15 March 2013

A Wee Bit of a Journey

Last year I celebrated an early St. Patrick's Day with a trip to Portland's
Irish Famine Monument and lunch at Kell's with a good friend and one of my sons.
Both places were memorable!
This year, saw me looking for ways to augment our St. Patrick's Day celebration at home.
As you may know, both hubby and I have some Celtic ancestry 
and I find myself identifying with it more than my German and Pilgrim heritage the older I get.
I think this, in part, may have something to do with the fact that it was one of my Celtic lines who came to the Pacific NW over the Oregon Trail so many years ago.
Or maybe it is my love of green (or the fact that we have so much green year round here--LOL).
Or maybe it's because I find something very mysterious and lovely about Celtic music...
especially Celtic Christian music like Eden's Bridge, etc
Ah, who knows? But I really do love my Celtic roots.
Anyway back to our journey...to a little bit of Ireland right in SE Portland
(actually a little bit of all of Great Britain).
I had known about this place for awhile--
since finding their website earlier this year when I was looking for places to purchase tartans.
But what finally brought me here was I wanted to buy a shortbread pan I had fallen in love with,
but didn't have time to have delivered before St. Patrick's Day.
Besides I am always up to exploring new places...
especially when it seems like the whole world is in bloom!
When we got there, they remembered my call and were quick to retrieve the pan
(by the way I absolutely, totally LOVE it!)
I also asked about the tartan scarves
thinking I would have to order them before one of my clan's special days this year.
I was overjoyed to find out they had quite a few in stock,
and soon set to work trying to decide which tartan to choose
(I have several clans in my ancestry so this tooka bit of time)
Do you see any you like?
The one I chose is this one and I LOVE it...
it was also a favorite with both the wonderful lady who helped me
and my best friend who had come with me.
I can hardly wait to wear AND use it at home!
The colors are much prettier than they look in this photo--
it is the hunting tartan of the Macfarlane clan.

After that we set to work choosing chocolate for the hubby man
*a confirmed chocolate lover*.

This costume caught my eye...it looks perfect for this Sunday...
but I think this Celtic lass will just go casual since I am cooking at home
(actually I will be cooking Irish themed meals 2 days in a row).
Loved our trip here...
they have so many nice things to celebrate your Celtic heritage with--
and if you aren't Celtic at all,
well I know they'll make you feel quite at home too.  
(Of course, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day)
And now to the blooms...
as I have said it seems like the whole world is in bloom right now!
In the city we saw blooming trees, camellias, daffodils and magnolias.
And here at home we have in bloom--
one flowering plum tree,
a magnolia,
(dwarf and larger varieties),
(both the sausanqua and japonica--amazing),
a daphne,
lots of dandelions and common daisies,
and the evergreen huckleberries are going crazy:)
I LOVE spring, don't you?
Everyday I find myself exploring the gardens and then bringing more spring blooms inside.


You can find more about the Scottish Country Store here on their very nice website:
Very, very nice people there!
All kinds of imported items -- some food, music CDs, books, kilts, etc.
Oh yes...disclaimer here.
I am not associated with the shop at all--just wanting to share with those who may be interested.

Oh---and the cookie above?
The delicious, scrumptious, totally yummy shamrock shortbread cookie above?
Well you can find that here at Baker + Spice,
one of my fav bakeries in the SW Portland area!
Their website is here:
(same disclaimer as above)
They carry lots of very yummy items!

A BIG thank you to both of these shops for helping me celebrate my Celtic heritage
and giving me permission to post photos:)
And now--to work
(well after I devour the rest of my shamrock goodie)

Last note:
Sorry about any typos and grammar errors...
Note to self -- posting using your laptop and smartphone
at the same time and in a hurry can lead to very amusing results!
Fortunately things can be undone...LOL:)

12 March 2013

On Meeting My Waterloo (and links to other Linn County posts)

Besides the beauty of the foothills and mountains of this land I love so very much.
Besides its forests, woodlands and wilderness areas.
Besides the best drive in, numerous museums and a whole lot of covered bridges.
Besides its waterfalls and lakes,
well I love it here because of the many rivers and creeks which one finds within its borders....
I just can't get enough of this one...the South Santiam river.
I dream of what it looked like before the dams came.
I dream of how our family lived back then.
How the moods of the river might have affected them...
how they felt when they looked out on its beautiful waters on sunny, warm days such as this one.
I will never know the river such as they did,
in the time before the waters were impounded.
But here and there I catch glimpses of what it might have been like then,
in that simpler time when one was so connected to the land and its rivers and creeks.
A hard life, with less technology and with its share of challenges and losses,
but I think a good life...
And with that I introduce you to Waterloo Falls...
so you can say,
as I now can,
that you have met your 'waterloo'.
On this Monday,
I slept a long time
(after watching my dad while my sibling was out of town this weekend)
and then I spent time researching the land and history of our family and their neighbors.
Right now I am watching The Bible on the History Channel with mixed feelings,
but mostly happy with the presentation thus far.
Tomorrow I shall be 'greening' up our place in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day.
What did you do?
Other Linn County posts
(I am beginning to think I need to make it a category LOL. This is mostly for me because my labels and search function are not 100% accurate right now for some reason.)
I will updating this as I add more photos from Linn County taken over the years...well at least the ones I have taken since getting my first digital camera.
Brownsville/Crawfordsville area:
(Brownsville was one of the locations for the film Stand By Me; the town also has an incredible museum. Nearby Crawfordsville has a historical covered bridge and is part of a scenic byway that runs over the Cascade Mountains to Sisters in central Oregon)
Lebanon/Sweet Home/Cascadia area:
(including over the Cascades to Sisters)
(including over the Cascades to Sisters)
(Murals, waterfalls, another great museum, covered bridges and other historical buidings, reservoirs, gateway to mountain, river and wilderness adventures to the east and northeast, two scenic byways)
 Scio, Crabtree, Jordan area:
(History and peaceful landscapes)
 Shedd Area/Thompson Mills area:
 (Fascinating historical mill with Queen Anne home)
 I am intending to catch up on posts I have talked about. I ask patience as sometimes our connection is bad and my hubby has needed the laptop lately for work related education.
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