Thursday, June 23, 2011

J is for Journey

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

We live on the very northern coast of Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River.  At this spot in 1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition ended their long journey and spent a long rainy winter in the fort they built to weather those 106 days of rain.  When the party had reached the mouth of the Columbia, William Clark wrote in his journal, "Ocian in view! O! The joy!"   I can only imagine the relief and joy they felt at the end of this part of their long journey, to have finally found what they had been in search of for so long. 

Take a peek at Fort Clatsop, a reproduction of the original fort, rebuilt on the spot where the expedition members wintered. Come along now, it's not raining today!

~May all of your journeys end with some kind of joy~

For more Alphabe-Thursday takes on the letter "J", head over to Jenny's Off on My Tangent.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small Town America - Oysterville, Washington

Oysterville is a tiny little village on the eastern shores of Willapa Bay in Washington state.  First settled by the white man in 1841, the town was established in 1854 and aptly named Oysterville after the flourishing oyster trade. For many generations before, this area was the fishing and camping grounds of the local Chinook people.
During lowtide, this oyster boat sits waiting for the oyster man to come on board for the harvest.  To the first white settlers, the oysters that covered the tideflats were looked on as a treasure trove of gold.  These delicacies could be shipped south to San Fransico and sold to the restaraunts who then sold each tiny oyster for a dollar a piece! 

Beautiful houses were built, some of which still stand today; a church,


 and  a school

 were established along with a newspaper and several saloons. Oysterville was booming and soon had about 500 residents.

Because so many oysters were harvested, by the late 1880's the oyster beds were dwindling, then a much-awaited railroad track ended about four miles away.   Without the railroad and the oysters, how would people make a living?  Residents quickly begin moving out and even now, 140 years later, Oysterville has only a handful of year round residents.  It's a beautiful, serene little village.  Come on, take a walk with Riff, Gus and I...

"Myrtle Johnson W----
was the last Indian Princess
Born in Oysterville"

I bet these women could sew a nice quilt then pull on their boots to dig up some oysters and clams.  Women after my own heart~
When you're done with your walking tour of Oysterville, make sure you pop over to Oysterville Sea Farms.  Sit out on their brand new deck while enjoying a cup of their wonderful chowder and a cold beer or a glass of Willapa Bay wine.  It is not at all a hardship to enjoy your chowder or steamer clams with a view like this!  If you hit it just right, you may just get to watch an Oysterman at his trade and feel the whisper of times past.
To read more about Oysterville and find some great history on the town and individual dwellings, pop over here. So much great information!

I hope you enjoyed our little tour of Oysterville today and if you're ever in the area you'll stop by and see it for yourself.  While you're there, pick up a bushel or two of oysters for great summer grilling. Now, please excuse me while I slurp down this Willapa Bay oyster...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I is for Iris

The Song of the Iris Fairy

I am Iris:  I'm the daughter
Of the marshland and the water.
Looking down, I see the gleam
Of the clear and peaceful stream;
Water-lilies large and fair
With their leaves are floating there;
All the water-world I see,
And my own face smiles at me!
~Cicely Mary Barker

Wild yellow Iris' grow in the marshland here on our piece of the north coast.  They are absolutely beautiful and last for just a short time, but grow in abundance in certain area's.   Riff and I were walking our dog, Gus, the other day in a spot where so many wild Iris' were blooming.  It was absolutely beautiful but my picture taking skills with my phone leave a lot to be desired, so the photo's I took do not at all show you the beauty of these wild flowers.  Next time I'll drag my camera along for some better shots.

Pop over to Jenny's Off On My Tangent to see others take on the letter I.

~May you all be blessed with wild Iris' ~

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bunny Riding in a Carrot Car

Sometimes inspiration comes from the silliest places.  Our little grandson, Noah, has a favorite book by Richard Scarry called All About Cars.  Inside the little cardboard book made for small hands is apple cars, carrot cars, apple cars, toothbrush cars and on and on.  Noah gets a big kick out of all these silly cars and this was the chosen book for bedtime for many months.  He has now moved on to other books but still loves All About Cars.
I was completely tickled to find a pre-made banner for my etsy shop with not one, but two carrot cars!  Isn't this cute??

All of these carrot cars got me to thinking....hmmm....wouldn't Bunny Riding in a Carrot Car bags be cute?  And maybe some carrot car bibs and t-shirts?  Well, I haven't gotten quite that far, but my first Carrot Car bag is complete.

This motoring hare is headed over to Adrienne's place.  He was kind enough to say that he would take along Leaving Protection, the book that Adrienne won in my Turn the Page...Tuesday giveaway.  I think that this little bag will be just right to carry some of the boys summer reading list home from the library, don't you?

Hopefully, one day soon, my little etsy shop will have a few of these on hand.  Don't you think carrot cars are the best?  Once you get to where you're going, you can eat it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Country Pleasures

One of the great country pleasures is standing beside a lake, pond or stream with your fishing line in the water.  What a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the day.  We grew up with a Dad who is a fisherman.  Many summer evenings found us, as a family, beside the Wallowa or Minam Rivers.  Us kids would splash and play around (as long as we weren't too close to Dad and his fishing pole.  Darn kids scare the fish away!), and Mom would usually have a book or magazine to read.    We also had a pond right at our house that was full of catfish so spent many hours laughing and splashing around with the neighbor kids as we all caught catfish for dinner.  Such fun times, so I get a lot of pleasure out of spending some fishing time with our little grandson, Noah. 

Yesterday was Free Fishing day at many lakes and streams in Oregon, so I gave Brittany a call and asked if they would want to come over so Noah could go fishing.  Coffinbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park was not only participating in Free Fishing Day, but also had a few organized fun events for the kids including a fishing derby with prizes.  As you can see, this particular dock was a bit crowded, but fun for Noah to throw his line in.  
Waiting patiently for the fish to bite.  Noah didn't actually catch a fish, but it was very exciting when his bobber jumped and dived with a bite.  Reeling his line in, Noah found that that darn fish had come in for a snack, stealing his worm.  That was pretty funny stuff!

Fishing works up a powerful appetite and picnics are a must for any fishing adventure, so we brought along fried chicken, potato chips and cookies. 


Little Mazzy enjoyed her first fishing outing as well as anyone.  She was one cute little number in her summer shades.

The afternoon ended with a couple of splashes as Noah dropped his pole in the lake.  Him and his Papa both reached for it with Papa trying to keep Noah out of the water and the both of them tipping in.  Ooops!  (Shhh...don't tell Riff I told you.  He was pretty irritated at himself that he failed to keep his little man from falling in the lake.)  No harm came of their wet adventure except for some wet, cold clothes.  Noah, at 3-1/2, already has his first fishing story to tell!  His Great-Grandpa is proud!

~May you all be blessed with some country pleasures~

Thursday, June 09, 2011

H is for Home

                            Home is where you start from.
                                                               ~T.S. Eliott
Today, I'm joining in with Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock. 
For today's letter - H - I picked the word Home.  Home is where we should all feel safe, loved and comfortable.  It reflects who we are and what is important and beautiful to us.  Here are a few pictures of our home.  I hope you enjoy your tour!
Pop over to Jenny's blog for more Alphabe-Thursday links. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting our little corner of the world!

~May you all be blessed with homes that provide you comfort and are full of love~


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Turn the Page...Tuesday

It's time for Turn the Page...Tuesday hosted by Adrienne of Some of a Kind.  I actually got a lot of reading done this past month due to some ugly spring weather and not feeling quite up to par for much of the month.  Quite a good list of reading too, with no books that were a chore to wade through.  I've picked a couple of them to tell you about, so here we go....

The Purple Parasol by George Barr McCutcheon is my sweet old hardback that I pulled off of my dusty shelves to read in May.  What a pleasure it was!
'Young Rossiter did not like the task.  The more he thought of it as he whirled northward on the Empire State Express the more distasteful it seemed to grow.'

Sam Rossiter was a young attorney, fresh out of Yale, who workes for a prestigious law firm in New York.  Their wealthiest client is an older man by the name of Godfrey Wharton who is married to a young, beautiful wife who seems to have fallen in love with someone else.  Mr. Wharton wants the law firm to follow his wife and find out the truth once and for all.  Being the newest member of the firm, Sam is sent out on this distasteful mission.  He was told that he would know Mrs. Wharton by her youth and the purple parasol she would be carrying, so he sets out to follow her, finding her at the train station where she is headed for her romantic trip with her lover.  Sam finds that the young couple are using assumed names and as he checks into the lodge where their party is staying and gets to know the guests, he himself seems to fall in love with the young beauty. 
Oh my!  What will happen?  Has their been some mistake?  Can this sweet young girl really be married to that nasty old rich man?  You'll have to read this delightful old book to find out!

I love the smell and feel of old books and this one was just perfect.  My version was published in 1906 and has the most charming illustrations ever.  It is a very quick short read, only 108 pages long and quite fun.

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran was loaned to me by a friend from work.  I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it, then Shilo read it as well.  It was a fascinating time in history, so we then got a Nefretiti National Geographic documentary from Netflix to learn a bit more.  Really interesting stuff!

'When the sun set over Thebes, splaying its last rays over the limestone cliffs, we walked in a long procession across the sand.  In a twisting line that threaded between the hills, the viziers of Upper and Lower Egypt came first, then the priest of Amun, followed by hundreds of mourners.  The sand cooled rapidly in the shadows.  I could feel the grains between the toes of my sandals, and when the wind blew under my thin linen robe, I shivered.  I stepped out of line so I could see the sarcophagus, carried on a sledge by a team of oxen so the people of Egypt would know how wealthy and great our crown prince had been.  Nefertiti would be jealous that she'd had to miss this.'

From the back cover:
Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries.  Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, and unstable young pharaoh.  It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler's herectical desire to forsake Egypt's ancient gods.
From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people, but she fails to see that powerful forces are plotting against her husband's reign.  The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game-one that could cost her everything she holds dear.

Historical fiction based on fact is my favorite genre and this book was wonderful.  I will definately read more of Michelle Moran in the future.

Last but not least is Leaving Protection by Will Hobbs.  This book came my way by my sister, Stacey, of Stacey's Treasures.   She had reviewed it a few months ago, then given it away and I was the lucky comment winner.    I would like to pass on that favor and give this book away once again to someone who would like it.  Just tell me in your comment that you would like it and I will draw one of you and send it your way.

Leaving Protection is a young reader book, written well and with quite a bit of intensity to it. 
From the back cover:
Raised in the island world of Southeast Alaska, sixteen-year-old Robbie Daniels jumps at the chance to work as a deckhand on a salmon troller captained by the legendary fisherman Tor Torsen.  Catching king salmon from dawn till dusk, Robbie is living his dream-until he discovers his mysterious captian's dark secret.  Tor is illegally searching the coastline for historic metal plaques buried by early Russian explorers.  When Robbie learns the value of these hidden treasures, he fears he may know too much to survive.  Tor's wrath and a violent storm at sea put Robbie's courage and wits to the ultimate test.

Just let me know if you would like Leaving Protection and I'll pass it on just as Stacey did!

Stop by Adrienne's to see what others are reading this month!