Monthly Archives: August 2015

Better late than never

Went blackberry picking today.


It’s kinda late in the season, even though it’s only August 24th. But the blackberries came on early this year, along with everything else in the Pacific Northwest. Usually you can still pick all the way through Labor Day weekend.

Not gonna happen this year.

Sure, there were plenty of branches like this:


But for every one of those, there were five like this:


Blackberry raisins anyone?

But then, every once in a while, I’d run across a bunch like this:



It took me about 40 minutes to pick 2 quarts full and I had to wander all the way along the edge of the clearing to find the good ones.


And I’d like to say that as I sit here in the nice shaded clearing and write this that I happily munch on berries. But, alas, about a month ago, I got violently ill after eating a bunch of blackberries, and now have an illogical fear of eating them off the vine. Oh, well, more for the bucket, eh? Who knows how long it would have taken me to pick enough had I been snacking on them along the way.

But it just wouldn’t be summer in the PNW without at least one fresh blackberry cobbler.

And THAT I think I can stomach.


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Summer Doings

I know I’ve been horrible at posting for months.

So, what have we been up to this summer?

Take a look and see!

We went camping:

We traveled to Nevada to work, see family, and spend time on the Homestead (click or hover over pictures to see captions):

We worked on house plans:Exterior views

And found a building almost the exact size of the one we are going to build:20150610_155031It’s cool (and helpful) to see the dimensions in real life rather than on paper.

We harvested cherries from our very own cherry tree:

Dad and Flower Girl planted the garden.20150609_161319

Princess Girl and her BFF ran a lemonade stand and made quite a lot of money!20150613_170558

One of my sisters came to visit and we made raspberry jam after picking the raspberries from her extended family’s farm!20150701_103628

We had some weird stuff happen in the chicken coop:20150702_102452

We were messy like a typical 2 and a half year old (there’s STILL specks of paint in the bathroom from this!):20150702_153057

We had our first tomato (and a couple more since then). Mmmmmm….


We played with sparklers to celebrate the 4th of July:

We traveled back to Nevada once again, then to Missouri for a family reunion (click or hover for captions).

We did other typical summer type stuff (click or hover for captions):

And we traveled back to Nevada once again so I can work –  (click or hover for captions).

So, you know. We’ve kept busy.



Hey there.

How are ya?

It’s been a while, I know.

Sorry about that.

Been a little crazy in our life lately.

In fact, I just added it up. In the last 6 months, I’ve traveled back to Nevada 5 times. That’s traveling nearly once a month! And they weren’t weekend trips either (well, one was). We’re talking about being gone from home for over a week, sometimes closer to two weeks!

In fact, I’m sitting in my mom’s living room in Nevada right now. Been in town three days already, and not leaving for another week.

Why have I done all that traveling? Good question. All but two of those trips were for work. But even when we came back down for other reasons, I still managed to get in some work days.

Normally I can do most of my job (about 5 hrs a week) from home on the computer. But every once in a while, the ropes challenge course I work for in Nevada needs their office manager actually IN the office. Or on the course. So the girls and I, and sometimes the hubby, pack up and make the 12 hour drive back to our second home. Who ever heard of a 600 mile commute?

To say that I’ve been busy this year is an understatement. No wonder Princess Girl got behind on her book work in school.

But, we’re trying to build a house, right? So’s I gotta make some money. Could I find a job in Oregon and cut out the monthly travel? Sure, but the ropes course needs me, and we want to see friends and family anyway, so here I am.

But it does get stressful being gone from home so much. Or is it that I like being in Nevada better and hate having to go back to Oregon after every trip?

At any rate, here we are in Nevada once again. The other evening, Flower Girl and I went up to Castle Rock with 7 gallons of water to put on our trees.


The trees were fairly stressed after having gone nearly a month in the middle of summer without anyone but God watering them. Considering that, however, they actually looked pretty good.



I thought they’d be crispier than they were. But then, it has been an unusually wet summer here in Nevada (while the Pacific Northwest is drying out in a particularly dry summer. Go figure!)

As the water jug was emptying onto the trees (slowly so the water would soak in, not run off), I took a hoe to the house pad. Weeds were starting to pop up quite a bit and we want to keep a handle on them.


I felt bad knocking down the Blazing Star flowers. I love their delicate beauty, yes, but more than that, I saw quite a few bees buzzing around them. And we all know that bees are our friends. But we are pretty serious about wanting to keep the house pad weed free, so I was merciless. Besides, there are plenty more lining the driveway.

And speaking of the driveway, I attacked it a bit with the hoe, too.


All those weeds in the right hand tire track used to be in the middle of the drive. I cut them out with the hoe, but I didn’t have the energy to come back and throw them all over the hillside. Not to mention the fact that I did not have gloves and these are nothing but green tumbleweeds (ie pokey!). They’ll dry out and the wind will take care of them for me. 🙂

And then it was time for “The Show”. That’s what my parents always called a particularly spectacular sunset. And, boy, was it ever spectacular!



Flower Girl and I were only on the homestead for about an hour, but it was enough to help ease the stress I’ve been feeling lately. (And, of course, the stress of the trees, too, since they finally got watered again ;-). )


Just wishing the Hubby and Princess Girl could have been there with us. They both stayed back in Oregon since we don’t want to leave Mom and Dad totally alone again so soon after our last time gone in July, and Princess Girl went to summer camp for her first time (how is she so grown up?)

And speaking of the homestead (’cause, ya know, that’s what I’ve been talking about this whole time), look what we got!

No, not really official blueprints yet. More like the preliminary plans just to see it on paper. But it’s from a real residential designer and looks all official and everything! It’s an big step forward in our plans for building on Castle Rock. We’re hoping that the next time we come back to Nevada we’ll have actual, real live, ready-to-take-to-the-building-department blueprints.

Exciting stuff right there!


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121