Sunday, January 25, 2009

Upper Skagit County

Adventures with Kriss and Jesse, and our dogs, began as we turned off Interstate 5 onto Highway 2 headed for the annual Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival, and a few other stops between Bellingham and Newhalem.
Always a favorite place for eagle viewing this time of year, we had to visit the Lower Baker Dam.If you look very closely at some of the pictures in this slide show, you might be able to see the dozens and dozens of white dots in the trees along the shore at the bottom of the dam. Each one of those white dots, an eagle!

Next, we took a tour up and down the main street of the town of Concrete, peering into the store fronts and observing the quaintness of the town during our walk.

Hungry, our first stop upon entering the Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival at the Concrete High School was the cafeteria for hamburgers.After finishing our burgers, we visited many of the educational displays and stopped at the Conservation Northwest booth to write letters in support of saving the grizzly bears. We sat in on a portion of a presentation given by the Sardis Raptor Center, and then went on to browse through all the merchandise displayed in the vendor booths of the artists and crafters, trying on a hat or two.

Hoping that enough daylight hours remained so that we could see our way over the Gorge Inn Suspension Bridge at Newhalem, we set off for more sightseeing. First stop, another favorite along Highway 20 near Rockport, the Wildwood Chapel. With its door always unlocked and a light switch that works, we entered and took turns preaching to the choir.


Dark and cold after walking our dogs on the suspension bridge over the upper Skagit River to the snow-covered Trail of the Cedars, and then even stopping to view the steam engine, Old Number 6, on display in Newhalem, we knew there was not enough daylight remaining to complete the Walking Tour of Historic Newhalem. We headed back down the highway and once again hungry as we passed through Marblemount, we considered buffalo burgers at the Buffalo Run Restaurant, but continued on. We returned to the eagle festival, this time for a wonderful salmon dinner. Yum, absolutely the best!
You might wonder how this historic Concrete school buildng ended up looking like this -
Check out this video!

Read more here -


Friday, January 23, 2009

Torrie's New Lounge

With truck and friends and muscles and teamwork, we got it done - thanks to David and Steve and Gene and Bill and Kriss. And thanks for lunch at the Olive Garden Steve!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Swims

A delightful afternoon break! A crisp walk through dried meadow grasses along the canals at Sandy Point with Mount Baker shining through as our backdrop.
Torrie was ready to run and play.
And headed on down for a swim.
What a great place to swim!
That dog loves retrieving!
Calm along the canal.
Woof, woof!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I absolutely love this new picture that my daughter Jennifer sent me this week. My granddaughter Megan and her friend Kjersti were on their way to The Killers concert in Denver, Colorado. Megan, on the left, is so classy and stylish in her jacket and scarf. So grown up and such beautiful girls!
I love you, Megan!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Green Bags

Tired of bringing home all those plastic bags every time I went to the grocery store, I decided to make my own green grocery bag. It really is green, and I made it with 100 percent cotton thread that was actually grown in this country.
With a size H/8, 5.oo MM crochet hook, I chained 45 and worked several rounds in single crochet to form the base of my bag.
I added two rows of pink as I worked the rows of single crochet for a splash of contrast.
Once the base of the bag was finished, I started working a series of chain-5 mesh rows.
Thinking ahead to those big heads of leaf lettuce I love to buy at the market in the summer, I wanted a fairly deep bag so continued working the rows of mesh until that section was about 12" deep.
Next I worked several rows of single crochet to give stability to the top of the bag, again adding in a couple of rows of pink for contrast.
I wanted a sturdy strap that was long enough to wear over my shoulder when carrying groceries, so attached the main-color to the center of the bag top and worked 12 single crochet stitches. Continuing to work in single crochet back and forth, I chained one extra stitch each time I turned my work until the strap was 36 inches in length.
Once the strap was long enough, I joined it to the center of the other side of the bag by single crochet.
With the contrasting color, I worked one row of single crochet as edging around the top of the bag and on both sides of the carrying strap.
To test out my bag, I went to the store and did my shopping!
And now, so it hangs, ready to shop again!
You, too, can help save our environment by getting some green shopping bags of your own!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spread the Spark

Today is Spread the Spark Day and now you've been Sparked!
Check out my own ReallyRose Spark page at - REALLYROSE. Spark offers free online tools and content to help you learn how to live a healthy lifestyle that features:
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Visit to find out how you can learn to lose weight, get fit and look and feel great.
Let's make 2009 the best year yet. It's all free and it's all good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Flock

A flock of bird houses
A true log house.
The other flock.
Even abs of steel!
An interesting catch for one day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hunters and Gatherers

Some days it's difficult to guess where we might end up when on a hunting and gathering adventure.Did you know this legend about the Big Rock? This report was found online at the Skagit River Journal.

The Legend of Big Rock
From Yarns of the Skagit County
by Ray Jordan, 1974
Transcribed by Larry Spurling
Big Rock, located about halfway between Clearlake and Biglake, was the reason for the fork in the road that is seen today on Hwy 9 and Hwy 538 from College Way and Mount Vernon. This photo is from the Skagit Land Trust.
To you, perhaps, Big Rock is just another rock, but to the Noo-quah-chamish this bold pinnacle guarding the forks of the road opposite the Big Rock Service Station was a sacred spot looming large in their legends. [This anglicized version of the Indian band's name was the source of the name for Nookachamps Creek or River.]
It was called "Yud-was-ta," which means, "heart" or "of the heart," since it stands in the heart of the onetime Noo-quah-chamish homeland. Their story of how the rock was formed reveals the reason for their reverence of it, for this was the place where Star Child alighted upon her return from a sojourn in that illahee (land) in the sky.
The Star Child, to escape an unhappy marriage to a man who lived in the sky, returned to earth by means of a long rope woven from cedar saplings. When she reached earth, her sister, who remained in the sky, cut the rope to conceal the method of escape.
The rope fell, coil upon coil, and formed the present Big Rock. If you are doubtful, drive a short distance on a side road to the east some clear morning; and the strong rays of the rising sun will accentuate the unusual formation of the rock, giving the impression that the legend is true.
Not far from Yud-was-ta was a prominent Noo-quah-chamish winter village (also important in legend) in pre-Caucasian days, according to two of the oldest Indian informants I ever knew. Both had spent some time there during their youth; but of course by then, the village had lost most of its pre-white glory due to the white invasion of their land and the ensuing loss of population by paleface diseases, ending their way of life. Today, the place is a cultivated field.
Some other large rocks in the Big Lake vicinity are said to be the souls of thieves ready to emerge from their stoney lairs and rob the luckless Indian of his soul. When this happened, the best medicine man available was summoned to retrieve the lost soul. This required a practitioner of the highest skill, since the rocks tossed the missing soul back and forth between them to thwart recovery. But a doctor with a strong Tamanowas could accomplish the feat.
Sometimes, long detours around these rocks were made by travelers to avoid risk.
Legends and fables play a large part in scholarly studies of Europe, Asia, and Africa. By now, much is made of Indian legends in our own older eastern states to preserve Indian history and to interest tourists; but so far, little has been done to perpetuate the interesting local Indian lore that surrounds us. Perhaps it is too new. Maybe a hundred years from now, scholars will be diligently searching here for lost clues to a lost civilization.
Thanks for coming along, Mike. We must make that run again when we have more daylight hours so that we can explore this legendary Big Rock!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

For Kriss - Window Treatments

She makes it look so easy, we could do this - and line them too!

Gotta run now, I'm off to belly dance class!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing in the New Year

Ringing in the New Year in a ballroom full of Contra dancers with plenty of noise makers and lots of party hats was exactly where we wanted to be this year. What a fun way to ring in another year, a toast and then locking arms to form a giant circle around the entire dance floor as we all sang Auld Lang Syne. Sally and I pose in our party hats.
Dancers turning during a Contra waltz.
More Contra dance line turns.
Gypsy your neighbor, stars to the left, circles to the right, chains, twirls with your partner, spins and more, all part of the fun during a Contra dance. Here are more pictures from our party.

Happy, happy New Year!