Archive for July, 2011

Lion’s Club International Convention – Seattle WA July, 2011

July 29, 2011

Ahhh, Seattle, WA – the city I traveled to when I went to Alaska by myself in 1982, the first place I lived after I was married, the place where 5 of my children were born, the place where I began my homesteading adventure, the place I left 10 years ago…

This July, Catherine and I flew back to Seattle to celebrate the conclusion of my father’s year as International President for the Lion’s Club.

We stayed at the Westin, on the 47th floor, in the Presidential Suite.  I joined my sister and 2 brothers, their spouses and ALL the nieces and nephews.

We took up all the rooms on the top floor.  We had to arrive at the elevators 10 minutes early to get us all down the 47 floors and make it to the events on time.

Catherine with my folks.  I have to tell – my mom recently turned 71!  I hope I look that good when I’m her age.

Each night was a dress up occasion for either a formal sit down dinner or a reception.

L-R:  Cora (sil), Lee (brother), me, Sid Scruggs (Dad), Judy (Mom), Monica (sil), Kevin (brother), Debbie (sister), Russ (bil)

Mt. Ranier at sunset as seen from one of the rooms we stayed in…

One of the many ferries that take people and cars to various islands in the Puget Sound.

My folks have traveled 321 days around the world this last year as ambassadors for the International Lion’s Club.

The Lion’s are the largest volunteer organization in the world.

My dad gave his final charge to the 20,000 members who attended this year’s International Convention.

They showed a slide presentation of some of what he and mom had done over Dad’s presidency and it was awe-inspiring.  I was so proud of the both of them for the work and all the lives they were able to touch and help during Dad’s office as President.

Dad was in charge of this year’s convention and he requested to have Condoleeza Rice speak as part of his closing ceremony.

I have a great respect for her and what she’s accomplished as a woman…. and what a phenomenal speaker!  It was a privilege to meet her – one of the perks of being the daughter of Sid Scruggs!

Dad presented her with the crystal lion statue as thanks for her humanitarian work.

After Dad conlcuded, it was time to pass the gavel and the ring to the incoming president for 2011 – 2012.

Dad with Tam, the next President from Hong Kong, China.

There was a huge celebration and more dress up events.

I love this picture.  These are my nieces and nephew and Catherine – the blonds, with Tam’s children.

It just goes to show that silly faces for photo ops are universal and understood no matter what the language!

Catherine with Tiffany – Tam’s daughter.  They both were about the same age.  Tiffany spoke beautiful English.  She had just finished studying design in France.

Another night of celebration was about to begin….

I swear – I blinked and my baby has grown into this beautiful woman!

Catherine admitted that she liked all the glitz and dressing up – but the favorite for both of us was meeting and talking with people from all over the world.  An incredible opportunity.

My sister’s older 4 girls with Catherine.

And without us 4, my folks would not have the 16 grandchildren who call them “grandma” and “papa.”

L-R:  Cyndi, Lee, Debbie, Kevin

Seattle at night…the Space Needle and…

Pike Place Market.  Both pictures taken from our room windows.

I have the most wonderful sister in the world.  My only wish is that we lived closer.  She’s in NH with her 6 kids and husband.

The oldest and youngest grandchild – Catherine and Liam.

Truly – this was the only time I was able to hold him.  With all the older girl cousins, you had to wait in line to get time with him!

How wonderful to be so loved.

We awoke to a gorgeous morning on our last day in downtown Seattle.

The Olympics to the west…

In April, I took my younger 3 to an International Board meeting in Raleigh NC.  Michael, Megan, and Alexandra loved meeting all the people.

It was there I met Gowrie and we hit it off.  I was able to spend some time with her in Seattle.  Wonderful lady doing some incredible humanitarian work in her native land, India.

The convention was held in Key Arena – it was packed with people from all over the world.  Lion’s Club is represented by 206 countries and lots and lots of people who do an amazing amount of work helping others.  It’s an incredible organization that touches many, many lives.  If you want to know more about the Lions, check out their website:

And while we were all celebrating a year’s worth of accomplishment and the hope for a new year,

the sun rose on Seattle.


Cascadia Creamery – Trout Lake, WA

July 21, 2011

Whenever I go on vacation, I like to check out local farms or other places that are related to homesteading.  I was excited about the Trout Lake area because it was touted as being “organic”.

I was staying at a small “retreat” in Trout Lake and struck up a conversation with a local couple.  They asked why I was there and what I did in GA.  I shared with them about the Lazy B Farm and they, being like-minded, mentioned a couple of places we should check out while in the area.

John Schuman is a local who operates Cascadia Creamery – a cheese making place.

I met John over at his shop and we chatted while he checked on the wheels of cheese…

This particular day was market day and he was cutting and wrapping cheese to sell at the local Farmers Market.

He shared some samples with us and the cheese was very good!

There was a kindred spirit with John since he was a self-taught cheesemaker, following a passion.

So the story goes…John came to Trout Lake and fell in love with the area.  He wanted to learn all he could about dairy farming.

Trout Lake in it’s peak, was a mecca for dairy farms and was home to about 30 dairies in the 1800’s.  John, also a history buff, wanted to preserve the history of the area.  He apprenticed with one of the very few dairies still around and learned all about cows and milking.  John wanted no monetary payment for his labors so the farmer gifted John with his own Swiss dairy cow.

John now owns 6 cows which he milks for his cheese.  This is where the cows live, just down the road from the creamery…

John became fascinated with the whole process of making cheese, a long time tradition in Trout Lake that had faded with time.

Mr. William Coate had been a local cheese maker and he owned a cave where he cured his cheese.  The cave is still in existence today but not in use.  John was able to get one of his original cheese recipes and started to make Guler Cheese, once again bringing back the history of cheese making in the area.

This picture is a framed wrapper for the original Guler cheese.

As luck would have it, while I was chatting with John, a gentleman and his wife walked into the cheese shop.

It was Mr. Ken Coate, the great grandson of William Coate – the original cheese maker!  Ken and his wife, Linda, had stopped by to meet the man who was carrying on their family tradition and to buy a wheel of his cheese to take to Tacoma for a wedding.

To celebrate this occasion, Ken opened up a bottle of pear wine from a local winery, toasting this fortuitous meeting.  We all toasted this new friendship while Ken thanked John for his endeavors to reclaim history.  There was even mention of Ken working it out for John to cure his cheeses in the original cave.

Local wine with local cheese….yum!

After Ken and Linda left, we took a quick tour of John’s facility.  This is the kitchen…

And this is the room for aging the wheels of cheese…

John’s cheese has become quite popular in the area and he’s having a hard time keeping up with the demand – nice problem to have, huh?

We left John with the promise of seeing him that evening at the Hood River Farmers Market so I could buy some of his Guler cheese – that was my favorite.

I bought his last piece of Guler cheese to take to a friend the next day.

Aside from his yummy cheeses, I loved the simplicity of his display.

We left at the end of the market and stopped to say goodbye.  He’d sold all but one wedge of cheese!  If I wasn’t so concerned about how to keep it fresh, I would have snatched up that piece to bring home!

Oh, and did I mention that he also runs a CSA??  His CSA is between his creamery on, yes, Guler Street, and the fields where his cows graze.

Exciting to see a man achieve his dreams…