Monday, June 16, 2008


Yes, folks, due to lack of reader(s), the blog will be not updated for the next week or 2.
Actually, though, we will be out of town - first to the Pacific Northwest District Annual Conference for our church in Moscow (Id) and then to Wallowa Lake where we'll be helping to construct a cabin for our retiring pastor. We look forward to being away because we can catch up on a little reading, kayaking, fishing (Dean), and general loafing. Our garden is just now coming along nicely, though, so that part will be difficult.
Be on the lookout for photos and trip details when we return, however.
Y'all enjoy the weather, K?
Till we meet again...............

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Sad.......

Because no one has commented on my "B" Day post :(
I have this video (courtesy of Kelly's blog and U Tube) which is quite interesting.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's a "B" Day in Bend

Friends J & J are here for a week and Janet and I got up VERY early so we could be in Bend for the "Balloons Over Bend" lift off at 6:30 (AM). We joined a hundred or so other early risers (most of whom probably didn't have to leave home at 5:30) on a cold (Janet had to scrape frost from the car windows....) morning on a grade school field to watch 4 balloons take off. They were filling this one when we arrived.
Beautiful blue sky was the background for the colorful Balloons.
This lady brought her 3 rescue greyhounds - they were all shaking because they were so cold.
Lift off for one of the balloons
We followed this one to where it landed - turned out to be not a great location, so they lifted off again and presumably found a better spot. We decided to go to breakfast instead of following them.
Breakfast was at the famous Jake's in Bend. We split an omelet that was soooo good (and soooo HUGE) that I forgot to take a photo until there was just an empty plate. After Breakfast, we walked the trail to the top of Pilot Butte, a landmark in Bend. The nature trail winds around the Butte with interpretive markers along the way and occasional benches from which to enjoy the view. Janet insisted on having one photo with me in it, so here I am. Mt Jefferson is in the background.
Looking west towards downtown and the Cascade Range. From right to left the major peaks you can see are - North Sister, Middle Sister, South Sister, Broken Top, and the well known Mount Bachelor. Still plenty of snow on "them thar" hills in June. Our weather has been a bit peculiar, as has everyone's, I think. Today, however, was a bare arm day (and would have been a bare leg day, too, if we hadn't had to leave home at 5:30 AM when it was still burrrrr freezing out!)Janet with the peak name finder display. We're so glad that Pilot Butte isn't covered with Mc Mansions like most of the other hills around the area. (He who builds on the highest hill wins.......) Looking South from the Butte - one of the many, many "round-abouts" that the city has become fond of. The best thing about them, though, is the large art installations in the center of most - all is very creative - some very wonderful - some not so much.....From the Butte, we went to Costco, which is only a few blocks away, to stock up on a few things. While there - we bought bathing suits, but I think we're both going to return them. Then, to the Balloons Over Bend Festival in the Old Mill District. Mostly, it was children's activities and a few commercial booths, but the highlight for us was the chalk sidewalk art on the foot bridge over the Deschutes River. Here are a few examples. This first one is similar to the realistic 3 dimensional looking chalk art circulating on the internet. These people were freshening up theirs because people had walked on it the previous evening.And, of course, I had to take a photo of the Peace Sign., Denise!The ducks and the kayakers share the river. Made us want to go home a get the boats!
The Old Mill District is a mostly posh shopping mall now, but it used to be the lumber mill which was the major employer in the city. They have kept some of the "artifacts" from the mill. The city of Bend has at least doubled in population in the last 10 years. With the population has come the shopping, of course. And the Mc Mansions.................. After we browsed in the posh shops (where I did purchase some unique Barbecue sauce), we went to Goodwill where I bought some bargain books and a blouse and Janet scored on a Donney and Bourke bag (purse)! Then we headed to the Deschutes Brewery on Bond Street for lunch, preceeded, of course, by a taster of brew. We tasted, on this day, the following Brews: Cinder Cone Red, Twilight Ale, Down and Dirty, NW Pale, Chocolate Porter, and Virgilator. We later had a glass of Nitro Obsidian Stout and filled the special Deschutes Growler with 60 oz of Virgilator to bring home.
Oh, yes, we also ate a couple of really good salads..................mine had a Balsalmic dressingHaving had some of the high octane Virgilator and Stout, we decided to take a walk and wandered over to Drake Park at Mirror Pond on the Deschutes near Brooks Street. This couple was feeding the ducks and gave me a piece of bread, so I fed them, too.
These people were doing hula hoop exercises (?) in the park to music! Wish I had a video camera because they were quite good!Looking back toward Brooks Street and downtown.
Looking west - nice homes are on the "pond" - like 1 mil and up. But they have to deal with the duck, goose and other bird poop!Pretty yellow plants - clinging to the rock walls on the walkway along the river
By now, we were winding down - time to head home and spoil ourselves with some balneotherapy (the medical practice of treatment by immersion in baths). In other words - we went out and soaked in the hut tub! Believe it or not, we both got a little sunburn, even though it was after 4:00 in the afternoon. Not long after we came in, the guys showed up from their fishing expedition to Prineville Reservoir. We fixed some dinner, then 3 of us (not Jim......) played some board games. Pretty soon, we were all ready for BED!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

WARNING!! - Another Soapbox Post

Another blog buddy, Lori, has posted about her son. Read it, friends, and try to tell me that this is not a family! Lori writes some of the most heart wrenching posts. They get me all teary-eyed.
She also writes some that have me rolling on the floor.
I get so irritated when people say that a mother and a father are required to raise a child properly. Baloney!
As many arguments as I have with the UMC, they did this one right:
"UMC has made the following statement (altering Paragraph 161 A for those following in their program) “The family: We believe the family to be the basic human community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect and fidelity. We affirm the importance of loving parents for all children. We also understand the family as encompassing a wider range of options than that of the two-generational unit of parents and children (the nuclear family)" Thanks to Bruce Smith for this. It is June - Pride Month - so I am on a roll. I guess if you don't like it, don't read me for a month. Maybe. Or maybe I am finding my voice with this blog and you're not going to be reading just gardening posts........ Your comments?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lots of stuff - WARNING - photo heavy post ahead!

Blog friend Kelly shot this photo for Pride Month and I am posting it in honor of him and all my other GLBTQ friends. I truly believe it is no longer a big uphill battle like it has been in the past and that we as a people are on the verge of a fair and "all are created equal" society. I have hope (confidence?) that the young people of today are much more understanding of our differences through the efforts of groups like Gay Students Alliance. Even a small, "red" community like mine has a GSA in the high schools. (Although the school where I used to work in a much larger and "blue" area still refuse to call it GSA in public......) I realize that many may not admit it, but we are more closely following the teachings of Jesus - treating all fairly and justly.
Micah 6:8 -
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Pretty simple, huh! Why can't we all just get along? I think it is coming, folks. Just a few more months and it begins.
OK - off the soapbox and on to the garden. I have been pulling the cheatgrass out of the cactus - now that is a job! My big heavy leather work gloves aren't even up to the task.
I did get it out of the Mules Ears, though! I decided to take photos of the plants which we have been gifted from others. The Mules Ears came from friend Linda who got them from friend Sharon in Selah, Wa. when she (Linda) was here summer before last.
Sharon is an herbalist who grows comfrey as one of the ingredients in her healing salves. I can vouch for them as I used her Epi-Soothe when I was undergoing radiation treatments and did not get ANY burn! It was wonderful! Below is some of the comfrey which came from Sharon's garden. I'm sure that it has special healing properties. We have divided it several times since we got it 2 summers ago and hope to have it eventually cover this hillside. The hummingbirds were tasting the nectar this morning. In the photo below, Dean is planting our new weeping willow tree. Below is some ribbon grass which has a pretty long history. 4 - 5- -6 - - well, some years ago, friend Linda was moving from her place in Selah to the midwest and we got some of this grass and put it in a pile in our garden in Vancouver. The next year, Dean divided it up and planted it in a neglected area in our front yard. That summer, it spread out and made the area look pretty good. When we moved, we brought a shovelful and put it in some dirt on our place.
Then it was transplanted to this spot on the hillside in the back. Dean spent a few hours this week dividing it again and planting it in the area where the soaker hose is in the photo below. I will post photos later of the new planting. The idea is for it to stabilize this hillside and I'm sure that it will in the not too distant future!
The irises came from various places - some from neighbor, Joyce, some from the garden club here on the ranch. Also in this photo is one of the bird nesting boxes that I built. Someone moved into this one but has since abandoned it. Dean took his new weed eater (the mower type) and cut all the cheatgrass and other weeds from the area around the septic drainfield, which is in the middleground of the photo. This day, the mountains weren't visible - rare day!
Some of the broccoli - doing well, I would say.......One of the cabbage plants has a varmint, I think, though. Something is feasting on it. I haven't found the thing yet, but there was a garter snake in there yesterday and a lizard today, so I hope one of them had a feast on the troublesome thing!
The peas are doing okOn to the front yard. The plant in the foreground - that I can't remember the name of but I call it Achilles heel - sounds kinda like that - it's going bananas this year. The deer munched on it in years past, so it didn't get very large - but this year..........
Frank (aka St Francis...) is guarding over the area and the birds get to eat out of his hand when I remember to put seed out there......) The iris in this area all came from neighbor Joyce's cullings.
The curly willow is from cuttings from the cuttings that we planted in Vancouver. So, they are at least 3rd generation and we have 4th generation branches in water taking root for later plantings.
These various kinds of cactus are from someplace in Nevada from our trip winter before last. The rocks, also.
This (Snow on the Mountain? Snow in the Summer? I always get it mixed up...) is from Janet's garden in Battle Ground before they moved. They came from her mother's garden in Deadwood, South Dakota many years ago. Isn't it wonderful how plants just adapt to whatever condition they are in? Wouldn't it be nice if humans could do the same? Oh, there I go - onto the soapbox again!!!
Many blessings on your days, my friends!