Thursday, August 27, 2015

The End!

My final vaca post will include a pack of pics..which is my usual M.O.  I make my blog into a book at the end of the year and I want to make sure I document our time! So, if you're getting sick of seeing these it's OK.  I'll love you all anyway!  We were suppose to go to a lake near Mount Hood on Saturday, but the forest fires had blown in this direction and shut down the highway to our destination. The air was hazy and smelled like a campfire all day!  We found a wonderful park not far from their home instead and the river was great for fishing and enjoying the day. 
There's a playground in the park and after lunch Taylor found a nice spot to read.
Katie enjoyed the swings.
Jack found the perfect spot near the river.  I posted this shot on Facebook and many of his camping buddies commented that they recognized this pose from Scout camp! After a lot of practice, Sophie and Taylor were ready to try out their poles in the river.
Sophie loves fishing! 
Taylor has the perfect way to spend the day...he's a natural! It was a lovely park and it was fun to picnic and fish and just relax all day. They didn't catch anything but still enjoyed it.  Like Jack always says..."They call it fishing..not catching!"  Sunday evening we took a ride to see Craig's new workplace.  He was hired as the new HR guy.
He's enjoying his new position. And his new office.
At least it has a wonderfully big window!   By Monday the smoke had cleared enough to be able to head to Mount Hood on our last day.
We went to Trillium Lake.  If you look closely in the background you can sort of see the mountain through the hazy smoke.
By the afternoon the air had cleared and Mount Hood was easily seen.
The lake was really nice.  It was a great place to fish and also swim. The water was cold but that didn't stop the kids from jumping in!
There was a nice 2mi trail around the lake and we headed out looking for huckleberries along the way.  We didn't have much luck finding any but I was so happy that my new knees allowed me to do the whole trail without any trouble at all! All the cemetery walks must have helped prepare me!

Some of the trees were pretty cool!
Sophie tried to scare us with her spider was a fake one she found on the ground! Ha! The area is so amazing and we took a few lasts family shots.
I sure miss them!
I'm hoping we can go back soon...kiddos grow so fast!  We headed out for one last stop.  A few miles up the mountain we stopped at Timberline Lodge.
Timberline Lodge is a beautiful place.  In fact, parts of the movie "The Shining" were filmed here...or at least the shots of the lodge were used in the movie.  The inside is really rustic with huge log beams and huge fireplaces.  My camera battery had died so I didn't get any inside shots.  I can imagine it's a super fun place to stay. They say in  winter the snow is over the top of those stairs up to the big front door. We really enjoyed our stay.  Last time we visited it was for Taylor's baptism 2yrs ago and we didn't have time to really see the area.  It was great to have the kids all to ourselves and see what an amazing place Oregon is! We kid them about moving out here when we retire....maybe we won't be kidding! Ha!
I think we would be able to handle the wild life!   The End!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Portlandia Part 2

For the record, I've never seen the TV show "Portlandia".  However, my son was wearing a tee shirt that said Portlandia when he picked us up from the airport and somehow it fits my blog posts.  Portland is a beautiful place but it's also a traffic nightmare at times.  I'd need a good GPS to find my way around.  The kids live outside the city in a lovely neighborhood that's very hilly...great for walking if you want to really get a workout!  On Friday we were headed to the coast. I love the ocean and was really looking forward to seeing it again.  Jack isn't a sun lover because he burns quite easily but the cool...almost cold at times...breeze felt great.  He did get a burn on his face and I felt pretty bad for him the next day.  But it's all good's a good base if he wants to get a tan...a little inside joke here!
The drive to the beach is about 11/2hrs from their home and poor Sophie got a bit car sick on the way.  We pulled over to get out and give her some air.  This was a beautiful spot to stop.
I would have liked to explore the trails more if we had more time.
After a bit she was better and we headed back out.
We went to a beach called "Hug Point".  I guess the pioneers came through with their wagons, and hugged close to the rocks, and you can still see the ruts that the wagon wheels left.  There were beautiful rocks and caves and a little waterfall.  Here's a pic of my Daughter-in-law, Amy. You can see one of the caves in the background. 
Craig and I tried to be spelunkers!
He fancies himself a great explorer on this rock!
Wagon ruts?
The kids found a good resting and reading spot. It's rare to find Katie without a book in her hand.  All the kids are big readers.
Sophie found a nice warm spot for her feet!
Jack found a nice shady spot to eat lunch.
This was the top of the small waterfall and made me a bit nervous when the kids were up there!
Even though the day was cool and the water pretty cold, Taylor jumped in and played in the surf.  We all laughed when he finally came out and declared he couldn't feel his feet anymore!
Beautiful spots for a photo....and Jack had the metal detector ready!  We never found any buried treasure...darn it!
The ocean was just beautiful...
Yep, as the song goes...I do feel small when standing by the ocean.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Portlandia..Part 1

I can't believe a week has gone by already!  I was getting packed this time last week and now I'm blogging about our adventures in Oregon!  We had a wonderful visit with our son Craig and his awesome family.  The flight was really good going and coming home, so no complaints from me!  Here's some pics from our first few days...I'll blog about the rest in, what I'm going to lovingly call,  Portlandia..Parts 1,2 and maybe more...
I was a bit nervous when we almost clipped this mountain on our way down.
Whew...close call!
Our first night there we headed out for a little concert at the zoo...great fun with the gang! Good music too!
My Daughter-in-law Amy and Katie unloading some goodies at the zoo.
Taylor showing us how much he loves Orangutans!
Craig reminding us of his "wing span"... It was fun to walk around the zoo and just enjoy the evening after sitting all day on a plane. The next day was really fun for me.
Amy had tickets to see Wicked that she purchased before she knew the dates we were coming.  Craig gave his ticket to me and he and Jack headed out for Cabelas while we enjoyed this awesome play.  I'd never seen it before while Amy and Craig had, so I was super excited to go.  All three  kiddos came with us and they loved it too!
Selfie with Katie!
I think Sophie's blue eyes match her dress! She's only 6 but she was great during the performance and said she only got a little bored....Taylor loved it but I didn't get a pic of him before the performance started.
Nice family shot after though! Thanks so much Amy! (thanks for giving me your ticket Craig!)
Later that evening Craig grilled out while Sophie and Taylor learned how to use their new fishing rods so we could go fishing the next day.
Sophie got the casting down pat...she's a natural!
Taylor waited patiently while Jack worked on the fishing line...Taylor loves to fish too and I'll show those pics and adventures later. So much much to blog about!  For tonight I'm just chillin' out and getting settled back's fun to travel but it's also good to be home. And one last thing....Today is Jack's birthday!  Happy Birthday was a great way to celebrate!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All My Bags Are Packed...

I'm singing that song about packed bags and leaving on a jet plane.  Be thankful you can't hear me on this.  We're heading out to Oregon to see our son Craig and his wonderful family. I know you're not suppose to post junk about leaving your home, but we have a house sitter who's packing me on this.
I'm posting this shot from our last flight to get myself ready to board.  Flying isn't my fave, but seeing my kiddos is, so I'm grabbing a good book and pretending that we're driving really, really fast.  Which is how I drive anyway so it's not a big stretch.  After the crummy weekend and crazy work days I've had I'm in need of a vacation.  So I'll be off line for a bit..maybe. I just might have to check in if time allows.  As the song goes: "I hate to wake you up to say good-bye" I won't since we're leaving for the airport at 0400hrs....maybe I'll fall asleep and wake up in can only hope!

Monday, August 17, 2015

R.I.P. Squeak

When we moved to the country 14yrs ago I guess it was inevitable that we would be owned by a cat. Yes, I said "owned by the cat".  Anyone who's ever had a cat knows they do what they please and you just go along for the ride.  I found Squeak on a cold November night at our Church.  She was begging French fries from us gals who were going home after a meeting.  It was raining and I felt bad for this skinny cat out in the elements...obviously hungry.   I'd never had a cat before,  I was a newbie in the cat house!  Squeak was never a cuddly, crawl in your lap, sweet cat. She was more of the "hey, just feed me and leave me alone!" type of cat.  My Grandkiddos learned the hard way..even after being warned, that she wouldn't tolerate much petting.  But they soon learned and so did I and everything progressed from there.  After 14yrs with us she passed quietly away early this morning.  We buried her up in the woods where I know she liked to roam.  I wasn't always thrilled to be her the litter box thing and the hairball thing.  But life's like that...the good and the bad. She was an awesome mouser in her day and even this Summer I saw her with a chipmonk in her mouth.  We haven't had chipmonks since she came here.  (Haven't seen one since that day!) Her strange meow earned her the name "Squeak".  Here's my tribute to my one and only cat:
She would go in and out constantly when the weather turned warm.  But if the snow was flying you'd find her here:
Under my desk near the kitchen fireplace...she knew the good spots!
She would keep watch out on the deck railing.  She didn't tolerate any other cats coming in her territory!
She was curious as all cats are.
Her eyes were as green as the grass.
When Eddy showed up she had to move over and let him have his space.  It was a love/hate relationship...he wanted to love her but she hated him! Well, hate is a strong word. Let's just say she learned to give a little here and there.
Like when Ed would take her bed! 
This Summer she was doing more and more napping. 
This was one of her favorite spots to spend the day.  I've blogged about her over the years and had some funny stories that will be in our memories.  My favorite photo of her has to be this truly shows her feisty personality.
Rest in peace've earned it.