August 3 “Bird Lady of Blogland” Visits Rocky Point

Current Location: Rocky Point, Oregon  74 Degrees F and Mostly Sunny

back yard conversation (1 of 1)-14 Mo and I have been lucky enough to meet some delightful people as we travel around in the MoHo.  Most readers know about the infamous meet and greets of people who have known each other only through the internet, and the extended family of RV bloggers who read and comment on each other’s blogs over the years.

back yard conversation (1 of 1) For people like the two of us, somewhat solitary and not especially socially inclined, the people that we have met in this way have been an incredible treasure, and some have become life long friends.  Judy, Travels with Emma, is one of those.  We have enjoyed each other’s company in the past out on the road.  It was great to have her volunteering here in Oregon, close enough that she could manage a short visit.

smoke from the Stout Fire and California fires converge on Rocky PointSmoky skies at Rocky Point

Mo and I drive that road between Rocky Point and Brookings often, so much so that we are almost immune to the narrow curving highway and its steep drop-offs.  It is a four hour drive, a little less than 200 miles, and most of the time, the scenery is gorgeous.  Not so much this time for Judy, with smoke from both the California and Oregon fires converging in the Rogue Valley, and coming over the crest of the Cascades to settle into the Klamath Basin as well. 

Judy kayaks Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-2 In spite of the smoke, when Judy arrived mid-day, after a bit of visiting and a few snacks, we loaded up the kayaks and headed down the road to the public boat launch at Rocky Point.  Even though there were some towering thunderheads overhead, the skies were quiet, and no sign of thunder or lightning frightened us away from the glassy, still waters.

Mattie on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-3 It was a perfect day for Judy’s second foray into a kayak, nice and still, no wind, no current.  I was impressed with her ability to slip into the kayak easily, (well almost easily), and do a pretty good job of keeping up with us.  We wandered around Recreation Creek a bit before deciding to paddle south into the Harriman Creek spring run so Judy could see the incredibly clear water.  Recreation Creek (2 of 2)

Even though some rather fat drops of rain fell on us, it wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits or get us wet.  Judy on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-7

It was Mattie’s first trip out in the kayak, and she wore her new little vest with pride and did great.  She stood up most of the time, watching where the boat was headed, often turning around to Mo to be sure that everything was all right. 

Mattie on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-4I so loved being back on the creek, on the bay, in the boat once again.  I have really missed our times kayaking this year and hope that in the next few months before winter we don’t wait so long between paddling days.

Back home in the late afternoon, I finished up the ribs, making sure I did some “naked” ones for Judy and some gooey sticky ones for us and with some roasted potatoes and a salad.  It was the first time that we had introduced Mattie and Emma and the two did just great. 

Mattie meets Emma (1 of 1) I was amazed at how gentle Emma was with little Mattie, getting down to her level and so gently putting her paw on her to subdue her.  Mattie would have none of that, however, and because Emma was so good with her, she was all smartie pants hot stuff, thinking how tough she was. It was great fun watching them tussle around.

back yard conversation (1 of 1)-7 Judy seemed to enjoy the cabin, although the extensive booklet of instructions that Mo left for the composting toilet were a bit much.  We told her, “Just turn the crank, Judy”.  I guess it worked fine, since I never did notice Judy sneaking outside to the old outhouse.

After breakfast the next day, Judy and Emma and I headed east through Klamath Falls toward the Tulelake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges.  It would have been a beautiful drive if not for the smoke, and I spent a lot of time telling Judy what she would be seeing if the skies weren’t so murky.

birds at Tulelake (14 of 50) I’ll let Judy tell you about our day, but the best part for me was Judy’s excitement when she saw the birds.  “Oh, I am back in my element”, she exclaimed when we pulled off Stateline Road at the first sighting of birds in the marsh.  It was great fun for me to view the refuge through Judy’s eyes, and as usual, when I am with Judy, I learned so much.birds at Tulelake (13 of 50)

birds at Tulelake (47 of 50)Loved seeing the mama grebe feeding her babies

After a long day exploring, we arrived home late afternoon and settled in a bit before I built a taco supper for the three (five) of us to share at the picnic table.  We have lots of places to sit around the property, but often find that we end up in the same place most of the time.  It was fun having Judy here, because we sat around in some different chairs, and ate at the picnic table instead of on the porch table.  Silly how you can get in a rut sometimes.

After breakfast Judy headed back to the coast, and Mo and I slipped back into work/chore mode.  Tomorrow we will be going again to Grants Pass and the Cottage.  We try to get there at least every ten days or so to be sure things are OK, and keep the little patch of lawn watered.  cottage acre  (7 of 12)The “Cottage” in Grants Pass

Our other projects are coming along, bit by bit.  My house on Painter Street is waiting for the appraisal and the closing and with the buyer renting from me until that time, Mo and I no longer have to maintain that property.

painting has started for the exterior (5 of 5)The Old Fort Road Apartments in Klamath Falls

Mo’s apartments in Klamath Falls are coming along as well, with the exterior painting and repair nearly finished, and the interior of the apartment Mo and I plan to use all freshly painted.  Daughter Melody with grandson Xavier, and granddaughter Axel are well settled in their two apartments, and Mo and I plan to spend time there this winter when we aren’t here in Rocky Point or out traveling.  It is smaller, easier to maintain, less snow to plow, and yes, cable internet…unlimited bandwidth.  You have no idea how much I am looking forward to that!

House at Rocky Point Lumix (4 of 7)The “Big House” at Rocky Point

Then again, with more than a decade of treasured time here at the Big House in Rocky Point, there will be a bit of nostalgia of course when it comes time to actually downsize and leave it behind.  That is for a future time, however, and for now we are enjoying having this place to share with family and good friends now and then.

What Happened to February?

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon at 35 degrees F and spitting snow mixed in the rain.

February used to be a really tough month for me.  Back in the days of working and living in Northern Idaho, the sun was still low in the sky, the days were still short, the snows deep and tiresome.  I had a tremendous dislike for the month, and when I would call Maryruth, my friend in California, all pissy about whatever, she would say, “Oh, Sue, it’s February.  You will be fine soon”.

too early for spring (4 of 6)-2 Somehow the old paradigm no longer holds.  February can still be long and cold and tiresome, but not this year.  I have no idea what happened to February.  I have daffodils up in the yard, some even with buds on them.  We haven’t shoveled snow even one time this winter.  The tiny skiff that showed up on Christmas lasted for a long breath and was gone. 

Last year we spent February exploring Florida, so that winter doldrums thing never had a chance of finding me. Last winter we had Abby and Jeremy with us as well.  Still trying to adjust to not having them with us.St Joe SP_013

At the beginning of the month, Mo and I were thinking we only had a short time at home after our January travels to do some house projects before she would be leaving again for Beaverton for a couple of weeks caring for her brother’s dogs while he and his wife vacationed in Hawaii.  We decided to paint Mo’s bedroom.  It is a project that has been on the agenda for a couple of years now, and with all the goings on and traveling that we do, it just never seemed to get top billing.mos bedroom (6 of 6)

Took us just two short days to get the job done, but going to town for paint was another day, with some color adjustments here and there before we settled on the pale spring green for the walls.  Mo already had the Cranberry color chosen to match her original watercolor painting gifted by a friend a few years ago.  We enjoyed the project.  Felt good to be doing something around the house again that wasn’t just the everyday kinds of maintenance that a house in the forest always needs.

mos bedroom (1 of 6) Immediately after we finished painting, a huge windstorm hit the Klamath Basin and knocked our power out for 19 hours.  We pulled out the oil lamps, heated coffee and food on the wood stove and settled in for the duration.  It was actually kind of nice, although I am glad it didn’t last any longer than it did.  We were within minutes of packing up all our food in the freezer and heading over the mountain to Grants Pass and daughter Deborah’s freezer when everything blinked back on into brilliance.

windfall (3 of 4) The rain was needed, but again, it didn’t bring any real snow to our sadly deficient snow pack.  The high winds and saturated soils did create a real mess.  Many trees tipped right out of the wet ground and crashed on the power lines.  The funny thing for us was that we were somehow protected in our little concave draw and the winds went right over us without causing any real trouble on our property.  The worst damage was about 4 miles away where it looked as though a tornado had ripped through.

Another week was spent dealing with complex and tiresome business issues for Mo, with me acting as administrative assistant.  Mo does the hard stuff, but I manage to keep the computers on track.  I even figured out how to create some complex forms that were needed.  That week flew by!  It was almost like working again!!

Another tiresome time thing is an ongoing health issue for me.  Not a big deal, but the surgeon I will be seeing is nearly 200 miles away over the mountain, and as things often go for these kinds of things, we have to make several trips before it will all be resolved.  Tiresome, but I am glad it isn’t anything particularly serious, just irritating.  And did I say Tiresome?  Surgery in April, and recuperation will require no lifting of anything over 5 pounds for something like 90 days.  I haven’t quite figured out how to put a stick of wood on the fire that weighs less than five pounds! 

We enjoyed a day in Medford shopping for Valentine chocolate and having a late afternoon lunch at Olive Garden.  And shopping at the quilt stores, of course.  As I write, I realize that a big part of the past month for me has been finishing a quilt that I saw in Palm Springs when we were there and immediately coveted.  I bought all the fabric and the pattern, and for once actually started on the quilt immediately, while the inspiration was still fresh and the fabric all new and shiny.  Ocean Dreams in the Desert (2 of 4)

I call it “Sea Dreams in the Desert”.  I started with an idea to make it a simple throw, but loved it so much that I decided to continue and make it a full queen sized quilt for my summer bed.  First time doing something called a “pieced border”.  I guess that explains what happened to February.IMG_4743

Mo left for Beaverton mid month, and on the same day my friend Maryruth drove up from California to spend 8 days of girl time with me.  Her husband held down the fort at home, and Maryruth came loaded with her new sewing machine and lots of fabric for a quilt that she wanted to make.  It was her first and she was excited.maryruth visits (3 of 13)

Sometimes in the past we have managed girl time, with a trip to a B and B somewhere, or a meet in the middle kind of visit, but this was different.  We had a whole week at home just the two of us and our sewing machines.  It was like a quilt retreat for two that didn’t cost anything.  We went to Medford to the quilt shops, and had a fabulous dinner at McGrath’s Fish House.  Maryruth ordered the mile high mud pie, but missed the “mile high” part, and we burst into incredulous laughter when her dessert arrived.  What fun!IMG_4735

One night at home we cooked up a fabulous Thai Green Curry Chicken with Pad Thai and it was wonderful.  I had never made a green curry from scratch, so that was a first.  All the traditional Thai flavors of lime, tons of cilantro, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, hot pepper, and about a dozen other herbs and spices went into the curry that was so fragrant and perfectly sweet and spicy.  Mo isn’t all that excited about Thai food and Maryruth’s husband isn’t all that excited about spicy, so it was a food cooking adventure for the two of us that probably won’t be repeated till we get together again.maryruth visits (13 of 13)

We took another break from sewing and went to breakfast at our local Harriman’s Resort on Sunday morning.  It was cold and windy, but the sun streaming in was gorgeous and the food was fabulous.  Maryruth has a nice little Nissan Hybrid and will NOT drive in snow, so this was an extra special treat.  In a normal winter, she would have been unable to visit during February. 

maryruth visits (6 of 13)maryruth visits (9 of 13) Maryruth managed to finish her quilt for her mother, and I managed to finish putting the last big border on my quilt on the day that she left.  It will take 9 yards of fabric to back my quilt.  At 12.99 per yard, that was a bit daunting, in addition to the cost of having it quilted.  I certainly wouldn’t attempt something this big on my own.  Found a perfect batik online for 5.99 a yard so problem solved.maryruths first quilt (1 of 5)

With Maryruth gone, I now have five days to myself here at home, hoping to do some of the detailed chores that I don’t do when Mo is around.  Who knows why.  It is nice having alone time to catch up on details, but I will definitely be happy when Mo returns next week.  Managing the fire alone is a full time job.  It seems I am either starting, stoking, taking away ashes, or bringing up another load of wood all day long.  Mo does most of the fire management when she is here and I help out a bit, but I can see now that what I do isn’t nearly enough.  

Today I am dealing with “stuff”.  We have a five year plan, and sometime during the next five years, I will have to move my stuff.  I really need to get it more organized.  I can’t believe how it gets away from me.  I am fairly well organized, but there are places where that breaks down, such as the office drawers.  I also have a couple of drawers for crafting, and of course I have bins of yarn for knitting and many containers of fabric for quilting.  I am not quite sure how this stuff keeps multiplying, maybe it is those trips to the quilt shops.

So today, I decided that I would try to go through the office “stuff”.  Most of it has been in a small set of drawers beneath my desk, but it seems that I never actually get into those drawers for anything.  Scotch tape, scissors, a bazillion pens and pencils, who knows if they work, and a whole lot of other little thingies that I have no clue what to do with except I can’t quite bring myself to throw it all away.  Ocean Dreams in the Desert (4 of 4)

I started the project, and then in frustration gave up.  Here is the result!  It is packed and ready for the next stop, and someday maybe I’ll get the nerve to try to figure it out one more time, or just throw it all away.  I can hear you laughing from here.Ocean Dreams in the Desert (3 of 4)

As the evening progresses, the rain/snow/sleet spitting continues.  Predictions of an inch of snow at our elevation for tonight, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  Can you imagine, no snow all winter and it shows up at the end of February?

 

01-18-2015 Nevada City and Oroville and time with friends

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon

no snow winter 2 (6 of 6)Talking about the weather is silly.  There is no snow, there is no rain, there is no winter to speak of anywhere to be found in our part of the world.  Crazy.  The skies are cold but clear tonight.  The thermometer might drop a bit below freezing before morning, but c’mon…is this really what January is supposed to look like in Rocky Point?  no snow winter 2 (1 of 6)

It usually looks more like this around here in January.  

Happy New Year's EveBut with snow like that I would be shoveling and blowing the pathways and complaining about the ice on the driveway.  We were gone for three months in winter of 2014, and heard rumors that there wasn’t much snow then either, but it is surprising that the lack of snow is still persisting.  Water?  Snow pack? Drought?  Those thoughts lie in the background as we enjoy the moderately warm, snowless winter.  Maybe it will snow in April as it usually does.  Just in time for Easter.

Leaving the gorgeous sunny skies of the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree NP was tough.  I needed to be home, but that didn’t make the journey any more enticing.  As we approached the western slope of the Sierras crossing the Tehachapi Pass on Highway 58, we could see the thick blanket of gray brown smog/fog hanging low over the Great Central Valley.  Didn’t look a bit different than it did when we passed this same way two weeks ago.

I never tire of this view from Highway 58 toward the Grapevine The distance to Orange Grove RV park from Joshua Tree is a short 200 miles.  Of course we could have traveled farther, but why?  Why go beyond the waiting oranges!  I have to confess, I did take more than the loudly proclaimed one bag limit.  Signs everywhere said that limit would be “strictly enforced”.  I am sure they are talking to someone other than me, right?  Maybe the signs are for those greedy people who might try to pick bags and bags of the sweet things and sell them on the side of the road.  The sign wasn’t for me, the innocent little old lady from Oregon who just wanted an extra bag to share with friends along my route home, right?heading south_008DSC_0008

I remember blogland a long time ago when someone, can’t even remember who, “stole” oranges from a tree along side of the road.  Lots of moral lectures resulted from that little confession.  I am a good, mostly honest person.  Just don’t let me near your orange trees.

The park was about 1/3 full when we arrived, but by dark every single space was filled.  I would highly recommend getting a reservation if you are a big rig and intend to stay in the park en route or returning from the desert.  Seems as though the snow birds have found it and keep it very busy.

Once again we drove north along I-5 on a Saturday, leaving at 6:30 AM so that we could get all the way to the Grass Valley County fairgrounds before nightfall.  Just 370 miles or so, but that is still a long day for us.  The fog was thick when we gassed up at the Bakersfield Costco for a measly 2.06 per gallon for regular gas.  Who knows how long those prices will last, but we sure enjoyed them on this trip.

After a somewhat long and boring day traveling north, the fog lifted and we whizzed through Sacramento traffic onto the 80 and then north on Highway 49 to Grass Valley/Nevada City.  The two gold towns in the Mother Lode country of California are not far apart.  Our friends Jimmie and Nickie, are living in Nevada City, and in spite of their generous offer of driveway hospitality, we thought it would be smart to park the rig down the hill at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Visiting Jimmie and Nickie (47 of 49)It is a fairly nice park, as fairground camping goes, and in no time we were set up and on our way up the hill to Jimmie and Nickie’s lovely home on a lava cap ridge of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Just high enough in elevation to be out of the poison oak but not into deep long lasting snow.  Perfect.

Nickie told me that when they walked into the house, within minutes, they knew it was the one.  I had an experience like that once myself, when I stepped into my little bungalow in Klamath Falls back in 2002.  Within 24 hours I had an accepted offer and that little home now shelters my daughter and her family after some delightful years sheltering me.

Nickie and I have kept up our correspondence after meeting in person a couple of years ago…neither of us could believe it had been two years since we met, but it has.   Thank goodness for the blog where I could check out the original date of our delightful get together the first time.  Walking into their home is so comfortable and their hospitality is wonderful.

nickie and jimmie I have seen photos of their canal walk, and was delighted to have Nickie suggest that we get a bit of movement in before dinner walking the canal.  What a great place close to home to get in daily walks.  The water was a bit low, but I could see what a shady retreat this pathway would be on a hot summer day. 

Another walker took some photos of all of us together (thanks for this photo, Nickie), and the happy smiles on our faces just gives a hint at how much fun we were having. 

Visiting Jimmie and Nickie (12 of 49)Later Nickie treated us to a wondrous supper of hand made spinach rolls smothered in her very own home canned marinara sauce, and a Caesar salad drenched in the fabulous dressing from the restaurant we had visited two years ago.  Fresh steamed broccoli and artisan bread rounded out the perfect meal.  Jimmie is so funny and friendly and kind, and he and Nickie are so much fun to be around.  I just love how they treat each other with such love and respect.  It is a joy.

Visiting Jimmie and Nickie (14 of 49) My favorite part of the evening was listening to the stories of how Nickie and Jimmie met and their travels and how they found their homes.  Flow!  These two definitely know how to live in the Flow of life at its finest. The best indication of the great time we had showed on the clock when Mo and I finally drove back down the hill to the MoHo.  It was almost 11 PM when we got to bed.  Geez!  We are early birds most of the time.

The next morning, with a brilliant sun bursting forth, we met again for a morning walk around the fairgrounds.  Nickie has a great sense of humor, although the wet bleacher seats weren’t exactly to her liking, but she wanted a photo in the bleachers, so I obliged.  Visiting Jimmie and Nickie (25 of 49)

I also got a kick out of taking pictures of Nickie herding geese.  She kept saying, “They love me!”.  I am sure that they did.

Visiting Jimmie and Nickie (45 of 49)We drove the short distance to Nevada City and a wonderful breakfast at the South Pine Cafe.  The food was incredible, and my choice was a lobster scramble with lots of mushrooms and avocados and Jalapeño Hollandaise!  It was even good when I ate the other half for breakfast the next day!  Once again, the fact that we were having a great time was evident as we lingered over our breakfast table long after the meal was finished.  Hard to say goodbye to such great people.

Of course, we had other great people waiting for us in Oroville, so we buttoned up the rig and took the back road from Grass Valley to Oroville via a road that I would NOT recommend, but it was fun. 

IMG_1217 The sun was brilliant in Nevada City, but by the time we dropped down the hill just enough to reach Oroville, the fog was again shrouding the landscape.  Spare me from California Valley fogs!! ick! That gray line you see on the horizon is the thick fog down in Oroville and the valley!IMG_1216

We camped once again at the Feather Falls Casino, not a cheap night by any means at $47 per night with no discounts.  Still, it was an easy hookup, a nice park that we like, and just minutes from Maryruth and Gerald’s home up the hill.  Readers know that Maryruth is my very best friend of more than 50 years.  It is always wonderful to see her and her husband Gerald, and to visit their home.

Maryruth has a new sewing machine and has completed more decorating projects in her home that I wanted to see.  After the look arounds, we drove down the hill again to her mother’s house, who has lived in Oroville for more than 50 years.  It was great seeing the family, people I have known and loved as my own family for all these years.

Later, Maryruth and Gerald took us to their friends winery, The Purple Line Urban Winery, right in downtown Oroville, and we sampled some great wines, including something called “Red Panties”.  We then ambled on to Papacito’s Mexican Grill and Cantina where I finally got my urge for some really GOOD Mexican food fully satisfied.  What a great little place with excellent food!  Their tortilla soup was the best I have ever had anywhere.

Once again we made it back home to the rig at a very late hour, proof of our wonderful time spent with good friends.  In case you are wondering where the photos are for this part of the visit, Maryruth did that thing when I pulled out the camera…”Oh Sue…Really?!?!”   So I put the thing away and didn’t take a single photo of our visit.  Only once, and only for you, Maryruth.  Next time I am taking photos!!IMG_1220

Because I honored Maryruth’s request, Instead of photos of Maryruth and Gerald and their wonderful home, the winery and the wonderful food, you get to see a photo of my daughter with her three little grandbabies, my youngest great-grandchildren. 

 

December Days

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon 45 degrees F at 5pm

We have no snow, not a bit to be found unless we drive to 7,000 feet elevation or more into the Cascades above us.  Through the clouds, sometimes there is a break, and I can see a dusting on the trees on Pelican Butte and Mt Harriman in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness.

Putting up the decorations (8 of 10)This year not a speck of snow

Makes it easy to put up Christmas lights, I must say.  No slipping on the ice, crawling through big snow berms and such.  Last year at this time Mo and I were shoveling and plowing in an unsuccessful attempt to stay ahead of the dumping white stuff.  This year the lawns are still green.

testing different methods for shooting the Christmas lightsLast year on the same date, and yes…there is Abby

In the past few years, however, it seems that winter comes later and later, with not much to speak of until after Christmas.  Still, it is obvious that winter is upon us.  The days are short and dark, and when the sun does appear it is very low in the sky. 

Christmas quilts and decorations (25 of 25) Christmas quilts and decorations (21 of 25) Christmas quilts and decorations (23 of 25)

After a week at home, while I finished up the three kid Christmas quilts, we took off again for Grants Pass and the Cottage.  Mo’s brother Dan came down to spend a couple of days with us to help Mo with some more of the electrical work.  Mo also managed to get the newly moved bathtub to finally drain properly.  Long story and boring, but enough to say that the tub now drains and the breakers no longer flip off at the slightest provocation.  They even got a new box to the old tool shed ready for plenty of amps to eventually make it out to the RV shed.Dan helping Mo with the electricity (2 of 16)

It was a simple time for me, and I worked inside on Christmas projects while Mo and Dan rumbled around in the rain and mud.  Got some nice visiting in with daughter Deborah in the evenings when she got home from work, and managed to keep everyone well fed. 

Dan helping Mo with the electricity (7 of 16)On our way home back to Rocky Point, we decided to take the old road through Gold Hill toward Sams Valley instead of our usual interstate trek back to Highway 140. We ambled through Gold Hill and had a spontaneous hot dog lunch at a little stand along the main street.  Then as we continued east, we saw signs for Ti’lomihk Falls on the Rogue River.

Rogue River at Gold HIll (1 of 13) We parked just in time to watch a rafter and a paddleboarder go down the rapids.  The interpretive signs at the park were wonderful, but I neglected to get a photo of them.  This website explains what we learned about the “stone chair” that was central to the ceremony to honor the first salmon of the season for the Talkelma tribe.   ON the website is the story of the planned whitewater park, and a video of Grandmother Agness Baker Pilgrim, one of the oldest surviving members of the tribe, speaking of the salmon ceremony and the stone chair.Rogue River at Gold HIll (5 of 13)

Yesterday was the annual Rocky Point Ladies Luncheon.  The luncheon is a tradition that has been going on for several years, and in the past was held at the local social club building, with some women decorating tables and the men cooking and serving.  Stuff happens, things change, but a sweet lady here in Rocky Point, Gina, didn’t want to let it slip away so she set up our luncheon in a brand new venue.

I was a bit recalcitrant about it…at first, i didn’t even want to go if it was just going to be lunch in a restaurant.  Glad I changed my mind. 

We have a new place to go in “town”.  Our community does not have a post office or a school and only one tiny store a few miles east on 140, but we do have a fire station.  That volunteer fire department generates a lot of community support.  But as far as a real town goes, we don’t have one here.  But now we do have a “resort”. Ladies Luncheon at Harriman Resort (56 of 60)

Like Rocky Point Resort, and Point Comfort, Harriman Springs has been a presence here for many years.  When Mo first started coming to Rocky Point in the late 80’s she would have lunch at the little marina store and cafe that was on the edge of the spring.  Things changed, the little marina closed.  Recently, the owner of the land adjacent to the spring decided to upgrade the property and build what he hopes will be a world class resort.Ladies Luncheon at Harriman Resort (53 of 60)

If the quality of the restaurant is any indication, he is going to succeed.  We have all been waiting impatiently for the restaurant to open, watching along on Facebook on their page, and checking in now and then to see how things are progressing. 

1-12-06-2014 Rocky Point Ladies LuncheonYesterday, we got to see the new restaurant in action, with a truly delightful luncheon put on for our community ladies.  Lyman, the executive chef is duly proud of what he is doing with the menu, and we were the lucky recipients of his creations, with a special party before the place is actually open. It was as much fun as the previous years, and a lot less work.  I missed decorating the tables, and the men cooking, but oh my…the food was delectable the conversations were great and the views were beautiful.  I even wore those six inch high heels I bought for Jeanne’s wedding!  Love having any excuse to dress up, especially when I don’t have to walk too far.

 Putting up the decorations (1 of 10)Oh my…the mess of it!

I am putting up the rest of the house decorations, and retreating to my computer for the next couple of weeks in an attempt to complete the gargantuan scanning project that I started last Spring.  Sheesh!  It is taking forever…and not a small amount of time is spent scratching my head trying to figure out which year that was.  Photos for the kids, scanned and put on an external drive.  I decided it was way better than trying to get them all printed and given to each of them.  That would have been impossible.  It has been fun, though, and I have enjoyed perusing the past and writing small summaries of the years so the kids know where they were when.  1973 Christmas at Schumanns-001

A scanned photo of my 4 kids and me at Christmas 1973 

Deborah behind me, Deanna left, Melody middle, and John right.

I think when that job is done, I can simply sit and enjoy Christmas.

What is it about the Fourth…

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon 88F and clear with a predicted high of 95F

I got an email this morning from friend Jeanne telling me all about her great weekend on the lake in Vermont, shared with family and friends and her sweetheart.  I don’t know what it is about this holiday that triggers such summertime nostalgia, but I love it.  Loved reading about Jeanne’s adventures and loved remembering the holidays of my childhood as well as the more recent family times we have managed to share.

Fourth of July 2014 (26 of 63)At the moment, I am at the computer in my home office, windows wide open, breezes cooling the house from the morning banana bread bake, and sunlight lighting up the elm leaves under the forest canopy.  The elms were supposed to be a hedge, purchased a dozen years ago by Mo from a mail order catalog.  Some are still hedge size, but most of the row have morphed into tall if rangy trees, reaching for the tiny bit of available sun.  They are home to lots of birds and bugs this time of year, and make a great backdrop for gazing out the window instead of focusing on the task at hand.

Fourth of July 2014 (1 of 63) Sorry to say, it certainly isn’t patriotism, although I do like flying the American flags on this day.  I love my country, but am not rabidly patriotic, celebrating the Fourth as the birth of my country.  I celebrate the Fourth as a reminder of family tradition. 

As a kid we got up before dawn and foster mom Dorothy would pack up all the fixings to make biscuits in the coleman camp ovens on half a dozen coleman stoves.  We made biscuits for the entire church picnic gathering at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.  There was a “plunge” for swimming, baseball diamonds for one up softball games, lots of grass for sack races.  We had a huge breakfast, and usually there were more than 150 people from the church that participated in the day’s activities.

Fourth of July 2014 (31 of 63)Bocci Ball at Rocky Point

By evening, after the hot dogs and potato salad, we gathered up our blankets and found a spot on the grass to watch the fireworks, shot high above the park.  There were sparklers and smoke bombs and of course those amazing fountains that everyone loved.  There was the smell of sulfur and the fear of stepping on a hot sparkler wire among the blankets.  In California in July, the days were always hot and the nights were warm.  The fireworks were spectacular.

Arcadia Park (1)Arcadia Regional Park in 2014

I searched the internet to find that the park is now the Arcadia Community Regional Park, administered by the county of Los Angeles, and nary a word about a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.  Some great memories are destined to fade into the past, much like the old Firefall at Yosemite.  Not many remember what that was like either, but I do, and treasure that memory as well.Yosemite_Fire_Fall

Now we make new memories.  Most of the time, in July, we are close enough to Rocky Point to gather at least part of the family for a celebration.  Potato salad is always part of it, but I no longer force my kids to do sack races.  Sometimes we don’t even bother to go to the fireworks, even though there are displays in Klamath Falls at Veteran’s Park and just 15 minutes away at Lake of the Woods. 

Traffic, crowds, mosquitoes, midges, all have a bit of a dampening affect on our best laid plans.  Instead, we stayed right here and played bocci ball into the dark of night.  No fireworks here at Rocky Point.  Not a one at our place.  Even though we are on the edge of the national forest, where fireworks are illegal, the drought knows no boundaries and there is no need to take chances with fire and explosive stuff.

Instead, we listened to distant neighbors shooting either guns or firecrackers or both.  Maybe next year we will actually get a reservation at Lake of the Woods and go camping 15 minutes from home so we can watch the fireworks and not have to drive anywhere when they are finished.

Fourth of July 2014 (23 of 63)Daughter Deborah

Daughter Deb came up from Grants Pass, and daughter Melody and my grandkids came out from Klamath.  We ate lots of summer fruit and veggies, with sinful dips to offset the healthy stuff, and Deb shared her Dijon marinated chicken with all of us.  Melody came with three, yes three watermelons and we did manage to eat two of them. 

Fourth of July 2014 (24 of 63)Daughter Melody

I made brownies that were perfect and my favorite potato salad that wasn’t so much.  I learned that if you put too much celery and onion into it, the dressing gets watery as it sits.  Can’t believe I didn’t know that, and also am amazed at the world we live in where I can type in “watery potato salad’ and get answers in seconds. 

Our closest neighbors, Wes and Gayle, are here for the season, and we were delighted to have them join us for supper and lawn games.

Fourth of July 2014 (3 of 63)We got out on the lake twice, a nice long paddle up Recreation Creek toward Malone Spring in the afternoon wind and then the next morning another beautiful paddle on the glassy bay toward the main lake.  Midges are just beginning to hatch, the lake is just beginning to show an algae bloom so it was great to get out there before the season progressed further.

Fourth of July 2014 (63 of 63)Paddling out on the main Klamath Lake from Pelican Bay.  That is daughter Deborah out there.

We punctuated the day with a few silly old movies that I converted from ancient VHS to DVD.  It was a happy sadness as we laughed at my deceased husband Lance making silly jokes and watched my iconic grandmother, also deceased, being her famous self.  Melody made sure the grandkids watched, since they have no memory of this matriarch of our family.

Fourth of July 2014 (39 of 63) Granddaughter Axel

Of course, there was a “flower walk”, another tradition that has followed us through many homes in many places since I started gardening in earnest back in the late 70’s.  Gotta share all that is blooming, all the successes and some of the failures.  I think the grandkids disappeared into the cabin before the flower walk, checking out facebook and phone messages.  Some things stay the same and others definitely don’t. 

Fourth of July 2014 (40 of 63)Grandson Xavier

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth of July.  And oh yes, don’t forget Halloween.  Somehow these days have come to mean far more than what they stand for in our family.  They are the times that we all do our best to get together and participate in some of the old family rituals that have come down through the years.  Our family is small, it is me and my kids and their offspring. I do hope that the grandkids will remember some of the times that we have shared in the same way that I remember Fourth of July at Arcadia Park.