Life in Washington - January 2005

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January 2005:  Happy New Year to all!  It is snowy and wonderful here in Washington.  We are continuing to enjoy our new life here.  

Millie and Lady are having fun living in our rental.  Lady had a great time during Christmas, and Millie has been totally fascinated by the snow.  

On January 3rd, Jimmie and Becca went out for a ride about 20 miles west of Yakima.  We saw hundreds of elk and a bald eagle in a tree along the Naches River.  Both were truly amazing sights!  

We are continuing to enjoy our new life here in Central Washington, Yakima, The Palm Springs of Washington!

We've had several inches of snow that remained on the ground for about three weeks.  Wasn't too difficult to deal with, but the icy roads took a bit to maneuver.  

(a view from our family room)

We all joined the YMCA during January.  Great facility with a large indoor pool, lots of exercise equipment, racquetball courts and gyms.  Ron and Dave are doing swimming/water walking/treading, Connie & Becca are enjoying a water aerobic class 4 to 5 days a week, and Jimmie, Dave & Becca are using the weight machines to get ready for a summer of fruit picking, hauling and packing.  (In January, Becca lifted over 200,000 pounds!  Amazing!)

Connie & Becca took a knitting class one Saturday in January.  Since then, Becca has been knitting up a storm!  Knit 1, purl 2, yarn over, slip that stitch!  She's been having great fun and has finally reached the point where she can knit and watch tv.  Having successfully completed two scarves, Becca is moving on to bigger projects.  Connie has enjoyed the knitting as well, but she's leaning more towards sewing and leaving the knitting up to Becca.

We've been living in our rental house for a little over two months now.  Not only is everyone still speaking, but we continue to enjoy our time together.  Jimmie and Ron did a great job in October when they flew up here to find us a rental.  The house gives each little family private space as well as lots of space for the whole family to share.  Millie and Lady are especially enjoying the communal living.  They love to make the rounds each morning, waking everyone with exuberant lickings!  Each evening the family sits down to dinner together.  We've been sharing the meal responsibilities so no one person is overloaded.  To keep the meals fun and interesting we've started an International Night on Monday's.  We've enjoyed Asian Ribs, Basque Chicken, Florence- influenced Pork Chops, and several other dishes.  It's been great fun picking an area to investigate for food ideas.  On Tuesday nights we have Soup and Salad night.  It's also been a hit with lots of homemade soups and various styles of salads.  One salad that Becca made was a big hit - Pear, Stilton & Walnuts on mixed baby greens with a Pear-infused vinaigrette.  Delicious!!

We've also been enjoying our eagle sightings throughout the month.  Jimmie counted 12 eagles one day on his route between Union Gap and Wapato (about an 8 mile trip).  We've all enjoyed this new activity, along with the Mount sightings on clear days...  Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier.

In February, the guys who work the orchard will be arriving to start the pruning process.  We are looking forward to learning this first step in the year-in-the-life of an orchard owner.  We'll make sure to update everyone with the details as we get started.  So, stay tuned!  There is more to come in February!

Until then,

The Halfway House Seven
(as we call ourselves)

A quiet, snowy morning in Yakima



Lady loves to celebrate Christmas
Millie just loves the snow!
A gorgeous bald eagle along the Naches River
Elk out near Naches
More elk
Becca grilling in 24 degree weather!

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