The October Letter

Friends,                                                                                               October 8, 2018

After the hottest and second driest Summer on record here in western Washington, the grass in everyone’s front yard looked terrible, crisp and brown, just like the grass out in the pastures where cattle had little to eat.  After one week of rain everything changed, and it almost seems like Spring – the grass is green in our front yard and the in the parks and fields all over.  But leaves are falling.  Autumn can’t be denied.  It all makes our trips out into the country even more beautiful.  And strangely enough, even with the dry Summer we had, most of the apple and pear trees are heavy with fruit.  Our neighbor picked a big basket of apples for us and other folks on our block and still had to prop up the branches as there were still so many apples left on the tree.  Leslie says lots of folks on the county gardener’s Facebook page are saying the same thing and welcome people to come by and get some of the rich harvest from their fruit trees for free.  We had a lovely ride out into the country last Saturday when we checked out the Fall Fruit Festival out in the Nooksack Valley.  Cloud Mountain Farm Center holds this big shindig every year showing off their harvest. This is the outfit that grows the Jupiter grapes we love and found at the Farmers Market last month.  They grow all kinds of fruit and specialize in wine grapes.  But we also saw twelve different kinds of apples in their little store and at least eight kinds of pears.  Pumpkins lined the driveway into their farm sitting underneath huge forested foothills of the Cascades.  We got lucky as the Sun was out and the day was glorious.  This farm ships plants all over.  Check out their website: www.cloudmountainfarmcenter.org, and you’ll see what’s available.  I was mistaken on the dates of Dungeness crab season here.  It didn’t really start until Oct 1.  And I was enjoying a big fat crab two days later standing at our sink cracking claws, trying not to make a mess while I snarfed the sweet meat.  I’ll get another one next week.  Along with falling leaves, I love the smell of wood smoke in the air as we cruise down the two-lane farm roads.  The scene is so fabulous.  Emerald green pastures are surrounded by giant pines and maple trees with flaming red leaves fluttering in the breeze.  All the horses and cattle we see have their heads down eating and enjoying the new grass.  We take the long way home whenever we are driving to the grocery store and stick to the two-lane farm roads that pass farms and dairies, and that drop us into the back doors of Ferndale and Lynden, the two small towns nearby.  I must admit I have a new bad habit – ice cream.  Strangely, I never cared for ice cream as a kid, but they know how to make it so good here – it must be because of all the dairies.  Dear Leslie got me hooked on the coconut, almond, chocolate chip flavor. Yum, yum, yum.  I now see why all the Canadians are in the local ice cream stores here.  I know it’s cheaper for them on this side of the border, but I also think they have the habit, too.

 

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LOOKING AHEAD TO NOVEMBER:

No end to the confusion. In a cruel twist of astrological scheduling, Mercury will again turn Retrograde on the very same day that Venus ends her Rx cycle and turns back to direct motion on November 16.

Mercury will begin to reverse direction in a sign he doesn’t do well in: Sagittarius.  This is Jupiter’s sign, and he is lousy with the details that Mercury needs to function plus Jupiter exaggerates everything big time.

Result: a lot of bullshit and hot air from some folks is ahead as important details are lost in the fog during this Rx period. Plus, Mercury is sitting in a square to dreamy Neptune as he begins to back up.

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The September Letter….

Friends,                                                                                               September 10, 2018

 

Summer left in a hurry without even a good-bye glance two days ago.  The daytime highs dropped from the 80’s to the 60’s, and a light rain began to fall.  The air is sweet now, and the showers will continue all week.  It’s not rain like in Texas, where you have to get under cover.  Here it’s light, and there is no wind or thunder – that’s why most folks just wear a hoodie and can go about their daily chores and shopping without getting wet.

We need the rain after a hot, smokey and very dry Summer that made farmers keep their sprinklers on in the raspberry fields.  We did have two wonderful Summer events.  We always enjoy the Western Washington County Fair held in Lynden.  Billed as an agricultural fair the spotlight is on the farm critters and 4H kids who bring their chickens and cows to be shown and judged.  Chickens!  We hit the poultry barn first and marvel at the 50 or so different breeds of chickens on display.  Next stop is the donut truck and some iced coffee.  We also checked out the cattle barn where we watched the youngsters bring their black and white Holstein calves into the arena to be judged.  The kids are barely as tall as the calves, and all of them wear the same uniform:  spotless white jeans and a white shirt. White jeans!  Haven’t seen them since high school days.  Half of the fun at the fair is watching the kids skipping down the tree-lined paths all excited and jazzed up. Ok, the donuts were good, too.  We also took a wine tasting cruise in mid-August.  We climbed aboard a 50 ft boat in Bellingham, grabbed a table and enjoyed a short cruise out into the San Juan Islands.  Washington wines were served and some great munchies.  The scenery looking back on shore was the most amazing.  Heavily forested hills rise immediately beyond the shoreline and nestled in between the trees are lots of houses with the most incredible view and setting I’ve ever seen.  The water was calm, and we totally enjoyed the cruise and will do it again.  The parade of flowers continues as colorful dahlias are blooming in the parks and front yards - a local favorite.  The blackberry crop this year is bountiful.  Blackberries grow all over, and thick vines line most of the county roads.  Just pull off the pavement, and you can pick all you want.  Some neighbors down the street told us the crop this year is sweeter than usual and dropped off a jar of homemade blackberry jam.  Thank you, ladies.  Leslie’s garden is doing well, and she just planted more pansies in the front and back planters.  So nice to have lovely colorful flowers around us – I am thankful she is such a good gardener.  We also made it to the farmer’s market in Bellingham last Saturday and stumbled upon a great resource and goodie.  We bought some grapes the week before, and they were so sweet and tasty we went back looking for the grower and name of the variety so we could plant some in Pete’s backyard.  The grower is Cloud Mountain farms, and the variety of grape is Jupiter (the planet of good luck in astrology).   This farm is close by and has all kinds of fruit and ornamental trees and plants for sale.  We will drive out and check out everything next week.   We want to find fruit trees to plant on Pete’s (Leslie’s son who lives down the street) property.  I like crab apples and am voting for one of their dwarf varieties.  Of course, this is apple country with at least 20 varieties in the stores. Full cider jugs will be on ice at every grocery outlet in the days ahead.  But the best part of this apple world is the apple pie our dear neighbor, Karen, brought over last night.  Folks, I am a pie expert, and her pie is a gold medal winner – I’ve never tasted one as good.  Thank you, Karen.  Next door neighbor, Mike, brings us ripe tomatoes from his garden.  We are so lucky to have generous and talented friends and neighbors here in Birch Bay, Washington.  We’re settled in and cozy – let it rain.  I’ll make soup and share with Karen and Mike.  Thanks for your support, friends.  Leslie and I send you best wishes and love.

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The September Letter from Lance…..

Friends,                                                                                               September 10, 2018

Summer left in a hurry without even a good-bye glance two days ago.  The daytime highs dropped from the 80’s to the 60’s, and a light rain began to fall.  The air is sweet now, and the showers will continue all week.  It’s not rain like in Texas, where you have to get under cover.  Here it’s light, and there is no wind or thunder – that’s why most folks just wear a hoodie and can go about their daily chores and shopping without getting wet.

We need the rain after a hot, smokey and very dry Summer that made farmers keep their sprinklers on in the raspberry fields.  We did have two wonderful Summer events.  We always enjoy the Western Washington County Fair held in Lynden.  Billed as an agricultural fair the spotlight is on the farm critters and 4H kids who bring their chickens and cows to be shown and judged.  Chickens!  We hit the poultry barn first and marvel at the 50 or so different breeds of chickens on display.  Next stop is the donut truck and some iced coffee.  We also checked out the cattle barn where we watched the youngsters bring their black and white Holstein calves into the arena to be judged.  The kids are barely as tall as the calves, and all of them wear the same uniform:  spotless white jeans and a white shirt. White jeans!  Haven’t seen them since high school days.  Half of the fun at the fair is watching the kids skipping down the tree-lined paths all excited and jazzed up. Ok, the donuts were good, too.  We also took a wine tasting cruise in mid-August.  We climbed aboard a 50 ft boat in Bellingham, grabbed a table and enjoyed a short cruise out into the San Juan Islands.  Washington wines were served and some great munchies.  The scenery looking back on shore was the most amazing.  Heavily forested hills rise immediately beyond the shoreline and nestled in between the trees are lots of houses with the most incredible view and setting I’ve ever seen.  The water was calm, and we totally enjoyed the cruise and will do it again.  The parade of flowers continues as colorful dahlias are blooming in the parks and front yards - a local favorite.  The blackberry crop this year is bountiful.  Blackberries grow all over, and thick vines line most of the county roads.  Just pull off the pavement, and you can pick all you want.  Some neighbors down the street told us the crop this year is sweeter than usual and dropped off a jar of homemade blackberry jam.  Thank you, ladies.  Leslie’s garden is doing well, and she just planted more pansies in the front and back planters.  So nice to have lovely colorful flowers around us – I am thankful she is such a good gardener.  We also made it to the farmer’s market in Bellingham last Saturday and stumbled upon a great resource and goodie.  We bought some grapes the week before, and they were so sweet and tasty we went back looking for the grower and name of the variety so we could plant some in Pete’s backyard.  The grower is Cloud Mountain farms, and the variety of grape is Jupiter (the planet of good luck in astrology).   This farm is close by and has all kinds of fruit and ornamental trees and plants for sale.  We will drive out and check out everything next week.   We want to find fruit trees to plant on Pete’s (Leslie’s son who lives down the street) property.  I like crab apples and am voting for one of their dwarf varieties.  Of course, this is apple country with at least 20 varieties in the stores. Full cider jugs will be on ice at every grocery outlet in the days ahead.  But the best part of this apple world is the apple pie our dear neighbor, Karen, brought over last night.  Folks, I am a pie expert, and her pie is a gold medal winner – I’ve never tasted one as good.  Thank you, Karen.  Next door neighbor, Mike, brings us ripe tomatoes from his garden.  We are so lucky to have generous and talented friends and neighbors here in Birch Bay, Washington.  We’re settled in and cozy – let it rain.  I’ll make soup and share with Karen and Mike.  Thanks for your support, friends.  Leslie and I send you best wishes and love.

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LOOKING AHEAD TO OCTOBER:

Changes. Pluto leaves the Rx cycle and is in direct motion again on October 1 and that leaves just Uranus and Neptune backing up in the heavens—they are the least likely to create problems. Pluto turning direct gives us a bit of a boost, especially for Scorpios and the Scorpio house in your birth chart.

But the peace and quiet won’t last as sweet Venus gives us the finger and turns Retrograde on October 5 in hypnotic and sexy Scorpio. The dark side of this Rx cycle invokes jealousy, revenge and the need to manipulate matters in some folks. Love and money are ruled by Venus. There’s a lot of healing positive energy in Scorpio, too, if we reach for it. Should problems surface in important relationships in your life during Venus Rx, you would be wise to try and talk things out and wait until after the Rx cycle ends on Nov16 to make any final decisions. The same advice applies about major first-time purchases. Shop and explore your options before you buy. It’s easy to pay too much or to buy something that doesn’t really satisfy you while Venus is Rx.

5 thoughts on “LOOKING AHEAD TO OCTOBER:

  1. Julie

    Retrograde Venus always has me picking out the WRONG color to repaint a room, or making changes to my hair or clothes that I regret later 🙁

    Reply
  2. lance Ferguson

    yup….one of the dangers of Venus Rx is that it is very hard to match colors, including your hair…
    I know one family that had traditional furniture who bought all modern stuff during Venus Rx…hated it when the Rx cycle ended and went back to the old stuff at a high cost….your tastes changes during the Rx cycle but changes back when it’s over.

    Reply
  3. Stephen

    I tend to find great deals during Venus Rx, including half price tiles for my kitchen remodel etc. These tend to be cool things which others have rejected because they are not fashionable right now. Each Venus Rx has at least one absolute steal in it. I am not complaining. 🙂

    Reply
  4. lance Ferguson

    You are right, Stephen….many folks misjudge the value of what they are selling and sharp buyers can pick up a deal during Venus Rx.

    Reply

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The August Letter from Birch Bay

Friends,                                                                                               August 10, 2108

 

Red Flag Warning!  Fire Danger.  That’s the message we’ve gotten on our computers the last few weeks.  We’ve had the hottest July on record, and most of the state is in drought conditions.  Smoke is in the air now from fires down south and on the eastern side of the state.  We’re really safe as raspberry and blueberry fields surround Birch Bay and the forest patches in between are green and healthy.  Folks who live up in the foothills closer to the fires that have popped up are suddenly aware of cougars in their front yards as all the wildlife runs from the flames, including bears.  Again, we’re safe from these invaders.  The only really carnivorous worry is the Venus Fly Trap plant that a neighbor gave us.

And if you understand the mindset of Cancer females, you won’t be surprised to hear that Leslie harvests sugar ants from the kitchen sink to feed Venus.  Then she shakes the pot, and I swear I heard one burp. The warm temps and sunshine fuel lots of growth in the garden as Leslie has harvested green beans, zucchinis and parsley – the tomatoes are just getting there and carefully watched over as she is out every morning checking on the crop, throwing some love on it all.  On the backroads there are lots of small farm stands filled with flowers and vegetables – take what you want and leave the money in the jar.

Best of all we get fresh eggs from the local dairy store and the farmers who raise chickens.  And I tried something new last week.  Leslie’s son, Pete, has a buddy at work, Texas Tony, who has a little ranchette and raises chickens and ducks.  We bought some chicken and duck eggs from him, and I had duck eggs for the first time – sunny side up.  They taste like chicken eggs, but the yoke is bigger and richer.  You might not be able to tell the difference from regular eggs if you scrambled them.  Leslie turned her nose up and wouldn’t taste them (remember, Cancer rules chickens, plus she’s a big baby).

The Canadian geese are back, too.  They fly over us in the Winter with loud honks but disappear in the Summer when they raise their young.  That’s to keep the bald eagles from snatching the young ones.  Now they are back with the teenagers teaching them how to fly in formation.  For some reason, crab season has been put off until Aug 16.  Likely it’s to let them fatten up as was the case last year.  But that means I still haven’t had my crab dinner, and I have a cold bottle of French wine waiting in the box for the moment. The big environmental story here is the momma orca still carrying her dead calf in the waters off the San Juan islands.  She’s getting weak after swimming more than two weeks keeping the calf afloat.  So, the Lummi Indians are planning to put Chinook salmon, her fav, loaded with medicine in her path hoping to feed her and save her life.

Meanwhile, the Governor has created a task force to study how to help save the dwindling orca population that return each year to our waters.  Scientists and wildlife folks watch the herd very carefully and report that there are only 75 adults in the pod now when there were 100 members 30 years ago.  Lack of Chinook salmon is the main reason for the decline, mostly caused by the dams on the Snake River preventing the fish from swimming upstream and spawning.  Of course, there’s a big resistance to destroy the dams and their ability to create electricity.  Polluted water and lots of boat traffic also are part of the reason for the decline, they say.  It’s been three years since a calf survived birth to become an adult and that’s part of the reason the state needs to take action now.

Tahlequah is the name of the mother orca – put her in your prayers.  And hang on, there’s a big kiss up ahead at the end of Mercury Retrograde, as times change.

3 thoughts on “The August Letter from Birch Bay

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