Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's all about the dogs!

Here are the long awaited photos of the dogs playing on our walk - more likely, it is Bentley - the beagle - playing with Abby, who tolerates it pretty well. Abby is 8 and Bentley is 4 months - guess who has the most energy!
Bentley likes to hang from Abby's lower lip............
We're on our way back home, so things have calmed down somewhat. When we take the dogs with us, we travel on the trails so they don't have to be leashed - they stick pretty close to us. The rest of today's blog is going to look a lot like a cooking show. But we're cooking dog food. Abby is allergic to so many things in commercial dog food that we decided to start making it. Went to the butcher shop yesterday (Redmond Smokehouse - great place) and got turkey legs, cooked them up (leftover is for soup stock), cooked 3 cups of brown rice (equals 6 cups cooked), along with 1 pound of beef liver.Added some cooked veggies - dogs like their veggies, even the green stuff . Also ground up some vitamins, nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds in the blender and added some cooked pastaGood enough to eat! Kinda like table scraps, but don't tell Abby!
Packaged it up for the freezer and voila! we have dog food - the healthy kind And, now that the cooking show is over - here is the BUSHISM for today:
"The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."
Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 29, 2003

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Morning Walk - and other things........

We took a "short" route today since it was still below 20ยบ. This is Canyon and we like it because we can still get a good hill in the walk. Since it is nice and sunny, it didn't feel as cold and when we were walking with the sun to our backs, it sure felt good!

A nice view toward the Cascade range - there is still a bank of clouds and we're predicted to get at least a little snow every day this week. Because the roads were so icy this morning, Redmond had a 2 hour delay, so we saw kids playing in the snow on our walk.

Coming down the driveway on our way home. The garage door is open, so Dean is out for his morning walk with Abby. He doesn't like to go 3 or 4 miles, so he takes Abby down on our trail, usually about a mile loop. Denise's poor car is sitting in front of the house and our car and Dean's dune buggy are in the garage. His truck lives outside, too.
We ran out of firewood (that we cut last year) already, so had to go and get a pickup load of scraps from Opportunity Foundation in Redmond. With this cold snap, I hope it lasts us long enough.
Now, back to the archives a bit. This is the Deschutes River and a trail we often take, especially in the spring. These photos were taken just about a year ago - February 2nd. It was cold, but no snow. There are several of these rock spires along the river - the eagles like to build nests on them.
Abby and I with Steelhead Falls in the background - our destination for the day. And here are the falls - very frozen! And very beautiful.
In April, since we had worked so hard and the house was pretty much "finished", we treated ourselves and headed south to meet up with Jim and Janet. We spent time at Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Preserve, through Death Valley (it rained, snowed, thundered, lightninged - not pleasant.....)and a week here on the Kern River in the southern Sierras in California. The weather was quite nice, as was the scenery. The guys spent their time panning for gold, Janet and I read and went for walks.
Jim and Janet headed to a wedding in San Diego and we meandered toward home. We spent a couple of days at the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada - home of the famous - or is it infamous - Burning Man which takes place every Labor Day weekend. An interesting place, to say the least! Dean is driving on the "playa", which some say is the largest flat surface on the face of the Earth. The world supersonic land speed record was set there in October 1997.
As the home of Burning Man,
there are many leftover relics of creativity which are displayed along the entrance road. I will only bore you with a few examples.

Here is Mr camera shy himself - and you thought I was bad........And finally, a momentous occasion - another photo of myself on this blog! Always with trusty dog at my side. All these photos from last years vacation make me wish we were going again this year, but the price of gas has kept us pretty close to home - as you in Vancouver may have noticed!

And, last, but not least - BUSHISM
"We thought long and hard about what to propose. We proposed a bold initiative, an initiative that takes equities out of the system, so people are treated fairly."
Lee's Summit, Missouri, January 2007

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I just know you've been waiting for this.....

Yup, it's snowing! I know, I act like a little kid when it snows, but, hey, it's one of the reasons I moved here! It started here a bit after 7 this morning and has been going at it ever since. It is now 10 something and it has just started to snow in Bend and Redmond - one of very few times that we got it before they did! Even 5 miles away over on Hwy 97 it wasn't snowing until just a while ago. Trust me, dear readers, I mean "reader", I will keep you up to date.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wow! It's above freezing!

First time we've seen temps even in the 30's for quite a while. It snowed a bit yesterday, but not enough to make a difference. We're working on garden (veggies) design today. Research! My favorite thing. Yesterday, I built 4 bluebird houses with a little help from Dean - showing me how to use tools I hadn't used before, like the drill press. It would be nice to have some more bluebirds around. The birds are coming back now, so we've got to be ready for them. We saw a large eagle this morning on the canyon wall - looking for a nesting place. I hope we have more babies this year.

BUSHISM of the day:
"See, one of the interesting things in the Oval Office -- I love to bring people into the Oval Office -- right around the corner from here -- and say, this is where I office, but I want you to know the office is always bigger than the person." (huh?)
Washington D.C., January 2004

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thinking of a new title every day......

We decided to wait for our walk until it warms up a bit - at least to 20 degrees! It's 10AM and 1 thermometer reads 7, 1 reads 10, and 1 reads 8.5. Still too cold for a walk, me thinks!

Today's Bushism
"He was a state sponsor of terror. In other words, the government had declared, you are a state sponsor of terror." Discussing Saddam Hussein in Manhattan, Kansas, January 2006

It's a way to get me to the blog every day...................

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Still cold, still beautiful

It was cold again last night, but not as cold as the night before, thankfully. Took both of the dogs on our walk this morning - Abby and the neighbor's new puppy, Bentley. I wanted to get a picture of the two of them playing in the snow, but it was too cold for the camera!
Here is how the rain chain is looking. Still an "ice chain".

I have to brag a little about our sunsets - they're magnificent, and I still haven't become complacent about them. This was last evening's offering. Now, for today's
"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
Nashua, New Hampshire, January 2000

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And COLDER!!!!

Yup, it's cold. Weather station recorded .8 degrees this morning. That's .8, not 8 degrees - not that it makes much difference! That is cold. If you don't know how cold it is, though, you look outside and think how beautiful it is. I would add a photo, but how do you show how cold it is? I'll have to think on that one, maybe more later..........
And later, it is up to 18 degrees - it's 2 in the afternoon. Not going for a walk today.

We got this entertaining calendar and Dean thought we should share.........
apologies to any of you who are fans - but, you've gotta admit, they're pretty funny!
Today's quote: "Then I went for a run with the other dog and just walked. And I started thinking about a lot of things. I was able to --- I can't remember what it was. Oh, the inaugural speech, started thinking through that." U S News & World Report, January 22, 2001

Monday, January 21, 2008

Clear and Cold

The rain chain froze from the snow melting on the roof and the 20 degree temp.
Just got back from my daily walk - kinda cut it short today since it is still sooooo coldddd. Was 11 degrees at our normal walk time, so decided to walk later. The "breeze" made it feel even colder, though, even in the sun, but it sure is pretty out. There were a lot of different animal tracks in the snow - deer, rabbits, coyote (following the rabbit tracks.....) Gonna be cold again tonight. Brrrrrr. Keep warm, folks!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back to the building process (we're almost done!)

Look - a cooktop in the island, an oven and a microwave! Kitchen is happening!
Much later - New Year's Eve 2006 - Janet in the finished kitchen - readying for the BIG party! Had a few friends and neighbors over for soup and bread - Kansas style New Year's Eve - we were all in bed before midnight! Back to house stuff - Jim is helping Dean put in a walkway and bridge over the "stream" - which is the drainage for the rain chain at the corner of the house by the garage. Now it is rocked and looks much better.
Starting the garden indoors. The garden was a bit sparse this first year - gets bigger and better each year, though.
This is a photo of our baby eagles. We discovered the nest in about February before they were hatched and watched it regularly for sign of babies. One hatched, then the other a few days later. The nest was across the canyon and down from our place a couple of lots where the houses aren't as close to the river. Here you can see mom (or maybe it's dad - hard to tell with the Goldens) feeding the babies. The darker one, on the right, was the first born. We named them Junior and Missy. Eventually, only Junior survived. It is common for one to not make it - either because there was not enough food for both, or the bigger one killing the smaller. We prefer to think it was the former...........
This is the shed that Jim and Janet helped build the year after we bought the property in 1997. We had fixed it up pretty nice - it had a futon, kitchen (Coleman stove sitting on Dean's router table), and a porta potty. All the comforts of home. We spent many weekends in our little "bunkhouse". But it was too close to the house and Dean couldn't drive down to the lower part of the property, so he and Bill jacked it up and turned it around one day while Joyce and I had a garage sale. It was quite the entertainment for the shoppers.
For those of you who think that I don't exist, here is proof. Photographers don't like to have their pictures taken, you know. We went out for firewood with neighbors Bill and Joyce. Luckily, we picked a pretty nice fall day for the trip. Just to catch you up on today (Sunday, January 20th of 08) it is still snowing, but has warmed up a bit. Will keep you posted.

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well - here it is - finally! After hearing about and seeing on TV the snow they have seen in the valley, we finally have our own. It started around 6 this AM - right on schedule, according the the forecast - stopped for a short time and has been going strong ever since. And it is as beautiful as I remember. Now, I'm in a better mood. And Gary and Teresa are coming for dinner, so life is just grand!
Now, if anyone ever reads this thing, it would be perfect. Either my counter is not working, or no one has read it - let me know, folks!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Have I bored you to tears yet?

I need more comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok - here is Dean spraying paint. Lucky for us, the sheet rockers left their scaffolding for a few days, so Dean was able to do the primer before he had to resort to the ladders. We rented a paint sprayer for the inside, and bought Dean a "shoot suit". This is the 20' wall in the great room. Long ways up!
Think of what he would have looked like if he hadn't worn the suit!Time for the septic system. Because of the slope of the property, the amount of hardpan and sand, etc. we had to have a "cap and fill" system. These are the 4 long lines. I took a lot of photos of this, too, in case we need them later - hope not! Putting the tank in place - believe it or not, the guys who delivered it didn't know which end was the "in" and which was the "out" - true story!After the lines and the tank were put in, it was time for fill dirt. It had to be "approved" fill dirt - and it took load after load after load - I lost count!And the next exciting event - the propane tank - this means HOT water in the house! Whoo-hoo! As usual, Dean is making sure the guy does it right........Poor Dean is down to ladders now - Sue does NOT do ladders! The ladder is almost vertical as Dean paints the West wall in the great room.The floor - we had already decided on wood for the great room/dining room/kitchen, but finding real wood in our price range was difficult - I think we both wish we had spent more on it, though. It scratches very easily and a dog in the house does not help. I laid out the wood by size and Dean nailed it in. Sealing the big beam - again, the ladder is almost verticalThe floor is in and some of the kitchen cabinets are in place. Thank you Bill!Well, enough house building for today.

On a more current and much more exciting note, especially for those of you praying for my sister, she got news today that her tumor has shrunk 90%! She was able to have the trach removed - yipee! and has only 1 round of chemo to go before she begins the radiation. Thanks to all of you who have had her on your prayer list. It does work!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's a NEW YEAR!!

First of all, I want to thank Mindy, Carolyn, and Catherine for comments. Now I know that someone is actually reading this! At least 3 people! If anyone has any suggestions for the blog, please let me know. Since this is my very first attempt at blogging, I'm learning as I go. Thanks for your patience. If I were more organized (me? unorganized?) I might have put the photos in a different order, or by area of the house or something. As it is, I'm just going through them and putting them in order of when they were taken. If I ever do this again, I'll try something different......
So, that said, on to the house building.
The floor part of the deck is finished, so Ben and Ray came back to do the overhang on the back side of the house - it was a bit far off the ground for them before. It took a little engineering, but they were up for the task. Notice that the triangle window is now installed.
Not only is neighbor Bill a fine cabinet maker, he has expertise in wiring also and was a big help to Dean doing all the electrical work. With Bill's help, we only had 2 inspections before we passed. And speaking of inspections, we got to know the guys from Jefferson County pretty well. They were great to work with and we we're glad we aren't in Deschutes County! We were building during the big surge in Bend and Redmond and would have been on the long list for inspections. As it was, we were usually able to call and the guys came out the next day. I took photos of ALL the wiring and plumbing so we would have reference should we need it later on.Now that the wiring is finished and signed off by the inspector, the sheetrock guys can go to work. They brought in these HUGE sheets of sheetrock, NOT 1 at a time, and piled them all over the house. The sheets were up to 16' long. You can see that we now have the woodstove installed and are we ever using it! We moved a bed in upstairs (don't tell the inspectors....) and slept warmly for the first time in several months! The black lines in the photo below are the tape which seal the panels from the inside. We applied roll after roll to every seam in the house. The stuff was VERY sticky.
Dean is enjoying the warmth, surrounded by piles of sheetrock.
The view of the mess from the loft. Thank goodness they hauled it all off when they were finished.
Then some guys came in and cleaned up everything and put paper down on the floors to protect them when they taped, sealed and textured the walls. It was interesting that there was a different bunch of guys for each step in the sheetrock process. One crew delivered it, another crew installed it, another crew cleaned up, another taped and mudded, another sanded (what a mess that was) another cleaned up that mess, another applied all the paper to the floors, another crew did the texture, and still another came in and cleaned up again. They were all Mexicans, only a couple spoke any English, but they were all very nice and very good workers.We needed a little R & R, so went for a ride one nice day out by Prineville to the Ochoco Reservoir. Did I mention previously that the winter we were building it was very cold?
While we were walking along the frozen shore of the lake, Abby got into some burrs which of course got into her feet. I think this was a dog version of a grimace.
This is our bedroom - a bed for Dean and I and a bed for Abby - the mattress out of the tent trailer. Our mattress is on a tarp so that we can drag it out onto the deck every morning before the sheetrock guys arrive.
Good next door neighbors Bill and Joyce were separated from us by the water/cable/phone/electrical ditch, so we installed this primitive "bridge" between us. Fancy, huh! So, I'll end this installment on a positive note - our house electrical is hooked up. We had been using the temporary power box up until this time - with heavy duty extension cords running every which way. Dean is making sure that they do it correctly........