Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Juicy peaches...summer's delight!

 Is there anything better than to bite into a fresh, perfect, juicy peach...fresh from the tree? These are not OUR peaches, or peach tree, as that is not something we can do here in southeast Bend. But, we do have a friend who runs 'The Vegetable Man' produce stand nearby. He gets things almost daily from the Willamette Valley or the Yakima valley in Washington. I tried out some of his peaches this morning....

 in the form of fresh peach waffles with whipped cream. Oh yum! Peach season is definately in full swing, and we will be enjoying it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Washington's Rain Forest

 It seems we have been gone much of the time since April, this year. We had decided to go camping last week, when we received word of the (expected) death of my dear cousin Larry in Seattle. We changed plans, thanked God He had cleared our schedule, and decided to take a few days on our way to Seattle, to travel up the coast and go west around the Olympic National Park. This area is called the Olympic Rain Forest, and though it wasn't raining it did have almost 100% humidity. Beautiful, misty and mysterious, this coastline was a perfect place to visit in summer. It is somewhat remote, so the shoreline is almost free of other visitors, and still has that 'just discovered' feel. We found a time when the sand was actually 'steaming' if that would be the right word, at least moisture was rising steadily from all across the sand, to meet the mist in the air. That was a new sight for me.

 We found several things to enjoy on our way, including the sight of lots of log trucks, busily hauling their logs to mills. This is something that takes both of us back to our childhood, when the sight of log trucks was an everyday occurrence. It was very much missing during the 1980's and '90's and 2000's, and was so good to see the industry reviving in Washington and Oregon. After all, trees do grow quickly and large in the damp Oregon Willamette Valley and coastal areas of both states. And when managed properly, the wood products benefit everyone.

 We drove around Lake Crescent, and after a short walk found this tree. It is awe inspiring to stand at the foot of a living tree that has been living for 1,000 years. What changes have taken place around that tree! It truly is huge, and is a Sitka spruce tree.
The insurance man was very interested, and I think my grandsons might be as well.

My cousin, Larry Erskine, went to be with his savior Jesus, on July 14th. The service we attended was a wonderful tribute to this man, and of the legacy left from a life well lived in obedience to God. We were privileged to attend, and enjoyed time spent with Larry's family as well as my brother and his family.

Finally we stayed the night in Port Angeles, which is on the northern coast of Washington, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Puget Sound. Directly across the strait is the city of Victoria, with ferry service from Port Angeles to Vancouver Island. The sun finally broke through, and we had a glorious evening where we could see Victoria across the way, eat fresh salmon and cod, and have beautiful views of the snow topped Olympic mountains behind us.

It sure feels good to be home now, although God is so good to take care of us on our travels. Time to enjoy summer in the garden!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Best lunch spot...ever!

 This week I had the chance to go kayaking with a friend up at Sparks Lake in our Cascade Mountain range. Since our days have been hot, we got a pretty early start on the day, and took along a small lunch to eat on the water, before heading home. This was one of the views we enjoyed while we munched. South Sister (mountain), Sparks Lake and wildflowers.

Another wonderful view...this time of Broken Top, a popular hiking destination here in Central Oregon. As you can plainly see we enjoyed fabulous clear skies, and warm sunny weather.

 Here is my friend Phyllis, and my kayak as well, sitting and drifting while we ate. The kayaks are hers, and are not fancy...but they felt a true luxury that day....just to be able to get out on the water. Sparks Lake is one God fashioned from lava rock, and there are many side rock channels to explore and most were filled with wild flowers just now at their peak. A picture perfect summer day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Summer Bride

 This past Saturday we attended our step-granddaughter Ashley's wedding to Ivan. A summer bride is always so fresh and radiant. The setting was perfect....a golf course along the Lewis River, just outside of Woodland, Wash.

 Our granddaughter Macy was one of the two flower girls...so pretty in white.

 You can see here how beautiful the venue was. A really nice photo of Ashley with her Dad and our daughter Joy.

 Ashley's brother Brad walked Joy down the 'aisle'.

 Ivan and his family are part of a Russian community living in Vancouver. The wedding was performed by one of their Russian Pastors, and they provided a translator for the English speaking family.

 The wedding was small and simple....and attended by a few visitors with four legs.

 A beautiful cake at the reception. Ashley's colors were turquoise and white.

Even the moth that attended was all decked out in white...even nature enjoys a wedding!
If you would like to see more of the wedding, I have provided two links to watching Macy and Lilly walk down the aisle, as well as Ashley and her Dad. It was really special, and we had a beautiful July day and a beautiful bride.

Flower Girls Macy and LillyAshley and her Dad walk down the aisle

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Good Eats and Treats

4th of July Good Eats and Treats


Oven Baked (till they fall off the bone) Spareribs
Corn on the Cob
Raspberry Sour Cream Jello (with fresh raspberries: )
Mom's Best Macaroni Salad
Baked Beans

Watermelon Slices with a platter of Oreos

Served along with 3 or 4 friends, it's a great way to celebrate!


Monday, July 2, 2012

All's Right With the World

The hummingbirds are at the feeder, the monarchs are in the garden, God is in His heaven, and all is right in my world.

 I spent the whole morning in the garden, one of the first warmer days I could do that. Since it's July, my plants are behind in their blooming. But that doesn't make it any less enjoyable...maybe even more so, as we've waited so long for them. I took a few snapshots this morning of the things we're enjoying.
First is the golden chain tree. In other climates it grows really large and beautiful, but here it has barely grown in the last five years, and I've been patiently waiting for a year that the blooms would show up. This is that year, and the bonus is that the blooms last a long time. I've been enjoying it from my office window for several weeks now.

 I have a late rhododendron, that is just now (July 2nd!) in full bloom. And even more incredible is the bleeding heart bush blooming in front of it. Two spring blooms, that are just ignoring the calendar. This is my first year to try foxglove seeds, and as you can see that was successful.

 I have several native geraniums that are dependable, and grow large. This one likes the shade under the bleeding heart.

 And all along the the patio in that area, are several groundcover rock plants that are in bloom.
 In our area roses are hard to grow. I have several old fashioned climbers out front and they are just making an appearance.

 I have a couple of large snow-in-winter plants, and they look so pretty as a back drop to other blooms in the gardern.

 Rock Garden

 Herb Garden

 Fresh strawberries, yum! They made frosted mini-wheats a taste sensation for breakfast this morning on the deck.

 On our back patio the sun is so intense that no matter what I try the blooms die. I went with three boxwoods in a planter this year, just to have something green, living and cooling. We'll see how this years' experiment fares. If they survive, I'll plant them in the landscape this fall.

 I added a couple of heather to a rather barren garden bed, where I am coaxing along some blueberries, and red and black currant bushes.

 The top photo is of a new bed I have started this year, and it's coming along nicely. There are lupine, russian sage, phlox, cosmos from seed and dahlias coming up.
The bottom is a bit of baby's breath, which is always so nice in arrangements.

 We got some old wagon wheels from a friend, and they have added quite a bit of nice structure to our back fence area. It's too shady to grow any climbers there, and not much else will grow there either. So, I'm enjoying the new look. I think we added 7 or 8 wheels of various sizes.

 It's daylilly time...both for Julie and me. So bright and cheery!

And finally, a bit of 4th of July cheer and my potted basil. It would never have made it in the garden, but is thriving in my pot, and will soon outgrow it. So wonderful with fresh corn and cherry tomatoes. Have a great day!