I grew up in a Oregon City where my parents owned a flower shop and raised azaleas. We owned almost an entire city block which had several greenhouses, the business front and our home on it. It was like living on a large farm in the middle of the city. The house was huge, at least from a child’s perspective and there were many places to play, to hide, and to explore.
It was a three story house not including the huge attic which actually had a stair case that went up to it…. so does that make it a four story house?? I had a bedroom on the upstairs floor. The floor plan was kind of strange as I think back on it. You walked up the stairs which was about in the center of the house and at the top you waked into a large open room. This was made into a bed room but most of the time my mom used it to do her sewing and other projects. Straight ahead was my first bedroom and just to the left was another bedroom which was much larger. My ageing grandmother stayed in it for many years and after she died I moved into it.
There were also three large storage areas which I guess were kind of like attics but were on the same floor. One of them had the stair case in it to the top story attic. That storage was a favorite place for me to play. My father had built a door going into it that was quite interesting. It was kind of shaped like a large bank vault door. It was about ten inches thick and the outside was a book case. You couldn’t tell it was a door unless you happened to see the hinges which were visible on the outside.
As I said inside was the stair case to the top floor attic. I didn’t like to go up there too much and found it kind of creepy. Lots of cob webs and it only had some planks across the rafters to walk on. I was always afraid of falling through the ceiling. What was great about this area was I had found this hidden little room. There was a small crawl space between one of the bedroom walls and the roof. It probably ran about ten feet then opened up into a small little area. I made it into my little retreat and hiding area.
If you look at the photo of my room above you can see the area where my hidden room was just behind the TV.
It’s a wonder I never burned the house down as I used candles for light. Later I was able to connect into the back of an electric outlet and had power for a light. My parents both worked in the family business which was on the same property and even though it was just next door to the house, it was like being home alone most of the time.
Well, that’s about enough for now as I want to save some things to bore you with later. Stay tuned for more…..
My partner and I live on about five acres in a rural part of the county. I say about five acres because the property was originally exactly five acres but somewhere in the past the County came in and decided that we didn’t own to the center of the road and they claimed the road was a “private county road”. We had a meeting with the County and they told us that yes, the County owned the road but No they would not improve it or keep it up. That was our responsibility, go figure.
It’s a gravel road and required quit a bit maintenance but between a few of us we seem to keep it up. There has been some talk in the neighborhood about trying to get the County to give the property back to us and we would then have a “private road” but we haven’t taken any action yet.
We have very good neighbors and most of them know we are a couple. They all accept us for who we are and we sometimes party with a couple of them. Our neighbors to the south of us are a Russian family and just great people.
A while back at the end of their Russian Easter observance we happened to just go over to chat for a few minutes. We ended up getting quite blitzed and stayed until way after midnight. They lit a fire and made food on their grill. Jeff (neighbor) brought out a bottle of true Russian vodka (the label was written in all Russian, no English) and we did several straight shots. When we finally went home, I had to almost carry my partner Rocky home. The next day he didn’t remember coming home. I had a weeee bit of a hangover.. I don’t get them very often. Continue reading »
Please meet the newest member of our family, Duke. Duke is a Harlequin Great Dane and is just seven months old. He stands about 32 inches at the shoulder and may grow a couple more inches.
We had decided not to get another dog for a while after Sampson and had talked about getting a Golden Lab pup when we finally did however things seem to have a funny way of changing. When we went camping in LaPine we met Duke for the first time. His parents, a guy I have worked with for a long time and his wife, got Duke as a pup but found that he was just too much of a dog for their home and lifestyles. They live in the city in a residential area and their back yard is not that big. While Great Danes are house dogs and very gentle they do require a lot of exercise and attention. If they don’t get it they can become very bored and restless which can lead to all kinds of behavioral problems.
We both fell in love with Duke while we were camping. I walked and played with him as much as anyone. The other day my co-worker asked me if we wanted to take Duke. I asked my partner and he was very excited so here we are now just one big happy family. Well, except for Morgan the cat. The jury is still out for him but he is warming up to duke.
Actually Duke has adjusted very well to the change. I had expected him to have some problems getting use to his new home but it is like he had been here since a puppy. I think he likes all the attention and especially having five acres where he can run free.
Well, more about Duke and his antics later. I am sure if you are a regular reader you will become bored with my constant writings about him.
I wanted to post this a few days ago but wasn’t able to get connected to the camp hosts Wi-Fi setup. We just got home so I thought I would get this up. More to come..
I didn’t think I was going to be able to post before we got back from camping here in LaPine but one of the hosts has satellite internet on Wi-Fi and said I could use it. We came over on the 4th with three other families from work. For the purposes of this blog I will call them the M’s the C’s and the K’s. Their names have been changed to protect the guilty. C’s father also came over and on Friday the I’s came over. All of these families have kids so in total we had 20 people here: eleven adults and nine children. That’s quite a crew.
By now they have all returned to civility and we are here with just the other quite campers and the Chipmunks, but during the time they were here life was very interesting if not somewhat dramatic. Getting a bunch of cops and a fireman together, especially away from the work environment can be very interesting. Both jobs can be quite stressful as you can imagine and when we get in an environment where we can let loose sometimes things get a little weird.
I have know and worked with most of these people for almost twenty years so we are very comfortable together. I don’t know the guy from the fire department very well as I just met him recently. His future wife work for us and was just recently hired so that’s how they became part of the crew.
All of us from the PD had to work on the 4th and so after our shift we drove over together. We didn’t get in until late in the evening so night one was fairly quiet. It was a good drive over with very little traffic. After everyone got set up we all gathered (except the kids) at our place. We had eight people in our RV which is the largest group we have had here yet. Plenty of room though. I think everyone is envious of us as our rig is by far the nicest and most spacious. Sorry, just a little bragging rights here….
The next day was kind of a supply day. I went into Bend with the M’s to shop for food and other supplies and after we got back to camp I went into Sunriver with the officer C to get my bicycle tire repaired and so he could do some shopping. Later that night after dinner (I made a crab salad) we had a fire as well as the K’s. Everyone just kind of floated back and forth between the two camps.
Thursday the everyone kind of split up to do their own things. The C’s and K’s took off on their ATV’s and motorcycle to do some riding. My partner, *C* his dad went into Bend where C’s dad traded in his old boat and bought a new one. I’m not sure what everyone else did but I suspect they went into Bend I went for a little ride on my Honda Shadow. Earlier I repositioned the 5th wheel with the help of C’s wife so I could get the awning extended. There was a tree in the way so I had to angle the RV.
We all had reservations to eat dinner at this place out in the middle of nowhere called the Cowboy Dinner Tree. It is about fifty miles southeast of here near Silver Lake. Our reservations were for 5pm but *C* and his dad didn’t get back from Bend until almost 4pm. We quickly loaded up into three vehicles and after driving just a little over the posted speed limit, arrived at exactly 5pm.
The dinner there was great and the atmosphere very interesting. Dinner consisted of either a whole chicken or a steak which was more like a roast. First they served a salad with choice of ranch or honey mustard dressing. Then these wonderful hot rolls baked in a pie tin. Next they brought out two kinds of what they call soup but was more of a stew. One is a beef stew and the other they call cowboy bean. I had the beef stew but other people said the bean was very good. Finally they brought out the steaks and chicken with a baked potato. By then you are already quit full but I managed to eat a few bites of my steak (the remainder was consumed over the next couple of days). The drive back was much more relaxed and at a reasonable speed.
No camp fire or get togethers after dinner tonight and everyone just kind of went back to their camps and to bed early. We stayed up and watch TV until about midnight. I think everyone was kind of burned out after the drive and large dinner.
** Next the night of drama **
Every year I try to get into Portland for the Grand Floral Parade at the Rose Festival. I don’t go so much to watching the parade. I go to see old friends that in many cases I haven’t seen since the last parade and hopefully meet a few new. I also go to watch all the interesting people a large festival like this attracts. I always take my camera and love to catch people being themselves.
I don’t think I saw a third of the parade this last Saturday. I usually try to head out of town before the end. I hate all the traffic, it’s always an incredible mess with over a hundred thousand people all trying to get home at once. This year was very festive though, and the weather was great with no rain and a little cloud cover. Often it rains but Oregonians are use to that
I have lived here in the NW all my life. When Mt. St. Helen erupted on May 18 1980 I was living in Portland. I remember the inches of volcanic ash covering the area and all the people wearing filter masks. I have always been intrigued by the mountain but until last weekend I had never been up to it. This last weekend I finally made it there and it was awesome. My partner and I visited the Johnston Ridge Observatory and the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center along with many stops to take photographs and view the scenery. It is amazing how after 26 years much of the area still shows such great signs of destruction and yet other areas are showing remarkable recovery.
Coldwater Lake is a beautiful example of how nature is healing it’s self. The lake looks like it has been there for many years. It is teaming with life but it did not exist before the eruption. The forest service and the wood product industry has also done a great job in planting new trees. Many areas will be ready to harvest in the not to distant future.
Mount St. Helen is a great area and I would highly recommend that if you ever get a chance to visit the area. I know I will be going back very soon. I plan on riding my motorcycle up there again this summer. The road to Johnson Ridge is perfect for a motorcycle ride.