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........