Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wild about Wild

I just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  It's an amazing book.  She tells a really good story and it's a true story about her own hike on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail).  I am amazed she survived.  Talk about ill prepared!

She did the hike and moved to Portland the same year we moved to Portland.  So I guess you could say we both died and went to heaven the same year.

Although I love to hike, I have zero desire to backpack the PCT like she did.  My feet hurt just reading about it.  I never liked back packing that much precisely because you have to carry a pack on your back.  Never liked that.  Hiking has never been about a sense of accomplishment for me.  It's just about being in beautiful places.  I am happy to do it in small doses.

Here is a link to the book

Thursday, June 28, 2012


 I used to think that shoes should last much longer than a year.  In fact, I thought they were nearly new after a year.  Now I think shoes are worn out in a year and are too old for walking and hiking at six months.  It isn't that the shoes are wearing out faster; we are wearing out.  As you age, the pads on the bottoms of your feet get thinner and you need more cushioning and support in your shoes.  The older John and I get, the more our feet cost, and I am just talking shoes here.

Each of us has three pairs of shoes that we wear for different purposes--walking in town, hiking, home tasks (gardening, woodworking).  My home pair is a retired pair of walking or hiking shoes.   Because of the hard surfaces, my walking in town pair wears out the fastest.  I think I replace all three pair in a year. This is starting to sound like a math word problem!

John and I have both retired our heavy hiking boots for trail shoes.  I like John's trail shoes a lot... they are a snazzy sparkly red.  But what works for him doesn't work for me.  Mine are silver gray Montrails with green trim.  I thought they were really ugly when I got them but I've adjusted and am just grateful for their support.  

John's snazzy red shoes

I had such problems with my feet for a while that I feared ending up with one of those ride around carts.  I do NOT want to go there.   Wouldn't it be awful to have to have to give up walking?  Three pairs of shoes in a year seems like a cheap and much preferable solution.  SOOO glad I found shoes that allow me to walk/hike.   I am grateful to be walking without pain.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The last of the peonies

We got another bunch of peonies from our friend.  These are "Sarah Bernhardt" peonies.  Aren't they beauties?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Production Drudgery

There will be 24 drawers in our new island and making 24 of anything is production work.  The finish work is definitely drudgery.   With the fumes and the need for a respirator, it's a real labor of love.  Too bad John isn't into pretending he is Darth Vader.


Monday, June 25, 2012

June garden photos

I really like it when people who walk by our house tell me how much they enjoy the garden, especially those who walk by all the time.

Here are some street views of the garden....

The rose and clematis close up... 

The best place to enjoy our garden is from the front porch.   I never get pictures that capture it satisfactorily from that vantage point.

 Here are some porch views....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I never met a poppy I didn't like

I couldn't pick which photo I liked best.  I like them all.  I love them all.  I just can't resist poppies.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Splish Splash, I was taking a bath

I like watching the birds have a bath in my fountain.  They really go at it.  Dipping down in the water.  Shaking their wings.  Sometimes they bathe for several minutes.

Update:  I saw THREE birds taking a bath at the same time.  It was very exciting!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Triple Falls Hike

We hiked to Triple Falls and a little more.  The morning air smelled amazing and, oh, the light!  The first half mile or so felt really hard (some days are like that) but then it was fine.  Here are my favorite pictures from that hike.  You can click on them to get a better look at the photo.

Resting in my rock and tree-root chaise lounge looking out on the Oneonta Gorge.  There were people down there wading in Oneonta.  Must have been cold water!

Hiking the Lollipop in June

We go hiking every week, mostly in the Columbia Gorge and quite often from the Wahkeena trail head.  This photo is from last week's hike.  We did the Lollipop again, which is about a four mile hike with 1600 feet of elevation gain.  It's pretty close to home, good exercise, beautiful. and quick.  This picture was taken on the Vista Trail section which has a quiet feel.  The trees tower.  There are many shades of green and lots of dappled light.  It feels really good to be there.  It's also fun to watch the seasons change.

Now that it is summer, we have lots of company even during the week.  I don't mind sharing the trail.  But I do hate it when people are yakking on their cellphones and wear lots of perfume that hangs in the air.  And I get really irate when they don't mind their trail manners; especially if they don't stay on the trail.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ruby penstemon

I am crazy about this plant.  So are the hummingbirds.

Our Portuguese Laurel tree

We have a Portuguese Laurel tree.  It is a broad leaved evergreen. beloved by the birds and us.  It flowers in early June and is fragrant, which is right now.  It is really quite beautiful both up close and from a distance.  It is absolutely loaded with flowers.

Drawers, drawers everywhere!

Progress continues on the kitchen island.  Now John is building the drawers (24 of them).  We have a spreadsheet with time estimates for all the tasks.  The total time for drawers is estimated at 118 hours.  He is now assembling the boxes.  According to the spreadsheet,  John is about 38% through the drawer construction.

Then comes all sorts of finish work on the boxes (walnut strips for the top edges and dowell plugs for all the screw holes @26.5 hours) and then applying the  finish (4 coats on each drawer @32 hours)... but wait! We aren't done yet with the drawers.  The drawer faces still have to be made and applied to the drawers @16 hours.

Here are some drawer photos. He uses blue tape for notes about top and bottom, etc.

 Drawers in clamps

Stacked drawers in every cranny.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Imagine this

Yesterday there was a bird having a bath in the bird bath and, at the same time, there was a hummingbird drinking nectar from the honeysuckle.  Made my day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

John Davis Rose

This is the view from the window I look out most.  The view comes every year at this time and I always look forward to it.  Isn't the rose lovely through the lace curtain?

Nice from outside, too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Wahkeena Trail in the Columbia Gorge is only a half hour drive from our house.  It follows Wahkeena Creek, which cascades down a steep slope.  Here is what it looks like along the trail.  Now imagine the wonderful sound it makes.  It's one of my favorite places.

Be sure and click on the photo to see it larger.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

More Peonies!!!

My friend brought MORE peonies.  They lasted well.  This is the sixth day.  Thank you Kelly!