Monday, June 29, 2009

Veggies, Flowers, and Soap(box)

It's what I do this time of the year.
Things are doing better this year - because we hauled in 3 yards of compost - 1 from the landfill in Bend, and 2 of the expensive ones from Redmond Greenhouse. AND, I've been using some of the nice red worm compost that our little pets produce. Our season is shorter over here than when we lived in the valley, so some adjusting to do. Of course, we returned from our trip south too late to get much started in the new greenhouse, so a lot of the seeds were planted in the ground a little late :)
This is the huge culinary sage bush that has been going for a couple of years. It seems happy.
You really can't tell from this photo, but the corn is knee high!!! And it's not even the 4th yet, so we should have some yummy corn this year. I learned the secret to prevent the corn worms - we'll see if it works. Last year, we had to salvage partial ears.The first zucchinis are forming - much to Dean's chagrin! The only way he like them is in bread!
And the tomatoes are looking good - these are the 2 that were in the water walls when the critter ate the other 2. Still don't know what got them. Haven't had problems since, but most of the raised beds are fenced with chicken wire now.
On to the flowers. I have some really beautiful lilies.

This huge moth came visiting last night. He/she was on the screen door when I was going out to the deck. A rather patient thing, it allowed me several photos. This one shows Dean's have for size - he (Dean, not the moth) was inside and I was outside.
Don't know how well you can tell from this photo, but the clouds the other night were really strange. Looked like the ocean. The more distinct ones are at the top, but there are also some faint ones toward the bottom. It was a typical (sorry......) beautiful sunset. Mt Jefferson on the horizon.
With all the "news" taken up with Michael Jackson's passing, you would think that there wasn't a war going on, a health care and housing crisis, people going hungry, global climate change, etc., etc., etc. And, with the closing of Pride Month, Lt Choi goes on trail for "telling" What a shame. Let's evolve, folks. Let's turn into the people that Jesus wanted us to be - loving our neighbors and taking care of them!
End of soapbox.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Goings on in these parts......

We headed down to Bend last weekend for Deschutes Brewery's annual open house - tours and tastes and new brews. Shannon and Dean are waiting for a pour of Twilight Ale.
Good stuff! We ended up getting our growler filled with Red Chair, though, always one of our favorites. All time fav is the Hop Trip which is brewed in the fall with fresh hops. Amazing stuff and only available at the pub.

We have yet to see any fawns around our place, but this herd came through the other morning for breakfast. We have had several really good sized bucks, traveling together usually since the does kick them out around birthing time. This was one of the first time we've seen both together again - maybe these doe didn't have babies this year.Dean and Shannon have been getting things done around the place. Mostly working on the "guest house" but one trip into the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Dean couldn't pass up this set of kitchen cabinets for his shop. They are super heavy duty with thick drawer bottoms and metal sides. They went for sheet rock, but had to take another trip into town because they didn't have room for what they went for in the first place! His shop is looking good - now if he could just find some spare time to go play.
The "guest house" is coming along!
The kid is taking it easy after spending a long, hot day working for some friends of ours who are getting ready for their son's wedding at their home here on the ranch. Note the nice sunburn.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's PRIDE month!!

All over, it is Pride month. I honor my LBGTQ friends by posting this photo from blog friend Kelly and calling everyone's attention to all the Pride activities going on. Portland had their big parade this past weekend and my friend Jen took her GSA club to join in. Way to go, Jen!
Bend is celebrating Pride all month long, but the Pride Day will be the 27th - across from McMenamins.
Here is a poem from Goodreads that I think speaks to the issue of acceptance quite well.

To the Observant Motorist Who Called Me Faggot
by James Davis

We have names for things we don't even understand.
The Doppler Effect, for instance. You have no idea

how it works, and neither do I, but I'm sure we both
can appreciate the way it splits

words into two clean syllables—
the fag from got, the it from fag.

I like to think of myself as a hyphen.
And as for what you think, well...

There's only so much I can learn
from these kinds of conversations.

Maybe to you I'm a pinata—gaily colored, filled with sugar,
battered open by blindfolded children.

Maybe in your life's game of Tag,
I am, perpetually, It.

Or maybe after all, I am nothing, something
approached, named, and sublimated.

I've thought of names for you—
several, in fact—but without a name,

you become a pair of taillights fizzling just beyond 8th Avenue,
and I remain forever in your past,

which, of the three available options,
is my first and only choice.

Here's to you, my friends!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Fire and the Rain, and other stuff

Yup - we've had both since we have been back home. We had a heck of a lightening storm - well, several, actually. But one was with some dry lightening that started a fire just over the ridge from us. The Forest Service got right on it and held it to a little over 100 acres, but it was looking a little scary for a while from our deck. The wind was blowing pretty hard. You can barely see Black Butte in the photo below.
So, we had another storm which dumped soooo much rain in a short amount of time. Dean measured over half an inch in less than half an hour! This is on the north side of the house where we have done no landscaping yet. The white in the foreground is the drain pipe from the driveway that goes under the blacktop. A little Grand Canyon!Shannon arrived Saturday night - did it in 2 days - he was anxious to get here, I guess. Sage, his best friend/dog and him are sacked out on the couch - watching TV.
The first project to be undertaken was cleaning out the "shed" and turning it into a "guest house" - right now, for Shannon to stay in while he is here so he can have his own space, and eventually for friends to stay in so they can have their own space. All of this JUNK below - and much more - was crammed into the space formerly known as the shed. We won't be parking the Element in the garage any time soon - until we find space for all the "stuff"The guys put a nice window in the West wall of the place so whoever is there will have a fantastic view. This is the "before" photo. More correctly, it is the during photo, but I forgot to take the actual "before" one. Gotta get back in the habit of documenting things for the blog.
The other thing that has occupied Dean and my time was getting caught up on the yard and garden. That was a HUGE job and I truly know what "growing like a weed" means! I weeded 1 bed of the veggie garden just below the deck and this was the result.The plant on the lower left is Dean's hop plant. He planted 3 last year and only 1 made it, but it is doing very well this year. Some of the vines are already up on the deck railing.
The weed pile didn't get burned this spring because they ended burning season a week early because of the dry weather. Of course, since then, we have had a lot of rain, so they should open it up again - but they won't. Unfortunately, this much rain at this time of the year means that the weeds and other vegetation will really grow which will mean a bad fire season over here.
The garden is mostly in, though and I will post some photos as things get going.
We have already harvested some strawberries!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Books, Books, Books............

Many years ago, when I worked at a camera store, we had a strange character who would come in occasionally with his hands to his head repeating "books, books, books...." Did I say strange? He would just walk around the store, repeating the same mantra. So, when I think of books, I often think of him.
Books - I read a lot of them on our recent trip, so thought I would give a little book revue of sorts.
Here goes.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Great book! I enjoyed it a lot. A woman's spiritual journey, very honestly told. Reminds me just a bit of Robert Johnson's "Balancing Heaven and Earth" which I read years ago and still place in my favorites.

Endangered Species by Nevada Barr
A great diversion - she weaves wonderful mysteries, but is a less than talented writer, in my opinion

A Place Called Home edited by Mickey Pearlman
Anthology of women writers thoughts of the concept of home. Deep, thoughtful, soul searching, raw, at times, poignant. Highly recommended.

A New Life by Bernard Malamud
A favorite author of "classics". Written in the 60's, captures the mores of the times and is sad, emotional, quiet and bizarre all at the same time. A story of a college professor in Cascadia - the Willamette Valley. A strange book, but very well written.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult
Predictable, but nevertheless has a lot of things to think about. Like many of her books.

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
A fantastic book. Makes you think - agonize over your own life, run things over in your mind. No spoilers here. Just read it.

Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Read his first in the series before you read this one. Another spiritual journey book. Loved it!

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Depressing. Chronicles her experiences trying to make do on minimum wage jobs. Really makes you think. Written in 2000, I think, so, hopefully, some things have changed - but some things have become even worse. Read it and you'll understand.

Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille
Scary! These things happen. Still. A lot of factual info here that just plain makes you paranoid about the things that go on in the government. Another interesting diversion, but of a differnt type than a "fiction" book!

Along Came A Spider and Maximum Ride by James Patterson
OK, I admit it - I'm a James Patterson freak. More diversion. I think I have now read all of the Alex Cross books, so am starting on other books he has written. You can really tell when Patterson has written the latest ones vs when his "assistant' has taken over. But I still like them for what they are.

partially read:
The Christian Agnostic by Leslie Weatherhead
I'm working my way through this one and enjoying it, but sometimes it is difficult reading.

The Way Things Are - conversations with Huston Smith
I had the pleasure of hearing him speak, along with Marcus Borg, at Trinity in Portland several years ago. A great guy - and a great mind. I like what he says and am enjoying this book.

Also read:
O Magazines!!!

So, there you have it. The trip books. I usually try to read a wide variety.

A Strange Thing Happened........

Before we left on our "vacation", we bought a DVD recorder so we could copy old VHS tapes onto DVD to take with us. Well, that never happened :) When we got home, we signed up with Netflix because, well, there just isn't much on TV any more and we rarely see movies in the theater - Redmond's only one usually plays kid's movies and it's an hour to Bend. So, we watch our first couple of movies and it's pretty nice. Returned those and got 2 more. Put one in the player and settled down to enjoy a good movie - and we hear this loud - REALLY loud - POP!! And something flies across the room - the DVD - in pieces! The door to the tray is in the middle of the floor and the DVD is scattered. Then it started smoking!! OK - everyone I have told about this says: "no way" - but it really happened. It is a good thing that no one was sitting in line with the DVD pieces! Needless to say, we didn't watch a movie!
So, today, I took the player back to Costco, where we bought it. Told my story and the clerk said, "no way"!!! But, they refunded our money and we went and got another one - the same model and everything. We'll see what happens when we get our next movie. Stay tuned!