Archives for the month of: May, 2014


Else, who has been with us as a foster child for several weeks, celebrated her 16th birthday this week. We are all working toward reunited her with her mother and family and she is able to spend quite a bit of time with her mother. She celebrated her birthday with her family but we wanted to have a little celebration with her too.

Several quilters have given me quilts to be shared with our foster kids as I have found that the kids really like them and are comforted by them. I was so pleased that a box arrived from a quilter in California just before the birthday. Else slowly unwrapped the package and was thrilled.

else wrapper

We wrapped her in it, a traditional Native custom when giving a blanket, and she sat in the living room admiring it for a long time. She has been given a room of her own in her mother’s new home and one of her gifts from her family was purple pillows. I haven’t seen them but Else thinks it will all go together very nicely. I made a label and sewed it into the back of the quilt. It has her name, the date and wishes her a happy 16th birthday.

The lady who made the quilt said that the squares came from a block exchange and that many people had contributed.  It is fun to think of several people who will never meet or know each other sharing with a girl who really needs to feel acknowledged and special. It warms my heart to know that there are folks out there who share!

else with S and M


Kids love seeing the fire truck up close.

Fire hats

Here they were told what to do in the event of an earthquake

Little kids are so enthusiastic. I got to help with Safety Fair at the Elwha Head Start this week and it was such fun to see the little guys. Police, firemen, and emergency preparedness folks were there to talk with the kids and show them their equipment.   I talked with the children about using 911, what constitutes an emergency and how to actually dial 911 on the phone.   Fifty-six kids were amazingly attentive and should all have a better idea of how to respond to an emergency.

Later in the day I went with the grade school children from the Lower Elwha After School Program on a field trip to the museum maintained by the local Historian Society. These kids are a little harder to impress, or so I thought, but in teams they searched for items on a list, which gave an incentive to see everything. A favorite thing the wooden school desks bolted to the floor, with flop up seats and ink wells, just like what we used as kids.  They also liked the phone booth with an early phone, and a Victrola which was demonstrated with a flourish and played “Ciribiribin.” Check this link to hear Harry James!


The demonstration of a wind-up Victrola held the kids attention



wooden school desk

Old wooden school desk

Raven played in the All City Orchestra performance this week. This orchestra included all 600 strings students in the district playing the same song at the same time. Raven’s favorite was, “That ‘William’ song” otherwise known as the William Tell Overture.

Raven bass

Raven plays in the all city orchestra

Last night our family attended the annual meeting of the Dungeness River Audubon Center at the charming park facility located beside the Dungeness River. We are members and the mission is to inspire understanding, enjoyment and stewardship of the Olympic Peninsula’s unique natural and cultural resources… Our kids have gone to science camps and field trips sponsored by this organization and they emphasize learning while enjoying the beauty and learning about human responsibility for our environment.
dungeness audubon society

Of course the kids came home with wet feet and I won the door prize, a lovely salad bowl painted with Native designs.


salad bowl

I love the door prize I won

So, it has been a busy week and while exposing our kids we get exposed too, aren’t we lucky!!


spring morning three

Lake Dawn on a lovely spring morning

It is a beautiful Saturday morning here at Stillwater with fresh snow on the mountains again. The sun is reflecting off of the snow, the lake is flat and reflective also and our daffodils are still blooming. A great weekend for quilting.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I have heard some whispering going on. Seneca could not wait for me to open the card she made, and I was really touched, a greeting in Klallam. I have it on the windowsill.

Mother's day sized

Mother’s Day card from Seneca

This week Raven used his own money, bought a fishing lure, and caught two respectable fish before he lost it. Fortunately he believes in catch and release and he said that one of the fish was one he caught last year!!


Raven caught this beauty from our dock

Our last four foster kids have been teenagers. They bring a different challenge, but so far so good.    The kids do enjoy having them.

Last night the three of them spent the evening looking on the internet for name for the kitten Seneca is fostering for the Humane Society. There were several kittens but the mother had a chest infection and one by one the others have caught it and died. Mom has disappeared too, sadly, so the sole survivor is being fed with a syringe.   They were hoping to give it a Klallam name, but they are not in agreement, the little guy may end up with more than one name. I am just hoping he survives.


humane Society

Picking up the kittens at the Humane Society


The survivor

My new job working for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is presenting new challenges. I am working on a plan to be sure that kids with mental health issues are plugged into available services.  It is 3/4 time so I have time for other things too. It is bringing me into contact with people I enjoy and should result in kids getting the services they need.

So, that is what is going on at the Ripley house, Ted is out walking for exercise and I should probably be joining him but my sewing machine is calling!!

rainbow ready to assemble

Rainbow blocks ready to assemble