Time Traveling, and a Winner!

My sincere appreciation goes to all of you who stopped by and left comments, emailed, or in some other way expressed your thoughts and good wishes for my 10th Blogiversary. It's been wonderful hearing from so many of you who don't ordinarily comment. I know you're out there lurking because I'm something of a lurker myself, but it's been nice to get a bit of a head count. And to those of you who write every day...thank you for your friendship. You've all been so sweet with your kind words. 

Here's what I appreciate about you, my blogging friends: You answer my quilting questions. You give advice and instruction on quilting-related matters. You suggest corrections when you see errors. You weigh in with your opinions on fabric choices. You help identify flowers when I don't know them. When we travel, you tell me stories about local areas and memories brought to the fore by certain places. Oh and let's not forget, you've pointed me in the direction of some really great quilt shops. When I blogged about my father's death and our troubled relationship back in January, you offered up such kind and supportive comments. In fact, your support and encouragement is what keeps me coming back day after day, year after year, and so, I thank you for all of that, and so much more. 

But, I promised you a winner for today, and a winner you shall have! Spinning the random number generator, I come up with:


Congratulations, Carolyn! I've sent you an email, so check your inbox!

Okay, so with that business taken care of, I've been considering how to write this post because I have so, so much to tell you. I'm thinking I'll write about our day trip to Mt. Rainier National Park on this post, and then catch-up on the Saturday stuff. It means a rather long post with lots of pictures, so get yourself a cup of something and settle in. Let's have a nice long chat this morning, shall we? And let's just start with the mountain. You've seen the sunrise views from our home where Mt. Rainier is visible, but let's just get up close and personal for a change.

Here's something I want you to know about Mt. Rainier: It's elevation is 14,411 feet, and so it's a huge mountain. And it isn't a national park for nothing. Still, you'd expect something so immense to be visible from miles away...and it is...visible from our house some 200 miles away. But when you drive up to it, you have to be practically right on top of it before you can see it! Here, we were just about 20 miles away. You can just see the tippy-top there.

But not to worry...we reached the park. Bump in the road...sorry. 

Make sure all your teeth are still intact before proceeding. And even once inside the park boundary, you can't see the mountain for the trees. It's no wonder Washington is known as the "Evergreen State."

Finally, after driving for some time, we could get a little glimpse out Mike's window from time to time.

Before we go any further, allow me to warn you about the many ways you could die today.

And as we drove along, we saw these signs. These didn't make a lot of sense since the rock wall was to our left, and not to our right.

On the other hand, there was a cliff to our right, so if you drove off the road, you might die this way:

We first stopped off at a trailhead for several different trails. Believe it or not, almost all the trails were still covered in snow and impassable. We could have walked here out to a waterfall, but we decided to continue on. We wanted to see if the wildflowers were in bloom. (Spoiler alert: they were!) This is the wide river bed of the Nisqually River. 

It's a lot of snow melt and it was moving fast on this day.

I took a couple of videos you might enjoy. Here's the river. Turn up your volume and listen to it roar! If you can't see the video, then click right here.

We walked just a little farther. I wanted to see this bridge, which was basically a log with a hand rail.

Standing on the log, it gave us quite a thrill. I made another video here. Hang onto your camera. And if you can't see the video, then click right here.

Here's a little information about the river.

Our shadow selves were thrilled with the weather. They love a sunny day.

Driving up the road a bit, we got a better view of the mountain.

At the top is a glacier. Here's a little information about it, and you can see how much it has receded.

This next image was taken near the lodge at "Paradise." You can see the glacier better in the picture below. Take a good look because I don't think this glacier will be around for much longer.

Here's another view of where the Nisqually River runs down the mountainside.

Before reaching Paradise, we stopped off to view Christine Falls, and I took another video. If you can't see it, then click right here.

Finally, we reached Paradise. Even after entering the park, it's quite a distance to reach this first point. The park is huge, and we entered through the Nisqually entrance.

There, we were thrilled to find the wildflowers blooming away. If you want my opinion (and why wouldn't you?) the wildflowers of summer are the best reason to visit Mt. Rainier National Park. We saw fields of lupine and paintbrush. 

The paintbrush could be seen in both orange and red.

These are Alpine Asters.

This appeared to be a type of heather, but the flower was quite different from what we grow in our garden at home.

The snow kept me from getting very close to these Avalanche Lilies.

I zoomed in to see them a little better.

Some are white, some are yellow.

The paintbrush is really just getting started.

These are buttercups.

These next ones are called "Broadleaf Arnica."

These next ones are known as "Jeffrey's Shooting Star."

These are Tall Bluebells.

Here's some more lupine. These can be seen throughout the season.

I believe these next white ones are known as Sitka Valerian.

So after taking in the wildflowers, we sat in the bed of our truck and ate some lunch. This was our view between bites. Incidentally, that wrap I'm eating is something I made ahead to take along. It's a recipe for Curried Chicken and Apple Wraps from Giada deLaurentiis...a favorite of mine. 

Both going and coming from the park, we passed by fields of wild blooming foxglove.

Okay, and so coming back to the present, this is how we spent our Saturday...doing what else, but picking cherries!

Smitty was trying to decide whether to catch a mouse or climb the cherry tree. Hanging with dad in the branches seemed like a good idea. On the other hand...mice.

There are so many cherries, we easily picked a 6 quart bucket in just a few minutes. We chose only the most ripe, and there are still many, many more. These will keep me busy today. I'll be canning them in a simple syrup. My plans for the rest are to make some barbecue sauce, sweet cherry pie filling, sweet cherry chutney, and possibly a sweet cherry pie. Oh yes, and Black Forest Preserves, which is divine over ice cream.

While I was waiting for Mike to bring the tractor around, I took a little walk around to see what's blooming. The echinacea flowers are finally opening.

We have them in three colors.

The purple hydrangea is in full flower right now.

Also, the purple clematis is doing its best to heal my broken heart, after we killed the blue one.

The deepest blue hydrangea is also in full flower now. 

The deer have done their best to eat all the roses, but they've missed quite a few this year. This rose bush has bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. It's very fragrant.

In the vegetable garden, things are looking great. The corn is about knee high now.

The beans are beginning to climb their poles.

There is a zucchini nearly ready for harvest. Hopefully, it didn't grow to the size of a baseball bat overnight. One never knows with zucchini.

The beets are getting close to harvest time. I'll use these mostly to make pickled beets...a family favorite...but we'll eat plenty of fresh ones too. I could start harvesting the greens for sauteeing and eating. They're good in salad, and they also make good pesto.

Some of the sunflowers are heading up. This is one of the giant sunflowers. It's as tall as I am now.

On the stitching front, I finished the 16th of 16 snowmen blocks while we were away.

Here are all 16 blocks together.

I was thinking I was ready to start sewing this together, but then realized there is still work to do at the top and bottom of the quilt. Here's the picture from the pattern cover. You can see there is some applique and embroidery work to do.

Also, I finished off the 11th of 12 snowflakes. I needed to add the beads, and then rinse out the Sticky Fabri-Solvy. This one was done almost exclusively in metallic floss.

And then I traced out and colored the next "plate" for Pieces of the Past. I'll get started on that this morning.

The only machine sewing I did was to make yet another mask for a friend. She lives in New Mexico, and so I selected this fabric I purchased years ago in her home state.

And that brings you up to date on the goings on here at the Three Cats Ranch. If you've read this far, you're probably ready for a nap with Smitty.

Today I'll be canning cherries and making plans for tomorrow's canning extravacanza. (Did you see what I did there?) If there's time for sewing, I'll be working at sewing together the sections for "And On that Farm." McKenna Ryan: You know that means tears and cursing. More on that later. Thanks for reading. Busy day ahead. Time to get going.


Julierose said...

{Hahaha extrava"can"za--very good] And on the food topic--that wrap looks really good...
Just wonderful virtual tour videos and photos--thank you so much for posting Mt Rainier is just gorgeous--I can't imagine how lovely the Park must be in person...
All of your embroideries look super...you got a lot done;))
Welcome home
Congrats to Carolyn on her win, too...
Hugs from homebase Julierose

Quilting Tangent said...

You have been busy, love travelling along with you on the trip.

NancyA said...

Just wanted to say congrats on your blogversary. I didn’t post on that post ‘cause I really don’t need more fabric, so didn’t want to confuse the issue. I love your blog, though. I admire the way you write as if we were long-time friends—so casual and friendly. I enjoy your travels and your cats’ antics. Your quilt projects inspire me. I have renewed my interest in embroidery because of you. And you (almost) have me making bread! Geez, now I sound like a deranged stalker.😉 Anyway, keep up the great job. I look forward to our morning chats over coffee.

Sandra W said...

A lovely note to your blog followers. Thank you.

Karrin Hurd said...

Beautiful scenery and lovely snowman project!

Quilter Kathy said...

Your eyes have seen so many beautiful sights on your amazing adventures! Enjoy the fresh cherries!
Loved seeing your 16 embroidery blocks!
Thanks for linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Congratulations to the winner. Oh, I love all the 'blooming' pics and videos. Thank you for sharing this journey. The snowmen and snowflakes are needed today - we are at our hottest day with heat index that does NOT want you to go outside!

Dorothy said...

Once again thank you for taking us all along on your trip. I love the drive into Paradise. After all these years of living in WA (60) it still makes me catch my breath. Your writing is the best--as someone said earlier, it's like you're writing to your best friend :-) Enjoy the cherries. Glad you made it home before the raccoons got them all

Jenny said...

I always love traveling along with you on your adventures through your country. Always plenty of spectacular scenery to admire.

CathieJ said...

Okay, that second video on the log bridge gave me the willies. I do not like bridges on a good day, but ones with one handrail over raging water....ugh. I loved the pictures of the wildflowers and the flowers around your home. Cherries! You have quite an abundance! Enjoy your canning day. Those snowmen are so whimsical. That quilt is going to be wonderful. I really like that snowflake too. I hope the metallic threads weren't too difficult to use. The next plate looks pretty. I am looking forward to seeing the stitches and flosses you use. Great Smitty photos. Enjoy your busy day!

SJSM said...

Beautiful country we have. The cherries are nearing the end here. You gave several recipes that were used for the coming years larder. We have enjoyed all you have shared. This round of mask making I’m sharing my sewing room with a friend who joined me to learn the methods to supply her family with masks. She sewed years ago and was hesitant to commit to sewing again. This is waking up her skills and she is finally feeling a bit of sewing mojo. She is also learning to dislike mask making as much as I do. Mostly from the fact of why we are making them. Her granddaughter age 3 is getting a half dozen or so to attend day camp. The little lady is learning how to have fun in a social distancing world. Pictures always show her at her "station" doing an activity alone and with a mask. It’s the world In which we live.

I look forward to your productive day results.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

You surely did choose the best time to visit the park, gorgeous flowers. I enjoyed the views of Mt Rainier too. When we went to Glacier Park last year in Montana, I was very disappointed in that the glaciers were almost totally gone. Just a few patches here and there remain. Good to see yours while it is still there. Have fun canning, your Black Forest preserve sounds yummy!

piecefulwendy said...

Your Rainier photos bring back memories of a trip we took many years ago. I remember hairpin turns as we drove up to the park along with beautiful views. Have fun canning those cherries! We're heading to Door County soon for cherry picking. Enjoy your day!

Pinkflorentina said...

What a great trip and thank you for taking me down memory lane. I was there with my late husband in the eighties, not too long after the St Helens eruption. Nature was just starting to poke its head back up again in a landscape that looked like the surface of the moon at times . We took many road trips in the USA, as our work here in the UK permitted. Mt Rainier Park was a big favourite. Thanks again for sharing all this great photos. Ps I did a log walk over a river - great fun

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Such a fun post! So much to see and explore. First of all, congratulations to Carolyn! The flower pictures are spectacular as are those of the mountain - and of course your garden. The most drool-worthy though it that amazing bowl of cherries - definitely look good!!!

QuiltGranma said...

I always love traveling with you and seeing every blooming thing that you share. Lovely views. Western Oregon could be called the evergreen state too, but both OR and WA have an eastern side that is boiling today, here in NE Central OR at 100 degrees! gasp! Right now i miss the west side, but not all the people over there!

Kate said...

Love all the blooming things you shared. I have a business trip to Seattle every odd numbered year and have wanted to drive down to the mountain. But I also have to visit San Francisco and LA on that trip so it's hard to fit in a day when I'm not traveling. Your snowmen are coming along beautifully.