Archives for the month of: February, 2014
Traditional landing at Canoe Journey

Traditional landing at Canoe Journey

Raven was eager to participate in  a class to create his own canoe paddle in the Native tradition.  The class was for middle school kids but 6th graders were included.  It was held in the tribal woodworking shop and about a dozen kids participated.

They started with a 2×8 inch board of Alaskan yellow cedar.  First they cut out the general shape then they planed and sanded,  working with the teacher to achieve the desired shape.  There were a few variations but most followed the traditional lines.  It took a whole day, with time out for pizza.

After cutting with a saw, the shape was refined with a plane and by sanding

After cutting with a saw, the shape was refined with a plane and by sanding

Irene examines her work

Irene examines her work

The next day they painted.  A couple of the helpers are very artistic and helped create designs. Raven and several others wanted to paint Sea Hawks on their paddles.  The kids stuck to the task and by the end of the second day, each had a traditional paddle to take home.

Paint carefully applied

Paint carefully applied

Raven's paddle after being painted

Raven’s paddle after being painted

The Sea Hawk fans

The Sea Hawk fans



Raven hopes someday to participate in the Canoe Journey that transpires each summer when canoes representing the nearby tribal nations visit each other, traveling by traditional canoe.

Raven in a canoe last summer at Elwha camp

Raven in a canoe last summer at the camp for the Lower Elwha Klallam community children


Lots of little shoes

“…a few days” was what I heard the caseworker say when she asked if we could take two little ones into our foster home for a short time.  They were from a neighboring county, there were no foster homes available there, and the kids had relatives who could possibly take them but they had to be “checked out” first.    I was already thinking that we could help out when she told me their ages, one had just turned two and the other was seven months.  Two babies in diapers sounded like a lot, but for “a few days”  we should be able to manage.   That was in November.  Three months later, last Friday they rejoined their Mother, which we hope will work out for all of them.

no fear of santa

No fear of Santa at the Klallam Christmas party

These two were some of the nicest kids ever.   The older one was a girl.  She would get up smiling each morning and would greet each family member with joy every time she saw them.    She didn’t talk much, especially at first, but gradually she learned to say “please” and “thank you” in her sweet piping voice.  She loved Seneca and called her “Yaya.”  Seneca spent many hours playing with her with her dolls.  The little guy was also a cheerful baby who rarely fussed.  He liked to get up early with Ted and would sit beside him in the big chair watching as Ted checked the internet on his lap top.  He mostly laid on his back at first but gradually learned to roll over, move around and was crawling and scooting around the house when he left.  Raven especially enjoyed him, loving to make him giggle.

craft project home depot

Ted helping construct a project at Home Depot

The house feels a little empty without them, I keep thinking it is time to feed or change and listening to be sure they are OK.  We miss the little guys, are glad they shared the past three months with us, and are praying for the best for them.

three with quilt

I made them each a quilt, here the little guy is admiring his.


Copy cat with the binoculars

Raven binoculars

Raven shows her where to look for the eagle

black and brights

“Black and Bright” is what I named this quilt

Today is Robin’s birthday.  Our daughter is 49, I can’t be old enough to have given birth to her!  Robin and husband Ryan live with their three teenagers in Salt Lake City.  They also share their rather small home with three large dogs, two Leonbergers and a growing puppy being given pre-training to potentially become a seeing eye dog, but that is a different story.

robin and seneca

Robin and Seneca during a visit last fall

Thea, Tanner and Maya with dogs!

Thea, Tanner and Maya with dogs!

Robin is a creative person, very giving and always on the lookout for something nice she can do for others.    I remember the day she packed up a supper and drove to the airport in San Francisco with her little kids so we could eat together when I was there between flights.

We have many grown children and I usually don’t do much to acknowledge their birthdays, a card, maybe a phone call or email message.  But Robin has had a rough few months and is actually in the hospital at the moment recovering from surgery which took place earlier this week.  Something special was called for.  A week ago I was finishing a quilt top which I had intended to give to a foster child, when I thought about how its bright colors would appeal to Robin.  It needed to be quilted and Ted helped me load it onto the quilting machine.  But I am still in the early stages of mastering the machine.  No luck, something was causing it to stitch very slowly.

I emailed my friend Marilyn who has an amazing knowledge of things that are mechanical and quilty.  She send back a couple of suggestions and concluded her message saying that if I couldn’t get the quilting machine going, I should bring the top to 4-H on Monday and she would quilt it on Tuesday and bring it to me at Quilt Club on Wednesday ready to bind.

So, that is what happened.

putting on the binding

Attaching the binding

I mailed the quilt on Thursday and she should have it today, for her birthday.  It is nice to think of her snuggled in the bright quilt, recovering on the couch, dogs at her feet and kids bringing her tea!  Happy birthday Robin!

Luckily I have enough fabric left to make another quilt like this for a foster child!

ready to wrap

Ready to wrap