Where Have Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Been???

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Native Dogwood blossom in Olalla
Where have we been?  There is so much to tell, but first I am so sorry for not writing for so long.  Between our travels, new neighbors and keeping up with an extraordinary amount of orders the days have gotten shorter and still no wifi. 

Our travels in the southwest were wonderful.  We met many wonderful people and were able to experience the beauty of the region every night while we camped.  However, those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest will understand when I tell you that driving into Northern California filled my heart with the greatest joy I had felt in five weeks.  When the trees started replacing the beautiful desert void I knew we were coming home and our webbed feet started to tingle with the moisture.  Earnie traveled through this area of Northeastern California a few years prior, but I had only imagined what the terrain was like and it was really exciting.  Coming around the backside of Mt. Shasta was spectacular.  It often felt like I could hardly breath with all the joy that seemed to fill my heart. 

Burned Manzanita bushes in pine forest of NE California
We stopped in one area for a break and low & behold a fire had come through the area recently and we found a patch of burned manzanita burls and the burls just popped out of the ground.  When we left home at the beginning of March, we stopped at the weigh station and wrote down our weight.  Our plan was to stop on the way home & see how much weight we had lost in inventory.  After we filled our bed in the van, Myrtle's bed, with the manzanita burls (the floor was already full of rocks we collected), we laughed when we realized we probably weighed more than when we left.  Myrtle was not laughing.
Buggs & Veronica planting seed trays at Lasting Laughter Asylum Farm
When we arrived home we had one night alone before our dear friends from Texas would arrive.  Earnie has known Buggs & Veronica since the early 70's in Southern Indiana.  They came out to visit us one summer and decided to move into our little cabin on the other side of Olalla Creek.  We hadn't been inside the 1970's Pacific Yew wood pole cabin for nearly a year, but unfortunately the pack rats had.  They moved in quite some time ago and between their destruction and the 40 year old leaky cedar-shake roof we had some work ahead of us.  After about three weeks of work Buggs & Veronica are moved in and loving their new Oregon life in Olalla. 

From left: Buggs, Earnie, Veronica & Ellie (disguised as Hesperis flowers)
Buggs & Veronica come over every morning and help Earnie in the garden, which is going to produce an amazing year of organic flowers and veggies.  Thanks to Veronica's garden hunts in April, we were able to enjoy bok choi greens steamed in vinegar & olive oil for over a month now.

Placing the Queen in the hive
Finally, I have to share our biggest spring news.  We finally have our own honey bees!!!  The other reason we hurried home from our trip was because our bees were to be picked up in Eugene at Glory Bee Foods on a certain date.  We came home with a box filled with the buzz of 20,000 new friends who all needed new names.  Can you even imagine? - Earnie is still working on this... 

Our garden aka-Lasting Laughter Asylum Farm
I hope you all can forgive us now for slacking on the our Blog.  We are having the time of our lives at home in Olalla and we hope you are as well.  Blessings to all of you and remember...

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (proud Oregonian)

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