Monday, November 28, 2011

Boy, did we get wet last week! The mountains had their first snow down to 3000' and we had some frost again during the night.
In the middle of this picture you see, if you look very carefully, a snow covered Mount Hood as we can see it in the distance from our RV site.
So far the water hose has not frozen yet but we swung by Lowes and bought some pipe insulation to wrap around it. Better safe than sorry!

We keep inventing new upgrades for the RV and this time we installed Plexiglas behind the screen front door with some Velcro. We allready changed the slide part of it out for a see-through one that we bought at Campingworld.
This way we can have the front door open, when it's not too cold, and let some light in, while it stays warm in the RV. Merlin likes it too; he can keep an eye on the neighborhood and be safe and comfortable inside.

He was attacked by a feral cat a few weeks ago. We found him up a tree a couple of spaces down looking very scared but besides some scrapes, bruises and scratches basically unharmed. He has been a very careful cat since than though.

Highlight of the week was off course Thanksgiving.  After watching the parade we gathered the dishes we had prepared, James' Moms overnight layered salad and an apple cranberry pie and went over to Doug where the complete Hess family had gathered.
We helped Brenda putting the finishing touch to some side dishes and Doug and James attacked the poor Turkey. Ah, yes, boys will be boys!



And the rest of us basically ate everything:

Baby Lincoln, about the size of the turkey, stole the show in his Thanksgiving outfit. I had a hard time not to 'gobble' him up!


After deserts we watched 'the' game. The room was about 50-50 divided in Dolphins and Cowboys but we managed to all keep civilized about it!

It was great to have a few days of. The weather decided to cooperate and we putzt a little around the RV and truck.
We went for our first 'wine tasting' at the Argyle Winery in Dundee. Great wines, very unusual and very expensive! I don't think I'd ever buy a $30-60 bottle of chardonnay!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Did you know that Oregon is amongst the world's largest exporters of hazelnuts? True! In 1989, the hazelnutbecame the official State nut (ha) of Oregon. In fact nearly 100 % of all the hazelnuts grown in the United States are grown in the Willamette Valley!
No wonder we are surrounded by 'filbert' orchards, as they are called here. They're ripe now and the trees display some nice collors.
They are harvested by using a machine called a harvester (really)  that sweeps the nuts into windrows and than vacuums them up. The harvester seperates the nuts from twigs and other debris after which they are dropped into wooden tote bins and shipped to be processed.

The rains have been coming down in earnest this week. With a little luck our RV might float if it comes down to that! The wind is up too, we're really rocking and rolling every now and than and I'm starting to get a litlle worried about the awning when a particular strong gust hits us.
It's getting cooler too and to save on electricity and gas we've started to add insolating window film on the inside of our single pane windows.
Normally we're very happy with the many windows we have but now we have to cover all 14 of them, most of them divided in 2 or as many as 6 smaller ones we start to have some regrets!
According to the instructions it's very simple to do and takes about 30 minutes per window but I don't think they're talking about the tiny ones with little round corners that you find in an RV, on top of having very little 'working space'. Manouvering a sticky film around trickers a few interesting explicits every now and than!
The top part is done. See the difference in 'tint'?

Lets just say: "It better be worth it"!
As you can see the film has a slightly bluish tint but according to the information on the box this will fade over time. It also says it will retain 55% 'winter-heat" and reject 70% of the sun's heat. Lets hope so!

In between the rain storms Sadie and I still manage to get our walks in although she doesn't seem to be too fond of her early morning ones anymore. Too cold and wet for her stiff 12 year old bones I guess.
Fortunately we stay warm and dry in the RV, no leaks sofar!

Most leaves are off by now. There are still some berries clinging onto some bushes and we came across this fuzzy guy one day. It's a 'Wooly Bear' caterpillar and is the larvae of the Isabella tiger moth. It starts to slow down in fall and will overwinter in fallen trees and bark. If you pick it up it will curl up and play dead.
As superstition goes, if a woolly bear's black bands are long, the coming winter will have harsh weather. However, the length of their black coloration actually depends on the amount of moisture they receive.

James is working at reorganizing Dougs garage and shed for the moment so he doesn't have to be out in the rain and cold.  He had me buy some long Johns for him last week because his legs got very cold after working outside all day!
I'm still being trained by Katie. It all finally starts to make some sense so I might be of some help after all!

The 18th marked our one year Anniversary of living in our RV. Bring on the champagne!
We're still enjoying it and have not (yet) killed each other, sofar, so good!

Monday, November 14, 2011

We've been really lucky with the dry weather until now.
We're almost halfway November as, finally, the first rain is starting to fall. According to James, who grew up around Portland, this is pretty much how it is going to stay from now on, grey and drizzling.
It doesn't sound very attractive but I guess I can do it for one winter. I know next year I'm going to be somewhere warm and that helps.

I don't know if it's the weather or something else but all of a sudden Sadie has developed a terrible itch and scratches herself practically non-stop.
My first thought has been hot spots but the spots are not very big or nasty and look more like a bumpy reddish rash that shows up randomly on her body. I google scabies/mites and do the "Pedal-Pinna reflex test but, luckely, come up negative.
All I can think off otherwise is (outside fleas which she definitely does not have) maybe some kind of a food allergy since we had to switch food twice now since leaving California because I can not get the food we used to give her. James brother gave us some special food he bought for his dog that developed allergies that he doesn't want to eat so we give it a try. She likes it but if it'll help?
In the meantime we treat the itch quite successfully with good ol' Gold Bond foot powder, recommended by some people and breeders on the web.

Last Saturday we visited the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum which is located in McMinnville only 5 minutes away from us.

A retired Boeing 747-100 sits atop the roof of one of the beautiful museum buildings.

This is an aviation and space museum which displays a number of military and civilian aircraft and spacecraft, most notably, the Howard Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose".

In March 1990, the Disney Corporation, which owned the Spruce Goose, announced that it was closing its exhibit located in Long Beach, California. The Aeroclub of Southern California was notified and they immediately began the search for a new home for the Spruce Goose. In 1992, the Evergreen Museum won the bid with a proposal to build a museum around the aircraft and feature it as a central exhibit.

This entire plane is made of wood! We were  absolutely blown away by its size!

The museum also offers a number of very interesting film presentations on the development and use of the air-and spacecraft, along with hands-on displays demonstrating various principles of avionics.

A smaller building has a seven story IMAX theater. A radio control air flight field is located behind the aviation center, near a group of Russian built armored vehicles, including two T-34/85s, a T-55 and two armored personnel carriers.

The space flight center holds a Titan II missile as its centerpiece, along with the SR-71 Blackbird.

Flight simulators for landing the space shuttle as well as for docking a Gemini capsule and performing a moon landing of the Lunar Excursion Module are visitor interactive.
We both made a serious ‘crash-landing’ in an attempt to set one down!

Although the price is rather steep we enjoyed the beautifully displayed planes. The buildings are immaculate and the grounds very tastefully designed.
Off course we didn’t miss the (free) wine tasting area with wines from the ‘Evergreen Vineyards’ that are surrounding, and are owned by, the museum.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Since we had not been to Dayton proper yet we set out one morning to have coffee at the village cafe/coffee house at the center square.
We were pleasently surprised with the place. For such a small town it is huge and very comfortable, with a nice sitting area and besides good coffee (and latte) a nice breakfast and lunch menue. We might have to come back for the 'cinnamon-roll pancakes' !
We walked around town which isn't hard to do because the square is basically 'it' and we snapped some pics (for once we didn't forget the camera). More fall colors! You can't get around them here in Oregon!

This is the Fort Yamhill Block House, which was brought to Dayton in 1911 to prevent its demolition.
The structure has been built by Willamette settlers on Fort Hill in the Grand Ronde Valley in 1855 and 1856. John G. Lewis, a citizen of Dayton, secured permission from authorities to move the logs to Dayton, where they were reassembled.

The newly plowed and sowed field behind our RV has become a favorite landing spot for a gazillion migrating geese each evening! Unfortunately the zoom on my camera isn't big enough to capture a close up but I presume they're cackling or canadian geese.
They also like the sewer treatment facility next to the park which provides them with a nice swimming and drinking area. I love the sound they make when they're flying in late in the afternoon, sooo fall!

I'm a little overwhelmed with the scope of work I'm supposed to master in Dougs office but am trying my best and hope one day it will become easier.
At least James has something to show for this week again, he finished the shed and greenhouse.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall is turning the liquidambers at the park into flaming torches! Theyre stunning!
I can't believe we had Halloween this week! Where did this year go?

James is steadily making progress in Doug's yard. It's almost starting to look like a yard again. The new sods were brought in and the pathways got a layer of fine gravel.


A while ago we got the fun idea to order some decals from NuWa, the same ones as are on the RV, to put them on the truck and so tigh the two together as a 'matching' set.
They arrived last week and James couldn't wait to put them on. We think the result is very nice!


In the meantime Bethanie was almost due and we were all anxiously awaiting the new arrival!
Finally, on one of these glorious fall days, Lincoln arrived!

Look at that little face! Isn't he precious!