Saturday, April 30, 2011

When You're Young At Heart

I could have also titled this post, Crazy which probably goes without saying.

Anyway, the bamboo is running rampant (literally) in the yard and needed a home where it wouldn't roam. We bought these "cattle watering units" in town to use as planters. I thought they looked like bathtubs and wanted to have some fun before they were filled. Because Bob is as equally crazy, he agreed.

Won't this photo make a nice Christmas card?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RIP Town Cow

photo of plot in Rockaway Beach Oregon
I stumbled upon this rather disturbing scene on my way to the beach. It appeared to be a fresh grave set at the edge of the Wayside. After a momentary panic, I realized it was the remains of the town cow I posted about a few months ago.

What the heck happened to it? I remember there was talk of a petition to have it moved, but that was the last I had heard. I searched the area for clues, but found none. Since there are no "Missing: Have You Seen This Cow?" posters stapled to the telephone poles around town, I must believe he is in a better place.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Joyful Noise

My dad told me yesterday he was happy a young family moved into the house across the street because once again his neighborhood is filled with the sound of children at play.

I too love the sound of the kids on our street playing outside on a spring day. I also love all the other sounds they make like crying for a bottle, squealing as they run from the waves and shouting at each other as if being louder will win the argument…or will it?

Even on an airplane, the sounds they make don’t trouble me. They are just being kids. Kids who don’t know why they must stay buckled into a chair for hours. It must be very frustrating to be held captive and not to understand why. In fact, when I hear a child screaming five hours into a flight, I am thinking “You said it, buddy, I feel the exact same way.”

There are also days when I have to use all of my "adult power" not to:

Hop around, wildly flapping my arms when I find a dollar bill in my coat pocket
Scream because I can’t have any dessert
Make faces at people during a meeting to try to make them laugh
Throw myself on the floor because I don’t want to go to the grocery store
Tell the airport security agent to, “Make me!” when he asks me to take off my shoes.

How delightful to be able to express what you are feeling. It is truly joyful noise!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

All Washed Up

These are Bob’s beach barbells. He built them with two floats and a piece of driftwood we found on Nedonna Beach. He then proceeded do his strong man act for me and I was, of course, required to swoon.

Besides finding the100 year old shipwreck , we really haven’t found too many treasures while beachcombing. The good news is we haven’t found too much garbage either, our beach is pretty clean. All that might change in the upcoming years as researchers in Hawaii have created a simulation showing exactly how the houses, tires, chemicals and trees washed to sea by the March 11 tsunami will float across the Pacific and eventually hit the US coast.

“PSU oceanographer, Curt Petersen, has studied ocean currents for years. He says debris from the Japanese tsunami is currently making its way across the Pacific Ocean. Debris is getting caught up in the system of ocean currents that will eventually circulate it over to our coast. Peterson believes the heavier debris will sink, but he predicts we will see the lighter stuff, including washed-up timber from all the devastated structures, in about a year.” Source: The Oregonian.

The devastation of the tsunami will be undeniable for those of us living on the Oregon Coast.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two, Two, Two Days in One

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. " ~John Muir, 1913

Somehow it seems perfect when Earth Day and Good Friday coincide. Enjoy the day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ooooh That Smell, Can't You Smell That Smell?

There must be a fancy, Latin name for this plant, but I don't know what it is. It is often referred to as "Skunk Cabbage" probably because it stinks! Each spring they come up in the bogs around town, of which there are many. Huge leaves and bright yellow flowers that are pretty enough but what a smell. The frogs don't seem to mind as they cohabitate in these swampy areas singing beautifully on spring nights.

It was reported in the local paper that due to the cold weather, the black bears are a little late getting up from their long winter naps. It was also reported that this pungent plant is one of their favorite meals along the coast upon waking up. Good information to have so I don't get between a hungry black bear and it's first meal.

Perhaps skunk cabbage tastes better than it smells, another fact I will never learn!

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Splish, Splash

This guy never minds taking a dip in the water either, although he was hunting not washing last week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Will this relentless rain ever stop? I mean, really, this is ridiculous. I had waited patiently all day to take a walk outside without having to worry about drowning. Finally, a break in the clouds appeared and I quickly slipped on my walking shoes, grabbed a coat and headed out the door. Just when I arrived at the farthest possible spot on my route away from the warm, dry comfort of the house it started to rain. Little drops at first and then an impressive downpour ensued. Being a proper Oregonian, I had no umbrella with me.

With hair wet enough to cause streams of water to run down my forehead into my eyes, I stomped back down the street. Along the curb beside me, the water rushed toward a storm drain. The drain at the corner drain was clogged and had caused a rather large puddle to form. Smack in the middle of the puddle was a crow. This crow was having a fabulous time in the water. He was dipping, flapping, rolling and splashing like a character from a cartoon shower scene.

His antics got the better of me and a smile crept upon my face. Just upturned corners at first, but then a wide grin followed by laughter. Apparently, one woman’s puddle is a crow’s afternoon at the spa.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Old Tree and the Sea

While hiking on the Bay Ocean Spit (between Tillamook Bay and the Pacific Ocean) yesterday, we happened upon this amazing piece of driftwood. It was scoured by salt water, sunbleached and gnarled. photo of driftwood on bay ocean spit It was also huge--easily the biggest piece of driftwood I have ever seen. Bob stands next to it give you an idea of its sheer size. photo of bob and driftwood on bay ocean spit How did something this huge make the journey from being a tree to washing up on an ocean shore? The power of nature constantly astonishes me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Call Homeland Security!

photo of unknown plant in Rockaway Beach Oregon These strange stalks are coming up everywhere in Saltair Station. Seriously, everywhere! My sister says they are alien beings. I would be very appreciative (and much more at ease) if someone out there could identify them, preferably as some type of plant.

Please let me know asap! Thank you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Just One Word, Plastics

Most of you probably know that plastic anything is just not my first choice. I try not to buy it, use it or promote its use in my work. Then I met RUST. Three years into owning a beach house, I am beginning to understand the evil forces of rust. Here on the Oregon Coast, everything rusts, quickly and completely.

When I say everything, I mean everything. Doorknobs, cars, outdoor furniture and food containers are all fair game. The metal tins of spices in my cupboards at first just clumped all of the contents into an unusable wad of spice and then proceeded to rust around the edges staining the cabinets.

I thought it was so strange the Tillamook Fred Meyer’s had plastic shopping carts when we first moved here. Now I get it. The realtor who sold us the house told us the type of door locks to buy that wouldn’t rust shut. I get that too. I try to use stainless steel, glass and wood whenever possible (although our stainless steel heater managed to rust indoors, over the winter).

Our recent trip to the local hardware store for a wheel barrow was another reminder. The clerk was extremely excited the best one currently on sale. When she brought it out for us, we saw that it was molded black plastic. The disappointment showing on our faces, Bob questioned her about it. Her response, “Really, sir, it won’t rust!” We shut up and bought it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Everyone's a Comedian

Another blustery day yesterday at the Saltair Station, but sooner or later you have to go out for supplies. This time they came with laughter.

Braving the weather, I pulled up at the store and opened the car door. It caught a gust of wind and quickly blew back on its hinges. Hopping out into the downpour, I wrestled the car door shut. Running the 20 feet into the store caused me to get completely drenched and wind whipped. The store's door opened with the same velocity as the car door just had and closed with a similar amount of effort on my part.

Once the door was secured, dripping wet and disheveled, I turned around to face the shopkeeper who had been watching my struggle. Without batting an eye, in a completely monotone voice, he said, "They say it's supposed to rain today."

Coastal humor!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

View From the Crow's Nest

I woke up this morning and maneuvered toward the bathroom in a sleepy haze. My first glance in the mirror revealed my typical morning look of wild hair and sleepy eyes. It also revealed “crow’s feet.”

Yes, radiating out from the corners of my eyes were crow’s feet—three telltale wrinkles. Oh, how happy I was to see them on my own sweet face.

Even as a young girl, I always loved crow’s feet. My grandpa had them. So did Robert Redford as I gazed up at him on the big screen in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I saw them on sailors who spent time in the wind and the sun and the water. I savored them on old women, whose wrinkled faces radiated compassion and told the story of their lives.

Gentle, beautiful wrinkles accentuating the eyes that have witnessed our entire lives. They are the sign of time spent outdoors in nature, the sign of aging with grace and the sign of wisdom. I wear mine proudly for they are a symbol of the understanding I have gained thus far and the knowledge still to come.