A December letter from Lance….


We are well,...there’s a cold fog outside this morning.  The temperature is 35, but no wind – flags are limp, it’s dead calm.  So it's really not uncomfortable here in Birch Bay.  The humidity helps the comfort level, too and the air is so clean and good. When the Sun peaks out, a “sun-break” the weatherman call it, warmth is immediate.  We’ve gotten accustomed to the weather here.  I’ve always been drawn to hot weather, grew up in it and have never vacationed in the snow.  So I somewhat expected not to like the weather here while contemplating the move back in sunny Corpus Christi.  Wrong.  And it’s a good lesson to this stubborn Taurus that changes are not always going to be predictable or negative.  We both love the crisp temperatures and changing weather here.  The forest is just as beautiful in the rain.  And bare Birch tree branches now let us see into the woods deeper to admire usually hidden cottages with a small lake in the front yard, hideaways you wish you owned.  We’ve been here long enough now to notice farmers rotating their crops.  Corn was there last year, and now there’s a green carpet of alfalfa with a good headstart covering the same acres.  Green yards and pastures.  White snow on the mountains around us.  Winter is gentle and not offensive here, the beauty remains.  We call ourselves “local” now.

No shortage of Christmas trees with the forests all around us.  Just pay ten bucks to get a tag that lets you cut one (up to 12 feet) on the national forests and parks to take home.  Christmas tree farms are on the back roads locally, too – my kind of Business and what you don’t sell becomes this giant evergreen in your backyard – fabulous.  A positive sign is that we saw 20-30 Trumpeter swans out in a cornfield one afternoon and then read in the paper this once endangered bird has made a comeback and will now be returning to Washington to winter.  They were huge, blindingly white and beautiful.

We both laughed reading that they delayed the commercial Dungeness crab season set to begin in December for two weeks to give the crabs time to “fatten up.”  Washington state officials want more meat on the claw before they allow commercial harvesting.  I’m ready.  I’ll get one and eat it standing up in front of the kitchen sink cracking it open and getting all the meat out, messy but tasty.  Fishing rights, in general, are a big deal here.

Some Indian tribes have claim to the harvests.  And it seems to me that the Native Americans get more respect and are stronger here than my early days in Oklahoma where Indians were treated so poorly.  I just saw a piece on tv explaining the services and programs of the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation – it was inclusive and well done.  And I read in the paper the Lummi members are fighting again – they are all a part of the news and world here and important to more than just the tribal members.

I still haven’t seen a Washington state flag out anywhere.  People who live in Bellingham are called Bellinghamsters.  Love it.  Leslie throws goobers (peanuts) out in the backyard and whistles. Earl, the squirrel, shows up in five minutes and comes back repeatedly to get them all.  Birdseed is out and draws a crowd.  A crow came by yesterday.  Our Winter rituals return with our Winter visitors.  I’m asking Santa for more aces on the poker table this year.  And better days are ahead.  Skim over this issue when you can.  Times have changed.

Merry Christmas! We say.  And Happy New Year!

6 thoughts on “A December letter from Lance….

  1. Pamela

    Enjoy the holidays! Love hearing about your life there….thank you for sharing it wit us.
    Sending you warm wishes from snowy, cold WY

  2. Valerie Mclaughlin

    Beautiful writer …. I can picture myself right there with you and Leslie …. I would say that makes you a an expert storyteller!

  3. Jacqueline Carter

    Happy New Year Lance and Leslie.
    May 2018 bring you continuous Good Health and Joy.

    Peace and Blessings to both of you and Thank You for being who you are.

  4. Tulsidas Kalwani

    Dear Mr lance
    We have paid for one-year subscription for newsletter.
    Up to December 2020
    Why it is showing subscription expired
    Please. Update
    tulsidas.kalwani @supergroup.net

    1. Leslie McLaurin Post author

      Hello Tulsidas! Yes, we have the record of your purchase for another year of Skywatch. However, it looks like you also have an old profile with a different password. I am deleting that. Let me know if you need help with this. thanks


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Powerful Pluto is on stage as the year begins. As the Sun, Venus and Mercury will all meet Pluto in the heavens in January. Plus Mars and Jupiter are both in Pluto-ruled Scorpio for most of the month. Great healing is possible in the weeks ahead and a great rupture, too—divorces, bankruptcies, mass calamities and major milestones will be in the news and, in some places, a passing of the torch as Pluto rules death and rebirth. Pluto’s energy helps us focus and to passionately attack our problems. So this is a very good month for all of us to take action on improving our health, relationships and/or finances. Pluto asks us to let go of negative people and situations—this is a fabulous month for a “fresh start” in some area of your life and to create a new positive situation or habit that you can carry into the future. Most helpful is that Jupiter lines up in a supportive sextile to Pluto on Jan 15, encouraging all of us to look for new opportunities this month—the Future is calling with this pair. And especially for all Scorpio birth signs, planets and the house Scorpio rules in your birth chart. Pluto is Scorpio’s ruler or ambassador.

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New Letter from Lance……

Friends,                                                                                              November 9, 2017

Local color:  Autumn is a slow dancer in Birch Bay, Washington…the leaves are a foot deep in our backyard.  Huge maple leaves the size of a child’s hand carpet the grass with golden copper tones, and it looks like a Norman Rockwell painting.  And more leaves are yet to fall in our yard and in the forests.  We got two inches of snow last week, a very early occurrence in our area, but the snow was not any problem to us at all.  The roads were clear, and it was gone in two days. We got to enjoy the snow with no hassles and temperatures that stayed well above freezing.  Now that all the yards have green grass again from recent rains, the falling leaves stand out on a vibrant green canvas.  The Kodak moment came just after the snow storm when Leslie spied a hummingbird outside the window where we had a feeder last year.  Shazam!  Leslie filled the feeder with fresh juice, and it was out there in five minutes.  The hummer, looks like a ruby throat, got his fill and now hangs out in the branches of a nearby bush guarding his stash of energy.  Amazing, there are hummers who Winter here and that he came back to the old spot where he dined before.

It’s apple time here in Whatcom county (weird word but you get used to it – it’s a Lummi Indian word that means “noisy water”). There are many varieties of apples in the stores. And the fresh cider they make from them is fabulous.  The Spud Shed in Lynden is also open again.  Farmers grow lots of potatoes along with berries and apples in this county.  25 pounds of red, white or yellow potatoes for ten bucks is what the sign there says. And mushrooms are another local crop.  They also sell mushroom kits at the farmer’s market so you can grow your own – very cool.  All the farmers and ranchers here are very careful to avoid chemicals and hormones in their crops, cattle, and milk.  I think we have the purest food supply in the country.  Our tap water comes from deep wells and is cool and sweet right out of the kitchen faucet – no point in buying bottled water at all – we fill them up at home.

Predictions from the weather service and astrology all point to a severe Winter weather pattern in our future.  So Leslie is thinking ahead and just made a big batch of Thieves Vinegar to help us get through the flu season. The big gallon jar is now aging in the pantry and will be ready to consume in about a month.  It is an easy concoction to make once you assemble all the herbs and goodies that go into it.  The contents have been studied and found to be immune-enhancing and potently anti-microbial against viruses of all kinds, bacteria, fungi.  The aromatic vinegar can be taken daily as a tonic and preventative, and more frequently after the onset of illness. You’ll find the recipe and story behind this elixir at www.feastandfamineblogspot.com. This site is a global health resource for local solutions and information that you won’t see in your local news. I urge you to check it out and to read the articles on vaccines and other home remedies.  This site is a goldmine of information. The author is a highly educated holistic nutritional herbal specialist.  And a great storyteller, too who has written four entertaining books on her journey to find a new home and way of life after being homeless for a good spell.  Heads up – mercury Retrograde begins soon…check out the December issue as soon as you can.  Times change.


1 thought on “New Letter from Lance……

  1. Deborah L Buchanan

    What a wonderful missive about fall in the NW. I used to live in the NW corner of Oregon, and I miss the Pacific NW more than words can express. Alas, my family all wants to be in the Sonoran Desert, and I want to be with my family. Anyway, enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving. One of the things I am personally thankful for is the forecasts you offer.


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Lance’s November Letter……….

Friends,                                                                                           October 11, 2017

The sky is dark with heavy clouds on the deck and occasional thunder in the distance – rain soon is certain. We’re cozy with a little gas fireplace going and happy to be working and living in Birch Bay.

Pumpkins are all over, but Autumn is taking lots of time to unfold. It’s amazing to me that the locals here plant trees all over town, in the middle of a mostly evergreen forest, and they are deciduous - the falling golden leaves now are spectacular.  The leaves on our maples in the backyard are just starting to turn scarlet, and we look forward to the change of seasons.  Hundreds of Canadian geese have been in the neighborhood flying from the abandoned golf course across the street to the beach.  Can’t miss their E flat honk and the “V” formations.

The Kodak moment was seeing a bald eagle fly across our path with something in his talons.  He came back over us, and we could see a large fish, maybe 9 inches, clutched tightly.  There were four or five seagulls following him, but still keeping their distance, until he landed way up at the top of a huge 90-foot spruce – likely a nest there.  Not a minute later a second bald eagle flew out over the bay, clearly in our line of sight.  It was fabulous.

We’ve been out on the two-lane county roads enjoying the countryside and the interesting combination of farms, dairies and country estates that pop up on just about every road we’ve been down.  Some roads climb up high on a ridge, and you can see to Canada.  When you come down into the valleys, you look up, and there is snow covered Mt Baker in full view, an active volcano we are told. But he looks harmless, like a gentle guardian of the heavens.  On the back roads, you can spot the old farms by the chimneys/fireplaces.  They are always centered in the middle of the old houses – early central heating.   They usually have a huge firewood pile nearby.  The biggest I saw was a stash of cut wood 8 feet long and 10 feet high covered with a roof – a ladder there was used to get wood off the top of the pile – it looked dangerous, but there was enough wood stacked for ten Winters.

Local signs along the road include: "chikin" and duck eggs, rhubarb, artisanal cheese, sweet corn (six for a dollar) and fresh hay.  The forest is soothing to Leslie and me.  Driving into a wall of ferns and massive pine, spruce and fir trees also fills our lungs with the sweet clean air and every now and then I see why the lumber industry was so big here long ago. Huge stumps are left in some areas: 6 or 7 feet across.  Most of these huge trees have been harvested, and now I understand what they mean about old growth forests.

Train crossings are also part of the scenery, and we get caught at a RR crossing often.  And it’s not a short wait. Long freight trains pulled by four locomotives rumble back and forth day and night from Canada to the refinery nearby.  I do love to hear their whistles late at night – it’s an old lullaby.

I am ahead of my usual schedule and have the 2018 Datebook together.  If you want to order a new reading for your personal astrology for 2018, I urge you to order it now while I have time.  There is always a big rush for readings in December, and I can’t always fulfill every order on time.  If you have never had a timing reading from me consider this offer.  Send me your date, time (check your birth certificate) and city of birth in a note in the post.  I will create your birth chart, analyze the transits or timing events in your chart for 2018: when to hold ‘em and when to fold’em.  I’ll record a one-hour cd with this info. And include the 2018 Long-Range Datebook with your reading.  The fee is $150.  Send a check along with your info to PO Box 214, Blaine, WA 98231 or use pay pal or your credit card – You do this by calling Leslie with your number at 360-392-8338.  She’s a dear Cancer and a delight to know.

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Lance’s September letter………….

Friends,                                                                                                                 September 7, 2017

The pictures on TV of Harvey's destruction of our old stomping grounds, Rockport, and the worry for our friends in Corpus Christi took their toll on both of us over the last few weeks - tears came along for the ride. But we also had great relief that we were NOT there. We had been through two hurricane evacuations when we lived in Lamar and knew the gut wrenching fear of watching a red ball of hate on the weather channel radar get closer and closer. And leaving with the kitty in the bathroom and no way to know if our house would still be there when we got back. Horrible experience. And now again in another state. We send our prayers to them all, and we know how awful it is.

What helped take our mind off of the storm was a visit from Leslie's cousin, Jane, from Dallas. She's a lovely Cancer we chauffeured around the three little towns nearby. Our address is Blaine which is a charming little town built on a ridge top overlooking a small marina and bay. It's a fabulous setting for a bar that hosts poker games every Sunday - 25 bucks and you get into a real Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament - deal me in.

Ferndale is also about 8 miles down the road. Good grocery store there and huge baskets of pink petunias on every street lamp. Lynden is also nearby and is the city founded by the Dutch with the two 42-foot windmills in town. The real action around here is in Bellingham, Pop. 100k, which is 15 miles south of us. The original courthouse from the last century is still strong and an anchor to a sweet downtown area. The main street is tree-lined Railroad, and it lays out and feels exactly like Berkeley in the 1960's. Pizza, crepes, bagels, burritos, elk burgers-lots of choices in the small store fronts/joints all catering to the 20k students at Western Washington University who come down from the hills to check out the used clothing stores and coffee shops - the buildings on their campus are scattered on a forested hillside overlooking the bay - fabulous. We like to hit the Bagelry for a light lunch and pick up bagels for tomorrow's breakfast. The Russian meat pies are also great to take home - lots
of Russian folks here - you can't miss the accents. At the end of Railroad St. is a steel-beamed building with a glass roof and huge glass garage doors that are open in the sunshine and closed in the rain. This is where the Saturday Farmer's Market is held. Jane loved the crowd and goodies to see and taste. We then took her to Taco Lobo, our fav Mex spot.

Having Jane light up at the Farmer's Market and reviewing with her all the things we love about Western Washington was good medicine for seeing the sadness on tv. The one spot she missed was the local bar with 15 pinball games upstairs. Old technology is my strength. I hung out at a bowling alley in my younger years and would watch this big dude (he was 16) play a pinball game and win free games - I copied his style of when to hit it and how to use the flippers and developed into a minor league pinball wizard. I searched every spot in Corpus Christi, and there wasn't one pinball game in town. Here I have 15 to choose from, and there's another pinball emporium on the other side of town I haven't checked out yet. Diggity. It's therapy to me, and I solve the problems of the world keeping the steel ball moving - the payoff is a loud "KNOCK."  Which means I scored enough to win a free game. I always like to leave a free game ready in the machine when I leave cuz I know some young kid like me will go down the row of machines and hit the free game button on each one just to see if someone left one still to play. And bingo, he will get a free game that I leave and be smiling that someone was so dumb to leave it in the machine. It's a great feeling I remember well - miracles do happen.

5 thoughts on “Lance’s September letter………….

    1. Leslie McLaurin Post author

      Hi, Bridget, good question, I didn’t realize the letters weren’t in the Lance’s Letters folder! I just moved them all so you can read them all for this year. When I have some time I will post more. Thanks for letting us know!

  1. Nicole

    Thanks for these letters Lance! I love hearing your “voice” while I read them. So glad you were not in S. Texas for Harvey. I’m also surprised not to hear of any fire problems where you guys are now…. is my geography off? I thought the whole NW was suffering fires.
    Take care of each other!

  2. sandra L Alvord

    I just adore reading your letters Lance! Thank you for always making me smile even if the day is a Quack! Hahaha. Your perspective on things is always a breath of fresh air. I live where it is nice and dry in California, but seeing the plight of those in Texas & Puerto Rico touched my heart as well.
    The world is truly a much smaller place and I am sure I am far from the only one who added prayers for protection to the over flowing basket.

    Your work & your letters do make a difference, and I am very grateful to be a long time member!
    Thanks to Leslie as well for all the multitude of things she does!
    You are both appreciated!

  3. lance Ferguson

    thanks Nicole and Sandra…no fires close by,Nicole…thankfully….and now it’s falling leaves and lovely here…i appreciate your feedback…will keep the “Pine Cone Chronicles” coming…


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Lance’s August letter……………………..

Friends,                                                                                            August 18, 2017

Leslie came through the door wide-eyed.  Back from her stroll around the neighborhood where she meets all of the neighbors, she told me about an amazing scene.  To set the stage we live in a small gated community surrounding a golf course that has been abandoned.  The grass has grown up in a wild way, and there is a big pond in the middle of the property where the Canadian Geese hang out.  Huge trees border the far side of the old course and that’s the area where Leslie met two elderly sisters who lived in a house that backs up to the old course.

In one woman’s hand was a plate with two raw chicken legs.  Leslie asked about them and the woman said:  Watch.  She heaved the chicken leg out into a clear spot of grass between houses.  In a flash, a bald eagle swooped down and grabbed the meat just as it hit the ground and flew off.  This happened within ten feet of Leslie who said she could hear the wind in the eagle’s wings and see the powerful talons close up.  Turns out this is a tradition that the two sisters inherited from previous owners.  The eagles have a nest way up in the top of the big trees and are given food every day so that they will hang out and raise their chicks literally in the woman’s backyard.  I’m hoping to catch a feeding one of these days.  I’ve seen one bald eagle in the trees over Dakota Creek which is nearby, but never as close as this.  Amazing.

Sign of the week at a local feed store:  Beginner bee hive kits on sale. No thanks.

The big event this week is the Northwest Washington County Fair.  Fun, fun… the fairgrounds sit in the middle of Lynden, a little town founded by the Dutch, that’s about ten miles down the road.  Dutch? Yup…two 42 foot windmills in town, one a coffee shop and the other is an inn.  The Dutch bakery is big trouble if you like sweets.  The Dutch cleaners are next door.    Big baskets of colorful flowers are on every light pole.  Flower beds bursting with color greet you on all the street corners in Lynden.  The Fairgrounds take you back to times long ago with shady tree-lined paths and small buildings open at both ends.  Horses, cows, bunnies, chickens and “the collections” building were all points of interest to us.  Smiling faces and positive energy under sunny skies and a high of 73 degrees made the day a real joy.

The Eclipse brings a powerful two week period in your life to plant seeds and to turn over a new leaf.  Got kids?  Talk to them and propose they write down what they want to do and make happen in the future…that little seed can do a lot in the days ahead.  As times change.

Peace and Love,  Lance

2 thoughts on “Lance’s August letter……………………..

  1. Christine

    A woman moved across the street from me and she decided to buy multiple bee hives and make lots of honey. Now my bird bath is filled with bees swarming to drink the water in it and the birds I loved are gone. I can’t go in my yard anymore because bees are constantly swarming and swooping everywhere in large, large, scary numbers. You are right about the hives Lance, people buy them and don’t know what they are doing. I don’t know what to do. I pay taxes to live here too, maybe its a big can of wasp killer, I hate to say it.


    1. Katherine Relf-Canas


      I am not sure where you live, but if you do some research you are likely to find a bee keeper who can rid you of the bee problem you have. Killing bees–pollinators–is already taking place on such a great scale with dire consequences that killing them is the last thing you want to do. Bees are necessary; bee keeping is not for beginners without experts at the ready to help them. Maybe your problem (way back in August) has been solved already, but bees are so necessary–and we need them in order to maintain our food supplies and to pollinate good vegetation. I’m sure you know this, but I just want to put in a plug for bees since talk of killing them is an outdated method in our fragile ecosystem with so many people taking great pains to draw attention to their endangerment and to the consequences of not having bees around. Nature needs bees. You are part of that cycle, too, and so are your kids, if you have kids, etc., etc., etc.


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