Friday, November 15, 2013


 Before I get into the saga of The Great Fence, I want to show off the gorgeous colors of the autumn trees around here last week.  I went with a friend for lunch and we drove over to the Umpqua area.  My kind of photo shoot!  Old historical homes, pasture animals, old barns and beautiful fall the ever wonderful Umpqua River.  "My cup runneth over!"   We had lunch at a delicious bakery.......The Lighthouse Bakery.  It's also a cafe and has vegetarian food.  Being an animal eater, I usually avoid vegetarian restaurants, but that menu has changed so much from what it was years ago.  Just delicious is the new version.  The Lighthouse does a great business and this is what supports, at least in part, a spiritual retreat center that I've yet to visit but sounds pretty amazing........That will be the subject for another day.
In the travels of last week, we stopped by one home that had such an assortment of  an autumn themed garden.  Not only the gorgeous trees, like this first photo of a liquid amber, but a cute outhouse, hay wagon, scarecrows, beautiful fall flowers, and just too many odds and ends to list them all here.  I put a couple of photos of it on Facebook, if you follow me on there.  The family all came out when they saw us out in front......first the son, visiting from Chicago, then his mother, then his son, then the father, then the daughter.....and then the family dog.  One by one and we all had a great gab-fest.  Such nice people!  And they do it up for Christmas also, so I'll be hoping to see that come December.....
The second photo is of a group of fishermen taking off on one part of the Umpqua River.  And the third photo is of one I took of the river from an overpass........I usually don't put my own photos on my computer's desktop but this one I had to........It's so beautiful!  And it was a beautiful day.
 So now it's the sage of "The Great Fence".   When we moved into our new home we noticed that a part of the fence in the back was leaning but didn't think it was that big a deal.  Then we had a storm come through that dropped quite a bit of water.  Compared to what we used to get in Port Orford, we didn't think it was much of a gully-washer, but it did do some damage out back.  It washed out a gully between the sod of the lawn and the weed-guard that held decorative plants against the fence......It looked like it washed under the garden beds and under the fence.  I couldn't see beyond the fence to see what the backside looked like but the fence was REALLY leaning after that.  Obviously, something was going on that needed looking into.  So......we had a maintenance man and contractor, Scotty, come out and take a look.  It appears that when the backyard was re-landscaped, the drainpipe that went under the lawn, either broke or just stopped without continuing out beyond the garden area......meaning under the fence.  No one actually knows this for sure at this point since it's underground but that's what suspected.  Another contractor came out and those were his thoughts also.  Doesn't really matter, except it has to be fixed.  Next week, the project will start........digging up part of the garden and lawn......dropping steel I-beams, a cement wall, 2 layers of treated plywood and some kind of cloth, layers of rock....a French drain and the the fence pulled forward attached to something or other. They say that the garden will look back to what it looks like now (minus the leaning fence) but I really, really have my doubts about that!  So today, there have been all kinds of utility men coming and going to make sure that there are no lines, wires, etc. that will be impacted by the work....Plywood has been delivered, and different men painting words on the lawn that means something to them.  Good Grief!!!  And "Yes, this will cost a pretty penny".  The good parts are that (1) it will be fixed so no further damage can occur and (2) they will start next week and will work at it straight through to completion..........5 or 6 days.  Oh.....a third plus is that we're meeting a lot of very nice people....and that counts for a lot, right??
The weekend is coming up and I wish you all a happy and fun time to be had by all!

Friday, November 1, 2013


 It's been so long since we've been living in a place where we get the Halloween trick or treaters and this year was just great!  Our very first trick or treater was our new friend pictured above.  Myrna did NOT have her parents with her but braved it on her own..........actually she was in costume for handing out the treats which her daughters and grandchildren went out to treat everyone with their 'family of bones'.........All dressed in skeleton costumes.  Myrna was so decked out I couldn't pass up taking a photo of her.  Not long after that the kids started hoards!  Some of the very little ones were so funny.  A number started to just walk in the house like it was it was where they little guy who was only about 1 1/2 years old didn't consider my putting the candy in the bag his Mom was carrying to be legitimate and when he thought I wasn't going put any candy in his own little hand, his face started to scrunch into what would become 'the big square mouth wail'.  Of course, I quickly put another piece in his little hand before the dam broke and he, satisfied, went on his way.
 The various parents were pretty funny, too.  They almost always had to tell the younger ones to say "Trick or Treat".....which translated into "Twick or Tweet".........then there was the duty "Thank You".

 A tall young girl dressed up like Little Boo Peep, gave a very deep voiced thanks that had me commenting on The Voice.........When he told me a bit defensively "I'm a boy!".
  After I gave one little one his treats with his father standing there with him when I saw a flash from out on the street.  I said "Oh, picture taking?"  And the young father said in a bit of a tired reply "Of course"........guess Mom makes happy and frequent use of her camera!  Another pre-teen boy suggested I give him ALL the candy.......then gave a thank you and a "God Bless".  I wondered whether he knew it was a heathen holiday.......8-))

Now we are left with about a couple of dozen little candy bars and/or packages of M&M's.  Hmmm.....I wonder what we're going to do with them?  It is a dilemma.........

 These flowers are perfect for the autumn of the year, aren't they.  They above chrysanthemum grows in our garden.  It seems to be a prolific producer........And the beautiful variegated cyclamen was given to us by a friend, Sarah..........I've never seen one like this before with the variegated leaves and the very deep dark red blooms.  I think we've found the perfect place for it and enjoy watching it thrive.......Fingers crossed that I don't do anything to change that.
Hope you all had a fun-filled Halloween, too.  There were probably Halloween parties at the schools and churches.  Some merchants in shopping malls hold a Halloween costume parade for the kids to march in and collect treats from the various shops and stores.  Unfortunately, we have to worry more now-a-days on keeping the kids safe from the real-live bad guys.  Thankfully, last night showed Norm and I that the kids are having just as much fun as they did when we were kids.

Monday, October 28, 2013


 It was a dark and stormy Friday night........all the goblins and ghouls were out and Winchester Elementary Festival last Friday night.  What fun it was!  It reminded me of the Kids Saturday Art group in Port Orford......  The Festival was set in the school's gymnasium and all around the perimeter of the room were various activities that they could participate in.......ring toss, dime toss, food, toss for (poor) gold fish, candy suckers, etc.  There were about 100 children and sometimes with their parents, wanting to be photographed.  But the large room was packed to capacity and over-flowing into the cafeteria.  Parents, kids, grandparents, great grandparents........they were all there!  I went through over 300 photos over the weekend to edit and narrow the choices down to a reasonable number.   I wish someone would have photographed me photographing them...........there would have been a few comical sights in there.  The children were all loaded down with prizes and goodies from the other stands and I didn't want them carrying the bags into the scene I would shoot.  So, there I was a couple of times taking the photographs and clicking with one hand and my other was holding a candy sucker or two in the air for the child.  Or, in one case, a bag of water and the poor traumatized goldfish.  Then there were a couple of times when the parents were standing behind me animated and posing themselves in how they wanted their children to pose.  And these poses were supposed to be expressing their favorite you can just picture some of the scenes, can't you??
The later the evening went, the more animated (due to hyper-super-highs) the kids became.  By the time it was breaking up, there was close to chaotic bedlam, I tell you!  And the gym was not anything like noise proof.  It's built I think to emphasis the cheers and yowls of the sports audiences.  But it was just a lot of good fun!  I think everyone had a great time.  There were some children who loved the camera!  And then there are the shy ones.......and all in between!  My favorite part is the editing, I think.  It always has been.  I can really read into what the kids are least at that time of shooting.  The little girls generally have no problem posing.....some are actually good if not outrageous.  The boys look like they really enjoy acting out their costumes theme and if they weren't wearing one.....well, they get in the role anyway; the rowdier the better.  There are a couple of pre-teens who were 'cool' and their poses were oh-so serious.  The Dudes!   Some of the pre-teen girls were showing their poise already in their fashion-model poses.  Others were all about their bbf and would pose together, arms around each other, or posing in unison.  Parents occasionally wanted to pose with their child and the children all seemed to love that and it was very sweet.  I shot one boy whose father was right by his side but standing sideways and the father's hand gently touching the side of the boy's face.  Loved that moment!
So, I just finished editing and downloading the photos for printing and then they'll be delivered to the school.......and they're free to the kids and family.  A great program.

I'm enjoying my photography fact about a month ago Norm convinced me to submit one of my photos in to the local newspaper and they published it.  That was encouraging.

The nights are getting cooler and some of the trees are now bare.  Mother Nature is getting ready for her yearly nap.

For those of you in Port Orford who might be interested, Finch's Liquor Store and again carrying some of my photo cards.  Take a look and see if there's anything you can't live without!

Everyone have a great week.....I, personally, am enjoying the quiet of mine.

Monday, October 21, 2013


 A very fun weekend for Norm and I.  We had good friends from Port Orford (now a 'distant shore') and Emily's long time friend, Ulrike, otherwise know as Ullie, who has been visiting from Germany, (an even more distant shore).  I met Ullie last year and she is a lovely and sensitive lady.  I enjoyed her company very much and was afraid I wasn't going to see her for this year's visit.  Ullie's flight back home was Sunday but Rick and Emily brought her over a day early so we could re-connect least a little.  Enough time for some heart-felt and lengthy hugs.  It was so worth it!   We all went out to dinner at Dino's and I think everyone was pretty pleased with their meal.  I was......wild salmon baked in some kind of maple honey sauce.  Just sweet enough.........
And thanks to the tutoring of Rick, I now have Skype capacity.  More fine-tuning on my smart phone and etc. with all the new electronics that are now around here.  I hear bells and whistles constantly.  And's not just in my head!  There is my washer and dryer that play little tunes when the cycle's are microwave, oven timer, oven temp. gauge, my smart phone (sub-sounds are gmail messages, texts, phone calls), Skype now sends a few little notes and........oh yeah!  The door bell!   I hear a sound and have to figure out where it's coming from and what it means.....
 I've been taking photos with the smart phone this week.  I think they're not bad, huh?  Not a high resolution but that's fine.  I love the first photo at the top of Norm with the background of the colorful trees on one of our morning walks........and the back lighting of the 2nd was neat.....all misty.  Love that kind of effect.  Must be the hangover from my Irish heritage......the rain and foggy mists, and all.
 And here is the beautiful Ullie.  and me........
This last photo was one of a number I took on the walk from the car to Dino's restaurant.  This large and beautiful tree is in front of Roseburg's Justice Building.  Courthouse, Sheriff's Dept., etc.  I wonder how old that tree is?  It's been there a day or two, that's for sure.

I hope you're all off to a good run on the new week.  Mine will be a little busy with this n' that.  This Friday I will be taking photos of the kids that come to the Harvest Festival here in Winchester.  It's been a while since I've done any shooting of children.....and these will be posed rather than them running around like they did in the Kid's Art Program in Port Orford.  There, I could always blame the constant movement of the kids for any blurred shots...........(Not MY fault!!).  Not so this time.  Although I don't like using tripods, this might be a good time to break mine out.

So, you all have a good week.  And Ullie...........I'm happy to hear you made it back safely to Germany.  Now you can hug that darling little grandson to your heart's content!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 He was a one-of-a-kind and a great neighbor..........Maxwell, Max really, was our friend and neighbor's wonderful pooch that lived next door to us in Port Orford.   He was diagnosed with bone cancer about 6 months or so ago, and has lived beyond what the expectations were......thanks mainly, I know, to the love and careful care of his owners.  "Owners" doesn't sound like the right title, though.......Max was more the 'kid' of the family.........a big, loveable lug.  I'm not quite sure what a 'lug' is, but if it's an always happy, friendly, and lumbering goof, then that was Max.   Anytime, Norm or I walked down the road past his house, you could count on the greeting from Max......a loud "Woof".  Or if he was out and about and saw us, he'd race down to the road for his expected pat and maybe a rub, and then he'd turn around and race back home.   If we had company come to our place, count on Max to include himself in their welcome.......When he was around during a (people) conversation, Max included himself and always felt like he had important contributions to make to the overall subject.

I remember a time when I was picked blackberries down the road.  My kitty at the time, Willie, always came with me and waited around for me to finish.  One day, Max was being taken down the road for a walk when Willie and Max spotted each other.  OH-oh.........Max lurched forward and he was not only a big dog but strong.  I left the berries and helped hold Max from going after Willie.  Willie must have sized up the situation in her favor and she attacked Max!  At least she did that particular "crab-shuffle" that cats do when they're trying to intimidate.......Max was duly intimidated and was pretty shocked.  Willie then decided to go home, having done her duty in 'protecting' me.   Max never stood for that least not from Willie.  The tables were turned from then on, but it is a funny memory.
 These photos of Max were in my older files........this one above is him shaking the newspaper, I think.  It was his job after they picked it up for Max to carry it back home......unless something else caught his attention, anyway.  But he was so proud.....and would more or less parade with said paper in his mouth.

He has fought a hard and long battle but finally, much to the heart-felt pain of all who knew him, Max needed to move on.  All of you who have had and loved pets and viewed them as family members, know the ache and pain of having to say good-bye.   It always hurts.   All life forms suddenly seem so very precious and endearing.  I've always felt that our pets give us that unconditional love that echos or reflects our own love back to us.  When we lose that pet we feel like we've lost one of the best and pure, true parts of ourselves.
Max will be remembered with much love and our heart-felt empathy goes out to Nanci and Ray.........

Saturday, October 12, 2013


 Another first for Norm and I......our first Smart phone.....thanks to the encouragement of Rick and Emily, who came for a visit this week.  It was so great to see them again and instead of showing them the local sights, they were showing me all kinds of 'stuff' on our new toy.  I can't say that I'm anywhere near learning all there is to it, but already it's such a joy to be rid of that last (non-working) phone system we had.  ("HEART that, Pam!)  And so many apps to it!  No wonder so many people are walking around with the heads down or the phones to their ears with a non-focusing look in their eyes.  I was going to post a photo or two that I took with the phone but that needs a bit of work, too!  Instead, their are photos of Rick and Emily and one with Norm.
 Obviously, the above one is of pumpkins at Kruse's Farm......
We're so aware at different times how life is so different for us in the smallest ways.  Last night Norm saw a mouse in the garage.  I really thought we'd left all that nonsense behind us but when I thought about it, we are surrounded by wooded hills.  Anyway, Norm set out a mouse trap and this morning found that he'd caught it.  Now........what do we do with it???   The garbage man had already no putting it in the garbage......... The recycling would not appreciate finding a mouse to burying it since Norm left his shovels in Port Orford.....What we really missed was being able to just throw it over the deck into the woods........Nope....the neighbor would not find that amusing.  What he finally did was to wrap it in a sandwich bag.......then foil......pressing out as much air as he could...........then newspaper......then a gallon size zip-lock bag......and finally a plastic grocery bag.  There it lies in the bottom of the garbage bag waiting until next Saturday's pick-up.   Hopefully, the weather isn't very warm and we won't have to contend with 'la fragrance'..........

Today we ran into the previous owner of our house who is a manager at Costco.  I showed him my new cell phone, grinning broadly....he said it was one of the best in Roseburg and warned me to get a good buffer case for it.  He has dropped other cell phones in the past and instead of the low sale price for the phone that went with joining up with Verizon, he had to pay another $400 to replace the broken phone he'd dropped.  That made me very nervous!  So tomorrow we'll be scouting out a Verizon store and buying a buffer case.  His was made of a very strong rubber and had rounded and raised if it drops it will hit the surrounding case rather than the phone itself.  That sounds like a safety must have for me.

So, that was the week that was.......Good friends, good visit and good new toy....ah, I mean a good new tool..........

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


 What a good day it turned out to be.......I had a visit with my new neighbor and her Mom......Angie and Myrna.  It was eye-opening to find out so many more interesting things about the new community I find myself in.  Lots in common with these ladies.  I found out there is at least one Course In Miracles over in Sutherlin that sounds very promising.  That group has diminished in size over the years and so they might welcome some new-blood.  (maybe not so new anymore, huh?).   There is a Unity Church in downtown Roseburg that might have one also....or be interested in starting another.  We'll see.
Both Myrna and Angie are very active in various types of volunteer works.  I'm getting internal 'nudges' to begin becoming involved outside of our new home.  This entire area is a non-stop highway to so many more kinds of involvements than you could possibly imagine.  I just have to be careful of not trying to wear too many different hats.
This month there is going to be a children's carnival at the local elementary school.  I'll be there wearing my very own 'photographer's name tag'.   Fun......When I photographed the Kid's Saturday Art Day in Port Orford on Saturdays........I really enjoyed it.  The kids are all so natural (and funny).....the various moods or instant happenings are right there on their faces or in the scene.  These photos will be a little more posed but I'm thinking that they'll be just as much fun.  I'll edit them and them send them over to WalMart for printing.  Each child's family will get a photo of their kid in his/her favorite super-hero/heroine's costume.  The photos are free to each child which is a lovely thought.
Another area where I might offer my photography is a local medical or hospital program for those parents who have had a still-life birth.  So many people, meaning well, will shy away from the subject or any talk with the parents in reference to the dead baby.  The parents will WANT to remember...NEED to grieve......this was their child no matter how long he/she lived and deserves to be remembered as any deceased should be.  The baby was a vitally important person in many lives, in spite of never having taken a breath.....or lived very long.  There are a few people who will offer to take photos of the baby with or without their parents, as requested by the parents.  I would very much consider it a gift for me to do this if there is a need.  Then there is the Mercy Foundation.......which I assume is part of Mercy Hospital.......they have so many areas where one can help out......from disadvantaged children to the dying and everything in between, that it makes my head spin as to where I think I might fit.  I thought that I just might go and talk to someone in the Foundation and tell my background areas and let them decide.
I think my original plans of just holding up in my studio and doing art, art and more art, are getting shuffled aside.  But I'm looking forward to seeing just which doors open for me.

Both Norm and I have had dental appointments the last couple of weeks.  I have two crowns coming....just in time for the present bruises on my face to disappear before I get more.....And Norm had some dental problems of his own which had him eating 'gingerly' for a day or two.  All is well now.  And I'm finally getting rid of a nasty cold.......and hoping to do the same with this miserable phone system we now have.  It HAS to go!  No one can hear well at either end.  One sister referred to it sounding like we each had a tin can with a string in between.  Another thought it sounded like I was calling from Russia.  Found out this week that this phone system will never work right since our internet and TV is satellite.  I'm just waiting for the phone representative to come and dismantle the thing and I'll go and find a regular landline phone.  Problem is that all the companies are pushing their bundles.  I'm really so tired of working with this phone issue.  I can't count the hours that have been spent over it.  Hopefully, soon I'll have something that will work.
I'm hoping to go photo shooting tomorrow.........and in another week or so, Myrna has all kinds of places she's going to show me where there are photo ops galore!!  Yahoo!
On the not so neat side of things is the rain.  Remember how Norm and I were snickering at how the newspapers over here thought how the rains were so heavy?  And the winds so fierce?  Compared to Port Orford, it was funny to us.  Well, they'll all have the last laugh since that 3/4" rain had washed out part of our back lawn.......a regular little gully that washed somewhere on down the hill behind us.  The fence is now tilting and I'd be surprised if it lasted the winter.  Norm got 3 sacks of soil at Lowe's and packed it into the gully.  Of course, he thought he wouldn't need his post hold digger...or his shovels......Guess what Santa will be bringing this Christmas??
Well, that's enough about me.........Hope all of you are enjoying the beautiful autumn.  My favorite time of year!!!
Have a great rest of the week!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013


 This state park is only 4 minutes away from our place and a beautiful place it is.  I haven't edited all the photos yet but will within a few days to show the park itself.  The photos here are mostly of the Umpqua River, which offers fishing, kayaking, rafting and beautiful views.  It's an RV park also but that's a little away from the park itself.  A little creek runs through it, much like the creek that runs through Humbug State Park.  (For you coasties).  And of course the Umpqua River, that you see here.   I think it's going to be a good place to go back as more of the trees turn color.
 I had a great birthday the other day.  I had birthday greetings from near and far friends and family.  My beautiful niece sent a gift certificate to one of the most wonderful restaurants!  It was such delicious food..........each cooked and served to perfection.  The name was Dino's and it was in the old downtown part of Roseburg.  Norm had veal scallopini, Ceasar salad, (reserve order, there), and some espresso, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate concoction that was so rich but wonderful!  I had rice and wild mushroom soup, ensalata caprese, port cutlets with fig and balsamic and cream sauce and the same dessert, which I couldn't finish.  I can hardly wait to go back!  

Are you all getting ready for the Pacific Northwest 'big-blow'??  I guess it's going to be a wild weekend.  Hope all my friends on the coast stay safe.  They expect wind here but 35-40 MPH doesn't sound like much to me after Port Orford.  But there could be a lot of trees that might come down if they aren't used to strong winds here.

Had our local flock of turkey passing down the street again today.  Norm and I stood there watching and making little noises at them.  One tom was very curious and kept answering us.  I just hope none of the neighbors heard us.  I think they all just take the turkey's as a common occurrence.  Saw one of the woodpeckers up close yesterday........acorn woodpecker.  Norm put out some suet and a special blend made with dried insects.  So, there were scrub and stellar jays and the woodpecker.  Over in the sunflower seed holder we have one chickadee that sits in there forever, on top of the seeds.  It's one of those round top feeders that is supposed to foil the squirrels.  This chickadee rests after eating all it wants, then continues to just sit in there........little hog!

Speaking of birds, has anyone noticed the turkey vultures this past week?  We were driving in a rural area over to Sutherlin and I noticed in the sky a large number of vultures all circling around in circles.  They were fairly high and disorganized......meaning not like geese or duck's 'V' shaped flock.  I saw about 5 different groups of them......sometimes numbering 20 or so.  I've seen them before in past years but not quite so many different groups of them as last weeks.  Guess it was the time for them to all gather and fly south to California and beyond.

So......this next week will be fairly busy for us with various appointments.  I hope everyone in the PNW stays safe and dry........and have a good autumny weekend anyway.

Monday, September 23, 2013


We had a happy surprise email yesterday from our good friends from Port Orford, Steve and Elaine Roemen.  Much too short a visit but very welcome, nonetheless....... They happen to be over in eastern Oregon and stopped by on their way back home.  We caught up a bit with some of the news, showed off our new home and hoped they make another and longer visit soon.  It was good to see friendly and familiar faces again.  

Our new house is the color Norm and I have thought that Norm might build a house sign saying "Sage House"...........It might let people think that 'sagely, wise' people live here.  ;-)   And Elaine brought us a twig of sage from eastern Oregon.  It smells so good!  and it's the real thing!  It went up on the mantle where I'm collecting other autumn-ie type things......maple leaves and twigs and odds and end.  

We took care of a bit more business this morning.........changing our address for our driver's licenses and I made an appointment to have my 'concealed' transferred over here to Douglas County.  I told the woman I talked to at the Sheriff's office of the problems I had (or I should say the Curry Co. Sheriff's Dept. had) in getting my finger prints.  No one was able to get that done......the electronic print reader just would not accept any of my prints.  Hours spent.  So, I told this woman today that they'd better give me a nice long time slot.  She said what I needed to do (or not do) is:  No washing dishes for the next week (without gloves), no cleaning (without gloves) and no gardening (without gloves).  So.......there you have it!! I have direct orders from the Sheriff's office to hire a maid and a gardener.  She also suggested that when I come over to turn in my paperwork to bring my husband so he can take me out to lunch.  She said they have some excellent restaurants downtown, and she thought they would be better than Curry County.  I don't know about that, but generally, you can understand why I like their way of thinking over here!  I love this woman~~  I am soo lucky!  

 Here's a nice photo, I think, of Steve and Elaine......and the one below is of Elaine and myself.  Notice the smooth look?   I love photoshop!!

We're going to try a new restaurant this Thursday.  It's 'mon' birthday and I've heard from friends in Port Orford that Bric's is excellent.  I'll let you know......

Hope everyone's week is starting off well......lots of rain over here.  I do believe summer is definitely over.  Snowfall at 5000 ft. already.  The Old Farmer's Almanac says it's going to be a cold winter and that seems to be starting off that way.  Reach for the 'woolies'!  

Have a great Tuesday~

Sunday, September 22, 2013


What a time I've had trying to get onto my blog this past week!!   I was about ready to just give it up.  My email account was all messed up too.  Maybe I had a virus, I don't know but I changed a password today and all of a sudden my email account came back en force with hundreds of emails, some I'd seen, others not.  My contact list is back along with all my folders and files.  
Well, for now everything is back even if my usernames and passwords are all over the map.  

I thought this photo below looked like the first day of autumn since I didn't make it out to Kruse's today.........they have tons of pumpkins that I want some photos of.  These are the tomatoes and cukes that Angie gave to us a week ago.  So Good.

 Now this photo is of one of the few remaining round's over in the Winston area, I think.  This looks like the changing season, too, I think.   The rains have arrived this week.  It was pretty heavy yesterday but we didn't have the wind like Port Orford.  Here we have turkeys still parading around the neighborhood.  Yesterday I counted 9 in the local flock, stolling through the neighborhood and then back up into the hills.   They're funny.....we still have the vision of that cat being chased.  8-)

This last shot is just of some of the pretty clouds we see over here.  I was somewhat inspired to do come art work up in my studio........I really love the feel of that room, surrounded by many of my favorite things, photos, books, paintings of all types and music.  (MY music).  So, I did spend a couple of hours just getting myself back into the practice of going up there and trying to let my muse encourage me......
Last week we got set up with our new doctor and dentist.  I like both....even if I do need a couple of crowns.  Since it's been years that I've had to do any dental work I guess it's time to pay the piper.  When he came in he had just been out in the waiting room talking to Norm.  The dentist had a big grin on his face and said how he gave my husband a joke book!   I told him how now I'll know who to blame!  And then he started telling one joke after another off the top of his head...........The two of them are going to be great buddies~~And for those of you who know Norm he'll have a whole new set to throw at you next time you see him.  Be prepared!!

In the meantime, I'll try to get my blog with a little more frequency but the new passwords aren't being accepted and there is a mystery leprechaun inside my computer!  I'm sure of it.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


This first photo is of Norm fixing up his work benches......As usual his workshop is going to be neat....and in this case, brand-spanking new.  I'm so happy to see him setting up his 'space'.  I can hardly believe that we've now been over here in Winchester for one whole month already!  It just doesn't seem that long.  
 OK......this next series of photos is the story of the day.  We have a number of birds that I've noticed over here in the valley that are different than the ones we watched and fed in Port Orford.  I've noticed a lot of woodpeckers....but they move so fast I can't tell whether they're acorn or downy woodpeckers.  But there are a lot.  Then, there are the scrub jays....which seem quieter than the steller's that Norm called "the bully birds".  There are a number of doves, some junco's and I saw a pair of chickadees the other day.  We also see a number of flocks of wild turkeys all over this area.  Near Costco, over by the (beautiful) dumps, and any place there seems to be treed hills.  I didn't expect them strolling up our street the other day, though.  Norm and I were heading out for our morning walk and he said "Quick, go get your camera.  There are turkeys out here!"  I hurried to get it and went out shooting.  They didn't seem the least concerned at our appearance other than to show curiosity at the clicking noises of my camera.   Then we saw a cat stalking from across the street.  I missed getting a good photo of the cat actually stalking and moving pretty fast....right towards the turkeys.  That's when the story got funny.

 So.......the first 2 photos are of the turkeys, minding their own business and pecking away in various front yards.  Then here comes the you can see in the below photo, he isn't stalking anymore, the turkeys are hardly worried.  But I think the cat is.....
 He's now trying to look nonchalant and casual........trying to look so cool.  8-))
 Here, as he passes and the flock disappears from his line of peripheral vision, he can't help but taking a quick peek to make sure he hasn't put himself in harm's way.
 And here, the last photo, you do not see the cat.......he's hightailed it out of range with the turkey's starting after him..........It was just a funny scene to witness.  When we first saw the cat after the turkeys, we were afraid we'd be witnessing mayhem...........the the tables were turned, much to the embarrassment of the neighborhood cat.

Friday, September 6, 2013


I had one of the nicest of days yesterday........along with one of the most frustrating mornings.  My new neighbor, Angie, was taking me on a 'round the area' tour to help me get my sense of where things are a little more finely honed.  I was so happily surprised when we pulled into the Winston Wild Life Safari Park.  I thought, "Wow!  This camera-crazed woman was soon going to be one happy camper!!"  The day was overcast with chance of some showers forecast, which was a good time to shoot (camera-wise) the animals.  Years ago Norm and I took a family of friends who had driven all the way from Colorado, to Wild Life Safari, only to see no animals at all because it was too hot, and too late in the day......very disappointing.   This day was going to be so different!  Camera primed and ready to go........the first wildlife spotted was a pair of ostriches.  I did get a couple of ok shots....a little blurry but.......When I went to take more shots........disaster struck!  My camera froze up!!  No amount of fiddling would un-stick it.  I don't want to give the impression that I didn't enjoy the rest of the trip ride through the park because I did.......but I silently growled whenever I saw anyone else with a camera taking photos.  All the animals were out.......there were 4 or 5 grizzly bears....2 in a pond of water, play wrestling.  There were a large circle of elk that were around a feeding bin with all their tan bottoms lined up perfectly.  A pair of rhinos........a couple of cheeta.....and course the King of Beasts and his mate........all kinds of birds and etc. etc. etc.  And no working camera!!  ARGGH!  Well, it's a good excuse to go back and now I know the perfect time and type of weather than should be the most promising.  
After a bite to eat at the Park, we went on through the vineyards and farms and estates of Winston and Melrose.  Angie was a wealth of information and the afternoon passed quickly.......and about that time I tried my camera once more and heard the joyous sound of "click-click-click".   So, I was back in the game once more.  God is Good!!  (I know......he has better things to think about than whether my camera is working or not)...........

 OK....some of the photos I've posted here..........The first one of the chimney and birds was taken at the Umpqua Valley Art the migrating swifts will stop over and all go down into the chimney together nightly.  I read somewhere that at times there are 2400 of them!  I can only imagine what an incredible sight when they all take to the air in the morning!   The hydrangea was also at the Art Center.  It looked and sounded like a great art center, too, BTW.  Very active and supporting to all the arts and artists......with a lot of help from dedicated volunteers.  I am looking forward to becoming more involved in time.
 All the rest of the photos were of our beautiful drive through the area.  Lots of wonderful old barns, a retired B&B, one of the few round barns left in the country (not pictured), and always.......those gorgeous skies.
 It was a wonderful day and I so enjoyed getting to know my new friend better as well as her little 'darlin' Paul.....a sweet 4 year old blond cutie.....with his blue tongue.  (Don't ask).

Hope you all have a great weekend, enjoying the last days of safe but have fun!!  I'm off to take more photos with my now-working camera..........Stay tuned next week

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


It's already our third week here in the "Land of Umpqua".  And there's a feel of autumn to the air as the dried thistle above shows.  Summer is winding down....
This morning we took off for the Douglas County landfill.......or the dump.  Now, you might think that a dump is just a dump is just a dump.  But, I disagree.  The Delightful Douglas Dump is really a very special place.  Others that we've had the UNdelightful experience of visiting have been dirty, stinky and no one who has business there ever, ever looks at each they are embarrassed to be seen there doing something they shouldn't be doing.  There was one back in Nevada County where the wild pigs would run all over and they were friendlier than the human visitors.  Well, here in Douglas County, it's a happy place where they have everything marked as to where you drop off your 'wares', clearly labeled signs all over.  There are guides to direct you, attendants that will unload some of the bags of trash, and they SMILE and say hello.  When we went over to unload all our moving cartons, others dropping off their trash were smiling, talking and saying a friendly 'hi' to each other.  And  one of the nicest bonus' was that it is FREE!!  We were so pleasantly surprised!  

 OK......moving right along, after that trip we headed a ways up highway 138 on the way to Diamond Lake.  We stopped and had a very good Chinese lunch.  Good food and the cute young Chinese waitress was bringing around an added enticement of a return visit by carrying her 5 month old baby on her hip.  He was very at ease with all the customers..........His name is Edwin.  I had to ask twice to make sure........Yep, he's Edwin.  Full of smiles.  There was one elderly grandma and grandpa like couple that had their own smiles from ear to ear, holding and cooing with Edwin.  They were regular customers and had shared in Edwin's adventures each week when they came for the weekly Chinese lunch.  Then, one day the Grandpa didn't feel well and they didn't return for quite a number of months.  All this was what Edwin's mother told me and she was very worried about the elderly man.  It sounded like he'd suffered a slight stroke of something.  Anyway, everyone was soooo happy to be sharing their good lunch, good health and good baby Edwin.
 We then continued on heading east for about another 10 or 15 miles.   I know my chauffeur only has so much patience when I'm looking for some photo ops.  When some of my more adventure-loving and photographer friends & family come, I'll be back and get more shots and travel further up the highway.  But the little we traveled, showed that the countryside is beautiful.  I do absolutely love the skies here!!  The skies of the coast were always gorgeous, too, but in a different way.   You'll notice that most of my shots have a lot of sky showing.
 And barns!!!   There are so many barns.......all shapes and sizes as well as varying degrees of questionable condition.  Some were falling down so much that you almost didn't know it was a barn.  This last photo shows one barn way up on the top of the hill........
So, it was a fun day.  Full of getting to know more about our environments and some of the people in it.    And I even managed to unpack more cartons in my studio.  Hope you all have a good rest of week........