Dog Days

6 06 2009
Dax on deck

Dax on deck

We had a great 3 days sailing and hiking around Sucia Island! Click on Dax for the rest of the photos on Flickr.

I’ve caught up with work and most of my sleep, had scintillating discussion at our monthly Saukrates Cafe, did most of the laundry, watered the garden, planted out some of the overgrown transplants, and generally played catch up around here. Blogging will resume shortly.

But first, the dog story.

We did not leave her lying in the middle of road, drown while attempting to rescue her from the river or any of the other crazy variations of the tale that flew around the Upriver grapevine! 🙂

Usually Maija stays with Dave & Julie when we can’t take her, but this time she had hurt herself launching after a bobcat scent trail and was pretty gimped up. Clancy’s a pretty energetic dog and Maija loves to play with him and the kids so we decided we’d try to enforce her taking it easy and leave her with Dave & Sharon. Chance & Louie are a bit more mellow and they’d be separated part of the day as they were inside and Maija was outside while Dave & Sharon were at work. After all, she never wanders and she was too sore to do so. We thought.

Apparently Maija took it upon herself to go two doors down and visit Shuksan, Billie and Sarah over at Rebecca & Andy’s. This didn’t actually involve proper socializing as Maija was shy and just laid in the road instead! Rebecca returned Maija over to Dave & Sharon’s, but then Maija came back the next day since Dave & Sharon were unaware of her daytime wanderings, but this time she wouldn’t move! Poor Rebecca spent her time trying to get Maija out of the road, calling around to find out where we were, and finally Julie came over and Maija hopped right in to her car. At least she was now out of the road, but where the heck were we?

Maija had no collar (she’d been swimming), was limping (although this is fairly normal), and no one was answering any of the phones! Keith’s cell phone display is broken and his battery was dead so that was turned off while we were out on the boat. Mine was off too. No one answered at home, of course. Luckily we called Dave as we were rounding Point Whitehorn. We gave the iron genny a bit more juice since the wind had died and started home as quickly as we could. 4 hours later we picked up Maija and heard all about it.

We’re still hearing about it. 😉

The great thing about this fiasco is that it truly highlights why it’s so nice to live in a small community like this one. Everyone only had parts of the story, but they all came together to help us out. Maija was cared for and now everyone has a story to tell. At least Jason assures me that it won’t be in the next issue of the paper.

Maija the instigator

Maija the instigator

Meanwhile I have a batch of “thank you” dog cookies to bake and distribute with bottles of wine. I can’t wait to hear what else has been happening while we were gone.

Read All About It!

8 05 2009

The first issue of the Concrete Herald is out!

Pick up a copy at Annie’s Pizza, Albert’s Red Apple, Sauk View Gallery or one of the racks at Cascade Mercantile or elsewhere. If your favorite place doesn’t carry it, request it! Subscriptions are available too.

What are you doing Thursday evening?

4 05 2009


Saukrates Cafe Listen . Learn . Share
Meet at Annie’s Pizza . First Thursdays . 6:00 PM
A group of us have been getting together and discussing the weighty topics of the day on the first Thursday of the month. So far we’ve discussed the Middle East conflict, religious freedom, and reproductive rights (octuplets anyone?). We’re not actually solving all the world’s problems, but we’re having fun trying!
So what is a Socrates Cafe?

Socrates Café are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences while embracing the central theme of Socratizing; the idea that we learn more when we question and question with others.

Come join us this Thursday at Annie’s! This month’s topic is “2012: Cataclysm, Turning Point, or Business as Usual?”

“Imagine Concrete” workshop April 18th

28 03 2009

Concrete to hold town-wide visioning workshop
“Imagine Concrete” designed to address aesthetics, preservation, future growth
posted 3.24.09

If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “You know what they should do around here…,” you might want to mark April 18 on your calendar.

That’s the day when everyone who has a stake in Concrete’s future will gather in the Concrete High School Commons room for a visioning workshop that will run from 9:00 a.m. till noon. The visioning initiative has been named “Imagine Concrete.”

Visioning is a strategy that has been used by hundreds—if not thousands—of cities and towns across the U.S., including Concrete, which held its last visioning in the early 1990s. Visioning sessions gather town stakeholders—including citizens, business owners, town staff and officials, and advisory boards such as Planning Commissions—and have them discuss targeted questions about the town.

Guided by a 10-member steering committee, “Imagine Concrete” will address the following five questions during the April 18 workshop:

What do we want to preserve?
What do we want to create?
What do we want to change?
What should our community look like in the future?
How fast should change occur?

The above is from Jason Miller’s Concrete Herald news page. Support the paper, support Jason and support Concrete! See you at the workshop.

Community News

22 03 2009

Now that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has delivered its last print copy and many other newspapers are struggling to stay in business, it’s wonderful to be able to look forward to the first edition of the newly revamped Concrete Herald in early May. Thanks to the efforts of Jason Miller and the support of east valley citizens and many others further afield, we will once again have a local news source.


This, surprisingly, is following a national trend and our little hill town is in the vanguard. Larger news sources are shifting their publications online while people have been gathering their news predominantly from websites and television. Journalism is more important than ever and smaller publications are filling in the gaps that have existed for too long in local news. Local news sites like the Seattle PI, Crosscut and GoSkagit produce some of their own reporting, but are also aggregators collecting and publishing news from smaller sources. Hopefully Jason will be able to fill the void that exists in news from and about the Upper Skagit area that the Skagit Valley Herald has not deemed important enough to cover.

Of course, he can’t do it all on his own. He still needs donations to help offset the costs of much-needed equipment. In the future, he may appreciate some news tips as well, but first let’s help him get this venture off the ground.

Upriver Community – January

11 01 2009

It’s been kind of quiet up here. Well, quiet in the community action sense. Not so quiet in the dealing with the weather, shoveling snow, plowing driveways, and lamenting roof collapses. Not to mention the minor flood and those pesky landslides.

East of Concrete, SR20 is blocked by a landslide, as I’m sure you’ve heard. SR20 west is now open, but SR530 to Darrington is still closed. Those that can get out of their driveways and aren’t blocked in by a slide can access Concrete and beyond via Concrete-Sauk Valley Road. I know it’ll be a while before they have power restored.

Times like these illustrate why it’s so important to be prepared by maintaining a pantry and having a plan in place to deal with extended power outages. For many of us that means storing some water and keeping a generator. Now’s a good time to evaluate preparedness and see what can be improved.


In other news, Sharon Stewart sent out notice yesterday that the AWARE meeting for this month is canceled. Many people are still having trouble getting around and are focused on getting their basic needs met. Unless otherwise informed, I will assume that our next AWARE meeting will be on Thursday February 19th at 7pm at the Concrete Senior Center. See you there! For more information and to get on the mailing list, email: awareinfo at yahoo dot com


I had wanted to tell everyone at the meeting that the US Census still has many vacancies to fill in the Upriver area.

We are currently testing applicants for US Census Bureau jobs in the
Skagit, San Juan, Whatcom, Island, King, and Snohomish county areas. To be scheduled for a test please call:


You will have to enter your zip code, and then you will be redirected
to a local office. Please leave your name and phone number for a call
back. The local office will call you back with a test date.

These jobs start at $17.50 an hour and pay mileage of 58.5 cents per
mile. It is part-time, temporary work with no benefits, and the
actual work may not start for a few months (so don’t quit your job).

The next scheduled test for this area will be on January 20th at 11:30am at Annie’s Pizza in Grassmere. Get there at about 11am so you can complete the application. For more information see the US Census Jobs page and take the practice test.


There’s an informational meeting coming up this month to discuss progress, membership and benefits. Spread the word and see if you can carpool as there may be a need to plow the Fire Hall parking lot and space will be limited.


Skagit County Emergency Information (including current mudslide status)

Skagit County Road Closures

WSDOT Road Closures

Local Forecast (check out Wednesday!)

Upriver Trading Collective

3 12 2008

It’s sunny out so I’m going to sneak off for a quick hike, but before I do, I thought I’d provide the link for the new Upriver Trading Collective site.

The Upriver Trading Collective is an informal group of people in the Upper Skagit Valley who are interested in doing more trading of goods amongst themselves, and who are also joining as a group for imported goods, like bulk foods.

While many of our members are also interested in the Upriver Coop project that is currently afoot, this trading group is currently a separate entity.

When I get back, maybe I’ll talk about cans.