By Doris Faltys
“Many people think we are blowing glass or fusing glass,” Ernie explains. “What I am doing is lampwork – basically melting glass. As early as the 1500s, people were making beads by melting glass in the flame of their oil lamps. That is where the term lampwork comes from. The Italians and the French used oil lamps with a pump to make huge numbers of beads for the African bead trade. Now people scour Africa looking for those old beads to bring back and sell.”
When asked how he first discovered the craft, Ernie describes his first lampworking experience. “We were visiting a friend who has a business selling glass on eBay. Our friend thought that Darcie would really like bead making and had her sit down to try it out. Well, Darcie sat down and wasn’t too thrilled. But I sat down, made one bead, and got hooked.”
“After that initial introduction,” Darcie adds, “Ernie set up in our garage here in Olympia. He would go out in the garage, in the middle of winter, and work with a blanket over his legs.”
“I am primarily self-taught,” says Ernie. “I watched some tutorials and bought a really good book, Passing the Flame: A Bead Makers Guide to Design and Detail, by Cornia Tettinger.”
Darcie creates jewelry with both beads she has collected and Ernie’s creations. “I had done some work with beads,” Darcie shares. “All of a sudden, I had this bead source!”
They invite me to sit and watch as Ernie creates a bead. “I use a propane tank with an oxygen booster,” he explains as he lights his flame. “This gives a hotter flame, over 1000 degrees.”
Darcie hands me a pair of dark glasses and instructs me to put them on.
‘The glass I work with,” Ernie continues, “has a lot of soda in it, which flares when put into the flame.”
He holds a cane of colored glass into the flame and it does, indeed, begin to flare. “The flare makes it hard to see what you are doing, so I wear dark glasses. Then I can see exactly what I am doing.”
Ernie picks up a small stainless steel rod called a mandrel. It is about 1/16 inch in diameter. “When the glass cane begins to melt,” he explains, “I catch it on the mandrel and simply wind it around.”
It looks simple, in a complicated way, as Ernie allows a drop of melted glass to fall on the center of the mandrel. He then rotates the mandrel between his fingers and the molten glass wraps itself around the rod.
“Here is a very simple base bead,” he says. Prior to melting the glass, Ernie coated the mandrel with a kind of clay-like material called bead release. This prevents the glass from bonding to the metal.
“I can go back into the flame and add more glass, until I get the bead shape that I want,” he continues.
He takes an extremely thin cane of a darker color and touches it to the hot bead in the flame. A tiny dot appears.
“Sometimes, I take a thin cane of glass called a stringer and melt-on a dot. I can leave the dots raised up if I want or I can make them flat and put another color on top. Or if I want, I can draw with the stringer,” he explains as he shows me how the thin cane can be melted onto the hot bead in a squiggle line.
Ernie makes his own stringers by heating up the end of a cane of glass. When the tip of the cane has a molten spot about the size of a pea, he takes tweezers and grabs into the molten blob and begins to pull. The faster he pulls, the thinner the stringer. When the glass starts to get stiff after just a few seconds, he stops pulling and breaks off his stringer.
“Everything about bead making takes time. You spend more time melting and heating the glass to temperature than anything else. I have to keep the whole thing hot all the time, as well. If it is out of the flame for too long, it will crack.”
To assist with keeping the beads hot Ernie uses a small kiln with only about one square foot of interior space. He puts the beads in the kiln to cool slowly and avoid breakage when they cool too fast.
Ernie gains inspiration from the natural world, patterns he observes while out and about, suggestions from Darcie, or special orders. “One of my favorite things,” Darcie tells me, “is when somebody says I have an outfit and I really want a special necklace to go with it. It’s so challenging and it’s so much fun.”
Ernie also creates memory beads. “If you have had a pet or a loved one pass away,” explains Darcie, “Ernie can take some of the ashes and integrate it into a bead.”
“I take a bit – a gather - of molten glass and roll it in the ashes,” he says. “I then pull a stringer. I melt that stringer that is imbedded with the ashes into a bead.”
Creating lampwork glass beads is truly an ages-old art form. “It is all about temperature and working in and out of the flame,” says Ernie. “It is a very meditative process.”
You can view some of Darcie Richardson and Ernie Wagner’s work at The Artists’ Gallery, or contact them at 360- 456-8716 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to view their work or commission custom items.
By Morgan Willie
Nothing could deter Jenell from her love of blush and eye shadow and when she turned 25, she enrolled in school to pursue an esthetician’s license.
After receiving her license, Jenell spent seven years working for a spa, building up a strong, sizable clientele. And, although she was satisfied with this employment, Jenell knew there was a specific calling and purpose for her particular skill set.
In 2011, Jenell became a small business owner with a partner and by 2013, she was ready to fly solo. That year, Jenell opened Olympia’s Touché Beauty Bar, a boutique-like spa that caters to both women and men in need of skincare and waxing services.
Today, Jenell’s business is thriving. In the past year, she’s taken on 10 new employees and she’s added a full-service nail salon to the spa’s already substantial menu of treatments and amenities.
“It was a scary jump to go out on my own, but I did it,” Jenell shares. “I was just so passionate about caring for people and loving-on them, so it came naturally. I think people feed off of your energy, and I’m pretty social, so it was easy for me to connect with people.”
Touché has a distinct and refreshing ambiance. Bright colors and chic decor bring a fun, flirty vibe to the beauty bar. And customer service is second to none. The staff members are incredibly personable and sweet, taking the time to really get to know you.
“We create special bonds and friendships with the clientele at Touché. They have become our family,” Jenell says. “People want to come here to see how we’re doing, and because they love the way they feel when they leave. If someone falls off of my books and I don’t see them for a couple months, I’ll reach out to them. It’s about treating people like individuals, instead of just clients, and remembering their stories.”
Jenell feels lucky to work among a generally upbeat crowd, clients and staff members alike.
“I’m surrounded by beautiful women and lovely women who want to come to me. They aren’t coming in because they have to – they’re visiting because they want to be here,” she notes. “Here, all the stress kind of just melts away. Sometimes you can feel people’s tensions, but by the time they leave, they’re giving you hugs and telling you they love you.”
Esthetician Rebecca Cochran absolutely adores working for Jenell. She had nothing but positive things to say about Touché.
“I love the work environment – it’s beautiful here! I love my coworkers because we are a team, we support each other, and we help each other grow,” she explains. “It’s just the best place ever.”
And, massage therapist Brooke K Bell feels similarly. “I love working here. I like the diverse clientele, the freedom we have as practitioners, and the trust that Jenell gives us,” Brooke beamed. “I’m a mother, and I have four kids. There are always things that come up concerning my children. Jenell’s been amazing at showing my family compassion and understanding. I love the creativity and vision that she has for this place.”
Touché offers a variety of massage styles and packages to have you completely at ease. Some spa favorites include the Lomi Lomi Massage, using flowing, continuous strokes, and the M’lis Detox Body Contour Wrap, which provides 90 peaceful minutes of holistic treatment.
Jenell is proud of her beautiful and friendly shop. She’s looking forward to expanding the spa in future years as business grows.”I just keep moving forward and doing what I love,” Jenell says.
Jenell Arnold is an example of someone who has turned her passion into a career. When you stop in at Touché, you can feel assured that you’ll be in excellent hands.
“Making people feel good,” Jenell said, “is what makes me feel good.”
Browse through Touché Beauty Bar’s wide selection of treatments or book an appointment here and keep up to date with new specials on Touché’s Facebook page.
Touché Beauty Bar
1912 State Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98506
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Running the Risk: Washington’s Fight Against Oil by Rail
Thursday, September 3rd, 6:30-9:00 pm
Olympia Center 222 Columbia St, Olympia
Join us for a free community forum and discussion on the oil industry’s plan to build five new processing facilities in our state, and how oil transport threatens our community, our waterways, and our livelihoods.Google Plus One Facebook Like
Submitted by The Evergreen State College
Nearly all the students who graduated Evergreen’s Master in Teaching (MiT) program last June are enjoying the last weeks of Summer, as they will not be unemployed for long.
By mid-August, 30 out of the 31 MiT Class of 2015 graduates have accepted teaching positions across Western Washington and Oregon, and even abroad. While most of the new teachers stayed in the region – Olympia, Tacoma, North Thurston, Puyallup, Hoquiam, Hood Canal and Shelton School Districts, others ventured to Beaverton, Portland and Sweet Home, Oregon, to Neah Bay and to Nablus, Palestine.
They will teach subjects as diverse as visual arts, math, Spanish and Robotics, at levels everywhere between second grade and high school.
According to MiT’s associate director, Maggie Foran, the program’s placement rates have been historically strong, but for a dip during and immediately after the Recession. “The number of retirements went down, class sizes grew and first year teachers were being laid off,” said Foran. In 2012 placements increased as schools began replenishing their teaching pools and reducing class sizes.
The Evergreen program requires two student teaching internships – in fall and spring of year two, where most programs require only one. Foran pointed out that, “fall student teachers participate in the opening of a school year, as communities, rules and expectations are established.” She noted, “Research shows that teachers who did fall internships tend to do better their first year.”
The program sometimes attracts returning students who have significant achievements in other fields. Heather Claiborne (nee Littke), ’15, of the Snoqualmie area, had spent five years in geological mapping for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Geology Division. Beginning September 9, she will teach seventh and eighth grade Life/Physical Science and Robotics at Nisqually Middle School, where she did an internship. “I learned so much from the Evergreen program,” said Claiborne. “I was working with rocks and rocks don’t talk back.”
Joking aside, Claiborne said she was, “a blank slate,” when she started her masters, and, ironically, she said, “I feel more humble now. As a teacher there’s so much to learn every day.”
She is thrilled to be teaching science to middle schoolers. “Kids are so interested in the natural world,” she said. She feels that the Evergreen program prepared her to take her own classroom next month, “and that’s an awesome feeling.”
Katie Schuessler, ‘15 had previously taught art in Palestinian refugee camps and wanted to go back. She returns to the city of Nablus this month, where she will teach art to grades three to 11 at the nonprofit Pioneers Baccalaureate School.
Even in a country where people struggle to meet basic needs, Schuessler believes art plays a critical role. “The arts promote problem solving,” she said. “They offer valuable skills that are often overlooked. And they give students an opportunity to learn in a different way, away from language and words.”
Schuessler, who speaks some Arabic, will teach in an English immersion program. “I’ll be assessing my students’ language abilities and teaching a bit of English and art vocabulary,” she said.
At Evergreen she learned a great deal about English Language Learners as well as cultural competency and sensitivity, efficient classroom management and student empowerment. “I don’t have a hero complex,” she said. “If students can come into my classroom and feel safe expressing themselves in healthy ways, I will feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
Schuessler, of Seattle, originally had to mitigate her parents’ concern about political instability in Palestine, but reported that they are planning to tour Palestine and Israel while she is there. “They support my decision,” she said.
Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice Homes
While this summer’s housing market is hot, the demand for quality Rob Rice Homes has come at a blistering pace.
Rob Rice Homes has experienced a 17% jump in sales in the 2nd quarter over last year. That increase is after a 46% year-over-year jump in the first quarter
As the area’s largest local home builder we have seen unprecedented sales in the Rob Rice Community of Kensington in Lacey, where we have sold out of all of our completed homes and, for the first time in our history, will not even have a model home to show there because it sold. Current showings in the community will now be by appointment only.
“This whole year has been very busy,” says Realtor and community manager Lucia Arroyo about the sales traffic at Kensington. “We have had a big wave of sales because people are truly drawn to our community with its beautiful homes, the lovely area and great accessibility to community amenities—parks, shopping, trails and so much more. They love it.”
In the Rob Rice Community of Chestnut Village in Olympia, we are seeing the same high volume of sales and in the Villages at South Hill in Puyallup, homes are being sold at a record pace with an amazing nine pre-sales since the opening of Phase II of the community just weeks ago. There, we are not able to sell our model home and move to a new one (something we typically do) because all the new homes we have built have been bought.
Why so much demand?
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) that serves 23 counties in our state reported that this July is the best on record with closed home sales up 20%. In June, they had reported a double-digit drop in inventory in most of the counties.
That lack of current inventory is driving up home prices, especially in King County where it has dwindled down to a 1.18 months supply in July.
Nearly half our recent pre-sale buyers at the Villages at South Hill in Puyallup are homeowners choosing to moving south from King County because they are finding everything they want in a home and more, for much less.
Why Rob Rice Homes?
While the shortage of inventory and hot market conditions might explain some of the reason for our high sales volume, clearly there is more that has fueled the demand. Many have made us the number one choice for their new home and they tell us why:
“I was told that for quality and price you cannot beat a Rob Rice home. We have finally found what we have been looking for. Every small detail in the home is thought through. You can see it in the floor plans.” – Buyer at Villages at South Hill
Premium features – Home buyers are frequently shocked when they find out that our homes’ luxurious features—granite or quartz countertops, hardwood flooring, designer backsplash tile and stylish lighting fixtures—are all standard. And, buyers who purchase a home in a pre-sale in many of our communities can make their own design choices by visiting our Design Center before their home is built.
“How much do these extras cost?” asked a recent visitor at Chestnut Village. “These are standard features, what you see is what you get. They come with the price of the home,” answered Vonna Madeley, Coldwell Banker Evergreen Realtor and one of the sales managers at the community. “Really?” the buyer asked again. “So these features don’t cost more? Because that’s what happens at other places.”
“Our current house is 2000 sq ft and we are selling it for just under $500K. We are buying the Spruce plan at Villages at South Hill with 2000 sq ft on the main floor alone and another 400 sq ft upstairs and a 3-car garage and it is all in the upper $350,000 range. We are getting much, much more for our money.” – Buyer, from Mill Creek
Homes with lasting value – Rob Rice has distinguished himself as a local developer of 20 highly-desired communities and builder of more than 3000 quality-built homes since he started in 1985. Whether the first house or the 3,000th home, he puts the same care and attention to detail into each home. Rob Rice Homes is known for its consistent superior construction, expansive landscaping and green space and long-lasting home values.
“We have looked at other communities Rob Rice has built and they are still gorgeous.” – Buyer at Chestnut Village
Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013 and 2014. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons, Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.
For more information about a Rob Rice Homes community please visit our website.
Submitted by Sandstone Distillery
Sandstone Distillery is at it again, bringing yet another great night of summer music to the distillery for their “Whiskey Nights – Music at the Stills!” The first two events, featuring country rock powerhouse Littlerock Band and the profoundly talented Ethan Tucker, were sold-out successes!
Sandstone is excited to welcome another locally-grown, nationally known artist, Andrew Landers and his band on Friday night, August 21 at 6:00 p.m. Remarkably talented and versatile, Andrew has spent two decades living out his story in the unsung Americana Folk genre. He’s a premiere singer songwriter who has shared the stage with countless nationally known artists. His music has been heard all over the United States, in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
No superfluous lines, he tells the truth with soulful conviction that sets the table to see the world with more hope and beauty. “Music is my compass, it teaches me about who I am, it guides me in who I long to be, and it leads me into providential moments that dare to see the world with fearless hope.” Come on out, dance and laugh and enjoy some Music at the Stills!
Tickets are available online and admission includes a complimentary four-flight tasting of Sandstone craft spirits and a gift bag filled with coupons, invitations, and a deliciously decadent Bacon-Whiskey Chocolate Truffle, courtesy of Aunt Kates’s Chocolates.
Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton
Heidi is a 5 year old mix breed dog that is a favorite of the volunteers at the shelter. She is sweet, affectionate, loves attention from everyone, knows her basic obedience commands and is very smart. Heidi’s turn in sheet indicates that she is OK with kids but can sometimes be possessive when other dogs are around. For this reason, we recommend that Heidi be the only dog in the family. Heidi has not been cat tested.
The wonderful volunteers who take Heidi for her walks say that she walks well on leash, has been non-reactive to other dogs but appeared to be frightened by automobiles. This is something that we will continue to work on with Heidi. Heidi will make a wonderful companion for the family who can give her a home where she can continue to flourish. A secure fenced back yard would be perfect in addition to her daily walks.
We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help them. Visit our website at www.adoptapet-wa.org or contact Adopt-A-Pet, on Jensen Road in Shelton, at email@example.com or (360) 432-3091. Join us on Facebook at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington”.
By Madeleine Elliott
Hidden in the trees of Holiday Valley, the Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat is a place removed from noise and chaos. It was created as an artistic escape for women and has since become an oasis for scrapbook parties and bridal showers alike.
“It’s a rental space for women,” says owner Kim Bridges. “It caters to crafters, but it’s also a place for specialty birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, girlfriend getaways and luncheons” — among other things. The cottage is versatile. With two living rooms, two bedrooms, a reading nook, a kitchen, a laundry room and both an indoor and outdoor porch, a wide variety of groups find that the venue meets their needs.
The little cottage is set on the edge of a 26-acre farm. Both forests and fields are within walking distance of the retreat, which is a bonus for artists looking to get inspired by nature. “[Renters] can walk across a wooden bridge over Schneider Creek to a field with walking paths,” says Kim.
While exploring the grounds, guests are also encouraged to visit the sheep and pygmy goats on the farm. “There’s an abundance of deer watching and there might even be some wild wiener dog sightings,” she adds with a laugh.
For groups that want an indoor getaway, the cottage offers something else. “It’s not your usual rental space,” Kim says. The cottage is filled with décor reminiscent of the French countryside, including rustic furniture and antiques all with a soft pastel color palette. The distinct style helps create an atmosphere of timelessness. A weekend spent at Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat is far separated from the stress and constraints that exist in the outside world.
With the assistance of her friend JoNelle Quinten, Kim opened Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat four years ago with artists in mind. “We had a party where we embellished shoes for the table decorations for a friend’s birthday party,” Kim says. “Everyone had so much fun at that embellishing-shoe-get-together that we decided that would be something fun we could do and create a place for women to come to create and do art classes.”
However, while the cottage was created in support of the idea that women must have time and a space of their own in order to make art, Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat has evolved into a place for all kinds of women, whether or not they are using it for artistic purposes.
“For girlfriends getaways we have a flat screen TV with chick flicks,” Kim says. “And we have a posh menu, where I can do some meals or all the meals, and I can arrange for a masseuse to come in.” However, most groups that come choose to bring their own food and take advantage of the full kitchen available on-site.
“Normally people rent it for day use if they’re doing a shower or birthday party,” Kim says. “Or women rent it Friday through Sunday if they’re doing a girlfriend weekend or scrapbookers’ weekend.” Summer and weekends are the busiest time for Kim, and reservations for those coveted spots must be made months in advance. Kim says to make a reservation, prospective cottage-goers just have to give her a call. Kim’s phone number can be found on the cottage’s website, along with information about directions, pricing and events.
Kim usually welcomes guests to the cottage with goodie bags or fresh baked cookies. Her goal is for renters to have the most relaxing weekend or the most artistic inspiration possible during their stay. She wants guests to have more than an event, she wants them to have an experience — a retreat into a world without obligation. The Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat was designed to be just that — a retreat. An immersion into a microcosm of peace and tranquility.
How old were you the first time you had your eyes checked? I was 13 and struggling to see the board at school. My vision had been deteriorating for some time, but it wasn’t until that first overdue visit to the eye doctor that I was declared nearsighted and prescribed what would be the first of many pairs of corrective lenses.
Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the US and the most common handicapping condition during childhood. Early detection and intervention are particularly important in children because of the rapid development of the visual system in early childhood and its sensitivity to interference. When disorders such as lazy eye and crossed-eye are undetected, the long-term consequences can be serious in terms of quality of life, comfort, appearance and career opportunities. In addition, the cost of providing appropriate treatment for longstanding eye and vision disorders may be significantly higher than the cost of detecting and treating these problems early in life.
“Unfortunately, undue reliance on vision screenings by schools, pediatricians or other primary care physicians may result in the late detection of a vision disorder,” explains ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER’s Dr. Craig Rouse. “The shortcomings of vision screenings are hereby recognized; and therefore, children must receive a comprehensive eye health examination by a competent eye care provider beginning at age 6 months and then at regular intervals as prescribed by the eye care professional.”
ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER in Lacey is a local leader in children’s eye health and encourages parents to bring their child in for a comprehensive eye exam before his or her second birthday. “Eighty percent of what kids learn is through the visual system,” says Dr. Rouse. “If this stimuli is incorrect, the brain can’t develop properly.”
Dr. Rouse says even if your child has had his or her vision checked by a pediatrician, it’s important to visit an eye care specialist who can provide a comprehensive look at your child’s total eye health. Regular visits to the eye doctor are just as important as scheduled trips to the dentist’s office, and recording a history of your child’s vision and eye health can be your child’s ticket to preventing bigger problems later on in life.
With an emphasis on children’s eye health, ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER invites parents and their children to experience the benefits of total eye care. To learn more about ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER or to make an appointment, visit ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER online or call the office at 360-455-4425.
By Grant Clark
Dr. Ulrike Krotscheck was anticipating 50 or so artifacts, but the archaeological dig, which hasn’t even been completed, has surprisingly produced more than 200. The pieces, all from the Bush Homestead in Tumwater, have been delicately cleaned and now rest in neat rows on metal sheet racks in the back of a lab at The Evergreen State College.
The dig is like one giant jigsaw puzzle. Krotscheck and her team of 15 Evergreen students and four volunteers have spent their summer gathering all the pieces. Now it’s time to start putting things together with the hope that when it’s completed, some new light will shine on the history of Washington and Thurston County.
Krotscheck plucks one of the items off the sheet. It is a smooth piece of porcelain not even half an inch in size, featuring a portion of a maker’s mark on the back. It’s all she needs to place a timeframe and a value around the piece.
“You can tell from these pieces, they were a family of means,” Krotscheck says.
Dissecting the artifact’s history has begun.
Each piece present, every broken chunk of china, every weathered wedge of glassware, has a story. But it’s the individual charged with uncovering each item’s tale who actually has the most interesting story there.
Krotscheck, who received her master’s degree in Classical and Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of Heidelberg in Germany and her Ph.D. in Classics and Archaeology from Stanford, usually spends her summers digging around Europe. This year, however, she has traded in France and Spain for Tumwater where she and her troop are studying the George Washington Bush Farm – the original pioneer family in this area who first settled locally in 1845.
Archaeological digs are a delicate process. It takes time and patience to unearth the smallest of finds. It’s quite the meticulous process with all its details, but Krotscheck has uncovered the perfect way for her to recharge her batteries – running.
It wasn’t until she arrived in Palo Alto to begin pursuit of her Ph.D. that Krotscheck truly discovered the sport, and while she had never previously ascended beyond a casual jogger up to that point, the activity was the perfect remedy to tackle the high-pressure environment.
“I actually started running in grad school as a way to really gather my thoughts,” said Krotscheck, who has taught at Evergreen for seven years. “There’s an element of meditativeness to it because it’s a regular movement. It serves as both a way for me to personally de-stress and a way for me to think about my work all by myself, and come up with new ideas for research questions. And now it helps with my teaching.”
While it started off as a simple way to recharge her batteries, it turned out Krotscheck was actually extremely gifted at long-distance running.
“I’ve lost count,” Krotscheck declared when asked for the tally of completed marathons. “My friends figured it out for me and we believe it’s 17.”
That’s more than 445 miles. Or the equivalent to running from Olympia down across Oregon’s southern border and into California where you wouldn’t stop until you ran 10 miles south of Yreka. It’s a very long way even if you’re driving the distance, much less running it.
But, she was a natural right out of the gate. Her first marathon was the 2004 Nike Women’s Marathon, a difficult course even for veteran runners as it takes place in San Francisco and features numerous hills.
Krotscheck not only completed her inaugural 26.2 mile race, but her final running time qualified her for the Boston Marathon.
Her resume includes a second Nike Women’s Marathon, two California Internationals, a pair of Vancouver and British Columbia Marathons, three Victoria Marathons, a marathon in Missoula, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, a top 10 finish in the Portland Marathon, two Capitol City Marathons (where she finished second in 2009) and a victory in the Haulin Aspen Marathon in Bend, Oregon.
“It’s a long-drawn out preparation period,” Krotscheck says about the process for both running and conducting a dig. “You commit to race, or in the other case, submit an application to the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Once you do those things you’re committed to do it. And then you train. You start building all this information or running over an extended period of time. [At the Bush Homestead dig] I feel like now I’m in the middle of the race where I’m working very hard. I can see the finish line, but I’m sort of in the middle of what it was I was striving for.”
While the focus in Tumwater is on the past, Krotscheck has her sights equally set on the future. She has moved away from marathon running and into the world of ultrarunning.
“I used to be pretty fast but have changed gears and gone towards ultrarunning which is any kind of run that is longer than a marathon and usually on trails,” she said. “This is a new challenge for me. You go from trying to beat everyone else to essentially enjoying yourself in nature.”
She plans to run the Bunker to Bonneville 50K – a 31-mile trail run along the Columbia River Gorge – during Labor Day weekend, before tackling the Grand Canyon where she will do a 44-mile rim-to-rim-to run in October.
“I’m just doing it for my 40th birthday,” Krotscheck said about the Grand Canyon trail run which will feature a 14,000-foot evaluation gain and loss over its course.
She tuned up for her latest venture by winning the women’s division at the Beast of Big Creek Half-Marathon Trail Run on August 8.
“One of the things I love most about being in Olympia and a member of the Evergreen community is I get to volunteer for a lot of different events,” Krotscheck said. “I volunteer for a lot of children’s races because they are so excited. One of my favorite things about this dig site are the kids who come and they see something and say, ‘There’s a piece of glass. I’ve found something. Is this old?’ That kind of enthusiasm is really refreshing.”
The Bush Homestead dig will be finalized on August 27. Public tours are available in the afternoons on August 19 and 20. More insight can be found on the Evergreen blog related to the Bush Homestead project.
By Grant Clark
It was a couple years ago that Candy Oliver and her fellow Run Like a Dog event volunteers were discussing what the cutoff number of participants should be for the fund-raising fun run.
“We came up with 450 runners,” Oliver said. “I’m not sure how we even decided on that exact number, but that is where we placed the maximum at. We didn’t think it was even possible to come close to reaching that at the time.”
That ceiling, originally viewed as being out of reach, is likely to be reached during this year’s edition of the canine 5K.
The 10th annual Run Like a Dog Fun Run will take place Saturday, August 22, beginning at South Bay Veterinary Hospital – the event’s title sponsor. The event includes a 5K race and 5K fun run/walk with your dog.
A total of 430 participants of the two-legged variety – a record for the event – were registered last year.
According to Oliver, this year’s figures are slightly ahead of the 2014 numbers, meaning for the first time in the race’s history the number Oliver and company randomly selected as the limit may be reached.
“It is incredible how much this event has grown over the years,” said Oliver, who serves as the event’s organizer this year after volunteering the previous four races. “We set a goal a while ago thinking it wasn’t obtainable, but we should be close to it this year. It’s just a really fun, family event that serves a great cause.”
The race, set to begin at 9:00 a.m. at South Bay Veterinary Hospital, benefits the Thurston County Humane Society. Last year’s race raised nearly $8,000 – also an event record.
The donations help assist the Thurston County Humane Society with spay and neuter costs at a licensed Thurston County veterinarian in an effort to help reduce pet over-population in the area. Donations also help provide educational materials, promote awareness programs and contribute to animal welfare and animal service programs.
“Even if you’re not an avid runner,” Oliver said, “you can always make a donation or volunteer to help. We have a lot of different groups involved – 4H clubs, Boy Scouts, rotary clubs. We have a lot of people just asking, ‘How can I help?’”
With high temperatures the norm this summer and late August noted for its typical heat, the event boasts the inclusion of kiddie pools. Not something you see at every fun run. Prior to the start of the race, which includes sections on the Chehalis Western Trail, event volunteers place pools along the course and fill them with water. These provide a makeshift cool-down method for the fun-running pets.
“We weren’t sure how popular they would be at first,” Oliver said about the pools, “but the dogs seem to love it. They sprint right into them. Their (final running) time is little slower, but the dogs are happy.”
Registration, including group registration of 10 or more runners, can be made online at runlikeadog.com. Contact information about volunteering for the event can also be found on the event’s site.
“We see a lot of people come back the following year after running in it for the first time,” Oliver said.
“It doesn’t really matter how fast you are. We have an owner run it in every year with her two basset hounds. If you know anything about that type of dog breed, you know they are not really interested in running, but they always finish. Usually the owner is carrying one of them across the finish line, but they finish. We have runners of all shapes and sizes. We have dogs of all shapes and sizes. Everyone is just out there supporting each other.”
Registration packets can be picked up on Aug. 21 between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at South Bay Veterinary Hospital located at 3600 South Bay Rd NE in Olympia. The 9:00 a.m. race will be followed by an awards ceremony at 10:00 a.m.
In addition to South Bay Veterinary Hospital, the event is also sponsored by South Sound Running, Take Aim, Grateful Dog Grooming, Biobag, Elanco Animal Health, Comstock Physical Therapy, Johnson-Carr Insurance Agency, Marchetti Wines, Wanda Buckner of Healing Energy Services, Phillips Pet Food and Supplies, NW Remedies, Minuteman Press and the Oly Rollers.
With five daughters under the age of 10 (three biological, two foster), Aaron Ritter and his wife Maechell are busy. But the couple always finds time to get into nature with their girls.
“Trails, rock climbing, hiking, floating rivers – we’re a very outdoorsy family,” says Aaron, noting some of their favorite places to visit are Olympic National Forest, and local places like Millersylvania State Park and Priest Point Park in Olympia.
Aaron is able to share his love of nature with his family by turning his second nature – custom hardwood flooring – into his home business, Ritter Flooring, LLC.
Initially learning the trade from an Italian craftsman, Aaron has more than 15 years of combined industry experience.
“It takes a long time to learn,” remarks Aaron. “My method is original and old-school. I nail by hand rather than by pneumatic tools.”
Aaron has a strong connection to the outdoors, with a childhood filled with camping and hiking around Washington. And Maechell, a child therapist, grew up on five acres in Lake Stevens. After joining the US Army and being stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord, the Ritters moved to the Olympia-area, where Aaron has been growing his business.
From million-dollar homes in Ruston Way, to tiny houses in Tumwater, Aaron does it all – and he does it with pride. He enjoys the custom work he does on transitions and around corners, wrapping pillars or edging fireplaces.
“I once did an acacia floor… a ¾” 1,300 square-foot nail down,” he reminisces. “That is the best, most beautiful floor I’ve ever done.”
Consulting is a big part of the service Aaron provides, and he admits that sometimes he has to coach people into thinking outside the box.
“Most people try and get flooring that matches cabinetry and trim, and that’s absolutely what you do not want to do,” he says. “Typically, I will go to a client’s home, see what they are looking for, take measurements, talk about what works best, like thresholds for transition, soft woods versus hardwood or vinyl plank for water-proofing or kids. Then I send them to a store to pick up what they want.”
“I will do everything in my power to find the best product for them at a good value,” he concludes.
It’s this type of attention that sets Ritter Flooring apart and keeps Aaron looking forward to a positive future. Doing business with a customer means they are treated like family, he says.
“My values are family first always,” he explains. “With my business, it is customer first. So in a sense, my customers are kind of like family.”
Family and work balance is a must for the big family, and Ritter finds a way to reconnect by getting into nature.
So what outdoor adventure is the Ritter family up to next?
A family favorite – a camping trip to Salmon La Sac near Ellensburg, where the sounds of kids playing in the woods is inspiration to Aaron to keep striving for the best, both with his family, and his business.
Contact Aaron Ritter at (360) 338-2740 or visit www.ritterflooring.com.
Submitted by The Olympic National Forest
Two of the three fires that were reported at Olympic National Forest are still actively burning. A minimal amount of rain was reported yesterday. A Type 3 Incident Management Team and additional firefighting personnel and equipment have been ordered to assist.
The Gold Fire, located approximately six miles northwest of Quilcene and ten miles south of Blyn, grew more active yesterday. It is estimated to be 10 acres in size. To ensure public and firefighter safety while suppression actions are underway, a temporary closure has been implemented in the Gold Fire area:
The Cabin Creek Fire, three miles northeast of Lena Lake and the Hamma Hamma campgrounds, is now eight acres in size. It is burning in very rugged and inaccessible terrain. Smokejumpers continue to staff the fire.
The Zion Fire that was reported on Mount Zion is now out.
Firefighter and public safety remain our highest priority as suppression strategies continue.
Submitted by the Olympic National Forest
Olympic National Forest’s Special Forest Products Program Manager announced today that permit sales for salal will begin in September. Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is an understory shrub commonly used in the floral industry. It grows in dense thickets throughout western Washington and Oregon.
At least one piece of high-visibility clothing is highly recommended while harvesting salal. Permit holders will be limited to no more than 200 hands per day in possession. Harvest unit boundaries are defined by roads or recognizable land features and a map of the harvest areas will be distributed with the sale of each permit.
Permits will be issued from the Forks, Quinault, and Quilcene offices during business hours on the following dates:
A total of one-hundred permits will be issued with a maximum of fifteen permits for each harvest unit. Fifty permits will be offered from Quilcene for harvest areas located within Mason County and the east side of Clallam and Jefferson Counties. Twenty-five permits will be offered from Forks for the west-side of Clallam County. Twenty-five permits will be offered from Lake Quinault for harvest areas within Grays Harbor County and the west side of Jefferson County.
A lottery system will be used if the demand for permits exceeds the supply. Each permit will cost $150 and can be used for up to two months. A valid United States picture identification will be required at the time of purchase and those buying the permits must be at least 18 years of age. Cash or checks will be accepted, but no credit cards or debit cards will be accepted.
For additional information about salal permit sales, please contact David Perez at 360-956-2316. For general information about Olympic National Forest, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic.
Submitted by Westport Winery
Westport Winery’s Shorebird Chardonnay earned a Double Gold Medal at the 2015 Denver International Wine Competition held on June 6 and 7 in Broomfield, Colorado. Grapes for this wine were harvested from Connor-Lee Vineyard near Othello, Washington. A portion of the proceeds from this wine are donated to the Grays Harbor Audubon Society.
Swimmer’s Petite Sirah earned a Gold Medal at this event. The grapes used to craft this wine were grown at Jones Vineyard in Washington’s Wahluke Slope AVA. Some proceeds from this wine are contributed to Grays Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center.
Both Captain Grays Gewurztraminer and Night Watch, a chocolate Merlot blend, earned Silver Medals. These wines benefit the Grays Harbor Symphony and Harbors Home Health and Hospice, respectively.
When you visit Westport Winery Garden Resort be sure to explore the unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why four times this has been voted Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.
These award-winning wines are exclusively available at the resort. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery, bakery and gardens, are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery Garden Resort at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.
Renowned jazz artist Dmitri Matheny will celebrate the international release of Sagebrush Rebellion, his tenth album as a leader, on Monday, August 31 at 8:00 pm at Rhythm & Rye in Olympia Washington.
The Olympia Jazz Central-sponsored appearance, part of a 100-city tour of the United States, will showcase selections from the new album, balancing fresh, original works with familiar jazz classics, hard bop, west coast cool and beloved standards from the Great American Songbook.
The Dmitri Matheny Group, directed by flugelhornist and composer Matheny, features Brian Kinsella on keyboard, Jeff Johnson on bass and Greg Williamson on drums.
“The Dmitri Matheny Group is a cohesive and seamless unit,” writes All About Jazz, “serving up equal parts soulful expression, caressing phrases, imaginative asides, and dedicated lyricism.”Google Plus One Facebook Like
By Douglas Scott
In the shadow of the Olympic Mountains along the picturesque waters of Hood Canal exist five incredible romantic getaways, perfect for that saccharine escape you and your special someone have been pining for.
Situated perfectly between wilderness and society, these enchanting locations offer everything from solitude to pampering to everything in between. With limited light pollution from the cities along Interstate 5, spending a night or two along the Hood Canal will create the perfect spark to either rekindle your relationship or start lifelong memories with a new special someone.
Just a short drive from Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle, Hood Canal offers access to pristine wilderness and some of the best resorts and lodges in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you are traveling on a budget or looking to splurge on a serious romantic getaway, Hood Canal rekindles romance with incredible places to stay and explore.
Alderbrook Resort and Spa
Alderbrook is consistently named as one of the best resorts in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past five years, the resort has been revered as one of the best wedding destinations by Seattle Bride’s “Best Of” awards, and it’s consistently is recognized as the best resort in the Pacific Northwest by Condé Nast Traveler readers. With a full spa, golf course, kayak rentals, swimming, dining, yoga and three miles of on-site hiking opportunities, staying at Alderbrook allows you to be as secluded or as social as you want.
Located directly on Hood Canal, both sunrises and sunsets here are spectacular, as are the rooms, dining areas and grounds. Alderbrook is a high-class destination, offering the finest of everything. If you are looking for the premiere place to wine, dine and gaze at the beauty of the Olympics, staying here is a must.
Houseboats for Two
If you have ever daydreamed about having a romantic getaway on a houseboat, the aptly named “Houseboats for Two” at Pleasant Harbor make for an ideal romantic vacation destination. Located near the center of Hood Canal, this section of the Olympic Peninsula feels as remote as you can get, while still being close to all the amenities you will need. However, few who stay here leave their personal, private watercraft.
Set in a secluded, wooded cove, stay on the water while enjoying the night sky. Or, if the weather is cloudy, retreat indoors and enjoy a private 28-jet heated spa while listening to music, watching a movie or just enjoying in conversation with your loved one. Houseboats for Two is a unique experience made even better thanks to the tranquil setting the Hood Canal provides. With Mount Walker only four miles away and a myriad of waterfalls a short drive from the boat, you can experience mountains, forests and the salty waters of the Pacific Northwest all while rekindling your love.
Waterfront at Potlatch
Located just a mile and a half from the fantastic small town of Hoodsport, the Waterfront at Potlatch offers a handful of opportunities to escape for a romantic vacation. With cabins, a motel and an RV park, staying on Hood Canal has never been easier. While the resort does offer two bedroom deluxe vacation homes, the best bet for your romantic getaway is the one bedroom cabin. Fully furnished and boasting incredible views of the waters of Hood Canal, the one bedroom cabins are an ideal retreat for lovestruck couples in need of a getaway. The site is perfect for sunrises and even has a private deck where you and your companion can sit and enjoy the day. Wake up to seagulls, eagles and blue herons, smell the salt air and watch for seals, porpoises and even a rare orca, all from your cabin. If the cabin isn’t what you want, stay in the motel rooms or bring your RV for a night, week or even a full month! The Waterfront at Potlatch is a great place to stay and is the perfect setting for creating memories you’ll remember for a lifetime — no matter how long you stay.
The Willcox House Country Inn
The most common thing guests say when they enter the Wilcox House Country Inn is, “Oh, Wow!” Located on the eastern side of Hood Canal on the Kitsap Peninsula, the Willcox House Country Inn is one of those destinations that seems too good to be true. Considered to be one of the top 12 Inns in North America, the Willcox House gives stunning views of the splendor of Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains.
Guests enjoy the inn’s traditional 1930’s mansion atmosphere paired alongside modern amenities like WiFi. The grounds of the Willcox House are like wandering through your own private garden. The entrance to the inn is breathtaking, as is every corner of this stunning property. While it might not be located on Highway 101, staying here is the classic romantic getaway that is sure to get you some quality time together far from the noises and distractions of the city. Talking to the owner, the views here have had quite the impact on guests, making it an ideal romantic getaway. During a weekend in August, there was a man who planned and carried out a proposal to his girlfriend down on the dock. Proposals are very common at the Willcox House, and that is just one of many reasons to come here.