Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just a thought..........

Watched "Bruce Almighty" - again - and I was thinking about what I would do with the power. Most likely, not as Bruce did - but.....what would you do? What's on your mind? How does your priority list go? We'll "discuss amongst ourselves" later, OK?
And, also, on the subject of movies - what are the ones that really caused you to stop and think? The ones that may have changed your life? There are a few on my list - yours?

It Hasn't Even Been a Week!!!

So, we've been busy (surprise, surprise!) working around the house this week. Friend Catherine, who is teaching in South Korea, wonders why it takes us so long to complete a project when "Bob the Builder" gets things done in a couple of days! She watches with her 20 month old, Liam (going on 6.....) Well, we're just old and slow, I guess. Plus, when Dean builds something, half the time is the planning and thinking, and the other half, building. And, of course, it has to be perfect!
So, this is the before photo of the front of the house. Lovely, temporary (over 2 years.....) front porch. When we got our "stimulus" check, we decided to put it into a front deck.
Working on the stringers. And listening to a book-on-tape.
Almost done - the look of satisfaction!The view from the front deck. The most WONDERFUL place to be on a hot afternoon!And, drum roll, the finished product. We're going to get something colorful to put in the planter. NOT plastic flowers, if you were thinking that.........
The next project is to redo the front walk. We gathered relatively flat shale and cemented it in, but it is not a very good walking surface, we have discovered. Sooooo, it will eventually be a cement walkway. Sometime.

Last Saturday was the not-so-big parade for the Jefferson County Fair, and we took part in it. Jefferson County is really suffering - especially lately. Several companies have either laid off workers or closed completely. The new prison that was supposed to bring new jobs didn't really and opening the medium security part has been postponed because, though they had the money to build it, they didn't have the money to run it. Grrr! So, Jefferson County needed a boost, and a parade may have helped. We were aligned with the Jefferson County Democrats. They even had a couple of donkeys, who were a lot cuter than the rest of us.
We were on the "float" (flat bed trailer that was pretty unstable.......). A real musician, Ross, and I provided music. I just kinda played along - he was the entertainer.Now, if you will pardon the heavy "catch up" post, we go back a few more days to the trip Janet, Dean and I took while Jim was playing golf. We went to Lake Billy Chinook which is formed by the coming together of the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius Rivers and a dam. We put in near the Deschutes arm and paddled up the river. This is the bridge, about 2 miles up from our put-in.
The rock walls are amazing. These are some of the rock palisades which give the state park in the area it's name - Cove Palisades. Looking up river - the white styrofoam is some of the garbage we picked up along the way.
Dean and Janet - taking their time and enjoying the scenery.Flowers growing in the rocks.
This is a bunch of debris - maybe caused by the current of the river and the prevailing winds meeting? I heard on NPR that there is a several miles long island of debris in the ocean in the middle of nowhere.
Sorry for all the photos of the river - it was just so scenic!This, however, was not conducive to our pleasant day. The ski boats and jet skis were not particularly nice to us. I think they wanted to see us capsize or something. One guy on a jet ski came right at me, then veered off at the last minute. Another guy went around Dean then came to a stop - and watched his wake cause problems....... Grrrr!
There were 2 people on this jet ski and they were pulling a little kid on one of those donut things. Why do they allow people like this to be parents? Or the parents allow this . OK - off the soapbox and ending this post. Y'all take care of the kidlets.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The 2nd Summer Vacation..........

I'm back again......... Been a long, but good week (OK - more than a week, Becki......) Jim and Janet arrived on Sunday, the 13th and we were lucky that Gary was on a layover in Redmond, so he and Nikki came out for dinner. So, I had (wanted....) to take a 3 generation picture. Nikki is almost 16 and is a pretty neat girl! We're sorry that Teresa couldn't join us because of a previous commitment, but looking forward to their next trip through town. Monday morning, we packed up and went up to Elk Lake. Found a good campsite at a small campground and pretty much had the place to ourselves. Except for Tuesday night when a band of partiers decided to invade. They showed up around 11 and had a good time till about 3 AM. Dean was so tired he slept through it all, but the rest of us were trying everything including covering our heads with pillows and stuffing cotton in our ears. Nothing helped! The next morning, the campground people came through and filled 2 large trash bags with cans and bottles. Arrrggghhhh!! But that was the only "rain on our parade", thank goodness. The mosquitoes were not even that bad.
Roasting peppers on the campfire - veggie packets on the coals. Yummmm!
Little Miss "I'm afraid of water" Abby had a pretty good time, too. She likes to wade and try to drink the lake dry, but anything past her belly is a no-no. Dean coaxed her into his kayak and, though he has some scars from her nails, she was pretty proud of herself!
Way out there in the lake!
She is smiling
Janet and I kayaked every day. In the background (Neecer) is South Sister. Janet is paddling toward the Elk Lake Resort where we tied up next to the sailboats and read for a while, then went "ashore" and got an ice cream cone. Ahhh, the life!Stretching out and getting the feet tanned.
The guys spent their time fishing, but the results were not too encouraging. They did take a pretty good sized fish home for their neighbors. All in all, a VERY relaxing trip. More in the next post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What We Did On Our First Summer Vacation

My, oh, my! Has it been a long time, or what!
Well, I have a BUNCH of catching up to do, don't I?
The last time I blogged, we were going to be taking off for Moscow. This is a photos from the trip up - the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse region in Washington. Beautiful at this (or any!) time of year. Some of the fields has been cut, but most not. It was a nice and uneventful trip up.
We connected with friends, Gordy and Faye, and got set up in the "RV park" (ing area....). It was a gravel area next to the road going in to the real parking area at the Kibbie Dome at the U of Idaho. They stuck us waaayyyy out in the hinterlands. But it was a nice (long) walk back and forth to sessions 2 or 3 times a day. The biggest reason I was there was to represent NHTS at the ministry fair. There were 60 - 70 tables set up for everything from individual churches, to an orphanage mission in Africa, to Reconciling Ministries. Lots to see.
Conference was good - legislative and informational sessions, worship services, honoring retirees, and saying goodbye to the Bishop who is moving on - and up - in the organization. He will be missed - what a great guy.
After closing session on Friday, we headed out for Wallowa Lake. Gordy and Faye went to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho to watch their son participate in the Iron Man. The road from Clarkston south - the ONLY road without going 100-200 miles out of your way - wasn't exactly designed for RV travel!! Miles and miles of switchbacks up 1500' in elevation, then down, then up..... you get the idea. Because we weren't making very good time, we decided to stop for the night rather than go all the way. There was a quaint little state park on one of the upper elevations, so we stopped there. The campground host told me about a nice trail to Puffer Butte, so the next morning, Abby and I took a "little" walk. Very nice trail. Here is an animal habitat tree that I came across.
At the top, you could see forever! The photos below actually make a panorama - try and use your imagination........
The area gets a lot of snow - the trails are marked for cross country skiing. The hosts said they had to shovel out their campsite just a few weeks previous. This is a Forest Service shelter, complete with a wood burning stove and lots of firewood.
Going down the other side, I was able to take a photo showing a little bit how the road was. Dean said there were corners that you could read your own license plate.
When we got to Wallowa Lake, we worked on building a cabin for our retired minister. Rather than double post all the photos, you can here to see what we did. The reason that I hadn't updated this blog is because it took me over a week to put together that blog! It was fun, though. I hope people leep checking it because I hope to have more photos, and we are planning on going back this summer to do some more work.

Before we left for Moscow and Wallowa Lake, Jim and Janet came over for a week of R & R. We appreciate them coming because it keeps us from overextending ourselves (and our bodies....) like we usually do. The R & R is for us! We did finish up the garden and watering system while they were here, though.
Jim knows that I am not much on desserts and he had a sweet tooth, so - he baked a cake! Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand.
Janet had to help, of course.Well, Dean helped, too - cleaning the beaters!Janet is helping again........The finished product - was VERY yummy!!!!!!Janet got to see the full row of irises in bloom. They were gorgeous this year. This is a volunteer in the back by the garden. Does anyone have any idea what it is?
These are some of the cactus in back, just beginning to bloom.
These are in front - some of the ones we brought back from Nevada last year.Remember this plant from the June 2nd post? (I would link to it, but I haven't learned how to link to my own post, yet....)

We have been having off and on smoke from the fires in N. California. This was one of the bad days when we could small it, too. Our mountains are gone! The smoke was actually worse than when they had the fires up by Sisters.And this is what Dean has been doing. He has been trying to get out there in the morning before it gets too hot. Bill had been bringing pickup loads of firewood back from along the road on his job in the valley, and we had to get it cut and stacked. There is now quite a bit of wood for this winter. We still want to get out and get more so we can keep a year ahead. Only problem is - where to put it!So, that kinda catches us up. Jim and Janet are coming this weekend for the big fishing trip to the high lakes - now that we can get to them. They sure were late becoming accessible this year! I will try to post again before we go, but if not, you can look forward (?) to lots of photos when we return. Special thanks to Nora and Neecer for giving me kudos, and to Em for the love! I shall return! Again!