Monthly Archives: April 2013

Spring Marches On

Sweet Baby JamesWhatever happened for us in March 2013 2013 is now completely overshadowed by the birth of our latest grandson, James Anthony Houston to my daughter April Barreca on April 4th (one day after April’s own birthday).  But we will dedicate next month’s blog to that event.  Cheryl Barreca, ace reporter, will soon be on scene in Olympia with all the details.  (All of the images in this blog have links – most to the same album.)

Meanwhile back at the farm, Spring has sprung.  I even saw bluebirds and tulips today.  The snow is gone.  The grass already needs to be mowed.  Frogs are croaking all night.  Ants are invading the house and taxes are due.  But deep in the bowels of Map Metrics, one man is still wearing holes in his laptop touchpad and cranking out digital content of all kinds.

Just as I was deep into reading The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, indexing my father’s letters to my mother from the South Pacific during WWII and correlating them with events in the war itself,Atomic Bomban email went round about the island of Tinian, where Dad was stationed and from where the Enola Gay brought the first atomic bomb to Japan and the second atomic bomb, Fat Man, was loaded onto Bockscar headed for Nagasaki.  A reminder that Family History and World History are never far apart.

Dad on Tinian
Speaking of history, the Crossroads on the Columbia digital archive now has an extended deadline. 22,000 images are now on line and another 2000 are being processed to complete the project contract.  The project itself may well live on for ages.  This made life a lot less stressful since it was supposed to be completed March 31st.  Some of the latest uploads are audio files from Art Miller, Springdale, WA historian.  History Detective volunteer, Judy Bitton put in over 120 hours making them into sound bite sized files, each with its own topic.

Speaking of ages, the theme of this year’s PanoramaAmethyst Gem and Mineral Show was “Rocks of Ages”.  I finally dug into how all those geologic ages, the Eocene, the Jurassic, the Metazoic etc. got their names.  It actually makes some sense.  You can check out my introduction to the topic in our club’s March newsletter.  The show itself was a vast upgrade.  We rented the Ag-Trade Center at theHigh Desert MineralsStevens County Fairgrounds in Colville.  If the other vendors did as well as I did, it was a huge success.

I left directly from the Rock Show to attend Mary Selecky’s annual Easter Party.  I didn’t win a prize or even bring a hat this year, but Cheryl won “Most Colorful Hat” and is seen here preparing for the eggCheryl's Easter Bonnet cracking showdown with Don Presley.  It’s great to have Mary back in town even if she still Jet Sets around the country.  Retirement from her job as Washington’s Easter ParadeSecretary of Health will bring her here more often in May.

Now that the ground has thawed I’m selling grape plants, pruning grapes, starting new plants and doing more paperwork to start a “Domestic Winery”.  Some parts of that process have been easier than expected this month, and others much harder.  If all goes well, this office may someday also serve as a tasting room for Barreca Vineyards, probably our State’s smallest winery.
The 2013 Small Farm Map
Speaking of small, I just posted a new map to the small farms of Stevens County and nearby areas.  It’s great to see all these little organic enterprises supporting families and to be a part of making it happen.  Besides, it gives us an inside track to finding the best local food. Locavores live better!

The Fiesty GopherSpeaking of food, well cat food actually, Gray-C has been at it again, playing with her food.  This feisty little gopher ended up as her lunch.  If she had been out and about on March 7th, Gray-C might have ended up as food herself.  As I walked out the back door of my office I heard a noise behind me and turned to see a Bald Eagle stretch out it’s 7 foot wingspan, swoop out of our huge old pine tree and barely clear the office roof as it climbed back into the sky.  At least I was a witness to that event, I’m still wondering when the pile of deer pellets was deposited on top of our house.  It’s a wild wild world we share.