Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The beginning of the end

I have finally been able to start wearing shoes which means I can finally start weaving again.  Delaney will be five months old next week and is becoming more aware of her surroundings all the time.  I decided to see how she would react to watching me weave and she loves it.  I originally thought one hour sessions would be a great place to start.
To my surprise she feel asleep and took a thirty minute nap while I made tons of clattering noises.  I was a little too ambitious however and ended up with a very sore back.  I've had to cut back to 30-minute sessions for now as I build my muscles back up.  Four months is a long time to be inactive.
While Delaney naps, I take a rest and read; sometimes I nap too.
For those of you who have read this blog from back when we lived in Nevada, our beautiful valley experienced a devastating fire last week and one home was lost.  Click for big to see the homes that the firefighters saved - all but one!  This is what the view would be from our old house.  Not only is it ugly, there's no vegetation to prevent catastrophic runoff next spring.
I think this photo speaks volumes.  Our mailbox looked just like this.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I spent my final day as living history interpreter for this year and one last afternoon of cribbage.  Izzie is a seasonal hire, a 19-year-old college sophomore and Jayden is a 17-year-old high school junior who just had completed a 3.5 mile hill workout with his cross country team before coming down to his volunteer shift, both amazing, motivated and responsible young people and I will miss them.
I have finished this area of our yard and will leave it alone to grow together, probably a couple more years before it looks mature and planned.  Next year I'll start to plant that area behind it which is just dried grass and aspen tree volunteers.  We'll need to add irrigation there before I can start planting.
I've had help from our songbirds who have dropped seeds here and there, some grew and some didn't.  This snapdragon is between a rock and a paver so I don't expect to see it again next year.  They've donated a lot of violas in random spots and I am quite happy with their cheerful little faces.
This is my favorite of the random donations.  I used an app I bought called Picture This to identify it as Chinese Hound's Tongue.  We're hopeful it will be back next year.
The sure sign that the seasons have begun to turn is this red leaf in our maple tree.  Even though the days are in the 80s, the morning temps are in the low 40s, quite chilly and the tree is taking its cue from that, which means less outdoors time and more time spent indoors and the end of summer.  I hope to be weaving an hour a day by next week.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

My daughter and her family including grandson Kiernan drove up from Reno the day after we got back from our trip to retrieve Alexia.  We enjoyed several days with them and then they hit the road, to be back to Reno on Monday.  Alexia had an orientation to attend.  Nevada has a program called Nevada Youth Legislator where high school students can apply to the state senator in their district for this position.  There are 21 state senators so 21 high school students, most of them in the south where the population is.  She still isn't clear on their mission but it is going to be a great learning opportunity regardless.
She applied to Senator Heidi Gansert's office and was accepted.  A term is for two years and next year the Reno kids will fly to Las Vegas for the orientation since they came up this year.  She even has her own business card!
And State ID.
It's back to babysitting on Thursdays and Fridays for me.  Delaney is now four months old and can roll over!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch - the living history department bought a hand crank ice cream maker on eBay.
It's been a huge hit with the kids.  They line up to take turns cranking and then go to the end of the line so they can do it again, even though they know we're unable to give them any of it.
But the past two weeks have been too hot to do much of anything, too hot to bake, and too hot to make ice cream, so we've been playing cribbage.  Izzie taught me last week.  Her grandmother taught her when she was seven and now she's taught us.  Yesterday we played a tournament and surprisingly it was a big hit with the public.  Many adults have played it and the kids love helping us add up the cards - 15-2, 15-4.  It's not as easy as it looks as these reproduction cards only have the spots, no numbers.  It's gets confusing after a while.
Our county fair was just a couple of weeks ago and my demonstration shift was the first morning it opened.  In spite of the air conditioner not working in our room, we still had very good turnout.
My scarf took the Superintendents Award.  I don't know what that means or who the superintendents are, but that's a mighty big ribbon.  It's headed to the State fair tomorrow.
 And I settle back into my routine, enjoying the last days of summer.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Island Hopping

Ian rented an AirB&B in the old part of Victoria and within walking distance to everything.  I love this picture of Alexia on our balcony, the spitting image of my mom.
It was her heart's desire to have high tea at the Fairmont Empress and she wanted to dress the part.  She bought two dresses and brought them both with her, but this is the one she asked me to iron.  She felt like a princess.  Unless you've met her, it's difficult to convey the unaffected poise that she conducts herself with.  An elderly German woman walking with difficulty aided by a cane, stopped to tell her that she reminded her of her childhood, what it was to feel like 13 again.  Alexia sweetly and in all sincerity said, "I'm so glad that I could do that for you."
She had studied the menu and tea choices in advance and had given us the whole run down before we got there, but then Todd, our server, explained it to us all over again.  We selected our own teas and we each had our own teapot. She had wanted us to share with each other, but it became a race against Todd who would suddenly reappear and refill our cups.  Let me tell you that three pots of tea is too much tea and Lexi stubbornly drank all of hers, then reached for Grandpa's pot.  We told her NO!

She said it was everything she had wished it would be.
This was our view of the bay from our table.
We spent one day at the Royal British Victoria Museum and we really needed a second day to see it all because we were worn out after five hours.  We spent one day at the Butchart Gardens where we also wore ourselves out.  We took the public bus for the hour ride out and back - very interesting, but that's another story.
 I think I came away learning the most from the gardens as they were very instructional.  I asked Alexia to stand on the path to provide perspective for the lily and hydrangea on the right, both taller than her.  I brought home their plant guide and also bought two packets of columbine seed which I had to declare at Customs.  The Canadian Customs people were much nicer than the American ones, I must say.
We took the ferry back to Port Angeles where we picked up our car and drove to Vashon Island to spend a few days with our sister-in-law at her place there, which is way down on the end.
Turning around, I took this shot looking the other direction.  Click for big to see Mt Ranier hidden in the cloud.
The summer compound is right on Puget Sound so maritime traffic traveling to and from Tacoma passes right by.  Alexia loved watching them with both the telescope and binoculars.  We found a great app called VesselFinder Lite that identifies the ships, tells what country owns them, whose flag they're flying, usually a picture and lots of details that I don't understand.  We had a lot of fun with that.
Low tide reminds me of Limbo - how low can you go?!
High tide, however, is getting higher.  I took this picture of Ian from the second floor, and you can see how high it is, so high that the stairs are damaged and unusable.  Homeowners on Vashon have been meeting with the Coast Guard, looking for ways to protect their property.  They were told that in a hundred years, these shoreline houses will be under water.
So what to do?  Enjoy it while we can.