08-08-2014 A Day to Celebrate Old Homes and Old Friends

Current Location: home in Rocky Point Oregon

Things get a bit strange for me when I am back home in the Inland Northwest.  I lived there for more than 30 years.  When I moved to Northern Idaho in 1972 the first time I believed it was my spirit soul home and that I would never leave.  I was so incredibly happy to have found the place where I belonged.  It came as a surprise to me that when the time came to leave, in 2002, I was ready to go.  flowers 04

My Hauser Cottage in 2002 I hauled everyone of those rocks from the mountains

It is no longer “home”.  Klamath Falls is now home and I knew it was the moment I arrived 12 years ago.  No clue how that happens, but it does.  Funny though, I grew up in Southern California and it never felt like home, even when I lived there.  As a child I was always dreaming of moving north.  As an adult I started the journey of years, ended it as far north as Prince George BC before finally coming to rest here in Oregon.  North enough.

Homes revisited (8 of 21)The Hauser cottage in 2014 the gardens are gone and so are the rocks

But unlike returning to the San Gabriel Valley in SoCal, when I go back north to the Spokane/Coeur d Alene area I feel the old pull.  I am brought up short over and over with memories of who I was then and who I am now.  I barely recognize myself any more.  There have been too many twists and turns in my life and as I said once before, the sections don’t seem to be all that connected.

08-07-2014 revisiting my old homes

The Hauser cottage in 2014 a lock box on the door but no for sale sign

Collages2My Hauser cottage gardens in 2002

Two of my four children are in Oregon and none are back in Washington or Idaho.  My lifetime soul friend, Maryruth, is in California, and I have other close and wonderful friends all over the US.  Yet there is one friend who shared that life with me who still lives the life we lived back then, right there north of Coeur D Alene in Dalton Gardens.

Friends revisited (3 of 95)My friend Laura in her backyard in Dalton Gardens

She even has the same donkey she had then, who is now 32 years old.  Laura also has chickens, which makes me miss mine, and she has gardens that flourish the way mine used to when I had that great soil and those long days to make things grow.

Friends revisited (22 of 95) I was so happy for a day to spend with Laura on her lush and luscious acre of perfect soil, water, and sunshine and a gardener’s love.  Driving east from Spokane early in the morning, I took a side route through Newman Lake and Hauser Lake, just to see how things had changed, and to see my old homes.

the HauserMy Hauser Farmhouse in 1984 in the first year of gardening there

Especially endearing to see was the old farmhouse where I lived with Lance and my kids for many years.  Melody spent her teenage years here, on her horse most of the time.  My gardens were so magnificent that people would drive by every Sunday to see what was blooming.  It was a lovely life at that time.  The old weeping willow is now so big that I can no longer see the house from the road.  The house itself was the second one built on Hauser Lake, in 1886.  It was tiny, and had only wood heat.  Lots of memories in that place. 

Homes revisited (20 of 21)The old Hauser Farmhouse in 2014 Grandsons birth trees on the right and to the right of the willow

I took photos of my two grandsons’ birth trees which are planted at this old homestead, and they are both thriving.

I then drove by the tiny cottage that belonged to my grandmother, where she died, and where I ended up after becoming almost homeless after my divorce.  For nearly 7 years I worked hard to make this tiny place a home, and the gardens again flourished, although in a much smaller space.  The ceilings were only 6 feet 4 inches high.  Easy to paint, but my son in law used to have trouble walking around inside!

Scan004, October 20, 2001Hauser Cottage in 2002Homes revisited (5 of 21) Hauser Cottage in 2014

The last time I drove by this house I was devastated.  The gardens were gone, most of the huge firs were gone.  The house was abandoned and in shambles.  This time it was a bit different.  Still no gardens, but the house was being loved and repaired.  It was empty, so I walked around and looked inside the windows.  There were new cupboards, new floors, everything remodeled  nicely.  

Homes revisited (15 of 21) The old brick patio I laid was still there, and the wooden bench that Bel made, where I sat for many hours with my cat Caesar, who lived to be 16 years old, was still there.  Someday someone may garden there again, and the huge 100 year old maple and horse chestnut tree still thrive.

Friends revisited (10 of 95)Laura’s gardens

It was a nostalgic drive, and I was very happy to continue east to Laura’s to get some big loving hugs and be treated to my friend’s amazing space. Laura lived that old life with me.  We canned and cooked together, trained our horses together, talked about chickens and eggs and men together.  Raved about “stuff” together, even shared our journals with each other. We understood each other and still do. I am so glad that Laura finally retired from her life of nursing to be home with her gardens and her granddaughters and daughters, and that she had a whole day free to spend with me.

Friends revisited (56 of 95) Laura laughs and calls herself a hoarder, and says her contractor husband is a hoarder as well. 

Friends revisited (81 of 95) Well, she may be right, but Laura is the best kind of hoarder you can imagine.  She hoards “stuff” to make crazy art and it emerges from every nook and cranny in her gardens and her home. 

Friends revisited (74 of 95) Even in early August, her tomatoes were huge, her squashes ripe, beans, fruit, cucumbers, everything you could possibly imagine was huge and lush.  It sure made me miss my old gardens. 

Friends revisited (41 of 95) As hard as I try I can’t make things grow like this in my forest home in the mountains of Oregon.  Laura has flowers everywhere.  She also has a ton of ribbons from the county fair for her flowers from the last few years.  I think I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.

Friends revisited (15 of 95)Friends revisited (18 of 95)Friends revisited (11 of 95)Friends revisited (20 of 95) I wanted to see another old friend as well, Sandy, but her work schedule made it harder to fit an entire day in. 

Friends revisited (86 of 95)Instead, with Sandy also being a friend of Laura’s, we had a beautiful lunch of fresh picked veggies in Laura’s dining room while we reminisced about old times. 

Friends revisited (88 of 95)Friends revisited (89 of 95) The best kind of day with people I have loved for years from my old life.

Next post: Back to the reunion for fabulous family dinners and floating the Little Spokane River

 

Leaving the prettiest place in the world…

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For the other prettiest place in the world.  Or maybe there are others, but do you remember ever saying “That was the best ever”, and knowing that the next one would definitely be the “best ever”?  Leaving Rocky Point on a clear summer morning seems a bit silly, unless of course you are heading north toward Sisters and a quilt show that probably rivals one of the best ever.  Although I have never been to Paducah, Kentucky or to the Sisters show before either. 
The MoHo is all loaded up and we are ahead of schedule.  Just enough time to write a bit about what has been and what is yet to come.
DSC_0079 Best little trip recently was a quickie north to Collier State Park where I met up with Jerry and Suzy, a couple of RV bloggers I have followed for some time now.  To say they are a delightful couple is an understatement, and as usual, a couple hours of visiting time at their sweet comfy rig in the shade flew by.  We didn’t even have to go out to eat!  You know how you set that one up sometimes….just in case something or another is awkward and you need a table between you and a waitress to mediate.  I am so glad I got to meet the two of them, and look forward to their next trip our way so they can come out to Rocky Point for a visit as well.  Don’t you just love their traditional matching tee shirts?
DSC_0006 The delphiniums finally bloomed in front of the cabin, just in time for the wind and the sprinklers to knock them over.  Soooo glad I got a photo of them the morning before that happened.  Then I decided it was time to entertain some local Rocky Point folks for a nice dinner.  I think the last time I had Wes and Gayle (our next door neighbors who winter in Tucson) over I fed them hot dogs cooked on a pitchfork.  This time I went all the way with a French Country dinner including appetizers and an Apple Galette for dessert.  It was great fun to have someone to cook for, but once a yeIMG_0758ar might be enough for that kind of dinner! 
I invited another local Rocky Point couple to join us, Jim and Mata have lived here for decades.  Jim was the contractor who built Mo’s house and Mata is one of the first members of the local quilt guild of which I am the newest member.  I even had fun!  Isn’t that the point?  Although most women know how hard it is to have fun when you are doing a dinner party with the timing thing always in the back of your mind.
Tomorrow is the quilt show, and we will be meeting up with Roger and Nancy in Lapine for an evening of fun before taking their car to Sisters.  (The MoHo will wait safely back in uncrowded territory!) Nancy and I get to play why Mo and Roger hang out in the park. That way we can look and shop to our hearts content without worrying about them getting bored with the whole thing.
The next day we will all travel east toward Newberry Crater and Paulina Lake for some high mountain forest service camping.  Did you notice no car on the back of the MoHo!  Kind of fun to load the kayaks on that trailer, nice and low!  Hopefully we will get a spot close enough to the lake to make up for the fact that I have yet to order those little wheelie thingies that Sherry and David have.  Oh boy!  camping, kayaking, family, and quilts!!!  Does it get any better anywhere??
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September – a Chatty Catch-up

Crystal Creek on a smoky September day at very low water Being the month of my birth, I am somewhat partial to September.  Here in Rocky Point, and in this part of Oregon in general, September can be the very best time of year in so many ways.  The mosquito population has finally decided to disappear to wherever they go, the midges are at least confined to places you don’t want to be anyway, the skies are blue and bright, the days warm, the nights cool.  Several bloggers that I read regularly have found out just how delightful this part of Oregon can be, with RV Sue hanging around just over our hill on the Rogue River, and Paul and Nina up at Diamond Lake. 

Mo and I have spent some quality camping time in both those places and it’s fun to read about folks finding out just how wonderful this part of Oregon can be.  Everyone seems to know the coast part, and lots of folks travel there, but fewer have found the wonders of the Cascades waterfalls, magical lakes, beautiful forests and SUNSHINE. Welcome to my world.

Once again, Mo and I planned to travel a couple of hours south to camp at our favorite Medicine Lake, and once again we were thwarted.  In the midst of extra work hours for me, some other business needs for two of us, and the smoky skies from California fires, we put off our planned mid-month camping trip for another time.  The month was anything but quiet however, with visiting friends, Rocky Point get-togethers, and of course, my birthday!

jeannejeanne 01 It started off with a visit from Jeanne, long time friend I once worked with here in the basin who has returned to her native New England for good.  Everyone needs a friend like Jeanne, probably the most amazing athletic woman I have had the pleasure of knowing.  Jeanne treks Nepal, climbs the second highest mountain in the word, does back country skiing down the cliffs at Crater Lake, jumps out of helicopters to ski in British Columbia back country, launches her tiny white water kayak over 23 foot waterfalls in Costa Rica.  Yeah, I could go on and on.  She runs and rides her bikes for hundreds of miles and travels the world.  How did I get a friend like Jeanne, you might ask?

IMG_3548 I almost didn’t.  Anyone from New England knows there is a special New England persona.  Anyone from California knows there is also a definite West Coast Persona. Jeanne and I were complete opposites, and on my first day of work in 2002 in Klamath Falls, I met Jeanne, who instantly disliked me.  I was all gushy and open and “chattery”, and Jeanne of course, being from New England, was all reserved and “don’t touch me” and would you please just shut up!? I disliked her almost as much as she disliked me!  All it took was a long day in the field to discover that even with our different ways of being in the world, we had the makings of something deeper that grew into a great, strong friendship.  Of course, I can’t even come close to keeping up with her, but she has a great batch of friends who do that very well.

having fun making wocus sun hats on Crystal Creek with JeanneJeanne came “home” to Klamath for a long visit with all of us, spending time biking, and hiking, and kayaking, and then came out to Rocky Point for a couple of days.  We went kayaking on Recreation Creek, a far cry from the adrenaline pumping kinds of boating she and her friends are used to, but we still had a good time, at least Jeanne and I did.  Some of the other friends thought it was great for a one time thing, but too dang boring to do again.  Me, I love the slowing down part, I love seeing the birds and the wildlife and the reflections.  Adrenaline is not one of my favorite things, and I will avoid it if at all possible!

quilt work In between visits and work time, I managed a bit of quilting,  working on my queen sized quilt that got started from a single jelly roll of fabric my sister picked up for me because I thought it was pretty.  It is kinda scary how a $39.00 jelly roll can morph into a LOT more money by the time all is said and done.  I took a break from the big quilt by piecing a bright little table topper that I have yet to actually quilt because I can’t decide just how I want to do it.

DSC_0058Another fun project was completed when Mo and I worked together removing a bazillion staples from my ten year old dining chairs and recovered them with a gorgeous fabric I found after two years of looking for just the right thing. 

 IMG_2717The greenhouse is a bit later this year, with our tomatoes just barely ripening toward the end of the month, but we have had cute little peppers, lemon cucumbers, lots of green beans and of course lots of good lettuces and greens.  I made a trip over the mountain to Medford to buy some gorgeous sweet tree ripened peaches from the local orchards and made peach jam, froze some peach pie filling and experimented with some hot pepper jellies.  The Peach Habanero is good but the Pineapple Habanero is fabulous.  Some of the Peach Bourbon jam didn’t set up and it is now a quite delicious Peach Bourbon Sauce, ready for waffles or ice cream on a cold winter day.

The very next week I got a call from Maryruth, saying, “Hey, are you and Mo around?  I want to come up for a few days for your birthday.”  What a treat!  She left her husband Gerald at home to take care of everything while she drove the 6 hours north from Oroville for some very much wanted “girl time”.  We usually manage this once or twice a year but this one was an unexpected surprise.  We filled up three days with lots of laughter, lots of “hand and foot” (a game I can’t get Mo to play with me), and good food.  Well almost good food.  Sadly the Rocky Point Resort has changed hands since we were there and I would definitely suggest that folks visiting this area avoid the restaurant if at all possible.  Or maybe just go in for a drink.  The view is gorgeous, the place is historic and charming, it is just the food that is probably the worst I have ever actually paid for.

Maryruth and Sue at Rocky PointMaryruth was barely gone when it was time for my ‘real’ birthday.  Seems as though I celebrated this one for a very long time and it wasn’t even a biggie.  I still have three years to go before I think a birthday is really worth paying attention.  Seventy even sounds scary to me, but I have a bit of time yet.  On this minor birthday, however, I went off to town to have breakfast with my sister, visited with Melody and the jewelry store where I got a FREE bead for my Pandora bracelet, and came home for a nice bit of quilting time before Mo said, “Let’s go out to dinner at Lake of the Woods”.  Whew!  Birthday breakfast,  and dinner on the same day?  Thankfully, our dinner up at the lake was incredible, with the gorgeous view, great service and wonderful food.  It may be a 15 minute drive rather than 5, but oh so worth it.  Thank you, Mo!!

DSC_0049 Then on Sunday, Melody, Kevin and grandson Xavier came out for an afternoon visit bringing even more wondrous presents.  I am the lucky beneficiary of a daughter who works in a jewelry store, so I am sure the “giftie bits” she brought to me are something I never would otherwise have.  Of course, everyone keeps saying no jewelry when traveling, but this pendant is definitely going on my November cruise even if I can’t wear it to Europe! The diamond hoop earrings however, are small and tasteful, and don’t scream “steal me”!  I AM wearing them.

What I didn’t even know yet was that the plant and twist movement I made jumping out of bed that morning had torn my knee cartilage.  In the next couple of days the pain got worse and worse until I couldn’t walk at all, even with a walking stick.  Sigh.  A trip to the doctor, xrays, MRI, another trip to the orthopedist all confirmed my worst fear.  Torn meniscus and a long healing time.  Actually it was my second worst fear.  Surgery was my worst fear, and so far that one has been avoided.  I can’t take pain pills or medication, so surgery isn’t a lot of fun.  Anyway, I have been hobbling around on crutches, and graduated to the walking stick and even a bit of hobbling without anything this morning, so am encouraged. 

jam Mo is dealing with yard work and house work all alone right now while I gimp around like a useless piece of moving furniture.  Sigh.  It is not fun feeling completely useless around here.  I can’t even quilt since that requires lots of jumping up and down from the machine to the iron, so instead I got back to knitting.  I even finished Deanna’s sweater and have it all wrapped up to mail.  Yippee, at last!! I started it back in December of last year.  Guess you could say I am not a fast knitter.

A week from Thursday my daughter Melody and I will drive to Portland to board our overnight flight to Amsterdam and then on to Budapest. I have been planning this trip and looking forward to it for soo sooo long, and am excited to see this part of Europe, but even more excited to see it through the eyes of my daughter.  It will be her first overseas trip, and I remember how incredible I felt on my first such trip with Mo back in 2005.  Everything was so new and exciting for me, as I am sure it will be for Melody.  She is beside herself excited right now.

Deanna's sweater I sent an email to a great photographer (Mark) from Mark and Chris’s Phaeton Place, who knows a LOT about techie stuff and traveling and he kindly wrote some very detailed answers and I learned a lot about traveling with technology. Thank you Mark!  I bought an iPad, and ordered the global data features for both the iPad and the iPhone, bought the photo transfer doohickey for the iPad and the camera (no usb on an iPad), and hopefully I’ll be able to carry all this stuff along with my walking sticks which will be going on the trip for sure!  Once again, the Cotton Carrier I bought for the camera will likely be a lifesaver when I need both hands to manage the sticks.  I will never never never measure up to Erin’s photos, but hopefully I’ll get shots that at least won’t embarrass me. I have learned so much from Erin, from Two to Travel and Two to Travel’s Phaeton Journey about blogging and photography. Thank you, Erin!

And on a final note, I just have to really thank all the blogging friends who saw my post on FaceBook about my knee and sent good wishes.  It is amazing to me that people take the time to pay attention and care.  So many are dealing with really difficult health issues that are about the internal operating system and mine is merely mechanical.  Mechanical issues are a pain but it isn’t life threatening, so I consider myself pretty lucky.  Does everyone have to get all silly when they first discover Apple’s crazy photo stuff? 

Girlfriends