Sunday, July 24, 2016

Memories of Millie

Millie Hammond Rains Schoen
My mother was loved by so many and an inspiration to everyone who knew her.  None of us was surprised when she became the oldest woman to ever get a scuba license in Hawaii at 72.  She still swam 20 or more laps in the pool until she was 94.  
My family gathered yesterday to remember Millie.  The two remaining members of her generation, my Uncle Spud, and my Uncle Marvin, came along with several cousins, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren to celebrate her life with us.
My cousins, Jessie May, Susie, and Theresa, got to meet my great grand nephew, the cute red haired baby, Jackson
Baby Sammy taking a nap holding firmly onto Grandma Tina's locket.
Hard to think of my son, Tony, as a grandpa, but he's a good one!

My sister's grandson, Joey, on the left, my grandson, Jesse, on the right.  Another generation bonding.

Dan and Amy getting baby time with grand nephew, Sammy.
Enjoying catching up!
Sierra and Chris and baby Jackson going for a ride
Tina, Sara, and Dan

Cousin Ross and Uncle Spud
Brittany and Carla
Kim and Teri
I'll post more cousin pictures on my Cousins Blog

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Raspberry Tutorial

Many years ago when we first moved to our current home on acreage, a real estate client who became a good friend, gave me some raspberry starts.  They are a really great variety although I don't know which one - that's the way with shared plants.  These are thornless and produce tons of berries.
After they have finished producing berries sometime in mid-July, they look like this:

If you've never grown raspberries, it can be daunting to look at the jungle like growth and to know what to do to prepare them to produce again the next year.
If you look at the bottom of the plants, it's easy to detect the old canes - they are grey-brown.  Next year's canes are light green.  If you prepare them as soon as they quit producing berries, it is very easy to do.  If you wait until spring, the canes will all be the same color and it will be harder to do.  If you don't take out the old canes, your plants will still produce, but the berries will get smaller every year, and eventually they will quit producing berries.
So first step:  Use a good pair of clippers and cut the old canes as close to the ground as you can - then remove the old canes.
When you are done removing old canes, it should look like this:
I usually leave the new canes at their full height - just because we have a deer population that loves the tender new canes and they can't reach the top.  Eventually I will weave the new canes onto the wire:
Or you can tie them to the wire if they are too short to wrap onto the wire, but I don't recommend this as you have to untie all those old canes when you remove them after the crop is in.
If you do tie them to the wire, use a simple knot.
There will be multiple new plants starting all around the raspberry row.  I share these with anyone who wants to start a raspberry patch.  If I don't know anyone who wants them, I dig them and put them at the road with a FREE sign, and an unknown stranger usually picks them up.  I love sharing plants!

Celebrating Grandkids' July Birthdays

In the middle of what has been a cooler than normal summer, we at least were able to spend the day mostly outside.
We took a break from building forts in the woods to have cake and presents - Nice to have the Dads managing the festivities!
Keeping Teddy warm with a sweater that's just his size.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Lovely Day For A Ride

After several cool rainy days, we woke up to pure sunshine this morning in spite of a weather forecast that said the cool rainy days would continue through the weekend.  We decided to take a chance the weather would hold and dug the bike out for a ride.  
One of our favorite rides is Highway 9 out of Arlington to Sedro Wooley.  Most of this highway has been improved in the past couple of years.  A new wide bridge has replaced what was once a one lane bridge over Pilchuck Creek.
 Of course, road work is never done in the summer in Washington, so we saw quite a few of these signs before we got to Burlington.
They really love traffic circles lately - this is about the eighth one we navigated on our journey today.
This downed tree had to be across the highway when it fell.  
We crossed I-5 in Burlington and then went out through the beautiful ag land between Burlington and Bow-Edison on Highway 11.  Miles and miles of potato fields, blueberry fields, corn, and pastures, with the smell of clover filling the air and a temperature right at 70, made for a pleasant ride.
Destination:  Longhorn Saloon in Bow - for the best fish and chips around
There were a few ominous looking clouds along the way, but no rain so we had a nice ride.  Saw this sign by Lake McMurray on our way back: 
Just in case someone is interested, I'm posting it here. :)