Friday, November 23, 2007

The McMahon House

Well, I've taken a break from Tanglewood Fiber Creations to house sit for the McMahons while they go on a wine tasting tour through Washington (I bet they'll come back with cases and cases!). Even with the two pages of instructional notes I took, mostly feeding instructions, I know I'm falling short of Sean's expectations. Sean is Jan and Neil's Border Collie and he is very particular about what time I should be up out of bed, when we have breakfast, in what order the animals need to be fed (apparently, Jan feeds the rams after the ewes becase as I left the main barn and started walking down to the ewe lamb pen, I saw that Sean had already started walking toward the ram pen. When he saw that I intended to break the routine, he literaly turned around, looked at me, then ROLLED HIS EYES! He reluctantly followed me, probably to make sure I didn't mess anything up...), and when it's bedtime. He was very disgruntled to discover that I wasn't going to sleep in Jan and Neil's bed either. He kept going into their bedroom and standing on the bed, waiting for me impatiently. Sigh...I'm a poor substitute, I know. Anyway, here are some pictures I took of Spinning Ewe Farms!

Believe it or not, this is the pooch kennel.

Here is Sean's favorite outside game: throw the frisbee.

One of the guys.....

....and some of the ladies.....

I remember fitting sheep after sheep under these trees. Some years, we'd be sweating through our shirts, other years, we had to move the fitting stand into the barn to avoid the torrential downpours. Good times....

Yesterday, while doing chores, I noticed all the different kinds of mushrooms growing and decided to take a few shots.

Awww....isn't his cool? A siamese twin, heart shaped duo. I hope it's a sign of love in my future (or something sappy like that...)

I love being here. It's quiet and familiar. The weather is crisp and the house smells like lanolin and orchard hay, my favorite.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HOME! and Big Girl Furniture

HOME!!!! Finally, not that I didn't have fun on the road, I had a blast, but it's nice to be in a familiar environment, even if I don't have any of my stuff. I keep needing things, then realize that it's in a box somewhere. I don't want to unpack anything, because I'll just have to re-pack it all when I find a place to live, but without my things, I feel restless and unsettled. Last night I cleaned and organized the whole kitchen. I did the dishes, wiped down the counters, uncluttered all the working surfaces (Mom likes knick knaks on every surface, it seems like), dusted the tea kettle, washed the phone. Um, you know, regular kitchen maintenance, right??? Mom came down and got this funny look on her face like "where did all my stuff go?" To her credit, she just looked at me and said "Wow, thanks for cleaning the kitchen, Beck." Sigh.....I guess I just feel out of place right now, but am trying to adjust from Dad's highly regimented, "every-thing-in-it's-place" life to Mom's "where the hell is my phone, now!?" life. I'm not saying that one is better than the other, I am saying that it's going to be an interesting two months....

On a different note, I bought some more furniture! Ooo, I feel like such a grown up now! I got a matress and box set, a new bed, a bedside table, and a chest of drawers. Ok, so it may not be exciting to most people, but it was for me. These are my first big steps toward being a self-sufficient adult! Yay!

Day 8 on the Portland Pilgrimage

Ah, the last day on the road....god, I'll be happy to get home. I've had such a good time on this road trip, but 8 days is a long time to be living out of a suitcase. Mom and I decided to make a few more stops before going home, so we continued our sojourn up The Redwood Highway (Highway 101) and drove through elk territory. There are several herds that graze in the large fields around the California/ Oregon border, but this is the largest herd that gathers here. This was really neat; I've never been so close to a wild elk before, and as you can see from the pictures, they were only about 10 feet away from the car!

Here was stop number two. Mom has always wanted to stop at the Trees of Mystery, but has always been traveling with some road Nazi who never let her. So, since we weren't in any rush, we decided to be tourists and stop at the giant Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox!

Heehee....they made Babe anatomically correct...heeheehee....

Here is the Native American Museum that was part of the Trees of Mystery attraction, and both Mom and I were dumbfounded at the quality of the exhibits. I mean, full private collections and E.S. Curtis original dugerrotypes, among other things. It was surprisingly impressive.

Here are some various texture photographs of the trail.

Here are some shots of the massive, awe-inspiring redwoods. I only wish I had the skill and equipment to do justice to these magnificent forests.

Here are some of the "anomaly trees" that we saw. This sign was so matter-of-fact, I though it was hilarious. Click on it and see if you can read it....

I'm bummed with how this photo turned out, but this is the root structure of a tree that had fallen over. The top was taller than me and spanned about one and a half arm lengths across (and that was a small one!)

This tree was really impressive. It was called the Family Tree and actually has twelve seperate small trees growing on it's limbs. It was very cool...

Here is the Cathedral Tree, which was actually many trees grown together to make an alcove. Several couples a year get married here, then post a sign on the top of the observation trail to mark the date.

Kinda cheesy, but appropriate for a wedding, I thought.

Here is The Brotherhood Tree, which was so big that I couldn't get the whole base of the tree in the view finder of my camera. I did get Mom in her fabulous orange rain smock though....

And at the top of the ancient walking trail, here is the very modern gondola service that takes you up, up, and away right to the very top of the mountain to an observation deck.

Here's how Mom felt about being thousands of feet in the air....

Oh, and here was the view from the very high observation deck. It was beautiful and totally worth the spectacular ride. We got there just in time to see the view before the fog started to roll in. We were so high up, that we could see the ocean (see that small island in the distance)!

Here are some chainsaw carvings done by one of the original owners of the trail. There was a whole series of Paul Bunyan's upbringing.

...and Sourdough Sam...

Here is the seagull who eyed us furiously from the hood of my truck while we ate lunch in the Safeway parking lot. The little mongrel was waiting us out for scraps.

Here are several shots of the very picturesque drive.