Life in a small town is different

Dateline – July 13, 2016

back-deck-stairs-meadowLife in a small town is different. You can’t just pick up the phone and order a pizza or oriental take out and have it delivered to your door. It is frustrating at times, but there is a peacefulness to the slower cycles of life that is grounding and re-affirming. Read more

Summer’s Warm Blessings

flower-pink-webIt has been a busy month here at the Center! We have been spending a lot of time working in the garden and the grounds. There is a lot of work to do, but we have the blessings of Summer’s warmth to help keep us motivated.
The garden is coming in much better than we expected. With it being our first year with the new garden we weren’t sure how much we would be getting, and, well, it looks like we are going to do pretty well in the Garden of Giving this year. So far, harvests have not been enough to go to the Food Bank (just a few handfuls of spinach and some radishes).garden-long-shot-web

With the way everything is growing, we’ll have lots of food to take in soon. The summer squash is setting on and the potatoes are growing nicely. Onions, tomatoes, asparagus, shallots, kohlrabi, carrots, beets and more are all coming in. We are looking forward to taking loads of healthy food to the local food banks in the next few weeks.

Dragonflies and hummingbirds are around in numbers. The dragonflies have always been a family favorite, but now even more so. Their symbolism of carrying messages from the other side is not lost on us as we work to create a place of peace and serenity. Sitting down by the pond for a few minutes is sure to invite a visit from one of the many dragonflies in

The hummingbirds are all over the place (one of the advantages of being by fresh water). In just a few minutes of sitting on the deck, it is easy to see there are four distinct types of hummingbirds that come to the feeders. Hummingbirds remind us to take enjoyment from life. Their ability to hover is a reminder to us to take time to live in the moment before the moment passes away.

Our bear is back! Last year she “helped” us prune the pear tree by climbing on up and well, breaking off most of the branches. The tree has survived and is growing strong; it even bloomed this spring. And, the bear is back! On our walk this afternoon we saw fresh bear sign. We have seen a beautiful cinnamon black bear in the area for several weeks and are pretty sure he’s the one that tore apart the stump. The wildlife here is amazing…we’ve also seen 3 new fawns with their white dot patterns.flower-box-web

Remember, whether you be a city dweller or live in the woods – the natural environment around you is just as real as the iron and steel constructs of man. Our natural state is…unplugged.

The Blessings of Plumbing

nikki-cabin-porch-webHave you ever thought about what a blessing modern plumbing is? We have been reminded of the importance of this blessing! This week has been a busy one filled with plumbers, excavators, septic pumpers and great big metal snakes. However, we now have the problem fixed, the septic is good for another 5-8 years, the pipes are clean, the main line is good to go, and from what the plumbers tell us we are good to go. It has been a stressful week to say the least and we are glad to have it behind us. Read more

The gardens are in for 2016!!

We have been working diligently getting the gardens ready for our first year in our permanent location. It has been a lot of work (and there is still much to do) but the planting has been done. This year the garden has been planted with:/

Asparagus – we’re starting a new bed



Bunching Onions

Yellow Onions

Red Onions

55 Tomato plants (8 different varieties, most of them heritage strains)

20 Pepper plants (4 different kinds)

Lettuce (2 types)

Spinach (2 types)

Giant Kohlrabi


Beets (5 different kinds)

Carrots (4 different kinds)

Radishes (3 different kinds)

50 Strawberry plants (2 types)

2 hops plants (2 types)

Potatoes (3 different types)


6 Gold Melon plants

Pole beans (4 types)

Snow Peas

Snap Peas

Brussels Sprouts (2 types)

Cabbage (3 types)

Cauliflower (2 types)


Cucumbers (3 different types)

Summer Squash (zucchini, patty pan, cocozelle, 8 ball, pool ball)

Acorn Squash

Delicata Squash

Pie Pumpkins

Corn (2 types)

We are definitely going to be kept busy this summer with taking care of the garden. We are looking forward to making deliveries to several of the local community food banks in the area once the harvest start coming in. We are hoping to beat our record of just a little over a thousand pounds this year. This year our goal is to raise and donate 1,500 pounds of food to those who are in need!

bush-grounds-filling-webThe rose garden has been planted as well! By next summer we will have a beautiful rose garden for a back drop for meditation, yoga, weddings, or just some lovely flowers to look at for a while. And, finally, a new flower bed has been added in front of the patio to provide a green screen this summer. Hopefully the butterfly wildflower mix will bring some of those beauties our way. The landscaping work on the lawn areas continues.

We were fortunate enough to host a very discerning guest last week for a week. Randy, Dr. Nikki’s older brother, came for a visit. While it was a great time to catch up with family, it was also a great test for the Center. Known for his honesty, and not one to hide his feelings about something to his little sister, Randy’s comments were heartening. His favorite word to describe is visit with us … “bliss!” Maybe you need a little “bliss” in your life too. Please feel free to contact us to create a personal retreat focused on you!

Happenings At The Center: May 21, 2016

elk-heard-webThe past couple of weeks have had us doing some concentrated work on the garden to have it ready for planting this coming week. Mr. Sam has truly outdone himself with his dedication and efforts. What was just an old overgrown fenced area is now shaping up to be an awesome garden to grow wholesome quality food in. We have six raised beds that are 4 x 8 x 12 high and one that is 4 x 8 x 24 and one that is 2 x 8 x 24. Then, added to that, there are over 30 tires ready to receive plants as well. Finally, the open area from where the old garden was is being rototilled even as I write this to be ready to receive corn and winter squash seeds. Before we put in the plants, we have to take the time to get the fence put up and we will be doing that in the next few days. If you would like to help us in our efforts to help feed those in need through our

Garden of Giving, you can make your donations through our GoFundMe page:

The roses are coming. We have been doing a lot of work on the rose garden on the east side of the back yard and have it ready to receive the roses. Good thing too. We have 17 bare root roses along with another eight roses that we bought on our last trip to town. There are ragosa roses to make a hedge, four climbing roses we hope to train to go over the stair case down to the back yard over an arch. There are white, yellow, red, bi-color, orange, lavender and more. We hope the post hole digger will help to make planting the roses easier. So we are going to be busy with planting this week.

This week will be a fun week for us here at the Center. My brother, whom I haven’t seen in over 18 years will be coming up for a visit for a few days. We are hoping to take him to some of the amazing scenic rides and places near us. We are looking at taking a day and going up to Glacier National Park, and another to do the drive around Lake Kookanooska. And, one of my most favorite places Ross Creek Cedars where there are cedar trees that are nearly 1000 years old. It is an amazing place and visiting it in the spring when the creeks are still running is amazing. You can feel the life and the energy just radiating from the trees. While we may not have 1000 year old trees here at the Center, we do have some amazing Grand Fir, Tamarack (Larch), Ponderosa Pine, Alder, Cottonwood and more. Since he has an SLR I am hoping we will be able to get better pictures so that you can better see what we have to offer for you.

back-house-viewThe blessings continue! We have found a few plants of snow on the mountain that we will be able to transplant and use as part of the landscaping. It is a lovely ground cover plant that shows the lushness of the foliage nicely. And, speaking of planting, we will be putting up a living sun screen for the patio. Morning glories will provide a cooling screen of green to help keep the patio a cool, comfortable place to step back and relax. Next week we will have pictures of some of the completed planting! Spring is such a busy time of year, but worth its rewards. The flowers in the window beds on the front of the house and back porch that we planted yesterday  should be filling in nicely over the next few weeks.

This is our first year here and we are having a lot of fun putting it together and getting it ready to receive guests. This spring it is busy busy busy getting the gardens in – both floral and vegetable. However, the work we are putting in is helping to create a welcoming and beautiful place for people to come rest, relax and rejuvenate as they unplug, unwind and uplift.

Happenings At The Center: May 6, 2016

The ruffled grouse are thrumming up a storm in the woods. We have been hearing them for most of the Spring and their constant accompaniments is a sure sign of spring. The does have been chasing away last year’s fawns in preparation of having their new babies. The trillium have bloomed in the cool damp […]

Happenings At The Center: April 24, 2016

The beautiful spring weather has given way to a few days of damp weather and rain. The creek has been going through its normal cycle of rising and falling, and the algae has been washed out of the side pools. The water runs freely through the alder grove, cutting new paths as it finds soft […]

Happenings At The Center: April 17, 2016

We have been blessed with some beautiful spring weather and have been doing our best to make good use of it while it lasted. We have been working hard at outside tasks and we are getting ahead of the game. Most of the past week has been involved in removing years old bark mulch from […]

Happenings at the Center: April 11, 2016

driveway-treesAs I write this, we are awaiting our delivery of recycled glass – all 15 yards of it. We will be using the class which has been pulverized to less than one-quarter inch and heat treated so that there are no sharp edges. Believe me, I tested it…the recycler uses it on their driveway and I ran all over that place – barefoot to make sure it doesn’t cut and that their claim is true. It was a big expense up front, but now we will have it here to work with. Read more

Happenings At the Center Dateline April 4, 2016

The big countdown to our Grand Opening for our friends here in the area is on! We’ve been busy busy busy getting things ready. We have had some lovely weather the past few days and have been able to make good use of it. The pond has received quite a bit of attention and we […]