Friday, March 27, 2015

Visiting Rowena Crest

Hello my friends, thanks for stopping in for a visit.  After several rainy days the sun shone yesterday and my dear husband and I set out for an adventure.  I'd heard that the wildflowers were beginning to bloom at Rowena Crest so we set out to see for ourselves and enjoy the warm sunny day.  We headed east alongside the Columbia River and had lunch in Cascade Locks then resumed our drive - we exited the freeway at Rowena, the sign then pointed to the left for Rowena.. we drove along and it didn't look right at all.. we were not gaining elevation.. we ended up in The Dalles!  A stop at a gas station to get advice and we headed back west and eventually wound up where we'd planned to go! :-)  Can you see the difference in the terrain?  No tall forests, drier and more desert-y.  

Here we are at Rowena Crest looking upriver, east.  Rowena is rather like a "sister" of Vista House at Crown Point in that it's high on a bluff over the Columbia River with expansive views.  See the train in Washington State on the left and the cars on the I-84 freeway in Oregon on the right?

And indeed the Balsamroot was in bloom!  Aren't these neat flowers - like ground level sunflowers!

So, here I stand in the center of a rather wild area at Rowena Crest and we're in Oregon.. what you see across the way is Washington.. and just a peek of the river between us.  Unfortunately the Lupine is just budded and not in bloom - see it to the left of the Balsamroot?  It's REALLY neat when both are in bloom and you get the yellow and purple together.  Maybe we'll go back when that is happening...

Such a wild and windy place.

I snapped a photo of Dayle and our car as I stood amongst the flowers.. the river is there also.

We then drove along heading west and Mosier and Hood River.  Now, this area is usually very dry and golden.. so it was neat to see it in the Spring when it's nice and green.. and I loved seeing this old barn in the meadow below.

I love seeing a barn that is being taken care of, don't you?

The landscape on this end of the river is so different than what it is where we live!  Again, you're seeing Oregon and then Washington across the river.  See Mt. Adams peeking over the horizon?

Another old barn, there are lots of little farm places along the way.

Dayle spied this poor little old abandoned log cabin.. so I turned the car around and we pulled into the driveway to get this shot.  I would have loved exploring around it but didn't want to trespass on the property.  I love to think of the hardy folks that built this cabin so long ago and the family that lived in this small place.

We took a turn onto a country road and it rose and rose in elevation and then we saw Mt. Hood loom in the distance!

And then, on our descent on this road we saw Mt. Adams in Washington.. oh my dear Lumix camera... thank you for your lovely zoom.

We ended up in the historic little town of Mosier, where we rejoined civilization by getting on Interstate 84 and drove West and through Hood River.. we exited the freeway at Cascade Locks so we could get a snapshot from our "place" - and I saw this huge Rhododendron in full bloom.. ::screech:: turn around.. *snap*.. wow.. 

Zoom.. wow.. 

Then we pulled in at our little view park under the Bridge of the Gods - I snapped a few photos and got out of the car and walked and stretched before we headed on home.  

Oregon on the left, Washington on the right.  But you know that already, right?

I made a doubled hot pad with my stash of Premier Home cotton yarn.  These aren't the prettiest of hot-pads, but are the workhorses of hot-pads.  

Crocheted Cotton Hot Pad/Pot Holder - Diagonal Design

2 ounce ball worsted weight crochet cotton
size G crochet hook

Begin by working 37 chain stitches.
Work 3 single crochet (sc) in 2nd chain from hook.'

Sc in every chain until one chain remains.
3 sc in last chain.
Work 1 sc into the other side of each chain stitch.
Work 1 sc into first sc and continue working 1 sc into each stitch for 18 or 19 rounds, until the two ends of the top round meet when folded towards each other.
Stop crocheting at a point half way between two ends. Work 15 chain stitches for loop and join with slip stitch into same sc as last stitched worked. Cut yarn, leaving a tail about 1 yard long, and draw tail through loop. Using the long tail, whip stitch both sides of single crochet to each other forming a flat square. Secure end, weave into the inside of the hot pad, clip tail and enjoy!
My Hibiscus is doing so well, I put a stake in the pot using my black bamboo and tied all the droopy branches up with green garden twine and it's looking lovely.  I do hope you don't get tired of seeing my red hibiscus flowers.  :-)

One more.. :-)

OK.. Dayle and I are going to run some errands and you know that will involve lunch out.. right?  Gracie is not swimming today so that gives me the excuse to skip it too.. but I need to get some new shoes for my trip to New Orleans is 2.5 weeks!  So.. today is the day.  Plus, we need chicken food.  Busy, busy.  I hope you have a fun weekend planned!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trilliums and Ripples

I spied some Trilliums in our woods the other day.. I'd been keeping an eye out for them for days.  So, in the afternoon I donned my old shoes and headed off for a hike to get a photo of these little beauties.  The first ones I came across had been chewed on a bit and so I kept on walking through the woods to find a pretty one.  Aha.. there it is.. stoop down.. hold still.. stop breathing.. *SNAP*  Isn't this a beauty?  Do you have trilliums where you live?  Here, they are one of the harbingers of Spring.

On my way into the woods I stopped at the top of our stream to enjoy seeing it from a different vantage point.  We have 3 garden sculptures, the top one is a Chinese soldier, the second one is a little Buddha that Dayle actually got while he was in Texas and in the Army learning to fly helicopters before they sent him to Vietnam.. and the third is my art nouveau lady.   

My red Japanese Maple has newborn leaves unfurling.. sweet.

The Trilliums are shy and don't look like much if you see them on the forest floor, you have to get closer to see them well.

Cutie pies.

We live in a 100 year old farmhouse and the woods next to our house were probably used for their wood stoves and fireplaces and they also serve as a windbreak for the house - this area is notorious for it's "East Wind" - sometimes we get heavy wind for weeks on end and months and months during the Fall and Winter.

I'm happy to see my Bleeding Hearts are already up and open!

Is there anything more amazing than a Bleeding Heart?  *love*

I am happy to show you something that I'd wanted to do for a LONG time.  I had 4 little pots of Christmas Cactus aka Zygotes.  They mean a LOT to me.  My first one was a cutting that my Aunt Helyn gave me from her HUGE plant in her home in Annapolis, Maryland when my sister Roberta and I visited her 10 years ago.  She put the cuttings in a ziploc bag with a damp paper towel.  Funny story is I was so busy when I returned that a few weeks later when I finished unpacking I found the bag with some rotten vegetable matter in it.. but one part of it was still "alive" so I took it out and stuck it in a pot outside and forgot about it.  Lo and behold sometime later I saw that it had taken root and was growing.  I am amazed at the fortitude of plant-life.  My 2nd one I rescued from my dying mother's room.. she always had a green thumb and had adopted this plant from someone else.. and it was dried up from lack of water.. and so I brought it home.  I also knew then that my mother was no longer herself if she'd let a plant die.  ::sigh::  ANYWAY... all of my plants needed repotted so I thought.. why not put them all together in one pot?  There are 3 different colors of them.  So, here they are in fresh soil in a big pot in a sunny spot.  Now to see how they do here.

I put the 3 vases of flowers that were given to us at the tulip farm in a place of honor on the table between our easy chairs.  

Now to show you the lap blanket that I finished.  I used KnitPicks Billow cotton yarn.  I also used Lucy at Attic24 blog's "neat ripple" pattern with the interlocking color motif.  The colors of the yarn line dictated the colors I used - they are muted, dusty colors and I like them a lot.

I laid this out on our king-size bed to get photos.. I think I need a "selfie stick" so I can get a flat out photo.  :-)  As I look at this, in retrospect, I should have put the two light colors on either end to balance it.  But.. it's okay, it will warm a child or a lap even if the colors don't balance.  :-)

This is our bedroom.. I love the skylights over the bed.. you know immediately upon waking what the weather is.  And I love that Dayle hung our old chandelier up over the bed not that long ago.  We got that light fixture for our first home in Louisiana.  Um.. in 1970.  :-)

And I had to share this close-up of the red tulips -- is there anything more amazing than this?  Well, I guess there is.. lots of things.. but tulip centers are cool.

Yesterday I met up with my two sisters, Denise and Roberta, and my BFF Shirley and we had lunch at the Cadillac Cafe.  I had the Cadillac Steak and Mac.  Oh my goodness.. it's so good.  If you're ever in Portland you need to go there and have that.  Then we went to Trade Roots - a clever name for an import shop - and I got a string of chickens.  Want to see?  I guess they're supposed to bring prosperity?  Bring it on!

Then we went to Sarah Bernhard's Bakery and I got the boys these Easter cookies and some apple fritters for our breakfast.  Nummers.

Now I'm off to swim soon.  I guess it's good to keep busy.. huh?  :-)
((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tulip Festival - Woodburn, Oregon

Hello my friends!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  We actually had a quiet, restful and productive time.  On Friday we decided to beat the rain and head to the opening day of the Tulip Festival!  Our DIL Kristi and our two grandsons went with us.  I was surprised to see that the fields that were full of tulips last time we went were empty of flowers and we had to catch a tram pulled by a tractor down to the fields of tulips.  I asked someone why there were no flowers where they were last and she said they have to move the bulbs and let the field repair and rest.  I love this shot of the fields with the old farmhouse and barn behind.

Such beautiful colors and perky flowers.

The foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the distance.

I love the magenta ones.. what color is your favorite?

They have a cute little windmill with wooden shoe carts around it.  Do you see Mt. Hood way in the background on the far left?

In the park around the windmill are raised beds full of tulips for the enjoyment of the visitors.

I simply adore interesting varieties, give me variegated flowers anytime.

Another favorite were these spiky purple ones.  Beyond the rows of same colored ones were fields stretching on of multicolored tulips.

There are walking paths between the rows of flowers so you can get up close and personal to the tulips.

A bit of sun shone on Mt. Hood so I zoomed in for a shot.

More of the beds of different varieties.

Hello there!

Some frilly orange and yellow ones.

They had 3 old steam tractors on display.  

There was a fair area at the festival and my 2 grandsons amazed me at their bravado.. both of them jumped off this tower onto this big blown up thing.  This is Hayden.  

This is Hayden on another activity, jumping and flipping.. he's so athletic!

The little darlings posing for us in a big wooden shoe.

Hayden (top) and Caleb are little teddy bears!

A tub full of stripedy crocus.. love.

This big old flatbed truck all shiny and red and full of tubs of daffodils, tulips and hyacinth.  This is next to the gift shop where I had a good old cruise through while the boys were jumping, flipping, sliding and such.

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm who hosts the Tulip Festival is located in the fertile Willamette River Valley.  There are these huge oak trees all down through the valley and many farms raise a lot of our vegetable here, plus sheep farms and wineries.

Some wonderful variegated centered daffodils.

Fragrant hyacinths.

Finally when we were ready to go the rain began to fall.  I went on to the car and pretty soon Travis ran up and grabbed my umbrella and told me an elderly woman had fallen in the gravel and was bleeding pretty badly.  Kristi got down on the ground and held the umbrella over her head while one of the owners of the farm tried to clean up the blood and make her as comfortable as possible until the ambulance arrived.  Travis helped by putting a blanket over her and Kristi even gave the woman her jacket.  It makes you realize how careful we must be just walking across the parking area.

I had spied this beautiful old church on our way to the festival, so on our way home we pulled in and took a few photos of it.  I am happy to see this church being cared for and used.

When Travis and Kristi filled out an accident report for the farm - they insisted that they take 3 bouquets of tulips in return for their help with the woman who fell.  So, we have a virtual garden of flowers on the dining room table.. the yellow, red and purple ones added to my big bouquet of many colors that we already had.

I hope you have enjoyed visiting the tulip festival with us!  I have finished my neat ripple cotton blanket.. I will try to get some photos of it and share it with you on my next post.  I hope Spring has arrived where you live!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)