Monday, December 15, 2008

2 Days in a Row!!

Dean got most of the green house finished before the big storm hit. Here are some photos that I took so you know what's been happening there:
Frank (left) and Bill (right) help Dean install the big window - I helped with the little one...Looking over the "almost" finished product. The door isn't in yet, the Hardi siding, and the shelves in the inside, but we'll get there.

Santa in his workshop...............
This had to have been one of the most spectacular sunsets we've seen yet - and we've seen some pretty good ones. Obviously, my little point and shoot doesn't do it justice, but you can imagine!

So, it has been snowing - and snowing! ALL day today! Unfortunately, where the new greenhouse is sited, just below the kitchen window, the snow blew off the roof - gently, of course - and onto the lexan roof! So, even though the snow is the light, fluffy stuff, we decided to get it off the roof before it got heavier. In comes the valuable garden tool - the leaf blower - doubling as a snow blower today.
Rather difficult to see, but there was probably a foot of snow on the roof when we started. Now, it can build up again because we know how to get it off!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I am pretty sure I am glad about it. It snowed pretty much all day, but it was the really light, floaty (is that a word?) stuff. And the "breeze" was blowing, so it's hard to tell how much we have. But it's sure purty to look at.
I remember when I was a kid in Vancouver (Washington, not Canada, not DC...) we had a good snowfall every winter. Schools were never closed or on 2 hour late schedule, things just operated like normal. We kids just bundled up and played outside like we always did. No video games or computers back then, and we didn't even have a TV.
The exception was one winter when we were living near Fern Prairie (it was really in the country back then) and it was the winter after my father died. It was my mother, my sister, who was less than a year old, and I had just turned 5. It had snowed a couple of feet - really!! We had no way to get anywhere and all I can recall is my mother pulling us in a sled to a neighbor's house and how deep the snow was. Remember those old sleds that looked like a wooden box on runners? Or maybe it WAS a wooden box on runners! I just remember that for me it was an adventure, but I doubt if that was what my mother was feeling. After that winter, we moved to town.
This year, with the bitter cold here and unusually cold in the valley area, there are a lot of people who are homeless. And more families than ever before. Unemployment is HUGE and there are people who have never before experienced homelessness. Please think of them when you go Christmas shopping this year. When you can't decide what to get someone because they have everything under the sun, buy something for a stranger. Take toys to your local fire department, clothing and blankets to the shelters, food to the various food banks. I know you can think of something better to do with your money than get someone a toaster that also poaches eggs, or some other gimmick.
Just a thought...........

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yep, I know...

I'm not too good at regular posting. Been kinda busy with gift making since I'm not too flush with $$$ lately :(
I'm not going to spell out what I've been making, but just sayin' - some folks will be surprised!
Weather is going to turn nasty, it looks like. We're supposed to have temps in the single digits by Sunday and a bit of snow, too. If you go back to my earlier posts, you'll see that we were living in a tent trailer while building our house - the upcoming weather sounds very much like what we went through then. It's about time, is all I say. I've been waiting for a snow that I could enjoy!! Went out and got snowshoes after the "big one" and haven't been able to use them yet! Maybe next week, huh!
Well, it's snowing now, so maybe I'll have some fresh photos tomorrow. Until then, I'll just prop my chin on my pillow and look out the window. I'm a sucker for a good snow storm. When my nephew was little, we used to call each other and compare snow depths - we only lived a few miles apart in the foothills, so got more than town did. Now, he's all grown up, has his own home, and I moved 150 miles away. Maybe if he reads this he'll call me tomorrow to see how deep our snow is...........

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What Colors Are You?

Your rainbow is shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

This is amazingly accurate. Thanks to Lori for posting this first.

For My Politically Correct Friends:

"Please accept with no obligation, explicit or implied, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

For the rest of you:
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanza
Happy Solstice

Monday, December 1, 2008

In remembrance and honor of all our friends who have been or are victims of AIDS.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey day was FANTASTIC!

We hope that everyone had a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving with family and/or good friends, as we did.
We used a new turkey recipe, so thought I would share - it came out soooo good!
We brined it in salt/brown sugar water for about 24 hours - sat it out in the garage - it has been cold enough here! Then, I rubbed it all over with melted butter/olive oil, we placed it breast down in the rack, covered it with a tent of foil and put about 3 cups of chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. I cooked it at 400º for the first 45 minutes, then turned it down till done. Basted it several times with the liquid in the pan. It was super juicy and the taste was amazing!
The only "problem" we had - was the broken leg. The turkey's, that is....... If you notice in the photo above, the lower right corner - the meat is particularly dark - that is the broken leg. We couldn't use any of the meat in that area - the pan we put the turkey in to carve it - well, TMI, so I will stop there.........
Below, Janet is pouring the water. Dean made the nice turkey cut-outs. It was Larry's birthday, so that is a card on his plate.
The happy group - trying to eat while I was trying to take a picture. L to R - Janet, Jim, Dean, Larry, and Carol. The empty chair is mine :)
Janet and Jim are sad that their kids are not with them for Thanksgiving (and so were we.....) Denise was home in Chehalis, and Jimbo was with his uncle's family in Hurricane, Utah (Jimbo now lives in Las Vegas)We were lucky enough to experience a beautiful sunset, too. Another beautiful Central Oregon day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Pablo Neruda's poem "The Great Tablecloth" gives us a hint of what this celebration may one day look like....

Let us sit down soon to eat
with all those who haven't eaten:
let us spread great tablecloths,
put salt in the lakes of the world,
set up planetary bakeries,
tables with strawberries in snow
and a plate like the moon itself
from which we can all eat...

Jane Kenyon

I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years....

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper....

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me....

I am food on the prisoner's plate....

I am water rushing to the well-head,
filling the pitcher until it spills....

"Dreaming of gardens is something that always elevates my mood.
A single green sprouting thing
would restore me...."

Giving Thanks

For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Join The Impact!

Here are a few photos from the "Join The Impact" rally in Vancouver this past weekend. We were part of a world wide rally to protest the passing of Prop 8 in California which essentially removed civil rights which were granted in a ruling by the supreme court. The Vancouver turnout was quite good considering the lack of local media support and the short time frame. We had close to 60 people - young and old, gay and straight - join us. We covered all 4 corners of the intersection of Mill Plain and Fort Vancouver Way. A lot of people going by honked and waved, a few gave us the thumbs down, but very few. I was heartened by the conversations which took place.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So excited, I got my Peace Globe posted as #1315. If you want to see it, go here. Pretty exciting, huh!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, I know........'s been a while. I have been incredibly busy with a number of things and I am pretty focused when I get involved in a project, so some things had to take a back seat and this was one of them.
I have just returned home from an amazing weekend which was very emotional, and I am absolutely wiped out and sick, but after watching Keith Olbermann tonight, I had to make a post. The Special Comment tonight really got to the heart of the California Prop 8 issue. (I tried to link it, but it didn't work - go to:
I was fortunate to witness the baptism of twins on Sunday morning. Their parents are a lesbian couple who are amazing parents. The twins' big sister was so proud! It brought tears to my eyes to watch this family and know that they cannot be a legal family, yet they are more a real family than many legally recognized ones. Please, watch the Olbermann segment. Then, REALLY think about what he said.
Thank you.
When I feel like sitting at the computer for an extended length of time, I will update with photos. Really, I will.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

If you been a missin' me........

Yes, I know - I am waaayyy behind on posting. I have had a lot of "stuff" on my plate lately - good "stuff" but "stuff" none the less.
Been watching the debates - I find them quite interesting. I am lucky that we have a DVR and I can fast forward through all the political commercials, but when I do see them I am reminded of how much I HATE political campaigns. No matter how much they say they are going to run a clean campaign, it always ends up this way. I, for one, am more likely to vote for "the other guy" because of a mailing or ad than I am to vote for the person who sent it when it contains all the finger pointing stuff. In other words, the ads have a negative impact on me rather than convince me to vote a certain way. If they all could just point out what THEY are going to do instead of bringing up all the negative things about the other person. OK - enough about that!
I don't know if I have any readers in California (except you, Lori) but if you're out there, be SURE to vote NO on Prop 8. VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! Those who know me well know that I could really get on the soapbox on this one, but I will spare you the rants for now.
The weather here has been very fall-ish. We had a low of 22º the other night, so the garden is officially gone for the season. The neighbors put in new, more energy efficient windows in the past few days, so we are taking some of the old ones and building a small green house so we can get a good start on the garden next year. We have been on a healthy eating kick lately and purchasing veggies gets expensive. Next year, though, we WILL have enough to put up and carry us through!! Really, we will!

As soon as I get all my "stuff" taken care of, I will be back to irregular posting.

Don't forget to vote! Vote early and vote for OBAMA!!! Or, the candidate of your choice - who I really hope is OBAMA because we really need improved school funding and standards, energy independence, ethics reforms, fiscal responsibility, we need to fight poverty, bring the soldiers home, maintain a woman's right to choose while reducing the necessity for abortions through improved social programs, we could use the tax break, helping us retired folks, and, and, and......

Friday, October 3, 2008

A slight detour.........

......from the trip - since I haven't been too good at getting it all on here :( We decided to take one last camping trip, since the weather is going to be turning.
One of our very favorite places to camp and kayak is Hosmer Lake - up in the Cascade range south of the Three Sisters and just west of Mt Bachelor. The lake itself is kind of hour-glass shaped with a boat launch on the south end. The two large portions of the lake are connected by a narrow channel which winds through the reeds. There are 2 campgrounds - very primitive - no water, vault toilets, but they have large wonderful sites and nice people camp there because Hosmer is #1-electric motors only (and there are very few), #2-fly fishing only, #3-catch and release for the Atlantic Salmon (the only place in Oregon), #4-prime kayaking territory.
We got there Monday morning and found our favorite site open - next to the trail that leads to a small dock on the canal portion of the lake. We unloaded and set up the tent - yes, tent! We are really roughing it for this trip.
Then we headed out for an afternoon paddle. That is South Sister in the background.
And Mt Bachelor without snow. This is the primo skiing area in the state. Dry snow and lots of it. I used to ski here - before too many knee injuries made me give it up :(The next morning, we went out early to check out the birds and fish - and dragon flies - making whoopee?The weather was beginning to change - more clouds, but still warm. I took a (walking) trail which goes north along the channel. Beautiful view of South Sister. The trail was about 1 1/2 miles, cut up through the forest among a large amount of blow down. Abby enjoyed the walk.
And, speaking of Abby - she sure did get dirty! She loved chasing the chipmonks through the trees. We never have to worry about her catching one - they are MUCH faster than she is!As I mentioned above, the campground is rather primitive. The picnic tables and fire pits are the only amenities. This site has 2 site # signs, though. Curious. The only one that had 2. And # 13, too. Hmmmm.........During the summer prime time, there is a campground host on duty. His name is Max Peel and he has been there for as long as I can remember. Seems like I once read an article about him stating that he has been there every summer for something like 20 some years. (I looked, but couldn't find any info on him) He brings up a bunch of canoes when the lake is accessible in the late spring/early summer and rents them out, donating the $ to his church. He has quite a neat campsite - across from ours. This is his built up campfire pit. This is a structure he has built - covers it with tarps.
And, another paddle as the sun was going down............
Up early on Wednesday - very cold! Dean built a fire and we sat around to warm up for a while. Abby stayed where it was warm - on Dean's bed! We took our down comforter in case it got REALLY cold.
I paddled down the outlet channel to see if I could spot some otters - no luck. Mt Bachelor, again, in the background. This part of the lake is pretty sterile - no fish and only the grasses and reeds along the shore. The north end of the lake is similar - very shallow and warmer water. There is very limited access to the lake because of the grasses and reeds, so a canoe or kayak is the way to see it. Paddling through the channel, the water is so clear that you can see hundreds of fish. Also common are bald eagles, osprey, lots and lots of birds, deer, and elk.
This is the gate controlling the flow out of the lake. The lava rock dams the lake and the water flows through the rocks to the area shown below, then disappears into the lava rocks until it reappears at Lava Lake, several miles to the south. This is the beginning of the Deschutes River, I believe.
This is Broken Top, which is to the SE of South Sister
Abby is waiting on the dock for Dean to come back from fishing.
Here he comes paddling up the narrow channel to the dock.
While there, we located a Geocache. For those who don't know about geocaching, it is a fun "sport" Using a handheld GPS, you find specific locations by longitude and latitude. The sites are listed on the website. After you locate your target, you log in and report it on the website. People leave various things in the container at the site, depending on it's size. This one was large - an ammo box. Some are very small, like a film cannister (remember those? before digital.....), and some even smaller - micro. Dean found this one hidden in the lava rocks. In the photo on the right is what the location looked like.

So, we had a good time, I read a long book, even got sunburned through the clouds. We came home so we would have time to unpack and clean up so we could watch the debate on Thursday night. I was surprised (disappointed.....) at how well Palin did. I still won't vote for her and it still scares me to think that she could be a heartbeat away (literally) from the presidency. She is probably more qualified than I am, but that's not saying much! Can you really imagine her negotiating with another world leader? I sure can't. Scary thought!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Mailboat/Jetboat trip

It was a cold and foggy morning - 8 AM - when we left Gold Beach for our Mailboat trip up the Rogue River. Here, we just left the dock and are headed towards the ocean - before turning up the river. You can tell that people are bundled up pretty well - our "driver", Jon, even handed out wool blankets.
When we broke out of the fog, it warmed up quite a bit. Here are some live oak (as opposed to "dead" oak?) trees on the hillsideWe were able to see a lot of wildlife - harbor seals, bald eagles, osprey, even "Rogue River moose" (cows...) Here is a blue heron that posed for us.
We were able to see a little white water. Jon did several rapids more than once to get us good and wet. We sat at the very back of the boat - in my opinion, the best place. We were able to talk to Jon and get more tidbits of information and the seats are slightly elevated, so the view was pretty good. But the BEST part was that we could stand up for the white water, which made it even more fun. I didn't want to get my camera wet, so this is the only photo I took - not very big rapids, but it was fun.
We stopped for lunch at the little town of Agness. The Rogue sometimes "overflows" it's banks during spring runoff - actually, it ALWAYS does. But back in 1964, there was a warm spell during December which wreaked havoc on the area. A new bridge had just been built over the Illinois River where it flows into the Rogue - it was washed out. There was a suspension bridge to the town of Agness - it washed out - which means you now have to go upriver about 4 miles, then cross ANOTHER new bridge and down a narrow windy road to the town, because "they" decided to not build another bridge. And this wasn't even a "bridge to nowhere"........... The high water marks for various years are indicated on signs on the trees visible as you walk up the path to the Singing Springs Resort which is nestled in the trees in the photo below. The high water mark for 1964 is on top of the roof of the cafe - at the bottom of the arrow. Now, that's some high water!This is Jim and Janet and our driver/guide, Jon.
Jon pointed out many things on the trip, but of particular interest was this section of the river which had a natural "sluice box" in the rocks. Evidently, miners in the early days got quite a bit of gold from the cracks between the rocks. I was on the wrong side of the boat to get a good picture, but hope you can get the idea in the photo below.
On the way back down the river, we finally got to see the otters playing in the sand on the river back. When we pulled over, they scampered to the left and disappeared under some rocks, but I got a couple decent photos - even one in mid-jump!We enjoyed the trip, but it made Janet and I wanting a real whitewater rafting trip. Maybe next year....... From Gold Beach, we went up the coast to Bandon and stayed in a campground with hookups for a night to charge the batteries and take care of all those trailer things (dump and fill) From there, it was over to Roseburg and I5 and the previous post.
The next post will be from the Chetco River out of Brookings.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's start at the..........end

It would take me days to get all the photos ready to post, so I'm going to begin at the end of the trip and work backwards. I'll post the earlier photos and captions a few days at a time.
On our way home, we decided to take the highway out of Canyonville (Hwy 227) that cuts down to the Rogue River Hwy (Hwy 62) rather than go all the way to Medford on I5. We asked at the gas station what the road situation was regarding the fires in the area, which is why we were taking the road out of Canyonville. There was a sign on the road indicating that the "Tiller Trail" road was closed, but figured it was a backroad and didn't concern us. It wasn't till quite a while later that I saw a sign indicating that Hwy 227 and "Tiller Trail" were the same thing! My Oregon map certainly didn't call it anything but Hwy 227. So, rather than backtrack many, many miles, we decided to go on and see what was up. As it was, it was a good thing that we did, because the road was NOT closed and we continued on our merry way to Hwy 62. The map is kinda small, but you can get the idea.
When we got to Hwy 62, we could clearly see that there were several fires in the area and pulled over so I could take this photo. It was a rather dramatic sight. There was another fire behind us and we passed a large fire camp and saw a chopper with a bucket headed to the reservoir to get water. It was about 2 in the afternoon and the fire was really boiling.
We were headed to a favorite site on the Rogue River, but it had been several years since we were last there, so took the "long and scenic way" to get there. Interesting back roads........

The perfect ending to our trip - at our favorite, secret place on the Rogue River, near Crater Lake. We first found this spot when we took a week before my breast cancer surgery in '97. We have been there twice since - whenever we have been in the area - and it is still a very special place. This is the view out my kitchen window.
We could see and smell the smoke - from the camp site - these are not clouds! We thought we could see ash falling and that was confirmed as it was visible on the truck.Dean is relaxing by the river. Photo taken from the door of the trailer. More relaxing............. Listening to satelite radio - Rachel Maddow.
I'm picking on Dean - this is a rare scene - he is reading the directions for his metal detector!!
Looking for gold in the Rogue - unfortunately, it isn't to be found in this part of the river.The river is soooo nice here. Abby learned to swim (finally!) on this trip. She didn't get out in the current here, but was enjoying playing "stick". She would get out in the water and get it, but then chew on it for a few minutes, then leave it in the water and come back for me to throw another one. Must be old age - she keeps forgetting what she went out there for.......
She did have fun! Playing in the water and the sand - and then coming in the trailer and when I said to stay off the couch - guess where she immediately went? It's a good thing that I cover it with an old sheet. But I had just "cleaned house" that morning!!!

So, the next morning, we packed up and headed home. A good trip - relaxing, saw some neat stuff, and just hung out. Our kind of camping!
When we got home, it was incredibly smokey and warm and humid - rare for our part of the state - the humid part, I mean. It rained over night and has been partly to mostly cloudy since.
Spent the last few days unpacking, doing laundry, yard work, and catching up on the computer.
I will post more trip stuff in the next few days.