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Friday, September 28, 2018

Building a Garden Lighthouse

     After seeing so many cute ideas on Pinterest, last year I decided to build a lighthouse for our backyard. I bought 4 different size clay pots and one large saucer for the base and a small saucer for the top. After gluing everything together I spray painted the base and the small saucer black.

Then I spray painted the rest white.

I continued using painters tape and newspaper to protect the white and painted the raised edges red.

I then started the process of decorating it to look like a lighthouse.

Once that was done we moved it outside and I added some more embellishments.

Then I thought maybe I need just a little bit more. So I added a ladder, more water and a boat.

For the winter I put the figures away in the shed and covered the lighthouse with a plastic bag. WRONG. This is what I found when I uncovered it this spring.

Needless to say I was not happy. So I repaired everything and I sprayed it with Thompson water seal. I'm hoping that will help to protect it a little more. Also this year I will put the whole thing in the shed for the winter.

With the solar light on top the lighthouse does make a fun addition to our yard.

A thought to ponder: "If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be                                       without flavor."                            Eleanor Roosevelt

Participating in: Grand SocialShare Your Cup

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dog Days

     Have you ever wondered where the phrase, "dog days of summer" came from? The term really started with the ancient Greeks and Romans and refers to the the Dog Star, Sirius. They said "Dog Days" occurred around the time Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. Over the hundreds of years since, the origins of the phrase have gotten lost. I think most people just think of it as the hot days at the end of summer. So hot that dogs just lay around in the shade.

     For our dog Wally, I think everyday is a "Dog Day". 
Maybe a walk in the park.

A picnic in the mountains

Or a nice roll in the grass.

Maybe look for fairies, more likely a rabbit or squirrel.

There's always a cool place to take a nap, whether inside or out.

No matter what you do, don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

Our local park pool celebrates the end of summer swimming and the start of school with it's own "Dog Days". At the end of the last day of swimming, people can bring their dogs to enjoy the pools. Wally is not a big swimmer so we just went to watch the other dogs have fun.

A thought to ponder: "A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class                                      but by who they are inside."

Monday, July 30, 2018

Going Batty

     A few years ago I wrote a post about all the wildlife in our yard, Who's in Your Garden. We continue to enjoy visitors to our garden all year round. Like this little bunny.

Or this early robin.

Later the babies started showing up.

Here's a male duck that was waddling around our backyard. There was a female also but I was unable to get a photo.

A snake was sunning himself on the rocks and startled me when I first caught sight of him out of the corner of my eye.

Something else that has been building in our trees are paper wasps.
They can be beneficial to your garden, but when you have a family member that is very allergic, they have to go. Their nests are fasinating.

The other day someone new showed up. I was opening up our patio umbrella when something flew out very fast and landed on the window screen. Once I got the umbrella up I walked over to see what it was and I certainly was surprised to see a bat.

Some how it had gotten up into the closed umbrella.

It wandered around on the screen a bit then flew back to the umbrella. So I very carefully closed up the umbrella. Later when it was starting to get dark I opened the umbrella and the bat flew out and on his merry way. I am happy to see them around as they eat bugs, especially mosquitoes.

I was able to get this video of him.

A thought to ponder: Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your                                    mind, body, and soul.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Great Way to Start the Summer

     I haven't posted anything in quite a while. Other things kept getting in the way but mostly I haven't been in the blogging mood. The daughter and granddaughter were here for an end of school visit. So I thought I'd share some of the fun things we did in the short time they were here. 

     A morning walk along the city pathways was a nice way to start the day. Besides the lovely scenery,

we spotted a deer.

I also had the opportunity to take a group photo.

     One of the days we went to lunch at the Bradford Brinton museum. Look at the view we had while eating. 

This is the art museum where the bistro is located.

Here is a shot of some of the grounds and the house (taken a couple months ago). You can tour Mr. Brinton's house with all it's wonderful western art. It is worth a visit if you're ever in the neighborhood.

While driving home we passed an alpaca ranch. So of course we had to stop and say Hi. The kiddos really enjoyed looking at them.

A visit to the local nursery means you have to sit in the giant chair.

We of course made a visit to the park swimming pool and to the ice cream stand afterwards.

Sunday brunch with all the family is always nice.

The visit wouldn't be complete without a water fight with balloons and the hose.

And to top off the visit the grandson had a baseball game.

As with most visits this one was way to short. But we did manage to pack some fun activities in and make more memories. 

A thought to ponder: "Take care of your memories, for you can not relive them."
                                                                                                  Bob Dylan

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Oregon Coast Trip

     Well we finally made our trip to the Oregon coast. Last year I posted about our mishap that ended the original planned trip. You can read about that at:The Road Trip that Wasn't. So with all plans made and reservations secured we set off on our adventure. And it turned into that right off the bat, as we headed over our Big Horn mountains this is what we ran into.

     Once we got over the mountains things started to ease off. We were planning on going through Yellowstone to get to Idaho as this is the shortest and fastest route. But when we got to Cody we found that Yellowstone was closed due to weather and no idea when it might open. So we opted to go around, which of course made it impossible to make it to our first stop at Pocatella, Idaho (cancel reservation). We did get some nice views of the Grand Tetons on our detour.

The next day we drove as far as we could but couldn't make it to our next stop (cancel reservation). The third day we were able to make our planned stop in Fort Klamath, Oregon. We arrived and got set up and settled in. The next day we planned on visiting Crater Lake. But again the weather was against us. When we got to the lake the ranger told us the lake wasn't visible because of low hanging clouds and it was supposed to start snowing. So we went on to our next stop, the Rogue river. It wasn't snowing there but was raining, although off and on. I did manage to get some nice pictures of the area.

     We had a nice lunch at Beckie's Cafe in Union Center, they have the best homemade pies. Then headed back to our camp. We saw snow along the highway as we went past the Crater Lake area. The next day we headed on to the coast with rain off and on along the way. We stayed at Bullard's Beach State park in Bandon.  

     It was a nice campground, only about a 3/4 mile walk from the beach.

 The next day we took off to explore the area south of Bandon. We made numerous stops along the way. Of course you have to visit a lighthouse when you're on the coast. This was the Port Orford lighthouse.

     We had an interesting and informative tour of the lighthouse. The following photos show the view from the top, the light itself and the stairs looking down.

     Oregon has a rugged and beautiful coast.

One nice thing about Oregon beaches, they are open to everyone including doggies. 

     The following day we headed a little ways north to Shore Acres State Park. At one time it was a private residence. The original house is no longer there but they have an informative visitors center and you can admire the beautiful views.

     But what Shore Acres is best known for is it's botanical gardens. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed wandering around the grounds.

      After this we headed back to the town of Bandon and enjoyed a late lunch and a stroll around Old Town. This fish is made out of trash washed up on shore, mostly plastics.

     Something I didn't know was that cranberries are grown on the Oregon coast. We visited a shop that had cranberry everything, candy, jam, syrup etc. They had lots of samples to try and of course we bought some of the things we sampled. Another shop we visited was Coastal Mist Chocolate, they are known for their chocolate desserts. As the photo below shows we enjoyed ours.

     The next day we moved camp north to Seal Rock. We had a nice spot in our campground with a view of the ocean. 

     Our first day exploring this area we visited Cape Foulweather and the Devils punch bowl. 

     We then visited another lighthouse at Yaquina Head. 

     While here a whale was spotted close to shore. It was hard to catch him with my camera when he surfaced but you can see him a little bit.

     We returned to camp and decided to explore the beach which was only a short two minute walk from our campground. 

After dinner we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

     The next day started out foggy and drizzly. We headed out with our first stop at the Devils Churn turn off. There is a narrow inlet that the ocean comes into making the water churn. I'm not sure why so many things here start with devil. 

Then we moved on to another lighthouse at Heceta Head. It was a 1/2 mile hike up to see it and the views it allowed.

We stopped in the town of Florence to check out their 'Old Town'

And had lunch at a popular seafood restaurant.

       The next day we moved on to the town of Seaside. It rained off and on the whole day. We got a little break in the rain when we got to our campground. We set up as quickly as we could and didn't get too wet. The wind came up and got worse in the evening with gusts up to 40-50 mph. In bed that night we felt like we were on a carnival ride. The wind finally died down around midnight. The next day we woke to rain, we did come prepared with rain ponchos and umbrellas. Even Wally was ready for the weather.

     So we set off for more exploring. We stopped at Cape Meares which has the shortest lighthouse. 

Even with fog and rain there is beauty.

     Also in this area was the Octopus tree. I think you can tell by looking at it how it got it's name. The tree is thought to be 250-300 years old and has no central trunk. They don't really know how it came to grow this way.

     We then decided to try something drier, so we paid a visit to the Tillamook cheese factory. 

They had samples!

     We also had some of their ice cream. They are in the process of building a bigger and better information center which will open next year.  The rain continued for the rest of the day. We checked the forecast and more of the same was expected for the next several days. So we decided to end our trip one day early and headed home. 

     Our trip had a few snags along the way but over all we had a very enjoyable trip. It was great to finally be able to see and explore the Oregon coast. It was definitely worth the trip. 

A thought to ponder: "One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."                                                                William Feathr