Thursday, October 28, 2021


Boy, oh, boy, did it rain last week! We had quite some serious downpours accompanied by very strong wind-gusts. We heard that Mcminnville had a gust of 85 miles/hour!
A few trees went down in the county but fortunately we didn't loose any power and besides some large branches that came down around us from the oak we're under, we had no damage at all.
Which can not be said from the poor folks in California, they suffered several flash-floods and mudslides and people lost their lives because of downed trees crashing on cars and houses.


Despite the bad weather, which caused lots of leaves to fall already, the vineyards are still showing their gorgeous colors ..

Pretty eh? But most of the week it looked more like this:


Ans since the rest of the week wasn't any better, we didn't even get to golf at all!
We did order sushi to go on Wednesday though, and brought it over to Doug and Brenda for an easy dinner for all of us.
No pictures of course .. sigh, I don't know why it is so hard to take a picture of the four of us but it almost never happens ..
Here's two of how the food looked like, sort of:

It was delicious once again!

One nice thing coming out of all this wetness are ... mushrooms!

They literary seem to pop up over-night, and although some look rather tasty we didn't chance trying any of them. I'm pretty sure they're all poisonous ..

As for the orchard we're sitting in (which looks so pretty when it doesn't rain doesn't it?) soon, Brett (our landlord) will cut some trees down to sell as Christmas trees, and Serena (his wife) has her eye on one for herself.


All the little ones will stay of course, so fortunately it won't be looking like one of those clear-cut disaster areas, like we sometimes come across when we drive through the forests around here.

I think that was about all for this week. Due to the weather we didn't 'do' much. We basically spend the weekend inside. Which was very cozy nevertheless.
We had the fireplace going, took long and lazy coffee breaks and made some simple meals. James took the opportunity to put some hours of study in and I started a new puzzle.
The one that I only make once a year, in the fall .. lots of pumpkins!


Hopefully next weekend will be better, we might be able to get some golf in and I'd like to check out the Champoeg State Park, which is only 10 minutes away from us.

The forecast does look a lot better, so we'll see!

Friday, October 22, 2021

These are the trees lining the road to the golf course!
We only had a small dry window on Tuesday afternoon in an otherwise rainy week to play 9 holes of golf, but when we did it sure was a beautiful one.
The course always has great views, but with a lot of trees showing of their fall colors right now, they're even better!

It's getting dark a lot earlier now too, so we have to plan carefully to be able to even get our holes in before we loose sight of our ball and the course.

Afterwards we were hoping to pick up some sushi-to-go at a place we went previously but they were closed so we had to settle for Thai from a new-to-us place the Golden Leaf, on main street.
Not a bad second choice as it turned out, because it was excellent too!


Here's a few pictures from my walk around the neighborhood ..

First I walk by the blueberry bushes in Doug's yard, no berries anymore but still pretty now in their fall colors.
Through the front yard I step out onto NE Hyland road that starts (or ends, if you will) right there, which I follow, passing some neighbors, for a few minutes ..


Than I take a right into the forest where the huge oaks are turning yellow ..

Coming out on the other end I than connect with the 'main' road through the neighborhood, where I have a view over the little valley through which Hess Creek is flowing:

It's hard to see, but there's a creek down there!

A little further, this bright little red tree stands in the yard of one of my favorite houses around here ..

Following the road and making a right again, I end up at the Highway , where the railroad tracks on the other side pass over an old trestles bridge ..

I don't see a lot of birds these days, a lot have gone south already, but halfway my hike I came across this cute little guy ..


I think it is a Kestrel, a small Falcon ... they mainly eat insects and voles so this cozy trio of starlings sitting only a little away on the same wire were probably safe enough ..


And look, finally, our new fridge has arrived! We'd ordered a new one 6 weeks ago but, like everything you order these days, compliments of Covid, delivery was hugely delayed ..
So, we spent the whole of Saturday swapping them out:

Out with the old!

And in with the new:

James had created a walkway and ramp with some plywood and we were able to roll them in and out quite easily. We did take the doors off, and only had an inch on each side to spare, but fortunately they did fit through the door!


We've chosen a 'normal' house-fridge this time, since we're not going to travel much with this RV anymore and we don't need the gas function.
I'm not too fond of the stainless steel but we might put a wooden decal on it or some other sort of cover in the future. We'll see ..


In the meantime it's functioning beautifully, I've got a lot more room, and it's nice to have the fridge cooling the way it should, and not the (very) unhealthy 52F of the old one! No more mold also ..

To pay for all this, it's fortunate we both work now (just kiddin')!
Look, that's us, in Doug's office:


I can only be there when Doug's on route in the mornings, since we don't have enough computers for all of us, but since I don't want to work more than a couple of hours, that works fine for me.
For now, I'll be going in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and when they're behind, but with me helping they hope they can now keep on top of things.

With these rainy days I spent a little more time puzzling, and finished the third and last puzzle I got for my birthday this spring.


Also, now it's colder and darker, we're also craving more 'stick to your ribs food', so I'm starting to cook a little more , other than just throwing things on the BBQ or going for an easy frozen meal and salads. So, I baked a meatloaf ..

It got a little dark there on the edges (burned BBQ sauce) but it was delicious!
 As for desert: Easy apple dumplings ..

(No sugar in those !)

So, life goes on .. but of course there's the (white) elephant in the room .. we soooo miss our sweet baby .. he's left a huge hole that's so very hard to fill.
We're both still so very sad at times .. fortunately we have each other for comfort ..
I'm trying to keep
physically busy because reading and puzzling alone doesn't keep my mind of him for very long.
So I'm working in the yard, cleaning up my vegetable garden for the winter, putting things away around the RV, going for brisk (and wet) walks, getting groceries, obviously cooking and baking, and fortunately now there's working in the office also ..

We'll get through this, and we know he's in a better place, but boy .. it's hard!

We loved him so ..


Thursday, October 21, 2021

It's hard to find the words to start this post but it is with deep sadness I have to write that our sweet boy Merlin is not with us anymore.

Despite a short week in which he perked up some, we watched him decline rather rapidly the last few days after he stopped eating and drinking, and his hips were getting so bad that he was barely able to move around or get comfortable, even when sleeping.
We made the heartbreaking decision to end his suffering, and last night we had him put to sleep by the very nice vets at the Newberg Animal Hospital.
We loved him so much and it was so very, very hard to do, but it was time.
It's a decision that was the right one, but hurts so very much nonetheless.

He was an amazing cat, sweet, funny and a little crazy and such a beloved family member for over 17 beautiful years.
Here's a little tribute to him with the help of some of the 200(!) photo's we made of him:


Due to his deafness he didn't make many friends. He couldn't hear their warning growls and they didn't 'get' his reaction. Our little kitten Elmo was the exception though, they loved each other from the get-go!

And of course there was his human buddy, James. Although he wasn't really a 'lap-cat', but if he felt like it, James was his favorite ..

And when he was there as a referee, he could even get around to 'sleeping with the enemy', which in this case was our grumpy cat Felix ..

As any cat, he did a lot of sleeping, but he had a weird preference for unusual and often downright uncomfortable and hard places.
Inside the house:

Not a glass was hurt in this picture!

As well as outside:

Also in very odd positions:

Upside down was his favorite:

Being a white cat has interesting challenges .. you're almost invisible and hard to find in snow ...


Or in between a pile of grocery bags .. 'can you see me know?' ..


And when you get dirty, you quickly look very dirty (like when using a fire-pit for a litter box) ...


He loved the Holidays and especially Christmas trees were a lot of fun!


I swear I didn't do it .. 'twas Santa!


But of course it was mostly about the food! He went nuts for turkey!


When we got him from the shelter he would literally eat anything, I had to put him in an other room if I started cooking, or he would jump on my cutting board and snatch anything I was preparing. Lettuce, tomatoes and of course any
meat, and he really loved corn .. on the cob, please, thank you very much!

His love for food, and especially turkey, stayed with him through the end. As soon as we would set up the BBQ he would be there to claim his rightful share ..


Or he would take a spot on the dinner table where he got his own place-mat and little plate, although he also liked to warm up our plates:


He was a very 'helpful' cat:

And he enjoyed puzzling and playing games ..


Of course he was a well traveled cat, he probably visited more states than most people, and through all our travels he was an absolute trooper.
He traveled in style (on the bed), like this ...


... he had to explore every rest-area ..

And took every new location we ended up in stride, as soon as we brought out 'his' chair, he was home ..

By the way, this is how he dealt with the mosquitoes in Alaska:


Which was before we acquired a tent, which served two purposes, he was almost invisible and somewhat safe with the zippers closed, and he didn't get bitten by the mosquitoes. He loved to be in his cat-cave/tent!

He did have a few encounters with wildlife after which he needed some medical care and off course he was diagnosed with diabetes 9 years ago, he also developed a skin-rash due to a tuna-allergy, had to have (almost) all his bad teeth pulled a couple of years ago and suffered from several bouts of fatty-liver-syndrome, during which he needed to be force-fed to pull him through ... but other than that he was pretty healthy during most of the 18 years of his life.
One thing I haven't mentioned yet .. he was rather voiceterous, to state it mildly ..
Probably due to his deafness, I once read, they either go mute or they go very loud and believe me, he was LOUD!


He was such a fun, silly cat, full of mischief, this next pic is one of his most famous and probably sums him up the best ..


Besides all this he was the sweetest, gentlest cat, he didn't have a mean bone in him, he never gave us as much as the slightest scratch, no matter what he had to endure, and believe me, being tested once a day (in your ear) and getting Insulin shots twice a day, he had every reason to do so!

What more can I say, I think you 'get the picture', he was one in a million, we loved him to pieces and we are going to miss him so very, very much ..

Rest in peace sweet, sweet boy, our 'bud' and 'muffin', you have left our lives but will never leave our hearts ..