Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Trip to Guemes Island

We spent Saturday on Guemes (gwee - muss) Island - it is the smallest and closest of the San Juan Islands off the NW coast of Washington State.  The ferry ride is less than 5 minutes.  One of our favorites - we decided that a nice chilly sunshiny day in January was a perfect day for a picnic (eaten in the car with the sun shining in on us) 
 One of our favorites - well kept and with a great fence
 Down a huge hill and in a valley - a very typical size and shape for our area
 Not a barn - but this trip we also saw a lot of the tiny original cabins on Guemes - this one was next to a water tower in town, with a large family home next to the water tower - used before town supplied water - sometimes a dog or a goat was trained to run on a treadmill inside the tower to pump water if there was no wind for the windmill on top.  Or the children might have to run on the treadmill if there was no dog or goat. 
 A woodshed with a quilt design on it.  Wood is one of the main sources of heat on Guemes - there are no natural gas lines and if you use propane it has to be brought over on a separate ferry/barge in a large truck - so the cost is much higher than on the mainland.

 A tree house - with stained glass windows designed by the chidren

 Another old original log cabin - this one was in fairly good condition
 For its age. The logs had been faced with wood planks at one time - and there is a water spigot under the windows.
In the same yard - just next door to the old cabin was a new log cabin - perhaps a studio or a guest cottage
 On the way home, some drive-by photos on Hiway 20.  Most of the farms no longer use the barns, but the land is given over to growing crops instead of raising cattle
 The barns are melting away
Just as you leave the valley and head up into the mountains towards Bellingham, and home, is one of our favorite farms, still used and well kept - and Saturday there were Trumpeter Swans and ducks in the fields in front of the farm.  A great way to end a great day.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter Visitors

Since we've had snow on the ground - we've had some interesting winter visitors to the feeders
 A few Varied Thrushes (related to the Robin, which is also a Thrush) have been constant visitors to the feeders.  They hang around all day and pose nicely for photos.
 Their sweet flute-like song is so welcome in the cold winter.

They even share the feeder now and then with a Junco.

I'd Rather B Birdin'
Wandering Camera  a new link party - lots of fun posts.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Last of the Barns from 2016

Two days - two rides and lots of barns.  This is the last of 2016 barns - next week - on to the new year of barns.

 Sunshine always dresses up a barn!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas Day

Time to set the table for Christmas dinner.  New dishes this year - this year's version of the Better Homes and Gardens holiday dishes.  
 Plates and serving dishes have holly, mistletoe and evergreen boughs
 Napkins folded to form a Christmas tree
 The salad plates are different each year - I have some from two different years now.  It is nice to have the variety of designs on the salad plates.
 A hand crocheted tablecloth over a bright red undercloth.
 This was Don's favorite!

 The children's table was set with the same dishes and a red checked tablecloth with snowflakes.
The centerpiece is from 1969.  I had joined a Craft-of-the-Month club - each month (for the  outrageous price of between $2.95 and $4.95, you received in the mail a craft kit on approval).  If you didn't like the kit you could send it back in a postage paid package and pay nothing - if you liked it you would keep it and pay the fee for that month.  The little flocked mouse in the lantern chimney was the December 1969 kit and was $4.95.  I adored it.  The ribbons have been replaced a few times, but the mouse and the lantern chimney are the originals.  This year I put it on an aluminum platter with handles, added gold mini ornaments and glittered mini pine cones.  It is still a family favorite.
And then the Christmas tree - the presents were passed around and opened - everyone oohed and aahed at the wonderful, thoughtful gifts they received - it was a terrific Christmas.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year - Happy Holidays

With all the hustle and bustle - and the relaxing times - and friends and family - I didn't get much done on the blogging scene during December - so let's step back a few weeks and see what was going on.

Christmas Eve - fun and food and family 
 Don is in charge of Christmas Eve - he picks the menu and prepares the food (well, except for the baking I do beforehand).  We have had this Noel tray since the late 60s, we got it in N. California, when we lived in Orangevale.  It is perfect for crackers.
 We use the vintage Lefton Holly dishes - some we got in California - some we have picked up here and there when we find them at yard sales and thrift shops.

These vintage holly dishes are family treasures for sure - and perfect for the holidays.
 Gingerbread pigs - with pink frosting on their backs - plus lots of other cookies and treats 

 And the christmas tree - with gifts - just waiting for Christmas morning.

Tuesday's Treasures

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year - and Barns and Swans

The Trumpeter Swans are back  - by the thousands.  In all the years we've lived here we've never seen such big flocks - or such a large number of flocks.  Usually we see huge flocks of the Snow Geese - but the swans are often sparsely spread out over the fields - but not this year.
And so many were in front of barns - so I get to combine the two.  The grey swans are the juveniles. 
 Some of the barns are dwarfed by the flocks of swans - but they are there - back along the tree line.
If you look to the left - up near the edge of the field in the previous photo you will see this man.  I didn't see him when I was taking photos - so I never did see if he moved or not.  I've enlarged and cropped the photo and still am not convinced as to whether he is a man or a decoy.  Whatever he is - he is not bothering the swans in the least - they don't seem to even notice him.  Parts of him look like a real person - but then there are other characteristics that look like a mannequin  - what do you think?  It sure was fun to discover him there in the photo - along with the barn.  One thing that makes me think he is not real is that it was windy and spitting snow and very cold that day, and he has no jacket.

 I've not posted much during December - so much going on - such festivities and fun and family and friends.  I enjoy blogging and hope to do more, now that the holidays are over - and I hope my followers will come back and join me now that they have more time also.

Happiest of New Years my friends!!!!