Flu bugs and alpacas.

Three weeks ago I came across this little “alpaca farm” while doing an estimate for work. I noticed these cuties and struck up a conversation with the owner. I was interested in alpacas for two reasons. The first being I’m a fiber fanatic, and secondly we have a shy acre of fenced in pasture complete with a loafing shed that the “Bearded One” feels he has to mow with the pushmower and mow he does. I found out that this man had “rescued” this little group through an organization called Crosscreek Alpaca Rescue located just up the road from us in Tenino. He mentioned that they could always use summer pasture so I found their website and dropped them an email explaining our situation thinking that we could just borrow a few for the summer. The virtual ink barely dried on the email when I got a response saying that they had some available to adopt out. We put it on the back burner for a bit because the “Bearded One” was thinking that it sounded like a lot of work and wasn’t feeling too keen on the idea but then I got a text message last Thursday that they had an urgent situation where the owner was going to take his alpacas to the auction on Friday if he couldn’t find a place to take them. That would’ve been a death sentence for these girls so the “Bearded One” agreed to take them in. Of course He didn’t realize there were five of them, I guess I forgot to mention that part. So there you have it. Our numbers at the Prairie Perdues are increasing. The Bearded One has had to take on the job of getting things ready for our extended family because I’ve been dealing with a flu bug for the last few days which has rendered me pretty much useless. He’s been a good sport studying up on all things alpaca and playing Peruvian music in the background to get him in the alpaca herder mood. I will post more when I’m feeling better and share family pictures after they arrive.

The promise of strawberries to come

Easter has brought us the promise of strawberries

Easter has brought us the promise of strawberries

Happy Easter family and friends. I went outside to greet the chickens and saw this little strawberry bloom. Spring is here for sure. Speaking of Chickens, [Read more…]

Winter Blooms



It’s February. We have had more unseasonably warm days. It is hard to believe that other parts of the country are covered in snow.  I have to keep reminding myself that  spring  is not here, that I am not really behind in all the spring chores. In fact, I am quite a bit ahead.  I have been spending time outside weeding, trying to ignore all the projects inside that I was planning on finishing this winter. It is so beautiful  outside. The winter blooming plants [Read more…]

Beautiful day…. January???

The view from my living room

The view from my living room

While storms brewed in much of the country, we in the Pacific Northwest were blessed with a day of unseasonably warm weather of close to 70 degrees. Blue sky, sunshine and warm temperatures to boot!   I had planned to finish a big sewing project inside, but I knew I would regret not spending the day outside.  I had my morning coffee on the porch and soaked in the rays. Then I got out my garden tools and tackled the flower beds along the front walkway. The bad thing about weeding with a bad Achilles tendon is that I had to just sit and weed and leave things in piles. The good thing about weeding with a bad Achilles tendon is that the picking up of piles and taking them away is left to the mister. Hmmm. I could get used to this.  [Read more…]

When life give you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you rain…. kayak, of course!

The sign now has a purpose.... for a little bit

The sign now has a purpose…. for a little bit

With the new year came lots of rain in our area. Flood watches were in effect. There is something that happens inside me when the waters start to rise. I want to be out in the middle of it. To be part of it.  This comes from years of living in the Quinault Valley, where floods are common and sometimes devastating.  We would always go outside and check on all of the possible problem areas on our property. Then we would go down the valley to see how bad things were elsewhere and if anyone needed help. There was such a sense of community. Everyone was outside, dispite the rain, making sure everyone was safe.

Was a driveway... now Blake Lake

Was a driveway… now Blake Lake

Our little farm here has a small creek that runs on one side. It tends to [Read more…]

January Dreaming


The bustling busyness of the holidays are over and here we are in January of a brand new year. To many, January is not a month to be enjoyed. The weather tends to be downright obnoxious . Days so cold that you don’t want to be outside to enjoy the sun, followed by days of low, dark, grey clouds spewing out cold drops of rain. It is a month that your financial state is front and center with taxes looming ahead and maybe a little too much shopping in December making things a little tight.  And, after two months filled with holidays off, this month seems like work just goes on and on and on. But to me and so many other gardeners all these things take a back seat to the excitement of GARDEN DREAMS, making this one of the most loved months of the year!


January is the month when garden catalogs start filling the mail boxes. I can just hear the mail carriers muttering [Read more…]

A project, fun times with sister Rhondi and a visit from sister Cher

It all started with wishing I had a fireplace mantle to decorate while looking at Christmas displays in an inspiring nursery/gift shop in Woodenville, WA. Sister Rhondi suggested that I use my piano to decorate on top of… kind of a “musical mantle” she said.  This started the wheels turning. The piano she was referring to was an older, part painted or stained (I’m not quite sure what the previous owner had in mind) that we found on Craigslist. I was better than free. The owners offered to pay $20 to someone to come get it and they only lived about 15 minutes from us. It was very ugly, but it sounds beautiful.

The piano

The piano

Orange/red paint?

Orange/red paint? Stain?

By the time I got home a plan was in place.  A “musical mantle” needed to be pretty, not ugly so it needed a paint job bad. I had a gallon of “swiss coffee” house paint and a container of plaster of paris so I got to work. [Read more…]

Christmas tree hunting

Going to find the perfect tree

Going to find the perfect tree

Hunting  for  the yearly Christmas tree has been big tradition in our family. Every year we would pile into our vehicles and go out into the woods to find our trees together. Everyone bundled in sweatshirts and boots to keep warm and dry. Thermoses were filled with hot chocolate and coffee. A big vat of homemade chili was ready to put on the tailgate to eat when we got hungry.  Lots of cookies were baked because [Read more…]

Confessions of a cup snob


When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is  that I am thankful I have a cup
-Sam Lelkowitz

I think of myself as a free spirit. I like doing things spontaneously. Having schedules and rituals are not for me. Or so I thought until last week.

My mom spent Thanksgiving with us and when she was almost ready to leave I asked if she wanted one more cup of coffee. She did want one and went to find the cup she had used earlier. When she could not find it she asked me if I had seen it. “It’s the one with the cherries on it” she said. We looked everywhere and  could  not find it. This baffled me, not because we could not find the cup, but because I could not remember having a cup with cherries on it.  I wondered if the feared dementia was setting in. [Read more…]

A tune is not a tune until the tune is played

A strange fragment from the past came bubbling up to the surface of my thought waves while the “Bearded One” was listening to music on his Ipad. He had been listening to a variety of musicians demonstrating their instruments, whilst I was feverishly working on the company website trying to ignore same said music wafting my way. I think it was after the Harp and before the Bassoon. All of a sudden I remembered this little tune. An old tune. An old scratched up tune. It’s not necessarily a great tune but I felt the need to share it with you. And especially you Mom. I can’t believe I found it.

I believe this was recorded in 1948.

On another note, (clever, I know) Jasper the cat has taken to climbing trees to try and blend in with the birds. They are a little to quick for him but he’s doing a bang up job on the mice.


Jasper in the plum tree

My thanks to Daughter Annie who is supplying the Christmas cheer with her Holiday art in the side bar. Short post I need to get back to work.

Bless you and bless each other