Friday, March 27, 2015


Is Ina home?

Mike and I spent the afternoon at the homestead yesterday (Thursday, March 26). It was a lovely day – 65 degrees with interesting cloud formations.

Mike had a list of tasks to accomplish. He installed new innards in the “toilet” tank. Then he moved outside to dig out a channel for the run-off in the ditch parallel to the lane. The next job took the longest -- spraying an herbicide on the lane. (He wishes it were more effective.)

While he worked, I walked the dogs. I felt a little guilty about taking off with the dogs and the camera for an enjoyable walk to the mailbox, but I reasoned that it was best all-round if the dogs were exercised and away from the spray.

As we walked, I took a lot of pictures – a lot! You’d think I didn’t already have hundreds of pictures taken along that road, but I see pictures everywhere and make them as unique as I can. “Oh look!” I say to myself, “that fence is falling over now. That’s a good shot with snow on the mountains in the background.” Snap! “Here’s a great picture of the old Dickson/Senter place framed by a pine branch.” On and on . . .

Meanwhile, Bess and Nellie were in dog heaven. Bess’ graceful bounce took her here, there, and everywhere. That girl has stamina! Nellie is slow now but enjoyed poking along, exploring as she went. She doesn’t tolerate heat well, but I was still surprised when she plopped right down in her favorite “water hole” in the ditch near a culvert.

We didn’t have a lot of snow this year, but right now there’s plenty of water both standing and running, actually more than we saw last week.

Hallie planted these daffodils
The daffodils are in the process of opening, and the trees and shrubs are budding or leafing out. It’s early yet but warm days will bring on more growth.

Arriving back in the farm yard, Mike asked me to keep the dogs away from his spraying. This proved not to be a challenge. They headed for the pond to play “catch a frog.” Having some time to myself, I made good progress in putting away the Christmas ornaments.

Bess in grove above north field
Later, the dogs and I gathered on the kitchen porch. Bess spied Mike working in the lane near the apple trees. She didn’t recognize him at that distance and began to bark and bark. Then she ran into the field and barked and barked. She returned to the porch, and seeing that her barks had had no impact on the interloper, she headed again into the field. This time she gathered the courage to go closer. Suddenly she stopped barking and slowly began to wag her tail. “Silly me,” she seemed to say. “I remember now. That’s Mike!”

On the way to the town house, we stopped at the “Smoke Shack” to buy barbecue for supper. Someone had recommended the baked potato meal so we tried it. Next time I’ll bake the potato and we’ll just buy the meat. KW

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Some teddy bears are sedate. You can tell they exist to brighten the corners in which they sit. They wear hats and enjoy minding their manners while they sip tea.

Then there’s the “Build-a-Bear” family to which Annabell and Rosabell belong. They are play pals and enjoy good jokes.

The bear in the bunny suit is one of the best jokes of the spring season, and when I adopted this notion for Rosabell, I couldn’t shake it. I had the fabric -- a soft fuzzy knit remnant taking up space in my stash, just waiting for the right project. However, finding the pattern was not so easy. I spent hours searching the internet for a bunny suit pattern.

Now, I don’t like to improvise and alter. My creativity is in my head and I have trouble putting it on paper. If I could do that, I’d be someone else. But there aren’t patterns specifically for the “Build-a-Bears,” so I clumsily step up to the challenge of redrafting patterns for other dolls and bears. Developing my ideas is a matter of experimentation and not an exact science.

First, I purchased a bunny costume pattern for American Girl dolls from Pixie Faire, but my alterations were less than satisfactory – no reflection on the pattern, of course. With time drawing short, I cut the jumpsuit using a Cabbage Patch clown pattern that Chris gave me. That worked fairly well, but (wouldn’t you just know it?) I was well into the project when I found a bunny suit pattern for a “Bitty Baby” on an Etsy Shop (Gennie Wren) that might have been better. As it was, I used it to make the hood, which in my case is separate from the jumpsuit.

Well – there it is. I finished it, and I can tell you everything that’s wrong with it. But – the overall effect is not awful, and I’m pretty sure it won’t fall apart. I hope Emmy and Rosabell have some fun with it. Rosabell can pretend to be a bunny and see if she fools anyone. KW

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I had signed up on Pinterest but really didn’t see how to use it until I began searching the internet for patterns and other items to support my new-found interest in all things “teddy bear.” Then my Pinterest board, “Teddy Bear Clothes,” was a godsend. As I search, I “pin” pictures of patterns and ideas I liked to my board. Each picture automatically links back to the site of origin. I also pin pictures of outfits I’ve finished or other items relating to this interesting journey.

The great thing about the internet is that it puts one in touch with people of similar interests all over the world. Of course, I knew that but didn’t realize how far-reaching it could be until I wanted to make clothes for granddaughter Emmy’s special friend, Rosabell the Build-a-Bear.

In the process of hunting for patterns and ideas in order to sew and crochet for Rosabell, I came across other things, like this beautiful pattern for a crocheted “teddy bear” baby blanket from Dada’s Place. I decided that Rosabell had to have this blanket and bought the pattern.

I have a great appreciation for the blending of colors and techniques used by this designer, who evidently lives in Serbia, but basically, my blanket is for a six-year-old and I stylized it to fit our situation. I used an inexpensive yarn found locally, and instead of making a white bear face, I opted for a golden brown so that the bear would look like a teddy bear. Instead of using black beads for the eyes, I searched the web until I found affordable brown buttons on I’ll embroider the nose and a smile on each bear face.

I’m determined that this project shall not become an unfinished object in the sewing room closet. I work on it every day, even if it’s just a round or two. Progress is slow, but it’s coming along. All the bear squares (40) are finished and now I’m working on the circle squares. KW

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Over the north field toward Teakean Butte

Temperatures are warmer. Daffodils, forsythia, and various flowering trees are in bloom. It looks like spring. It smells like spring. It feels like spring. So, it must be spring. However, when I got up this morning it was 34.

Hi Hallie . . .
Yesterday forenoon, we loaded the pick-up with eight freshly-dug raspberry canes, a light lunch, Bess and Nellie, and headed for the farm at Gilbert. We were a bit apprehensive about the task ahead of us – to de-winterize the farmhouse. We just never know . . .

Mike had the steps lined out in his mind, and I was his assistant. We pressurized the holding tank, turned on the hot water tank, and turned on the power to the pump at the pole – or something like that. We checked out all the faucets and commodes. One of the commodes needs new innards, but we knew that. Otherwise all was well, and we’re relieved. Our last task was to turn on the refrigerator. No problems.

Daffodils in the grove
Tuesday morning as it rained, Mike and Ken dug raspberry canes from Ken’s patch. (Mike failed to tell Ken that rain would not cancel this scheduled event.) I transplanted the canes to my patch while Mike checked out the 4-wheeler. And yes, I fertilized the patch.

The strawberry plants are getting old and don't appear to have wintered well. I plan to start a new bed this year.

Daffodils and Crown Imperials
The blooms at the farm are probably two weeks behind the valley. The daffodils in sunny areas are blooming while those in shady spots are just beginning to open. None of the fruit or flowering trees and shrubs are blooming yet.
Daffodils in Clarkston rock garden

We were back in town about 4:30. Here's a picture I took of our daffodils in bloom. KW

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Rural Asotin County, where we sometimes walk the dogs

Here it is again – a shift in time. Mike decided to tackle the big change-over at suppertime Saturday night (time on his hands?) so that he wouldn’t have to do it on Sunday. Some clocks are easier to change than others. Two or three are the old “adjust the hands” models of yesteryear. My bedside clock/docking station has a little +/- button on the back –handy for those twice-yearly time changes. Others, like the stove, are user friendly. But quite a number of our electronic models are challenging to change, perhaps just because we can’t remember how.

Actually, Mike greets DST with gusto. He likes a good long afternoon in which to play – er – accomplish his outdoor tasks. I just think it’s a nuisance to keep changing, especially since we’ve come to the point that we’re only on standard time four months of the year.

I get up at 6:30 and it seems early, and yet before long the school bus goes by, and when I look at the clock, the morning is half gone. Perhaps the most challenging is suppertime. Serving at 6:30 seems early but to put it off makes it late.

And with the time change, spring seems to have sprung. Afternoons have grown warm while mornings are still at freezing. We’re having our fire in the morning now instead of the evening. The sweatshirt, my standard uniform, gives way to a t-shirt and hoodie or sweater that can easily be doffed when I walk the dogs on a warm afternoon.

Daffodils preparing to bloom at Gilbert
Mike and I went to the farm last Thursday afternoon (March 5). Seems hardly worth mentioning since we weren’t there an hour. We found no mice in traps. I hope that means there actually were no mice and not that they just avoided the traps. (I fear that they avoided the traps.)

The north field from the grove at Gilbert
Anyway, it was lovely to be there, however briefly. We agreed that with our next trip we’ll turn the water on. We’ll also plant raspberry canes that Ken has for us. Yes, I know -- purists argue for buying the canes, but where we garden results are “iffy” at best for whatever reason – weather, soil conditions, etc. It’s nice to have the “freebies” which have served us rather well. KW