Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Well, it didn't actually cross the road, it just wandered through the yard, then headed back down the hill when the dog went outside. We hadn't seen the turkeys for a while, but Lloyd could hear them early in the am when he did his yoga out on the deck. I'm thinking by Thanksgiving, we can fatten them up...

Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods. The tulips are out in force. The irises look like they might be early this year. Wildflowers galore, though I haven't been out to see them in a few weeks. And we bucked the 'rule' about not planting your garden til all the snow is off Mt. Defiance. The tomatoes are in, seeds for the cukes, squashes and melons are planted, and a few rows of lettuce are in.

We helped the 'kids' up at Energeia Vineyards plant albarino grapes on the 10th, followed by the usual pearwood fueled bonfire. Round two is coming up on May 15th. I think we'll be fully recovered by then. Lloyd was up there all day. I was in Dallesport at our Democratic County Convention until 1 pm, so didn't make it to Underwood until later in the afternoon. We got our delegates elected, our candidates nominated, and our platform discussed and approved in less than 3 hours, including lunch. I still had time to get in about 3 hours of planting. Enough to be sore all day Sunday.

Jamba Marimba is practicing in earnest as our summer schedule begins to shape up. We eagerly await Anita's return from Florida in a few weeks, then we'll be almost at full strength. Almost, because Dick is not well and won't be joining us, sadly. We'll miss our token guy. We've added a new song, and made some improvements on others. Music is seriously good for the soul.

Our latest home improvement project has been stalled due to Murphy's Law. But it should be complete by the end of next week. We decided to remove the wood stove and replace it with a natural gas fireplace. As soon as it's done, I'll get a good picture for you.

I've had two quick trips to McMinnville, one with Keara, after we helped Andrea celebrate her birthday in Portland, and the other last Sunday for Mary's re-election campaign fundraiser. It's just dandy to have a sister I can get to in under 2 hours. Keara couldn't resist Andrea's chocolate fountain and fondue party. It was great to catch up with Tom and Leila, who came down from Blaine for their youngest's 24th.

Keara hadn't been to Mary's in 7 years, and was seriously missing a visit to Red Hills Provincial Dining. Mary had a previous commitment, but Matt and Syd rounded out our table. Here they toast with their bubbly. We had a great feast, as usual. The fresh Alaskan halibut was to die for. Keara savored her short ribs, and sent the doggie box back to Lloyd, who stayed home with sick Brindle. We got up in the wee hours to make the trek to the airport for the 7:20 nonstop back to Boston. I had a private Easter sunrise on I84, and was home by 6:30 am. And dead tired the rest of the day.

Last Sunday's event was at The Horse Radish in Carlton, a wonderful wine and cheese bar. I put my sign assembly skills to good use, and had a blast meeting Mary's friends and supporters. Judging from the turnout, I'd say Mary's good for another term as County Commissioner.

So that's the story. Tomorrow morning we're heading out to a spey rod clinic, and tomorrow night is the Wind River Cellars Barrel Member Dinner. Always a great time. Stay tuned. There will be a few more pics here, but blogger isn't uploading well right now...

Monday, April 5, 2010

So Good, So Good

It was quite an 'opening night' at The Pahk last night. I was watching on teevee, and chatting with both Red Sox and Yankee fan FB friends during the game. We all agree, you can never assume anything between those two teams no matter the score midway. As my dad says, "Never assume, it makes an ass out of u and me." Special thanks to Lil in Ponchatoula. Right after she made a comment about no lead being safe (when the Yankees were ahead), the Red Sox rallied. I hope Joe didn't stroke out. She said he was "yellin' and cussin'".

It was the first ever night opener at Fenway in its 98 years. The last time the Sox opened with the Yankees in the visitors dugout was in 2005, after the Sox had won their World Series since 1918. The Yankees won that one. I liked the result a lot better this time.

They pulled out all the stops, with local Steven Tyler (sans Aerosmith) singing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. Then, they shocked and awed the packed house when Neil Diamond came out to sing Sweet Caroline half way through the 8th. His voice is shot, but no one cared. It brought a tear or two to my eye. You haven't lived until you've sung Sweet Caroline (bum bum bum) at the top of your lungs at Fenway with 37,000 other crazed fans. Put it on your bucket list. You can practice here:

Big thanks to Juanita Jean for clipping this from the morning paper. I hope the customers at the World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon don't mind the hole in the comics page.

It's gonna be a LOOOOONG season!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Crater Lake in Winter-CHECK!

Near the top of my list of things I gotta do was something very doable, now that I live on the left coast. I've been to Crater Lake a couple of times in my life, in the summer. A winter trip has always been on the agenda. Fortunately, our nordic club chapter agreed, so a merry band of us headed south to Union Creek Resort for some mid week recreation.

Union Creek Resort is surrounded by the Rogue River National Forest, and fit our needs to a T. Some of us stayed in the main lodge (bedrooms with shared baths, sitting room with big fireplace, game room with pool table) while others stayed in small cabins. We brought our dog, so stayed in pet friendly cabin 1.

We had everything in that little cabin we needed: a comfy bed, kitchenette, table and two chairs, hot shower, and occasional wireless internet. Their excellent website has video of the different rooms and cabins. Elliot and Yolie had a cabin at the edge of the property that had a big campfire ring that came in handy on night 2. But more on that later.

After a half day's caravan drive, we checked in then headed up to the Rim to check out conditions for the next day's ski. There was plenty of snow!

We were treated to sunny blue skies, bluer water, and not a hint of wind, leaving the surface of the lake like a mirror.

Check out the reflections.

Even the jet contrails reflected in the lake. It was breathtaking.

After our scouting mission, we went back down to Beckie's Cafe for dinner. Beckie's is famous for its pies. They looked fantastic, but I must admit after that huge helping of homemade chili and cornbread, I had absolutely no room for pie. Eileen had a piece of Very Berry, and it was. Very. Berry. Our group of 12 took up half of the second service area. The waitress was excellent and cheerful. Then it was early to bed to get ready for the skiing.

I made a pot of Bob's Five Grain Cereal (my very favorite) in my little kitchen, packed some lunch munchies, and some dog biscuits for Brindle, then we headed back to the Rim. The wind had come up a little bit, so the mirror effect was gone, making us really glad we'd gone up the afternoon before.

The view was still great.

We had a good time playing in bowls just a couple miles from the trailhead. Here's Yolie, just before she crashed and messed up her knee a little bit.

Here are some of Ole's finely carved tele turns.

It was so warm, we all took the opportunity to get a little extra vitamin D. Especially Yolie.

Brindle needed a salt lick.

Some people were skiing in tank tops! (Not our group!)

We were tired and hungry so we headed back to our base. After all, the moon was rising (center).

On the menu tonight: community dinner of pasta and sauce, meatballs, salad, garlic bread, potables, and homemade desserts. It was warm enough to set up outside Cabin 15.

The hosts trucked over folding chairs and a table for us, as well as a load of firewood for our campfire.

Ole brought out his trusty guitar and regaled us with his Austin Lounge Lizard covers, including Old Blevins and Paint Me On Velvet, among others. Our goal is to learn more words to A.L.L. songs before the next campfire. We got the blah blah blah part down pat, though.

A storm blew in overnight, and it was slushing out in the morning. The more insane of our group went back up to ski in the blizzard, the rest of us put on our raincoats and hiked some of the nearby trails along the Rogue River.

Right across the street was a trail leading to this gorge-ous place.

Then we headed down the road a piece to the Natural Bridge trail, where we found a huge Doug fir. This is with my camera on the ground shooting up.

Fred and Jan stood by it for scale.

Our last communal dinner was in the 'big house'. Too rainy for another campfire. There was only one allowed by the weather gods. Again, the hosts were very helpful to our group. A big piece of plywood went on the pool table to make a buffet table, and we loaded it with burrito fixings. We had full access to the kitchen and dishes. Yolie made the tortillas, which were wonderful. We had some more songs by the fireplace, and Ole's haiku. He challenged us to write haiku about the trip to share at the next campfire. And so we shall.

Stay tuned for the weekend in Sisters to finish off this road trip entry. It's opening day (night) at Fenway, the Yankees are in town, and it's on TeeVee even here on the opposite side of the country. Gotta go!