Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And again we woke up to snow this week!
This time it broke all records since 1954 or so when it was the last time it snowed this late in the season ‘on the valley floor’ as they say over here.

The only one that still really enjoys this seems to be Sadie, who jumped and rolled around in it as usual. The rest of us just wants to go home…or something like that considering we actually are ‘home’ off course.

As a neighbour put it: “ Weird idea they have about spring up here”.

But as fast as it got cold as fast it got warm again! Two days later it was 68 F and we're drinking our sunday morning coffee outside in the sun.
Merlin thinks this chair is his 'personal lounger' which he takes rather litterary.

James spent the sunday welding an extension to the exhaust of the generator to bring the fumes outside the truck and to strap it permanently in the back so we can use it from there. This way it doesn't take up space in the RV.
He got to use his handy whench to lift it. So nice to have these toys,, I mean, tools!

As a reward for all his hard work I made him one of his favorite dishes, Nassi goreng with sate!
This is the Indonesian version of fried rice accompanied by satay (skewered chicken in this case) with a spicy peanut sauce. In the Netherlands, Indonesian cuisine is very common due to the historical colonial ties with Indonesia and everyone has it in his or her culinary reportoir.
In fact it is eaten every wednesday on board of the dutch ships and landbased stations of our Royal Navy. It's a tradition dating back from somewhere in the 19th century when dutch ships were stationed at what was then called 'the dutch-indies' to protect the colony.
It is m,m good!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I’ve kept my eyes on these flowering cherries and they are finally coming into bloom now. I wanted to have a sunny shot of them but it looks like that is not going to happen for another week or so and I’m afraid the rain and hail will leave nothing for me to take a picture of if I’ll wait, so here they are.

These are just your very common garden variety of ornamental purple leafed plum cherries. But aren’t they gorgeous? They make me smile every time I see them.


A lot smaller but just as effective for making me happy are these little cuties. Now if you’re a gardener you’re not calling them cute, I know, you’ll call them pesky little weeds, but I think they’re pretty.
They’re fig buttercups (Ranunculus ficaria) also called Lesser celandine. Now I like that last name the best because I read that it comes from the latin chelidonia meaning swallow : it was said that the flowers bloomed when the swallows returned. How cute is that?
Now Ranunculus is latin for "little frog (off course, who wouldn’t know that?) and this probably refers to many species being found near water, like frogs. Well, to call this particular place on earth ‘watery’ would be the understatement of the year so no surprise there I’d say.


The small river next to the campsite has turned into a very wide and fast flowing one turning brown from all the mud it takes from its banks and bottom.
Lots of trees along the banks are now partly submersed in the water.

James is still doggedly plowing through the mud in Doug’s yard, through rain or shine, snow, frost and hail or freezing wind. You have to give it to the guy, he doesn’t give up easily!
He finally finished paving all pathways and the patio and created some pebble ‘streams’ along the borders. He brought in some more of the bigger rocks to tie the rocks of the waterfall and the wall to the rest of the garden.

At the top tier in the backyard he planted some espaliered fruit trees and added more bushes to the lower ones.

It doesn’t look too spectacular right now but after some years of growing out it will be very beautiful.

In the evenings James somehow finds the energy to work on his ‘computer repair skills’ in the hope to soon start his carrier as a computer technician.
Merlin seems to think he needs all the help he can get.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

As beautiful as this looks, can you believe it, it snowed this morning!
And that after 2 beautiful days of 64 F just two days ago! I was so happy, I brought out my shorts and reclined outside in my lounge chair for a couple of hours. It was heaven!
And now this. They’re even predicting snow and rain for the rest of the week all the way to next Wednesday! I swear, I’ll never come back here in the winter! Oregon, you’ve done me in!

That being said, spring IS happening, LOOK!


I’m ashamed to say I’m stil not doing much, although I did pick up the socks I’m trying to knit, already for a year or so, and at least figured out where I was and where to go from there.

I’m reading Dan Brown’s "The Lost Symbol" on my Nook. That is, I was almost done and than my lending period ran out! I hate it when that happens because now I have to wait until it is available again. I’m the only one on the waiting list in Houston so that’s not too bad because in Newberg I’m 26th in line(!) but still it’s annoying. The problem is that I download several books on my Nook that all have a lending term of 14 days and than I’m unable to finish them all! Oh well.. I must say it’s more difficult than I thought to use my reader for library books. Not only for this reason but also because I’m not able to get the books I really want to read that easily. There are huge waiting lists for the ones I can get and many that I have on my ‘to read’ list are not even available as e-books.
So, while waiting for Dan Brown's I'm reading "Sold" by Patricia McCormick. It tells the story of a 12 year old nepalese girl sold into slavery and taken to India to be forced into a life of prostitution. It is heartwrenching but beautifully written in verse-style. I am stunned by what is occurring to thousands of unsuspecting 13-year old girls in this part of the world. Not a story to lift your spirits but certainly someting that needs more public attention

As you can see I’m also trying to work out some sort of itinery for when we leave from here, which is actually rapidly approaching! If all goes according to plan, and we all know about plans…., we’re leaving on the 26th. We’re thinking of heading straight East along the Columbia River, doing some sightseeing around Pendleton and Baker city, than head north into Washington and somehow go north-west from there to Seattle.
I can see that by going this way we’re going to have to cross the Cascade Range one way or the other and I see passes of 3- and 4000 feet on the map. I bet there’s still snow up there and I’m not so happy about that. In order to avoid it we might have to follow the 5 all the way up which is not the most attractive way to go.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I’m well past the 9 days I gave myself to take it easy and recoup from my flight but have a hard time getting back into my old rhythm. Maybe because I never really had one lately, I guess.
Anyways, I don’t have to work for the time being and have all the time in the world to do all and any of my hobbies to my hearts content but I just don’t feel like doing anything at all.
I do watch a lot of TV, which I never did, and am just flabbergasted by all the crap that’s on there but at the same time fascinated by these weird shows like ‘hoarders’... oh my god,’ink’ .... unbelievable…they actually do this to real people, 'weird obsessions’...... someone addicted to drinking gasoline…are you kidding me..?
I just can’t stop watching!

The weather doesn’t help much either of course. I don’t know if I can do this rain any longer! That’s probably what’s ailing me come to think of it, a severe case of cabin fever!
I have noticed that going outside to walk the dog greatly improves my mood, even when we get wet so I might have to go a little more often. I probably just need a lot of fresh air to blow away this lethargy!
I also do need the exercise since I gained 7 pounds (!) between the stress of leaving for Holland and than being wined and dined on everywhere I went when I was over there! I feel big and ugly! Doesn’t help either.

Oh well. At least I did manage to shoot some uplifting pics of spring in the making during one of those ‘airings’.

Than last Sunday we went to Woodburn to shop a little in the big Outlet Mall they have over there. Like that was so not going to make me happier! I’m a terrible shopper, I hate it with a vengeance, but I really could use some new clothes.

Well, I used to like Bass and Van Heusen for their great prices and awesome sales but they have gotten as greedy as everybody else and have gotten very sneaky in their sales tactic!
To give an example, a simple, but cute, T-shirt would be priced for around $19, maybe $29 for a real cute one and than they would give you say 40% off and sometimes another 30% on special weekends. Great deals, like I said. Now the same simple shirt is originally priced at $59!!!!! Are you kidding me??? For a T-shirt!!!
Oh Yes, than they put it on sale for the same 30-40% off but that is still more than I want to pay !! Even less so because I feel totally scammed!!

In the end I did buy a nice jeans-shirt and a cute blue shirt with little bows on it at Eddie Bauer, I had my Latte at Starbucks and we really enjoyed some Chinese for lunch (I’m going to diet tomorrow, honestly).

The weather turned out beautiful and we payed a visit to the ‘Dutchies’ in St. Paul who are slowly settling into their new home. Since a lot of their stuff was packed away in a container for almost 3 years they have a lot of fun unpacking and discovering things they forgot they even had!
To get to ‘their’ side of the river you have to take this little ferry to cross the Willamette River.