YIKES! GreenFestival Wrap-Up, Back Problems

We have a 9 year old in the house!

Scarlet's 9th Birthday
Scarlet's 9th Birthday

Scarlet went and turned 9 the other day. I know this will sound like every other gushing father, but I just can’t believe how fast they are growing up. I never would have thought that having kids would happen so fast, and then accelerate.


Somehow we have started having two cakes at birthday parties. One is the child’s choice, from our local baker, and the other with the kids picture on it, my mother brings. After M’s birthday in September, I’ll be talking with Nita about whether we really need  that second cake.


Second Birthday Cake.
Second Birthday Cake.

We had a great time at the Seattle GreenFestival last weekend. We talked to lots of folks about our product line, Natural Look Mineral Makeup™. I wish we had taken this retail trade show more seriously last year and in 2008. Apparently attendance was down this year, but there were still lots of people that were very interested. There were lots of great products on display. Automobiles, solar power, fair trade items from all over the world, clothing and of course, our mineral makeup.


While I was getting the yard ready for S’s birthday party, I threw my back out. Ended up communing with the lawn for about 15 minutes before a neighbor heard me calling. Perfect neighbor Ed, found me and helped me get to the house. Then my other perfect neighbor, Dennis, came down to finish mowing our lawn so it would be cut for the party. I’m in debt, I know.

Yard panorama
Yard panorama.





6 Year Old in the House!, Skiing, Recent Graduate & New Blog at HoG

I can’t believe it, another birthday. Is turned 6!

Isabel's Birthday
Isabel's Birthday

I just don’t know where the time is going. I try to pay attention, really I do. Every time I turn around, some major milestone is being passed. I barely see them coming.

We went skiing with our pals, Adam and Asia last weekend. We drove up in their RV and spent Friday night. We skied both Friday and Saturday, ALL day. We ran into our friends the Attaways, from Forty Below. Joel and I skiied to the top of the Hogs Back and had a great cruise through the soon to be new expansion area at White Pass. Weather was great and everybody had a great time. We were all worn out when we got home. (pics coming soon)

A “Hip, Hip, Hurrah!” to Vanessa Nixon Klein! Vanessa recently received her Homeopathic credentials and is now, officially, Vanessa Nixon Klein, DiHom, (Homeopathic Practitioner). Please check out her website for more info.

Parties, More Aliens, Leaves, New Business Accounts

It’s been a great summer. We have had parties in the yard, attended a family reunion,  raced sailboats in the San Juans,  and picked up a great new business account.

Maleah turned 10! We had a bevy of girls at the house. Sunshine, snacks, treasure hunt, cake, and lots of giggles.

Maleah's Birthday Party.

We also had a second birthday in September. I turned 50. Vanessa had a surprise party for me. I had a great time. It’s really nice to attend a party where everyone brings YOU food and drink and YOU don’t have to hussel around keeping the food and drink table filled.  Ah… life is good.

Brad and looooong time buddy, Ross.

Some GREAT friends showed up, some that I hadn’t seen for ages.

V, Eden and Jer

We were at the local coffee shop the other day and ran into some more aliens. They had odd looking hats. They also used them for noise makers. Actually, the brown cones are called Gold Cones. It is a gold sluicing device developed by my father about 40 years ago.

Gold Cone Aliens

We had fun raking and jumping in the leaves this fall.

We also got a great new business account this Fall. Herbs of Grace, Inc. welcomes Whole Foods NW as our newest retailer for Natural Look Mineral Makeup™. You can find Natural Look Mineral Makeup™ in the following stores:

Bellevue Whole Foods, Bellevue, WA
Redmond Whole Foods, Redmond, WA

Interbay Whole Foods, Seattle, WA

Mill Plain Whole Foods, Vancouver, WA
Bend Whole Foods, Bend, OR
Freemont Whole Foods, Portland, OR



Herbs of Grace, Inc.

8 year old in the house!, Summer Activities, DEMO’s

We have an 8 year old in the house!

Scarlet's 8th birthday.

Lots of good friends, food and sunshine, a perfect day for an outside party. We have treasure hunts for an activity for the kids birthday. It seems to be a big hit with everyone. As the kids get older, I can make the clues harder and more challenging to find. I envision one day, when they are driving age, that they will need to head to both grandparent houses, paddle a boat on the lake, trek to Mt. St. Helens and maybe even to White Pass. I’ll make it a multi-day, many mile, treasure hunt. Think I better get started.

Summer has been busy. The kids are attending drama camp. 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks! The Fire Mountain Arts Council in Morton, WA sponsors the camp each year. The kids love it and they end up with a great, well attended, production.

Pirate play set
Set that we built for the Summer drama camp.

I built the set for the camp this year. The play was “To Be, or Not to be, A Pirate”.

Sheba, our dog that we got in January, has really taken to us and our place. She loves to crash into the ponds and poke her head underwater with her mouth open for a drink.

Sheeba, the pound dog.
Sheba, the pound dog.

We got lucky. She’s personable, friendly, and quiet. Although, she got after a neighbors chicken awhile back. She took a bite out of it, but didn’t kill it. She got quite a spanking for that, and hopefully she’ll learn not to chase chickens.

In that same pond, the girls like to swim. Don’t know how much longer they will want to swim, because the pond is muddy, but for now they think it’s great!

We’ve made a couple of trips this summer, mostly to grandparents, so Vanessa can do demos. June was packed with demos. Hope you had a chance to swing in and say “Hi”.


Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Rain, Old Green House Goodbye, Beautiful Weather, Birthday Party.

We had torrents of rain in late December. Check it out.

I got rid of the old green house today. This rickety old thing served us well until we got our new green house in the garden. You can see another picture of it in this panorama: Lawn repair, Other yard projects and Weather, dated May 22, 2007.

Old Green House
Old Green House.
Green house fully engulfed.
Green house fully engulfed.
No more green house.
No more green house.

We roasted marshmallows after the flames died down. I’ll til the ground and plant grass seed and by May it will be completely gone. Actually, I’m going to build an arbor and the old green house needed to go.

We’ve had quite a stretch of un-winter like weather. Starting a couple of weeks back, the sun has been out, little to no wind, and hardly a cloud in the sky. Very un-western Washington for this time of year. This is a welcome reprieve from the 3 weeks of snow and torrential rain we had in late December and early January.

There is 5 year old in the house! Isabel had her party on Sunday. With perfect weather, we spent almost the entire day outside. We started out the day with hot chocolate at the picnic table, then had a treasure hunt. After the treasure hunt, we had lunch and cake, then presents. Everyone was relaxed and happy about the weather and company. It was a great “day off” for all.

Birthday Girl.
Birthday Girl.

Later, Brad.

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Life, Birthday Parties, Time

Life has been busy for me, lately. Numerous times over the past couple of months, I have told myself… “I should blog about this moment”, and then proceed to carry on with dinner, reading to the kids, catching up with work, or taking the trash out. They are priceless moments, too. The kids are doing something really funny, or smart, I am with the kids in the yard and get a new idea for a yard toy, or I’m sitting with my arm around a kid. These moments are almost always associated with the kids and wife. Call me sentimental. Anyway… I get these great blog ideas, and like I said, I completely let them wash over me and I never get to the computer to put them down in words. I like the blog, it’s not like I dislike writing or reading the blog. As a matter of fact, I love reading old posts. It’s sort of like opening the old photograph drawer and grabbing a handful of old photos for a few minutes. But, alas, I’ve been delinquent in writing the past couple of months. Primarily because I am now working the day shift, and V is working nights, so I don’t have the quiet time to blog. As the kids get older they are more independent and I do have more time during the day if I were to take advantage of it. Of course it seems like yesterday that V and I were literally running through the day dealing with family issues.

Isabel turned four today. Actually she turns four on Tuesday, but we had a party for her today. Just before we brought out the cake, she stopped me and said “I want you to sing the birthday song like this, and then proceeded to sing “Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you act like a monkey and you look like one to.” Somehow, even after this wonderful demonstration, this didn’t click on everyone and we sang it with the regular words. Poor I. She cried and cried. Wouldn’t blow her candles out. So we sang it again, her version. All the kids got wands from Olivanders.

Birthday girl.

V and I were talking this afternoon about an event that happened nine years ago, before kids! I can’t believe how fast time goes by. Is it an age thing, or is it the kids that change the speed of time? Einstein said that time is relative, yes? I wonder if this is what he meant?

Later, Brad

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