Monday, August 30, 2010

The Road Ahead

In another day I hit the road- I wonder if I can start my road trip novel like Jack Karawak? I will be attending the wedding of the year and visiting counter-culture farming groups so clearly there is material to be had.

In the meantime, Kyrsa and Dave will be packing up and saying good bye to Maple Leaf. Colin, Susan and I  will wave to Dave as we see him passing us on the highway, driving south to Healdsburg. It was great being part of their moving adventure for a couple of days and helped me feel the reality of changes ahead. I never envy anyone the act of packing, cleaning and moving but the adventure can not be topped for challenges and growth- in good ways. So, just a little shout out of support of Kyrsa and Dave on the journey ahead. I suspect there will be lots of other journeys, yet unknown; so everyone get ready and take lots of vitamins. Complacency is really not in the cards for any of us right now. We might as well expect the challenges and face them with enthusiasm. With the future unknown to us all, we might as well expect good outcomes. They are not less realistic and are much less frightening. Have fun this last week of real summer before Labor Day. Have wine on the patio, watch the sun shine on the water and remember that summer always comes around again. It will be here encouraging us onward with hope and excitement.

Have a great road trip through the rest of the year.
Mama Llama

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today is your BIRTHDAY

Today, August 24, is the most auspicious day of the month if not the entire summer. It is both the apex of summer freedom and fun and the beginning of the end. Always strange not to be at the lake on August 24, having angel food cake and peaches and celebrating another year of amazement with Colin, this year we celebrate from many corners. But celebrate to do- with memories and smiles in our hearts.

It is hard to imagine a more amazing year than this one for Colin and for the entire family- I can't really! So many challenges and changes, frustrations and successes. I think we would all explode if any more could have been packed in. So, while we are celebrating Colin's year, let us take a minute to remember how full this year has been.

One year ago Colin and Susan were on the Colorado River encountering the Grand Canyon first hand; really  symbolic for the enormous energy ahead. Good-bye bike shop and gardens, politicos and friends and hello to sunshine all year long with lots of fresh veggies. The changes have included lots of challenges: the frustrations of sharing unemployment with the nation but learning to be a farmer and the success of choosing new directions,being accepted into a program of research and learning- having options! There have been trips to visit friends on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Friends and family have come to visit in California-celebrations seem to multiply with friends and family coming together to make partnerships or just be together.

The opportunity to climb the highest mountain has not only been metaphorical. There have been hikes to the mountains, lakes and sea, camping and sharing the beauty and diversity of the West Coast. 
Small moments have opened to make room for art projects, chicken-sitting and the most important task of building new community while staying connected with those already loved. No growth comes easily, while we sit and eat bonbons. While this thirtieth year has not been easy, it has been full of new adventures into unknown territory. Really, it is all the years before promised with more of the same to come. We always need to remember to enjoy the moments, realize our blessings and let go of anything that takes the smiles from our hearts. We can't  let the trip into the future scare us even if we loose the map.

Colin always reminds us to rush ahead and show no fear. I guess everyone was watching and learning. Lynne rushed ahead, right off the roof so was forced to slow down and smell the roses. The challenge to her was huge, with medical reports heading in all directions. She kept her focus and found her footing again, walking back to work to reclaim her profession with renewed energy and enthusiasm. This was a huge challenge but no one doubted she was up to it.Still, her strength has been inspirational for everyone who knows her. Linda had no small part of the challenge and the success. Being "The Support" takes extreme patience and love. As well as being a part of Lynne's challenge, Linda faced her own by energizing her search for a new job offering a happier professional life for her. She was successful! Her new company is lucky to have her intelligence,  commitment and loyalty.

Not everyone felt the need to take on physical limitations to find new meaning in life. Kyrsa felt the pull to new professional growth, leaving  the world of public relations and opening a new door, but to where? Passion and some new learning brought her into the wine industry full of energy and enthusiasm. She had so much fun and energy, Dave became jealous and wanted  that same feeling. Kyrsa's example lead him to try new roads. Theirs is now leading south to California, close to Davis and into Sonoma wine country. Kyrsa took up the challenge of school, volunteering, keeping old networks and building new ones.( Not to mention the HUGE house projects she and Dave tackled  throughout this year!) With lots of changes ahead, their energy, intelligence and enthusiasm will guide them while encountering some difficulties and many new successes, including  how to find time to themselves when family and friends book visits to their new home.

Not to be left in the dust, Erin continues finding  financial and professional footing in New York while the publishing industry crumbles around her. This year has been one of building and changing- changing jobs and expectations only to have new ones open ahead. The speed at which she contracts her way through copy writing and magazine building is daunting. Add a few shoots to style, writers to encourage, fashion weeks to post and 24 hours rapidly become 48. Still, she has found opportunities to travel the country and Europe more times than even she would have imagined. New York is a lot more fun when you have a chance to get out of town occasionally. Ideas change, new challenges lay always ahead and it is assured that new decisions will lead to more success, challenge, struggle and joy with friends and family keeping smiles in the heart. These are the elements that lead to all the best of life.

And all the best of life is where Barb finds herself this August. Last August she was struggling with the depressed economy and limited job opportunities. She was hiking with Lucy and biking with Karen. A year later year we find her married to a great "Dave" who hikes and bikes with she and Lucy. She is on the go MORE than ever before- working for non-profit and for profit with lots of fun in between. Always great at making time for friends and family, she has even more of them to enjoy. She is our poster child for the message that you don't know what lies just around the corner until you turn it.

So, happy birthday to Colin and best of all wishes for more of life's joys, challenges and times together with people you love. Take time to realize the amazing moments of living as you encounter them. Be thankful for those that love you and those you love. Continue to be silly when ever possible and have a very great year ahead! You are the best son ever.

Mama Llama

Monday, August 23, 2010


(this is my little hand)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Already August

It really is true that summer days are faster that any others. Every summer I repeat the same words- where has summer gone? BUT there have been lots doings so that can't be the problem. We had much fun at Lacey and Corey's wedding, old friends to see and a beautiful summer day in Kingston with a beach wedding-what is not to like. Katie Pichoute was the celebrant. When she pronounced the final words ..."with the power vested in me..." an involuntary giggle passed through the crowd. It was nice having Erin here working away from the coffee shop but still able to have a beach walk before dinner. I finished the blanket for Lacey and Corey this week and am happy with the result. It is an unusual but strong color group and is very soft. All of the mohair was carded and ready to spin at the beginning of the month which has inspired me to send off another few bags to Barry in Quilcene where wool goes in and soft roving ready to spin comes out- really such a treat to spin. Just too much fun to use without the lumps and bumps usually part of the process.

August will hold many fun times too with a trip to the lake in a week. I only hope to find real summer weather while we are there because low 70's just doesn't feel quite right. Since I haven't been sipping juleps on the porch I will share the recent project from Kingston.

The chickens were complaining about the size of their summer cabin so I gave them their own range. I added chicken wire to the south side of the raspberry bushes with a little gate at the end and voila- free range chickens that get locked in at night. This was a great solutions but for some reason the chickens seem to want  to hang right at the gate. The first day there was a mass escape but I plugged the hole and felt reasonable confident again. Yesterday the Little Red escaped again and to my chagrin, I discovered that she was flying over the gate. I returned her to the range only to note that Buffy was sitting in the peach tree. AGH! these stupid chickens!

Today it will all change- hopefully! I have watched UTUBE so am now an expert on clipping chickens wings. Here I go again! I will let you all know about the success there. As well as wing clipping, there are rabbits to clean and groom, roses to tend and maybe even stepping stones today, though that may be one project too many and push me into insanity. David and I are making a rare visit to the Angeline Bistro in Suquamish tonight to celebrate our anniversary. We have been married for 36 years and it must be a successful connection when all is said and done because we have 3 children that could not possible be better.

Have a wonderful August everyone and enjoy the moments as they meet you.

Mama Llama