Saturday, August 28, 2010

Waterski Lakes in Snohomish County

There are 463 lakes in Snohomish County, but only five of them allow water skiing. I posted two of the water ski lakes earlier - Lake Roesiger and Flowing Lake.  The other three are:  Lake Stevens, Lake Goodwin, and Lake Shoecraft.

The largest and most populated of the water ski lakes is Lake Stevens.  The town of Lake Stevens wraps around the lake.  The roads that surround the lake allow every foot of waterfront to be developed.  The cabins of the past have mostly been replaced with mansions now.  The hillsides around the lake are covered with cul-de-sacs and newer homes.  A lot of the new developments have a community dock on a small sliver of lake front.
North Cove Park has a boardwalk fishing ramp.

Ducks at North Cove Park, Lake Stevens
Several parks on Lake Stevens allow access.  The most well-known is Lundeen Park where the annual Lake Stevens Aqua Fest is held in August.

The Museum, which is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, is located in the North Cove Park adjacent to the library.

Lake Goodwin is one of the 7 lakes on the west side of the I-5 freeway between Marysville and Arlington.  Wenberg State Park is familiar to many campers and vacationers.  The park has RV and tent facilities, playground equipment, picnic facilities, a boat ramp, and concession stand.
Swimming area at Wenberg State Park

The Lake Goodwin Community Park is owned and operated by Snohomish County Parks Department.  There are several private RV parks on the lake also.
Picnic shelter at Lake Goodwin Community Park

Fishing Dock at Lake Goodwin Community Park

Lake Shoecraft, the last of the water skiing lakes, doesn't have as much public access and is smaller and less well-known than its neighbor, Lake Goodwin.
There may be other access points, but this is the only one we found on Lake Shoecraft.  On a sunny day in August, there was only one vehicle in the parking lot at the boat launch off 56th Street.
Roads access Lake Shoecraft from all sides, so the entire lake is ringed with houses.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jetty Island - Everett WA

The free ferry is run by the City of Everett Park Department.  The ferry arrives at the 10th Street Dock to take its first load of passengers (80 max) to Jetty Island, visible in the distance across the Snohomish River.

Ron with our grandson, Jesse, after we arrived on the island on the 11 a.m. ferry.  When we arrived at 10 a.m., all the boarding passes for the first four ferries were taken.  We stood in the standby line until the ferry was full.  After early standby's were loaded, we were given three boarding passes for the 11 a.m. ferry.  We left immediately to get breakfast.  As soon as we saw people arriving with their children and picnic supplies, we realized we probably should have brought more stuff (like food) with us.  When we arrived at the island, we had to immediately choose a return time and collect a boarding pass.  The ferry trip is only about 5 minutes, so we chose 2 p.m. for our return.

Most of the crowd congregates near the ferry dock.  The tide was out, leaving many hundreds of feet of sandy beach exposed. 

What a great place for kids to wallow in the water and mud and not get TOO dirty.

We continued down the beach, finding only a few other people, interesting driftwood, and wind boarders.  This is a new thing that we hadn't seen before.  It is kind of a combination of surfing, wind surfing, flying a kite, and hang gliding.  We watched a young man suit up in some very specialized gear and pump up the struts on his sail, and then talked to him about the sport as he waited for the wind to get perfect.
While he waited, many other surf boarders showed up - the forecast of  "small craft advisory" suited them for their sport.  It really did look like fun.  When the wind kicked up and they got their sails aloft, they were cruising along about 30 mph.

Something for everyone who likes the water on Jetty Island.  People were still waiting in line to come to the island on the ferry at 2 p.m. and the last ferry returns at 6 p.m., on a weekday afternoon.  It is a very popular place!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I have a story published!

Several months ago I entered a short story in an on-line contest and was one of the finalists in the competition.  I didn't win, and didn't think much more about it until I received an email from an on-line magazine publisher asking if they could publish it in their September 2010 issue.  They did publish the story - here is the link to their website and on-line magazine:   Dream Chaser Magazine           
And here is the story:

The Inheritance 
by Rosemary Rains Crawford

“John, we’ve done a bad thing here,” Sally May said for about the hundredth time that day. 

John pretended he didn’t hear her and continued to watch “This Old House” although he had to admit he was having a hard time concentrating.

As the phone rang, almost on schedule, he knew it had to be Mary.  Their only daughter resembled Sally May more every day.  When she got her teeth into something, she just wouldn’t let loose of it.  Since she discovered last year that she and her brother, Mathew, had been left out of their will, she had been relentless in her phone calls.  You could probably call it harassment if she wasn’t his daughter. 

John knew that when Sally May hung up the phone he was in for another round with her over their will.  Back in ’92, they had been in total agreement.  If only she had kept her mouth shut, they wouldn’t be in this constant argument now.  Mary had had her inheritance, and so had Matthew!  John allowed his anger to build again toward Mary and Matthew in an effort to bolster his position.  John had lived alone on the farm for six long years while Sally May cared for Mary’s children in Mississippi to save them from going into foster care.  It wasn’t his fault Mary went to prison!

Marrying into wealth sure hadn’t made Mary’s life better!  She had all the money anyone could ever need when her husband tipped the tractor over killing himself. Mary had no idea how to manage.  Too much money, too little to do, bad companions – a wealth of bad decisions led her into the drug business.  Too much stupidity too – getting caught when she had two small children – what was she thinking?  Growing up on the farm in rural Georgia didn’t prepare anyone for the temptations of the city.  At least they were able to get Mary’s estate into the hands of her children before Mary was convicted and went to jail.  It wasn’t John and Sally May’s fault the children were stingy about doling out expenses to Mary now that they were grown.

And Matthew!  How could John ever forgive him for his sins?  That was what you got when you helped family!  Moving Matthew’s son, Paul, into the old farmhouse was a bad idea any way you looked at it!  John remembered plainly telling Paul not to spend any money on improvements as it was a temporary thing! Matthew and Paul using John’s tractor to rip the porch they built off the house when he moved was just wrong.  And to compound that wrong, stealing and selling John’s tractor was just inexcusable! 

When John and Sally May decided to leave the 120 acre farm with its two houses to the two “good” boys, the attorney showed them how to avoid inheritance tax.  Way back in ’92, they deeded half of the farm to Jerry and the other half to Harold, prudently keeping themselves on title.  When they called a meeting with Jerry and Harold then, they explained what they were doing, but made it clear that if John and Sally May ever needed to sell the farm to fund a nursing home or medical expenses, they could do that.

Now John was 90 and Sally May was 86 and they still lived on the farm that had been in the family for four generations.  Harold had lived his entire life on the farm and never worked away from it.  He lived with his third wife and three children in the old farmhouse and moved cows around and helped build fence and do farm chores.  John split income from the farm with Harold and his family and they all managed to scrape by.  Sally May canned all the fruit from the orchard and John picked and sold the pecans from the many pecan trees in their yard.  They didn’t have much need for money – taxes were low on the farm and they didn’t even leave the farm much. 

Jerry, the youngest son, had left home at 19 and became a mechanic.  He made a good living and even owned his own repair shop.  Unfortunately, he had married a woman who already had a child and they didn’t ever plan to have any more.  John and Sally May worried that Jerry would sell his part of the family farm or, worse yet, die and leave it to his wife and her child.  Either way, the farm would no longer be a family legacy.  Things had changed a lot since 1992.

When John finally could not bear any more cajoling from his wife and daughter, he asked Jerry and Harold to sign the papers to cede part of their half of the farm to the other two siblings.  Jerry just wanted his parents to be happy and was willing to sign the papers at first.  However, he began receiving calls from both Harold and Mary.  Mary demanded that he do the “right thing” and sign the papers.  Harold demanded that he not sign the papers under any circumstances.  He pointed out that anything Mary got would immediately be attached by the State of Mississippi to pay the fine from her drug trafficking conviction. Jerry began having second thoughts about signing the papers also so he met with an attorney to determine his rights.  The attorney told him that he had no legal obligation to sign anything, and that if he did nothing, when his parents died he would be the legal owner of the 60 acres they had already deeded to him.

In the midst of this family turmoil, John suddenly took ill and died.  Sally May was bereft without John, but the resistance he had given her to changing the will was gone, and she renewed her efforts to include all of her children in her will.  While Jerry tried to ignore the constant harassment, Harold continued to resist until Sally May suddenly had a stroke and was hospitalized.  She had lost a lot of her mobility but her mind was clear that the will had to be changed.  Both Harold and Jerry finally agreed to sign and the meeting was set up with the attorney for Tuesday when Sally May came home from the hospital.

On Monday evening, all four children came at visiting hour to see their mother.  She thanked them all for making her last wish possible and everyone agreed to patch up their differences and enjoy the family farm together for the rest of their days.  Sally May went to sleep in peace for the first time in two years, knowing that she had done the right thing for all of her children.  During the night, she passed away.

“Mama passed,” Jerry told his wife when he heard the news on Tuesday morning.  “Call that attorney and cancel that meeting.”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Baby Shower for Johanna

The hostess, Amy, with her trusted helper, husband Dan.

Dan helped document the event.  Kathleen, Johanna's Mom, came all the way from Spokane.

Marla, Johanna, Colleen

Brianna made Mojitas to tie in with the green and white theme.  

Lots of interesting and yummy food

Johanna, New Mom to be soon - Anticipated Date September 12

My daughter, Amy, hosted a baby shower for her cousin Johanna yesterday at our house in Granite Falls.  All the guests managed to find their way around our annoying detour.  What is normally a one and a half mile trip into Granite is now 12 miles while the County replaces the 3' culvert under the road for Coon Creek with a 30' culvert.  Seems kind of like overkill to us, but shovel ready projects are hard to find.

There is no sneaking around this - it started as a gorge 100' wide and 30' deep - as you can see, welcome progress!

Amy and Dan worked all morning to prepare some very exotic food for our midday brunch/baby shower.

Frichetta wrapped in prochetta - (I am sure both are misspelled)  I think Amy will post the recipe on her blog: - I do know it involved Dan chopping 5 pounds of Shitake mushrooms and Amy separating 18 eggs to use just the whites, and hand wrapping and tying with chives when the egg/mushroom mixture was solid enough to cut into squares.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lakes of Snohomish County

There are 463 lakes in Snohomish County.  To document all of them would take years.  So I am starting with those closest to my home, and those where power boats are allowed.  There are only 5 of these.  Some are pretty well-known:  Lake Stevens, Lake Goodwin, and Lake Shoecraft.

Today we took a motorcycle ride to the two that are nearer our house, and that are less well-known.   The first is Lake Roesiger, site of a homestead turned into a park.  It is the 4th largest of the lakes in the County.  The park is well maintained and has a very nice swimming area, sandy beach, restrooms, and hiking trail.
Lots of interesting historical information, old growth fir trees, and even a spreading chestnut tree for shady picnics.

On to Flowing Lake, the smallest of the power boat lakes in Snohomish County.  It has a very nice park area, complete with a big play toy for small children, a picnic shelter, rest rooms, picnic tables in both the shade and the sun, and a good swimming area.  There is a daily charge of $5 per car.  Best access now is off Dubuque Road, as 3 Lakes Road is closed part way for construction.
Picnic Shelter at Flowing Lake

Fun for the kiddos!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Canning Tomatoes to Live Locally

Amy at step 1 - heating tomatoes so skins would slip off.

My daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Dan, are on a mission.  They are starting on September 22 (the fall equinox) to eat only what they can find within a 100 mile radius of their home in Seattle for one full year.  You can follow their quest to become "locovores" on Seasonally Seattle.

Since they couldn't face a week without tomatoes, and tomatoes aren't available locally year round, today they brought two flats of tomatoes to our house to learn the art of canning.
Step 2 - Dan peeling and paring and packing tomatoes in jars

Part of the fun is working together to produce the beautiful jars of bright red tomatoes.

Follow Amy and Dan's progress on their blog, where they will share sources, budgets, recipes and more.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Motorcycle Ride to Peninsula and Whidbey Island

The sun was shining and it promised to be a hot summer day when we left the house at 8:15 a.m. today on the motorcycle.  We fully intended to go to Sol Duc Hot Springs and, hopefully, rent a cabin for the night.  Ron worried it would be too hot to go hot springing, which turned out to be the least of our worries!  By the time we got 10 miles down the road where we lost about 200' of elevation, we were in dense fog and the temperature on the bike thermometer had dropped from 64 to 57.  The fastest way to get to the Olympic Peninsula from our house is to take the freeway (Yikes!) to Edmonds where we could catch the Kingston Ferry.  Traffic was heavy and it was foggy and cold so we were happy stop when we got to the ferry dock.  One of the real advantages of riding a motorcycle in the Pacific Northwest is you get preferential boarding on all ferries.  Many of our best motorcycle rides involve ferries, and we never worry about ferry schedules when we are on a bike.  After a 45 minute wait for the next ferry, we picked up a ferry schedule.
The fog lifted as we got off the ferry at Kingston, and it was sunny but still cool (59 degrees) when we got to the Hood Canal bridge.

The scenery is spectacular on the entire peninsula - Puget Sound is in view.  The road winds and twists around bays and harbors keeping the water or the Olympic Mountains in view all the time.
Lots of timber land
Port villages and small settlements dot Highway 101 which goes from Olympia to Port Gamble.
Port Gamble

Discovery Bay
Lavendar Farm near Sequim
One of several - the lovely smell of lavendar filled the air.

When we got to Sequim, it was nearly noon and we were ready for lunch.  When we stopped to eat, we consulted our map and realized it was still a long ways to Sol Duc Hot Springs.  If we got there and they didn't have a cabin available, we would have a long ride home or we would have to settle for some boring hotel somewhere along the way.  So we borrowed a phone book at the restaurant where we had lunch and called Sol Duc.  They were booked solid through the weekend.  We decided to head home, going via Port Townsend, taking the ferry to Whidbey Island, and then either taking the Mukilteo ferry or driving around by Anacortes.  
The Sound was full of sailboats in all shapes and sizes 
We once again ran into the problem with being spontaneous - we watched the 2:36 ferry pull out of Port Townsend and spent the next hour waiting for it to come back for another run.
Finally, at nearly 5 p.m. we landed on Whidbey Island and decided we had had enough of ferries for the day and we headed north on Hwy 20 heading to Anacortes.

A hotel/restaurant in Oak Harbor

Farm overlooking the Sound near Coupeville.

Whidbey Island is beautiful - farms and quaint towns, and always water on all sides.  Still chilly - the highest temperature we saw before we got inland after Anacortes was 63 degrees.  By the time we got to Mt Vernon, it was 75 - just about perfect for riding coatless, but we were so chilled by then  (it was 55 degrees when we got off the ferry on Whidbey) that we left our coats on all the way home.  We arrived home at 7:30 p.m. - a very long day for only riding 130 miles.  (Of course, the bike odometer doesn't keep track of all the miles on the ferries!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's Blooming in Early August


A yellow rose given to me by my sister, Molly



Clematis - Part of my "Amy Garden"

Dahlia - Oenesta

Dahlia - Yellow Star

Dahlia - Pretty in Pink

Dahlia - purple and white variagated

Dahlia - Key West

Hydrangea - this one was pink when my daughter, Amy, gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago.
Many more dahlias have buds and will be blooming within the next few days.  It is my favorite time of year, where everywhere I look I see color and smell flowers.
Petunias - in a cement planter we made a couple of years ago using a cardboard box and a flower pot for a mold.
Gerber Daisy - saved from last year.

Most of the lilies are done blooming, but I found a few.  This one is nearly black - first time it bloomed was this year.  I can hardly bear to dead head it the blooms are so pretty.

My favorite lily - Stargazer.