Though it is only just past mid-December, so far we’ve had a seemingly mild winter in my experience. Any snow that has fallen disappears with the next rain and we are back to lush green scenery. The days are at their shortest now and that only means we’ll be celebrating the longest night of the year when on December 22nd at 10:08 pm (PST) the earth reaches its furthest point from the sun which will appear at its lowest point in the sky during the day. It’s the Winter Solstice! Somehow, along with this cosmic tipping point, my body starts to respond and the energy levels will start to pick back up as the days begin to grow longer once more.
For now though, I’m not adverse to a little bit of hibernation and log home warmth. It’s chilly outside, but nothing like what other parts of the US experience. With our Pacific Marine climate reaching up into the foothills of the Cascades, our temperatures rarely drop below the low 20’s at night. Right now, it seems we’re getting more wetness than frozen-ness outside with temps during the day in the 40’s.
Still, there are sunny and dry days too! When that winter sun shines it brings a remarkable glint with it and magical things are bound to happen. For example, last Monday was one of those days. I was watching the sun play off of the mountain in the front that I almost missed it too! When I came back inside I glanced out the back window to discover a remarkable détente that had been reached between Slick, the black barn cat, and our two dogs. Slick was perched on a fallen log in the warmth of the sun as the dogs walked right up to him without any fuss from the three of them. Of course, I grabbed the camera so I could send this one to our cat lady (did I mention I have a cat lady?)
One sad event to remark upon…unfortunately, we live in a remote area of the mountains that some individuals like to come to in order to abandon their pets. This past Wednesday, I came back home to discover two German Sheppard strays roaming the yard. They were very friendly and you could tell that the male was still a puppy. They were desperate for affection. With no collars, nor ID of any kind, my only option was a call to the Animal Control Officer. They mentioned that they’ve already been to this area six times in the past week. Its very tragic that people act in an irresponsible manner so commonly.
Still, no rest for us here. I’ve got a number of pokers in the fire as I work on several business fronts. I’ve just engaged a surveying company to do the work required by the county for our rezoning application. I’m ordering samples of products for our ranch store. I’m gathering advertising and marketing sources and information so I’ll be ready to roll out press releases and media kits. Even in breaks in the weather, I’ll try and get outside and clear some of the wood debris on trails. I’ve even got back around to addressing some of the minor projects on the list, like, ordering a roll of copper and some upholstery nails to cap the posts of our deck railings. They’ll hopefully patina up nicely over time.
We had lots of fun this past weekend as we took our turn hosting the famous (and infamous) White Elephant Xmas party that is the winter tradition for our campsite members. What a blast! There are always some nice gifts mixed in with plenty of gag gifts; some of which managed somehow to be left behind…hmmmm… Of course hosting the party gave us the motivation to set up the Christmas tree. It’s been a couple years since we had the actual opportunity to pull out all of our Wallace Silver bells, blown glass ornaments, and Swarovski crystal snowflakes and stars collections. Glenn does such a great job with the tree and it looks spectacular.
Now, getting the actual tree proved to be somewhat of a challenge. At first, one would think with 17 acres of property populated with plenty of evergreen trees, we’d be able to find a suitable tree to decorate without spending money to actually buy one. Nope, that simply did not work even after all my traipsing over the river and through the brush and around the dead fall and into the mud. Nothing suitable for the holiday tree. Next we figured with all the Christmas tree farms so close by (we live in a hotbed of Xmas tree growers) we could probably find a U-Pick U-Cut good deal close by. Nope, seems that that whole experience comes with a hefty price tag (if ya can buh-lieve that!) Our last resort turned out to be our best resort and that was a visit to the local Granite Falls grocery store, the Red Apple. I am really starting to groove on our local grocery store. They have got some great people working there, good prices, and a growing organic section that is awesome too. There we found probably the best tree we’ve ever had for $40.
But not to worry, I’ve already been working with the Snohomish County Conservation District (they helped develop our farm plan) with regard to their annual plant sale that is in March of this next year. It’s amazing the number of landscaping plants you can get for very, very reasonable prices! So, I was sure to include plenty of orders for tree plugs: Noble Firs, Grand Firs, and a few others. We’ll be growing our own Christmas trees as part of our landscaping plans. Hopefully within 5-8 years we’ll have a selection we can harvest.
Well, I’m uploading a couple of You Tube video clips to give you a feel for the range of weather we can experience in a short period of time…one from the wind storm and one from the snow storm. Plus a smattering of pictures in the photo album from the recent adventures here at Paca Pride. Enjoy!