Tuesday, August 30, 2022

 Look at that handsome fella!

This picture was made at Abbey Road Farm, a huge farm in the pretty country-side around Carlton, where we went last Sunday when they had their 'Silobration Days' (a play on the big old grain silos at the property) .

We had the Newberg Summer festival on our radar for the weekend and actually went out on Saturday morning for coffee in town and walked over to the park where it took place, only to find just a handful of booths, a little entertainment in the form of some jugglers and various kiddie-games to be played.
Not really what we had hoped to find, so after a walk around the parameter we bailed.

The next morning while googling around for something better to do I found this event . It so happened to be a place I already wanted to check out somewhere in the future so we gave it a try.
Much better!

There were food trucks, live music, a small classic car cruise in, wine, beer, cocktails and a huge barn full of vendors of all sorts of arts and crafts and local products.


That fuzziness in the last picture there is due to misters. Although not too hot of a day, it did keep the whole area quite some cooler!

After strolling through the barn for a while we bought a nice glass of Abbey Road Farm Pinot Gris (yes,
of course they make their own wine, this is the Willamette Valley!), ordered a delicious steak and cheese sub at the food truck and sat down in front of the band for a while to eat, enjoy the music and look out over the beautiful rolling hills and vineyards.

(Btw, James took a picture of me in that frame as well, but I don't look half as good as he does .. oh well .. it does show you how it was set up though, I thought it was quite funny!)


Let's see, what else is there to talk about .. birds maybe?
I still have my usual culprits, who are eating me out of house and home, at my feeders and walking around the neighborhood there's always this gorgeous little falcon, a Kestrel to be precise, sitting on 'his' (her?) wire. Giving me 'the eye' ..

Here's a fun little tidbit I bet not many people know about (most) birds of prey:
"Unlike humans, birds can see ultraviolet light. This enables kestrels to make out the trails of urine that voles, a common prey mammal, leave as they run along the ground. Like neon diner signs, these bright paths may highlight the way to a meal"
Nature .. it never fails to amaze me!

One of my other heavily treed walking paths leads me down into a dip in the road, and over a little creek with large patches of Impatiens (Jewelweed/Touch-me-not) growing on both sides.
Although a pretty sight all by themselves, I noticed something even prettier .. several hummingbirds flitting among the flowers!

Like I said, nature .. it's my kryptonite, it never fails to make my day!
Actually, look what I dug up to 'see' even more of it ..


These are tiny little field cameras, the left one is for inside use and the one on the right for outside.
James had bought them to keep an eye on the job-site while he was building the house in Idaho, so nobody could walk away with any tools or material without him knowing.
Since we have a problem lately with (bird) seed disappearing from our storage bay, he remembered having them stored away somewhere so we're going to install one in the bay to see who's guilty of this crime. (I'm also going to move the seeds into plastic storage boxes but just for fun I want to know).
The outside one I'd like to place facing the orchard around the RV, it will be fun to see who 'passes us in the night' ..

Here's another fun thing:

It's a meal-plan by the Washington Post (send by e-mail) meant for people like me who are a little fed up with coming up with yet another meal-idea, and the planning, and the shopping and the ... you get what I mean. 
Week one of this 12-week series was called: 'Sauce Theory.'
All the meals were made with the same basic (but super-delicious) tomato sauce, which you made on a Sunday (or whenever you wanted the week to start) and used up through the rest of the week in 3 different recipes.
Which by the way is perfect for me, because 7 day plans are always leaving me with way too much food since we often have days that we're either out and about or eating with friends or just not very hungry.

This were the recipes: Spicy Shakshuka (a sort of breakfast for dinner with eggs), Dad’s Cod and Dijon Mashed Potatoes (I had no Cod but used Tilapia) and Simple Stove Top Ratatouille (with blue cheese instead of Feta) :


All of the meals were absolutely delicious, mainly because of that terrific home-made tomato sauce!
I can't wait to start next weeks recipes that will all feature chicken thighs, which happen to be our favorite chicken parts. If they're anything like this first week, it's going to be great!

Alright, that's all she wrote. Another sunny and warm summer week has gone by. We're in for a few very hot days again (90+F) but it looks like Labour Day weekend is actually going to be rather 'cool' with temps in the mid-eighties!

See you next week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The bees are humming by the hundreds through the orchard, not for the grass, most of that is brown and dead, but for the much more hardy Dandelions that have pretty much taken over ..

They're not 'true' Dandelions by the way but False Dandelions, aka Flatweed or Cat's Ears.
They really mystified James, to the point he thought he was loosing it, since they would not be there in the morning when he would leave, than had appeared when he would pass them at lunch around 12 but were all gone again when he would go back to work at 1pm.
Turns out they need about 3 hours of warmth/sunshine before they will open, after which they physically can not close for about 4 hours and than, regardless of sunshine or not, they have to close. It's in their DNA, how funny is that?


After a couple of weeks they all go to seed .. James was thinking to mow before they do that but I think that's already too late .. I don't mind, I love that yellow carpet!

Despite it being summer I still feed the birds and squirrels and the ground-squirrels, who are the bossiest of the lot, are getting fatter by the day ..

Look at those buttocks!

He goes through a whole bunch of peanuts in no-time, stuffing them all in his cheeks.
He looks rather ridiculous:

Look what came in the mail?

I can travel again! Weirdly enough I could leave the country but not re-enter without an American passport since I became a citizen.
You'd think I could enter with my Dutch passport since any Dutch person (which I still am) can stay 90 days without a visa but now that I'm (also) an American I have to enter with an American passport.
Oh, well. I'm all set now.

Something else arrived as well:

Yes, those are hearing aids! Don't they look like sleek and futuristic?
They're Eargo 5's and they're the smallest in-canal, rechargeable hearing aid on the market.

One of the best things about Eargo is that it’s all available virtually, from start to finish. Not only is your consultation free, but you don’t have to leave your house for the appointment.
Customer service includes (free) Telecare checkups via video or phone, depending on what you’re most comfortable with. They are rechargeable and come with the latest hearing technology, including a smartphone application.

Besides all that, they're truly invisible:

                           You see that tiny little thread, that's what you grab to take them out.

As for why? Well, over the last couple of years I've been gradually loosing quite some of my hearing to the point that I started to have problems following conversations, having to ask people to repeat themselves, turning up the sound of the TV and, as I discovered lately, hearing actors on stage in the theater!
Hearing aids are incredibly expensive though, let alone the invisible ones, and I thought the others rather cumbersome sitting behind your ear while wearing glasses and, as of lately, masks!

Than I had an idea, how about used? A quick search on eBay learned you can indeed get them used for a fraction of the price. I know, that's probably not for everybody but I'm not squeamish and was more than happy to get this (only used a few times) pair for $750 instead of the $2450 they cost new!

After receiving, we played around with the settings a little and gradually let my ears get used to having something in them, but now I barely feel them anymore and boy, can I hear! It's amazing, and at times a little overwhelming, but I'm very happy I got them.

And yes, I'm fairly young, but it is what it is and I read an article not too long ago about hearing-related memory loss (even dementia), so I think it's a good thing to do this now.

Last but not least, we celebrated our 22nd anniversary on the 19th! I'm shocked every year to realize how long we've been married for. It never seems possible ..

We went to a new-to-us little French restaurant in Carlton and we had escargots, tomato bisque, a Moroccan lamb stew, halibut and a flour-less chocolate pie ..



The dinner was excellent and the company, even after 22 years, the best!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Lincoln City Beach

I'm way behind with this post, I'm just so lazy these days, I don't feel like doing 'nuttin'.
I'm just unmotivated, tired & unproductive .. it must be the heat that's wearing me down, after a few cooler days it's back into the high 90s again today
So, looking to cool off some, we decided to drive to the beach once more on Monday.
Previously we'd explored the coastal area to the north of Lincoln City so this time we concentrated on the city itself and the area to the south, all the way to Newport.

But first we checked out a road just north of the city, called Three Rocks Road, which we'd passed a couple of times going north to Tillamook. It looked like it was leading to a nice area and we were hoping it might have beach access?

It turned out it brought us to Knight County Park, a popular river access area for crabbers and fishermen, where the beautiful Salmon River flows lazily into the Pacific, creating some beautiful estuaries especially at low tide, and
about a five or six minute walk to the beginning of the Cascade Head trail.

It's a beautiful area well known for wildlife spotting, apparently bald eagles, sea lions, elk, deer and even otters have been seen here!
Unfortunately luck was not with us, although we saw an interesting, large, dark shape making it's way through the water, jumping for fish every know and than, but we couldn't figure out what it was?


A little drive brought us at the other side of the river where we had our first cup of coffee of the morning, overlooking a large swampy area and looking back to where we'd just been ..

We wanted to check out a few RV Parks for future use while we were here so we looked at Devils lake RV park on ... you guessed it, Devil's Lake.
Not an easy park to take a picture of so I'm stealing one from the web here:

It's not a bad park, looks clean, a little close together but do-able, especially if you have a site on the outside, and some might even have a glimpse of the lake ..

Which is very pretty by the way ..

Another campground we checked out was Logan RV Park, about a block or 2 off the beach and part of the big casino 'Chinook Winds' just north of the city.

The park is basically a 'parking lot', pretty much all asphalt, but neat and clean. Unfortunately they don't allow you to stay any longer than 4 weeks, and for $345 a week it's not cheap either so I don't think that's going to work for us, unless we'd want to take a short vacation at some time.

The casino actually had some interesting looking ocean-view hotel rooms that we want to check out. Maybe fun for a long weekend getaway?!

Next on our list:
Premier RV Resorts of Lincoln City, just south of town.
The drive through town can be a slow, congested one during summer's high season and especially on a nice day, but on this (rather cool) Monday morning we breezed through in a few minutes.