Sonshine Home Service
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We strive for Spectacular!

 

We really enjoy going through our photos and reviewing the year.  It reminds us of the many blessings and delights we have had since last Thanksgiving.  We like to especially consider our blessings at this time of year and we hope, that by sharing, you will be encouraged to count your many blessings as well.


A lot has happened since our update letter last Thanksgiving.  It seems that our life is in overdrive as we make progress on the building of our home.  There really are no “vacation” days in our busy schedule, but we live in such a beautiful and peaceful place that we get a little bit everyday.  Even though we have not taken any vacations, keeping the Sabbath each week gives us rest and revival to work hard again the following week.


The seasons create an ever changing canvass in our surrounding views.  The following pictures of our home were taken in January and June.  These are taken from two different view points facing our home.  Since we have 40 acres, there are a lot of areas to explore and view just on our land.  We have hundreds of acres that we can explore in the surrounding hills around us too.


         Home in Jan         House June



Speaking of scenery and views, some friends of ours captured the northern lights.  The first one was taken in April, over Lake Roosevelt.  The second one was from another friend’s back porch in August.


        Northern Lights 1          Northern Lights 2


We spent much of the winter on the coast.  We had about three weeks of work scheduled in December.  We ended up with about three months of work!  So we traveled back and forth between the Seattle area and home about every two weeks.  We are grateful for the work that paid off the roof we installed last fall and set us forward for the next phase of projects.  We are also grateful for all the safe trips back and forth as well as the safety and wellbeing of our cats.  It was especially nice to visit with Kent’s family and some of our friends a little bit during our time there while working as well.


While in the Seattle area, we had the chance to visit the location where we had our wedding.  It just so happen that there was a wedding expo happening there that afternoon, so we were able to tour the place again.  Here we are in front of the tree where we had our reception.


                                                    Us at Robinswood House


We also had another great experience working the booth at VegFest in Seattle again this past March.  VegFest is one of the city ministries that we participate in each year.  VegFest focuses on health through a vegetarian diet.  There is usually between 10K-14K people that come through the event each year.  At the booth we are part of, we share free literature about health and spiritual things such as end-time Bible prophecy.  We also provide samples and a recipe for an immune boosting drink.  People are excited to be able to make something at home to help avoid suffering during the on-going cold and flu season. Here is a picture of Kent after we got everything all set up and ready for the people. 


                                            VegFest


April brings nicer weather and most, if not all, of the snow is gone by then.  We enjoy taking our cats on walks on our property.  They have a fabulous time!  Something about us being there makes them feel safer, so they are more playful.  Here are some pictures of us hanging out on the top of our property after the enjoyable hike up. 

       Belinda with Cats         Kent with Cat


Shortly after these pictures were taken, we heard some 4-wheelers off in the distance.  We paused to listen to see where they might be.  The cats must have thought it was serious, because two of them jumped off our laps and went off growling in the direction of the sound.


April brought another delight for us as we went to Manito Park in Spokane for the first time.  Here is a picture of Kent in the succulents green house.  He thought that was a dangerous looking cactus.  There were all kinds of plants and flowers to delight the senses.  We are grateful to have all of our faculties and be able to enjoy all of creation.

 

      Kent at Manito           Manito Flowers



We enjoyed Manito Park so much, that we went again with our bicycles on our anniversary in May. 


May also begins the wild foraging season here in our region.  Here is a picture of part of our Puff Ball mushroom crop.  Those are Belinda’s hands, so you can see how large these can get.  The largest one was about 5lbs.


        Puffball Mushroom         Cubed Puffball


Speaking of food, we planted a few potatoes this year and got a nice crop.  We also added strawberries, blueberries and a couple more fruit trees to the orchard.  While getting some mid-season lessons on pruning, we discovered a nectarine growing in a tree we planted last year.  We had tried to remove all blossoms, so the trees could put their energy in to the roots, but we missed one.  It was delicious! We can hardly wait for next year. 

The cherries come out in July, so we went to a u-pick place with some friends.  There is so much that can be grown around here, truly, we don’t need to worry about going hungry.


         Potatoes        Strawberry Patch

 

            Necterine          Picking Cherries


June is usually the month that our work schedules really take off and this year was no exception.  Belinda started a sustainable hygiene business a few years ago and began doing a couple of expos.  This year we did 4 of them and declined 4 others.  They all had unique and enjoyable aspects and three of them profited quite well.  We enjoy meeting the people and helping them to become more prepared in a sustainable way for times of emergency and difficulty that continue to rise every year.  Here are some pictures from different expos.

       MEN Fair        Seattle Expo



Animals are always a delight to watch and enjoy here at our home.  We have the humming birds that come in May.  The deer are always here but there are some special times of the year.  The fawns arrive at the end of June and the bucks usually show up in

September.  This year we had an unusual visitor; a Western Yellow Bellied Marmot.  They usually live in rocky locations, perhaps he was just passing through, but he almost became diner for our cats.  It would have been quite a fight though, as the marmot was almost as big as our cats.


          Hummingbirds          Fawn

 

          Buck         Marmot     This buck was hoping the gate would have been left open to the garden –never!  This marmot is sitting against one of our crawl space vents.  He probably thought it was a hole to escape into.  Instead I had to shove him out with a shovel while three hungry “lions” waited.  He made a great escape.


Two of our cats also made a great escape earlier in November.  We discovered some wounds on one cat and then a second one! Each one had been grabbed by an owl, probably a Great Horned.  We are really thankful that they survived/escaped and are recovering from their wounds.


We have another animal to update about.  The bear; she has made her appearance from time to time, waking me up in an RV, eating cat food, trashing our out-house, and some other things.  For some reason she bit the out-house trim this year.  Perhaps she had bad memories from biting a pressurized can of natural orange air freshener last year.

Here are the bite marks we discovered one afternoon while out hiking.

 

       Bear Bite


Another discovery was recently made in October that explains why the bear’s presence has been made known so regularly.  A friend of ours came over to help Kent get firewood out of one of our slash plies (piles of crooked or small logs left by the logging companies) in our meadow.  While they made quick work of the wood pile, they discovered a bear den underneath it!  The bear lives on our land!  We have been down in that meadow many times and on occasion wondered if there was not something nearby.  YES, there was and is –a black bear!  We have a full selection of wildlife here on our land; deer, coyote, occasional wolf, passing moose, bobcat, cougar, bear, rabbits, owls, grouse, turkey, and many other birds and small mammals.


Here is a picture of the guys unloading some of the firewood into our new out-building.

 

     Firewood   



In August, we started construction on that new building.  It is now serving three primary purposes: shelter for our generators, firewood storage and a platform to hold our new solar panels.  The picture below shows Kent, with a friend of ours, framing up the walls.

We finished the framing, sheeting on the walls, and the roof before the first snow.

 

       New Outbuilding      Outbuilding Snow


We also put the last load of wood in there as the snow really started to fly.



That was our first big snow.  It did not stick around, but we are sure there will be more soon enough.


Besides constructing a new building, we have made progress on electrical and plumbing.

We have all of our solar system except our batteries (we should get those sometime next spring).  We have also made some other improvements for heat retention and hope to have all these things finished by next fall.  There may be other projects we complete, but doing it debt-free with mostly just us, takes time.  It will be worth it!  We are thankful to have the ability and skill to do this work and earn the money to cover it.


As another year closes, we consider how blest we are to have all of our immediate family alive and well.  We are also grateful for true friends near and far.  May you all be blessed during this time of giving thanks.


Love,


Kent  & Belinda