Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This and That...

I have been noticeably absent from blogging...not reading, just posting. I do apologize, but you all write such wonderful stuff, that after I peruse everyone else's blogs, I realize that I have nothing of substance to say!!!!

So today, I'll just catch you up on some things, hope you enjoy it and come back again when my brain re-engages!!!

I won a nice Amy Butler bag from my friend Melanie over at Handful of Daisies. I know she has a new name, but you can access her on my side bar under her old name. Thanks Melanie...too cute!!

We were watching TV the other night and kept hearing a whooshing sound. We realized it was a hot air balloon and went outside to investigate.
Right above the house, they were!!!
The chase cars came down our street, but the balloon was landing in the field behind us and they couldn't get to them in time!!! The balloon had to take off again and find a new spot!

When I was growing up, my neighbor, Carlotta, had a hot air balloon and I was able to crew for her on a number of occasions. It was so fun!!! Being up in the air like that, no noise, a gorgeous view...utterly amazing! If you ever get the chance, go for a ride!!
I've been quite busy in the garden as of late. You wait and wait for things to ripen and then it seems to happen all at once!!!
I had 9 cauliflower in my fridge at one time!!!! We've had lots fresh and I also picked some...turned out amazingly!!!! (is that a word?)!! Lots of beets, a few (soon to be many) zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, dill a few green peppers and last night, my first potatoes!!!! I marvel at how God can take a wrinkled, eyed potato and produce such an abundance of smooth-skinned, tender, new, red potatoes in it's place! Amazing!!!!

My raspberries are producing! and producing! and producing!!!!!! I don't know how many bags I've put up!!! I've given many away, eaten tons, and yes, thrown away quite a few too!!! These are some that I'd frozen, waiting to be put into bags.

Yesterday we picked 30 pounds of blueberries in 45 minutes!! They are so good, and as you can see,,,sooooo BIG!!!!!!

Six cookie sheets full, plus a huge bowl just to eat!!! If you live near Lynden and need a great place to go, let me know and I'll send you the information!!

Miss Abby continues to entertain us!!! She is a hoot to watch and play with! I went to get a Kleenex last night and found someone asleep down in the box!!!! Of course, she wanted her picture taken too!!

It's been a very difficult 2 weeks with some serious family issues. I don't know why I always thought we'd be spared of some of these things, but naively I did. Satan loves to attack believers and he is trying to get a foot hold in our family right now. I continue to cling to the cross and the promises of my Saviour. He will never leave me nor forsake me, but that doesn't mean I won't go through trials. These are doozies!!!

I've found some amazing verses in my reading lately.
Psalm 42:2
I want to drink God,
deep draughts of God.
I'm thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder,"Will I ever make it-...
I'm on a diet of tears-
tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long.....
And then I read Psalm 43:5
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God-
soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face!!!!!
He's my GOD.
When I weep, it's for many things, but often selfishness, because I can't see God's plan in everythng, but I KNOW that He works for GOOD, even if bad things must take place for the good to shine through. But God is MY God, He loves me more than I can fathom and more than anything, He wants me to turn EVERYTHING in my life over to Him. It's so Hard!!!!! Please lift my family in your prayers, and thank you to all who have been praying...I really can feel His presence through all of you!
Blessings to all of you...I'll try to post more often, maybe even something interesting!!!!! No promises though!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Summer Job

In case you were wondering, Lynden is one of the largest raspberry producing areas in the world, and the largest in the United States. Last year alone, Washington harvested over 65 million pounds!!! We also grow strawberries and blueberries, but the raspberries are the heart and soul!!

Tyler has been fortunate enough to have had a steady job with DeVrie's berries for the last 3 years, the last two, driving a raspberry picker. His sister also had this job and kindly passed it on to her brother!!!

Tyler has informed me that this is "his" picker!! As you can see it has a nice roll back roof for those warmer days when he wants to work on his tan! His crew isn't as lucky...their roof is stationary!

As you can see, this is a very large machine, made by Korvan (now Oxbo) here in Lynden.

I think I forgot to mention how much he LOVEs it when I come out and take his picture...doesn't he look Happy???!!!

Driving from one row to the next.
Now, while there is a great deal of skill required, once he's lined up on a row, he engages the auto-steer and the picker drives itself. This is greatly appreciated on the longer rows since one can squeeze in a little cat-nap. The girls throw mushy berries at him before he gets to the end, just in case he needs waking up!!

Once he has a full load he heads to the flatbed truck to unload. Those bars underneath where he sits, vibrate as they go over the rows of berries, causing the ripe ones to fall off. They go to a conveyor belt where two girls sort out bad berries, leaves, frogs, birds, etc.!! Another girl holds the flat as it fills and another girl stacks the flats.

As he comes to the truck he is driving blind and has to rely on his sorters to let him know how close he is to the truck. So far so good!!!

Here are the lovely, "red" ladies getting ready to unload.
They unload quickly and the truck takes the berries to be unloaded in a refrigerated semi-truck. At the end of the day, the berries head to the processing plant.
Building lots of muscle here!

Six days a week, 11 to 12 hour days for about six weeks. It's not glamorous, but it's a great job and gives a lot of kids a chance to earn good money over the summer.
Oh yea, I can go pick some for myself anytime!!!!
Thanks Barb and Wayne!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Delayed 4th of July and a New Family Member

Let me start this post by introducing you to Abby. Isn't she cute????

I don't know if I've mentioned how abysmal the garage sales have been here in Lynden...really, really awful, but that's another story! Anyway, last Saturday as I was "saling" I went to a house that had a free kitty. Unfortunately I dared to look, hold and snuggle and despite the phone call to my hubby asking if I should take her (he said "no") I asked if I could take her on a 30 minute trial basis!!! (the garage sales are bad, but Lynden people are the best!) So home we went and home she stayed!!We were worried that our other cat, Jackson, wouldn't like her, but he was quite enthralled, snuggling with her, licking her and following her around. They napped in the garden for a few hours, cute as can be!

We were having a family get-together down at the farm later that day, so of course she had to go with us! Tyler couldn't come so this is her in his pocket after he got off work!
Ashleigh was trying to figure out how to keep her, in her rented house! Aunt Meagan offered to keep her at her house!

My nephew thought that would be okay!

Brian's parents have a place on the Stillaguamish River near Arlington, so we all got together for a day of food, games and visiting.
Brad and Shelly (B's brother and sister) don't look too thrilled to see me with the camera!

This is my SIL Meagan, with a cousin, Mary, whom we'd never met. Mary is an artist and she and Meagan had a lot to talk about. She was such a dear! She took us out to her little studio and showed us all her work. Very talented, she is!

This is her husband, Gene, Brian's dad, Ron and Mary. They have lot's one house apart from each other. Gene and Mary are in their early eighties and look so good!!! So does my handsome FIL! He'll be 75 next month. I wish I looked that good now!!!

Playing in the river with the dogs, BJ and Harley

Many games of Cornholes later....

A little bit of whiffle ball....

Lots of motorcycle riding, food, campfire, s'mores, etc!!!!
A fun day and by far the best weather we've had in days.

We woke up on the 4th to 50 degree weather!! It was soo cold!!!!! Windy, grey skies, cold...it wasn't looking good for our BBQ at the Shindruks, but by 5:30 it was a little warmer...maybe 60!

This little guy didn't seem to mind, as long as the crackers and dip were nearby!! His name eludes me at this moment , but sooo cute!!! He came from Korea at 10 months, and is 21 months now. Love his All-American outfit!

The coats and sweatshirts give testimony to the weather-the goofy guys in shorts don't count!!! Swimming (in the heated pool), bocce ball, a nice campfire and lots of fireworks made for a fun day...oh yea, and the food, the best part, aside from being with friends!!

It started warming up around 7:00 and the sun actually made an appearance!
Alexa made this cute table display! A reminder of the amazing country we live in! What a blessing!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th!