Thursday, August 28, 2008

We made it back to Ryderwood and took a serene walk to our Lake and now over the bridge which spans Campbell Creek and now into town. I think Diane had a great time (even though it was not the best of August weather), she endured the rain really well. She kept saying "oh, this is so nice just as it is and don't worry about the weather". Really a trooper. We hope that she comes back for and we will take her to Mt. St. Helens, up the Columbia Gorge (where we had planned to go) but since it was raining and would have only given us a blurred view from the car, we nixed that plan for this trip.

We were so extremely happy to show Diane the Pacific Ocean yet unfortunately it was not all that great weather...but we all had a blast anyway. I love this picture of Diane and Al with the Pacific Ocean in the background. Because the Pacific Ocean is so beautiful from Oregon (rather than Washington) we took her to the Oregon beaches and what a blast we had.... drizzle or not we had a
monumentally fabulous time.

We stopped at a beautiful hanging flower arrangement and thought that Diane would look absolutely gorgeous in front of it... and I was right...

My adorable Yellow Rose of Texas cousin, Diane... with Al on the front porch of the B& front of the
Yellow Roses of Texas.

Heah ~ this sign was in the Candy Company.... I think it say's it like it is....

We drove from Astoria, Oregon to Cannon Beach, Oregon to "see the sights" from this coastal community. Diane had never seen the Pacific Ocean so we thought that Cannon Beach would be the best Oregon beach to take her too.. Al use to live there in the 70's and the salt water taffy was THE BEST at this candy we stopped. Didn't know that there would be this 'topless' individual in the store.... but we went ahead and bought some fantastic, yummy candy anyway.. and the top picture is the 'wall of jelly beans'. I bought some of those too...

We drove up a very steep street when we noticed that it 'dead-ended' and the street turned into stairs leading up to the next street WAAAAAAY up there. When we drove up to that street and looked down (top picture) we could see the Mighty Columbia River and one of the many freighters taking some product to probably Longview, Wa., or Portland, Or. It was gorgeous!

This is our table all set up for 6 of the B&B guests and the other table in the far alcove was set up for the other 4. We were served coffee and tea, a glass of orange juice, a good sized bowl of luscious fresh fruit, a ramakin filled with egg, cheese, ham, asparagus, and a piece of spice cake with a dabble of whipped cream. We met other travelers ~ and had a great conversation with them. There was actually a very attractive man from Dallas who was there with a gal from Montana (!!!). Guess you can meet all "sort's of travelers". .... ( :~)

What a great dinner we had at the
Wet Dog Cafe in Astoria, Oregon. We had a perfect table in front of the window overlooking the mighty Columbia River where we watched all the river activity including the courageous River Pilots.
This is the brewery our dear old friend Dirk Beaulieu started where he was the Micro-Brewmeister and produced fabulous beer.... in fact, he won 2 blue ribbons at the Lane County Fair in Eugene, Oregon this year for the 2 beers he entered.

We had the whole 3rd floor of this beautiful B&B. The picture on the left is our sitting room with 4 chairs, credenza, a few tables including coffee table and some lamps. The middle picture is the 2nd bedroom which had 2 double beds and the top right picture is the main king size bed with a fireplace and TV. Looking through this room is the bathroom with a claw foot bathtub which definitely fit in extremely well with this gorgeous old Astoria home. It was perfect for Diane, Allan and me.... and the price was right.

Well, here is our Bed & Breakfast and here is my cousin, "Yellow Rose of Texas". She is so lovely peering out from the front porch flowers. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous and the beautiful smell of the roses was incredible. This is surely a very nice B&B and we would definitely recommend it!!

While driving to our Bed & Breakfast, we passed the magnificient house on the upper right ~ The Flavel House which now gives tours. When we arrived at our Bed & Breakfast the house on the left was across the street and all in disarray. There even were plants growing out of the chimney.. Once we were in our room we read a great story about the Flavel family who actually were the main founding family of Astoria, Oregon. The son, Captain John Flavel, lived in the nicer of the 2 houses while his father originally lived in the older one.

One of the most intersting aspects of being in the logging States of Oregon and Washington, we had to show Diane one of the large old growth trees that was cut down and now is part of the history of Oregon's logging industry. This specimen is in downtown Astoria, Oregon on the main Post Office grounds.

We decided to go back to Ryderwood following the Columbia River on the Washington side...this is the Astoria-Megler Bridge we drove over to get to Washington from Oregon. Al clocked the length of the bridge and it was 4.2 miles which is located not quite at the mouth of the Columbia River. Too bad this was not a clear day but in Oregon & Washington we do get drizzle once in awhile!!! The tide was out and you can barely see the sand bar which is pretty much in the middle of the Mighty Columbia River.

Gray's River Covered Bridge, Gray's River, Oregon

Going thru the little town of Gray's River on our way back to Ryderwood, we just had to bring Diane down to see this old covered bridge.

Please check back for pictures of our trip to Crooked River Ranch outside Bend, Oregon by the end of September. Should be more fun pictures and hope to find a road runner to include in my blog.... Our friends, Connie & Larry just built a new home at Crooked River Ranch and we want to include pictures of them, their new house and our trip to Eastern Oregon.

A Fun Dinner with Bea & Ken ~
Bea & Ken arrived at our home and after they settled their 40Ft. motorhome in our back alley we settled into our dining room for a scrumptous dinner of BBQ Beef Sandwiches (I had been cooking it in the Crockpot for 8 hours), Potato Salad, Corn-on-the Cob! YUM!!!! (sorry the pic is so dark). Bea & Ken have now moved on to the Elks in Kalama, WA and we sure had an extremely nice time while they were here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This "Thrashing Bee" was put on in the shadow of our majestic Mt. Rainier. This is just one of the gorgeous mountains of Washington State!! Where else can one see this awesome site?

These are our friends, Ken and Bea!

This is my dear friend, Bea. She has been at my side, from far away, for years and has always kept me posted about all my traveling friends when Al and I were anchored in Northern Washington while Al was teaching High School. She and Ken visited us at our home at the beach many times and we have kept in touch over these last years and is quite the supporter. Even though my health is not 100% she has always been my dear friend and understands that I am still the same person. Can't get much better than Bea.

The amazing and very handsome Ken and Al.... Ken use to work for Cummings Diesel (Cat) in Florida and is now retired with his adorable wife Bea. They stayed in their 40 ft. motorhome in our back alley for a 3 nights and came to the Thrashing Bee with us. This is just one of the large tractors at the Thrashing Bee and could one day be one of the Tractor Pull tractors.

One of the fun OLD cars that were out at the Trashing Bee.. Sure wish I would have taken pictures of more OLD cars ....

Very interesting ~ these are all OLD Railroad spikes which were part of the growing of the West.

There were so many OLD tractors, various OLD farm equipment and interesting stories told. I just love this Trashing Bee because it is definitely part of our American history... my Grandparents and my family in the Midwest definitely were part of the men and women who blazed the way for so many.

The machine on the bottom left is the wood burning engine pulling a large belt which is hooked around the knob on the machine in the middle. There is a man with a rake in the middle picture, throwing wheat on the belt which will be taken up to the grain extractor. The picture on the upper right is extracting the grain (which comes out the shoot in the middle) and the grain-less wheat is expelled out the front shoot and lands on the ground in a large pile. This process was explained with only my novice language (which is the best I can do). So if there are any wheat farmers reading this please don't laugh I am a city girl.

The Trashing Bee also looked a bit like an small town carnival with numerous skydivers, planes zooming around and also this little 'train' pulled by a tractor for the "little ones" to ride around on. Oh what fun for them!

Part of the Thrashing Bee is good old fashioned music~ and this year was not any different. The lady in the red with the red hat (Sally Jean) lives in Ryderwood and the guy in the back left corner playing the piano is her hubby (Terry)....he is also Al's piano teacher and can he can really play that piano. He will be playing Boogie Woogie piano Blues with Al and Howard at the upcoming 'Ryderwood Talent Show' which will be appearing on this blog soon after the show September 14th.

Right after Bea & Ken left and well after my cousin, Diane left, we found this huge wasp's nest hanging from a bird feeder. It is amazing how those little buggers can build their 'paper houses' for all the wasps of this hive.

Al and I truly live in a wonderful town with terrific neighbors and ex-neighbors too. From left to right in bottom left picture.... John and Alana former Ryderwood residents now living close to Olympia, WA, then Stella and Jerre (our super neighbors) who had the 4 of us over for a great luncheon. Stella was raised in Hawaii and loves that cuisine, so she served us a culinary delight of Chinese Chicken Salad. I told Stella we would bring the dessert and my superman husband got up early today, went out on the logging roads that surround our town and picked an ample amount of fresh blackberries and made a blackberry cobbler. In the upper right picture Stella has the blackberry cobbler with French Vanilla ice cream ready to serve and Jerre is supervising. Everything was wonderfully ono (that is yummy in Hawaiian).
Visit my blog soon to see my cousin Diane's visit. Please check back! She is adorable and much cuter than I far...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

~ Some Bachelor Button's growing next to our front porch steps. They were started with a handfull of wildflower seeds, a wink and a prayer. The yellow flowers are geraniums planted in a pot but I will transplant them in different place next Spring. At the bottom left is a Daphne which didn't bloom very well this year......maybe next year it will do better.

Looks like a real "Motley Crew" but these are the "Dirt Movers" and Al. They are
l. to r. Clark (Gary's brother-in-law) and Gary (he owns the pickup truck and lives on 5 acres at the edge of town) and then ol' Al. Gary poured the concrete for our enlarged back porch, he and his wife, Cindy, power-washed our house and they do great work with odd jobs around town.
They are also part of our town's Volunteer Fire Department. All 3 are great guys.

The birth of our south side flower beds. This side of our house has always been so 'drab' so we have added these flower beds. We will fill them up with color, color and more color. I really want to plant some tall flowers in between the windows and then some shorter billowy, colorful plants to place in the front. Now we have to watch the fact that all new plants have to be deer resistant and also sun lovers as this side gets direct sunlight. Our friendly deer are already eating my plants in the backyard so we don't want to give them any more flowers to eat. They roam the streets at night an munch their way around the neighborhood. Watch this blog next spring for the results of our efforts.

Jeffrey and Marti coming out of Marti's place of employment so we can all go out for a Happy Hour dinner at Pyramid Brewery. Fantastic Beer and fabulous prices for Happy Hour. Another old friend of Jeffrey and Al's by the name of Scott who now lives in Bend, Or. joined us. Scott's wife was at her High School reunion in Lake Oswego, Or. and missed our 'party'. We all had a delicious hamburger with home fries for $3.25.... a pint of beer added just the right touch. Sorry I didn't take a picture of us at the Brewery but there was a large wedding reception going on....never heard of a Wedding Reception at 5:00 at a Brewery!!

Jeffrey & Marti have the cutest Bungalow up in the S.W. hills above Portland. It sits on a lot that has 'almost' a million dollar view and once the 'old biddie' across the street cuts down her tall trees the view will definitely be worth a Million Dollars.

After spending a great evening with Jeffrey & Marti, in the morning Al and I stopped at Trader Joe's in the PEARL DISTRICT in NW Portland (which has become quite THE PLACE to be seen). Then we had a fantastic breakfast at BEESAW'S Restaurant which has been in Portland for years. Back "in the olden' day's" it was a 'working man's tavern' and only had 3 things on the menu
~ Split Pea Soup, Turkey or Ham Sandwiches and Beer. Since then they have gone upscale and turned yuppie. When we came out of the restaurant the line of people waiting went down the street.