Thursday, September 30, 2021

So far we're having a beautiful Fall, which makes me so very happy!
Most days are gorgeous, temperatures in the low 70's and this coming week even in the high 60's, and the nights are nice and cool in the high 40's!
The trees are all starting to color and the vineyards are looking so pretty in that low, warm light that is so really Fall.


Talking about vineyards .. Doug and Brenda invited us to an impromptu wine-tasting on Friday afternoon. They are members of various clubs and vineyards and could go tasting new releases several times a month if they would want to.

Well, we didn't say no of course, so we made the short trip to Beaux Frères, a vineyard on 88 acres just outside of Newberg at Ribbon Ridge.
Like most other wineries at the moment they were still working on the last of the harvest of the week, and the smell of (fermenting) grapes hung strongly in the air .. 

This winery is one of the earliest and now leading wineries in Oregon, founded by Michael G. Etzel, and brother-in-law (“Beaux Frères” in French) Robert M. Parker Jr in 1986.
Their philosophy remains the same; to produce a world-class Pinot Noir
and they certainly do a good job of that since their 2014 Pinot was voted 3rd best IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!


It's a small place, a 'boutique' winery as they call it, their tasting room is simple and the atmosphere very laid back. It's all about the wines and they are certainly very good, we liked them!

It was a great afternoon and it was fun to hang out a little with Doug and Brenda besides work and just 'shoot the breeze' instead.

Here's another sure sign of Fall I'm hearing more and more these last 2 weeks ..


Canadian Geese! The Willamette Valley is an important stop-over for them on their way south, and large groups gather in the fields and on the lakes around here.


They often stay for a few days to rest and eat before moving on .. still a long way to go!

And than there's these two does, I think it's a mama and her fawn from this spring, that have been hanging around our orchard for a whole week now.

They graze on the new grass, that's been coming up after last week's rain, in the early morning and late afternoon, and seem to spend the night in the 'wilder' corner of the orchard, in the far back.
I might break down and set out some corn for them if they decide to spend the winter here!

Not much else for this week I'm afraid other than that I made 'snert', the first of the season (but certainly not the last!), and baked a very nice pumpkin loaf, if I say so myself:

Oh and before I forget, we brought Merlin to the Vet for a 'senior' check-up.
She couldn't believe how good he was looking for his 18 years and was amazed by the fact he's been diabetic for 9 years of that.
A full blood panel was taken which showed 2 days later that he is totally healthy and his kidneys, liver and thyroid functions are all normal. How cool is that?
Unfortunately the fact remains that he doesn't eat enough and keeps getting skinnier.
He had some loose stool the other day, but, of more concern, he also seemed to have had 2 short 'episodes', during which time he cried out in what I believe was pain and passed stool during the first, and stumbled over and fell down while passing urine during the second.

He might have had a stroke or a seizure? Time will tell. He's definitely not feeling well, but what else can we do? 
Not much, I'm afraid, just making him comfortable and just hope he'll have a few more good days left ..
Snoozing in the evening sun ..

Friday, September 24, 2021

Yes, all of a sudden, after anticipating it for weeks, it's Fall once again! Yoohoo!!
I'm so happy!
Time to bring out the decorations and 'deck the halls' (I know, that usually indicates Christmas, but you know what I mean)!

May be an image of text that says 'Autumn HAY RIDES PATCH-+ FAMILY Hello MNd PIE APPLE leaves FALI cider FRESH BAKED + HARVEST f PUMPKIN SPICE'
I went out and bought a few pumpkins as well as a replacement for my little straw-man, who was so faded and battered that I finally had to retire him.
I even splurged on a pretty bunch of sunflowers, although my frugal dutch heart has a difficult time paying $5 for it ..


To top it off, and really get in the spirit of it all, we visited the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest:

This oldest, largest
oldest and best-loved Oktoberfest began in 1966 as a traditional harvest festival to celebrate the bounty of the earth and the goodness of creation.
It's a four-day festival featuring music, food, dress and beverages of Bavaria.

The Mt. Angel community was founded by German pioneers in 1867, and since the surrounding area resembles rural Bavaria, organizers thought the Oktoberfest would be a natural fit for the community.
Food, beer, wine and the many arts and craft booths are scattered throughout the town and many people are dressed in Bavarian garb.

The local Bavarian dance group performs a couple of times a day:


And off course there's a lot of beer, wine, and sausage to eat and authentic music to dance to in the three large dance-halls :

The town itself is mall but cute, and shows it's Germain heritage in the many elaborate signs and typical style of buildings..



Every hour, on the hour, these moving figures 'perform' at the corner of the largest restaurant in town:

After strolling through the village for a while and watching the dancers perform, we had lunch at the Schnitzel Garden:

Underneath all the 'spaetzle und rotkohl' lies a huge schnitzel!

All in all, a fun festival and a perfect start of the Fall!

Even mother nature got into the spirit and gave us 2 days of rain. Well, sort of, off-and-on, and mostly over-night.
I read somewhere that it rained more in these 2 days than it did in the 8 months before!
Which is not so strange of course, considering it didn't rain at all over the summer!
Any-who, the morning after we even had fog!



Nothing says fall more than a foggy morning, don't you think? That lovely moist smell of the earth and the crispness of the air? 
And everywhere you look there are fields full of pumpkins!

Can't you tell I love Fall?

It also means that life moves inside a little bit more, and I'm proud to have finally managed to finish the Monet puzzle. Boy, oh, boy, was that a puzzle!
But, there you have it, all done and looking beautiful!


OK, that was it for this week. I'll end with one more picture of our silly boy:

And although this picture looks very cute, and like many cats, he loves to drink from the faucet, he's worrying me enough that I'm thinking of getting him to the vet next week.
He is drinking wayyyy to much at the moment, he's losing weight since he's not eating very well, and his blood sugars are all over the map.
I'm afraid his kidneys are starting to go, and if that's the case he will probably not be with us much longer ... sigh .. and so it goes .. we'll see.

Friday, September 17, 2021

One more week to Fall! Yes! It's starting to look like it more and more right now, pumpkins are coloring orange, red berries are appearing on several shrubs and some tall grasses are  showing their pretty plumes.

The warm weather is just not quitting though!
We're still in the high 70's but at least the forecast is finally predicting two days of rain starting tomorrow, so I guess I can't complain too much!

Also, my morning glory that didn't do much all summer is finally putting out some flowers, so there's that:

Since the weather was good, warm and no (almost) wind, James did some more work on the car. He decided to spray-paint the, rather scuffed up, bumpers.
(But not after a lot of sanding and masking of course ..)

It's hard to see but it came out very nice and after two layers of this primer, he added two layers of the 'real' paint and than two layers of a glossy finish.
Looking so much better!
The spots he painted last week are still not 'done' yet though. He's going to work on them some more with a rubbing compound, but they aren't looking too good and he might have to spray the whole hood after all .. oh well, we'll see ..

I didn't do much, as usual off-course, this week. I know, I know .. but somebody has to do it, or not?
My dental hygienist asked me this week: "what do you do?", and I said .. nothing! It threw her off a bit, I think. I mean, who doesn't do anything these days? They all work, work, work .. well, that's not fair off course, a lot just have to, I guess .. I'm lucky!
I did started spinning some of the wool that came with my 'new-to-me' spinning wheel I got this spring:


Outside spinning is so much fun, very relaxing, and nice and cool in the shade of the big oak behind the RV ..

Here's something else I 'did'. I made 'hutspot'!


It's a dutch dish, mashed potato and carrots with sausage and gravy, primarily eaten when it's cold since it's sort of that 'stick to the ribs' or 'comfort' kind of food, but you can eat it any time you fancy of course. It's a little odd to be able to eat it outside though ..
Merl' tried the sausage but is no fan .. oh, well, more for us!


I also made (look, another thing I did!) a Raspberry Crisp with the raspberries I've picked (and am still picking) from 'Doug's' yard. Crisps are so easy to make and this one came out very delicious, especially with some whipped cream.
I even managed to save two pieces for next weekend!


OK, 'nough said! Something else I 'do'. I write a blog. I'm a writer! Ha!
That's something!
Here's something I didn't have a hand in at all, a beautiful sunset: