Friday, August 27, 2021

Finally my morning glory is putting out some flowers ..

It was a slow week this week, not much happening, so I really don't have much to talk about.
Let's see .. oh wait, we washed the RV!

We also treated the roof with a conditioner. Something we should (and have done) do every spring and fall, but there was so much going on this spring that we just didn't have the time.
So, although a little early, we're actually late .. oh, well.


We're looking nice and shiny now though, and definitely a lot 'white'-er, and the next thing we'll be doing is cleaning and restoring/renewing some of the caulking around the roof and windows. 
Some of the white paint of the slides, and green paint all around the bottom, need a little touch up as well. All to get us ready for fall!

Which is around the corner of course. Fall, I mean. The nights are finally getting a little cooler and some of the Liquid Amber trees are starting to 'turn':


And the large flock of Red Robins that are hanging out in our yard, are very happily munching away on the bright orange berries of the  Mountain Ash trees ..


One of our neighbors has been growing these large green pumpkins in the front yard. I always find it interesting that these plants show fully grown fruit and flowers on the same plant at the same time ..


On one of my morning walks I was happy to come across this pretty Quail. I haven't seen any around here so far ..


Also, for some 'birds of another feather' .. this little flock of chickens ..

Who belong to 'Farmer John', who owns the most adorable, cute little barn and vegetable/flower garden, just down the road from us:

As you can see, he sells the eggs as well!

My vegetable garden is pretty much done producing. I picked the last of the zucchinis and tomatoes (who were ripening really weird, with a still hard top and completely soggy bottom?) and a handful of small bell-peppers.
So far, I'm not too impressed of how things have been growing. Most of it was small or stunted or not producing at all, like every single one of the beans I sowed ..
I don't know if I'm going to do this again next year?

The raspberries in Doug's yard (obviously a late variety) are ripening nicely though!



James has been the only one watering them so I don't feel too bad for picking them! Unfortunately we're not too impressed with how they taste, a bit blah, but they're OK on cereal, and I'm freezing some to make preserves or maybe muffins or scones.
They'll be a nice thing to have in the coming winter!

Like I said, the nights, and days as well, are starting to get a little cooler now (Yes!) and Sunday it even rained almost all day (gasp!) so I thought it was a good time to start a new puzzle.
It's one of the three my mom send me for my birthday. This one's a painting by Renoir and a lot more difficult than any of the Wysocki's I usually make.
But I do like the challenge, and it's very pretty!



Friday, August 20, 2021

As of yesterday we were married for 21 years! Can you believe it? Where did that time go?
The only reasonable conclusion has to be, there was apparent international consensus to speed the earths rotation and thus shorten hours ... most likely somewhere overnight, when nobody noticed ..
Any-who, despite all Corona restrictions, some of which (facemasks!) have been re-instated since last Saturday, we tried to celebrate this impressive feat!

First there were kisses, and cards, and than off course there was coffee and pie!

                                          Chocolate cherry. M-m good!

After work, we had happy hour in the garden, and ordered 'food-to-go' at the very appropriately named Thai restaurant .. "Thai the knot"!                                       

We loaded up the car with some chairs and utensils, picked up the food and drove to Rodger's Landing, a small public park here in Newberg, very picturesquely situated on the shores of the Willamette River.
Perfect for a romantic dinner!

There were nicely sauteed vegetables and a delicious 'house specialty' pork curry.
And while the sun was slowly setting, we toasted (with our glasses of Chai-tea) to our amazing life together so far, and to at least another 21 to come!
What the heck .. let's make that 42!

OK, what else did we do this week?
O, yeah, since the temperatures were still happily (or actually not so happily) into the 90s, we decided it would be a good plan to go to the beach where, due to a marine layer, temps were at least 20 degrees cooler!
Which turned out to be an excellent idea! Look how "cool' it looked!

   We'd brought some coffee (of course) and even had to put on sweaters! O Bliss!

This pretty spot right on the ocean is in the town of Cape Meares, just a couple of miles outside Tillamook.
The previous time we went to the coast, we ended up on Cape Meares itself, which is right around the corner of that rock sticking out there in the ocean on the right ...


There used to be a road connecting these two areas, but it is now closed due to unstable soil conditions, which is quite a bummer since it would be such a nice drive to do 'the loop' and end up back in Tillamook.
The area around town is very pretty. There's a huge park at the bay, which is Tillamook Bay, by the way:

Where we saw this Bald Eagle, fishing for clams in the mud at low tide ..


I hope he knows how much he gets to keep!

All in all, we really liked this little town and where it's situated.
Close to Tillamook and it's golf course, a little out of the way, so not too touristy, right on the ocean with lots of places for me to walk and explore.
We'll definitely keep it in mind for the future.


Following the shores of the bay back towards Tillamook, you can see the town of Garibaldi, on the other side of the bay .. well, if it wasn't this foggy the view would be better ..

Which is where we ended up when driving further north:


And a little further, the smaller town of Bay City, where we even checked out some real estate at Bayridge, a gated community, some of which seemed to have good views of the bay:


And how about this (5 acres!) lot in between these two towns:

It looks like there certainly are a lot of possibilities here! I think we liked it better than the towns we previously saw to the south of Tillamook. Less touristy ..

Talking about touristy, we finally managed to find a small diner that served seafood in the much busier town of Rockaway Beach, so we stopped to have lunch.
Unfortunately, (seafood) restaurants are hard to find in this area .. oh, well, there has to be something ..

The food was actually not bad, but nothing to write home about, and the decor definitely had seen better days, firmly stuck in the 70s as it was, but as a typical 'Ma and Pa' place it had a certain charm as well. It surely was a place where all the locals went, since everybody seemed to know each other.

We'd actually talked about changing our plans for the rest of our day during lunch, and had decided to drive all the way north to check out the (larger) towns of Seaside and Astoria as well, but when we neared the famous town of Cannon Beach the traffic got really bad and we bailed for home instead!
(Later I read that those towns up north, although pretty and with beautiful beaches, are crazy touristy in the summer, so they might not be where we want to end up anyways. 
But we'll probably go for a visit later in the season or Fall, when things quiet down a little. Just to say 'we've been there' ..)

Gorgeous Cannon Beach!

OK, I think this is it for this week. TGIF (Thank God It's Friday)!
Time for Happy hour! And a pizza!

Friday, August 13, 2021

It's the height of summer here in Oregon and all gardens are bursting with flowers and produce!
This state is so green, you don't really need to have a 'green thumb' to grown anything. Just stick it in the earth and it grows!
I pass this delightful little vegetable patch almost every day where the corn and zucchini are having a hay-day:

Apples and pears are starting to look good ..


... and after a last harvest of blueberries ..


                                        James has moved on to ...



The vineyards around Newberg are looking like they're going to have a bumper crop as well!


I finally have some flowers too, but they're not doing too well .. I think the pots are a little too small for such tall plants as sunflowers, morning glory and cosmos:



And how about this beautiful work of art? I'm pretty sure this is the nest of bald-faced hornets:

They get their name from the characteristic white markings on their faces.
They're notably larger than other species and omnivorous, and considered to be beneficial due to their predation of flies, caterpillars, and spiders.
Unfortunately, their aggressive defensive nature makes them a threat to humans who wander too close to a nest, or when a nest is constructed too close to human habitation. They vigorously defend the nest, with workers stinging repeatedly.
They're a little away from the RV, and so far we've not noticed any aggressive behavior, but we're careful and are making a little detour around them when we have to pass the tree they're in.

So, yes, this summer is a hot one for sure! It's about the fourth (fifth?!) time this season that the temperatures are soaring into the triple digits!
Multiple wildfires in California and Oregon are starting to affect the air-quality around here, and the sunlight during the day has an eerie, orange glow to it.

We can have breakfast outside, and if we're lucky maybe lunch as well, but at dinnertime it's still way to hot to be comfortable out there!

                                     Early breakfast on one cool(er) morning. The sun is only just rising ..

And although our ACs are keeping us reasonably cool, our (older) fridge still cannot keep up with this heat.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, when the temperature of our 'big' fridge rose into the 50s, we bought a small fridge at Lowes and temporarily moved everything over.
Than, while I was gone, James acquired a small AC, which he hung in front of the air-outlet of our big RV fridge, on the outside of the RV :

After closing off most of the gaps to the outside, he has managed to keep the area behind the fridge at around 65F and the fridge around 48F. (The freezer by the way is working fine!)
Still not ideal, but just cold enough to keep most things from going bad too fast, so everything was moved back to the big fridge.
Hopefully soon, we'll be nearing the end of these hot spells! Fall cannot come early enough!

James finally has his own desk at Doug's! Joel passed his exam and has officially moved out, so no more (or, a lot less) fighting for computer space:

According to Doug and Brenda he's catching on real quick, and he's a lot further along in doing 'things' by himself than any of the other assistants they've had so far.
It sure helps that he knows a lot about houses and the building there-of in general, and he's also quite knowledgeable in finances and bank policies as well.

He's trying to golf some in his spare time, but is also working on a list of things to repair and doing some general maintenance around the RV and the truck/car.
For instance, we've had a leak in the kitchen waste-water/holding tank for quite some time now, and he finally got to 'patching' the small crack he found:


For a lot of things the temperatures have to be just so, to be able to paint or caulk, and preferable no wind or rain of course so progress is somewhat slow, but we're getting there. One job at a time ..

To celebrate my return from Europe, Doug invited us to join them for dinner at Rosmarino. We'd been there once before with them and knew we'd be in for a treat, so he didn't have to ask us twice!
Once again we attended the '5 course-dinner', but this time it was served
family style and we were seated on the patio:


This place is really something else, and not in the last place because of it's owner and chef Dario who was born and raised in Piemonte (with the accent to match) and who cooks all his mother’s (Nonna Agnese) authentic recipes!

He's very informative and entertaining, describing each dish and its relevance to Italy and its preparation in exuberant fashion, along with the characteristics of the wine it is paired with.


He's interspersing the descriptions with lots of stories and humor and the Italian accent to go with it!
As before, the food was out of this world, the best Italian food I have ever eaten, and most likely ever will, and the whole experience is just one of a kind!
OK, that was about it for this week. It's almost 5 pm, time for happy hour. James will probably be here soon.
I'm going to poor some wine. To say it with Dario .. Salute!