Home on Whidbey is a family blog revolving around Fran, Ed, Brad, Yessi, plus puppy Benton, and our family, travels, friends, neighbors and community. Thanks for reading.


PCT Film Wrap-Up!

dbBrad(soon to be Freestyle) at Mexican/California border about to set off on his PCT
 adventure of 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada, 2012

Freestyle at Washington/Canadian border, 2660 miles later
The Pacific Crest Trail changes lives!  No question about that!  Watch this fabulous video of the 2012 thru-hikers.  I found Brad (Freestyle) at 50:57:  PCT 2012

Celebrating Brad!

Camping marks a huge percentage of Brad's birthdays.  For 45 years of Brad-B-Day celebrations we usually find ourselves at some camp spot.  This year, with Brad and Yessi needing to hike trails in the Olympics for Green Trails Maps, that's where we headed for two days of restful car camping before they took off again for higher GPS trail mapping backcountry adventures.

This outing was the first "major" diversion from my surgery recovery.  Tent sleeping was a bit more difficult than usual and my diet took some interesting turns but that's what diversion is all about, isn't it?
We had a wonderful time, even though I couldn't hike and felt like I was a bit of a drag on the activities.     

Last year in July Ed and I were meeting Brad at high passes in California where the PCT crosses the road.   Finding ourselves at Lake Tahoe on July 13, we enjoyed a wonderful sushi dinner, for his birthday, giving him a great break from trail food.  

Ed, Benton, Brad & Yessi at Hamma Hamma Campground

Benton, Fran, Brad & Yessi gathered around the fire pit.

Benton Ed, Brad & Fran in camp

The tradition continues -- German Chocolate Cake!

The sun coming up at Hamma Hamma to start another beautiful sunny, warm day.

Yessi with flower in her hair.

Yessi, Brad & Ed 


The Olympic Mountains

For Brad  the Cascades in Washington always topped his favorites list, but he had not yet done much hiking in the Olympics.   He's one smitten guy.  A week (July 5 - July 10, 2013) of beautiful company, beautiful weather,  beautiful wildflowers, beautiful lakes & streams, and beautiful meadows makes for one pleased hiker.  It's strange that the Olympics have remained so unexplored because we see them from Whidbey Island and have said for years, "We must hike and camp the Olympics."  But, with a crowded and irregular ferry to get there it's always been easier to go east to the Cascades.  Still a ferry away but the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry runs often (every 1/2 hour) so it doesn't seem to be such a barrier.

Camp site view

Yessi & Brad with the beautiful Olympic Mountains in the background

Yessi & Brad with Fawn Lilies and snow covered peaks

Constance Lake


Brad in a bed of Fawn Lilies

The human sign post


The Peace of Grace!

 Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~ 

There is nothing like a health scare and 27 days in the hospital to make one more than grateful for home, community, garden, friends and, most important of all, family.  Blessed indeed am I!  And, as I'm sure Emerson knew, although nothing can bring peace but one's self it sure helps to have all the wonderful trimmings.

The beautiful community of Langley street-dancing at Choochokam Art Festival

In late April, feeling great and strolling the garden with my cup n' pup, I suffered a surprise visit called a rectal prolapse.  Off to Whidbey General Hospital Emergency where I ended up having emergency surgery three fold in nature.  First, a hysterectomy due to an enlarged uterus and  a large fibroid creating space problems.  Second, to fix the rectal prolapse problem.  Third, to remove two colon tumors found in the process.  Although the initial reason for the hospital visit was unfortunate and exceedingly unpleasant, I can only be grateful for the problem as it led to the discovery of colon cancer.  Fortunately the cancer was  stage 1 with no nodes involved so no chemo or radiation is required and my prognosis is very good.  But a bit of a scare, nevertheless.  This entire procedure required an 8 day hospital stay. 

Once home, although sore, I felt great for three days before I started vomiting and feeling quite horrible.  Back to the hospital for the wonderful experience of adhesion.   Although adhesion is exceedingly common, who knew?  I sure didn't but it is particularly common after abdominal surgery.  Off to surgery again to correct the adhesion problem followed by 16  long, long days in the hospital before it all played out.

Home again.  Sigh of relief!  But then, after enough time that I though I was home free, here comes the vomiting again and back to Whidbey General.  This time it was partial adhesion and bowel blockage.  Yikes!  Another stay in the hospital but for only three days.

So here I am home again and feeling great and enjoying family and friends.  The secret is to keep the darn adhesion from reoccurring but there seems to be no silver bullet for that.  I drink my green juice and watch my intake and take flax and fish oil and vitamins, along with other good stuff and keep my fingers crossed.  Plus I walk and walk and walk.  The jostling is good as is the gravity.  Adhesions can occur again and again but I'm now working on being well and not sick so I'm maintaining hopeful thoughts. 

Brad, Fran & Ed celebrate Father's Day between my hospital visits
Mother's Day was in the hospital for me and Brad was in California hiking Big Sur.
Very much a part of our lives, sweet Yessi enjoying the garden

A lovely welcome back to the old-neighborhood- in-Seattle party.

And, then, did I mention my home and garden located on Grace Lane.  What pleasure they provide and how lucky I am to have had the luxury of working with my family to create this wonderful sanctuary.  Brad our designer and builder performed magic and Ed even got his computer-fingers dirty working the dream.  And I, although I didn't know it, created a garden that brings me, and all who live here or visit, a retreat of  peace and beauty.   So through sweat, tears, disagreements, hard work, broken finger nails, sunburn, sore muscles, frustration, laughter, hugs, and a clear vision or what we wanted, we created this oasis together -- Peace on Grace.

Our pond and water catchment system provides in-town habitat and beauty
 as well as being very valuable in handling our site's storm water 

Lush and inviting.

Our nestled home of many parts.