Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Boys and Girls Club

What a grand, grand opening it was! Three years ago, a fire destroyed the old building that housed the Ferndale Boys and Girls Club. Leaving the community scrambling to find temporary space, raise funds and rebuild a permanent clubhouse, fast forward to today, and the $4.8 million project is finished.Celebrating with over 400 others at the grand opening of this new 21,134 square foot building built near the ballfields at Ferndale's Pioneer Park with champagne, cider, chocolate covered strawberries and fancy little sandwiches, community members were welcomed in for tours after the grand ceremony.
Everything is brand new, all equipment is state of the art, bright and cheerful and includes a full-sized gymnasium along with games room, activities center, teen center, arts lab, teen tech room, technology center, music room, a commercial grade kitchen and much more. Here is a look at some of the recording studio equipment in the new music room.
Open to the public, the grand opening was emcee’d by State Senator Dale Brandland with an honored guest list that included State Representatives Kelli Linville and Doug Ericksen, Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen, Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen, past Mayor Jerry Landcastle, and members of the Ferndale City Council. Featured speakers included Branch Director Josh Wilund, Executive Director/CEO Lynn templeton, Branch Board President Steve Oliver, Doug Thomas of the Rotary Club of Whatcom County North, Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County Corporate Board members Bill Gorman and Ward Fridrich and members of the Lummi Nation.

Built on original tribal lands, James "Smitty" Hillaire, the Cultural Director of the Lummi Nation, delivered a blessing from the Lummi's for the new facility, and with drum in hand, accompanied by his wife, Lutie, shared a song that he explained has been passed down through their Coast Salish Tribe for over 250 years.Summer programs at the Ferndale Boys and Girls Club run from June 28th through August 18th with themed activities and fieldtrips. Check out their Summer Flyer and Field Trip List for more information.

If I were still a kid, I'd certainly want to spend some of my summer there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wild Roses

This is my favorite time of year. While running the dog through the meadow, I noticed how the grasses have suddenly gotten as tall as I am and the wild rose blossoms are absolutely stunning.
The Nootka Rose is my favorite wild rose here in the Pacific Northwest. Filling the fields with huge thickets of thorny brambles, in June when their huge blossoms open, the air is filled with their irresistably sweet scent.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our New Town

Our new town is small, relaxed, casual and quiet. With what seems like almost more than our share of historic and scenic parks, a well-developed trail system, two large grocery stores, lots of restaurants, plenty of bars, two drug stores, a small medical clinic, a few traffic signals along our Main Street, even a 7-11, we are located in the Pacific Northwest, yet our town reminds me of any one of those all-American towns found throughout the midwest. Looking out the side window, our view is of a large grain elevator, the industrial core of our town. Day and night, the sounds of train whistles and steel wheels rolling over steel tracks has become our new signal that all is well. Uniquely sophisticated, the scarlet bosom of this fancy-dressed mannequin in the old timey storefront I pass when walking along Second Street seems to capture the industrial heart of our new town perfectly.Described on the City's own website as a vibrant community of 11,080 people, the town was first named Jam because it was located along the Nooksack River near a large log jam. I am glad that the name was changed to Ferndale some years later by a school teacher that admired the ferns growing around the original school house. When I think of jam, I think of sweet fruit preserves spread on warm buttered toast, but I suppose now that I live near the Nooksack, I will be thinking more about log jams than fruit.
Torrie was delighted at the discovery of a new swimming hole at the off-leash park located along that same river. An easy walk from home, we now meet friends - and their dogs - after dinner for a walk around the park, then head down to the river bank for some serious fun - dog swimming.
Conveniently located near Interstate 5, and an easy drive either north to the Canadian border or south to Bellingham, or even on to Seattle, like most of America, our new little town is not without big road construction projects.
Our new town feels like home. It is our town now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Birthday

Evey day should be special, not just birthdays and Christmas. June 10th just happens to be my birthday - and it's my brother's birthday too - so it really does feel like an extra special day. We're not twins, far from it actually, he's nine years older. But, it's always felt special to be able to wish Tim a happy birthday on my birthday. The Beatles Birthday Song is my favorite birthday tune, so, Tim, here you go - YouTube, Beatles Birthday Song. Happy birthday to you.

A fun birthday it was too. Lovely bromeliads were delivered on behalf of my daughter in Denver, Colorado. Thanks, Jen, I love 'em!
Celebrating over plates piled full with food followed by games at one of our local casinos was crazy because I'm not at all a gambler, but now it has been proven that I will go just about anywhere for good food with good friends.
As apartment dwellers, it seems that my friends and I have started treating my garden plots at the Happy Valley Community Gardens like they were our back yards, and lately, after almost any outing, some of us end up there. Thanks to Kriss, this time it was to plant my garden art birthday gift, the absolute perfect present for the gardener in me. Thank you, Kriss.
Once at the gardens, we soon found ourselves nibbling on tender baby radishes right over the water faucet. How special this year that my birthday has officially marked the very first harvest from my new garden spot there, Garden Nbr. 02.
Thank you for helping to make this such special birthday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Post Hole Digging

Now I know how to use one of these, and getting that necessary deer-proof fencing up around Garden Nbr. 02 at the Happy Valley Community Gardens is well underway.
Finding deer droppings, nibbled blueberry bushes and deer tracks in their raised beds, the gardeners in the plots just behind mine put hoop frames covered with netting up around several of their garden beds to keep the damage done by deer to a minimum. The fence around their garden is barely three feet high and doesn't seem to stop the deer. The tumbling down fence that came with my new garden wasn't much higher, and with many of its short posts barely still standing, was in serious need of replacing. Hoping to share my harvest with friends and neighbors rather than deer, my solution was to put up a higher fence.
After several days of heavy rains, the ground was fairly soft, so using my post-hole digger to plant ten foot posts as deeply into the ground as I could was not too difficult. Once my new posts were securely in the ground, using a milk crate to stand on, I draped the fish net rescued from the harbor dumpster over the posts and called it a fence.
Meanwhile, those backup heirloom tomatoes had taken a beating from the recent heavy rains and winds, so a fellow gardener traded me a sheet of plastic for some of Dad's hen and chick starts. After pounding stakes into the corners of their bed, I secured the plastic around it in hopes of protecting the plants a little more from our wild weather of late.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spitfires in My Garden

Good news, for this month's Seed Grow Project update, I can happily report that my Spitfires are up! There really was a lot of gardening work that needed to be done before these nasturtiums could get to this point. First, I had to put in a new garden - and that was no tiny task. Clearing weeds, grass and sod from the additional double plots I was allocated at the Happy Valley Community Gardens, I built another garden, Garden Nbr. 02. Rescuing lumber from a construction site dumpster, I made raised beds and hauled in soil. That, along with tending my Garden Nbr. 01, seemed to keep me rather busy all Spring. At times, it almost felt as if I'd never get to the point where I could actually start planting in this new garden - but finally I did. Now, Garden Nbr. 02 is starting to look like a real garden and all those seeds and little plants that were so carefully planted are starting to grow.
Having reserved the center most bed of my new garden for flowers, on May 10th, I planted my Spitfire Nasturtiums for this year's Seed GROW Project.
With volumes of giant, multi-colored sweet peas in the center of that bed, these colorful nasturtiums were planted around their perimeter.
With a trellis made from the wispy tops cut from bamboo poles and wrapped with twine, these Spitfires will be a welcome site upon entering this garden.
"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."