Monday, August 18, 2014

The Crew

While Tom is deployed, he works with this crew exclusively.  I thought it was such a cool photo that I had to scrapbook it.  They look great!  I love that technology gives us an opportunity to keep in touch and see images of what is going on in their lives.

Some Bunnies in the Family

Darren surprised me with sending a picture of Mandy and Mallory with new rabbits that they bought at the Monroe County Fair this year.  Their names are Pookie and Shimmer.  So happy they have bunnies.  We miss our Ranger.  I just wish I lived close enough to go snuggle them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Flying to Sunriver

We were supposed to be on vacation to Kalispell, MT this weekend but family health circumstances had us cancel that trip.  Chuck had been planning to spend the weekend with Beverly so that we could go on vacation but didn't feel like we could leave with what has been going on.  So we have decided to have more of a staycation and spend the weekend with him.

Today's expedition was a trip out to Sunriver to have lunch.  It was a great day to take some photos of the mountain peaks along the way.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Mt. Hood

Mt. Jefferson

A fire at Mt. Jefferson
Three Finger Jack

Mt. Washington


Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Adams

Mt. Rainier

We landed at Sunriver to find that there were a lot of firefighters there.  They were using the airport as a staging area for the firefighting efforts.  While we had seen a fire at Mt. Jefferson on the way there, the fire that they were supporting was in Chemult--further south relatively close to Crater Lake.  I was fascinated by all the helicopter activity going on there. 

After lunch at the Sunriver Lodge, we walked over to the shopping village and checked that out before heading home.  We enjoyed our excursion to the east side of the mountains for a little while today and then headed back to spend time with Beverly and take her some Thai food to give her a break from institutional food.  All in all a very nice day.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Painting Fun at Vino and Vango

Our work group is split between working in Vancouver and working in Eugene.  Most of the time, the folks that work in Eugene have to come to Vancouver to work during meetings and build weeks.  This week we are giving them a bit of a break from traveling and those of us that normally work in Vancouver traveled to Eugene/Springfield.  We decided to do something fun one of the evenings we were down there.  Jennifer arranged for us to take a painting class.  Maddy and Tom have taken these kinds of classes in Seattle and Pensacola but this was the first time that I had ever done it.  I can see why Maddy enjoys it so much. 

We fought over what we were going to paint for two or three days.  Everyone had different taste and ideas about what they wanted to paint.  In the end, we all had a great time and were happy with what we created.  The gal that owns the store had some really funny risque aprons.  It is pretty amazing how real they look when you take photos with them.  Even the guy in the group had fun with wearing a little negligee apron.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Our Neighbors-The Hawks

I got up early this morning to go to my Weight Watchers meeting.  On the way home, I saw two big birds in the street.  I figured they were crows.  One sees them commonly enough in the street scavenging dead carcasses and such.  As I drove past, I noticed white chests and thought to myself, "Whoa--those are not crows!"  I turned around and tried to take some pictures but one of them flew off and the other had its back to me.  Plus it was hard getting a photo on my cellphone.  So I went home and walked around the corner with my camera to see if I could find them.  I found this guy flying up into a tree.

Bill and I left for awhile and on our way home, we found other neighbors trying to get pictures of them up in a tree.  So I headed back around the corner and found this guy eating breakfast.  He or she was very busy looking for worms so it was a little hard getting a pictures but I managed a few really good ones.  It was catching a lot of worms but I would imagine that it takes a lot of worms to fill up a bird of that size.

One of the neighbors say me taking pictures and came to talk to me.  The nest was in a tree in his yard so he showed me where the other hawk was and where the nest was.  This fellow kept an eye on me because when I started working my way closer to the one under the tree, it flew over me and into the tree above the other one.

It has been a wonderful distraction today to look for these birds of prey.  Our next door neighbors have three chickens in their backyard so I've been thinking that maybe they shouldn't let them loose in the backyard with these two living right across the street from them.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July on Opposite Sides of the World

Tom deployed to the Middle East a couple weeks ago.  He spend his 4th of July working.  He called it delivering freedom. But it was fun to see this photo of him on Facebook as we were waiting for the fireworks to start.
Maddy drove from Kansas to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to spend time with her sister for the 4th.  They had a great time exploring and talking wedding plans.

We had a nice, relaxing day.  Bill, Chris and I headed to the Fort in the morning so I could see the Sing 4th competition.  I make sure to go every year because I enjoy it so much.  The girl that won this year sang "Morning Person" from the movie "Shrek".  She had a really sweet routine with props of a deer and birds to complete her performance.  I always enjoy hearing "The Girl in 14G" and the girl who sang that won 2nd place.  It always amazes me how anyone can pull off that song with all the changes in genre throughout.

We made a stop at the Pearson Air Museum.  Very disappointing.  We haven't been there since the Trust was evicted and took almost all the planes with them.  There is still only the two planes that the Trust wasn't able to get out in time.  And all the old displays of explanation along the walls that they weren't able to remove in time.  But otherwise there is almost nothing there anymore.  The only really cool thing that they had was a diorama  for the WWI era Spruce Mill that a dentist in town is putting together.  The Park Service claims they are working on getting more planes but nothing yet.  Hard to even call it an air museum when that really isn't what it is anymore.

We came home to watch "Harry Potter".  Bill's goal is to see all the Harry Potter movies in order.  So we have seen three in the last couple of weeks.  And I am sure more are on their way.  Then to Grandma's to have a little picnic at her house.

It is always a debate as to whether we want to go to the Fort to see the fireworks.  It is always so crowded and takes so long to get home afterward because of the traffic.  So really hard to get excited about it when you have to go to work the next day.  But since the 4th was on a Friday, we decided to go.

This is the first year that we have gotten a pass to park at the airport.  I guess they always made it such a hassle to get in the past that Bill never pursued it before.  But this year, they automatically sent them out so we took advantage of it.  And we really like having it.  We had a safe place to park for when we went to the Fort in the morning.  We came and went a few times because we forgot to take jackets in the evening so Bill even left about an hour before the fireworks so he could get a couple of sweatshirts at Fred Meyers when we got a little chilled.
We hung out at the hangar about three hours waiting for the fireworks to start.  Chris wanted to go back to the Fort and see if he could find any friends to hang out with.  So we obliged and went early in the evening for him.  Enjoyed drinking some wine and beer and doing some reading and people watching at the airport while we waited.  We moved to the taxiway when the time got closer so we had an unobstructed view.  The fireworks were wonderful although a lot shorter than it used to be in years past.  But 40 minutes was always a long time to watch in the past so 20 minutes seemed just right.  We were a little alarmed in the middle of the show.  Several grass fires started and the fire was going pretty well by the time the show ended.  We didn't stick around to see them putting it out.  We wanted to get out of the airport and on our way home.  Bill flew some passengers the day after and they said that the ground was pretty well charred.

A relatively quiet (other than firecrackers and fireworks), relaxing way to celebrate our nation's birth.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brother Visit

Chuck came to visit us last weekend.  It is always a fun time when he comes.  Bill always wants to figure out new places to take him.  It has been a long time since they had been to Carson Hot Springs for a soak and massage.  And Carson Hot Springs has recently reopened after being closed for awhile so that was the first stop.  I am not that into getting a massage and I get bored sitting in a bathtub for a half hour to hour so I opted out.  I went for a little hike up the hill and found some of the pump houses for the spa.  And I took a book to read for the rest of the time while I waited.

A trip to Stevenson almost always includes eating lunch at the Big River Grill.  Bill loves their portobello mushroom salad and everything else there is good too.

From there we drove to Hood River and visited the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.  Bill and I had been there a few years ago but Chuck hadn't been there before.  And they had expanded the museum since we were there last.  It was fun to see all the old planes, cars, motorcycles, jeeps, etc.

Chuck enjoys visiting with Cindy on his visits so we invited Jim and Cindy over for some Thai food.  Unusual that we see her two weekends in a row.  But very enjoyable evening seeing them again.

On Sunday we went to church as a family and had some bagels.  Then we headed downtown to take Chuck to the new East Fork Winery location at the Slocum House.  Then to the new Gouger Winery location in Ridgefield.  It was Chuck's first visit to both of the new locations although he had been to both wineries at their old locations.  It was the first time that Bill and I took advantage of going up onto the roof patio at Gouger to enjoy the scenery from up there.  We got to watch the newly shorn alpacas and see Mt. St. Helens in the distance.  It wasn't too hot so it was a really pleasant afternoon enjoying a couple glasses of wine up there.  We weren't quite ready to head back home so we stopped at Bethany Winery and Northwest Best Fish Market as well.  We love the smoked halibut spread that they sell there so we always pick some up if we are in the area.  Bill picked up the crab and artichoke dip this time too.  Absolutely wonderful.

So as with any visit from Chuck--we ate a lot.  We drank our fair share of wine.  And we did a bit of touring.  But it was a really fun visit.