Posts Tagged ‘weather’

YIKES! GreenFestival Wrap-Up, Back Problems

Monday, June 14th, 2010

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Later,

Brad

www.herbsofgrace.com

Vanessa Goes Skiing, Ostara, WILD Weather, FaceBook & Twitter.

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

We finally got Vanessa up skiing!

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Vanessa Skiing

Vanessa Skiing

The kids and I thought we’d get her up skiing on a perfect, warm, spring day. The late season weather with snow and cold winds, held us off until yesterday, and it was still windy and cold. But we bundled her up and off we went. If she hadn’t gone skiing today, she would have had to wait until next year. The end of the ski season is today. Yup, the end of the season has arrived. Normally White Pass is open until mid/late April. This year, because of the expansion, they are closing early. Bummer because they have been getting a ton of new snow the past couple of weeks. Snow we should have gotten in January and February. White Pass is finishing their expansion work this summer and they are getting a jump start this spring. They are adding two lifts and, apparently, their permit does not include road building so they must move all of the equipment on sledges, over the snow, so they don’t damage the ecosystem. They have staged equipment and supplies at the bottom of the hill the past few weeks, so they can be ready when the public is gone. Check out the progress at their website and their FaceBook page.

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Ostara Cake

Ostara Cake

Our spring celebration of Ostara was pleasant this year. Vanessa’s folks came up and played with the kids for a Sunday recently. Then the following week, we went to my folks place and did the same thing. Bill, my dad, made the Ostara cake. What do you think? The kids love it, we get out of the house, life goes on.

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As I mentioned earlier, the weather this April has been WILD. Every couple of years we get a spring day that throws everything in the book, weather wise, at us. Recently, we had a cold, cloudy morning, followed by wind, rain, slush, snow, sleet, hail, with periods of broken clouds and sunshine. I really dig watching the weather all day long on those days.

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We are expanding our internet marketing to include Twitter and Facebook. I know, you’re thinking “big deal, Twitter and Facebook have been around for years now, what took you so long?” To be honest, I’m not sure why we hesitated. Now you can check out our Herbs of Grace FaceBook fan page and Twitter page.

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Later, Brad

Herbs of Grace, Inc

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

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

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.

Back to Herbs of Grace.

SNOW!, Rabbits, New Display

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

April 19, 2008. Woke up to SNOW flurries this morning. Not too bad really, a slight dusting of snow across the yard. Although, as morning progressed, the snow has increased. At 11:00am there was an inch of snow on the picnic table outside the office window. Our breathable house is in need of a heat fix. The pass is reporting 18 degrees with 7″ of new over night. The girls wanted to ski today, but with 18 degrees, I vetoed. We were hoping for a sunny spring day. The ski area closes next Sunday, so we gotta do it next weekend.

Last ski day of the season.

1:00 Update: 3″ of snow on the picnic table, but now we see some blue sky.

We have two female rabbits. They live in their cages, quite happily, along the edge of the garden. Recently, there has been a large white rabbit that has been visiting. We don’t know where it comes from, nor where it goes to when it leaves. It used to arrive around dusk, although it has become quite bold over the past few weeks and makes appearances often, during the day, now. The other day, V came home from teaching her belly dance class, around 7:30. She noticed that Jessica, one of the females, and this new rabbit were frolicing in the yard together. Apparently, the large white rabbit has figured out how to open the latch on Jessicas cage. Anyway, V put Jessica back in the cage and all was safe at Three Girls Grove again. About 15 minutes later, I yells, “Hey, Jessica is in the yard with the white rabbit!” So with a flurry of activity, the three kids dash out the door, round up Jessica and put her back in the cage a second time. This time, adjusting the latch. A few days later, a good friend of ours tells us that rabbits ovulate ON DEMAND, UPON INSERTION! We don’t know if the visiting rabbit is male or female. Time will tell if Three Girls Grove is safe for rabbits. Stay tuned, we may have free bunnys available.

Our new display prototype will be arriving later this week. We have three displays. The Sequoia is our flagship display, that holds our entire product line. The Cedar holds half of our product line, and the new Madrone display will hold about a third of our product line. I’ll post some pictures when it arrives.

Later, Brad

Take me back to HerbsofGrace.com

The simplest things…

Monday, August 20th, 2007

I put a clean towel next to the sink this evening. You remember our house, don’t you? It’s the one that breathes during the winter. Everything in it is also crooked. The windows don’t quite fit, the plumbing works and does not leak, but it looks like it belongs in a Mouse Trap game. Even with all that is wrong with the house, I’m amazed what clean counters and a new dish towel does for it. Maybe I’ve had one too many cocktails, call me simple, whatever, clean counters and a new dish towel makes my day.

House from back yard.

The summer is cruising along. It’s been unseasonably cool and wet this summer. It rained so hard early this morning, I thought the house would be washed off the foundation. I don’t mind, tho. I’m not a hot weather person, unless I can be out in the boat or swimming all afternoon. The kids love the cooler weather. I’m amazed with how much more they play outside, when it’s cool and slightly overcast, then when it’s clear and 85 degrees. When it’s hot, they come in saying “it’s too hot” and plop down on the sofa to watch a video or continue some ongoing project. If I can get them going in the deep shade of our friendly maple tree along the edge of the ravine, they sometime will play when it’s hot, but not often.

Business has really picked up during June, July and this first part of August. V and I really need to watch supplies and materials so we don’t run out. We need to start ordering higher volumes of ingredients, displays, containers, etc, and then order when we are about half-way through them so we can build in some time for shipping and the occasional mis-shipped, or lost items. What would be a fiasco for a large company is usually solved with a quick phone call to a customers about a back ordered item. It’s still a hassle when we don’t have the items to ship. We keep learning, thankfully.

Later, Brad

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Lawn repair, Other yard projects and Weather.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

We’ve been busy in the yard lately. The biggest chore, besides the constant attention the vegetable garden needs, is the front lawn. I say lawn, when actually, our yard has never been landscaped. The yard is covered with field grass that has been mowed, but it has never been weeded, fertilized, or had any attention payed to it. Before we bought the house, the front yard had been scraped of briars and weeds, and the offending debris, and top soil, were pushed into the ravine. As a result, we had huge patch of clay where nothing would grow. When we excavated the ponds last fall, I had the silt dumped on the bare patch. The dirt sat there, all winter and early spring until it dried enough to til, spread, level, rake and seed. And now grass has sprouted! I’m hoping to mow for the first time before S’s birthday party in early June.

Backyard panorama.

Backyard panorama. Click for larger view.

We have planted two cherry, two apple, two peach, a pear and six quaking aspen trees. Also, hundreds of other odd flowers, bulbs, plants and shrubs that my sister gave us. I even trenched the middle of our well packed gravel driveway and filled it with topsoil so I can plant it. Not sure what I’ll plant. V has some nifty creeping thyme seed that should work well in that area. Something I won’t have to mow.

We had a nice stretch of weather over the past couple of weeks. The nice weather allowed me to get the “lawn” in shape. And luckily, it rained over the past three days, so the seed got some much needed water. I’m sure I’ll have to water for the next couple of weeks, tho. We even burned a fire to keep the chill off the house. We are due for some partly cloudy weather for the next week or so. That will help the lawn. Better than getting dried out with full sun.

I still need to do some tilling around the yard. We have many areas that are in need of weeding, smoothing and planting. Wildflowers here, clover there, anything that doesn’t need mowing. Let me know what works best for ground cover.

Later, Brad

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Winter wrap-up, Goldfish, New Seasons Markets

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

I think Spring has finally arrived. We no longer use the wood stove everyday, the rain isn’t quite a persistant, (as a result, the water flow in the creek has diminished a bit) and the most sad of all, the local ski area, White Pass, is open only weekends until the end of April, then it will close for the season. The kids really enjoyed skiing this year. We hope to hit it one more time this coming weekend. Fingers are crossed for clear weather.

The kids got 100 goldfish the other day and put them in the lower pond. I didn’t realize goldfish school, so now when we go to the pond, we make a game of seeing who can find the school of goldfish first. They are often in two schools, lately. So now we have twice the fun. I’d like to get some trout for the upper pond, since it is always in the shade, but I think I’ll watch the upper pond this summer to see what type of temperature fluctuations it goes through, and how much evaporation occurs during the hot weather. If any one has “fish in pond” experience, please send my a note or leave a comment.

Casting practice.

We did a staff training the other day, at our newest retail customer New Seasons Markets, in Portland, OR. We visited with the Health and Beauty Aids managers. We discussed the product line, our company history, application tips, display options, did a couple of makeovers, and had a great lunch. Natural Look Mineral Makeup is officially available in the New Seasons Markets on May 1, but we are in 3 of their stores now and the rest of the displays will be delivered this Friday. We got an exciting phone call from our rep in the SW region (AZ, NM, UT, CO, NV, WY). More about that later, if/when it pans out.

Later, Brad

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Snow?, Old Maple Tree, Follow up

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Snow on April 2. It’s been so cold here the past few days, I’m ready to go back to full winter clothing. We had a nice stretch of weather over the past couple of weeks, spring definitely had sprung. We had begun to dress lighter, the girls are in spring dresses, I even wore shorts a week ago. And then this. Snow. 0 centigrade over night. Cold house in the morning. I’m ready for warmer weather.

I cut a big maple tree in the yard the other day. It had not fully leafed for the past two summers. 30% of the branches had leaves on it last summer. A friend dropped in the other day, looked at the maple and said, “it’s dead”. Lots of maples are dying in eastern Lewis county. No one knows why. Could be warming, could be pollution encroachment from the valley, could be anything. When I made the last cut and the tree hit the lawn, it shattered into thousands of pieces. Much of the wood was past dead, and had dried on the limb. The bark fell off main branches, the limbs shattered, there were all sorts of bugs in the canopy. I cut the tree about 15′ up in hopes of sprouting new shoots. My friend says it won’t sprout. We’ll see.

I did the last of the follow up from the trade show last night. A few days after the show I sent everyone a quick email “thank you” and yesterday, I sent a post card. I love visiting with customers to answer questions, send samples or brochures, zap email back and forth, etc. Don’t hesitate to write.

Later, Brad

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Snow, Spring, Big Business News

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

It’s been snowing here the past couple of days. The girls are diggin’ it. They recruited me to build a snow castle this afternoon. The local ski area has a snow castle as part of their Winter Carnival every year. The kids remember the carnival from last year so they want a snow castle in our yard, “like the one at White Pass”. We’ll be heading to the pass this weekend to check it out.

Even though it’s snowing, the spring buds are popping out everywhere! Spring is in the air. You can see it, smell it, feel it. Maybe it’s just me, but I swear, it’s too warm to be snowing. Maybe our “breathing” house has me used to the cooler temps.

When the sky is clear, the daylight lasts until darn near 6:30. I’m one of those who loves winter temps and snow, but I hate the short days. November, December and January are gloomy for me. Finally in February, I can start detecting the longer days, especially with the clear sky.

The business received a great boost the other day. A local chain of eight natural food stores in Portland, OR, New Seasons Markets, has told us that they want our products in ALL of their stores. This is our first chain! This is big news and we’re all buzzed about it, have been for about a week now. Keep asking your local natural food store if they carry Natural Look Mineral Makeup(TM). If they don’t, have them contact us at 888-817-1831. We’d be happy to set them up.

Later, Brad

Winter Break, Frozen Pipe, Almost Lost Acquaintance, Refridgerators

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Where have I been? I noticed that my last post was December 17. Life gets in the way sometimes. We took two trips for the business, had lots of friends and family over for the holidays, then it snowed and we’ve been in a freezing weather pattern for the past week so I’ve been busy keeping the house warm.

A pipe froze over night so we didn’t have any hot water for a few hours. Luckily, the pipe didn’t burst. I was able to thaw the pipe and then reinsulate so, hopefully, it won’t happen again. I got to looking around the pipe, it’s in the pantry, and noticed that daylight was coming though the corner of the room. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the the critters pulled all the insulation from a crack in the wall and a nice stream of cold air had been blasting the pipe all night. Turns out, the pantry has pulled away from the house so there is a seam that has opened in the siding about an inch wide. Got it reinsulated and sealed up from the outside. Now I have one more “to do” on the list for this summer. I should post the list sometime and get your input. This old house, I tell you….

Got a nice note from a friend whom we met in Japan. He and his wife and kids stayed the following school year (05-06) and then came back to the states this past June. His note was the perfect mid-winter lift. Not only was it a real correspondence, but it was from someone I thought I would probably never see again. One of those past acquaintences that are helpful, outgoing, and truly friendly. We were beginning to know this family, and our kids were similar ages, so our relationship could have blossomed into something more than casual. Then we came back to the states and this family, along with all of the folks we met in Japan, are suddenly part of our past. Well, Brian crossed that bridge and wrote a great note and let us know what they are up to and how they are settling into life back in the USA. It was really nice. Thanks, Brian.

A shelf in our refrigerator broke this evening, just at dinner time. *&^%! refer. It fits this old house too well. It seems to run ok, but the interior is shot. I’ll see what I can do about repairing the shelf tomorrow and let you know if I succeed.

As mentioned above, we’ve been traveling a bit for the business. We like to touch bases with the local stores that carry our products. We got as far north as Bellingham, WA, and we’ve been as far south as Portland, OR. We often will do a demo, or simply swing in to ask how things are going and if there is anything we can do for the retailer. If the retailer is far away, we find a makeup artist in the area and hire them to make an appearance and do a demo. If you are interested in doing this, please let us know. You might check the store locations link to see if we have a store in your area.

Later,

Brad