All posts by Wendy

Putting Mom on Time Out, The Good Kind

It’s that time of year, isn’t it? I can feel the stress and panic start to creep up behind me like an old, loose pair of underwear. Holidays are coming fast.

Yes, it’s a time to enjoy family and friends and large alcoholic beverages, but somehow for me it turns into striving for the Perfect and completely unobtainable Holiday Experience.

Which is why I am so grateful for the time out I have been putting myself on by going to a moms’ group I love, Mom’s Morning Retreat.

Mothering is, ironically, such an isolating experience. Do you have a supportive group of moms? Maybe you know some moms, but guess what? They are busy moms. Is there any other kind? And your mom friendship consists mainly of comparing notes on best baby foods, best playgrounds, best schools, best healthy lunches or best torture device that leaves no marks.

I have loved having a place to go twice a month where I can talk about real issues about being not just a mom, but being a whole person. Bev Gaines leads the group discussions and gives us all delicious food for thought.

This week we had a service activity of making fleece blankets for foster kids.

Fuzzy fun!

Whether we get deep or just have a laugh, we all leave feeling a little less frazzled and hopefully a little more ourselves.

Which can only help everyone around us, before, during and after the holidays, right?

Mom’s Morning Retreat meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays, Sept.-June, on Bainbridge Island and is open to moms of children of all ages. Coffee, snacks and even child care are provided during meetings.


Wendy is a mom, writer, reader, runner and singer of off-key tunes. You can find more of her writings and photos and ramblings at Let the Dog In! and join her on Facebook and Twitter.

What’s Up on the KitPen this weekend?

Looking for a few things to do with the family this hopefully sunny and warm weekend? Well, guess what?! There are some!

Saturday, June 4th

Did you know it’s National Trails Day? Well, now we both do! And the City of Poulsbo has Walking Ambassadors on tap to walk you around nine different routes. No pre-registration required! Read more at their site.

Also, Saturday, get your filthy (well, mine IS) car washed and help out the Bainbridge Island School District. Bainbridge Schools Foundation is hosting a car wash from 9am-3pm at the island’s Chevron station. Do good and look good for it!

Sunday, June 5th

Kitsap Mini Maker Faire is happening Sunday and will have all kinds of items made by knitters, welders, inventors, craftsmen, artists, you name it. Plus, a food booth, so who can beat that?! All the stuff I am totally unable to do and totally impressed by those who can!

Once you’ve checked out the Kitsap Maker Faire, save some energy (and $) to come to Bainbridge Schools Foundation Family Fun Fair from 1-5pm. They’ll have a dunk tank, cake walk, crafts for sale, putt putt golf and more, at Bainbridge’s high school.

So, there, you have no excuse not to have fun this weekend and tear yourself away from your yard for a few hours! Enjoy!!

To market, to market!

It may be 46 degrees and cloudy, but guess what? Farmers don’t care! Guess what started up again today—-

I checked out Bainbridge Island’s own market, running every Saturday morning now through summer (oh, summer, where are you?!). For the next few weeks, you may want to first shop for fleece at the market!

They even have wool felted soaps in every color–even soap may get cold!

Amazingly enough, there were loads of fresh greens,

and shallots

and even goose eggs (which I am here to tell you, are not a big zero, they are HUGE).

First day of market, everyone comes out, even a 2-day old baby.

Precious, right?

She was born on the island at the wonderful (and extremely hardworking) Port Madison Goat Farm where they make DElicious cheeses (I’m pretty sure they put that ice there; it didn’t just form on its own).
So bring the whole family to come check out the action at the Farmers Market.
You can’t help but feel the love.

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You can read more from Wendy at her blog, Let the dog in!, you can “like” her at facebook.com/letthedogin, and you can also tweet to her at twitter.com/letthedogin and to her dog at twitter.com/beccadog, who is an amazing speller. They’d love to hear from you!

A Natural Valentine – woven at Islandwood

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

My daughter and I went to Islandwood yesterday for weaving class, and we made this for you!

It’s made from the bark of the cedar tree, which I’m told is not a true cedar tree. We have red cedars in this part of the country, which are a cousin of the cypress tree.

See, now you’ve gone and learned something today, too! That wasn’t so bad!

It’s a long process of pulling the bark off the tree, letting it dry for months and then using it for crafts, so fortunately, Islandwood did all the hard work and we showed up in time for the fun!

We were clearly the beginning level, but they have an expert who made these, too.

Small basket.

Rattles.

But even if you’re not at the post-grad level of weaving, you can take junk mail flyers, old cereal or Kleenex boxes lying around the house and make something like this:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you’ve never been, you really should check the offerings at Islandwood on Bainbridge Island. Their family events are affordable (usually $5 donation suggestion), interesting and fun.

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You can read more from Wendy at her blog, Let the dog in!, you can “like” her at facebook.com/letthedogin, and you can tweet her at twitter.com/letthedogin. She’d love the company.

The Rice Report — Mochi Festival Fun!

It’s a new year and that means it’s a new Mochi Festival here on Bainbridge Island this past weekend. Have you ever sampled mochi, a sweet rice ball with a tasty bean paste hiding inside?

The Sun article on the event is here with some great shots by Brad Camp in the photo gallery. I also have a little more info here on my own home page.

In case you didn’t make it (*gasp*!!), I’m sharing a few more photos of the rice pounding fun.

There was much shouting and swinging of mallets.

A lot of risk-taking maneuvers, but so far no one has lost any fingers.

Even shorter helpers were enlisted in the fun.

After the rice pounding, the white goo was moved inside, which was great on that chilly day!

Pieces get torn off, balled and shared.

Lots of little hands then wrapped those bean paste balls into their white coats.

There was plenty of fun and rice treats to go around!

As you can see, the Mochi Festival is a great family event here in Kitsap County. If you’ve never been, be sure to check it out next time!
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Wendy is a writer, improviser, wife, and mom of two daughters, one covered in fur and rolling in….um, never mind. She’d love for you to read more of her writings at Let the dog in! and tweet with her on twitter.

in which I express my flaky, feathery fickleness

Pardon me, can we take a moment here to talk about….birds?

Mere months have passed since I confessed my true love for a certain little guy.

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

And, at the time, I really meant everything I said about him and his yellowy dashing-ness.

But a recent stroll at our local Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island led me over to the duck pond where, lo and behold, my heart was reminded about true love.

There he was, in town for a brief over-wintering visit, the Bufflehead.
Or as I like to call him, heartus skipus.

He swoops, he swims, he dives–he is all water fowl, Itellyouwhat. Plus, he’s ready for any formal occasion.

It’s all there in black and white. Sorry, Goldfinch.

Any birders out there with crushes in this county? Any birds you look forward to seeing in one season or another? Tell me I’m not the only geek one!

Wendy has two daughters, one covered in fur and rolling in….um, never mind. She’d love for you to read more of her writings at Let the dog in! and see pictures of all the reasons her pants are stretching out this holiday season (BAKED GOODS, ya’ll!).

Art in Life or Life in Art or Both!

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Remember that really hot, sunny day this past summer?

That day Bainbridge Arts and Crafts collaborated with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust to host Art on the Trail at Blakely Harbor. You could tell the artists were full of gratitude that day.

About a dozen artists set up their own little workshop space outside and let us Jo Public types wander by, ask questions and generally marvel at their talents.

What a lovely collaboration it was between the artists and Mother Nature.
Now, for the month of October you can go to Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Winslow Way (next to Eagle Harbor Books) and see these completed works inside the gallery.

Maybe you’ll even want to take one home with you.

It was such a blast to see these creative works in progress (and even “contribute” a bit) this summer;

it makes you appreciate what it takes (skill, creativity, patience) to reach a finished product.

And if you’d like to contribute to the artists and the great programs BAC offers, Islandwood is hosting a Crab Feed fundraiser on October 23rd for BAC. For more information, read this article, and visit BAC’s website.

Bainbridge Island’s Great Zucchini Race 2010

Hi, Kitsappers!

Did ya know we had a big event this past weekend here on Bainbridge? Yes, it’s true — the Great Zucchini Race 2010 took place, and we even had a special guest — the sun!

The Kitsap Sun covered this newsworthy story here.

Here’s a little video of the madness!

I also put up photos of the racers on my other blog here. Come on by and check out what craziness people did to make a zuke race car!

Next weekend’s island fun: the Harvest Fair! Benefiting Friends of the Farm, it’s a great family event and one of my personal favorites. That happens Sunday, Sept. 26th. Check it out!

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Be sure to visit Wendy at Let the Dog in! where she shares funniness, fact, fiction and photos, and where her dog, Becca, also shares about her dog life, right before she lets herself out. You can find Wendy and Becca both tweeting from time to time and on the Let The Dog In Facebook Page. Come, join the conversation!

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And don’t forget to join our Facebook fan page! It’s where all the cool kids are hanging out… It’s true.

A Fair Report — hangin’ at the Kitsap county fair

In case you didn’t know it, Kitsap county had its annual fair last week. Such fun! I am here to report a few new items that I and my little 7 year old assistant tried out.

The first big thing that caught our eye was the Walk on Water ride. It was a huge, blow-up pool of water with giant, clear plastic balls for you to get zipped into and live your own best hamster life.

Here’s our footage:

I almost dashed in myself maintained my grown-up demeanor and totally regret it now watched from the sidelines, recording the event for you, dear readers.

I did, however, partake in the grossest of all edible things — this freak of food:

Yes, I ate it, in all its greasy glory.

And however nasty you think that looks, it tasted worse.

stickymushygreasysugaryblandslimy – yeah, that about sums it up.

I agree with Angela that a little savory added to this burger might have made it slightly less disgusting better.

Naturally, showing an unprecedented lack of foresight, we followed up this eating bonanza with some fun, circular, swirling barf-a-rama rides.

Here’s one that was new (at least to us) this year, a hang-glider ride.

The great part about this ride is that you’re already lying flat, face down, which might come in handy for you if you have just eaten one of those donut burgers. *Ahem*

All in all, we had a blast, as usual, at one of our favorite annual events. Hope you did, too! What’d you love? Hate?

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Be sure to visit Wendy at Let the Dog in! where she shares funniness, fact, fiction and photos, and where her dog, Becca, also shares about her dog life, right before she lets herself out. You can find Wendy and Becca both tweeting from time to time. Come, join the conversation!

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Keep up with new posts by subscribing to our Mom Squad RSS feed (it’s free!).

And don’t forget to join our Facebook fan page! It’s where all the cool kids are hanging out… It’s true.

My Favorite Sign of Summer

We have many signs of summer in this region of the country, longer daylight hours: less rain, noisy, bobnoxious kids home from school, and bright yellow Goldfinches at the feeders.

But this is my all-time favorite Sign of Summer:

And it’s right here on Bainbridge Island (although there are other, delicious places for U-Pick berries in the area, too).

When I see that sign, I know it invariably leads to this:

A bit of red heavenly goodness. Okay, maybe more than just a bit.

Mmmmmmmmmm.


What are your favorite things to do with these little bits of heaven? Do you have some other favorite sign of summer?

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Be sure to visit Wendy at Let the Dog in! where she shares funniness, fact, fiction and photos, and where her dog, Becca, also shares about her dog life, right before she lets herself out. You can find Wendy and Becca both tweeting from time to time. Come, join the conversation!

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Keep up with new posts by subscribing to our Mom Squad RSS feed (it’s free!).

And don’t forget to join our Facebook fan page! It’s where all the cool kids are hanging out… It’s true.