Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Live like you mean it

Yesterday my friend Julie left me a text message, that would bring dread to anybody..."Did you hear".

Now understand. Julie is not someone who would text you if she heard juicy gossip, in fact she's known for NEVER repeating stuff. When I got divorced, she had the class to ask me if she could tell people. And I appreciated that. I already trusted her judgement, knowing whatever she did would be out of love and concern for me, and she would never gossip about me. But that she asked, let me know that my trust in her was well put.

Back to my point.

Yesterday she told me about a co-worker. Julie and I are co-workers, but more importantly she is my friend. And there is a difference, don't let anybody tell you there isn't.

Our co-worker, Ed, died. Very suddenly, over a weekend basically. He was always at work, working later than others. He worked hard at a job he didn't always like for one reason..His family. To support them and give them a life that he wanted for them.

Now yesterday Riddick and I were debating about staying home and doing chores or going hiking up Angel's rest. After Julie's call, I chose hiking.

I could die now, or tomorrow, or Riddick could. And I don't want to miss a thing.

I learned something from my parents brief time on this earth..live like you mean it, love like you mean it, and have faith like you mean it.

I forget that sometimes. Time from time I get caught up in some dramatic crap that distracts me from the way I should be living my life.

But today, remember it, and mean it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My nephey...JB

JB is pretty awesome. We went shooting with a group from the church last weekend and he loved it.
I always appreciate it when a young person wants to try something new, listens to your input, and than puts their own skills to use.

I love him, he rocks!
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm kind of Hardcore...

How much of a Hardcore Oregonian are you?

1. I've visited Timberline Lodge~yes
2. I've picked blackberries.~yes
3. I've visited Fort Clatsop.~yes
4. I've sat around a bonfire on an Oregon coast beach.~yes
5. I've visited the Oregon Country Fair.~not yet
6. I've seen a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.~no

7. I've seen a Portland Trail Blazers game live.~yes
8. I've attended a Civil War football game.~god no
9. I've visited Bonneville Dam.~yup
10. I've visited the Capitol building in Salem.~yes
11. I've walked part of the Oregon Trail.~walked, biked and camped
12. I've visited Crater Lake.~yes
13. I've visited Multnomah Falls.~yes
14. I've visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory.~yes
15. I've visited the Wallowa Mountains.~yes
16. I feel depressed when I see a fresh clear-cut.~oh yes
17. I've hunted game.~yes
18. I know where Celilo Falls used to be.~yes
19. I've seen "Drugstore Cowboy."~yes
20. I own some article of Pendleton Woolen Mills clothing or bedding.~yes
21. I've read something by Stewart Holbrook.~no
22. I never drink bottled water.~no, I do

23. I hate pumping my own gas when I visit other states!~yup
24. I've returned cans and bottles and immediately bought more beer.~yes
25. I've had a 10-minute or longer conversation about an Oregon microbrew.~oh yes
26. I've visited an Oregon winery.~yes
27. I've eaten pears or apples off a tree near Hood River.~yes
28. I've tasted a hazelnut milkshake from Burgerville.yes
29. I know some of the lyrics to "Louie, Louie."~sadly yes, hate that song
30. I know who Steve Prefontaine was.~yes
31. I "know" a professional who uses marijuana regularly.~lots
32. I've played Hacky Sack.~yes
33. I know who said, "We want you to visit our State of Excitement often. Come again and again. But for heaven's sake, don't move here to live."~Tom Mcall
34. I wince when I see an SUV with a California license plate idling in the parking lot of a real estate office.~yes, with low profile tires~
35. I've started and finished "Sometimes a Great Notion" by Ken Kesey.~yes
36. I've read "Livability" by Jonathan Raymond.~no
37. I've read an entire book at Powell's while sitting in the coffee room.~yes
38. I've run naked in the Oregon woods, desert or beach.~yes
39. I've either fished for salmon or seen salmon spawn in the wild.~yes
40. I've seen either a coyote, bear, deer or cougar in the wild.~yes
41. I've ridden a bicycle in the past month.~yes
42. I've climbed a tree in the past year.~no
43. I've attended the Pendleton Round-Up.~no
44. I've seen the Painted Hills.~no

45. I've visited the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.~yes
46. I've attended the Oregon State Fair.~yes
47. I've either run the Hood to Coast or biked U.S. 101 or climbed Mount Hood or hiked all or part of the Pacific Crest Trail or surfed in Oregon's oceans or windsurfed in the Columbia River.~yes
48. I've cut my own Christmas tree.~yes
49. I've ridden in the Oregon City Elevator.~yes
50. I never use an umbrella! * ~yes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So much of what I feel, this song says

I never thought I would be married again. I actually never thought I would divorce. I though, prayed, hoped, begged and dreamed that miraculously my former husband would change his ways, and our marriage could continue. I wasn't happy, but I though it was good enough just not be be actively miserable.

What a fool I was. I prayed everyday for someone like Riddick. I didn't know him. I didn't know what he would look like, or sound like. I just knew that if it was God's plan that I marry again, I wanted it to be right.

This song reminds me of some of the things I feel when I look at Riddick. Not all the things, that would take a novel, but at least the wish that I wouldn't have had to struggle through all that I did, before feeling what I do.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I cried the day that George Harrison died

Just thought I should say that. It's the only time that I cried when a famous person died. I was saddened by the death of Christopher Reeve and very sad that his lovely wife, Dana died a few years later.

But George's music touches me. I love the Beatles. But his solo music touches me more deeply. I was born too late to experience his albums real time, but I loved them years later when I found them.

Give me Love...lyrics below

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul

M M M My Lord...

PLEASE take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

Won't you please
Oh won't you

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul

M M M My Lord...

PLEASE take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This is my new niece!

Ok, so she has four legs and lots of hair, she's still family! Her name is Paislie, and she's a doll. It makes me want a puppy. Her litter mate to be exact. But Riddick isn't on board, and to be honest, he's right. Our life is full enough with Mrs. Maya, aka mining dog, scuba dog, camping dog..whatever activity we do, she's down with that baby. Just bring snacks and have a place for her to nap!

Make it a great day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I don't know why campfires are so special to me. I didn't grow up camping. My folks didn't have the camping equipment and never had the money to go out and get it. But they loved to hike. I remember lots of drives out to different parks or the coast, and than walks and explorations.

I also remember this foul stuff called "sandwhich spread", which I believe is a satanic combination of mayonnaise and relish. Mom would put it on bologna sammies. I think that's why I always ate mine dry.

Plain Jane is what my parents called me. I've never been much of a condiment girl. Last night at Fred's Riddick was expounding on the qualities of Beaver brand condiments over other brands, I smiled lovingly and patted his yummy backside.

Oh but I digress.

Campfires are my favorite part of camping. There is a sense of togetherness and comfort when sitting outside around a fire that I don't feel, even inside in front of the fireplace.

Our friends, Carlsinna and Monkeyfeet have an awesome fire ring in their backyard. It's the best part of their wonderful home for me.

This was our fire while in HappyCamp. It was perfect. Warm and inspiring a sense of safety from the constant threat of bigfoot attacks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oregon Saguaro

Did you know that there is a large cacti native to the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon? There is, it lives in our front yard.

Before it was a cactus, it was a tree, a big big tree

Big enough to lift the sidewalk, driveway, and litter all over two roofs and 4 cars. It had been allowed to grow too big. We'll miss it, but it was time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tale of a tick..

Needless to say, after driving 5 hours to Happy Camp, and having worked the night before, and setting up camp, and staying up late around the campfire, at least until my fear of big foot drove me to the tent... I was a tired pup

So I slept late the next day. When I emerged from the tent, I found my loving husband, Riddick, standing very near the fire, with his pants askew, trying to rid himself of a tick.

Now I ask you...what purpose in this world to ticks serve? I was picking them off my dog for a week. And Riddick got two, I escaped unscathed. The only thing that Maya (aka mining dog) and Riddick have in common is brush. She walked and slept in it, he walked through it to build his lucky wife a nice fire every night and morning.

Here's his nasty tick bite on his side...

And here's what I got when I tried to take a picture of the other bite location..

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dumping of the ...well..umm

The "waste". Riddick was kind enough to bring us a porta potty and a small portable "out house" that goes with it, if I would have thought about it, I should have taken a pic of it.

But mid-week we had to venture to town to dump it. Well I ventured, but I didn't dump it

Here is the lovely RV dump in Happy Camp ...where dreams go to die

Don't worry Riddick isn't dumping yet..just attempting to access the tube.

It was so bad..not even Maya could look

Friday, April 9, 2010

A couple of my favorite places to sit...

While Riddick is mining. I'm in charge of visual documentation...not shovel operation

My favorite rock...it made a nice chair, to drink my coffee

But the chair was better.

Please note the mining dog..asleep at the wheel

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Anyone know what that means.....Little Brown Mushroom

Any number of small, dull-colored shrooms found growing all over..not necessarily edible, but isn't it purdy

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

These two were once one...

Milky quartz..according to wikipedia, which we all know is never wrong **wink**..
is the most common of quartz. But to me, it was beautiful. I loved picking through all the rocks on the bar and finding different ones. Collecting lots of them everyday, putting them into the pocket of the tent, annoying Riddick (just a side benefit)

But these two...were once one, and it broke, and fell into siblings

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sampling..part 2

After filling each of the pans. Riddick walks them down to the river and begins the process of washing the material down. He wants to settle out the sediment from the rock. The top pan is screened, so that as he uses the river water to agitate the material the sediment drops through the screen and into the pan below.

Gold is very dense, therefore it's greater weight causes it to fall to the bottom of all the concentrated sediment...usually just called concentrate.

Once Riddick screens all the rock out, he checks the top screen pan for large chunks of rose quartz, garnet, or if we are lucky enough a big old chuck of gold!

Than he uses the bottom pan and starts the process of panning it out for the gold.

Riddick done filling a sample pan..

Taking it to the river..

And start washing..note mining dog

And more washing

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sampling...Part 1

The first process Riddick showed me was the method to test different areas of soil for gold..or "color"

Because the area around the Klamath river has already been mined industrially during the gold rush in the late 1800's, there are lots of areas to check.

Basically he selects an area. Digs some soil and rock from the different layers that have been developed over time. Washes them and pans them to see if he can find any gold.

It's a slow process. It takes knowledge and skill and a combination of strength for the digging and hauling of equipment and a deft hand at panning.

Hauling equipment..this is just the last trip..note mining dog Maya

Next break up the hole..

Look at the different levels of soil. As you descend deeper the layers change from rock and sand to packed clay. Gold can run in veins throughout any of these, and it's important to sample from each layer, and track what you find.

Fill the screened pan, atop a solid pan

Two years ago..you left this world..

But you never leave my mind, or my heart! I love you Dad.

Listen to his laugh, his spirit and his joy, that was Frank!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This is Happy Camp!

Happy Camp is a small community located in northern California, in the mythical state of Jefferson.

Portions of Southern Oregon and Northern California have a desire to become their own state, Jefferson. For lots of reasons I don't know, and won't try and discuss, but basically they feel that neither place is represented by their respective state capitols and lawmakers located hundreds of miles away. Anyhoo..about Happy Camp

It's beautiful. Right along the Klamath. Their chamber of commerce has a great deal of helpful information.

And yes, they have had lots of big foot sightings..but I didn't see any

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The start of our Gold Mining trip, March 2010

I worked all night, getting off work at 5:30 AM. Home, Riddick (he doesn't like "Shrek" so from here on, he's Riddick, an ode to one of his fav movies) had us all packed up and away we went. I crashed and slept a few hours somewhere south of Albany. When I awoke, we were nearing Grants Pass!

Needed to make a quick stop at the mining store, and at Denny's, we needed lunch after all.

Doesn't the Rogue look like a yuppie cross with the Clampett's? I was very proud of my little Nissan..quite the camping trooper

And next we were back in the car..on our way to Happy Camp, California..which by the way is a hub of big foot sightings!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday..memories of fish

I was raised catholic. I migrated away from the church in my teens. Moving to an evangelical church, motivated by my acceptance of Christ at 12. I don't think my Dad was completely on board with the whole thing, but really, he let me go to a Christian summer camp, what did he think was going to happen. So for years I lived a double life, catachism and mass on Sunday, and youth group at a Christian church during the week. Until I started driving, and than I'd go to two church services on Sunday. And to be perfectly honest I was happy. I enjoyed that much fellowship and the church as a whole, Catholic of other, is a home for me.

I should make it very clear that to me the Catholic church was a place of comfort and safety. I never experienced any abuse, and I have nothing by sorrow and sympathy, and anger about, the abuse suffered by so many others.

On Good Friday at St. Patrick's church we had a fish feed. Earlier in the day there was fish sandwiches at school for "hot lunch". I was a fussy eater, and usually took my own lunch to school, roman meal bread with peanut butter only, but when fish sandwiches were on the menu, I was down with that. In fact, to this day, that is the only menu item I like at McDonald's.

For me Good Friday is a remembrance day of the sacrifice my Lord made for me. He made it for mankind, but I feel it personally. I am not subject to the laws and requirements of the old testament because of his sacrifice. He paid my price. I do not have to die for my sins. And regardless of how good a person I am, I do sin, we all do. And for that he has my eternal faith, devotion and love.

So on this day when the stocks don't trade and some stores are closed, but most are open for the last minute bunny madness, it's important to me to remember what one man took for me. He literally took one for the team!

Happy Easter