A Winter Letter from Lance

Friends,                                                                                               January 15, 2019

We’ve had several stout Winter storms blow through Western Washington this last month.  The most powerful one destroyed a restaurant that sits on the beach near our house.  We had a King (high) tide when this storm blew in with 70 mph winds blowing straight into the back of Birch Bay kicking up 5-8 foot waves.  The owner of the Bay Breeze restaurant had her camera on as the waves pounded against the glass windows at the back of her dining room overlooking the bay.  Finally, the waves won and smashed the windows allowing sea water to flood the place, and the last thing we saw on the video was the furniture drifting out into the bay through the blown out windows.  Sad, very sad, and it will take a while to rebuild as the place was red-tagged, or unsafe to be inside.  The waves also tore up big chunks of the asphalt road that circles the bay.  And what surprised me the most was seeing all the driftwood that was thrown up on the beach from this storm.  All sizes of logs, some 10-20 ft long, covered the beach for several miles.  Hundreds and hundreds of them must have come from the San Juan Islands which sit out in the distance.  Driftwood fans were out there loading their truck from the bonanza on the beach the next day.  Our little house sits up high on a ridge (Leslie found out we sit 41 feet above sea level) and we were safe and sound although the howling wind was a bit scary.  It hasn’t been really cold; we’ve gotten down to 29 at night, but that’s the coldest temp so far.  We’re back to the Winter schedule of feeding the birds – Leslie has feeders up both in the front and back of our house for the little birds, as we call them.  And we toss out peanuts for the crows and squirrels – our Winter pets we enjoy seeing on the back patio.  The tap water now is cold and very tasty.  Our water comes from deep wells and is sweet and without any chemical smell or taste – you can fill up your water bottle from the kitchen tap and avoid having to buy any.  Plus, the Dungeness crab season is now in full swing.  I picked up a fat boy at the supermarket (they only harvest boy crabs; the girls get thrown back into the water) for $8.54 last Monday and had a lovely dinner with an Oregon Pinot Gris, butter pot, and crusty bread.  Both Oregon and Washington vineyards bottle some excellent red and white wines, easily as good as anything coming from Napa Valley, California.  The Winter scene on the back roads is interesting and still lovely as all the pastures are green with a new crop of Alfalfa - there are so many dairy cattle and horses raised here they need a lot of good feed.  So, in between the blueberry and raspberry fields are vast stretches of land planted in alfalfa and corn.  Now that the corn has been harvested, many farmers have planted alfalfa in the stubble fields to get a head start on a Spring harvest.  And now that the leaves are off the trees, we can see further into the woods and discover sweet little houses just off the road that were invisible when the Summer foliage blocked them from discovery. And in the distance, snow-covered mountains are a fabulous sight.  Mt. Baker looks like a giant whipped cream snow cone in the distance.  The snow-covered foothills of the Canadian Rockies dominate another part of the distant vista.  And maybe the best part is that there is no traffic – we cruise leisurely down the two-lane farm roads and thoroughly enjoy checking out the farms and scenery at our own pace.  The first thing to read in this new issue of Skywatch is the information in the “Looking Ahead” paragraphs on the back page.  Difficult changes are just ahead, so this is the month to handle the high priority matters in your life – Don’t wait until March when times change.

2 thoughts on “A Winter Letter from Lance

  1. Beth Haggerty

    Hi Lance and Leslie,

    Just read your Winter letter. It sounds like you both are living a life about as close to heaven as one can get on this planet. Glad the storm didn’t damage you or your property. I so enjoy reading your letters. Of course, your Skywatch guides encourage me to try to stay in touch with what the stars are trying to tell me – to help me.

    Lots of Love,
    Beth

    Reply

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LOOKING AHEAD TO FEBRUARY:

You can expect some new developments around your home or office this month. All planets are in direct motion increasing the flow of positive energy and reducing the tendency for small delays to get in your way. Plus, innovative Uranus is now rocking along again in eager Aries, having left Taurus last November. Uranus encourages thinking that is outside the box and open to changes and new directions. 

 Additionally, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all moving into new territory in February. Which helps spark new situations and opportunities to expand your field of operations and to open doors to new sources of profit and success. It’s unusual that all three advance at the same time. Yes, yes, yes. So this is a very good month to put plans into action that have been gestating or delayed for some reason.

We have Venus, Saturn, and Pluto all in dependable and conservative Capricorn in February. Mars enters another earth sign, Taurus on February 14. Earth signs have common sense and a good ability to appraise the value of a person or item - and we all get to “borrow” some of that talent this month. Ready to buy a new car or another important purchase? This is a good month to do it and especially if you use one of the kiss days to finalize the deal.

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A January Letter……….

Friends,                                                                                               Jan 4, 2019

Old Man Winter has been slapping us around of late.  Storm after storm has blown through our area with winds near 60 mph.  And lots of rain.  But it’s been mild with the highs sitting near 50 degrees and the lows each night in the 40s.  A tornado hit Port Orchard, about 125 miles to our south, a few weeks ago and did some real damage.  Not only were roofs blown off but the big problem was huge trees falling on cars and houses.  I grew up in tornado alley Oklahoma where the trees are not big, maybe 30 feet tall and they didn’t really do much damage when they fell.  Here we have 100 ft pines that almost cut a house in half when they crash down on the roof.  Power lines were down all over town, too, and crews will be working with chainsaws for a couple of days to just clear the roads of fallen trees.  But that is a rare, very rare event for Western Washington.  All we worry about when the storms come in is losing power.  So I have stashed flashlights in our bedrooms to be ready in case it happens – old boy scout training. The Winter storms have chased in flocks of Canadian Snow geese to our area.  We see them out in the cornfields in groups of 10 to 100 – huge, beautiful birds you can spot feeding in the stubble from a mile away.  All this blustery weather keeps the soup pots going in all the local restaurants and clam chowder is always in one of the pots – my favorite.  Big Signs up are up here in Birch Bay announcing “the Polar Bear Plunge” on New Year’s Day.  Not me.  Not Leslie or Pete. But there were hundreds of hardcore souls who jump into the cold waters of the bay and freeze their tooties off that morning.  The event here on New Year’s eve is much more civil as folks all around the bay hold up torches flares,  and other light sources that night and create a “Ring of Fire and Hope” which is quite dramatic and makes us all realize we are neighbors and friends living in this beautiful spot on the Washington coast.

Leslie has added a holiday spirit to our house with big poinsettias in the living room and a cheerful wreath on the front door.  We keep it pretty simple over Christmas and New Years. I ’ve been talking about doing a prime rib for Christmas dinner for a long time, and this year we did one. I know, time is flying.  We are kinda stunned we’ve been here in Birch Bay for almost three years, long enough for me to forget all the names of the streets in Corpus Christi and our old stomping grounds.  We’re still amazed we packed things up and made the move so late in life.  And now we are settled in and feel like locals driving down the two-lane farm roads enjoying the scenery and clam chowder when we stop for lunch. 

We wish you all a Happy New Year.  Thanks for your love and support.  We begin 2019 with high energy and lots of very good days in the Skywatch – make some plans and put something positive and healing on your agenda in January.

But be sure to read ahead and get all the details before you set up anything important.

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Looking ahead to February…….

You can expect some new developments around your home or office this month. All planets are in direct motion increasing the flow of positive energy and reducing the tendency for small delays to get in your way. Plus, innovative Uranus is now rocking along again in eager Aries, having left Taurus last November. Uranus encourages thinking that is outside the box and open to changes and new directions. 

Additionally, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all moving into new territory in February. Which helps spark new situations and opportunities to expand your field of operations and to open doors to new sources of profit and success. It’s unusual that all three advance at the same time. Yes, yes, yes. So this is a very good month to put plans into action that have been gestating or delayed for some reason.

We have Venus, Saturn, and Pluto all in dependable and conservative Capricorn in February. Mars enters another earth sign, Taurus on February 14. Earth signs have common sense and a good ability to appraise the value of a person or item—and we all get to “borrow” some of that talent this month. Ready to buy a new car or another purchase? This is a good month to do it and especially if you use one of the kiss days to finalize the deal.

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LOOKING AHEAD TO JANUARY:

We begin the year with three planets in their home signs which lets their power shine through in a big way.

Lucky and expansive Jupiter is in Sagittarius encouraging some kind of expansion and growth in your life depending on which house in your chart this most helpful planet transits.  Conservative and practical Saturn is in Capricorn increasing the demands on your life to stay committed and responsible even in the face of tests and challenges which are likely to show up in the months ahead.

Spiritual and creative Neptune is traveling through home sign Pisces now and for the next five years.  Of course, each planet has a dark side as well as helpful energies.

Jupiter feeds dogmatic thinking and greed in some folks; Saturn awakens a cold, selfish attitude in some pilgrims.  While Neptune fogs up our thinking at times and leads some to deceit and perfidy, along with alcohol and drug problems.

And it’s very likely you will see both sides of these planets in January as we have a complicated and busy Skywatch.

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The November Letter…..

Friends,                                                                                        November 12, 2018

Autumn is a slow dancer in Birch Bay, Washington.  Leaves are still falling, and the scenery is fabulous.  Our backyard is covered with golden maple leaves the size of your hand sitting on a carpet of green grass.  It’s a Norman Rockwell painting at least.  And there are still lots of leaves left on the maples to come down.  The birch trees gave up their leaves weeks ago, and that means you can see into the forest much deeper than before.  It’s strange how in an evergreen world a large area of the forest is composed of birch trees, tall and slender – thus the name of this bay and neighborhood.  We had rain last week and will again later this week.  In between are glorious days of sunshine that warm us up driving out into the sticks enjoying the beauty of green lawns, verdant pastures, and the fall colors.  The weird sight is the blueberry bushes which turn red-orange in the winter – you can spot these fields from miles away.  Most of the raspberry canes are now tied up in a half bow so they will be ready for harvest next year.  The raspberry harvest this year was the second biggest on record, but farmers are having a hard time finding a market to buy them.  Other producers from foreign farms dumped a big supply of berries just before harvest here and depressed the prices farmers get for their fruit.  Last year they got 73 cents a pound.  This year it’s down to 67 cents/lb.  Prediction is that some farmers will go broke at that price.  Reading all this in the newspaper I hear my mother’s words: “farmers are the biggest gamblers of all.”  We strolled through the Farmer’s Market in Bellingham last Saturday.  Leslie scored some beautiful carrots, lettuce and a new kind of apple that’s pink inside – it is pretty but not very tasty, and we won’t get another.  At present, Leslie is looking up recipes to make mincemeat – we both love it and would enjoy a pie or two.  I’ve never liked cake; a good piece of pie is my favorite.  A hummer showed up outside our window yesterday.  Leslie immediately filled up the hummer feeder for the Anna, a species that hangs out here all through the Winter months.  The female returned that afternoon and loaded up at the bar.  Beautiful Canadian snow geese have returned to the fields in Skagit County, just south of us.  Some will show up in our area, too, before long.  We do have a big flock of Canadian geese who hang out in the vacant golf course across the street.  They fly over our house and circle back to the pond that’s on the course.  Leslie says they are training the young ones to get into formation when they fly out over the bay.  And four days ago, there must have been at least five hundred big honkers floating out in Birch Bay, feeding on something the tide brought in.  Whatever the food source is the ducks love it, too, as there was a massive group of ducks, thousands, in the water feeding two days later.  Leslie’s green thumb has successfully grown a small avocado plant from one of the seeds.  I’ve seen lots of folks try to get them to sprout and just end up with a slimy ball they can’t get to grow and finally throw away. But we have a foot high plant with a dozen leaves on the kitchen window ledge growing from an avocado seed she watched over and then planted in a flower pot.  Amazing to me.  She also bought three banana plants and has them in pots on the walkway.  And she bought a lemon tree that now has a flower and seems to be fine in the nippy weather, although she brings it inside when we have a freeze, which is rare.  I am extremely lucky to have found her and am deeply thankful she is my wife.  I have been fairly lucky all my life, and she is the topper – a lovely lady with great skills and brains who keeps our website, and me, up and running.  I couldn’t do all this without her.  She is the flower in my life and a love.  Hope you have a merry and tasty gobble.

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