A Place For The Future Past

A Whole New Site!
June 13, 2011, 2:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dryad’s Rest has a whole new site.  It’s a blog called Dryad’s Rest (what else?).

The new site has links, feeds, even a donation button.  It will link back to this site, too, so you never have to lose touch with our original interesting posts!

So pack up and come along, by boat, pony, or travois, to the brand-new campgrounds.

(Thanks to Donna Barr for building it for us).



Ahhhh…. warm weather at last
June 1, 2008, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

At last, at last, warm weather has returned with some regularity. Not that the cold slowed us down any, mind you! It’s just that much more pleasant to be digging and hauling and raking and sawing and hammering etc etc etc in lovely warm weather. Of course, the coolness has kept the snowmelt at bay.

Monday will be six months since The Flood.

Let’s stop for a brief dose of local politics, shall we? The good is that the landscapes, roadsides, fields are slowly returning to normal. Many local hayfields have had to be scraped to remove the several inches of caked pottery that used to be toxic flood mud and asphalt and rock. Fences are being repaired everywhere, the remaining damaged homes repaired and rebuilt. I say remaining because the last eight homes of Leudinghaus and River Road that were condemned were torn down Saturday, rubble removed. Eight now empty lots that had homes filled with families six montths and one week ago and were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.

Some new homes are coming in. In the fields hay and vegetable gardens started, chicken coops returning, calves being born to the remaining cattle.

Now for the rest.

Apparently, (it was shared to us at a local town meeting) the state paid Weyerhauser $2 million to remove flood debris from the roads and streets. That’s PAID, not invoiced for the removal of. The locals were not happy to hear that. Also, it is remarkably quiet about the removal (prior to the flood) of a hillside of trees — the hillside that is directly above Hwy 6 on the west of Pe Ell (the one that was blocked for a month afterwards and the home next to it destroyed by the mudslide). Apparently that hillside does not belong to Weyerhauser but to the son of the local sawmill. And what about those four new lakes in the local hills? The ones that were created by “natural dams”, that Weyerhauser term for mudslides caused by current logging practices? So the cool, dry weather is welcome around here.

And, we will not be getting our bridges back for some time — an estimate of two years was given us. Apparently, there is some concern of what the receding waters will reveal in the coming summer. A-PAR-ent-ly there is a certain discrepancy with the report of how many animals went missing and what was recoved — alive or dead. Where are the rest? And what else is hiding under the waters of the Chehalis? So, some dredging is being proposed. Divers have been seen checking areas around the bridges.


Now back to the goings-on around Dryad’s Rest…

Emily has been wattling around the place, is is getting quite the transformation job. The blueberries have been completely enclosed, save for the top. The yard fence is getting a wattle treatment, as well as part of the inner yard. And I’ve been busy too — I made an arbor archway over the hole in the picket fence that stretched between thw pump house and the garage. All from salvaged lumber! Not a bad job — funny that the four finial toppers cost more than the whole dang thing — and paint– cost, at $5 apiece.

And the side of the garage that used to have a spiny, useless plant growing across it has had the plants removed and a platform (made from covered pallets) set alongside it. It WAS planned to be a simple patio but once the pallets got lined up and plywood laid it bacame — a stage! It really does command a perfect spot in the yard, with entrances on either side.

And the side yard to the east of the greenhouse had black plastic put down for several months to kill the grass, plans were made to remove the sod and install cement pavers. The only thing stalling that project was the cost of the cement — at nearly $3 a bag, we’d need at least thirty-five bags — and a new mixer. Yuck.

It was when I was out walking the trails, gathering large stones for firepits when I decided to instead use rocks. We certainly have plenty. And most are river rock, with at least one smooth side. Heh, I LOVE FREE!! Work progresses nicely, about one third rock laid, with a pretty trellis set up along the guywire between the apple tree and fence corner, and lights strung in the tree…

And the pool area got it’s drainage pipes covered, more playground sand laid and pretty shells set about. It is now a beach!  And a nice big pile of wood waits for the first bonfire. All we need now is to have the metal sides painted plus railings and stairs installed. Until then I have stretched the plastic cover over it all to keep the cats out.


So, there is no such thing as a day off here at Dryad’s Rest!




April, Then May…
May 7, 2008, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

then May…

Where did April go? Mostly spent shivering as the weather was truly vile. We got one or two splendid warm days, just enough to tease us cruelly. Then it would turn and with a vengence.

Inside the greenhouse though, we are thriving. Lots of lettuce and spinach, and this seasons crop of beets is coming along great — we should be able to dine on borscht by June. Certainly we will be able to feature it for the summer event in July….

Ah the summer event! The local costuming guild I belong to has regular seasonal costumed events, and this year’s summer event will be hosted by Dryad’s Rest. The theme has yet to be ironed out but it will either be rococco shepardesses or castaway shipwreck victims. I figure I can make my orienteering game fit for either theme. And the hard work beautifying and creating sitting/visiting areas will pay off — we will need places for about 30 folks to lounge about in. And there will be overnight campers — maybe we could prepare the Village area to be a neighboring town ….. oh what fun!


After some delicious egg dishes (courtesy of the guineas and pheasants) most of them were butchered and put in the freezers for future delectable eating. I say MOST because we chose three males and females to release and hopefully repopulate the property. Unfortunately the guineas are entirely unsuitable for free range. They are too stupid to outwit the local raccoons and coyotes. So rather than lose the last to the wildlife, it was decided that the remainer of the flock be rounded up and eaten by us instead of the critters. The pheasants however, are much better at staying alive….

One especially striking male we have dubbed Hercules because he clearly is the most magnificent. And oh my he knows it! And he has been staying close — claiming Dryad’s Rest as his own personal domain. Some folks have peacocks roaming their grounds but no, we have pheasants.

March 30, 2008, 5:18 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Finally, the Equinox has come, though temps are still quite cold. Still, warmer weather has been promised, so we remain hopeful. Brrr!

Many many improvements have been made — from simple (making a simple rainwater catch and drip system for the greenhouse) to more complex (a natural habitat for the pheasants and a BATHROOM for the yurt!). More garden beds have been carved out of the turf in the main garden area, including the patch that had served as the main compost bed since we moved in a year and a half ago. Two new compost beds have been started, when done cooking they will be new beds too.

Emily has been a wattling demon, creating the protective and supporting fences around various beds, and we have enclosed and beautified a small side yard, creating yet another charming gathering space. AND the garage has bit by bit been transformed from mostly storage into a workshop and future boutique and gift shop.

And the pheasants and guinea have been laying eggs!

Plus, I have listed Dryad’s Rest on a movie location site (free for now, I will upgrade to a fancier site once my photos have developed) for consideration as a possible place for shooting movies and videos. As well as a lovely place for a retreat or teaching workshops — anything from a writer’s seminar to bellydancer’s retreat…

March 18, 2008, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

This is Dryad’s Rest as it looks today. We are planning a work and fun con, that we hope will become a tradition in the fannish community.


We will have panels on all the powerhouse rural activities most fans don’t get enough opportunity to experience.

The cons will start, of course, with the safety panels. Then it will be on to Walls of Dread, Building the Nile, Capricorn’s River, the Forests of Avalon or the Wild Boar Hunt — otherwise known as building the fences, ditching the creek, milking the goats, planting trees or handling the piglets (that one’s still under discussion).

Lunch will be light — sandwiches, fruits, lots of water and choice of drinks. When all the panels are over, there will be the Evening Feast — featuring our professional cook, Emily, using many of our farm-raised goodies. For instance, whole wheat Irish soda bread, loaded with currents, apple pie with cinnamon, dill and maple syrup, tender-roasted goat in a deep-dish pastry with herbs and red potatoes raised at Dryad’s Rest, our own jalepeno goat cheese, and Emily’s own rose syrup over ice cream.

Don’t think you’ll like goat? Think: the most tender delicious venison you’ve ever tasted. This is meat from happy, clean-raised animals .


Emily’s always baking; here’s her chocolate cake:

Chocolate Cake

Dryad’s Animals
March 18, 2008, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth | Tags: , ,

Donna will be uploading photos — Joanne will comment when she gets some of her Copious Spare Time.

Many Goats

Our Many Goats!


Our new goat.

Roberta and Dog

Roberta Gregory and Batai at the yurt.

Flood, Aftermath
December 27, 2007, 2:32 am
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Christmas has come and gone, and life on Leudinghaus Rd has been struggling to achieve a sense of normalcy. Many homes closest to the river carry the dreaded orange condemned placard and await demolishing and removal. Others have had drywall, insulation and cabinetry removed and are getting rebuilt. Slowly and from the inside out repairs continue — many homes are empty at night, the families living elsewhere while work is being done. Others have RVs parked outside, with portapotties on site as well as giant trash bins. The yards and pastures remain muddy, debris strewn and fence-less — the cattle roam from field to field — today Em and I watched as a HUGE black bull ambled leisurely across his familiar field towards his “herd”, unconcerned that there was no longer fencing to keep him close. Where would he go? All the gardens have been swept away.Here at Dryad’s Rest we are an oasis of calm and normal routine. The woods kept our own rain runoff from getting out of hand and returned to as they were before. The Chehalis River took away part of our driveway but the property itself was unaffected — mostly. On the front door is the only clue — Instead of a pine bough wreath is a printed placard warning folks to disinfect their shoes.

The local road crews have been hard at work — and now we have a replacement bridge in place, where the Meskill Hill (Leudinghaus Rd) bridge had been is now a new one-lane bridge — if possible even narrower than the one before. At last we don’t have to use the long twisty back road over Elk Creek — over a truly scary bridge. Badly damaged and temporarily shored up, it now has to endure far less traffic (whew). And now I can call the Chehalis Post Office to have my mail service restored — a step closer to normal life.

Heavy rains swell the rivers instantly though — signs that damage has been done to the local lowland topsoil, the heavy thick mud not allowing rain to penetrate instead collecting in slimy pools or running straight to the creeks and rivers and fields. Some folks have begun pushing the mud into large mounds, disposal will be an issue. But it is too soon to worry about the mud, first come the homes and making them livable again. Hopefully as spring approaches there will be the opportunity to deal with the ever present mud. Chicken coops remain empty as do many barns. Solstice has come, Spring is long time away.

I did have a rather interesting conversation with the neighborhood fire captain — someone in charge at the local disaster command center — about the nature and timeline of the flood. Approaching as something of a newcomer to the area (which I am) I had a copy of a detailed map in hand — the same one Em and I had been using to mark ways out via logging and back roads, now with a tracery of blue marking pen, marking the route of the Chehalis River. We are located near the middle of the west fork of the Chehalis.
I asked, I know what caused the great pile of wood debris that tore up the south (east) fork of the river — but what happened on our side? Lots of rain, lots of snowmelt was the easy answer.
Too Easy — I pointed out that the morning after the night of heavy rains we had lots of standing water and the feeder creeks were full to capacity but Leudinghaus Rd itself was high and dry. But at mid afternoon we had a surge of flood water that rose ten to fifteen feet — where had THAT come from? He explained that there had been a massive mudslide farther upriver — further than PeEll that formed a ‘natural’ dam in a narrow canyon — tons of earth and dirt clooging the bed of the river. After building for several hours it broke free, tearing out the hillside and moving tons of earth trres brush and muddy water. I asked, where had all that wood come from? From alongside the river was again the too quick reply.

I had heard this exact phrase used before, by loggers who felt the states insistance that several hundred feet of land on either side of creeks and rivers be left alone and unlogged was unreasonably restrictive. Whatever. I pointed out that during our drive across the shattered landscape that was Boistfort, we could see in the acres of wood were many logs that had been cut, not ripped. Also that during a visit to the FEMA office I had the chance to talk with other folks — and one lady had told me that a stockpile up near Stillman Creek had lost part of its collection to landslide.

Meanwhile, an old timer nearby had come up to listen and he confirmed that yes, there had been a stockpile up there. And the fireman we had been speaking with reluctantly assented. So I asked, is there more? Stockpiled wood up there? Yes, many yards full, that they were unable to access because of the washed out roads and unstable terrain (oh REALLY!).
The old timer brought up the next obvious point — that with another hard series of heavy rain, the same thing could happen again, many of the same conditions remained in place. And the fireman we had been speaking with again reluctantly assented.
Thank you, I said, you have answered my questions.
By now there was a small cluster of folks listening in on the conversation. I thanked the fireman and old timer and we went home.

Is it possible I am the only one asking these questions? Oh my, I hope not.