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Cranberry Farmers of Grayland Washington

By William Victor May
Published: 03/19/23 Topics: Agriculture, Breakwater Inn & Cottages, Grayland WA, Westport WA Comments: 0

The story of Grayland Cranberry Farming is well over a hundred years old, and the fields and berries are still a fascinating and beautiful addition to the coast of Washington State.

It was in the late 1880's, when a visitor from Massachusetts, Anthony Chabot, discovered native cranberries growing in bogs (Flooded fields) along the coast from Long Beach to Westport Washington, reminded him of Cape Cod where cultivation of the berries had been developed.

The first crop in Grayland, Washington was planted in 1912 by Ed Benn on his belief that the area's peat soil was idea for growing cranberries commercially. Some of those fields still exist all these years later.

Self Guided Cranberry Tour

To step back in time and see an agricultural phenomena little changed in over 100 years, you can take a self-guided driving tour of the cranberry fields. Proceed south from Grayland of Highway 105 then turning East inland on Cranberry Road.

Along the way you will find some of the 255 growers and their fields that are perfectly level because they are flooded regularly with water to nurture the plants.

There is even a "self-pick'" farm if you watch closely for the sign along the tour..

By 1939, the local population of industrious immigrants had laboriously built over 100 fields spread along what is now State Route 105. In that year they took time to celebrate and built the Grayland Community Hall to be the center of the small town.

You will drive right by it on the Cranberry tour. (It would be a wonderfully historic place to hold your family reunion or wedding reception.)

And for a comfortable ocean front resort, come stay at Breakwater Inn & Cottages

Just 2/10th of a mile south of the turn off to Cranberry Road, the Finnish community built a social hall that later became a dehydrating building for berries shipped oversees to servicemen.,

The goal was to keep soldier morale up during the war when stuck away from home at Thanksgiving.

In the 1950's, Julius Furford an entrepreneurial purchased the building and in 1957, invented the famous Furford picker, a unique picking machine designed to harvest the cranberry crop and prune the vines at the same time saving time and work on what was previously a labor intensive back-breaking job.

The Furford family turned their warehouse into the Grayland "Cranberry Museum" (Not to be confused with the similarly name Cranberry Museum of Long Beach located must further down the Washington Coast line.)

Ocean Spray Coopeative

Today, 99 percent of the grays in Grayland, are part of the Ocean Spray cooperative'a farmer-owned company of 700 families across North America. They grow over 220 billion berries a year.

The local Ocean Spray processing plant is 11 north of Grayland on Highway 105 at Markham, and on the road to Aberdeen Washington.

The plant does not offer tours, but another 1 miles north is the Westport Winery, Distillery and world famous Mermaid Museum.

Among their other great wines you will, of course, find Cranberry Wine made from the wonderful Grayland Fruit.

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Author: William Victor May – Cranberry Connisseur, Breakwater Inn & Cottages
Blog #: 0945 – 03/19/23

Sponsor: Breakwater – Visit Goldener Inn's new Breqkwater Inn & Cottages on the rustici coastof WashingtonState at Grayland, south of Wesstport. Stay in the newly renovated rooms and cottages on expansive beaches of WashingtonS tate..

How Dare They Go To Work

By William May
Published: 04/20/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0

How Dare They Work. Corona Virus.

Really, who the hell do they think they are?

Awakening early every morning, or even in the middle of the night. After too little sleep and too much stress, trudging to a job they love, although they admit it is difficult to love right now. How dare they go to work?

They will often spend 12-hours shifts or much longer and for days on end. Not one day off, not a moment to spend on personal things. No time with family or friends. How do they dare do that to themselves?

Some are paid very well, some paid adequately and others earn far too little. Most will receive nothing extra for the insurmountable obstacles they confront. How do they dare to work at all when others would not?

And yet, they persevere and get up and go to a job they know will be very frustrating. They know it is also rewarding, but that it will not feel that way every day. They do not dare to think about relief, at least not yet.

At the job, they will toil hour after hour, often with no time to eat or take a break. Squeezing in a bathroom break is necessary, but even that feels like wasting time. They will be confronted with thing after thing to do. Work upon work. No rest for the weary.

There will be a non-stop demand to do the difficult, the impossible and even the frightening. They won't feel up to the task all the time, but they will step up to the tasks every time. How dare they do that to themselves?

They see weeks of challenge ahead, maybe months, maybe years. They refuse to look for the finish line, because every champion runner puts one foot ahead of the other knowing it’s the only way to finish. They think about quitting, but only rarely, because quitting would make it more difficult for others. They dare not let anyone down.

As the world begins to show its gratitude for these wonderful human beings, they will still feel inadequate, because the mission is so huge and for now seemingly impossible. How dare they believe they can make it better?

These people are not necessarily glib with their words. They have no time for pontificating. They have no time to complain. They do not seek glory or even recognition. They would not dare direct any attention to themselves.

Every one of them knows the risk of physical illness, mental duress, financial hardships and family stress. They know these things, so how do they continue on? Would anyone else dare?

They dare because the task is at hand. The challenge is now. They dare not wait. They dare not fail. They will not let that happen, no matter how long it takes and no matter the personal cost. How dare they believe they are life givers?

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, therapists, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, EMTs, first-responders, administrators, janitors and every employee at every hospital, all dare to come to work - and we must all be so grateful that they do.

These people dare because they are different than most of us. Very different. Most dreamt of their career as a calling. They have always known it would be difficult, but they never dared to think it would be like this. But they did know that they could and would act in ways the rest of us cannot promise. They dare to go to work because they saves lives.

Whether you believe in God or you do not, whether you can donate to their cause or not, whether you have suffered from illness or not, it is now time to give thanks that somehow there are people like them in the world.

It is time thank them for dedication that is immense, commitment that is astounding, and for courage that is unending. How dare they?

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Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0743 – 04/20/20

Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish

By Ron Lee
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Property Management Comments: 0

How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes

Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.

Get a Real Getaway

If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.

When Guests Depart

After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!

Sanitation Cleaning Products

We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.

Bathroom Super Scrub

Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.

Proper Wipe Downs

You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.

- Door knobs inside and outside.

- Window switches.

- Light switches and sockets.

- Lamp switches.

- Cupboard doors and surfaces.

- Table tops including night stands.

- Appliances - top and sides.

- Counter tops.

- Reachable walls.

- Outdoor furniture.

- Stairs and deck handrails.

- Toasters and coffee makers.

- TV and other remote controls.

- Stereos and computers.

- Door bells and key safes.

- Toys and board games.

- Pet toys and blankets.

- And more.

Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping

Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.

Hot Tubs and Spas

Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.

Towels and Linens

Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.

Deep Cleans

In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.

When Guests Depart

You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.

Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744

If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.

Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!

Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.

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Author: Ron Lee, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20

AtTheBlue.com at Blue Heron Resort

By Libby Rogers
Published: 04/22/18 Topics: Hood Canal, Timeshares, Vacation, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Yourshare.biz which offers resort and owner direct vacation rental bookings for timeshare properties announced today that it has opened a new website for the Blue Heron Condos on Washington State's pristine Hood Canal. Read more

Sponsor: YourShare.biz – Yourshare.biz makes it easy for guests to find quality timeshare vacation rentals, for owners to rent out unused weeks, and for resorts to generate income and attract buyers for their available weeks. Everyone wins with these well maintained properties in attractive locations. – http://YourShare.biz

Be Nice Or They Will Spit In Your Food

By Wm. May
Published: 03/28/18 Topics: Behavior, Cooking, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0

It is too easy to believe that the world has changed, that it has become less predictable and that human beings have become less considerate, more harsh, more uncaring. Although I surely hope that is not true, remembering a warning from long ago, tells me things don't really change.

He was a friend, we played in a band together. He was the guitar player, the singer, and he was brilliant. I don't mean run-of-the-mill smart, but intelligent in a happy, smiling way that just says, "I know what I know." And more importantly, that he believed it. So we did, too.

The drummer in the band had gone to school with him since kindergarten. Both were 4.0 students in college. When queried the drummer said, "Yes, we are both straight A students, but I am fully aware that he has never gotten anything other than a perfect score."

Math and science, of course. 4.0. English and Chemistry A+. But also band, gym, student newspaper, and everything else. And of course, he was an Eagle Scout.

We actually made good money in the band, but the guitar player went off most summers to unknown small towns, where he was given a bicycle to ride around town selling encyclopedias. The sales pitch he learned bled over into his personality as truly a compassionate, truly caring and casual approach. His language was always friendly and non-threatening.

As we ate dinner in a local café, another band member mentioned their hamburger tasted like leather and he had decided to send it back to the kitchen. The guitarist laughed and said, "That's OK to send it back, but never be an ass about it."

Karl had also made money by working as fry cook in a local diner. He said, "You do know that if a customer is rude, the cooks will spit in the food before they return it back."

I laughed and said, "No, don't tell me that. Tell me it's not true." The guitar player smiled that smile that we'd come to recognize when he is absolutely sure he knows the facts and we don't.

"Oh yes, they will."

"But why"?

"Because cooks, dishwashers and wait staff aren't paid much, and certainly not enough to put up with bad people."

"But they could lose their jobs."

"Doesn’t matter, you can only push people so hard, before they fight back"

This conversation happened many years ago, Over years of dealing with customers, clients and people certainly more powerful than cooks, some have caused me to think of the guitarist.

People who get paid highly, such as maybe your doctor, dentist, accountant or lawyer, might listen and not react to bad manners. Your family may ignore your behavior. Your neighbors can avoid you.

But when dealing with everyone else, especially those who serve us all in restaurants, hotels, and even governmental offices, remember this. Be nice, or they will (in some way) spit in your food. And they'll laugh, because you'll never know.

Although he has continued to play music for years, the guitarist became a big success in his chosen profession, built wealth, raised a family and - I can imagine - he was loved by his customers, staff and partners.

I regret that we have not kept in close contact over the years, but I don’t have to imagine this, because I am absolutely sure. He has remained a pleasant, considerate person. He was far too smart to act in any other way.

Read more

Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0596 – 03/28/18

WilliamMay.com

Grayland Open - Jet Ski Surf Freeride Competition

By William may
Published: 06/01/16 Topics: Sports, Westport WA Comments: 0

The world-class "Grayland Open" free style Jet-ski competition is again schedule for August 2016. All competitors, volunteers and spectators are welcome. Lodging is still available at BeachyDay.com Vacation Rentals. Read more

Server Crash All Night Bash

By William May
Published: 03/25/16 Topics: Self Improvement Comments: 0

Getting good folks to work for you is easier than you think. All you gotta do is put yourself in their shoes, and do it literally. Leaders do the toughest jobs, not the easiest. Leaders must be out-front or they are really only stragglers. Read more

El Nino Looms; Don't Fret Too Much

By Taylor May
Published: 12/01/15 Topics: Comments: 0

A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more

Sponsor: Northwest Skier – A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. – NorthwestSkiers.com

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensable tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heroes Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

Crowing About Our New Mobile Website

By William May
Published: 05/01/14 Topics: Comments: 0

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: 0

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

Varoom Vacation Rental Cooperative Springs to Life

By William May
Published: 02/23/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Even with the thousands of advertising websites catering to vacation rental owners, guests often search in vain to find the perfect accommodations. Now the website www.Varoom.biz, the world's first Vacation Rental Cooperative matches guests with property owners and managers to increase bookings. Read more

Coming to Skippy's Class ill Prepared

By William May
Published: 12/11/13 Topics: Comments: 0

Looking back it is astonishing to realize that a world class scholar was teaching in a small community college off the beaten path in the Northwest corner of the country. She would have wowed any student in the finest college anywhere. Read more

Vacation Rental Huts on Wheels

By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more

Vacation Rentals Enhance the Neighborhood

By William May
Published: 08/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Going to a grand hotel for grand service will never go away. Stopping for a quick night at a convenient motel makes long trips easier. And now Vacation Rentals allow property owners to share their homes with responsible guests. It lights up the neighborhood, keeps home in good condition and shows the communities hospitality. Read more

Netiquette - How to Write an Email

By William May
Published: 07/18/12 Topics: Comments: 0

RSVP: Not everyone remembers what this means, but if you need a response include it and/or remind the user to respond such as "Please let me know your thoughts one way or the other." Read more

Stealing Music for Your Video is Expensive

By William May
Published: 06/23/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Creating a swell video for your vacation rental home is easier and cheaper than ever. You'll be tempted to use your favorite song to set the mood and reel in more renters. But be careful with which tune you pick or it will cost you dearly. Read more

Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music

By William May
Published: 04/01/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Professor John Edwards
Professor John Edwards

Did you know that insects live in very cold places? John Edwards knew.

In fact, Professor John S. Edwards was known around the world as one of the pioneers of insect developmental neurobiology. And I was fortunate to be able to call him a friend. He died this week and I find his passing more unfortunate than any public leader or celebrity.

Some years ago, a friend invited me to help out with an organization called Gallery Concerts; a group dedicated to having period music instruments perform chamber music in the small spaces there were designed for. The concerts are sheer delight.

At one of the first meetings I sat next to a gentle white haired man with a goatee who glowed with his enthusiasm for the music. Later I was to learn he glowed about just about everything. If the term "twinkle in his eye" was created for anyone it was John.

He was a leading scholar in the ecology of high-altitude insects, cold tolerance of Antarctic insects, the role of insects in ecosystem regeneration following volcanic eruptions, and the evolution of insect flight. A New Zealander, John earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge. At the University of Washington John taught entomology, human ecology, served as the Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program, Director of the UW Honors Program, and was appointed Emeritus Professor of Zoology in 2000.

Although a humble man, others noticed his exploits. He earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Senior Humboldt Research Award, and a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. He was a University Liberal Arts Professor, named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He served as Program Director for Developmental Neuroscience at the National Science Foundation.

Art Davidson says, in his account of the first winter ascent of Denali (Minus 148°), "My first meeting with John reaffirmed the legend. I had traced the sounds of a concert through several corridors at the Institute to a short figure hopping about from leg to leg while vocalizing the entire woodwind section of an orchestra. "

Other than the fact he was a professor in biology, I knew none of this even after years of attending meetings and concerts with him.

I made a particular mistake once - by mentioning to John that my son had applied to attend the University of Washington. He prodded relentlessly and learned that Taylor was interested in Biology, specifically astrobiology. I could see John's temperature rising. He wasn't "Hoping from leg to leg" but almost.

He asked in that pleasant way that borders on professorial curiosity, that Taylor simply must telephone him for a tour of the department.

After reading about the Professor on line, it took Taylor several weeks to summon enough courage to call. But when he did - John needed no prompting to remember his name or why he was calling. A whirlwind tour took place a few days later where Taylor was introduced to everyone with such lavish praise that my 6'6" son stood even taller than usual when retelling the tale.

American Pika Mount Denali National Park
American Pica

Some years before John had patiently suffered through my telling of how our family had driven to all the way to Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) that summer and Taylor, then age 12, had found and photographed a rare Pika; which sent the visitor center biologists into a tizzy.

Who could know an important professor would remember such a small thing from years earlier; but during the UW tour John quizzed Taylor relentlessly about the Pika, where it was found, what time of day, what type of terrain.

Taylor was impressed at John's curiosity. He was proud to be considered important but then somewhat astonished when John casually mentioned, "You may find it hard to believe but I was on the expedition that did the first winter ascent of Denali."

When Tay recited this story at home hours later I saw in his eyes the look of admiration that a young boy can have someone suddenly explodes his idea of what is possible in life. You can be a scientist, you can climb mountains, you can write eloquently, you can win awards, you can be a gracious considerate person, you can be an impressive senior citizen who still cares about what a 12 year old boy cares about. Astonishing.

Today when we learned that John has passed away, things stopped for a few hours for Taylor and I. We went about our work but cared about this man we spent little time with. We admired his work. We admired his attitude. We admired him.

Although I did not have the chance to see John much in the last few years, Taylor and I did think of him occasionally. When watching a science TV show, when the subject is insects, biology or science in general, when daring people climb tall mountains, when university life is depicted - the Pika story is retold and then someone inevitably says, "you might find it hard to believe. . . ". And we smile.

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Author: William May, MayPartners Advertising
Blog #: 0204 – 04/01/12

The Good Life at Packwood White Pass

By Veronica Garten
Published: 12/27/10 Topics: Comments: 0

Of course I am prejudiced. Having lived in the city for a long time I knew what I was getting into. In July of 2010 I moved lock stock and barrel to the small town of Packwood in south central Washington State, just outside the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. My new job was to be manager of the Chateau Timberline Hotel, then being taken over by my company Sunspot Resorts. Read more

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