Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poppy Make Believe

photo of a pink poppy by Nancy Zavada

This poppy believes she is a beautiful ballerina complete with dewdrop sequins on her tutu. Perhaps she is.

Oh, Go Ahead!

photo of a tire swing on Johns Island by Nancy Zavada

Let the child in you run through the tall grass and jump on this tire swing. 

Grab the chains, lean back and search the green canopy for bursts of sunlight.

Glide to and fro with the wind playing in your hair

as your mind drinks in the pure delight of the moment!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Make a Wish

photo of dandelions by Nancy Zavada

The good news about letting the garden get out of hand this year, are the fluffy puffs of dandelions I get to enjoy.  They are really much too magical to be a weed.

Perhaps when I pluck a stem from the ground to make my wish, I will wish for the poor dandelion to be as honored as the rose is in the garden.  This also has the benefit of significantly cutting down my weeding time!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sunset Migration

The honking of Canadian Geese interrupted our conversation as we sat in the garden at sunset.  Our attention was drawn skyward as the flock passed over, their wings turning gold catching the light reflecting off the sea.

photo of flock of Canadian Geese at sunset by Nancy Zavada

We sat in silence and gratitude, long after they were out of sight, for such a poignant end to the day.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Like a child in her first recital, showing off for Mom and Dad, this artichoke revealed itself today!

artichoke at Rockaway Beach Oregon by Nancy Zavada

The plant I nearly "nurtured" to death and then finally left alone in utter frustration, is bearing fruit. 

I couldn't be more proud if it strapped on ballet shoes and danced around the garden.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fairy Bonnets

photo of tree blooms by Nancy Zavada

Do you suppose this tree is producing intricate, pink and white hats for the fairies in our yard?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lessons in Rural Remodeling

Not to belabor this whole "bathroom remodel at the Oregon Coast" incident, but....

It has been several weekends without a working toilet or access to the shower (luckily, Rockaway has a nice, clean public restroom).  While Remodeler Bob has been working as quickly as possible, there is another factor, we hadn't dealt with before, slowing the process.

Being city folk by background, we are accustomed to being able to pick up hardware, paint, or plumbing supplies pretty much within a 5-10 minute radius of home.  So if you discover a problem needing another part, it is a quick trip and you are back in business.  Not so in rural life.  The closest store is 20 miles away which may or may not carry what you need.  It only takes a few trips per day back and forth to put a dent in your schedule.

Late Saturday afternoon, we (Bob) discovered we were short 6 tiles of a complete slate floor.  The floor that still needed to be laid, left to dry, sealed, left to dry, grouted, and left to dry before toilet installation.   The closest location to get matching tile was in Warrenton, up Highway 101 by an hour.  We jumped in the car and 2 and 1/2 hours later, the tiling proceeded.

I have decided that rural folks must really be good at planning whether it be for food, supplies, or hardware.  They are also probably much better at "making do" than city dwellers.   I have also discovered a pick up truck is essential equipment, because delivery of large items to Rockaway is either not possible or ridiculously expensive.

Still without a toilet, our goal is to become better planners. We take out hats off to our friends who built (by hand) a cabin on a San Juan Island only accessible by private boat.  I can't even imagine how much forethought that must have taken.

Monday, May 7, 2012

It was a Super Moon!

Since the moon was the closest, biggest, brightest it would be all 2012, I could not pass up the opportunity to photograph the rising orb.  The wispy clouds added to the intrigue.

photo of the supermoon by Nancy Zavada

There are very few photos of the moon setting into the Pacific Ocean probably because the timing just isn't as romantic as a sunset.  Undeterred by the need for sleep, I was the only one roaming downtown Rockaway at 5:30 am searching for just the right vantage point to witness the moon set.

photo of the moon setting over the Pacific Ocean at Rockaway Beach

Let's just say it was worth the trip from both a photographer's perspective and an ancient soul's.  It was magical to be the only human within sight on eight miles of beach as the sun and moon traded places.

The air was crisp with salt and dew and each breath filled my lungs with new possibilities, washing away past strife and struggle.  I inhaled deeply for quite a while.

The only sounds were the surf and the birds warbling their morning prayers to the heavens, not quite ready to leave their nests.  I listened to the symphony. 

When the moon finally traveled out of sight, I returned home.  Slipping into our bed warmed by my lover, he wordlessly wrapped me up in his arms.  I lie there feeling safe and loved in his arms and in the arms of the Universe.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the...

"Can we hang that mirror today?"  It was a simple request for Handyman Bob.  Just take down the old mirror in the bathroom and hang up the $5 treasure I had found at the Tillamook Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Which he sweetly did, only to reveal a large patch of bright pink daisy wallpaper the previous owners had not covered when switching to blue lighthouse wallpaper.  The new mirror wouldn't cover it. Yikes!  I decided (with Bob's consent) that I would strip the wallpaper off and paint for now as the bathroom remodel was not scheduled for another 3-5 years.

During the wallpaper removal process, chunks of the sheet rock also came up because the first layer of wallpaper was stuck right to it.  Geez! 

My plan?  To sand it down a little, patch and paint anyway, no one will ever care.  Handyman Bob had another idea...let's put beadboard over it to match the rest of the house and it will look better.  Sounded like a lot of work to me, but off to Tillamook we went to spend money at Rosenburg Lumber.

Upon returning home from Tillamook, Bob decided it would be best to take out the vanity too so he could beadboard behind it.  So out came the sink and cabinet.  My job was to find an updated version of the vanity and quickly learned they don't make that size anymore. Uh...Oh!

We scooted up to Wheeler and found the perfect antique dresser to refit into a vanity (something I have wanted to do for quite a while).  It was just about the perfect size for the cabinet, but the mirror on the vanity made it necessary to move the electrical outlet and light fixture.  Rats!

Back to Tillamook for more hardware, tools and electrical advice.

Once home, Handyman Bob decides we might as well replace the floor, because the new/old vanity has a different footprint.  So up came the linoleum and, of course, next to the tub and toilet we found dry rot.  Down to the subfloor he goes.  Yep!

Long story, short, four days later we depart for Portland for our day jobs.  The bathroom is empty, the toilet is out, and a bare light bulb hangs in the middle of the room.  We are no longer using that $5 mirror and instead are completely remodeling the bathroom. "That's how these things go," Handyman/electrician/plumber/carpenter Bob says.  Oh my!