18 November 2015

The Feathered Ones (Part II Of Surf, Sand + Seagulls)

From November 11th...
Just because life continues to be challenging here
(though I am feeling MUCH, MUCH better),
just because I'd rather be on the sands right now instead of home
(unless it's pouring down rain or freezing cold when you read this),
just because I can't get enough of the surf, sand and seagulls
(is it possible to get enough of those three?),
just because laughter is great for the soul and gulls make me laugh,
just because it's late and I don't have a lot of words tonight
(probably because I should be in bed at this time),
I bring you more of the feathered ones --
with lots of thanks to the seagull-feeding strangers standing on the seawall above us,
who without knowing it made these photos possible:)
I wish seagulls could talk.
 I mean I know they do, but
 since I don't understand gullish and they don't speak English,
 I just have to imagine what they are saying--
or in this case thinking.
In this case, I am imagining that the bird, behind the one in front, is a girl gull
and she is crazy in love with the guy gull.
Yep, she is totally smitten.
Meanwhile guy gull is totally smitten with the idea that there is food nearby.
The message is out.
Seagull feeding strangers on the seawall.
"Come one, come all".
Seagulls on the seawall.
Seagull sentinels.
It's a regular bird convention it is.
Love these guys (and gals).
Loved the foamy surf!
Another fisher gull enjoying his (or her) catch of the day.
He apparently likes sushi as much as I do--
however he prefers his without the rice, the seaweed, etc. etc.
Mmm. Sushi.
The End:)

10 November 2015

Of Surf, Sand + Seagulls

Recently -- in between a horrible bout of gastroenteritis,
some other kind of awful ailment,
severe sciatica/back pain
and numerous challenges, 
we took time to enjoy the high surf at a familiar beach...
The "regulars" were all there and we even had the bonus of sunshine--for awhile that is!
The beach wasn't cold, the tide was coming in and we got front row parking--
a benefit of the less crowded off-season:)
And the surf?
Well, the surf was glorious, captivating and beautiful!

The skies above were pretty awesome too.
The "regulars" were very entertaining...

Some of them, we discovered, were very skilled at fishing.
Others kept busy elsewhere.
Papa and the Small One seemed to really enjoy the high surf--
she also enjoyed watching the gulls, playing in the river and building a sand castle
(she also got her photograph taken by a REAL photographer--I can hardly blame him as it was pretty fun watching her and the wild waves)
It was a wonderful time of peace and wonder.
Even now, as I sort through the photos, I am reminded of the beauty we found there.
There's nothing like time in God's creation to feed one's soul and
I definitely needed some "food" this day.
I came, I ate and I left satisfied.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him,
and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him.
Psalms 34:7-9 KJV

05 November 2015

Autumn Immersion

When I was young, autumn fun didn't have to cost you as much as a fancy dinner out. No!
And before the end of October we set out--
Small One in tow--
to prove that was STILL true. 
Fortunately, thanks to a wonderful farm family and some other people, we found it is!
After a couple of false starts, we headed towards a farm I thought
would fit our idea for autumn fun quite well (link and info below).
After a bit of exploring Small One and I tried out the corn maze
(first photo). It wasn't hard to figure out, but it was great exercise and had some lovely views of the countryside and autumn color!
Pumpkins were all over,
as were "cobwebs" and other autumn themed décor.
Small One, of course, wanted a really big--HUGE--pumpkin.
This is the moment she found out Papa had one rule about choosing a pumpkin...just ONE rule...
can you guess what the rule is?
Does this photo help?
Small One finally found one she could pick up...
and it was a very lovely one too.
Will get to that photo in a bit...
but, before the choosing of the pumpkin, came a VERY fun tractor pulled wagon ride which left us shaking at times, giggling at others and very thankful we had some here:)
Perhaps I shouldn't post a pic of that as I don't want to give the surprise(s) away
Total cost: Less than $3 for the pumpkin.
We'll definitely be back!
Later on, we found another farm giving away FREE pumpkins!
We only wish the farmer had been around because we were so very grateful for this lovely gift!
Soon, we met up with a friend of mine,
my BFF to be exact, who I see all together too rarely since she has moved.
Off we headed to a neighborhood park where our grandkids played for awhile on the playground equipment and then discovered another FUN and free pastime--thanks to a family there who apparently had the same kind of philosophy as I do re: autumn fun.
Yep! Leaf piles on a lovely bed of grass are always a recipe for LOTS of fun:)
 And, the experience stays with you even after you leave.
Total Cost: nothing
On the way home we swung by a place to pick up another necessary ingredient for autumn fun---
caramel apples,
specifically gourmet caramel apples.
No need to show you this one, but they were the most expensive part of our day and still under $10 for 2 of the most yummy treats known to man (or in our case--girls).
Next up: pumpkin carving
One of our two carved pumpkins--
designed by Small One and carved with lots of love by a REAL Farmer Boy,
which just happens to be a Papa too.
Although we had other autumn adventures including a mini birthday celebration for the Small One.
my load of dishes is just about done, so I'll end this post with another autumn tradition from my childhood...
Wishing you all a very blessed November filled with love, simple blessings and priceless memories.
A HUGE thank you to the Jim Dandy Farm Family for the awesome time we had there
(I am still smiling when I think of that GREAT wagon ride--teehee!). Thank you also for your kind permission to post photos taken there!!!
Here's a link to those who would like to know more:

19 October 2015

October Update

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted, but truth be told, with all the home repairs/improvements going on, we just haven't had time (or extra money) to take trips to the places that inspire me the most. However, if all goes well, and if nothing else comes up, and if the weather permits, tomorrow maybe next week I will be enjoying a little whole lot of autumn leaf immersion:)
Meanwhile I am enjoying the changing colors on the mountainside, in our garden, at the grocery store
and everywhere else!

Speaking of home repair/improvement, our front deck
is now a covered front deck thanks to my ever busy hubby!
It's not quite done, but we really like it and it makes me wish we had done it years ago.

Also speaking of home, our lovely 5 year old over-the-range microwave seems to be
celebrating the month of October. Twice now, exactly one week apart and at about the same time, it's turned itself on. Pretty spooky! Apparently, self starting microwaves are not unknown, but it could have been something I did too. Anyway, it's now unplugged and, surprisingly, I have managed to function OK without it.

Since my last post, I have been collecting autumn leaves from here and there to preserve. Gracie, from One Saylor's Log (link on the right side of this blog), was my inspiration for all this--but, because I couldn't find my iron, I used a modified version of the old "leaf in the book" method.
As you can tell, some turned out a bit more wrinkled then I would have liked, but I am -- overall -- pretty happy with my little project:)
It's part of my goal to make early autumn last a long, long time!

And, now photos...
since I haven't taken any trips since August
(sigh, sob, scream, BIGTIME cabin fever),
I am posting photos from the lovely Siletz River Valley
(Siletz was the location for the Ilahee Siletz Pow Wow we attended).
I would dearly love to be there right now, enjoying more frybread:)

Love horses!
Did I tell you that I am now "grandma" to my DD's horses?
And an assortment of other critters too.

Can't get enough of our PNW's woodlands. Just like our drive along the
Nestucca River earlier this summer, this area reminded me of a cathedral.

My kind of bridge. Not too high, not too low and with some nice views of the Siletz River below.

 I love river valleys and I just learned about two more I want to explore --- someday:)

And now it's time to check on those drying autumn leaves
go to sleep
research my latest idea for a road trip!

Have an awesome week!


25 September 2015

Summer Wrap Up: Junction City Scandinavian Festival, Scandinavian Princess Daybed

Life has been busy again--mostly for my beloved Farmer Boy.
My smashed car window is now repaired,
a pine tree has been felled (by a professional this time),
the roof is half done (with a temporary ridge cap between the new and old roofing),
the air conditioner has been taken down and stored,
the autumn leaves are wonderful,
the grapes have been ripe for several weeks now
AND I still haven't seen any snakes:)
Oh--and my ever busy hubby is now working on another project.
Such a talented man with MUCH more energy then his wife.
OK, that brings you up-to-date mostly in what has/is going on in our lives.
Now on to summer photos of the Scandinavian Festival.
Years ago we happened on to this festival totally by coincidence.
 One of several Scandinavian festivals in the Pacific NW,
this one is held in downtown Junction City in the Willamette Valley
(Other festivals/celebrations take place in Astoria, Portland, Ballard and Poulsbo. Scandinavians were one of the immigrant groups to the PNW and we even have our very own fjord--the Hood Canal in western Washington)
We love the folk dancing!
The kids are a lot of fun to watch.
(This is a very kid friendly, family event with lots to see and do)
Yours truly loves the aebleskivers--Danish pancake balls.
They are beyond yummy--as the Small One found out.
I especially like them with lingonberry preserves but plain with a bit of powdered sugar is good too.
(These are actually fairly simple to make with some practice and an aebleskiver pan)
I also love lefse, meatballs and...
the not so traditional, but totally yummy cotton candy.
Mmm. It was sugar-licious and  
so BIG that it took all three of us to finish it off.
We stopped by to see the blacksmith at work...
they also have other crafters.
Small One encountered some Vikings--
fortunately they were very friendly Vikings and even let her hold one of their swords.
Sadly we did miss getting a photo of the wonderful trolls wandering about.
I suppose I should let you know the "decorative" cast on her right arm was the result of getting thrown off a horse at "summer camp". Fortunately she still LOVES horses.
I enjoy the different hairstyles the gals wear.
Braids are so lovely.
Love the rosemaling on different buildings also.
I almost always buy something to add to my collection...
But, in keeping with my decluttering goal,
this lovely Scandinavian floral crown was all I bought and
it wasn't for me:) 
Well, it's WAY past time for bed and I am about ready to fall asleep typing so...
Blessings all!
Oh yea.
I forgot to show you our little bit of Scandinavia...
the Nordic Princess Daybed Farmer Boy made his little princess MUCH earlier this year.
Here's a photo of the finished project.
Big enough for an adult
(I know because I slept on it for several nights when I was trying to avoid a moth),
yet cozy and very cool for a child.
I do have a question for all you talented crafters out there though.
We have considered painting some of the Swedish folk designs that you see on the rug on the drawer fronts and possibly painting certain parts of the trim red. Good idea, bad idea?
We're also OK with leaving it as it is in case we want to change the color scheme in the room later.
I have other pillows for the bed too but they aren't in this photo.
Any suggestions oh gifted ones?
(Link to Akerkulla rug in case you need to see the design better--http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20230627/ )
Junction City Scandinavian Festival, August 2015
Scandinavian Princess Bed:
We got some inspiration from Ana White's great website
More from doing a search for photos of Norwegian beds with rosemaling.
And, I liked the drawers on an Ikea daybed and another daybed...
but hubby ended up designing the bed because none of these,
however wonderful, had all the elements we wanted to incorporate in the bed.
Oh--did I say a certain Disney movie played a role in all this to? And a certain Princess?
If anyone is interested in how we put together the bed, let me know and I can post photos of the process. It was a LOT of fun and we're really happy we chose to make one instead of trying to buy something.

11 September 2015

Pieces + Potpourri

Wow has it been a busy and stressful (but very blessed) last two weeks!
Our repair job is progressing nicely, but was more challenging than originally thought
and some of it will have to be postponed till next year...
SO happy that my DH is part mountain goat!
SO happy that God truly does hear our prayers!
SO thankful for families that won't take no for an answer and
head over to help with huge tarps during windy days
(yep, they're part mountain goat too--unlike Miss Aimee)
Anyway, I don't want to bore you too much with details like
a smashed car window,
locked brakes on an RV,
NO snake sightings in like forever,
chopped down plants that have a tie to President Hoover
(more about that one on another day),
new (and MUCH) improved Internet service,
Oh and someone you know is going to be a...soon:)
But I don't want to bore you with all the details that make up my sometimes crazy life,
so it's on to photo time. Here's a few photos from the Ilahee Siletz Pow Wow we attended in the amazing Siletz River Valley with the Small One--of course!
After choosing one of the shuttle pick up sites in Siletz, we were soon picked up
by a wonderful mini bus and driven to the Pow Wow grounds at Government Hill.
A long, long time ago I attended the pow wow here and just never forgot that memorable celebration.
The beautiful, symbolic regalia of the dancers,
the wonderful food,
the deep respect and honor that the Native Americans pay to their elders
(and the Veterans)...
the lovely wooded setting.
I was beyond thrilled (and almost in tears during the Grand Entry) for getting to be there again!

Did I say food?
Totally yummy, indescribably delicious food?
Well, yes I did and here's one of my (and now Small One's favs)--
Indian frybread.
Just thinking about it's deliciousness is killing me...
I had my first fry bread at Kah Nee Ta, a resort on the Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon where we used to go frequently as kids and hang out with the bears at their super large heated pools.
It is one of my goals--should our projects ever slow down--to make it this autumn.
Small One and I ate our snow cones on a hillside.
There we were blessed to see some beautiful young girls practicing their dance steps.
It was incredible...
lovely young Native women continuing the traditions of their people to the deep,
pounding rhythm of the drums.
For our next dining location, we were on another hillside in another wooded area where we were entertained blessed by a lovely butterfly that was also dancing--but on the winds.
Fabulous day.
A lovely, hospitable people that I learn from every time I am blessed to be in their presence.
Well, duty calls so more on another day!
Oh--before I go.
Some snake trivia for you.
Did you know that rattlesnakes used to live in the Willamette Valley?
Oh yes, and there are still some places where they can be found.
BTW, for other snake-phobes like me, beware as the link above has lovely
(or unlovely) photos of the slithery ones :(
It is interesting history though.
Another snake fact (maybe?).
I thought, though I may not have heard correctly, that on the news recently they said
snakes are more cranky in the autumn before they hibernate? Anyone know? Personally, I am hoping for an early snake hibernation this year:)
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