Wish Upon a Star, or a Catalog!

When we were kids [back in the day, decades ago] there were two or three things we always looked forward to in the mail.  Remember, for several years we only received mail once or twice a month, because we lived on a homestead accessible only by water or small plane.  Our Dad went to town for supplies, and to longshore the monthly freighters that supplied that town.  But that is several other stories.

So there we were, anxiously awaiting what in the mail?  Packages from our Grandma in California, and in later years the boxes of school books from the Calvert Course and the library box. Oh my, again with the several other stories.

High on our list of favorite mail however was THE WISH BOOK.  You all remember those, right?  No?  Okay, for the ‘too young’ or folks who never experienced it, this was the Sears Roebuck Christmas Catalog.  Actually we received two, because Montgomery Wards also had one.  We spent literally hours and hours pouring over these two beautiful publications.  Pencil or crayon in hand, we would mark our initials by the things we wanted. Some items got marked by all of us, some were individual choices.  Primarily it was toys, but also clothes and things for our family. It kept us entertained for weeks!  We also knew that we would probably not get any of our selections, but we could dream and so we did.

Last week I found out that our young granddaughters discovered their own ‘wish book’.  The 6 year old brought the catalog to me, proudly sharing each item she had circled and put her initial by. Upon hearing her, the 3 year old said “Gma, I could mark some too.”  Off they went, happy for a while at least with their own shared ‘wish book’.  Definitely brought back memories, especially when I shared the story with my sisters.

Ah, now those of you from our generation, and a few after, are saying “But there isn’t a Sears or Wards Wish Book any more!”  [Whereas the ‘too young’ are still just bewildered.]  You are right, there isn’t. **  But then it is not a Christmas catalog, but one that is more dear to the hearts and green thumbs of our little grands.


Uhuh, the fall perennial & flower issue!  They will be non-partisan and do the same when Burpee’s and the others come through as well, plotting and planning what looks beautiful and that they MIGHT convince their folks or grandparents to order and help them ‘plant’.

Meanwhile, they help with the watering, harvesting and preserving, asking a million questions and reminding us “but last year you did it this way, Gma, don’t you remember?”

**In looking for an image of a vintage Sears Wish Book to use, I see that they do have one still.  Apparently none of us bought enough to remain on their list!

If we had groundhogs….

A) Is it nice to wake someone up when they are sleeping?  No wonder the ground hog is often grouchy.  Come on, you could get the same info from the weatherman and have it as accurate.

B) Here in SW Oregon it really would have depended on the exact timing of the awakening. It’s sunshine! No, it’s cloudy with a chill breeze! Wait, wait, well there it is…

C) Hoping we do not have six more weeks of serious winter, although by calendar we actually have over six weeks.

Now, to cheer yourself up, look at a seed or nursery catalog, because even if you’ve not intention at all of planting anything, the beautiful foliage, fresh veggies and gorgeous flowers are bound to make you feel … well … springy!

The Box on the Beach; Pt 2

100_6411First, let’s start with the beach.  This photo taken just last month, when our brother/cousin/friend Jeff David kindly transported us down to Glacier Point.  Transport your thoughts back over 50 years when we used to LIVE down here and a boat was our only way to get to town.

For some reason, every time our Dad could not find something, he’d say ‘It must have been in that box we forgot on the beach’. Huh? Seriously? Even as little kids we would have noticed a box sitting all by itself on the beach!

On our recent trip to Alaska [yes, all four of us sisters went again!] we stood there and chuckled about ‘the box on the beach’.  With all the items that were in that box over the years, it would have had to be shipping crate size by the time we actually moved away from the homestead.  But, wait for it, what if one opened a collectibles store and called it ‘The Box on the Beach’ ? You would have to be near a beach, and have a sign explaining. Be crazy.  Then again, we often are, and we had a lot of giggles thinking about the possibilities!

The day of this picture, we had to leave after our picnic lunch because a stiff wind came up.  Definitely that brought with it many memories from our childhood.  This time we had to ferry out to the boat via a small zodiac and that was a challenge as the waves grew.  Especially for the eldest sis [me] who is decidedly less agile AND had seriously wrenched a leg a couple days earlier.  If someone had made a video, I’m sure we could have gotten a prize for it [or at least scared ourselves and families!]  100_6423

Here we are shortly before our quick departure!  Rose, Denise, Linda, Jeff, Nancy, Ruth.

100_6425Pat, Caroline & young son Huxley joined us for our picnic, and Patrick was VERY helpful getting us all back out to the boat.  You can see the waves starting to build in the background.

A Little Color

Spring brings so many natural treats and I meant to share a couple 100_6293~ this one in particular reminds us of spring on the homestead because Mom always had a row of chives at the end of the cabin.  Some fresh chopped went into a lot of recipes, but in particular a salmon one.  First day, baked salmon.  Second day, cold salmon flaked into mayo with chopped chives!

Fingers crossed, we’ll be home in two weeks with a LOT of beautiful photos to share!

Whoa, Have We All Been Busy or What?

Besides the ‘normal’ daily things [which are just to keep ones head above water and the floors not too sticky], what has been going on?

Ruth @ WoodshopWonders.com has of course been dealing with a new calf crop, hauling water until the irrigation ditch was turned on, creating many new items in her woodshop and filling orders!  Her husband Jerry is getting quite a following of his metal art as well.

Nancy @ Only1Co.com ; Despite her day job which seems to keep growing, she has been creating a plant haven at her home, preparing her mom in law’s new abode and working on some special embroidery projects.

Linda @ FabricCreations.us has barely had a moment to spare between greenhouse planting, bedding plant sales at the Farmer’s Market, and now moving plants from greenhouse to field.  Those ‘other moments’ were crammed full however, starting her granddaughter on the way to being a good seamstress and creating several new items for summer fairs which of course include new quilts!

Denise @ BellybuttonBears.com  being the eldest has the best excuse for failing memory (right?).  Venturing into quilting, she managed a couple small ones and is working with her sister on a couple others.  More herbs started for the farm in the greenhouse, some other very random projects including experimental signs and a few creations that flopped! Plus, of course, memory bears for many families.

The biggest venture this spring? Planning another Alaska trip for the four sisters, and we depart the 20th!  Yes, this week!  Pictures and write up after our return.  Going on a quest to find a few more locations from our childhood and just explore.

Alrighty then, confused as usual.

Week or two ago I posted a new piece, “Almost Spring” and my email even told me that there was a new posting.  However, it seems to have gone into the land of the lost.  Here is a repeat:

While puttering around one sunny afternoon recently I found some 'wild' oregano
in a patch on the hillside.  Truly, I planted it years ago, then after a season
or two it faltered. Pretty much disappeared. So I ignored it.  For years. 
Guess what? It lingered and then grew back under some actual wild stuff (grass
and sweet peas of the wild type].  Hot diggity!  Dug up and transplanted into
3 and 4 inch pots, each with a nice root section.

They are doing well!  Of course I left some in my 'secret' hillside incubator
spot too.  These 30 pots will go to Cron Produce to join their spring bedding
plant sales.  Plus a couple dozen lavender, IF they root.  Unlike the oregano,
they are from necessary trimmings in my yard.

So exciting, 32 (actually) pots of oregano, and 24 lavender... just how does
that compare to what they are doing on the farm?  Over 20,000 [yes, twenty
THOUSAND] asstd peppers, 6,000 eggplant, and just starting on the over 10,000
tomatoes.  Yes, THOUSANDS!  You can follow them on Facebook and get the latest
updates on produce progress.  https://www.facebook.com/CronProduce?ref=hl

Plus, we'll break the secret right here and now; can you say Recipe Book? The
'First Ever Sweet Cron Recipe Book' is going to be available soon!


Frosty Mornings & Warm Afternoons

This is only the beginning!  Was out to the farm the other day and my sis was working, where else, in the greenhouses.

Thousands of seedlings!

Thousands of seedlings!

I delivered some herbs that were started last year, was minimally helpful in transplanting the first of the eggplants that were big enough for the next stage.  Then we sorted/reviewed/matched and discussed fabric for quilt projects while she did some embroidery for me.

We took time for a walk around the field in front of her house before I headed home.  Beautiful weather, spring flowers peeping through here and there.

I brought home some seedling soil and am beginning the process in my own small greenhouse to (hopefully) get a few more herbs growing and possibly some flowers.  We’ll see!  Of course, the fact that I am in the middle of a bear order and another project doesn’t help, but seems the norm.  Even so, I am less busy than any of my sisters.  You don’t want to know what their schedules are like!!

This posting is also another test to see if the ‘notice’ system has perhaps begun to work correctly.  If it has, you’ll be reading this with no need for an additional email.  If not, I’ll know soon and will try to rectify.

Best to you, from all of us.

Sunshine Again!

blue boyThe garden fairies will be around soon!

Must venture into the fabric warehouse [much better to do when it is warmish out] and locate the tub of bear fabric.  This would not be to make bears out of, but has bears or woodland or mountains or forests on it.  Now that the first bound edition of “The Klondike Gold Rush, Bellybutton Bears in History” is complete, there is another project in the works.

Klondike Book


Well, of course!

If you are interested in the latest book, email bellybuttonbears@charter.net.  Others are displayed at http://www.bellybuttonbears.com/Stories.htm

Hoping to share some other projects soon, from all of us.  Oh, someone asked about the link for the homestead stories.  http://www.homesteadline.com/Publish/

These are real survival, a compilation of diaries and memories of the Stelting family.