay warm in my late Father's wool flannel, 
with gloves and a thermos of hot, steaming coffee. 
Starbucks breakfast blend. 
My fave. 

Flocks of little birds twitter in the trees ..... 
Chickadees, finches, towhees and nuthatches, 
with sparrows that break into song every so often, 
just because.

 Hummingbirds buzz me in my red plaid shirt,
and scold each other with strange, scratchy voices.

I can hear distant crows and the affectionate calls 
of a pair of ravens that have decided to winter here this year. 

They have several vocalizations, including a 
deep croak and a peculiar 'clucking' call that 
sounds like tapping on a hollow reed.

Curiously, bald eagles have the same call. 

I've read that ravens are known to follow predators,
such as coyotes and eagles to feed on their kills. 
Are the ravens 'calling' for eagles this way? 

Nature works in mysterious ways.

I'm in love with these tiny 'Christmas' trees, 
and have been bringing them home 
to replace summer flowers. 

They live happily in pots. 

I just transplant them into larger pots as they grow. 
You can see one that has grown quite large, 
against the house to the right. 

My 'Glacier Pansies' are blooming, still, 
and I've filled every available container with them,
while they were still for sale at the market. 

These will continue to bloom sporadically all winter, 
and then put on a show this spring. 

Don't you just love those sweet little faces?

My fairy garden stood empty when the fairies 
flew south for the winter :), 
but this little elf had to stay behind. 

Maybe he will set up housekeeping here.......
and decorate for Christmas! 
I'll let you know. 

It's hard to believe that I still have so many blooms 
at the end of November! 

I know that some of you already have snow. 
We are getting snow in the higher elevations, 
and it is only a matter of time before we get some here, too. 
We are at 1200 ft. 

For now, I am enjoying this reprieve! 

A view below.

All the leaves have fallen off the large maple tree
and I no longer have to sweep the deck, 
but now I need to do some raking.
Not too much....only where necessary. 
I love the natural look. 

The garland is finally hung, as the sun gets low. 
 I can hear a far-away chain saw
  and catch the sweet-pungent scent of wood-smoke. 

The flock of crows noisily fly overhead on their way to roost 
in some quiet, secret place, high in the darkening hills. 

There is a definite change in atmosphere as the sun finally sets.
A damp, earthy stillness sets in as temperatures rapidly drop
and dark shadows fill the forest.  
A tree frog croaks, and a robin impatiently lectures his 
friends as they all settle in for the night. 

Another day is left behind, as I gather my things 
and head back inside. 

The days are short and I am glad for my 
 cozy woodland cottage as I turn on the lamps 
 and light a fire to warm my cold fingers and toes. 

I think I will make a beef stew tonight, with fat little dumplings. 
Comfort food to warm the insides and soothe the soul. 

I hope that you are finding comfort in this world tonight, Dear Friends.


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