04 December 2013

Saturday Sojurn in the Land of the Elk

It's cold outside--definitely cold enough for snow,
 if ONLY there was a LITTLE moisture to go with this Arctic Front...
Alas, no snow here yet, but the sunny skies have been nice-
very special blessings at this time of the year which is known more for gray than blue!
How's the weather where you're at?
Are you bundled up like we are too?


And now,
onto the theme of this post--
elk, elk and more elk:)

After a wonderful 'Beach Friday' last week...
the next day found us outdoors again,
this time several hours north of that area.
Our goal was to see some Roosevelt Elk and to visit one of our favorite beaches
on the north Oregon coast.
First the elk...
The first sighting was along the road--but since only ONE of us saw the elk
(my eagle-eyed hubby of course and not me),
we're not going to count that as an official sighting:)
Therefore, our first REAL sighting was at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Refuge.  
Gorgeous aren't they?
Not the best photo--sorry.
And, as a bonus, just because I LOVE it--
a photo of hanging moss!
As I said, I LOVE this stuff:) 
Does anyone know what kind it is?
I know I have seen it all over NW Oregon.
Next, MORE elk --
this time on a meadow overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
This was a planned destination-
because it's one of our favorite North Coast beaches;
the elk sighting here was a totally unexpected bonus!
I would have ventured closer, had I not been with my granddaughter,
but I didn't want to take any chances with her by my side--
elk are beautiful, majestic, amazing creatures--
but they are wild, not tame, ones.
And, a later sighting.
It was a GOOD day:)
A very, very good day!
(and yes we played on the beach. Doesn't everyone when it's late autumn?)

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Refuge
(located on Highway 202 which is a fun road to take from the Upper Nehalem Valley
 to Astoria when it's good weather. You can also visit Fishhawk Falls at Lee Wooden County Park a few miles from the refuge--beautiful and not too long of a walk.
North Oregon coast

29 November 2013

Black Friday vs. Beach Friday

Some celebrate 'Black Friday'.
I choose to celebrate 'Beach Friday'
with lots of... 
 'Lake Friday'.

A little 'Food Overlooking the Bay Friday'...

and some 'Playing at the Park Friday'.

Topped off with a  bit of 'Pretend Princess Friday'

It was a great way to usher in the coming Christmas season and we were not alone in our celebrations
(although we were the only ones playing in the sand at the lake).
There were also people celebrating
'Fishing Friday',
'Boating Friday',
'Beachcombing Friday'
and there was even
one person celebrating
'waterskiing Friday'!
How did you celebrate 'Black Friday'?
Have a blessed weekend!
Central Oregon Coast today:)


Every year I write up detailed plans for celebrations...
from the menu to the décor and the dinnerware,  
it's all there in black and white
(or blue depending on what pen I am using--LOL)
But, for the last several years, real life has stepped in
and the detailed plans have all had to be put aside in favor of something much simpler.
This year was no exception--
it all started with a sick dog.
I will spare you the details,
but suffice it to say that I am extremely thankful for the lovely invention of pee pads right now
and a bathroom that has vinyl flooring.
Sigh. Small furry one is not a happy camper right now and
 may have to be seen by a Vet tomorrow...
Aimee not feeling so well right now either--
but no doctor visit needed thankfully
(and there are lots of leftovers so no need to cook for hubby today if I don't feel better).
Decoration plans were changed...
no time to rummage through the storage cabs and containers with everything going on--
the end result was not exactly what was first envisioned but it was colorful--
and contained for the first time REAL aspen leaves --
(photo below)
And, did you see?
Sunshine on Thanksgiving Day!

Decorations done, cleaning finished;
menu pared down more--
and the prep of the 'bird' began...
a cold shower,
a search for any hiding 'parts'...
oven bag and cast iron skillet ready
(LOVE cast iron).
And then--
the DH decides NOW is a good time to do pond maintenance,
which will, of course, require Aimee's participation 
Turkey will have to wait for seasoning but bird is at least in the oven.
Hubby takes a walk into a very icy pond;
Aimee takes a walk into the very dirty, cobweb covered greenhouse...
Two pond filters off line, maintenance complete and cooking resumes.
Turkey pulled for seasoning; 
timer reset.
So thankful for modern ovens, hot water, refrigerators, supermarkets,
a nice warm car and dry weather!

And so it went.
But that is what we do.
We don't give up;
we keep going
and we count our blessings as we do so,
because no matter how trying our circumstances are,
we all have blessings in our lives.
Yes, we certainly do.
So thankful to hear from ALL three of my children today
(miss you though).
"Behold, now, another providence of God..."
From Plymouth Plantation
(William Bradford)
I think back to my forefathers and how they crossed the sea to come to a new world.
I recall how they didn't give up when faced with hardship, sickness,
death, hunger, deprivation and loss.
Instead they prayed at all times
and gave thanks for God's never ending Providence.
Providence that came in the form of a safe ocean crossing,
Providence that came in the form of help offered from the Native American population.
No, they weren't perfect people,
but they were definitely a people of faith--
and that got them through their days--
both those that were good
and those that appeared to be very bad.
And, even though times have changed dramatically since those early days in Plymouth,
we I can learn a lot from following their example.

Ah! A wishbone--
can't let this little tradition slip by...
(wishing, wishing...)
And this one time I will share my wish with you,
because my wish is for YOU+
I wish for you --
joy in times of trouble,
serenity in times of stress,
peace in times of anxiety and change,
love to comfort you in times of loss
blessings always.
This year's pared down and changed decorations--
a mixture of real autumn leaves (dried) and not so real.
pine cones, dried flowers, candles, ornamental corn and more.
Fiesta (made in USA by Homer Laughlin China Company) dinnerware--
LOVE it:)
Corn on the cob plates
 (made in the USA--these were my mom's)
Lace cloth napkins
(with flatware inside).

18 November 2013

On a Cool, Somewhat Showery, Autumn Day

This past weekend,
 we received a text from my DIL that our granddaughters were wanting to see us.
Being normal grandparents,
that was all it took to get us in our car and headed their way to pick them up for a trip to the mountains and the sea. 
The forecast that day called for showers,
but since three of us are native born Pacific NW'ers,
and the last one nearly so,
that didn't phase us one bit--
after all, people don't melt from a little rain, do they? LOL
Fortunately though, we ran into VERY little rain--
which was even better!
Our first stop was at a bakery where we devoured some very yummy
cinnamon snails, a mini gallette and more.
Mmm. You probably already know that it is very important to consume carbos
when you're going to be outdoors in the cold and,
as a good grandmother, I made sure the young ones (and I) had an adequate amount.
Such a good grandma I am--LOL
When we got to the mountains, we found them nicely 'decked' out for us--
in fact, they were wearing my favorite outfit,
which I like to call 'mist on the mountain'.
Very, very beautiful!
I understand, on very good authority,
that it's made especially for them by my favorite Designer--
perhaps you know and admire His work too:)
I can hardly wait till He clothes them SOON in some shining white snow
 as I am especially fond of His 'snow on mountain'  designer look!
A stop along the river,
a short walk in the woods,
a climb by three of us (not I) to the top of the fire tower;
lots of time inside looking at the exhibits.
I could live in this place...
this gorgeous, gorgeous forest.
Well I can't because it isn't allowed,
but I would LOVE to!

As you can see, the river level is higher now then it was awhile back
and the current is much more swift.
Some of the places we hiked to this summer are under the water now
and soon the river will be even higher.
More rain=higher river.
More rain=prettier waterfalls.
More rain is a good thing
(even though I do find myself complaining of it often).

In the PNW, we LOVE our moss.
And why you ask do we love it?
Well, for several reasons-
first off, it's green,
and in the midst of winter we crave colors other then gray and brown.
Secondly, it's everywhere--
on the trees, on the ground, on garden art, in the grass, in cracks on walks, on roofs and more.
Yep, we love our moss.

Down the trail view...
MUCH. much  prettier in person:)

In the PNW we also LOVE our ferns
and I think this golden one is quite pretty!
For more golden views
(actually for a lot of amazing forest and mountain photos,
see Linda's blog here.)
You got to LOVE the world of bloggers--
they take you where you are too scared to go--
like to the top of cliffs and mountains :)
Yikes! It is really late and I have tasks to do...
so with that I will say adieu for today with this photo of Tillamook Bay.
Have a wonderful day:)

11 November 2013

Perplexed in Paradise

The calendar says it's mid autumn,
and normally I would accept that as fact.
After all my world is filled with the gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows
I would expect at this time of the year.
But then I take a stroll around my garden
and everywhere I look
 I also see definite signs of spring and summer.
It is a bit confusing.  
I tell myself it's autumn--season of grayness, endless clouds, dark, cold,
thermal underwear and rain.
And I am OK with that
(well not really, but I can survive this latter half of autumn,
 and the coming winter...I think)
But then God, and my garden,
 decide to place special touches of spring and summer in my world.
And He even gives us a warmish, sunnier type of day
and I am left feeling confused
(but a whole lot blessed).
So I ask you...
is it autumn,
 as these maple leaves are telling me...
or spring,
 as the evergreen huckleberry buds would seem to indicate?

See what I mean?
SO many mixed signals here.



Well, even though I have lavender thinking it is summer
roses acting like it is summer;
 evergreen huckleberries and salal looking like they're enjoying a pretty spring day,
I am going with autumn because it's only then that the leaf rake
gets the BIG
work-out it had today:)
Anyone else perplexed in your little piece of paradise?
Wishing ALL of our veterans a very blessed Veterans Day!
Thank you for your service.
Our garden the last few days.
A lot of different Japanese maple leaves...
with some lilac and other leaves. 
Simplicity rose.
Our other camellia sasanqua
the one my DH tried to kill many years ago
snicker, snicker:) :)

02 November 2013

Autumn Songs

Where are the songs of Spring?
Ay, where are they?
 Think not of them, thou hast thy music too...

May I open my heart to this latter part of Autumn's sweet,
but sometimes subtle, melodies...

and may I always be thankful for the blessings of each season that our Creator has made.

Wishing you all a blessed November.
Late September in rural NW Oregon
(but we still have a lot of color around us).



29 October 2013

Tuesday's Tasks

Yesterday was not a good day
(although it did have its bright, sun-filled, warm, lovely moments).
The handle on my wonderful, beloved slow cooker broke
(but the stoneware insert didn't--yippee).
We picked part of our fuzzy kiwi crop because of the possibility of a hard freeze last night
(but we didn't get a hard freeze and so,
 the ones left on the vine have a bit longer to get sweeter).
Mmm kiwi!
The turkey strips I was planning to cook expired 10/26 and not on 10/28 as I thought.
(But I had a backup plan--yea!).
But then my backup plan, chicken, didn't defrost correctly
(my fault, totally my fault),
and I was left with partly frozen chicken with
 little bits of shredded packaging paper all over it.
Double sigh with a BIG argh on top!
(but I had a backup to my first backup--hurrah)
And that third plan succeeded!
And then, of course, there are always the things one chooses to keep to themselves
(but I've called in heavenly help and wisdom on those).
So now, here we are, this Tuesday afternoon and I am finally starting on my 'to do' list for today
(I blame the late start on my warm, snuggly comforter and flannel sheets):
In the sink our lovely hydrangeas are drying
(using a method my best friend, who I've done wedding flowers with before, told me about).
Since I didn't have enough vases handy,
I am substituting the sink and my wire dish drainer temporarily.
I am hoping to come up with a substitute quickly as dirty dishes
 are in the other side of the kitchen sink:)
One itsy bitty setback--the water from yesterday somehow drained out last night.
Easy solution--fresh cuts to all stems and back in water.
Another of my Tuesday Tasks...
yesterday, in the midst of the many mini-storms that hit our place,
I baked a lovely pie pumpkin
and now I just need to decide what to do with it...
any ideas?
Pumpkin cookies with orange glaze?
Pumpkin loaf?
Mini pumpkin muffins?
Not part of my yesterday, but definitely a part of a recent adventure...
and bunnies are just SO cute!
Well time to get on to these tasks
(and a few others).
What tasks are you working on?
And for my fellow poetry lovers--a small excerpt for this beautiful, cloudless Tuesday:
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
The Rainy Day (1842).
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(Public Domain)
You can find the full poem in many places on the web as I did.
Or here at this site:

25 October 2013

A Post to Make You Smile--Hopefully:)

My beautiful sun drenched, warm world has turned rather gray and cold...
and it seems like there will be no reprieve--at least not for today that is.
Oh well--since I have absolutely no power over the skies above me,
but do over how I respond to it,
I am posting a few pics to brighten both of our days:)
I need a pair of these in my yard!
Sooo cute, sooo bright!
And some people just call them 'cows' :)
Bright and beautiful--even the one that looks like it needs a 'wart' remover.
I am really into scarecrows this month.
Could it be a sign that I need to watch Wizard of Oz yet again?
I did see a cute little 'tin man' the other day...
he was just hanging out
Ornamental corn--love it!
And to end this post on a rather peaceful,
but happy note--
and now it's time to finish off that candied apple I've been working on since Tuesday:)
Have a blessed and joy-filled weekend!
October 2013.
1,2--Tillamook area.
 (Mmm, apple dumplings) 
5--ornamental corn from Bauman Farms
(Mmm, apple cider)
6-Neskowin area
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