Monday, August 29, 2011

Sequim Bay Super Ultra Campout 2011

We had an amazing time camping at Sequim Bay for four days with the Ericsons, the Taylors, the Guzstiltzmans, Mark & Elna, and Keely, Silas and Semra. More pictures (from other cameras, as well as ours) can be seen at Gabe's site.

 Highlights included:

  • beautiful weather
  • a beautiful, secluded group campsite, well away from the crowded 'regular' campground
  • our own "private" beach and dock (hardly anyone came over from the main campground)
  • phosphorescence in the water every night!
  • clear, moonless nights with ALL the stars
  • watching kingfishers and herons fish, and gulls catch and drop clams on the rocks
  • little crabs under all the rocks, and snails on top of them
  • giant bubbles!
  • a day trip to Dungeoness Spit
  • a whole gaggle of kids running wild through the campsite
  • kids taking pictures of each other (and their feet, the dirt, the sky, etc...)
  • good food (Woo! Sausagefest!) 
  • plenty of beer
  • great friends
This was the second annual group campout, and it's success means there will DEFINITELY be a third one next summer.

Monday, August 15, 2011


If you had asked me, 6 or 7 years ago, if I'd ever let my baby play with this cat, I'd have told you "No way." In fact, when we first met Sanford, everyone, adult and child alike, was wary of him. He was a badass and he didn't care who he had to scratch or bite to prove it. He got "fired" from his job catching mice in the lumber shed at the ReStore for scratching and biting the customers and the staff too often. Janet even needed stitches! He was great at catching the mice, but his customer service skills left a great deal to be desired, so he came to live with us at the Apple Pharm.

After he settled in at the farm (read: once he established dominance over all the other cats) he decided I was the person for him. He liked to get up on my bed to snuggle, but I had to abide by the rules - no petting below the neck, no sudden movements, certainly no blankets over him and no handling his feet or touching his belly. It was a bit tense. Breaking any of his rules meant hissing and running away at best, biting and scratching at worst. But slowly he started to be more tolerant and trusting, at least of me, though he still scratched other people quite frequently. He brought me the freshest, most tender young rodents, fetchingly displayed on my bedroom rug, to show his affection.

When the time came to move out of the Apple Pharm, we had a group meeting to divvy up the cats. Sanford was unquestionably mine. He moved with us to an apartment in town where we lived for a few years until the house was finished. He dominated the small apartment complex from the start. He bullied the other cats and even went after raccoons, dogs and deer. He walked into our neighbors' apartments like he owned them, and ate their cats' food. He memorably came home one evening with his white fur covered in blood - and not a drop of it was his own. We grew to be a family, and he accepted Iggy and Sprout as part of his pride.

He loved it when we moved to our current house. He loved the territory and the rich hunting grounds (mmm, tasty little bunnies!). He loved and trusted us. He was no longer the wild, ferocious alley cat fending for himself. We could pick him up, pet him all the way from nose to tail, even treat his wounds and pet his belly. But even so, when Conan was born, I was nervous about Sanford. Would he put up with a baby? A toddler? Well, I needn't have worried. Sure, Conan had to learn about boundaries, and got a few scratches in the process. But Sanford always, clearly, understood these were just teaching scratches. He wasn't trying to hurt the kid. He loves Conan as much as he loves me - even more, I sometimes think. I'm not so sure he'd put up with me using him as a pillow! They are truly buddies, and it warms my heart to think about just how far this wild, trust-no-one cat has come.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Platform Roofed

At last! The roof is up!

This picture is taken from across the swamp, from a little bit higher ground. The 'floor' you can see just above the tops of the shrubbery is actually the top railing 12 or 14 feet off the ground, so that roof is much higher (and more difficult to work on) than it would seem at first glance. It'd be a real simple roof to build if it were on a regular height shed - but it isn't and it wasn't.

I'm so glad to have that part of the project finished, so we can move on to other things, like an actual staircase that goes from the ground all the way to the platform. I'm also real glad not to have to mow around the roofing metal anymore. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who came out and helped raise the roof!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sawing Logs

Have I mentioned that Conan snores? He does. I think most people assume I mean cute little tiny baby snores, but no, I mean the kid saws logs. Not that he *always* snores, but when he does, he REALLY does. Observe:

It's pretty damn cute, although it can be hard to sleep through if we're in the same room.