Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day


What a chilly Christmas Day we are having, but no snow and ice like my best friend B is getting in the Chicago area, so I will be grateful for that.  It's been a slow and relaxing day so far.  We'll be having lasagne for dinner - CR is quite the lasagne maker and oy vey we will have happy christmas tummies tonight, and horror on the scales tomorrow, haha.  Madison opened her presents, she got 2 dollies with squeekers, she loves to walk around and squeek the holy crap out of them, I'm so used to it, I've learned to tune it out.  At least she isn't a barker, so I won't complain.

Here she is in the process of opening dolly number 1:


And the hard work paid off, here is her reindeer dolly:


The two boys got catnip for their treat.  They LOVE it so much all you do is show them the bag and they'll follow you anywhere.  I have to put it on a blanket on my cutting table, because a very spoiled little dog thinks that if they get it so should she.  Oh brother, sibling rivilary.  haha.

Here is Skeezics:


And here is ChanceMan

They'll be high till New Years!!
I think I told you all that the furniture we recently purchased was our Christmas gift to each other, but we did get a couple little things to open.  One thing I got/did for CR was a quilt, made by me, especially for him, with a label to always remember.  So last night I started to panic, is that a stupid gift to give a man, will he look at me like "what do I do with this", yep I was worried.  I shouldn't have, I know my man, that is why I made it to begin with, I knew he'd know the love that went into it and what it represented from me to him, it was actually an emotional gift for him and he loves it.  I need to learn to stop second guessing myself in the new year.  Here is the quilt and a close up picture of the center of the quilt:





CR's daughter and family surprised us with a wonderful and fun gift that we can't wait to use.  It's a wine tour for 4 people, visit 5 wineries and enjoy an italian picnic.  It just blew us away.  We love the local wines and we think Washington has some of the best out there, but what a treat to have someone do the driving for us and just a fun time with friends we will have.
S called her Dad today and they had a wonderful time talking, I love it when they do that, it's special father/daughter time and something you always need no matter how old you are.  Ben loved his gifts and was busy helping his Daddy set up their new Wii and watching a pheasant hunting video while doing it.  Note to self:  Order some chick flicks for S so she can have something fun to watch too.  Poor girl, all that testosterone in the house.  But she adores her little man and big man and I'm sure enjoys the quiet of doing whatever she'd like while Dad and Son do their manly stuff.  On a sad note, they had to put their beloved dog Gus down this past November.  She was their baby before Ben was even a thought, she was such a sweet dog and so smart, she was our grand dog and we will miss her greeting us as we drive up the lane to their house when we visit.  She was a one in a million dog, now she's in heaven and no more pain and watching over her family still I am sure.

Tammy

Monday, December 21, 2009

On to the 2nd Cast


I got my post surgery cast removed last Friday and am currently sporting my new and festive red cast until the 4th of Jan.  Isn't it lovely - or, well, it looks okay considering that I'm stuck with it for a while.


On the 4th I'll get this cast off and move on to a splint.  Oh joy, perhaps I can get back to doing some sewing.

While I've been on the mend my wonderful CR has taken such good care of me and surprised me with this beautiful Jim Shore Angel, that plays "We wish you a Merry Christmas":


Here is a picture of my Christmas Card Wall hanging with a bunch of cards on it.  I really love it.


And of course a picture of Madison, she really didn't want her picture taken, but gave in to it for me (she has a couple of presents to open in a few days -- can't wait to take pictures of that)


Merry Christmas to you all!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the mend

had surgery on monday and all went well, although once the block wore off and my arm was no longer numb we quickly figured out that i needed stronger pain meds.  things seemed fine until tuesday night when the pain became unbearable and all the pain meds were doing was making me sick.  back to the doc on wednesday and he split the cast because my hand had swelled up huge.  instant relief, could have cried it was such a huge relief.  he used an ace bandaid to hold the cast in place and this next week he will re-cast.  i'm feeling pretty good at this point, now i'd like to get off of the drugs, but that will come in time.  typing with one hand is not fun, so take care and enjoy the season

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ready, Set, oh my that doesn't feel good..........

Merry Christmas a little early. I've been in a race against time to clean the house, bake, get laundry caught up, presents wrapped and decorate - oops, wait, no decorating. I'll be absent for a while, this Monday I'm having my basil thumb joint replaced. I've picked up my "good" drugs prescription, and now I'm just waiting for 9:30 Monday morning. I'd really rather be decorating the house and doing more crazy holiday things, but when a dog gone thumb can keep you awake with pain; it's just time to give in and get it taken care of. Thankfully modern medicine makes it possible for someone like me with so much arthritis to get things fixed. At 49 I sure don't want to be in pain and crippled for the many years I hopefully have left. Nor do I want to live on pain medications; I did that for 3 years before finding a doctor who told me I wasn't too young to have hip replacement. Sadly I had to go out of town to find that doctor. I have a hip that will outlive me, so perhaps my new thumb joint will outlive me as well. Take care and have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season. I hope Santa is good to you all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Doctor Update

Went to my doctor today, my lungs are a mess - heck I could have called to tell him that, haha. Anyhow I've got a rescue inhaler for my asthma (never had one, didn't know I needed one, but I was only diagnosed 2 years ago), the ever popular ZPak - antibiotics, and some cough syrup with codeine. Why is it that we can do so many technical things and have so many advances and yet no one can make cough syrup that doesn't make you want to gag? I don't know how all you parents out there get your kids to swallow the stuff - it can't be easy. The rescue inhaler already has me feeling calmer - not panicking for every smidgeon of air I can get.

Sure wish I had vacation pictures and interesting stories to tell y'all about, but sadly I've got nothing!!

Home Again

We arrived home last night and even though I have a mountain of laundry to do, I'm so grateful to be home.  Both of us caught horrible colds and so we spent most of our vacation sick.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but this year it's best forgotten I think.  Today I'm off to the doctor, my lungs are full and I think an antibiotic is in order.  Having asthma means it always goes into my lungs and I can't seem to shake it without drug intervention.  I really hate that.  There's no place like home when you don't feel well and I feel much better just being home.  Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving - a little early....

We are off to the Oregon Coast for our annual Thanksgiving trip.  We may get blown away as the area we always go to has been hammered this week with high winds, some flooding and lots of rain.  There always has to be a storm or two this time of year at the beach, makes for good beach combing the next day.  Have a wonderful holiday everyone!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friends

When we brought Madison home as a pup a little over a year ago, she was all of 4 pounds and tiny compared to Chance and Skeezics - both 13 pound cats.  Skeezics took to her right away, he's our little zen master and dog whisperer.  Chance however was not amused.  He was not going to like that "d-o-g" no matter what.  He wouldn't even walk on the floor if that dog was in the room.  He would walk on the backs of chairs and side tables to avoid the possibility of even coming in contact with that dog.  It was hilarious to watch this huge cat try to tip toe and slink around to avoid the little 4 pound puppy who wasn't all that interested in either of them.  My how times have changed, they've become good friends, they play, he'll rub up against her as cats like to do and last night - we spotted this on the couch (the camera woke them up):

Just proving that no matter how determined you are to avoid someone or how disgusted you are by them, you can come around and be buddies!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Latest Creation

Despite the flu, fever, aches and pains and sleeping a lot, I did get another wall hanging done for winter after the holidays.  It was a kit I bought several years ago and the pattern was quite frustrating, I cut everything out and yet the measurements were not right for somethings and in general it was just a weird pattern to follow.  However with all the challenges, I think it turned out - okay.  I love the fabric that is for sure.

The only thing left to do is put a binding on and I'll do that when we're at the beach.

I also wanted to share a couple of great websites.  The first one is Julie Peterson's site, she is a fabulous artist from Moses Lake, WA.  She does some stunning paintings with quilts in them.  I own several of her prints and one of her gicle'e prints.  Check her work out, you won't be disappointed.

Also I stumbled on this cutest website about Iris and Fern - two cats who live in Canada and their Christmas Tree antics.  Oh my gosh, if you are a cat lover, you will get a big kick out of these two sisters.  I really admire their parents for putting up a tree every year, after our Skeezics went after the tree the last 2 years, we've decided it's just not worth it, the temptation is to much for him.

Happy Stitchin!!
Tam

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Painted Bathroom

This weekend my dear sweet hubby decided to paint our small half-bath off of our bedroom.  We'd been meaning to get to it after we put a new piece of vinyl on the floor and a new ADA toilet (which showed the unpainted part of the wall because it was smaller than the last one).  But Spring and Summer arrived and fishing called to us and before we knew it, Fall was here and the bathroom still not painted.  Which in retrospect was a good thing.  In the beginning I was leaning toward totally different colors than I ended up with and I'm super happy with the results.  We painted it a latte color and then I had wanted red accessories (towels, etc).  Well I went shopping around and they had a berry color - to pinkish, they had a wine/merlot color - to dark for such a small space and then they had these towels they called a tomato color - fell in love with the tomato color.  To keep it brighter in the room I selected a slightly off white toilet seat cover and bathmat.  I love the results - and the fact that my "lets paint everything beige, I'm afraid of color husband" went along with some color and liked it too - hooray!!

In case you're wondering that is a bear toilet paper holder.  I'm a bear fanatic and yes, even the bathroom has bear accessories like a soap dish, toothbrush holder, soap dispenser, etc.  I don't think the picture does the paint justice, it looks a bit pinkish in this picture - really, think latte!!

Last month was my birthday, CR was trying to get me some Kretzer Scissors for my birthday, a pair of pinking shears, an 8" pair of sewing scissors and a small pair of embroidery scissors.  Well the company we were told that had them online (couldn't find them locally) really made a mess out of things.  They charged us without sending the product, the wouldn't answer emails or phone calls, in fact you could only get an answering machine no matter the day or the time of day you called.  It was awful.  So I disputed the charges with our credit card company and those charges were removed.  Then I sent an email to Kretzer to let them know of the issue.  I felt they should know that this company was bad news and they might not want their product being associated with them.  To my surprise, Kretzer wanted to know what scissors I had ordered and then they sent them to me free of charge - because they wanted me to be a happy customer and what had happened was just not good business, even though it was not Kretzer the company who did this to me.  I couldn't believe it.  So all you quilters and crafters, take a look at Kretzer Scissors, they are German made and an excellent product as well as an excellent company.  And Kretzer is in the process of pulling their product from the company I complained about.  I hope we start see the Kretzer scissors on the shelves in  our local quilt shops soon, they are certainly worth the money and not really that expensive compared to some scissors out there.

Time to go rest some more, this flu has really kicked me in the behind and I've got no get up and go.
Stay Healthy!
Tam

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember Felix the Cat?

Do you remember Felix the Cat, I have always loved him and one day while browsing around on Amazon I found a place that carried Felix Clocks.  I had to have one, his eyes move, his tail swings and he would be perfect for my sewing room.  So CR ordered him for my birthday and he finally arrived today, HOORAY.  Isn't he too cute!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christmas Wall Hanging and Table Topper

All my bindings are done, hooray, it's very hard to hand sew with the arthritis I have, so I'm always glad when I get it done.  Thank goodness for my clover needle threader, or I would still be trying to thread the darn needle.
My Christmas wall hanging is the pattern from the current issue of Quilt Maker, it's not only a festive wall hanging but it's a card holder as well.  My table topper for our coffee table is an Anka's Treasures pattern - I just love her patterns, they're so easy to follow and they look so great when you finish.







Now it's time to get back to the quilt for our bed and also start doing things to get us ready to head to Cannon Beach, OR for Thanksgiving.  We've spent every Thanksgiving in Cannon Beach for 25+ years now.  We'll haul the 5th wheel down and the kids (dog and cats) will go with us, it's our last trip for the year and I think our favorite trip too. 

Hopefully I'll have some progress to show or report on the quilt before we leave.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Turkey Wall Hanging

Finally have my Turkey wall hanging done and out for November.  I call him Tom the Turkey.  I messed up a bit on the size of the blocks on the sides, and decided that it would have to do, perhaps next year I will make him again and do it right the next time.  Until then, here is Tom:

It's a Rasmatazz Designs Pattern called Turkey Feathers.  Mistakes and all - I like him a lot.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Been Busy Sewing......


Happy Halloween a bit late.  I've been a busy girl in my sewing room of late and had wanted to post a picture of my Happy Jack wall hanging a couple days ago, but blogger wouldn't let me do much of anything and absolutely wouldn't let me upload a picture.  Don't know what was up with that, but glad I could finally get a picture up today.  I've also made a Christmas wall hanging, a table topper for our coffee table and I almost have my turkey wall hanging finished.  Then I'll just need to sit and hand sew those bindings down and I can share them with you as well.  I can't believe it's the first day of November already - where has the time gone.  Well I was busy much of October making 12 purses, and only 3 were for me and I must say I don't want to make a purse for a long while.  Once the turkey is done I'll get back to the quilt for our bed which I'm anxious to get back into.  Did you all get little goblins ringing your door bells??  I didn't get a one, and I had candy ready and waiting too.  It was extremely windy around here, so I wonder if that kept them home.  Now I'll have to eat that candy - oy vey!!  What do you do with your left over candy - eat it or find a way to get rid of it??

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birthday's

In just a couple short hours I will be ushering in my last year of my 4th decade.  Yep, I'll be 49 on October 19th.  What a difference a year makes, last year as I turned 48, I was recovering from hip replacement, my husband was waiting to find out if his cancer has spread and what his course of treatment would be and our little puppy had just survived parvo.  I really could have cared less about my birthday last year.  This year is a different story.  I am so grateful that my husband beat his cancer, my little puppy has grown into an adult dog who brings both of us so much joy every single day, my hip is a year old and I wake up every day grateful for it.  It's hard to believe this is the last year of my forties, seems like just yesterday I turned 40 and now the decade is almost gone.  Can't say that I'd want to turn back the clock, if my fifties are as good as my forties, then bring them on.  I know that this decade of my life taught me to be comfortable in my own skin, I learned to like myself faults and all and to embrace it all because I am uniquely me.  I've also learned that you can survive hot flashes and that even though you feel like you're losing your mind during the worst of menopause, it does come back to you and most of the sweating does stop over time.  Which is not to say that I'm not hotter than I used to be (hot in the sweaty sense that is, haha), or that I don't on occasion get drippy with sweat for no apparent reason, it's just not an every day thing and it's just not as intense as it used to be.  I remember when I turned 30, boy was I depressed, thought it was all over with, old age and misery and grey hair were just a heart beat away.  When I turned 40 I made a list of 40 things to do leading up to the big day - wow, was that fun and the depression I was worried about didn't happen with turning 40.  This year I don't even think I need a list to make turning 50 fun, nor do I feel worried about old age, and I've been covering my grey hairs for several years now.  I guess I'm looking forward to 50, to my 5th decade of life and all it has to bring, I know myself and what I'm capable of and I'm sure that happiness and/or sorrow, I will survive and go on.  After all that which does not kill you makes you stronger.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Furniture

Yesterday afternoon our new furniture was delivered.  I'm just in love with it - especially the couch.  It's all Flexsteel, so I'm hoping it lasts - would it be to much to hope it out lasts me, haha.  It's an expensive endeavor to buy new furniture, thankfully my side tables and entertainment center and the like didn't need to be replaced.  It's not everybodies taste or colors, but I'm thrilled and that's what matters, right.


We had to have a recliner.  A few years ago I would have never said that, until CR had a shoulder surgery that kept him out of bed and thankfully our old recliner provided a place to sleep.  Then with my hip replacement, it took me 5 or 6 weeks before I could get comfortable in bed, armed with that knowledge, a recliner is a must - you never know when you might need one.  As luck would have it, I listed our old furniture on Craigslist and today a young man - having surgery - bought our old recliner for his recouperation. 



The couch - this is the piece that started it all, I fell head over heels in love with this couch.  CR and I are neither one very tall, just average height and now days it's so hard to find comfortable furniture that you you can sit on with your feet still on the floor, without sinking in till you need a crane to get you out, etc.  Well this couch is firm, yet very comfortable, our feet touch the floor and we don't need a crane - PERFECTION.




I relized that if we bought the recliner and the couch that the chair we had was going to clash big time and we'd had that chair for about 15 years, so it had to go and another chair must be found.  And found it was, this chair is the same fabric as the couch, only a different color.  Again it meets the sitting comfortably standards we have.

Our 4 legged kids had to have some time to adjust, it was a major freak out at first - much like decorating for Christmas each year.  Oh they do not like change, but they've come around quickly to the new screen door and the new furniture.  If only they'd be this chilled out and ho hum about the darn Christmas tree, but that is another story.

Supposed to be in the mid-20's the next couple of nights, now that's just a tad to much fall to soon for me!!  We're off tomorrow to see our grandson play soccer and celebrate his 7th birthday that happened on the 7th of this month.  I had better get the cupcakes frosted so they're ready to go in the morning. 

Have a great weekend and stay warm!!
Tam

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Busy Getting Ready for Fall/Winter

We have been busy this fall.  I was supposed to paint the small bathroom, however I think that might be a spring job at this point.  Our neighbors took out these huge evergreens that were at least 40 to 50 years old leaving no where for the quail to go.  We consider ourselves so lucky to live in the city, yet have quail in our yard and in the spring watching the quail families and the tiny little ones is a real joy.  Afraid the quail would leave because they'd lost their cover and nesting areas, we decided to use the third of an acre behind out garage and make a safe haven for them.  So we planted some evergreens, dogwood bushes, and fire bushes in hopes that they'd eventually grow and provide cover for the quail.  We also got in touch with fish and wild life to learn how to make our sanctuary even better.  We found out we had the right idea, we even added a sprinkler system for the plants the birds.  We also learned that they like wheat and cracked corn, so we got some of that to feed them and grit for their digestion.  We have quite a following of quail enjoying our new santuary and we have even had a pheasant hen too.  And doves like it as well.  We're quite proud of our endeavors - here is a picture of what it looks like now:




We also decided it was time for a new screen door, one that our 4-legged kids could sit in front of and look out on the "hood" as well as one that would be more airtight for the coming winter.  So CR and our friend K installed the new door yesterday, while I made lunch for the working men.
Here's our beautiful new door:



Here's a picture of Skeezics - he's not been doing much but napping and trying to savor the last bits of warm sunshine before the gloomy, cold weather starts and he has to go under blankets to stay warm.



And I've been busy in the sewing room.  I'm making a couple of really good friends purses for their birthdays/christmas presents.  This one I just LOVE, it's the Vine Creek fabric by Moda - I may have to make myself one too.  This is for Margie, since I doubt she checks my blog I feel safe posting a picture.



And last but not least, we are getting new furniture delivered this afternoon.  We've taken the old furniture out to the shop and now I had better get busy and put it on craigs list to see if we can sell it.  As soon as I can I'll get pictures posted.  In the mean time lots to do, making a purse for my sister-in-law who just retired, next year I plan to make them a quilt for a joint retirement gift.  Need to make cupcakes tomorrow to take up to our grandson, his birthday was this week, he's 7 - already, where did the time go.  So we'll go up this weekend to celebrate, deliver gifts and watch his soccer game.  I've gotten the deck cleared of my frogs and the table, etc so I think we're ready for the onset of cold weather and this weekend the weatherman is saying it should get into the 20's at night, burrrrrr!!

Stay warm,
Tam

Friday, October 2, 2009

Been Fishing - Did Anyone Notice We Were Gone??

We've been up north fishing the Methow River again. We only got to fish one day as they closed the river the next day, but that didn't stop us from having fun and taking a few side trips. The day we fished was beautiful, 80 degrees and the fish were hungry. I caught the most fish, several Rainbow trout and one absolutely beautiful Cutthroat. CR caught the biggest fish - a steelhead, it had to have been about 8 pounds and over 30 inches in length. He worked hard to land that bad boy, and given that he was using a 5 weight fly rod, it was no easy task. But land it he did and unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share. We were out of the boat and wading and walking and to far away from the boat to quickly grab a camera. It was a beautiful fish. It is also the reason the river closed down, to many incidental catches of steelhead. Wouldn't you know it they opened steelhead season the day we left.

We took a side trip to Lake Chelan one day. Such a cute small town and beautiful lake and a wonderful quilt shop called Woven Threads. We also went up to Winthrop and milled around and we also did a lot of relaxing and reading and enjoying the fresh mountain air. The RV park we were at was right on the river, so we had a beautiful view.

We came home Wednesday and I've been doing laundry non-stop since. This weekend I have to get busy and make another bag for my friend Margie - her birthday is tomorrow and we're getting together next week to celebrate her b-day and mine which is coming up on the 19th. She and her hubby are leaving for Arizona soon for the winter. Many of us have bets on how long she'll last before she comes home leaving her hubby to drive the motor home back in the spring.

Right before I left my good friend Julie had to put her sweet cat Riley down, so sad, it's so hard to make the decision even though you know you're doing the right thing. And it breaks your heart to lose your animals - they're your family, the holder of all your secrets, the ones who love you no matter how bad your mood is or how bad you smell after doing yard work. We have had to put 2 animals down, our beloved dog Scruffy and our cat Charlotte. I have their ashes in a sealed urn here in the house. I always thought Julie thought I was way to strange to do that, but she herself is having Riley put in an urn to be put on the bedside table where he liked to sit and sneeze on her till she woke up in the mornings. She just wasn't ready or prepared to lose her baby and I think she'll be happy to have his ashes close. They might not always stay there, but for now, through her grief, it's a good thing.

Fall has come on quickly and it's chilly enough to have a little heat on in the house at night/early morning. I love fall, leaves changing color, crispness in the air, pumpkins, apples, soft snugly sweaters - it all feels so good after such a hot summer.

I hope you all are well, I'm trying to catch up with all the wonderful blogs I follow. Enjoy the beauty of Fall!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do You Procrastinate?

I never thought of myself as a bad procrastinator, yeah I have at times put things off, sometimes I just work better under pressure, so it works for me. But lately, there is just something wrong with me and this quilt I am trying to make - maybe it's all the freaking triangles that I have to sew together to make blocks and well it's a boring job and I seem to be avoiding doing it, even though I really want to get this quilt done. It's the first quilt for our bed - finally, and yet, I procrastinate with my stroll around the block applique project - only 4 more months to go on this 2 year project. Then yesterday, sure I could have gotten busy and worked on my triangles and made some real progress, but no, instead I decide I need a new purse. I got this pattern over a month ago, I really wasn't in any huge hurry to make it, and yet, rather than get to what I should be doing, I procrastinated and made the purse instead. It's a Quilts Illustrated - Penny Sturges Pattern called Charm Party Tote and it uses a charm pack.

I think the next time I make it I'll make the pockets that are used in her Bow Tucks Purse pattern - I need pockets or I lose everything in my purse. So I love my new purse, but just so you know, the gods of procrastination got even with me, the pockets on one side of the purse (inside on one side that is) are upside down - somebody wasn't paying attention, hmmm who could that be. I have some other fabric I'm dying to make up so I plan to procrastinate a little more and then give my full attention to my quilt in progress when we get home from fishing at the end of the month.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Quilty Post

While we were on vacation I took time to do some hand sewing. A few posts back I showed you several of the applique blocks I'd made for my Stroll Around the Block quilt that was done on Alex Anderson's - Simply Quilts show. I actually finished March and April's blocks and got part of May's done. So, drum roll please, here are March and April for your viewing pleasure.
March:

April - I love the fabric I found for the sky - little umbrellas - April Showers sort of idea here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Vacation Photos.............

One of our vacation days we spent driving in a circle so to speak. We left Sisters, OR, over Santiam Pass, then connected with McKenzie Pass and ended up in Sisters again. What a beautiful drive and interesting as well. I highly recommend it if you live close by or find yourself visiting the area. One of the things to turn off the highway and see on Santiam Pass was Sahalie Falls, the falls drop 120 feet and in Chinook it means heaven, up high. It was just a beautiful area, hidden off the beaten path, with a really nice walking path and stairs to get the full view and to move on to the other smaller falls past it. Lots of gorgeous blue jays flitting around as well. The next 3 pictures are of Sahalie Falls:

From Santiam Pass going west, we turned off to take McKenzie Pass going east. Here as promised, we started to see evidence of lava fields from the Belknap Eruption, part of the Cascade Mountain Range. According to what I can find, Belknap Crater is approximately 6,876 Feet high and last erupted 1500 years ago. It was fascinating to see the lava and how the flow would leave a little island of green and living things and yet wipe out everything in it's path else where. Here is a picture of Belknap Crater, some green areas and some black areas with just lava rock.
Barren Lava fields with Mt. Washington in the background:

Next up along the drive was the Dee Wright Observatory on the summit of McKenzie Pass.
Constructed of Lava Stone it was built in the middle of a lava field. It was built during the depression by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp), completed in 1935. There are holes, or windows in the lava structure that are strategically placed to be able to view the various surrounding mountains in the area.



Belknap Crater and little Belknap off to the right in the back ground, surrounded by lava fields.


Little ground squirrels scurry around all over the lava rock at the observatory - some even pose.



Part of the 3 Sisters Mountains - to the left is the 3rd Sister and to the right is the Middle Sister taken from the observatory.


Mt. Jefferson taken from the observatory.


Black Butte taken from the observatory.



Today I visited my favorite orthopedic surgeon. I say favorite because Dr. Hales is such a wonderful doctor, excellent surgeon and compassionate human being that even though visiting him usually means something is really wrong, he's still one of my favorite people in this world. I have complete and utter trust in him. For a year now I've been having trouble with the basil joint of the thumb - it's at the base of the thumb, near the wrist. Arthritis started to ravage my hands when I was in my mid 30's so it was no surprise to find out my thumb joints had it too. However the left thumb joint is beyond help, we tried a cortisone shot in the joint to perhaps give me relief (if you've ever had a cortisone shot in a small hand joint, you know that it's 3 days of hell/pain for the possibility of relief). This is the second time I've gotten a cortisone shot and it was much worse than the first time. The bottom line is this may buy me some time, if it even helps, but I need to have a new thumb joint made, which means surgery, it's only been a year and a couple weeks since I got a new hip joint - am I ready for this? Ugh, I've been avoiding this because I didn't want to hear what I knew it would take to fix the pain, yet I can't stand the pain of it 24 hours a day, everyday. So I think in early December I'll just do it - might as well, before the next year insurance deductible kicks in, right. I'm not even 50 and I feel like my joints are around 80 right now.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and thanks for letting me whine a little too. Next time I should serve cheese with that whine, huh.
Tam

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vacation Photos and More

We are finally home, unpacked, laundry done, groceries purchased from our 2 week vacation to Prineville, OR. The oldest town in central Oregon and a wonderful, slow paced town where people are polite, cars stop for you even when your jay walking, and neighbors watch out for each other. Still a small town of a little over 10,000, it is a prime example of what makes America great in it's slow, easy pace where people genuinely seem to care about each other. I could not allow you to see pictures of this high desert community (2900 elevation) with out giving a shout out to some of my favorite places there. In case you are in town, be sure to stop by:
The Bowman Museum - Great place to check out old quilts, side saddles, old guns and shotguns, old medical instruments, etc. Fascinating place and fun to go through. And viewing the old medical stuff will surely make you thank god for modern medicine!
Dad's Place: A fabulous local hangout for breakfast and lunch. Service is awesome and the food - esp. the garbage omelet is worth going back for.
Club Pioneer: Great dinner spot, excellent food, friendly and I hear their desserts are to die for, however you get so filled up with dinner there is little room to try them - maybe next time.
Friends Espresso: They make an excellent latte and hand out some pretty delicious dog biscuits according to Maddie.
And last, but not least - The Quilt Shack, the owners name is Rhonda and she is a doll. She has all sorts of fabric and lets just say I didn't leave there without buying quite a bit of fabric. She is so much fun to talk to and her shop is so inviting - you'll never feel like a stranger here and you'll be sure to find more fabric than you knew you needed.

And now for the pictures...........

Prineville's golf course - gorgeous I think, but then again I don't golf


Prineville - the buildings off to the left are a big Les Schwab Plant, unfortunately most of the work was moved to Bend, but they still do some things at the Prineville plant. Sadly the move put a lot of good people out of work.


A shot of the city of Prineville and the Main Street down the center.


Maddie and CR at the viewpoint where I got the pictures of Prineville.

We spent a couple of days at Crater Lake, the first day we drove to Rim Village, the second day we drove around the lake and took pictures from many vantage points along the way - these are some of the better pictures.
In case you're not familiar with Crater Lake, it is part of the Cascade Mountain Range. It was created by collapse of Mount Mazama. The Indians knew about it for years and it wasn't discovered by white explorers until 1853. Crater Lake gets 533 inches of snow each year. It has no inlet or outlet for water. It is 1943 feet deep and is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the 7th deepest lake in the world. It has an island - Wizard Island, which is a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake began to fill with water. The color of the lake is the most magnificent blue you will ever see. I've been to the lake once before, in June of 1984, only to get there, ready to see it, and it was a blinding snow storm. So 24 years later, I've finally seen it and it is truly as beautiful as all the pictures of it. It is by the way a National Park and has an extensive website and a webcam -just google it and enjoy!!


Rim Village Lodge








Wizard Island



Oh Yes, they have a boat tour you can take, I think they have 2 or 3 boats they use. Here's the catch, it's a 2.2 mile hike to get to the boat, this hike takes you on a 700 foot drop that is equivalent to 70 flights of stairs. A strenuous work out to say the least and with my asthma and at over 6000 feet in elevation, it wasn't a boat ride for me.


Lots of shale and pumice make up this area of the lake, and surrounding the lake are pumice deserts. I picked up a couple of pieces of pumice for our grandson to see.

They call this outcrop in the lake the ghost ship.


It really does look like a ship looking down at it. Later in the week I'll post pictures of Sister's Oregon and of the lava fields we visited and a beautiful hidden water fall.
One other shout out that I must make, if you are traveling on Highway 97 between Bend and Crater Lake, there is a little town named La Pine - they have an awesome quilt shop as well called Homestead Quilts, everyone is so friendly and helpful and fun, don't miss an opportunity to stop and shop!! Now it's time for me to catch up on all the blogs I love to read and see what y'all have been up to.
Tam