I had been a whole year since our last retreat at Fort Flagler, and I was looking forward to this one so much! This place is old and funky, but I love it ;)
I love walking in the door on Thursday afternoon knowing I have until Sunday to play with paper, scissors and glue! I love seeing the stainless steel kitchen, and the giant fridge that bangs on the stove when you open the last door too far. That means that Lori and her mom, Gayle, are going to be cooking for us, and I love that too. I love the faded linoleum floor and the mismatched tables. I even love the old cafeteria-style melmac dishes, they remind me of dishes from when I was kid. The squeaky beds don't even bother me too much, because I hardly sleep at all while I am there, and the views are to die for. I even have a favorite bathroom, the one on the left, don't ask me why. I only use the other one if the one on the left is full. Yep, I know it's weird, but that's me. Just ask the ladies I travel to this place with what I was like when I thought we were going to be in a different building than usual! Thank goodness we were in the regular one, but I was worried for a while :)
My friend Kim and I have worked out our favorite spot in the cropping room, and we try to always sit there if it isn't taken when we arrive. Here she is all set up with our other friend, Stacey (right), already working away.
My other friend Jen, parked on the other side of me for the duration. I don't get to see her much, and we have been friends since high school so it is fun to hang out and have girl time while we work.
Here is Dyona (left) and her friend Rachel. Dyona is also another friend from high school and a massage therapist. She usually brigs her massage chair and pampers us for the weekend, however she was injured this time and so got to sit and crop with us for awhile.
Our FAB hostess, Lori! Lori Rocks ;)
She has put on 10 retreats that I have been lucky enough to go to the last few years, and does an amazing job. This one was a 50's theme, and one is already panned for October with a "Survivor: Jamaica" theme, in honor of our friend Kim!
Kim and her husband Mark are going to Jamaica this summer for an entire year. They are going to be running an orphanage while they are there, and so she will not be joining us in October. Please read about their mission trip, HERE! She is well loved by us all, and the amazingly generous ladies at this crop donated $500 to her cause by buying raffle tickets for some goodies.
I have to tell you a little more about our friend Kim... She is such a great woman, friend, and mom. She is most definitely a giver, of all things. She is so generous with her time, herself, and her heart. She is also one of the funniest ladies I know. She has a laugh that just gets us all rolling, and I swear has the best timing for jokes. She is always about 10 seconds behind the rest of us, and it has made for some hilarious moments, ones that make my sides hurt and make me smile just by thinking about them!
One of them was at a retreat a few times ago, maybe early 2008. Did I mention that I hardly sleep while we're here? Well, nobody really does, and Miss Kim talks in her sleep when she is overly-tired. A lot. Not just mumbling something you can't understand, I am talking a full-on conversation, and if you didn't see her eyes closed you would think she was awake.
Have you ever heard the brown chicken, brown cow joke? Well Kim never had, and her reaction was the funniest thing to see. That part is even funnier than the jokes! Somehow that became our unofficial 'theme' for that retreat, we said it constantly, and we died laughing each and every time!
We all sleep dorm style, with 2-4 people in small rooms, some with bunk beds, so you can hear pretty much everything that goes on around you. Early one of those mornings, like around 6 or 7 AM, I heard Kim talking to me, so I sat up. She was laughing in her sleep and kept saying "brown chicken, brown cow" in a sing-song voice! Dyona also heard her and woke up, and we started giggling and couldn't stop, and pretty soon the whole hallway was laughing. She heard us laughing and woke up, and couldn't believe us when we told her what she had been saying... Until I played back the recording I had made ;) Ha!
Anyways, we still have fun with that joke, and Lori came to this retreat prepared! Every night of the retreat, we play bingo for some amazing prizes. She pulled me aside a while before we played, and showed me a shirt she had had made for Kim. Pink, with a brown chicken and a brown cow. She was going to give it to her, and said wouldn't it be cool if she won bingo?? That could be her prize!
Well wouldn't you know it, she won, of course. Lori handed her the shirt, which was all rolled up with a ribbon, and we all sat back and waited... Now there were about 30 ladies in the cropping room, all watching and waiting to see her reaction. We waited about 10 seconds or so, and she is looking at the shirt, and flipped it around to look at the front.. And we waited... Finally someone sang the "brown chicken, brown cow" words, and then she was off! Love her ;)
Friday morning I woke up early enough to catch the sun coming up over the water. I laced up and took a nice walk around the open grounds surrounding us.
These are old barracks, and ours is the last building closest to the water, named Camp Richmond.
Some ladies ordered some shirts or hoodies before we got to the retreat from Cafe Press to commemorate our stay.
These ladies love to support great causes. I already mentioned that they raised $500 for Kim to go to Jamaica, right? Well they raised money for me as well! I am walking for the 3rd time in the Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk, in September, 2010. I will spend 3 days walking 60 miles, and need to raise $2300 dollars to support breast cancer research.
I brought my espresso machine from home, and Lori generously bought all the supplies to make coffees for the ladies all weekend. I made 54 lattes that weekend and raised $250!
Lori had mentioned that she brought everything but straws, so the cold cups with lids were kind of useless. Dyona and a few other ladies went to the store to get a few things that day, and while they were out they picked some up. We were cracking up because they found straws that were about 2 feet long! Lori spent a little while cutting them up to regular size, and when she was done she had this little pile of leftover straw pieces that were about 3 inches long. Hmmm, what to do with them..?
I made a round of iced lattes, and Lori came over and whispered in my ear that we should put a short straw in Kim's latte. Hehe ;) So I made it, and then had to sneak over past Kim to get my camera, and then sneak back with out her noticing.
She looked up and saw me with my camera, and gave me a cheesy smile, and then went back to sipping her coffee...
It took a few seconds but she finally noticed that there was something wrong with her straw! We love to pick on her, and she takes it so gracefully, such a good sport!
She brought us some wine to have while we were scrapping too.
Kerry and Zandra, two of our BSF friends!
Lori getting ready for taco night!
More of the cropping room...
Lori's mom, Gayle, and her daughters-in-law, Shelia and Jenny. What a great family they have ;)
More ladies cropping away!
Now this was just the sweetest treat one night, literally!
Kim worked on graduation announcements for her youngest daughter, I think she cranked out almost 50 of these!
Lori and Jenny ;)
We found out that Park Rangers carry guns, and handcuffs... She was arrested for having too much fun, ha! ;)
More of the lovely view. We were fortunate that the mountain was out, usually Mt. Rainier is covered in clouds and you can't see the top.
French dips for lunch, deliciousness!!
Saturday was Rachel's birthday, and she didn't know that we all knew! Lori and her mom surprised her with a cake, sash and a crown, and we all sang Happy Birthday ;)
This retreat was 50's themed, and on Saturday night we had a dress-up contest. These 2 pink ladies, Shellie and Karissa, had a fabulous pink 'car'!
Dyona had a cute costume too!
Sherrie was the winner, with her jukebox and costume!
Can you believe that this was stuff just for the two of us?!?
One more view of the ocean before we headed home...
More of the Cascade Mountains before we got on the ferry.
Thanks for looking if you made it all the way to the end! I will be posting the pages and cards I made while we were there in a bit...