Music and Farm

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for August 2016

Since we live in the volcanically active Cascade Range, Rick and I decided to take a short vacation to Crater Lake National Park to celebrate our anniversary this month, now that we are able to travel a bit.  We stayed in a beautiful little bed & breakfast in the Fort Klamath area just outside the park.

Our feature photo this month is a view of Crater Lake, a caldera lake created roughly 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted here in southern Oregon.  The feeling one gets upon viewing this magnificent, pristine lake for the first time is indescribable.  It is the deepest lake in the United States, and the 10th deepest lake in the world.  According to the National Park Service, is considered to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.


Crater Lake Bed & Breakfast – a wonderful place to stay and hosts international visitors

Crater Lake links for the adventurous traveler

Geologic history of the region

From the pull down menu on this page, one can take a peek at what is going on with other volcanoes.

Our camera is on the old side, and apparently memory sticks are not readily available for it in stores anymore.  With only enough storage for approximately 9 photos, we tried to be careful what we kept.  Click on any photo to enlarge.


On the way into the park.


Such a beautiful blue reflecting pool! Wizard Island is a cinder cone that emerged after Mount Mazama blew.


Another view of the lake from the rim.


It is along way down from the rim. Those trees are full height, which should give the viewer some perspective.

News from the farm

August brought the expected yearly blast furnace of high temperatures and no rainfall.  Dust Devils and other earthly sprites of the dry times relish the heat.  It is their time.   Once emerald green and lush from winter’s rains, grass has withered, curled and baked to a light tan in its dormant phase, and crunches underfoot like dry leaves.  Our days typically begin in the mid 40s to low 50s, soaring into the 80s, 90s, or 100s by afternoon.  We are visited by the Wind in her various moods as the land warms and entices her, though she leaves no footprints now in the dormant grass.  Her passing is noted in the rustling of weary, yellowing leaves that are slowly slipping away with the daylight hours, and in the waving of the Queen Anne’s Lace.  They too, are curling their spent umbrels inward, waving their newly formed goblets in Wind’s wake as if in supplication for cooler, wetter times.  Won’t she leave the thirsty gardens a little moisture, they implore?  She whispers it won’t be too long now, all life must have patience.


The neighbors’ Number 0003 came over to the fence to pay a visit.

We are enjoying the abundance of produce, even as we wait for cooler weather and shorter days to slowly settle in.  Picking, pickling, drying on top of much spot watering are priorities now.


We have no shortage of pickles and fresh cucumbers! I grow the starts and tend the plants. Rick is our resident pickle-meister who makes all the good pickles. The variety is a dual-purpose heirloom called Edmonson. We purchased seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

The growing season has been a strange one, presenting a few conundrums along the way.  For those readers who have been following along regarding our troubles in the vineyard, we have the answer from the Extension Service to last month’s puzzler.



Analysis from the Extension Service

“If it is what I think it is, it basically is a result of some sort of mechanical damage that occurred to the berry skin that was not enough to damage the whole berry and allowed the rest of the berry to grow and expand while the damaged area remained restricted. This results in the “pushed out seed” phenomenon. I get this inquiry almost every year, and it usually is on a small percentage of berries throughout the vineyard (not on all berries within a given cluster). This year, it seems to be associated with some sleet or small hail damage at the right stage post fruit set. I know there were some sleet storms in mid late June that went through the valley, and this could be to blame.”

We had two hail storms pass through on the same day during that time frame, and the damage to our vineyard was not extensive.  We have a good harvest of grapes on the way, with table grapes being well ahead of the pinot noir, as usual.


Table grapes, variety Cascade, developing nice color now.


Pinot noir, behind the table grapes in ripening.

Our new Moonglow pear tree, which was severely pruned by the neighbor’s horse earlier this summer, has survived with a little help from a generous amount of horse manure and lots of water.  It is even attempting to bloom again.  I am always amazed at the tenacity of life.


New leaves and new blooms! Note the two new white blossoms on the right, down below the lowest fork. This tree may survive yet.

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Old Willow would like readers to know that some days, she just likes the comfort of a nice paper bag.  She thinks everyone should have one, for those times when the world is pressing in, and one needs to shut it out.


Willow enjoying her bag. She is somewhere in the vicinity of 20 years old, although we don’t really know how old she is for certain.

Without further ado, the feline matriarch of Salmon Brook Farms would like to turn the news over to Mr. Otis, Northeast Regional Feline Correspondent.   For those who may not be familiar with Mr. Otis and his companion the lovely Izzy, these two talented cats hail from the far away eastern lands of Connecticut, and with the able assistance of their human staff R & C, file a report from time to time to let readers know what is going on in their area.


It has mostly been a hot, humid, oppressive summer here in the Northeast. I spend my days languishing either on the porch’s wicker couch or snoozing on the window seat under the ceiling fan.


Mr. Otis at rest after a hard day of work.

The weather has been similar to that found in the deep South and I now understand why Southerners move so slowly. August brought quite a few afternoon thunderstorms with soaking rains, which left the earth a steamy, soggy landscape only to be parched again by the heat of the next day.


The lovely Izzy taking time to nap in the summer sunshine.

The flower and vegetable gardens also felt the harshness of the heat displaying wilted leaves as the sun reached its zenith and were then rejuvenated again by the passing afternoon storms. Tomatoes, kale, peppers, rhubarb, Swiss chard, black berries, blueberries, strawberries and lettuce did well. However, the peas, eggplant, basil, dill and leeks had a hard time of it because of the early heat. Flowers were lovely this year except for the hydrangea that never bloomed because of the cold snap we had this spring. The black-eyed susan is my favorite flower and it seemed to thrive in the heat along with the plethora of weeds that cropped up everywhere!

All the critters of Hope Valley have spent the summer moving to a slower rhythm, too. The horses spend their morning in the field, but are back in the barn as the temperature rises and the bugs become more active. Rosie, that annoying terrorist, even lounges on the other window seat under the ceiling fan, much to my dislike.


Rosie enjoying a window view.

Sadie and Izzy seem to be the only ones loving the current climate and one can always find them nosing about the farm on some adventure. They often sit together on the front lawn or share moments with Mr. Shrew and his family or the chipmunk gang.


Sadie and Izzy keeping an eye on activities in the garden wall.

There was a handsome juvenile bald eagle hunting the meadows one weekend. I kept myself safely on the porch as I watched him carry away 4 rabbits over 2 days. He was quite clever and persistent in making his dinner plans and I marveled at how efficient he was. I must say, I was just as good in my youth, too!


Bald eagle catches a rabbit in the meadow.

Well, enough said. I need to find my water dish and then my window seat. My mistress will not let me outside after 5:00 now that the shadows are growing longer and the coyotes have been roaming about. I don’t mind though…I love my snooze time! Enjoy the rest of your summer and here’s to hoping for cooler, dryer fall weather!! I do love autumn!!


-Otis, Northeast Regional Feline Correspondent

Music News (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

We enjoyed seeing our friends Laurie Jennings and Dana Keller again up at Marks Ridge Winery in August.   We had a wonderful evening listening to some really wonderful folk musicians!


The Jennings and Keller concert started in early evening.


And went on into the night.

Please visit Laurie and Dana’s website at


And as for me?


I am still working through various medical issues and still on hiatus from performing, but continuing to play and enjoy down time with my guitars while I continue to recuperate.   I will know more by next month, and hopefully have a better idea of when I will be fully back on my feet. At the moment I take life one day at a time.   I learned how to make videos in late winter and do some rudimentary editing.  Technology continues to make leaps and bounds, allowing the small-time geek, tinkerer, and putterer like myself another means of expressing and sharing creativity.  Expect a surprise in months to come!  I won’t promise when, though.  I am savoring this time of few obligations to anyone except myself, the farm, and it inhabitants.


In the meantime, in your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep your own local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.

Bookings and home-grown produce:
Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms


And a special note of thanks to Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene at Teagan’s Books for featuring us in her blog post I am always deeply touched when someone reads, enjoys, and comes away with something positive from our Salmon Brook Farms blog posts, and feels they are worth mentioning to others. Please stop by her site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Thank you, Teagan!


77 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for August 2016

  1. Susan says:

    Your newsletters are always so interesting! I am so glad you posted the pics of Crater Lake. I have never been there, and so especially enjoyed them.
    I found the information about the grapes very interesting, and the probable cause likely two hailstorms on the same day. Who would have guessed? I always like to hear from the cats. 🙂 It has begun to cool down and is quite pleasant here, so I hope you get some of that soon where you are. And, I wish there were a pickle meister at my house! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! Do take a trip up to Crater Lake sometime, it is well worth the effort. And when you do, I will look forward to seeing your photos of it. I love your photography!

      The cats enjoy telling a good story, and I will let R & C know Mr. Otis and crew are appreciated! And I will let the resident pickle meister know he has a fan. 🙂

      The weather report is for 10 degrees cooler tomorrow. I am looking forward to that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It was good to read an update on your doings. Crater lake looks beautiful. It’s another place to add to my list. I’m glad the grape issue was the weather and not a pest. Sounds like all are having a good summer–I hope you feel well soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! Crater Lake is one of Oregon’s treasures. It was our first time there. Although we couldn’t stay long this trip, we got a good idea of all there is to see on the next one. We are fortunate it is only 4 hrs from where we live, so it is easy enough to get to. Thankfully we have a good friend who can stay with farm and cats while we are away.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tim. Tomorrow is my big day. And you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers too. What an ordeal you went through today.

      You and Laurie would love Crater Lake. A professional photographer like yourself would have a field day there. So many beautiful views and rich geological history.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful lake! And sometimes, having to limit the photos kept can be a very positive experience!
    Please tell Old Willow that Bella and Lulu totally ignored the big paper bag that I left around for them recently, so I’ve tidied it away!
    You must be pleased that the damage to the berries had a simple physical explanation and is not due to any disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see you, Musiewild! Yes, having to be very careful with the shots was a good thing, but there are so many beautiful views there, and wildlife. We took the trolley tour around the rim too, and at one stop, a bald eagle took everyone’s breath away as it flew just past us behind the tour guide. Golden mantled ground squirrels are very photogenic, and I could have had a good one of a squirrel sitting on a rock, looking over the lake. No more shots left, and didn’t want to waste one if the squirrel moved.

      Willow says she will take any unused bags. 🙂

      We were very pleased about the news on the grapes. Apparently it happens every year around the valley, but had never seen it before here.


  4. Thank you kindly for the shout-out, Lavinia.
    I’m happy to know the test results to the vineyard — last month’s puzzler. Glad the pear tree is making a comeback. And lovely to see the different kitties. Wishing you well, my friend. Light and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to see you, Teagan! Yes, I wasn’t sure the tree would make it, but the winter will be the decider on that. I’ll mulch it well.

      I’ll send your regards to Mr. Otis and crew. Wishing you all the best from the cats and crew here at Salmon Brook Farms. Have a beautiful, sunny day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Easy, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! You can visit Crater Lake too! I believe the B & B takes dog guests as wells as humans.

      I’ll send your regards to Goatie #0003. They are always making funny noises and watching what I am doing.


    • Hi Jill, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! Yes, R & C have a log house, and that window seat is favorite one with humans and critters.

      Crater Lake is so beautiful it would hard to take a bad photo of it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your newsletter is chockfull of good stuff! My husband is from Oregon and is always talking about Crater Lake–your photos give me a better sense of why–it’s lovely. Your hot, hot, dry weather must leave you yearning for fall–as you’ve read on my blog, we’re starting to get our hints. Willow is a beautiful girl–there’s nothing like a calico, in my opinion! I hope you get only good news regarding your health . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kerry, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! And I will let Willow know she has a fan, and that she is a very beautiful girl. 🙂

      Crater Lake is well worth seeing if you and your husband get a chance to come back here. The beauty will take your breath away.


    • Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments, GP! I will get another photo of Micheal’s tree in there somewhere. I have the whole line of redwoods covered in bird netting right now as we have had a number of escapee herbivores from next door that will eat trees, blackberry and anything green. I think I headed the nibblers off at the pass, but need some stronger fencing around them. I will peel the net off of Michael’s tree long enough to get a good photo, though! It has grown at least a foot this season. Once these trees reach a certain height, deer, goats and horses will not be able to do any damage, and they will start protecting us from wind, sun and storms.

      I try to remember what those soldiers went through during the war, and survived, and take strength from that. Your note here reminds me I should do that more often. Thank you for writing in, and thank you for your blog post so these men and their stories are not forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Herman says:

    Thanks for another wonderful post and keeping us up to date.
    Mr. Bowie always want to know how the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms are doing… He sends his regards to the crew!

    Wishing you all the best, Lavinia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Herman and Mr. Bowie, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! The cats and crew of Salmon Brook Farms send you both wishes for a very lovely day with lots of catnip, dark chocolate and espresso!

      The cherry tree garden for your mother, brother, Glippie and Mrs. Jones made it through the worst of the heat, and the bulbs have not been raided by gophers. I gave it a good top dressing of horse manure this summer, and it will get another layer of good bark mulch on top of that. Next spring it should look spectacular!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Always a treat to read how things are going on the farm! I look forward to your monthly updates, eager to hear how the cats are doing, the grapes, and all else. It looks like you’re having a fine summer despite that hail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Doug, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! All the “normal” weather patterns seemed to be out the window this year, but the gardens and vineyards are doing well. The birds and bees have started going after the grapes now, and we had a pheasant inspecting the table grapes. Rick nets the table grapes as they ripen first, but the pinot is behind deer fencing, no nets. I was hoping to try out insect netting this year, but it was one of those things I could not get to.

      Have a wonderful day Doug, and give our best to my favorite Persian brothers Dougy and Andy. Cats and crew send a big “Meow”!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lorraine Anderson says:

    Lavinia, I always enjoy your whimsical and inspiring roundup of events on the farm and off. I’ve added a link to your blog on my Earth & Eros blog under “Friends.” Take good care now — xo Lorraine


    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would certainly like to visit that lake, it looks wonderful. I am glad that the early hail didn’t ruin your grape harvest. Growing grapes always seems like a very nervous business when I read about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Tootlepedal! Yes, you would love visiting the lake area. It just so happens the other family staying with us was from partly from Scotland. The parents were over here visiting their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

      Hail is something I never like to see during the growing season, followed by deer. The deer wait out back with knives and forks for the cover of darkness to conduct their mischief. In spring, they will eat new shoots back to the trunk. In autumn, the rutting males will rub the velvet off their antlers on any woody shrub or vine available. We have not had elk come through here, although our friends’ vineyard up on the mountain gets visiting elk. I shudder to think what elk might do.


  10. Crater Lake looks glorious! I am pleased you and Rick were able to have a short break there. There is nothing like a little holiday away from home; a break from routine and a little relaxation together and then back home to all the dear familiar things.
    I hope your health improves soon and you get good news from the doctors next month.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, I love reading your newsletter, for sure!
    Though that’s the plural you beyond Rick and yourself, as Otis’ report was almost longer than yours! OK, exaggerating here a bit, but Otis obviously gets very creative when he lounges on the porch, whereas old Willow is going at my speed, I think. Some days I could use a big ole paper bag to climb into too!

    Sorry about that strange phenomenon affecting the grapes – it’s been such a strange summer – but nice to see the little pear tree coming back to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always glad to have you visit, Cynthia! Yes, old Otis loves to write, and has become more creative in his old age. I feel about Willow’s speed these days myself, and wouldn’t mind a paper bag of my own too! 🙂

      Every year is different in some respect. That is one thing the cats, farm and gardens have taught me. It is nice to see that poor little pear tree trying to come back. Protecting trees from various herbivores can be quite a challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a lovely post and so newsy. How nice to get away for a short vacation, the pictures look superb. Looks like that pear is going to ‘hang in there’ too. I always laugh at the end of summer with the glut of cucumbers .. and what to do with them. 😀 I love the shot of Sadie and Izzy, they look like the best of friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Julie, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! Always happy to see friends in New Zealand dropping by! Crater Lake is only 4 hours from here, so it is relatively easy to get to.

      I hope the pear makes it. Poor thing deserves a good shot at life after what it has been through! 🙂

      Last year we had a glut of mystery squash as well as cucumbers.

      Sadie, Izzie, Otis and Rosie are a very personable group of critters from the far off lands of Connecticut. Our friends R & C have a small horse farm there, and they always have good stories to tell. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Anniversary dear Lavinia, seems that it was a beautiful place, the photographs (lake) fascinated me. Poor rabbit! I love your cat family, they seems so lovely. And your table grapes, especially their colours, WOW! I am sure so delicious too. I hope and wish you feel better soon, Thank you dear Lavinia, to be in your world that you shared is so beautiful, please take care of yourself, my beautiful blogger friend, Lots of Love and Hugs, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dear Nia! Crater Lake is indeed a beautiful, and spiritual place to visit. If you read the geologic history of the lake as science has been able to piece it together, events match those in the local tribal oral history passed down for 7,700 years since Mount Mazama erupted.

      I found this link below with more interesting information about how the native tribes perceived the lake and its formation.

      Yes, poor rabbit! The local bald eagle ate well that week. Hawks, owls and eagles will take cats as well as other predators like coyotes, so Otis and friends must hide or be inside when they are about.

      Wish I could send you some grapes! Always good to see you, Nia. I love the photos and stories of your beautiful Turkish homeland as well. And all the kitties in your world! Much love to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a glorious place to take a holiday – although you couldn’t keep many photos, it sure did concentrate the quality! You were lucky to get away with as little damage from the hail storms. The champagne region was badly hit this year with a 20% reduction in yield expected. Our baby vines didn’t suffer hail damage but we’ve been in drought for months now and you can almost see the grapes shrivelling on the plants. Never mind, the harvest isn’t an important one – next year will be the real test.

    Lovely news from all the animal correspondents! Hope you continue to heal well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Annie, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! Sorry to hear about the champagne region being hit so hard with hail storms, and that the drought has hit you particularly badly this year. Yes, the hail here could have been much worse, and we were lucky to only have a small percentage of “pushed out seed” syndrome in the vineyards and be set back a little bit in other areas. Things are very dry here now too, and spot watering gets tedious. If we do get a long, extended autumn, there is hope for tomatoes and eggplant. Every year is different. There seem to be no seasonal norms anymore, except for the annual summer drought.

      All the best to you and Animal Couriers crew! You may see a couple of new foreign feline correspondents reporting on the olive harvest in Sicily. We have friends there who started an olive farm. They brought us a bottle on their last visit, and it was wonderful. 🙂


    • Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by! I think you would enjoy that area very much. As a professional photographer (your site is beautiful – you are another blogger I learned about through Gallivanta), you would have a field day there!

      Mount Lassen is also on my list of places to see.


  15. Hello from Canada to my favourite farming friends. I’m really happy to finally have this time to visit Salmonbrook and drink in all the happenings. Happy Anniversary to you two and thanks for sharing photo’s of Crater Lake. It really takes your breath away at every vantage doesn’t it? Seems like you must have done a good deal of hiking to get up so high. Oregon is really beautiful.
    I could see how dry your grass is beneath 0003’s feet (I’d really want to name him/her). We actually had a fair amount of rain all summer. It came close to record amounts but I guess it was ‘less rain’, ‘more often’. We only got to 29C (84F) one day, way back in May, which was especially dry and not typically when we get the hottest days. I actually love that it was cooler most days over the summer. Like you garden, I totally wilt in the heat.
    It was fun to read news from correspondent Otis. I like how his paw is lazily hanging over the edge of the settee on the porch. Izzy actually looks a lot like my old cat Ginger. She also was generous in girth. Funny, I often see that in orange/white cats. Looks like they too live in a charming place. I’m happy they stay in at night !
    Good luck with the harvest, I’m sure your pantry will be overflowing in no time. xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boomdee! So good to see you drop in from Canada! Yes, Crater Lake is such a breath-taking place. We didn’t need to climb up. The lake formed when Mount Mazama blew, and the sides of the remaining mountain fractured and fell in, covering the bottom of the caldera. The original mountain was around 12,000 feet high. The eruption reduced the height by about a mile, and is thought to have been roughly 42 times the energy of the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980. Over time, rain water and snow melt created the lake itself. There are no streams coming in, and no outlets except evaporation and seepage out in more porous areas. If you ever get a chance to come down this way,this is one place I highly recommend seeing. The Wiki page shows a good aerial view of the collapsed volcano and lake.

      The dry season will end soon here. The mornings are more interesting now as the mists rise and give birth to clouds, who wander off on their own adventures. I am hoping to get some good photos of those times.

      Old Otis and crew really enjoy life, don’t they? 🙂 We may be hearing from some Sicilian farm cats and pups sometime this fall about the olive harvest over there. Perhaps some Canadian cats could weigh in on weather in Alberta now and then too? 🙂

      I bought a second fruit drier. We are overrun with fruit this year. Wish we could send some to you! all the best to you and Mr. B, and the Alberta cat crew.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good Morning, Cock-a-doddle-do, ha! I imagine the crack of 8am isn’t early for you 😀 Thank’s so much for all the details, I remember Mt Saint Helens and all the soot that covered our streets and cars for over a week. Good Lord, 42 times bigger !!! That would be super destructive in the Pacific Northwest. Let’s hope nothing like that in our futures. Happy Weekend! xk

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good morning, Boomdee! It is said we are headed for the “The Big One” earthquake out here in the Pacific Northwest. There are varying opinions on that, but if it does, our farm is situated in about the best place it can be, as we are east of I-5 up in the Cascade foothills. I tell my eastern friends and relatives that we don’t get hurricanes, just an occasional earthquake or volcano to shake things up a bit. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Omgosh, I read the whole article, it was so engrossing. That’s the most frightening write-up I’ve ever read about ‘The Big One’. I love visiting California both to San Jose where Alys lives and San Diego too. I believe Coronado Island, where we stay is only 11 ft above sea level. Or so it says on the bridge over there. Glad to hear you’re in a super safe location! Nothing much to worry about East of the Rockies either. We don’t get Earthquakes or Tsunami’s. The odd Tornado whips thru, but not like down south. You can’t control Mother Earth and sounds like it’s not predictable either. So fingers crossed and carry on. ❤ k

        Liked by 1 person

      • About all one can do is carry on as usual, and try to provision oneself for an emergency situation. I hope to get up to your neck of the woods at some point. It’s been too long since I have visited Canada.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for thinking of us Kevin! The CDs are on the older side, but still available, and I can send them to you when you are ready, if you wish. Rick has retired from music, I am gearing myself up to jump back in next year. Taking care of his mother here took a toll on both of us, and this has been a year of recuperation and refreshing the soul.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kev says:

        Sounds great, Lavinia. Best of luck for next year. Although a songwriter, I’m not a performer myself… Much admiration for those who do. Yes, taking care of family or other loved ones can really take its toll in many ways. Hope life improves for you both and very soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by mistermuse! Crater Lake is breathtaking, and we will be back. It is only about 4 hrs from us, but this is the fist time we have ventured out that way and hope to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park down in northern California too.

      We used to live on the east coast and pass through your state on our trips west. Jorma Kaukonen also has a guitar camp (Fur Peace Ranch in southeast Ohio we went to for a number of years prior to coming west. Southern Ohio is really beautiful country!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Lavinia,
    It was a pleasure reading about life on your farm. Your Cascade and Pinot Noir grapes look stunning. Do you make wine from them? Sell them? Mr. Otis and his newsy update had me thinking about what my Jazzy would write if she added to my blog – it would be far more impudent, that’s for sure. As I am new to your blog, I don’t know what you are recovering from, but I wish you all good as you go along, especially if your music will benefit. Take care,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jeanne, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! Your Jazzy is a beautiful kitty, and looks like she would have quite a bit to say. One never knows what those cats will come up with for material for the blog. 🙂

      The plan for the pinot noir is to start making wine from them. I did an experiment with native yeasts a couple of years ago and made great vinegar, so this round would be with a commercial yeast strain that can go the distance.

      We took care of my husband’s elderly mother here in our house for a little over 3 years. She was 94 when she passed on last December. That completely wore me out and wore me down, and I have a few remaining health issues related to that left to fix. Our post “In Loving Memory” was a tribute to his mother.

      You have a wonderful blog site yourself, Jeanne! Readers, please visit “Still A Dreamer” at

      All the best to you,

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Sorry that you’re still not feeling well enough to perform. I loved the photos of Crater Lake, a place that I’d like to visit someday. It’s also good to hear that the crops have done well despite the dry conditions, at least you’ll eat well. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Crater Lake leaves one speechless to see it in person. We didn’t have a lot of time to visit, so we hit the highlights and made note of places to go back to, since it is only 4 hrs from here. The rim tour with the park guide was interesting. At one point she was speechless as a bald eagle flew behind her over the lake, turned back and made another pass to look at the group. The golden mantled ground squirrels are everywhere, and can be a bit pesky as people feed them. Walking back up towards the lodge I passed a perfect shot of one ground squirrel on a rock about 10 feet away, serenely looking over the lake towards sundown. I decided not to risk deleting a stored shot to get a new shot, as I was sure Murphy’s Law would kick in and the squirrel would move just as I was about to take the photo. Next time!

      Liked by 1 person

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