SwiftHaven Arrives! Kindness; Windstorm; Please Write! Whatcom Refugees; Lots More; Song: The Wonderful Soup Stone

CONTENTS 1/5/2021
SwiftHaven Arrives!
Thank You For Kindness
After Another Windstorm
Please Write!
Whatcom Refugees
Close-Up To Real Power
Hohoho – Oh, No!
Egg Cartons
Today’s Ingredients
Christmas Tree Pick Up
Bike Found
Disappearing Ink
Family Rental Wanted
Cayley Schmid and Aaron Guest
Radio Free Fl!p: The Wonderful Soup Stone


Today the first 12 of 25 tiny homes were finally delivered! They have been set in place and are occupied tonight. A dozen neighbors safe and dry inside, during tonight’s storm. Here’s an unattributed quote from a new resident (I couldn’t figure out who) “Omg, this is soooo amazing,  Matthew and I are super grateful, and warm, even without electric!! We can get jobs and go to school, when they reopen!! So fabulous,  Yayyyyy”


I was very touched at the kind responses to my rather overwhelmed post yesterday. Thank you! Folks had some sweet suggestions about where there might be more help setting up tents, and with supplies distribution. I’m looking into those. You could ask if you know anyone who works at REI. Someone is checking with the Mountaineers. I would love it if you would be patient with me for a while longer, and hang onto your donations till I have learned what to ask for and figured out with whom to share the list.

Except tarps and closed cell foam ground pads! We’ll still take those. (ASR Closed Cell Reflective Camping Pad looks particularly durable. Sears?) We were given a bunch of 11×15’ tarps (yay!) which help as rain flies for tents and shelters. Now we could use a bunch of smaller tarps. I’m in touch with volunteers who can distribute 6×8’ tarps to wrap up an individual, to try to warm them up. These outreach volunteers go out once a week on Thursdays. The same folks have been going for years.


Another storm! Volunteer time is needed to help clean up and help set up flattened tents and tarps. Many tent poles break during windstorms. See yesterday’s post about why this work is not straightforward. I may be able to help match clean-up volunteers with leaders known in the encampment.


I do not believe this heartbreak will end without massive community support for our leaders to take immediate action. Please write. Invite everyone you know to write. Invite your children to write – it will help them feel less helpless, and less worried about seeing grownups looking helpless in the face of homelessness.

Share any ideas you have about the many possibilities that will be needed to get everyone into emergency housing, and then into permanent housing. There is no single solution for all the different problems that have led to this encampment. But please ask for immediate action.

And please be kind and respectful to our elected officials. When they ran for office they never dreamed they would have all this on their plates. We will cause change not by trying to be bullies, but by huge numbers of individual, thoughtful letters of support for action.

City Hall’s street address is 210 Lottie Street, 98225.
The Whatcom County Courthouse address is 311 Grand Avenue, 98225


I received this question, and researched the answer: “Are people actually arriving by bus from out of town to join the city hall group because we have such generous people who live here?”

I spoke on the phone with a person who has worked in outreach with the Interfaith Coalition for many years. She says she has spoken other years with the police about this “outsiders” rumor. And the police say the rumor comes around every year. The police have never seen evidence of this being the case. We have horrible weather and nowhere near enough resources. The rumor is mean-spirited nonsense.

Homeless people do churn about, looking for work, so some come and go, but last year’s homeless census (late in January 2020) reported that 65% of the approximately 700 people who were counted, had last paid for housing here in Whatcom County. And only 15% had been homeless for over a year. These are our own, home-grown refugees.


I am so moved watching the huge effort so many cooks are making – 5 or more different cooks each day, on their feet for hours. And I heard from one this evening when her power went out down on Chuckanut while she was in the middle of prepping for tomorrow. Courageous utility workers got her power back on within a couple hours and I just heard she was able to finish her preparations. Food will be hot and ready for yet another neighbor to pick up and transport to city hall for tomorrow’s lunch for 50. And this happens in kitchens all over the city and county, five times a day, and has been happening for a couple months. Thank you all!


I am seeing daylight in my apple bin. I don’t mind doing stewy soups and such, as well, but with the great masher and crafty system in place I kindly look for more apples to mash so this occasional, sweet/hot tummy warmer offer at the cit yhall encampment can be continued. Extra apples anyone? Thanks. (Max has been making and delivering hot applesauce regularly for a long time.) ~ Max Eberhard : pappenspiel@gmail.com


Oops! I got dozens and dozens of egg cartons last time I asked. Way too many. No room for other supplies. I finally found someone to store a huge box of them for me. And now I can’t figure out who that was. But if everybody brings me more egg cartons again, I will go out of my mind! I need room for container storage, and soup pots and pans and lids, noodles, and sacks, and boxes, and soup base, and tarps, and pads, and, and, and… Does anyone know where my egg cartons wound up? Maybe one or two people could bring me some, but call first!


Come and get it! Lots of lentils, lots of rice, got a bunch more pasta: ziti, rigatoni & penne in 4# bags. Got four more 5# bags of shredded cheddar. I’ve got a big tub of curry paste that would go great with the lentils. A brand new 50# sack of onions. Ten dozen eggs or so. Jars of chicken soup base. One jar of Pesto. 1# of real Butter. Does any of that sound inspiring? We have soup pots, restaurant pans, paper soup cups and lids, two kinds of dinner boxes, and bakery bags.

Sign up on the MealTrain and then come pick up some goodies. Double up with a buddy to sign up if you each want to cook for fewer than 50. Or sign up for a 20 person snack. Write the date on each portion lid. Flash your headlights at the food tent at city hall when you arrive with your meal so someone will come collect your food.

There are just a few meal slots coming up in the next week. After that the schedule is currently wide open starting January 11. Jump on board!



Rice is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water, with an added “a cup for the pot” for larger quantities. I got last night’s recipe wrong.


The Boy Scouts are still doing tree pick up this year on January 9th. http://www.bsatreepickup.com

And so are these folks: Bellingham Junk Removal Service will remove and dispose of your Christmas tree.  All it will cost you a donation to the Bellingham Food Bank.  Together we can extend the giving season a bit longer!

The Bellingham Food Bank prefers cash or checks, but we will take your food donations as well.  100% of what we collect will be going to the Food Bank, and Bellingham Junk Removal Service will cover the collection and disposal costs of the Christmas trees.

We will be collecting trees on January 7th & 8th for those in and around Bellingham wishing to participate.  We will collect the Food Bank donations at the same time we pick up your tree. Please message us to set up a pickup time.  Merry Christmas (a little longer)!  (360) 599-7473



I found a mountain style bike in good condition behind my house on Lynn Street. I checked to see if a lost bike has been reported, I looked to see if a friend left a note about it but none was found, so it is now with the Bellingham police to be claimed. They will need a description of it to reclaim it. And it has a unique feature or two. ~ Carla Shafer


My loom does not fit into my home, does not belong in the garage. For sale: J-made table loom with floor loom conversion. It is old, but is in very good condition. Includes many extras. To give away: knitting needles. ~ Cindy Spee, Lafayette St  Cindy.L.Spee@gmail.com


The Canon Printer ink has been spoken for. So glad we can keep such stuff out of the land fill for as long as possible!  Thank you all who inquired. ~Beth Fuller


My brother, sister in law and two young girls are looking for a 3 bedroom house to rent in the Columbia/Lettered Streets/ Sunnyland neighborhood hopefully starting in March or April. They’re moving out from Atlanta Georgia to be nearer to Brittany and I and we’re really excited! Small-dog friendly and under $2500/month if possible. Feel free to share my contact info if anyone has any leads. Thanks so much!
Will and Brittany Nichols
2318 Elm Street


Thursday at 7:00 PM January 7th, 2021

Cayley Schmid and Aaron Guest met at the Bellingham Farmers Market in 2009. Desperately jealous of each other’s busking success, they neutralized the competition and started a band together. This was the beginning of a decade-long musical partnership that descended into marriage. After the retiring of their band, Polecat, on March 7th 2020, Aaron and Cayley suddenly found themselves musically unsupervised by their bandmates for the first time. Together they play instrumental folk music on fiddle and piano. They are also the founders of the Bellingham Folk Festival. Have I told you to go to that? The BFF may have the best poster I have ever seen. *I* am going!



Performed by Dr Hook in 1973. Written by Shel Silverstein – who also wrote Where The Sidewalk Ends. And A Boy Named Sue for anyone old enough. And the Unicorn Song. And Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book – the only book I kept out of reach and hidden while my children were young.


Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street flip@columbianeighborhood.org

If you’re willing to share your phone  with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission. Nor would I ever exploit it. You might put mine in your phone so if I were to phone you, you’d know it was me.

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

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