Saturday, October 31, 2015

When Flying Feels Like Boating

After six months of planning, today we began our trip to Disneyland with our girls and their husbands and all the grandkids! (It wasn't good timing for 'the boys', so we will do something for them at a later time.)

The dream is coming to fruition because of and in honor of Mom and Dad (Grandpa and Grandma, and Great Grammie and Great Papa)

Al and I today traveled to Portland. We wanted to make it extra special and reserved our spots on a Kenmore Air sea plane. We looked forward to 'just walking down the dock', less than 100 yards away from Viking Star, hopping aboard, maybe bump across a few waves, and watch Friday Harbor grow small as we rose.

Didn't happen. An hour before flight time, we got a phone call that said the sea plane was cancelled due to wind, and we should report to the Friday Harbor Airport at 9:55, only 15 minutes later than our check-in time for the sea plane. Since it was raining 'cats and dogs' and it is a mile walk, uphill, with baggage, we called a taxi.

And got word that the expected flight from Boeing to the San Juan Islands was ALSO experiencing weather delays.

But there was coffee, and we spent some time reading the wall displays, which were very interesting. And eventually the 10-passenger plane arrived!

'The Back of the Bus'

Yes, this was still a small plane, and yes, there was still wind. I kept myself distracted taking photos and occasionally taking calming breaths. And told myself that the turbulence was 'waves in the air'. 

I can see Lopez, James, Cypress, Guemes, and Fidalgo Islands, and one is Decatur but I don't know where it begins and ends.

Approaching Boeing Field

Al says that he was ready for the ride to be over by the time we got there. I told him that I didn't much like the sideways movements.

Another way it felt like boating -- water EVERYWHERE.

A shuttle to SEATAC, and we boarded a bigger plane, with PROPS! Same motion, much poorer views. We were glad to de-plane safely onto the tarmac and retrieve our bags, which had puddles on top by the time we got to them. We landed at the peak of the rainfall. The evening news had pictures of local flooding in Portland. Rainfall amounts were far below the 9 inches possible in the forecast, but some drains must be clogged -- it happens a lot in Autumn rains in the Northwest.

Tomorrow, our group of 7 adults and 7 children meets at the PDX airport and we continue traveling. We look forward to sunny California!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

One reason I dislike comming into port early..

The views:

(note:  Our 'normal' pattern is to be out-there until the 1st part of November.
         All depending on when the weather turns sour - but this year has been 'special'.)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Soaking Up Coffee

And since returning to Friday Harbor from our brief but busy visit to what we call 'The Coffee Desert', we have been busy soaking up GOOD COFFEE!

This morning we visited the Rocky Bay Cafe, where Devin was our barista. She made a pretty latte for me, and the mug of drip coffee for Al put him in heaven...

Harvest Is Over

Well, it's been over - at least on the Johnson Dairy Farm - for more than a week, and Al and I have returned to the boat.

Some final shots:

Well into it - the beans are half done

Displaying some of the plenty

At sunset on Saturday night, the fields are empty and the tractor, trailer and combine are coming up the driveway

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Farm Cats

You wouldn't know it from these photos, but farm cats work very hard. Al surprised a cat on a few occasions concentrating on their catch, mainly at night when he was driving wagons to the yard.

Sun-warmed concrete is a nice place to relax

The friendliest cat was this rough-and-ready tom

Sitting pretty. I managed to pick her up -- once.

Looks like there will be more kittens soon.  Unfortunately, late kittens don't have a very good chance to survive.


¿Hablas espaƱol?

I did not expect to find so many shots with this feature!  Each of these was a accidental capture.

Instead of a pocket for tissues, God gave cows tongues.

Ms. Thomason, I'm Ready for my Closeup!

Remember my Redheads post? (It wasn't that long ago -- just scroll down if you missed it) Well, I have LOTS of photos from that evening with my camera, and a few 'themes' were visible when I edited, so I thought I'd do a few fun posts.

Alternate title for this post:  Head to Toe
(though I missed a toe shot -- perhaps too 'messy')

Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Cemetery Visit

This morning Al and I made a visit to the cemetery. It is the first time we have been there since Mom died. Our time in Minnesota this Fall is between the one-year anniversaries of their deaths.

As expected, there were soft-voiced remembrances and tears.

I placed my tribute. Mom taught me as a child to knit, and after her death I took a refresher class. I thought it only fitting to knit something for her. Mom's favorite author was Debbie Macomber, who has a yarn shop in Port Orchard, Washington. I visited the store in the spring and purchased some yarn for this project. And I designed something that says a lot about my feelings for my parents, and what I believe they felt for each other.

The yarn is a pale blue, both Mom and Dad's favorite color, and was their wedding color. The heart is a symbol of love. I made the hearts puffy, or FULL -- their love never ran out. There is a cord between the hearts, reaching for the other, the 'tie that binds'. And bows are the shape of infinity. They were married for over 61 years on earth and now goes on forever.

There is a gentle mound where they lie. I am glad to see their markers are SO close together. But it does make it seem my sister Gwen is so far away.

Dad's Veteran Star

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Where have all the Costs gone?

Perhaps you are one of the readers who come to this blog primary for the detailed tracking of costs we have published over the years:

If so, you likely have noted that I have not published updates for a while.   And I am here today to explain why.

In short: last year we took a break in Minnesota; hence the postings listed 'Cost to Not Cruise' during 2014.   I had been looking forward to resuming our true Cost to Cruise blog posts this year - but again 2015 turns out to be an odd year.

See, I try to 'filter out' things which are not really related to costs associated with cruising.  Example, when I take business trips I did not include Airfare nor hotel, but do include moorage costs while I was away.  I had a set of 'rules' for these adjustments - but 2015 is a bit complex and I felt things were getting out of hand.  We had our trip to the BVI.  Then there was a family trip in the spring.  We are right now taking another trip to Minnesota to help out with harvest.  And we have three more trips planned after that.

So many exceptions, oh so many adjustments.  Things just seemed way too artificial and manipulated. So we made the decision to suspend the Costs posts for 2015 - and I was lazy in posting an explanation - until now.

But never fear.  2016 is looking to be a much more 'normal' pure cruising year and we intend to restart the costs posts come January 2016.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Break

Dean, Elizabeth and I took a break from harvest and chores to attend the football game last night. The Windom team won! And Ethan got in on a few plays in the first half too. Wins have been a little rare for this team so it was really appreciated, even though we felt bad (a little) that it was the other team's Homecoming.

A year ago they were the same height. It looks like Ethan is still a growing boy!

Al had stayed home to run the combine and fill the trailers to take to town first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, he had a 'break' too. He called Dean on our way to the game to say that a belt had broken on the combine. Fortunately we were driving by a John Deere shop on the way, and even though it was 7PM, the door was open. The parts man was able to assist quickly and we made it to the game in time to hear the home team cheering a touchdown.

Al then had time to research online how to install the new belt on the combine. He's still working on it as I write.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


We are here to help with 'the harvest', but this IS a dairy farm. It's all to feed the girls.

The herd is mainly Holsteins, but everyone knows redheads get more attention.

My favorite picture of the bunch


No, they aren't segregated, even though this picture makes it look like it.

A pretty auburn. Elizabeth says this is the 'miracle calf', all grown up.

Cows are quite curious creatures, but this one is a bit shy. Peek-a-boo!

I love this one's wild hairdo! She is my nephew's cow he took to the fair last year in his last year of 4-H showing. Her mama is #1712 above -- the one saying 'cheese'.


And, the chickens ARE all redheads!