Black Lake Wrap-up!

We are getting ready to do our 100 mile trip to our next project (YWAM, Discovery Bay, in Port Townsend, WA – up on the Olympic Peninsula), but I wanted to do a quick wrap-up…
(OK – packing up to move the house apparently trumps blog updating, so I’m happy to report that we have safely arrived at Discovery Bay. The slides are out, the levelers down, and lunch has been eaten. Now where was I…..Oh right -)
quick wrap-up of our time at Black Lake Bible Camp.
First of all – these people!
Black lake group
Old friends – New friends – Forever friends! We had a great month working along side these folks. Lots of laughs and lots of work too! We discovered the Wednesday $9.99 Steak Dinner special at a local restaurant and we may or may not have gone each Wednesday we were there. That’s the kind of group this was!
The staff here was also exceptional! Very welcoming, loved to share about their ministry, and even the director could be found doing whatever needed to be done. Like the day we saw him painting new lines in the parking lots. I love that! We had an especially nice time sharing several meals with a staff family that had 4 adorable kiddos – very close in age to our grands. No pictures – too busy enjoying the time!
But we did get some work done, honest!
As often is the case, I didn’t get many action shots of the guys actually working, but trust me, they were very busy! I already mentioned the tables and chairs and decks and even some roof work they got done, but there were also ramps, railings, electrical work and that bathroom that got remodeled (virtually single handed-ly by Roy) that was added to the Jobs Done list.
June 2016 iPhone
We ladies also managed to complete our to-do list. Lola redid any number of pillows, Glenda worked her creative magic on those camp store signs and the dunk tank,
(How cute is that!!)
and I finished up the painting in Alderwood and then Lola and I cleaned it up and put it all back together again (with lots of new furniture! What fun!).
I think the guests will like it! It was great fun to see it from the beginning (well, with all the old furniture piled in the middle at least) to getting it all spiffed up for guests! We also worked on cleaning and re-decorating another small cabin that will be used by the summer staff chaplain and his wife. It’s really tiny – but pretty cute!
Although I do think this toilet/shower configuration might get a little old after a while!
Just sayin’.

So once again, it was a grand month! We were blessed to serve at this camp, we were able to do a bit of sightseeing (oh, those amazing mountains!), and we made new friends. I’m not sure it can get any better than that!

(There were a couple of other interruptions as I tried to finish up – like a trip into Port Townsend for coffee (we’re near Seattle, remember) and a bit of exploring with our new neighbors and dinner. So it’s quite late in the day (early morning for those of you on the East Coast) but at least I got ‘er done! Here’s a taste of our little jaunt into town –

Port Townsend Port Townsend
Port Townsend Port Townsend
Port Townsend Port Townsend

I think this month holds just a bit of promise too!)

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The Anatomy of a Blog Post

Here are the steps that I often go through before I actually hit the “publish” button to post a blog entry.

  1. Find something interesting to write about! This can be harder than you think (or maybe not, you say!), but for this example I’ll be using our mini road trip to explore the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
  2. Actually DO the ‘interesting thing to write about”.  And while you’re doing it take lots of pictures, and give a little bit of thought about how you want to “frame” the story. (Even though the day started out a bit cloudy and drizzly,Mt.St.Helens-1 we were hopeful that the weather would break in our favor.)
  3. Return home, take a quick nap and then begin sorting through the photos of the day.
    1. Original Count (both camera and phone)-203
    2. Mark your favorites – got it down to 93
    3. Look at that first sifting, and continue to fine tune your choices. (Decide you need to take a photography class to better utilize/understand your SLR camera since you often like the iPhone pix better than the camera pix.) Get it down to 60. Still too many, but I just gave up!
  4. Begin to upload the pictures to Flickr. Be realistic about your slow internet (here under the towering pines) and when after 3 days of having had only 15 successfully upload, take the computer to the dining hall and use the camp wifi.  In the time it took to eat dinner, all the pictures were uploaded and just needed a bit of organizing. Phew.
  5. Start the post and then decide which few photos to actually highlight and how that will work in with the storyline. Assuming I remember the story line. Where were we again? Oh right – Mount. St. Helens.
    We’ve visited a lot of mountains in our travels (most recently the majestic Mt. Rainier), but we’ve never visited an active volcano that erupted during our lifetime – 1980. And I mean, ERUPTED!  From Wikipedia –

    Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its paroxysmic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. PDT,[2] the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused an eruption[3] that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,363 ft (2,549 m), replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.[4] The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.

    It was a very interesting day – from the lower slopes that have been purposefully re-forested by Weyerhauser
    to the area managed by the Forestry Service which has been left to regrow without man’s help.
    One of the highlights of the day (other than the very informative visitor centers and videos) was a short hike I took along the ridge to the Johnson Ridge Observatory.
    Another was the beautiful walk along Coldstone Lake (formed when a landslide from the eruption formed a natural dam).
    What an excellent day! Such powerful examples of “beauty from ashes” and the wonderful regenerative resources that our great God has enabled in His creation.

  6. Read it over about a dozen times – checking grammar, always being thankful for that squiggly red line for spelling, and insert any links that might be helpful. Do a preview post to check for formatting and if you just can’t figure out how to make it line up the way you want to (just enough html knowledge over here to be dangerous) get over it and move on. Save your draft and then make sure you put it in a category and apply pertinent “tags” to it.
  7. Decide if you want to do a “featured image” which will be the header when this specific post is brought up. Find and upload the picture. Uploading, uploading, uploading…….(Tidy up a bit while you’re waiting for the upload. After all, we are moving down the road and there is packing that needs to be done!)
  8. Decide if you want to do a “Check out this LINK if you’d like to see the whole set of photos” or actually do a fancy slide show. What the heck – do ’em both- it’s good practice!
  9. Preview one final time – and then, (four full days after the event!), hit the Publish button.
  10. Take another nap.


Back to packing! Hope you enjoyed this little ‘inside edition’ of the journey!



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A Bit of Olympia

Although the week ahead has some promises of sunshine, most of the weekend was cool and drizzly. Quite typical for this time of the year in this part of the country, but still. So while not unexpected, it did put a bit of a damper on some of the outdoor activities we were hoping for this weekend. But not to be deterred by a bit of drizzle, we did manage to check out the Olympia Farmers Market.
There were beautiful crafts, amazing food booths, live music and stunning veggies –
Most of it was out of our price range, but it was still fun to look around and be part of the local scene!
Since the rain was spitting, and we were (after all) in downtown Olympia, we went to the next logical spot –
the State Capital Building!
I think now would be a good time to confess that although we have been to 48 of the 50 states, I cannot recall ever touring a state capital building. (Not even Harrisburg, PA! What kind of Pennsylvanian am I???)
We were right between tours so we opted to just mosey around with a little help from the kind lady at the information desk and a trusty map. Here’s one little tidbit – this building houses the largest collection of Tiffany glass and lamps in the country. And this chandelier, hanging in the rotunda, weighs 10,000 lbs.
It’s a magnificent building, with lots of history, and we were really glad we stopped.
Even the door knobs in the restrooms were proud to be Washingtonians!
How fancy!

With promises of some sunshine and warmer temps tomorrow (Monday), we’re planning on a little road trip to Mt. St. Helens. Plus – there’s only a 10% chance of rain (at least at the moment!).  We’ll see how it all pans out!

There are a couple more pictures of the beautiful Capital Building HERE (along with a couple of the Farmers Market thrown in) if you’d like to check them out!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Blogging Woes

So I’ve been having a tough time getting back into the blogging ‘rhythm’. Sorry about the long gap in my journaling. Since my last post about our beautiful drive to Mt. Rainier (us and about a thousand other folk that day), life has just continued to percolate right along. Last weekend was pretty cool and rainy, so we stayed home and worked on some home projects. I did some sewing and Gary put up some blinds and caught up with his reading. Meals were eaten and laundry was done. We both took a couple of naps, watched a couple of movies (minimal TV here – it’s pretty much DVD’s or nuttin’) – but I bet your weekend was a bit like that too! So until I get my creative juices flowing a bit more steadily, here is just a quick update of our work here at Black Lake.
Last week my co-painter (the one who does great creative painting) was away taking care of some family business, so I was left alone with my paint and brushes. I confess, it really went pretty well (for a non-painter like me!). By the end of the week the entire interior of the cabin (except the bathroom) had a fresh coat of paint, had been (more or less) emptied out, and was ready to be put back together!
Remember how it looked before?
The camp will be needing it for this weekend, so I’m sure the next two days will be busy!
Glenda (the wonderful painter) is back, and the camp had an idea to keep her busy this last week –
They have this dunk tank that seemed just a little boring.
Yes, that’s me perched up there. They wanted her to get an idea of where the victims would be sitting. Gulp.
Because this is how it’s being painted –
Isn’t she amazing? And this photo was taken early today – I’ll be sure to share the completed project. (Along with the decorated cabin!)
The guys have been busy too – I just haven’t been able to keep such good track of them! There was a bathroom remodel, a ramp built, a multitude of tables and benches painted, repaired or built from scratch –
and any number of other items checked off their to-do list. These have been full days for the guys too! Once again, it’s hard to believe we’re in the home stretch – only two working days to go! Let’s hope we finish strong!

We’ve also had a stretch of typical Seattle early summer weather – cool and rainy. Every now and again the sun peaks through, but then moments later we hear the rain on the roof.
Sun and rain
Hopefully the weather will break a bit for our week ‘off’. We’re only moving up the peninsula to Port Hadlock (you can check out the map over here), so we’ll be hanging around Olympia next week with some free time on our hands. I hoping for some touristy type excursions, but Gary keeps mentioning oil changes and generator maintenance, so I guess we’ll be splitting the time between fun and function!

Till next time – thanks for stopping by!

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Mount Rainier – Surface Scratched

I’ve decided that these days we can best be described at National Park Scratchers. We never seem to have enough time or enough stamina to really explore the beautiful National Parks this country has been blessed with. And so, we tend to just scratch the surface of these wonders. We approach the rangers sitting behind the desk with the question – “So we only have the day (afternoon) and we’re old(ish). What are the “don’t miss” items in the park that we can see and do.” Yes, we’re those people – National Park Scratchers. But still, even with our limited time and ‘resources’, we were so glad we spent (at least part of the day) Saturday checking out Mt. Rainier National Park.
First of all it was a beautiful day. Crisp and clear and warm. Closing in on hot actually. (HOT actually happened on Sunday when the temps climbed to 97!). We kept chasing that mountain
Winding our way to The Mountain. #mtrainier #fartherthanithought
until finally we were in the park and closing in on the subject!
Even before we got to the Visitor Center in the Paradise section of the park, we did our best to stop at some of the pull-outs to see what we could see!
(Not too much scenery, but I really like the cross!)
I say we ‘did our best’ to stop because the pull-outs were already full of cars trying to see what they could see. In fact, several times along the way there were signs that read – “Paradise Lot is Full. Through traffic only.” It seems that LOTS of folks thought this beautiful clear Saturday was an day excellent to visit the mountain!
And yes, indeed, the parking lot WAS full. As were the shoulders for at least a mile before you even got to the visitor center. We circled the lot a couple of times (us and about a dozen other cars) and then resigned ourselves to just a beautiful drive back down when a car pulled out of the line-up along the shoulder. Before I could say, “I don’t think we’ll fit in there”, Gary had us parked and we were walking back to the center. (We had hoped to do a loop drive that started from there, but that wasn’t open yet for the season. Silly snow!)
We checked out the 21 minute video (:)),
(We do love us a good National Park video!)
toured the small museum and gift shop. We decided that tromping through the snow wasn’t all that interesting to us, so we relinquished our shoulder parking spot and did indeed head back down the mountain road.
Most of the pull-outs were still packed, but I did make Gary stop so I could check out these lovely flowers blooming amidst a rock wall.
Pretty, pretty, pretty!

We continued home, stopped for a lovely dinner along the way, and still enjoyed catching glimpses of The Mountain all the way home!

A few more photos of our day at the Park can be found here
but I thought I’d leave you with two very different views of Mt. Rainier –
Taken on my flight East back in early May –
and then on my flight back to Seattle two weeks later –
Yes, it’s that little dimple in the clouds! Gotta love Seattle weather!

Thanks for stopping by –
Your friendly neighborhood National Park Scratchers!

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