Wild Berry Jams and Jellies, Plus a Work in Progress

Wild Berry Jams and Jellies, Plus a Work in Progress

I have spent most of September picking, processing and making jams and jellies from the wild berries that grow here at Camp Hahobas.  Salal  berries were the first  berries I picked.  I wasn’t even aware they were edible until I was told they were by one of the brush pickers that harvest the Salal.  The the Salal plant is used by the floral industry.  So the next time you get a pretty bouquet, the greenery in it just might be Salal.








Next I harvested Black Berries.  Mr B says they are also called “Wait a minute vines” cause you need to wait a minute while you untangle yourself from their thorny vines.  Fortunately I have a Black Berry hedge growing in my front yard.  So I didn’t have to go far.

Last I pick the tiny  Kinnikinnick berry or Bearberry.  After doing a search to see if it was edible I discovered that Native Americans smoked Kinnikinnick and the berries are still used medicinally to treat bladder and kidney disorders. Truly, the leaves of Bearberry plant still fill many a pipe today.


The photo (to the right) makes the berries appear bigger that they really are.  The berries in the pan (photo below) gives you a better indication of how small the berries actually are.






When I say tiny, I do mean tiny.  I worked one afternoon for 3 and a half hours and all I collected was two quarts of these little guys. By the time I processed the berries I got 1 and a half quarts juice from them.  I had to add a quart of black berries so I would have enough juice to get one batch of jelly.

I went out a second time to pick the tiny berries again but got rained out, Fall is finally here.  I added two cups of black berries from the very last picking.  But it wasn’t enough so, I added about two cups frozen blue berries, thawed, and it still  wasn’t enough.   So I added enough Apple Juice to make the 5 cups of juice called for in the recipe.  I wasn’t sure what the taste would be, but it’s good.  It tastes something close to cranberry sauce.  It will be good for the Holidays.  Served with fresh hot scones or biscuits with creamy sweet butter, “Yummy!”





A Work in Progress

I want to share a project which is a gift for a loved one in my family.





I drafted the crazy block myself.  It’s getting easier to draft these blocks.  This block is by far the busiest block I’ve done.







I tried my hand at dying a few pieces of lace.  I used alcohol inks mixed into water. I got subtle coloring, which was what I wanted.  I used the yellow lace butterfly  and the flowers in an oval.




Each in  part of the block was designed especially for it’s recipient, right down to the little charms I sewed on it.  Bet you can’t guess what her favorite colors are? All that needs to be done is to put this block into it’s frame.

Until next time,



Nana and Papa’s Camp 2017

Nana and Papa’s Camp 2017


Lunch Time

Mr. B and I spent the last eight months planning this event that was part family reunion and part summer camp for our grandchildren. It’s a special kind of family reunion that focused on our grandchildren.  “Nana and Papa’s Camp” ran August 11th through the 16th. We were blessed to have all four of our children, their spouses or significant other and all nine of grandchildren in attendance. My parents and Mr. B’s mother also joined us.  Our grandchildrens’ ages range 18 months to 14 years, so we planned a variety of activities for morning and afternoon, but of course no plan “A” survives first contact, as Mr. B says.  He learned the phrase “Siemper Gumby”, which means “Always Flexible”, while in Army National Guard.   We approached each day with that in mind.  Some activities had to be rescheduled, others dropped all together. 

We tried an 8:00 am breakfast time, but it was decided that was too early, so 9 am it was. This was followed by morning activities.  Lunch was scheduled for 12:00 noon, but it seldom was eaten then because planned activities usually went over time.  We just adjusted times and activities as necessary.

Making Paper Doll Puppets

Each afternoon we had Arts and Crafts.  These classes were taught by my daughters, daughters in law and oldest granddaughter.  We planned Pony Bead Zipper Pulls, Paper Doll Puppets, Duct Tape Wallets, Cupcake Decorating, and Basic Painting and color mixing. 






Afternoon temperatures were in   the high 80’s, so swimming was a very popular activity.










I had a sign-up sheet for help with the meals.  Everyone helped so meal preparation, serving and clean up didn’t fall on any one person. 





To help the kids be on their best behavior we had an awards system that included handmade pins. 

The Pins

One parent from each family and myself met for a few minutes either right before or right after dinner to decide what awards were to be given for that day.  A simple, short awards ceremony was held after dinner.   Awards included:  Positive Attitude, Service, Fishing, Random Acts of Kindness, Ecological- an evergreen tree (for picking up trash), Busy Bee, Wise Owl, Early Bird, Snail,  this one had a double meaning 1- for going above and beyond and 2-for being slow, a gentle teasing.  Others included Marksmanship, Silver and gold stars for a variety of positive behaviors, such as sharing, helping, being a friend, etc.


Nana & Papa



We ordered tee-shirts (sky blue) and baseball hats that coordinated with the graphic on the tee-shirt (dark blue).  Awarded pins were pinned to the front of each hat so the kids could display the pins each had earned.  The kids really enjoyed the pins and worked hard to earn each one. 



Papa’s Hat with the Pins He Earned

Each day was filled with activities meant to create memories and build stronger relationships with one another.  We enjoyed all the benefits Camp Hahobas has to offer.  Each day, we played, swam, canoed, fished, prepared meals, cleaned up, visited, took loads of pictures and created precious memories.

Canoeing on Lake Robbins



A few highlights include:

  Filming a Noodle Family, Campfire Cooking episode: Omelet in a Bag. Staring Noodle Nana (me), on the third day (August 13).  Click here to see the “Omelet in a Bag” episode. 


Painting at the Beach




A visit to the beach cabin, on the fourth day (August 14) where we had lunch and spent the afternoon.  We had our Arts and Crafts Session, a painting lesson, which was taught by daughter Elizabeth.  Those who didn’t paint, fished, collected shells, played on the gravelly beach or waded in the cool waters of Hood Canal.  It was a relaxed afternoon.


A Happy Grandson

                                                                                                                                                                      The five days of Nana and Papa’s Camp flew by and all to soon the last day came and we had to say our good byes.

Special thanks go to daughter Jennifer and her family, they stayed and helped clean and close down the areas we had used in the Camp.  They also helped clean our house including both bathrooms.

Kick Ball Game

While our children and grandchildren were here, we enjoy their energy, activity and their sound (talking and singing). It is quiet now, too quiet.  Even though Nana and Papa’s Camp was a lot of planning and work it was well worth all the effort.   


Photos of our Kick Ball Game












Until next time,









Camp Hahobas, Tahuya Washington

The most incredible happen to me yesterday as I was getting ready to go into town.  I was on my way to unlock the gate and as I looked up from Pepper, right in front of me, about 10 feet away was a Black Tail Coastal Deer, a doe.  She was majestically walking down the driveway.  She simply looked over at me.  Pepper pulled at the leash and barked a low, soft “woof”.  But the doe, just continued to walk by us, as if she did it every day.  Once my brain kicked in, I thought, I should take a picture. But of course, by the time I got to the camera on my phone she was well down the driveway.  I laughed a soft chuckle at which the doe stopped and looked at me.  I said to her “It’s okay” and she continued on her way.  WOW!  I was amazed at her calm.  She didn’t bound way, she just kept walking.  Have you ever watched the way deer walk? It’s very stately and like I said it’s very majestic.

So how did I end up in such a place? For those of you who haven’t heard, here’s our story (I’ll try to keep it brief)

Last fall, an opportunity we couldn’t say no to, presented itself to Jerry and I.  Jerry has been in scouting for many years.  At the time, he was serving as Assistant Cub Scout Master. So, while looking for something on our Councils web page he discovered they were looking Caretakers for Camp Hahobas, one of the three Scout Camps the Council closed in 2016. These three camps are now for sale, but multi-million dollar sales take time.  We were hired in mid October and moved a month later.  We live in the Ranger’s House.   We are here to discourage vandalism, trespassing and squatters.  Camp Hahobas, is located on the Kitsap Peninsula, in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State.  We are surrounded by the Tahuya State Forest on three sides and the Hood Canal on the fourth.

Our first winter was a trial by fire for me as I am a city girl.  There was about 6-12 inches of snow on the ground from December 8 through the middle of February.  We were told that there would be only a dusting of snow.  HA! One of our neighbors told us there is so much snow because of a condition called “Lake Effect Snow”.  Apparently, the Hood Canal makes its own weather and results in a lot of moisture, i.e.  snow and rain.   The house we call home is an older one.  It has a furnace, but needs a fire in the fireplace to chase away chill the furnace can’t seem reach.  There is a lot of downed trees here but the wood has to be cut, split and stacked.  Jerry does the cutting and splitting, I help with the stacking.

Living remote as we are, has changed the way we shop. We don’t jump in the car every time its discovered something is needed.  We live thirty minutes away from the nearest town and it is a large waste of money to make a trip for one or two items. We make shopping trips about two or three times a month.  I try to group appointments so they are on the same day, usually one in the morning and another in the afternoon and do some of the shopping in between and after.  It makes for a very long day, but it saves gas money and wear and tear on the cars.

We have internet so we aren’t cut off from the world.  I don’t feel isolated. In truth, I love it here.  No city water, with all the chemicals, just spring fresh water.  There is no city noise. The sound of the wind in the trees is a comforting sound once you get used to it. The air is clean and fresh.  The night sky is not effected by city light and on clear nights, the stars and moon are so bright it takes your breath away.

I have been photographing the spring flowers and a few animals as I get the chance.  Enjoy the pictures.

Until next time,  Kathy                                                                                                                 



Done is Better Than Perfect!

“Done is better Than Perfect”

A funny thing happened on the way to finishing a gift. I was making the “Welcome Home, Summer! Door Banner” by APQ Quilts and More, Summer 2014, “Welcome Home Door Banners”.  As I was sewing on the binding, I realized the mini check fabric I was using was not a dark navy and white,  but was in fact, black and white.

Black and White Mini Check Fabric

Black and White Mini Check Fabric

I had sewn about a third of the binding on to the banner when this realization hit me.  I stopped sewing and thought, “What am I doing to do? Should I stop and rip it out, find the navy and white check fabric and remake the binding?  I was up against a dead line; we had planned to leave to go to Eastern Washington as soon as Mr. B was off work.  I had only a couple of hours and I still needed to pack, too.  The next thought I had was, “Does this black and white mini check fabric, work as the binding for this project?

I flipped the banner over to look at the front and then I realized, the buttons I was planning to use for embellishment, were black. (watermelon seeds)

welcome home summ-watermelon-webedtI also could use a black and white polka dot button in the center of the daisy type flower.  That was two tie-ends for the black and white mini check fabric.

welcome Home Summer-button-webedt

I also planned to use black pearl cotton to embroider running stitches for the bumblebee’s flight trail.  The button for the bee was black and yellow.



Here were more tie-ends for the black in the mini check fabric, so I decided to keep the black and white binding and continued sewing it onto the banner.





After I finished sewing the binding to the front side of the banner, I folded the binding to the backside of the banner and pinned it in place to sew by hand. I realized the binding looked not just, okay but good, very good.

Welcome Home, Summer Door Banner

:Welcome Home, Summer Door Banner




I was pleased with the color combinations and with the project over all.  I hope the recipient of this door banner will love it and never know a different color binding was planned. (unless she read this blog).  The lesson I have learned (again) is summed up by the quote “Done is better Than Perfect”. Plus I was able to give this gift on time!


Note: The picture is not the banner I made and gave away, unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of it before giving it away.  This banner is one I made for myself.  It hangs in my sewing room.

Happy Sewing!

Until next time,