Friday, August 29, 2008

Schizo Garden

Well, the herbs are doing pretty well. I wish I had thought to take a photo of one the piles of Basil that I have put up. Twice already! I have been known to give it for Christmas gifts, so if you're wanting some, you might want to get your name on the list........ The way I process it, it tastes just like fresh from the garden. Great in soups or............ In the photo below is the Basil after it's last cutting, so I should get one or two more this season. Difficult to see, but also in the photo are Cuban Oregano, Thyme, and Italian Parsley at the bottom. The huge plant on the right is culinary Sage - with regular water. I also have two more plants of the same that have received absolutely NO water (except for the rain, but not much of that since it is planted next to the house) that aren't as large, but are doing quite well. There is also Chives and Cilantro.This is a bumper year for Zucchini. There are about six or seven plants in this bed and it's strange, but the ones on the right aren't producing much, but the others are going crazy. All were planted from the same package of seeds, and at the same time. I can spot one and the next day it's a foot long. So, I froze 5 packages of 4 cups each from the last harvest. And I made some delicious Zucchini Patties last night for dinner - and enough for leftovers tonight. The whole zucs in the photo are in addition to what I froze. And more today!
The remainder of the garden........well, that's another story. On the upper left is the Corn - we might get some - maybe. Lower left are/were the Beets. The cottontail has destroyed it. We have "rabbit" fence, but this must be a little guy - well, maybe no longer, though. That stuff on the upper right is Butternut Squash - but not some that I planted. It is where the compost bin used to be and must be volunteers from the seeds. When they came up, I decided to see what they were and now there are quite a few squash growing, so I'll take them anyway! Lower right are some stunted Peppers that have produced a few.And these are the poor Tomatoes. Our neighbor down the street, Kevin, runs the garden dept at Lowes and said that a lot of people are having problems with tomatoes this year, so I don't feel so bad. Kevin is actually the one who inadvertently got me into blogging, but he has too busy lately - his last blog is from April, I think. We'll see if he reads this :) And here is the bounty from the rest of the garden. WOW! Looks good enough to eat!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not really a vacation......

Before I get to the trip, I want to share a few photos from the Saturday nite before we left when we went down to the Sandbagger (aka "the hole") for a little karaoke (listening, not singing.....)
This is the local gathering spot on the "ranch" for a very wide range of characters - and I do mean characters! This is a very diverse community, which is one of things I love about living here.
This is one of our favorite singers, Dottie who can really belt out a song!

This is our bartender, Makah, who has the personality to match her job. She is a real kick! I have NEVER seen her without a smile! I let her experiment on my drinks sometimes and she does a pretty good job.

And a photo of us and of Joyce and Bill having a good time!

And our karaoke master, Judy, who has a great voice, too.

OK, on to the reason for our trip - another work crew on the White cabin. See my other blog for updated photos from this trip. This is the sign that Dean carved for the new cabin. Pretty nice!
One of the days we were there, we went for a hike to see a waterfall on the Wallowa River. On the way, we went over this bridge at the Boy Scout camp and I had to take a photo for Janet because of the lashed bridge. We were just talking about lashing tables and wash stands, etc. at girl scout camp. We spent the first few nights sleeping on a bed in the Floyd White (Edsel's father) cabin at the local Methodist camp which we shared with friends Gordy and Faye (shared the cabin, not the bed.........) When they had to go back to Vancouver, we moved into the new cabin and slept on an air mattress - which we thought had the leaks fixed. We quickly learned that they were not fixed after all. We got up several times during the night to blow it back up. On top of that, we had our summer weight sleeping bags and one night it got down to 37ยบ and we got COLD! Old people shouldn't try to act like youngsters sometimes! Kent and Sam Landerholm were staying in the old cabin while they were hiking in the area, so when they left, we took their place and had a pretty good nights sleep on the last night we were there. Abby had her own bed, of course, but we found her curled up on our bed the day it was cold and rainy.
The main purpose of this trip, we learned after we arrived, was to install stairs to the loft/storage area. No one had been able to figure out how to make them work, since the total tolerance between the steps could be no more than 3/8" difference in the rise. I think everyone there tried to figure it out with no success. Dean finally went to town and had to buy a fancy square in order to get some instructions for laying out a staircase. Problem was, the directions were pretty complicated - until I finally figured it out!!! Yeah, me! Not to blow my own horn or anything......... well, my brain hurt and I felt pretty good after I mastered those darn things! Here is a photo of the final product. Whew!So, we were able to leave after the stairs were finished. The town of Joseph, at the end of Wallowa Lake, is known for it's artist community - mostly bronze casting. But this weekend, it was known for a big biker gathering. We didn't stop, but saw literally hundreds of bikes on the road on their way to Joseph. Here are some of them. Notice how clean the windshield is.
Abby is getting better and better about riding. Usually she just goes to sleep in back on her bed, but once in a while she has to be closer to us. Is this cute or what!
We took the long way home, traveling down to Baker City and up through the gold country. We'll be going to S. Oregon in another week for Dean and Jim to go to a gold camp - hopefully they will make us a fortune - or at least learn how to get more when they go out panning. We stopped at one mine along a river - at least the sign said it was. We saw no mining activity at all, though.I don't know why, but I have a thing about old power houses, so we drove up to see the historic Fremont Powerhouse near the town of Granite up in the Blue Mountains. I was built in 1907 to provide power to mines and towns in the area at the time and operated continuously until 1967. It cost about $100,000. to build which was a lot of money then. All of the original machinery is still in place, though it was not open when we were there.
Water to the powerhouse was transported 8 miles from Olive Lake through a wooden and steel pipeline. Along the gravel road from Granite to a highway were several mines and residences, many of which had painted rocks next to their driveways. This is an example. Driving from John Day toward home, we encountered a hatch of some sort. Remember how clean the windshield was when we left Joseph? This is what those flying things did! It was getting towards dusk, so I didn't take any more photos, but you can see that it was getting crowded.
So ends the trip. We arrived home around 8 and had a little something to eat and fell into bed!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Too funny not to pass on

This is taken straight from my blogger friend Lori
This made my day, so thank you, Lori, for:

this list of stupid things NBC commentators said during the Olympics:

dressage.jpg1. Weightlifting commentator: ‘This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing.’

2. Dressage commentator: ‘This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother.’

3. Boxing Analyst: ‘Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious.’

4. Softball announcer: ‘If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.’

5. Basketball analyst: ‘He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn’t like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces.’

6. At the rowing medal ceremony: ‘Ah, isn’t that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew.’

7. Soccer commentator: ‘Julian Dicks is everywhere. It’s like they’ve got eleven Dicks on the field.’

8. Tennis commentator: ‘One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that, before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them… Oh my God, what have I just said?’

OK, my friends, pick yourselves up off the floor. I finished the cabin blog today and, hopefully, tomorrow I can work on my own! I've missed my little blog outlet!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Interesting Factoids - and a surprise??

In lieu of coming up with something creative on this VERY HOT day, I bring you something to read that is, at least, interesting. I haven't "snopes'd" these, so don't make a big deal if something turns out to be untrue :)

I'll be gone for a few days - going to Wallowa Lake to work on the cabin project and when we get back, I will concentrate first on updating that blog, and not this one :( Be patient, my reader (s?) Stay as cool as you can in this heat wave!!!

If you read all the way to the bottom, there might be a surprise...........

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only..Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)

The percentage of North America that is Wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this custom

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

So, here is the surprise - one of my "interesting" creations from the archives.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photos and more

It was a dark and stormy day............
This was taken a week ago or so - I tried to get a lightening shot with my point and shoot, but no luck. The clouds were pretty impressive, though.And then it started to hail - and it really came down for a while. With all the storms, we got about .6" of rain. Enough for the garden for a day.......
We decided to take a day off Monday and take the kayaks out for a spin - since we still hadn't taken them down from on top of the car from the last time we went out...............
We drove to Perry South Campground on the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook. A relatively quiet little spot, but full of boaters. We put in and paddled up river - there are quite a few "cabins" on what I assume is lease land from the forest service. The places range from shed type cabins to ones probably worth 1/2 mil.
There is no power to the area, so most of the nicer ones have solar panels - and a cistern for water.
The gooses have found a home. I imagine the folks feed them when they're around.
This is one of the nicest homes we saw. Lots of great big windows, nice deck, several nice boats... Oh, the life! If you can see them.... there are a couple of Great Blue Herons along the shore. Right after I took this photo, they both flew off making quite a racket.
The river starts to narrow here and there are no more ski boats, only fishermen. Really, really pretty.Someone's nest high in a snag - eagle? osprey? heron?So, I'm traveling along, getting a lot of exercise paddling against the current (Dean was fishing)
and I come upon this sign
Presumably - it means motor boats, but I could see rapids right ahead, so I turned around and the wind started blowing - against me - erasing the benefit of the current. Oh, darn!

So, I mentioned that Dean was fishing - he had his pole in the water, anyway. There were fish jumping all around us, a hatch going on. He tried everything he had and couldn't catch one. I was hoping one would jump in the boat so he could "get a fish", but that didn't happen. It was pretty amazing, though, watching the fish come out of the water. And when I say "all around us" - I mean it!

This next series of photos need some explanation. The juvenile eagle in the first photo flew over my head and landed in this tree. He just sat there for a while and I took a few photos, getting a little close (in my kayak) for each one. Then another big bird (no, not THAT big bird....) came along and chased it out of the tree. In the middle photo, I thought I got both of them, but didn't - the lag time in digital cameras is too long for action photos......... The final photo shows the big one who came back and hung around for photos for quite a while. I don't think it was an eagle, but I'm really not sure. It was BIG!

Thought for the day..........

Dance like no one is watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like no one is listening,
Live like it's heaven on earth.

-William Purkey

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I've been thinking that my posts have been quite photo heavy - which is to be expected, I suppose, from someone who was in the business for 30 years. But, I've decided to mix it up a bit.
I was doing some updating of documents the other day and, after several pages of cleaning up, transferring information, etc., the program crashed and I lost everything I had done. Who hasn't had this happen on occasion? Well, it's happened to me, and you would think that I would be more conscientious about saving once in a while, but no - I become lackadaisical - and lazy. Whenever this happens, though, I remember this little story:

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.
Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."
So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.
They faxed.
They e-mailed.
They e-mailed with attachments
They downloaded.
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports
They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.
Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.
Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld. Jesus just sighed.
Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:
"It's gone! It's all GONE! "I lost everything when the power went out!"
Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work. Satan observed this and became irate.
"Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"
God just shrugged and said,

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Alphabet challenge from Neecer
Birds and Bees enjoy our yard
Camping is something I REALLY enjoy! (Sorry, Lori.....)
Deschutes River is right out my back door - kind of.......
Early in the morning is something I rarely do
Food, good food
Government is pretty scary right now
Hebrew Bible - my favorite NHTS class - who’d have thought!
IKAR - heard about it on NPR (Speaking of Faith) - check it out, I want to go!
Juniper trees
Kennedy - I was in my dorm room when I heard it on the radio and I cried
Lists - I have to depend on them more and more......
Mac is the only way to go, especially if you don’t want a virus
Notes - I am a big time note-taker
Orzo is a fun ingredient
Prayer flags and a Peace banner are in my room
Quotes - I collect them
Rocking chairs are addictive
Six Feet Under was a GREAT TV series and I miss it!
Underoos - who thought of that?
Veggies are something I could eat for a whole meal
Whitehaven II cabin project
Xray is something I experienced several times within the past month
Y don’t you try this - it’s fun!
Zucchini - I grow it, I eat it, I like it

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The other morning, I looked out my window upstairs and saw these 3 big bucks browsing just outside the new fence. They are getting pretty hungry this time of the year, so I even had to put a cage around the Hawthorne soon-to-be-tree near the deer on the left. There are a lot of babies on the ranch this year, I hear, though our usual families haven't been around too much. Most of the fawns are twins. There has been some speculation that someone has been poisoning deer because they are a nuisance. Yes, they are, but people choose to live here knowing there are deer freely roaming. If you don't like it, move, or fence your plants like we finally did. It's like buying a home on the golf course and complaining because your window was broken or purchasing a fancy place on the hill that happens to be in a flight path and then complaining because planes go over. Get a life, folks, pick your battles more carefully. Like hunger, world peace, AIDS, and social issues that REALLY impact our lives.
OK - climbing down from soapbox.

On another, more important note, we had church here on Sunday morning. Our little progressive UCC group came all the way out to the ranch to worship with us, and what a perfect day it was.
I was able to get all of them in the photo except Bill who is behind Pris who is standing. In the foreground is Lynda, my friend from Northwest House of Theological Studies who recently graduated from Pacific School of Religion with a Masters of Divinity. She came from Salem to lead us. We had wonderful conversation and wonderful company.
So, it's on to the next project - and the next - and the next......... Stained the back deck railings (yes, again..) yesterday and they're looking better. One more time in the spring and I think we'll be done for a few years. The direct sun and dry heat really take a toll on the wood. Glad we cut corners elsewhere so we could afford Trex for the decking. Would hate to have to do the staining and sanding on it!
The garden is slow, but the zucchini bread is always a hit. I'm sun-drying the tomatoes and we're still eating cole slaw.
I'm hoping for some lightening action this afternoon.