I'm heading off for a week on the dry side of the state. First a few days with friends, some hiking in search of Ellensburg Blues, and a lot of barn photography. Then five days at a quilting retreat with other friends, women I've come to know and admire over the past six months.

The Pilot is packed with the Featherweight and a box full of accessories, and another crate packed with nine projects to work on. I won't finish half of them, but I'll sure enjoy having options. And I'll enjoy the time to focus simply on creating new quilts and sharing time with new friends.

The weather on the east side will be unpredictable, just like it's been at home the past week. But the chances are good for some sunshine, and that will be very good indeed.

See you in a week!


Little houses...

When I saw a demonstration of art quilts last month, I fell in love with this one... a collage of small houses with gardens in front, flower boxes, and fancy doors. And I remembered. Hours spent walking through the streets of Dublin, photographing the amazing doors.

For the June guild meeting, I need to make my own collage quilt. There are ideas running through my head of all the different ways to approach this assignment, but I can't stop thinking about those Dublin doors. So maybe my quilt will have a neighborhood of houses... or maybe, just doors.


A day of firsts...

Finally... a day of no rain and time to spend in the garden.

The first camellia bud opened... and the second... and the third... and the fiftieth. Finally!

The first time the wheelbarrow has been out of the barn this year.
The first perennial bed weeded.
The first buds on the forget-me-nots, which have spread throughout this garden.
The first fruit tree in bloom (with the others right behind).
The first hummingbird.

The first pulled muscle. Oh joy.


Scene & Story | March 2017

The first one showed herself as soon as we got out of the Pilot and headed toward the beach.

In the tangle of huge boulders that reached over my head, a well-fed tabby with a dark markings and a brick nose. She peered at me from behind a rock, as if to make sure of me before she ventured out onto the path.

She was the advance guard, and slowly the others came out from between the rocks to check us out. As I took pictures, I noticed food and water bowls tucked into alcoves, and cardboard "roofs" set in place to provide some shelter.

These two were obviously friends; the smaller one rubbed her head repeatedly against the larger, white bib shining in the shadows.

We've read that this band of feral cats is well cared for by the locals, and they certainly looked in perfect health.

By the time we left, there were seven cats sniffing around the Pilot; after everywhere we've been today, there was a wealth of scents for them to enjoy.

Linking up today with Sarah and Lee on Scene & Story  for March



My first haircut in six months. Road construction everywhere I turned, so finally I turned toward home and the sanctuary of my sewing room. DW updated his phone, and started the taxes. I looked out the window and thought of spring, and the work I need to do in the garden.


A tiny forest...

On the top of a cedar post, on a cliff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this tiny green forest of moss and lichen.



The farm is still hovering on the cusp of spring. The late winter flowers are gorgeous, the lily of the valley bush, the hellebores, the forsythia, the purple primroses.

The daffodils are close to bloom, and the early rhododendrons are budding. The month is almost over, and I'm still waiting for the rains to quit so I can start digging in the dirt.

But until then, the holly trees bridge the gap between winter and spring.


The best barns are horse barns...

We're thinking of another visit to one of our favorite towns in SE Washington, Walla Walla. It's home to a thriving wine industry, is on the edge of the Palouse wheat country, and has some of my favorite houses and barns. It also has hundreds of geocaches, if you're into that (like DW and I are). There are twisty back roads for the sports car, mountains and rushing rivers, snow in the winter and heat in the summer. It's one of our favorite places.

A few years ago we discovered the Kibler barns, a barn unlike any I'd ever seen. So when we got home, I did a bit of research.

The Kibler family left an enduring legacy in the Walla Walla Valley, through the agricultural structures they built. Four barns were built from similar plans, each constructed for members of the extended family, and two of the Kibler Barns remain in the family to this day. The white barn on the original farmstead, built in 1918, was accepted in the first round of nominations to the Washington Heritage Barn register (along with my brother-in-law's family barn on Vashon Island).

As much as I love barns, I also love farmhouses. It's great that this wonderful farm has an equally wonderful farmhouse.

My favorite of the four Kibler barns is across the green wheat fields from the 1870 Kibler Farm. It's the biggest of the Kibler barns, painted red with white trim, and was built to stable 48 draft horses. Can't you just imagine this barn full of huge horses at the end of the day? The grooms rubbing each horse down after the day's work, tossing hay down from the loft into each manger, bedding each stall with fresh straw, the horses munching their evening hay.

Some might disagree, but I think the best barns are horse barns.

Linking up today with Tom's Barn Collective.



We were determined to go hiking today, in spite of the wind and rain, and waking up to 32 degree temperatures.

As we headed west along Crescent Lake, we came around a corner and out of the wind, and there was the most perfect reflection. Hills and mountains, still water, misty clouds... perfectly beautiful.



A few days away to celebrate our anniversary took us to the northern coast of Washington, for some hiking and beach walking, photography and geocaching, and good food and wine tasting. We're staying in our first AirB&B, a cute cabin on a creek.

This pack of feral cats lives on Ediz Hook. The locals take good care of them; they look well-fed and healthy. The first one came out of hiding as soon as we drove in, and before we left, seven cats were sniffing around the Pilot.

We watched the late afternoon sun light up the snowy mountains behind Port Angeles, then headed for our little cabin with a pizza and a bottle of red.