Monday, April 28, 2008

The Waiting Process

We girls traveled down to Englewood this weekend so that we could get some ideas for setting up the wedding. We couldn't have picked a nicer day! Evelyn wanted to know if she and Nick could just get married right then! It was so beautiful. A perfect day.Her mother and I both told her no, she was going to have to wait ....
yes, wait. That is the hard part. We all agreed. So much to do, yet so much wanting it to be finished!! Velma gave us the grand tour, giving us a bit of a history lesson about the town of Englewood as we strolled along the paths lined with
Redwoods and Firs. Velma has lived here all of her married life. Her story alone could fill a few blog pages. The gardens were bursting with every color you could imagine. The meadows were covered in English daisies. The iris' were unfolding their colorful petals of velvet.

All of this planning and decision making was
making the bride to be weary. "I simply want to get married," she said more than once.

She just couldn't help but to indulge herself amongst the ocean of daisies.

JoJo has a good eye for beauty as can be seen in this photo of the apple blossom.

This is one of the many areas we are considering for the wedding.

After all that planning and note taking and logistics, Evelyn just figured it was time to enjoy the journey, hop on the garden swing and kick up her heels a little! Even though our little girls grow up and get married, they are still just that, our little girls.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Waste Land

Getting up this morning was slow. I stayed up way too late last night at the HSU percussion recital. JoJo and I had a great time listening to all those wonderful performances and dancing the night away to the Calypso band! So getting up this morning was indeed slow. We decided to take a walk and run the dogs to help us get going. Fish and Game has created a new hunting area down in the Loleta bottoms near the mouth of the Eel River. This sounded like a great place to go let the dogs run free while we got the sunshine we needed. We walked a couple of miles out on the dike through the slough area. The tide must have been out because there were huge mud flats everywhere. This picture shows what the area was like. This close up shows you just how much dry mud was out there! Soon the dike came to an end and we had to forge our way through some low lying scrub brush and berry bushes to make our way back to the car.

We trudged along for an hour or so. I took some beautiful photos of wild flowers.

Played with the dogs in the little ponds.
Just as I was stooping down to t
ake another photo Gus shot out a warning to me.

"You might want to get out of the brush because we just found ticks climbing up our shoes and pant legs."

Sure enough, I looked down and saw several of these disgusting creatures making their way up my pant legs!

UGH! I ran out of the vines, tore off my shoes and socks, emptied my pockets tearing off my pants and stripped down to my undies! I found a couple more climbing up my legs, too!
So after de-ticking myself as best I could considering my circumstances, I put my clothes back on and announced to those whom were with me that I would now be walking in the mud flats and that I would not go back in the brush again!!!

Little did I know that I was being watch by an audience of cattle who seemed to be confused at seeing a human behaving in such a frantic manner.

I looked over at them and demanded to know what they were looking at, but they didn't answer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Setting Sun

This community of ours in Humboldt is quite small. Our lives are intertwined in ways that surprise many of us. Families that have been here for several generations find that they know just about everyone. Husband and I have been here for 25 yrs. and we find that over the years our path has crossed with lots of different folks in lots of different ways. Gus and I meet lots of people through his job with the county. On a regular basis he has job related situations with the political powers that be here in Humboldt. One of those political persons was a man named Roger Rodoni. Roger was a man of strong political opinions and served 3 terms with the county as a Supervisor developing those opinions into realities. He was a man of integrity, quick wit and, while bristly at times, a ready word on his tongue. Roger was killed last evening in a car accident. While on his way to a local fundraiser for his bid for another term, he was struck head on by a car that had crossed over the median. Such a difficult tragedy for his family to endure. As difficult as this is to comprehend, today I find out that the woman whose car struck Roger's is also an acquaintance of ours. This gal lived in the same area we did a few years ago and we went to church together. She is not someone who would be irresponsible and uncaring. She also is a woman of integrity and kindness. Please, please pray for all of these people involved in this horrible situation. By God's grace may they endure the days that lie ahead.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sometimes it's hard to wait.....

Yet another promise that Summer is coming. This photo is a picture of peach blossoms blooming at Englewood. In a few short months they will be succulent, juicy summer peaches. Can I hardly wait? Yes, I can hardly wait. But I will...
The seasons come and go by the Lord's design, so I have no doubt that this season of cold, wet temperatures will very soon waltz into summer.

The other thing I can hardly wait for is Nick and Evelyn's wedding. The afternoon of July 26th at Englewood.

And lastly, this is Velma. She is one of the sweetest ladies that I know and she is allowing us the pleasure of using her beautiful garden in Englewood for the wedding. Many thanks, Velma!

Update: We just had an earthquake!!! Wow! The whole house shook and rumbled! Whew....I don't think there are any problems. Our last huge earthquakes happened in 1992. If I remember, those also happened in April. We had a series of 3 huge shakers that measured 6.9, 7.0, and 7.2 on the richter scale. That time there was some serious damage. Most of the downtown area of Scotia burned to the ground and Ferndale lost a few houses. Just another wonderful attribute of living in Humboldt County.
Now if my heart would just stop pounding, I might be able to take a much needed nap!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Soap Making in Humboldt County

This photo is of a Freesia, one (of many) of my favorite flowers. I have quite a few "favorites." I absolutely love Gardenias. I grow lots of Roses. Jasmine is another favorite. And I almost forgot to mention how much I love Oriental Lilies! I have this irresistible tendency towards sweet fragrances.
Remember the cartoon illustration of the hungry character floating through the air toward the food with the smoke pulling it like a rope? That's the way I am with floral fragrances. I can never seem to get enough beautiful, sweet flowers around me. So, I have discovered a great way to express this passion for fragrance without having to plant all of these flowers in my garden......I make my own soap. I am a self proclaimed, successful herbal soap maker.

I started this endeavor about 5 years ago when I lived on a small homestead in Southern Humboldt. I attended a class introducing me to soap making that was taught by a friend of mine. I thought it interesting and promptly went home to announce to my family that I was now going to make our own soap. I had already succeeded in making all of our own whole wheat bread, raised our own chickens to provide our eggs, raised and butchered all of our own turkey and chicken meat, and grew and canned most of our fruits and veggies. So when I made this announcement, no one seemed too surprised. My first attempts did not turn out very well, but with tender encouragement from my husband, I kept trying until I got it right. I spent many hours on the internet researching recipes, borrowing books from the library and calling my friend to help me create a great bar of soap. After weeks of trial and error, I developed a bar of soap that fulfilled my expectations. At this point, I decided that I couldn't just make soap for my family; I had to make it for the entire county! Once I got going on it, I couldn't stop. I found so many titillating scents and fragrances to make into incredible soaps that I had to step up my production just to experiment with them all! I had racks and racks of curing soaps scattered all over the house and throughout my living space. All of this became the creation of my new business, "A Corner of Eden." I had to have soap displays made so I could sell the soap to local businesses.
I went to farmer's market every week to sell it. I spent my Christmas holidays attending boutiques and faires selling my specialty soaps. I put in lots and lots of hours promoting my handmade goods while raising the kids, managing the homestead, and generally keeping life running smoothly. Whew... I'm getting worn out just remembering all of that!

Several years later, our family made the decision to move away from the homestead. The circumstances in our lives had changed which made it necessary to move closer to town and off the farm. It wasn't the easiest decision I have had to make, but I was ready to accept it.
Since moving into town, I haven't gotten my soap business back up to the level I would like it to be, but I feel a change coming........It's time to make soap again. I can feel it. It's a creative burn in my hands that begs to express itself. Gardening can't fulfill it, cooking won't do it, only soap making will give my limbs the satisfaction they long for. I shall start as soon as I can get up out of this comfy chair and away from this warm fire... oh, wait a minute, is that the phone ringing? Did someone say that the grandkids are coming over to spend the day? Oh yes, and I have a test on Monday that I need to study for; and I haven't taken the dogs for a walk yet...
Hmmmm.... maybe I will just wait until tomorrow.....

Friday, April 18, 2008

What's with the Weather!

One moment we are in 85 degree weather, the guys are climbing into kayaks with out shirts; then the next thing we know the snow level is going to drop to 1000 ft. this weekend! So much for the nice spring days! The blossoms on the fruit trees will not be happy. They will shrivel up and fall off. I seem to remember that this happens in Humboldt County. One day can be gorgeous with warm breezes blowing and the next will be driving sleet and hail! Sometimes that can happen all in the same day; I've seen that too! While I am sitting here next to my woodstove enjoying its warmth, I will reminisce about last weekend and anticipate the beautiful sunny days
to come.

Until then, I can watch video. When the weather gets this nice, the kayaks come out! This is Nate and Lane going for a trip up the river to escape the kids for a while! They were gone for an hour or more and we were all thinking that they must have gone a long way. Well, turns out they only went a couple hundred yards or so up river and we spotted them sitting on the opposite shore sipping a cold brew! Notice the pastey white Humboldt skin on everyone! It is only April, so the winter white skin is pretty blinding! I will spare you the video of them close up climbing into the Kayaks! Sorry, guys. I will leave you with this much cuter video.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A New home for my Fox Terrier, Hero

This is Hero.....and this is his story.
One evening last October we were unloading our new woodstove from our pickup truck and upon returning to close the doors, we noticed a little black and white fur ball curled up on the front seat. Who are you, I chuckled, and what are you doing here??? To which he had no immediate reply. I tenderly hoisted him into my arms and brought him inside just to stay one night until I could find out who he belonged to. We scoured the neighborhood asking several folks if they knew who his owners were. No one seemed to know. We took him to the vet's office to see if he was microchipped. We took him to the local police station to see if anyone had reported him missing. But we could not find out who had lost this little 10 month old seemingly pure bred Smooth haired Fox Terrier. And he didn't seem unusually upset about not being with his rightful owners. He made himself right at home, curling up on the couch, snuggling in the kids' laps, scurrying after my freaked out cats! Well, as you can see, one night turned into one year and then another! We found out later that he had been abandoned in our neighborhood by the dad of one of the kids in my son's class.
Since that day in October, we have been trying to find a home for Hero since we already had at the time, a 10 month old Black Lab, Tilly. But Hero has remained without a permanent home and has yet to be claimed by anyone who could adopt him. But I know what you are thinking....... He already has a permanent home with you. It would indeed seem that way, as I have coddled him, trained him and fed him for the last 18 months, but I cannot keep him any longer.
Hero doesn't seem to like little kids too much. He has nipped at a couple, including my grand daughter, so I cannot have him around them at all. It's not that he is vicious or anything. I think they just scare him. He would do better in a home without children under 10 or so. Tilly and Hero are the best of friends, and it is not easy for me to separate them, but I have to consider that the consequences of keeping him around the grandkids encourages a situation that might have a worse outcome than just finding him a new home.
So, this blog is one long classified ad to see if anyone out there knows anyone that would like to adopt this precious pup and give him a new family in which he can live. I have researched Fox Terriers on the internet and experts of this breed recommend that they be placed in homes without small children. Hero will make a wonderful companion to someone, I just would love to find that someone soon because I may have to send him to the shelter, which I definitely do not want to do! Any takers?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Southern Humboldt Sunshine

On any given day, the weather in Southern Humboldt can be 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the temperature in Fortuna and Eureka. So being the slave that I am to warm weather, I head down there every chance I get. Sunday was just such a day. The weather up North was cold, dreary and foggy while the weather in SoHum (as we like to call it) promised to be warm and wonderful. The Sunday pleasure of going to church remained part of our day to which we added a Sunday picnic with the family. We invited another couple from church, our son and his wife and our grandbabies, as well as a couple from their church. So, we had a pretty good crowd going down to the river for our Sunday lunch. We drove down the famous Avenue of the Giants to arrive at our favorite spot in the Redwoods. We were not disappointed in the least by the temperature. Again, SoHum faithfully delivered the sunshine we so desperately sought.

My grand daughter, ACJ, was playing around the meadow when she very excitedly came running over to tell us that a car was pulling away from the picnic area.

" I'd better be careful," she said, " I need to hold my hand!" as she clasped her hands together!

I think what she meant to say was that she had better hold Mom's hand so that she would be safe.
Did I mention that she happens to be absolutely adorable? She lives up to her middle name of Constance Joy for she is just that to me!

The guys went kayaking in the pristine Eel River and the kids went swimming! BRRR!! A little too cold for me!

Friday Nights in Ferndale

Every Friday night a group of us meet in Ferndale for a great dinner, fellowship and a study in the Word. We are currently watching a video feed of the weekly sermon from Mars Hill Church out of Seattle preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll. In the above photos, Nate, Lane and Aaron enjoy a freshly brewed cup of Storyville coffee. Michele, Jo, and Dallass cook up a fabulous meal for all to enjoy before we sit down to watch the video feed. The building where we meet is an old church that has been fully restored. It is such a beautiful spot to come together to enjoy the presence of God and to grow in knowledge and wisdom. You can find out more about this weekly study by going to This website

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Midweek Slump

I know it's only Tuesday evening, but the week already feels full. I just finished 2 full days at the nursing facility which feels more like an entire week and I am tired. I tell you, these nursing assistants work really hard for their money! The job only pays $10 an hour when it should pay more like $13 or $14. It is non stop tasks for the first few hours and they it subsides somewhat for the next couple of hours, then it picks up again right before it's time to leave. After a really rough week last week, the work has gotten progressively better. I have 3 1/2 more weeks before I am done....yay! The semester is nearly over.
I love this phase in my life. I still feel really healthy and young but I also get to be "Grandma" to my grandkids! To get a glimpse of that emotion, this photo says it better than I ever could. I have the knitting going, I have a hand crocheted afgan on my lap, my hair is up in a granny bun, I am wearing my old lady glasses, my grandbaby is climbing up to see what Grandma is doing...I totally look like an old lady! I know, you are saying "You are an old lady!"
But the weird thing about it is that I don't feel that old. The picture sure looks that way, (which by the way is a little shocking to me even), yet my mind says I am still late 30's, early 40's. So, I have to come to grips with this vague reality! I am middle-aged....but, you know, I like it. I like it alot. I like the fact that I can be a source of wisdom for younger people to tap into. I like the fact that I can keep up with my teens while juggling a grandbaby on my hip! I am blessed to have so much in my life and I will continually thank the Good Lord for all that He has given me in this life! I leave you with a quote from "The Works of John Owen", (John Owen 1616-1681)
Most important than all this is a diligent endeavor to have the power
of the truths we profess and contend for
abiding in our hearts,

that we may not contend for notions, but that we have a practical
acquaintance with this in our own souls.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Knitting Socks

For the last couple of years I have been learning how to knit various articles of clothing mostly out of my own homespun wool. Recently I came across this great pattern at for knitting socks. The pattern is called "Two at once, Toe-up sock." The goal here is to finish the project with both socks being the same size and shape because you knit them side by side with the same stitch tension and whatnot. Here is a photo of my project so far. This is the toe end of the sock so now I just have to keep knitting until I reach the heel area. This pattern has what's called an "afterthought Heel." Let me explain the concept of the Afterthought heel. A separate yarn is used to stitch in a section of the "tube" (sock) which is later taken out and replaced when you go back and knit the heel. In this way, when the heel of the sock wears out, like they often do, you can replace it with new yarn by just removing the afterthought heel section that is holey. I hope that makes some sort of sense. I find it very practical since most of the time the heel is the very first thing that goes out on my socks. This is a great way to prolong the life of a favorite pair! So when I finish them, I will post a photo of them on my feet!

Isn't this the cutest knitting bag? My creative DIL made it for me for a christmas gift. Notice all the little needle holders on the sides of the bag. It also has a flat bottom so it sits up quite nicely.

Update: The socks just kept getting bigger ( I guess I increased too much!) so instead of making a size 15 sock, I decided to discontinue making socks and am now knitting two little baby hats! My first thought of course, was that maybe someone I know will be having twins in the near future and I can give the hats to them, but ....Anyway, I will begin a new set of socks soon and I will try to increase less and knit tighter! I will update later.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Humboldt Recreation

A couple of days ago I went out to the beach to catch a much needed sunset. I say much needed because it had been far too long since I had actually taken the time to appreciate the beauty of this daily event. Here in Humboldt, the sun quite often sets into a nice bed of fog before it descends into the ocean, so when we see a sunset like the one in the photo, it just makes it that much more spectacular. I am almost ashamed to say that my life has been so busy lately that I had to actually plan this event. Usually I tend to be a very spontaneous person, but this week seemed to be quite rapidly getting away from me. I had to take drastic measures to ensure that my activities remained balance between work and play! I told my honey the night before to set aside this evening to go to the beach with me for some quiet time to which he enthusiastically agreed.

Again, the evening was one of those spring evenings where the wind was gentle, the sand was cool, and the breeze even had a hint of warmth to it. I love the fact that after 28 yrs together, my honey and I still love to spend time together doing the simple things that we have loved the most over the years.

I took my other favorite friends along with me as well. These friends would be Tilly and Hero, my dogs. And boy do they love going to the beach!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Image of Royalty update

Image is doing much better. Jo has been diligently nursing him back to good health. She says she really enjoys doing this type of activity, so maybe it will provoke her to continue her desire to go to nursing school.

These types of injuries take some time to heal as they heal from the depths of the cut out toward the surface. While the outer layers may still look wet, the tissue layers underneath are healing nicely. Image will be his old self soon.
Just to give some perspective on how tall Image is, Jo is nearly 6 ft tall! He is a Warmblood breed, which is 1/2 Thoroughbred and 1/2 Draft hence the height. Maher Mountain Shires in Miranda is the ranch where Reebs bought him.

Here is Chica. She is a Quarter horse and she is 3 yrs old. Jo has owned her since she was a 1 yr old filly. She traded her horse, Charly, with the Chapman's

On another note, 39 horses have been seized by the Humboldt sheriff's dept. for alleged neglect. Some of them are being held at the rodeo grounds in town. We went there yesterday to take a look at them and to see if Jo could volunteer to help care for them. A local rescue group, Heart of the Redwoods horse rescue, is offering care for the group. Donations can be made to the rescue effort by checking out the above link.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Irish Eyes

How can you not smile when you look at a cherub face like this? Instant joy is what this little guy's smile brings to my heart!

I call him our little Irishman! Or our little leprechaun. He is always happy and curious about everything.

When Irish eyes are smiling....the whole world smiles with you!

I always have heard what a joy grandchildren are and now I have the joy of experiencing it for myself. What a gift.

So, today find something to smile about in your own little world and see just how many smiles you get back in return!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Redeeming the Time

April is here! The sound of these words makes my heart glad. It has been a long, damp winter in Humboldt County and my bones are more than ready for some warmth. Grandpa Undersheriff (Gus) says this is his favorite time of the year because all the plants are sprouting new growth and bursting with color. The days are longer, the sunsets are absolutely incredibly orange and yellow and red, the swallows have migrated north again for their spring nesting and without a doubt....Summer is right around the corner! The newness of spring is definitely regenerating!
Only 6 more weeks left in the Semester, as well. I have been completing my clinical training for a certificate in Nursing Assisting at College of the Redwoods this spring. The experience has been both frightening and fun while often times strangely fulfilling. I get such a sense of satisfaction after completing a shift at the residential facility knowing that for just a brief moment in some stranger's world, I have helped to make that individual just a little more comfortable. By providing the most basic needs in their daily routines, I get a warm smile or a gentle touch on the hand which reminds me why I started this adventure in the first place. Most people are so appreciative of the smallest provision I can give them. Sometimes that requires delicate moments of transferring someone from their bed to their wheelchair while other times it could be washing and brushing their hair and putting on their makeup. Sometimes a task is indescribably difficult, testing the absolute limits of my abilities, but fortunately, those times come and go quickly and usually a blessing is right around the corner. If nothing else I gain from this experience, I have learned to appreciate the moments I have on this earth much more than I used to. I have always purposed to give gladdened pause to the smallest pleasures in life, but now I do so with even greater awareness and a more fervent intensity. I purpose to "Redeem the time" as Paul writes in Ephesians 5, "making a melody to the Lord with all my heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ."