Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolution for 2013–Zero Waste Home

Okay, roll your eyes upward and shake your head…here’s this year’s resolution…

The Olympic Peninsula does not actually have a landfill--our garbage is taken to a transfer station and then shipped to somewhere in eastern Oregon.  Knowing the impact trash has on our area and understanding the amount of waste everyone produces across the country, we are stepping up our effort to reduce our small carbon footprint.  Our resolution for 2013 will be to work towards a zero waste home; or more realistically reduce our waste to a bag of trash a month by the end of the year. 

But, before you think we are going too granola, there are other selfish goals we are hoping to gain by doing this.  Fewer trips to take out the garbage, reduced cost for trash pickup, lower grocery costs by buying “scratch” products without packaging, and maybe lose a few pounds by avoiding processed foods which are usually double-wrapped in plastic and cardboard.

Inspiration for this goal came from an article on the Sunset magazine website and presented in a video, “Zero Waste Home”.  Some of the ideas are not appetizing to us, such as asking the grocer to place “wet” food items (meats, cheeses) into glass jars you bring to the store.  Just.  Cannot.  Do.  It.  The best we can do is have the meat items wrapped in wax paper rather than a plastic tray and cellophaned. 

Each week on Wednesday, “No Waste Wednesdays”, I will highlight a new tactic we try to reach our goal.  The new habit may be abandoned if it is not working, but at least we will give it a go.  Love to inspire you to do the same.  Some of this will be difficult and some methods, I suspect, will be surprisingly easy.

Come on, give it a try!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fishing the Dungeness

DungenessRiver_WinterJanuary is Steelhead fishing on the Dungeness River.  Less than 2 miles from our home—a beautiful rushing river with deep pools waiting for resting fish.  Mike is ready.  Special reel and pole.  Check.  Winter waders.  Check.  Waterproof, green fishing jacket.  Check. 

We spent the morning hiking along the river noting the best spots for fishing.  Great trail with little side paths to get to the river.  Moderate temperatures around 42-45 degrees with sun peeking over the snow-covered mountains in the distance. 

Pinch me, is this real or just a dream?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Resolution–Project 333

Project333I know many of you do not understand my obsession with downsizing the wardrobe.  All I can say is, it is freeing.  I can easily pack all my clothing into a couple of bags and it is out the door (one bag if the shoes and coats are limited).  No need to think about what coordinates with what or making choices.  It fits.  The basic colors work—scarves & buffs add more color and pattern.  It is comfortable.  It can be dressed up or down.  Perfect.

Living in the RV for almost two years (and I could easily have continued full-time) taught us you truly do not need much to enjoy life.

So, I am recapping the results of my 2012 resolution a.k.a Project 333 (  If you recall, the goal was to avoid buying any new clothing or sell clothing on eBay or on consignment to cover any purchases.  Clothing was trimmed to a happy 34 items (not quite 33, and I do not count jewelry, scarves, under garments,  outerwear and specialty sportswear like golf shoes); technically, the project outline calls for 33 items for 3 months--I am trying to live with 34 all year.  I can report that not only did that happen, but I convinced my husband to join the effort and we are actually $277 to the good (he still has a looong way to get down to 33).  Meaning we have sold more than we bought.  And this does not count what I currently have at the consignment store (collection of money occurs in February).  I have a few more coats and shoes to sell on eBay, too.

This was a great experiment and will continue into 2013; and hopefully, indefinitely. Only keep what fits and what you love. Live with what you have.  Little time wasted in stores.  Plenty of storage in the closet.   I could get on my soapbox and explain why everyone needs to change, but I think you can figure it out (landfill issues, overspending, feeding the China machine, etc.)

We will keep the ball rolling with the wardrobe, but we have a new and different resolution for 2013 that will a bit more challenging.  I will explain our new goal on January 1 blog post.  For some reason, when committing to paper you tend to stick with the resolution.  Interesting.

If you are interested in Project 333 or in the minimalist movement, here are a few links below you will find helpful and enjoy.     Believe me, the” less is more” was not always our philosophy, but now shedding the un-necessary is really liberating.  (Up until five years ago I kept every pay stub since I started working—37 years worth—really?  Why?)

Saturday, December 22, 2012


IMG_2307Well, you probably figured out we are not traveling this winter.  Last year’s trip across the country to Florida and back was a bit over the top.  Close to 10,000 miles traveled.  Not only did the fuel prices increase more than expected, but we had vehicle issues along the way.  Did not write about the problems in the blog last year—who wants to relive all that?  Actually bought a new truck when we were in Florida!  Mike likes his new truck, Ford F450 (that is an understatement).

So, we are taking a break this year.  Sorry.  We are feeling a little bummed about it, too.

The good news is, it is not so bad here on the Olympic Peninsula in the winter.  In fact, it is pretty darn nice.  Lots of parties and festivities.  And contrary to what you might think, the weather is really mild near the Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend area.  On the day “the world came to an end” or a.k.a. the Mayan April Fool’s Day, we experienced sun shine and temperatures near 50 degrees. 

It is just as well to stay put; we need to catch up with big chores.  Continued downsizing the belongings—selling on eBay, Goodwill, and giving away.  Digitized all our photos from the last 40 years (saved to three locations and then tossed!)  Inventoried all belongings and documented (details, photo, and scanned receipt attached to each item) on a free application called “What You Own”.  Not fun, but needed.  Does feel great to get things under control and organized, though.

We are planning our next year travels and possibly renting the house so we can enjoy extended travel time.  Now, this is fun!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Minimalist Christmas Decorating

ChristmasTreeFor the last five years, we have passed on decorating for Christmas.  And honestly, it has not been missed.  Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting friends and family with elaborate ornaments and clever displays.  Their treasures are lovingly purchased or passed down from generation to generation.  It is fun to hear personal stories of Christmas past (or the retelling of them on family visits).  And if there are young children, it is wonderful to watch their expressions and shrieks of joy when they are surrounded by all the color.

DSC_0125 (6)But, living with a lot of blinking lights and holiday smalls on a daily basis for over a month, makes us crazy.  We have tried over the years, but it feels so chaotic (to us).  This year we are decorating in our new home, but with a minimalist approach.  Enough to make guests feel festive.  What you see in the pictures are all we have remaining; everything else was sold or given away.

ChristmasSmallsEasy to set up, a little “greenage”, a few smalls, and quick to put away on December 26th.  [The Christmas stockings are vintage quilts repurposed with faux fur from coats used for the tops—purchased about 25 years ago.]  Very little storage needed.  With the exception of the little tree, we use it in our RV, too (if that is where we are living during the winter).

Not for everyone.  It works for us.  Christmas enjoyed without too much fuss.

The Bus Babes in PA (and The Coles–8th Installment)

Not Pennsylvania, but Port Angeles.  Everyone living on the Olympic Peninsula refers to Port Angeles as PA.  It is only 14 miles to PA; but with the price of fuel, the bus was still cheaper.  The Bus Babes rode the bus to downtown and up to Webster’s Woods Art Gallery.

BusBabesinPA“It was a fun day exploring shops, galleries, the Fine Arts Center, and having lunch with my fellow ‘Bus Babes’.  Even the weather cooperated once again.  Thanks, girls!”  -Nancy

I agree, Nancy!  Great Day!  And thanks for the pic, Lyn.  I was a little lazy with the picture taking.

A note on the 8th Installment of The Coles (refer to the last 7 blog posts).  I know I left you hanging and Elizabeth still has some major challenges in her life, but I would like to post some pictures of her.  My cousin (second cousin, that is) is sending a few photographs.  Don’t forget me, Tom!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Coles–7th Installment

This installment begins around 1868.  William and Elizabeth have been married 30 years.  William is approximately 50 years old and Elizabeth is 46.

A Peaceful, Happy Life In Iowa

Anxious to own land to farm and a comfortable home, William learns of property for sale in southern Iowa.  Purchasing acreage, they head back East at a leisurely pace.  This time the sights of the West through Utah, Colorado and the Midwest are enjoyed.  Once arriving in Iowa, a new home was soon built and the farm established.  The family settled in for a very happy way of life for the next 20 years. 

jeffersonacademy1875William B. finished school in Iowa (photo left - Jefferson Academy 1875), became a teacher, studied law and practiced in Knowlton, Iowa.  He married Viola Bonebrake, one of his pupils; he was 19 and she was 18.  To them were born four sons and one daughter.  All of these children were delivered by their grandmother, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth doted on her grandchildren; and they were very much a part of her life.

Sadly, in October 1889, the handsome Irish gardener at age 71 was finally laid to rest.  William led an exciting life and married his love.   He survived the Irish Famine, overcame bigotry of the English, the mean streets of the immigrant towns, and the harsh conditions of gold mining.  Eventually, finding peace on a small farm in Iowa.

Life wasn’t over for Elizabeth, though; and many challenges were in store for her in the years to come.  It was time to head West again—to the farthest reaches of the Country in Washington State.

[Note:  The youngest son of William Buckingham Cole is my grandfather, Joseph Franklin Cole.]

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Coles–6th Installment

My great-great grandparents make their way out West.

Old West Wagon Train

wagontrainAfter beginning the new journey to the West, it became apparent that good old “Mother Nature” had other plans for William and Elizabeth.  Not surprising, another baby was on the way.  They got as far as Chicago and set up camp at Rock Island, Illinois; to wait for a larger caravan. 

But, the baby, wasn’t waiting and Elizabeth gave birth to her third son, William Buckingham Cole, on November 12, 1855.  They reconsidered the trip to Idaho and felt the road was too hazardous with a new baby, so they stayed behind and set up housekeeping until William was 6 years old. 

Around this time, the Civil War recruitment was threatening to claim their eldest son, and they thought it best to get Tom into the West.  Joining a large caravan, the trip to Idaho was without serious incident.  There were encounters with Indians, but the caravan was large enough to deter any attacks.  With Elizabeth along, minor illnesses and delivering babies were left in her capable hands.  Later in life, she would say with pride, “I delivered hundreds of babies and never lost a mother or child.”

Upon arriving in Idaho City, Elizabeth set up a boarding house and fed about five or six miners besides her family each day.  Even with Elizabeth’s nursing skills, there came another sadness to them, their oldest son, Tom, died on October 22, 1867 of pneumonia.  They buried him in Idaho City, “Boot Hill Cemetery”. 

GoldRushGamblingThe town was growing too fast and filled with a dangerous sort.  The “riff raff” of the mining operations that followed all camps began to pour in causing trouble. 

William knew it was time to leave the mining life and find another place for his Elizabeth and only remaining son, William.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Coles–5th Installment

The story of my great-great grandparents continues.

William Returns

One day as Elizabeth was busy sewing for others, there was a knock at the door.  She opened to find a strange man standing there.  “Don’t you know me?” he asked.  William had finally returned after so many years.  He was happy to see his wife and son, but grieved to learn of the death of Little John.

idahocitygoldWilliam was full of adventures to tell and ready to take his family to the great American West.  He had established a mine and was anxious to return to operate his claim.  But, you see, instead of heading for California, William and his party took another route and went into Idaho about 35 miles from Boise, to Idaho City*, which was a fast booming mining town.  He had stock in the mine and had brought with him a pouch of gold and silver.  This would take care of their needs for some time to come. 

Part of the gold was used to form another small caravan to the West.  The family packed up the necessities and started out with a new excited group heading West. 

But, a new development would cause William and Elizabeth to travel only halfway…with a long delay in Chicago, Illinois. 

*Idaho City was founded in December 1862 during the Boise Basin gold rush during the Civil War. At its peak during the mid-1860s, there were more than 200 businesses in town, including three dozen saloons and two dozen law offices. Its 1864 population of 7,000 made it the largest city in the Northwest, bigger than Portland, Oregon. Wood was the prime source of both shelter and heat, which caused Idaho City to burn four times: 1865, 1867, 1868, and 1871.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Coles–4th Installment

The story of the Coles takes another new turn.


goldrushcaravanThe cry of Gold! in the American West was reaching the East Coast.  William became anxious to join a group and find his fortune.  He was troubled about who would look after his family while he was gone, but Elizabeth assured him she could manage.  A large caravan was formed and William packed his meager belongings and as many supplies as could be managed.  Meat would be plentiful along the way, but flour, sugar, salt, and bedding had to be packed along.  It was time to go as the excitement grew with stories of gold to be found everywhere in the West.

sewingmachineTime went by with no word from William.  Elizabeth put her early training in sewing and nursing to good effect.  She tailored and became a licensed midwife doing her best to support her family of two young boys.  Elizabeth was very lonely and sad, missing William terribly.  Her sons gave her strength; and she was a devoted and loving mother. 

Tragedy struck the family.  Little John contracted measles and could not survive his illness.  He died March 11, 1852—only four years old.  Elizabeth was filled with sorrow.  Her boys were so very dear to her.

Several years passed and Elizabeth had almost given up hope that her William would ever return.  Many stories came back of caravans being attacked by Indians and killed crossing the Plains.  She was afraid this was William’s fate.

During this time of hardship, her mother and a sister, learning of her sorrow and her desperation over William’s long absence came over from England.  They stayed a year giving her support and comfort.  The relationship with Elizabeth’s father had not changed however; as her mother told her, her father had never forgiven her.  Elizabeth was one of five girls in the family, and she was the only one who ever disobeyed him. 

Next installment – The Fate of William

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Coles–3rd Installment

History of my father’s family, William and Elizabeth Cole, continues in the segment below.

The Land of Opportunity

IrishImmigrantShipShortly after Thomas’ birth, William’s relatives from Ireland, the Sullivans, were making plans to sail to America.  Their stories of opportunity and a new life seemed agreeable to the young couple and they made plans to join the party.

lawrence maWilliam, Elizabeth and their baby, Thomas,  arrived in Boston  joining the Irish who had already arrived, found jobs and made a home in their newly adopted country.  Along with many other immigrants, they moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Immigrants flooded into the United States in the mid to late 19th century, and the population of Lawrence abounded with skilled and unskilled workers from almost every nation in Europe: Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and Lithuania; French-Canadians from the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island; and farm girls from all over New England.  Lawrence became known as Immigrant City very early in its existence.

John L SullivanWilliam found work readily as a gardener and also as a blacksmith and carpenter.  The family was very happy with this new way of life and a second son, John, was born September 12, 1847.  Cousin Michael Sullivan and his wife, Catherine,  also had a son 11 years later born in Boston on October 15, 1858.  This new member of the family, John L. Sullivan, became the Heavyweight Champion of the World.   He had a remarkable record of 47 wins, one loss, and three draws which brought John L. international fame and close to $1,000,000 in prize money.  Considered the first American sports idol, John L. Sullivan was known during his time as "the man most men wanted to be."

Next segment…The Nation and William catch “gold fever”…

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Coles–2nd Installment

Yesterday, I gave you the preface to the story of my great-great grandparents, William and Elizabeth Buckingham Cole.  Today’s segment tells of the first event that changed their lives.

Falling in Love

Elizabeth’s parents estate was large and self supporting, many hired men taking care of the livestock and farming operations.  The gardens and flowers around the house was in the hands of an experienced young Irishman.

William_T_ColeIt was not long before the gardener began to look at Elizabeth in a very serious manner.  Flowers and fruit from the garden were given to her on many occasions.  The Irish in England were not looked upon as equals during the 1800’s and this “situation” was becoming very difficult for the Buckingham family.  The Irish gardener secretly asked Elizabeth to marry him; and the day came when Elizabeth gave her most surprising answer to the handsome, young Irishman named William Cole. 

In 1840, William and Elizabeth eloped and conducted the ceremony in London.  Elizabeth’s father, upon learning of the marriage, disowned his daughter never allowing her to return to her childhood home; and she was disinherited of any claim to the Buckingham property.

london 1800sNot disheartened, the couple lived in London.  Young William Cole was always able to find work and they started their new life.  Before the year was up, they gave birth to a son named Thomas. 

But, London would not be their home for long…

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Coles–1st Installment

Occasionally, I dabble in genealogy.  I do mean, dabble.  I obsessively dig for information, hit a wall and flounder; then, try to pick up the trail a few weeks later.  And, it is difficult to pick one thread to follow back.  I jump from the de Bords, back to the Coles, and over to the Main family.  It is all so addictive.  The family story that got me hooked on genealogy is the story of William and Elizabeth Buckingham Cole, my great-great grandparents.  I think you will find it as fascinating as I did and for the next few weeks I will share their story as told by my great aunt, Florence Cole Weeks; she was the granddaughter of Elizabeth Cole.

William and Elizabeth Cole

Devonshire England estateThis story is more about the life of Elizabeth Buckingham Cole than William, as our lives were guided for many years by her ever ready help and sacrifice.  She was a most heroic and courageous woman.  She let her heart guide her in a very dedicated sacrifice that paved the way for her serious determination in full life and love for a man, not knowing what was to come.

She was born to Mary and William Buckingham on April 17, 1821 at their estate in Devonshire, England.  These parents belonged to the upper class of large estate owners and wealthy.  They were classed with the titled of England, all were raised in the tradition of the classes according to education and social relations.  School was conducted by tutors in the house; all were trained in some “trade”, such as music, sewing and handwork.

Our Elizabeth became very skilled in sewing and nursing.  Later in life she became a licensed midwife when a time required her help.  In later life, nursing helped her save and support her family.  Her life up to age of 17 was not too eventful.  But, that would change.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ma and Pa Kettle

File:MaandPaKettle.jpgJust down the road from our place is the small town of Chimacum, Washington.  Just a few buildings at an intersection make up the town, but what is remarkable about the place are two former residents, Ma and Pa Kettle.  Yep, they were real people living here in our county—a hillbilly couple with fifteen children.  If you are not familiar with them, Ma and Pa Kettle are comic film characters of the successful film series of the same name, produced by Universal Studios, in the late '40s and '50s.

Ma and Pa Kettle were featured by Betty MacDonald in her 1945 best-selling novel, The Egg and I.   (Chimacum has a road called the Egg and I.)  The success of the novel spawned the 1947 film The Egg and I starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, also co-starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle.

The little grocery store in Chimacum has actual photographs of the Kettles posted on their wall.   And the actors portraying the couple do resemble the originals.   Read the book and watch the movies—they are a hoot!

Some locations across the country have famous historical figures…we have Ma and Pa Kettle. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Living Aboard

Nordhavn5Nordhavn6For over 30 years, our dream was to live aboard a boat.  The boat of choice was a trawler over 40 feet, preferably a Nordhavn or a Krogen.  Both are full displacement and able to take to the seas.  We took lessons, chartered a vacation in the San Juan Islands on a Nordhavn, and owned several smaller boats (26 foot, 31 foot)—giving us the basics to know how to operate a larger boat.  When it came down to making retirement living choices, the cost of living aboard was beyond our means.  I know others will live aboard a boat much smaller and older, but for us, having a newer, well maintained, and roomier sea-worthy boat for traveling the open water was a must. 

It still hurts a little when you walk through the boat of our dreams.


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Fall on Olympic PeninsulaSorry for the absence.  I have been in a bit of a funk lately.  A few months back my knee started acting up.  The last two hikes (attempted over the last two weeks) I get to 4 miles and the knee locks up and is painful to bend.  Going downhill is the worst.  Same thing with golf, I walk nine holes and the knee seizes up.  So, I have been putzing around the house (still cleaning out closets) and doing some watercolor.  Doctor appointment is scheduled the first week of November.   Up until two days ago, the autumn weather has been glorious; this lay-up is frustrating when there are trails to be walked.  Lots of spectacular colors out there.

Part of deal when our parts start to age.  I am a firm believer that you have to keep moving to stay young.  Get the repairs needed, pick yourself up and keep on trucking. 

And not to worry I will get going and start the journaling again.  There are so many interesting and fun activities around here—impossible to stay in this mood for long.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Go Golf

Team Meyer & MainTerry & Mike in Cart_StartingLooking for a game?  Sunland's active golf calendar has something for everyone.  In addition to our annual and special event schedule, Monday offers a 9 hole Twilight competition followed by dinner, Tuesday hosts a weekly couples tournament; Wednesday, the traditional "Men's" day and Thursday includes both 9 and 18 hole ladies competitions. With summer's light extending to after 10:00pm, a few evening holes can easily extend to a full 18.

SCAN1816This year I took up the game of golf.  And I am addicted.  Not a good golfer by any means, but it feels great to get out on a beautiful golf course, get some exercise and enjoy a few laughs.  Weekly, I play with the Lady Niners on Thursdays (our field day players in the photo left).  They do not take the game too seriously and are very forgiving of the new player…that would be me. 

Mike and I occasionally play a game and we frequently join in on the Twilight competition together.  A great way to meet new people both on the course and at the dinner afterwards.  And once in a while I will join a foursome of gals and we will play a game on Mondays.

SCAN1817Today we had the annual Awards Banquet for the Lady Niners and the official season will end this October.  But, for those of us staying over the winter, we will continue to play as the weather permits.

In the beginning, I was horribly intimidated by the game.  But it is just a GAME.  Get out there and have fun.  I did and so glad I did!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Babes in Coupeville

IMG_2658The “Bus Babes” (formerly known as the “Bus Hobos”) made their way to Coupeville, Washington this week.  We caught the bus in Sequim (all day $2) and rode to Port Townsend to catch the ferry to Whidbey Island.  Whidbey Island has a free shuttle or small bus to Coupeville.  We spent the day visiting little shops and ate fish and chips at Tobey’s.  I found a handsome new doorbell with an engraved pinecone.  Made by a local artist AND it matches our new house numbers.  Score!

IMG_2659Weather was/is unbelievable (Indian Summer weather for the last week and for the next two weeks) with cloudless blue skies and pleasant temperatures in the high 60’s.  So nice for our visit to a picture-perfect seaside town.  Riding the bus you can sit back and soak in the views—water, mountains, quaint little towns and farms.

Coupeville was founded in 1852 by Captain Thomas Coupe and is the second oldest town in the State of Washington. The town continues to preserve original pioneer homes with a variety of historic architectures including Queen Anne, Saltbox, and pioneer Block Houses. Coupe's original home, built in 1853, is one of the State's oldest. Coupeville's limits overlay Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve established by Congress in 1980 as the first and one of the largest such reserves in the nation. Its 22 square miles (57 km2) encompass farmlands, Fort Ebey State Park, beaches, parks, trails and 91 nationally registered historic structures.

We ended the day with ice cream and freshly made waffle cones.  Long day, but loads of fun. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Age is All About Attitude

photo (2)September is a mild month in south central Washington.  Sunny days with a bit of nip in the air.  Lots of crops ready for harvest including the grapes in the vineyards.  Normally, the grape smell overloads your sniffer this time of year, but the nearby forest fires in the Cascade Mountains have created a heavy smoke in the valley overpowering the harvest scents.

DSCN0761To hell with the smoke, we went riding!  Harley riding with the family.  Mike’s parents have a beautiful, new cherry red Harley trike and they know how to use it.  You would never know they are 83 and 78 years old.  They look fabulous and are having the time of their lives.  (Picture at far left)  Five hours of seat time up to Chinook Pass and back; they never missed a beat. 

Along with Mike’s sister, Barb, and husband, Jerry, and Jerry’s sister and brother and their spouses, we made a gang of Harley (and Honda) riders. 

Our destination on Chinook Pass was Whistlin’ Jack for lunch.  But, of course, it is all about the journey not the destination.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Friday Art Walk

IMG_2632A good percentage of the population in Sequim is represented by talented artists.  And every first Friday of the month from 5 – 8 p.m. they share their work in galleries and businesses in the older section of Sequim.  (The Map for the self-guided tour is available at participating arts venues or download your own map here.)  One of my companions, Wanda (photo at left), was enjoying the glass exhibition.  Both of my friends (photo below, right) are very talented artists and their paintings were displayed.

IMG_2640The September 7 Art Walk Color Theme was BLUE, but of course I forgot and wore a bright red shirt! Next month I will make sure to follow the theme.  I certainly stood out in a sea of blue.

fretnoirMany of the locations like the Rainshadow Roasting Company featured live music, wine, and appetizers for the “art walkers”.  The weather has been especially warm this week and most everyone spilled out onto the sidewalk to enjoy the balmy evening.  Sequim takes pride in their people friendly streets with plenty of benches and colorful late-season bloomers. 


If you are visiting Sequim at the beginning of the month, I highly recommend attending the Art Walk.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spruce Railroad Trail

IMG_2607Last week we had several “hot” days for the Olympic Peninsula (anything over 80 degrees is considered extreme).  I have to admit when the temperature hits 80 degrees, it is too hot for me any more, especially when we are doing anything physical.  Our hiking group elected to walk a shaded trail near the water to keep cool.  If we really overheated, this path, the Spruce Railroad Trail,  has one of more popular swimming holes known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl.  We did not swim, but we watched plenty of others keeping cool in the water.  Lots of kids were jumping off the rocks into the deep pool (see picture at right below).

IMG_2608The Spruce Railroad Trail (sometimes called Lake Crescent Trail) is a rail trail located on the shores of Lake Crescent about 20 miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. The trail follows the former Port Angeles Western Railroad grade along the shores of Lake Crescent. Built during World War I for the Spruce Production Division to transport spruce from the western Olympic Peninsula for the aircraft industry, it was completed in 1919, a year too late for its intended purpose. The trail is approximately 4 miles one way, and trailheads exist at both ends.   We parked at the East Beach location.

Friday, August 24, 2012

RV Interior Design

When we first purchased our 5th Wheel RV, I got with a friend and interior design expert, Katie, from Spencer-Carlson Unlimited in Kennewick, Washington and redecorated. (The store is fabulous, by the way.)  The original interior was done in gold “silk” with a Parisian/Traditional theme or something like that.  Seriously.  What are you thinking RV manufacturers?  It looked like a brothel.  Remember, we lived full-time in our RV and we would not decorate a home this way.

IMG_0055Wanting to minimize clutter and streamline our look, we redecorated with a modern theme of burgundy, black and tan and downsized the trimmings.  Taking down the gold “silk” window treatment side panels we reupholstered the cornice boards and the chair seats with our color scheme.  Got rid of the ornate sconces on the wall and replaced them with small paintings/photographs of our travels framed with simple wood/black frames.  The wimpy gold (again) bed comforter was replaced with a tailored black bedspread.  No more extra pillows…thank you.  Got rid of the extremely heavy gold (again) sleeper sofa and oversized recliner.   Replaced our seating with light and comfortable Ekornes Stressless recliners.  

Nice and neat.

I would love to redecorate more RVs using inspiration from Ralph Lauren’s redone vintage airstreams.  In the early 2000's, four vintage Airstream were designed by Ralph Lauren in various themes, including Adirondack, Western, Nautical and Army Surplus / Utility.  Although the Western and Adirondack themes look extremely cool, they would be a bit cluttered for us to live in.  My favorite is the Nautical theme.

Left to right:  Adirondack, Western, Nautical



They were sold through the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation (initially asking $150K each, later $100K) with proceeds donated to charity.

Wake up RV builders and get a clue!  At least create a truly neutral palette for a starting point.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Watercolors

IMG_2628Still working at the watercolor painting.  Many have hit the trash can, but a few survive.  I get lost in it.  It will take many years to improve, but so rewarding.  I have not really found my style, but I have to say the ink and watercolor combination is my favorite so far (salmon painting to the left incorporates india ink between the rocks).


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