Old Diary

Views Along the Way

I haven’t been very good about posting photos lately.  To make amends I’ll add some shots from Wednesday’s jaunt up to Newport.2014051408403717 There IS a coastal horse trail system. But to be honest I’m having a hard time finding much information about it.  When we stopped off at the Central Coast Ranger Station specifically to find out about what this sign is advertising we didn’t get much satisfaction — so I’m still hunting on this one.  We do have regular equestrian users in the Dunes — but this one sign notwithstanding I’m not sure how many equestrian users there are as you move further North.  For sure the road up to Cape Mountain is not all that friendly for a horse trailer!2014051409132319

Our next stop along the way was the Cummins Creek area.  Cummins Creek is an established wilderness area and there is some gorgeous old grown forest to be found here.

There are two vehicle accessible areas — one is the Cummins Ridge trail, the other is the Cummins Creek trail.  For geezers like us, the Creek Trail was much more appealing.

Once you are into the forest it’s absolutely wonderful! This is forest as I have never known it.  I just love this part of the country.

The over views on the way up to the Ridge trail are wonderful. There are a few places along the trail where you get some overlooks but the density of the forest means that some of these long distance views are reserved for the few and far between spots where you’re just at the right edge of the hill to have an opening in the canopy and distant hills to be seen.

2014051409230028 Summer is coming.  I forget what these flowers are called — I could look it up but I’m too lazy.  I do know that I had some of these in our garden is Wisconsin and I was lucky to get them to bloom by Late July or August.  This guy is just doing his thing in the middle of the forest without cultivation or attention.  It just tickled my heart to see him standing proud on the edge of a steep hill.

2014051409500634And then there are these moments of light.  I have seen a lot of ferns in my life – they are quite abundant in the Midwest.  It’s possible they look just the same ‘back home’ and I forgot, or it’s possible that I’m just looking at things with a more appreciative eye since arriving here — but the effect of bright light down here on the forest floor constantly amazes me.   So too the visual effect of moss growing in thick layers on tree branches.  I’ve been half looking for some good examples of that but it has been happening that when I see them I don’t even have my iPhone with me, much less a camera I can get up close with so I’ll have to save that for another day.

I hope you enjoyed some of the sights.  We did.  We are.  We shall…

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

Peg’s Green Thumb


Our Planter

Sunday was a good day to hit the stores and get our groceries (boring) and pickup some additional soil for our planter.  Fred Meyer has 2 cu ft bags on sale for 1/2 the price of Walmart’s so they won the contract. 🙂  8 cu ft later our planter was full (after Peggy pulled all the weeds) and Peg had all the plants planted — including some bulbs we got from a local resident.

We weren’t as warm on Sunday as we had been on Saturday. In Eugene it had been 70° with college students sunning themselves at cafe tables wearing shorts.  But it was a nice enough day anyway.


Living at the Boneyard means you sometimes find interesting throwaways that might make have useful second lives!

I’m not sure whether we’ll get any of the cabbage or lettuce we planted — and we’re looking for more plants for the remaining 1/3 of our garden.  But the season is early and Peg is wanting TOMATOES! I suspect it’s a bit early for tomato plants — even in this mild climate!

There is room for more plants and planters.  We want to be a bit careful about putting things in place that the F.S. may not want, or that a future volunteer might have to remove.   I found this concrete water valve box on the boneyard pile.  I’ll see about putting that to use as a planter.   Not sure if it will live at the end of our little fence… I would be nice if I had two of them — one for either side of the opening — one alone looks odd — no balance.  And I don’t want water draining on the wood decking.  So, we’ll see how we end up using it.

Peg was looking at rosebushes at the nursery!  Oh ohhhhhh.  She’s always been more about flowers than veggies.

Old Diary

What’s the Deal with Coffee?

oily coffee beansSo, what’s the deal with oily coffee on the West Coast? Every grind-it-yourself coffee bean we have found out here is really oily.

I can’t be the only person having this problem.  We have ground our own coffee for decades, much of that time using the same kind of electric Cuisinart coffee grinder.  Until 5 months ago when we arrived in Oregon we never had a problem with beans that were so oily that they caked at the bottom of the grinder.  But they sure do here.

We have tried every single coffee peddler we could find.  We purchased bags of beans from coffee merchants, from grocers, from health food stores, you name it we bought some there.  I have always like darker roasts — which by nature are oily (but never caked in my grinder before). Out here I have switched to ‘morning’ blends, lighter roasts, anything I could think of to find a bean that didn’t exude oil to the same degree — no luck anywhere.

cuisinart coffee grinder

I am unsure whether to blame the problem on humidity.  That could be part of the problem.  But since purchasing the dehumidifier a month ago we have bee keeping the RV at about 40% relative humidity and that’s less than what we had in summer in Wisconsin so I gotta believe this is one thing I don’t think I can legitimately blame on the rain.  🙂

I’m not about to switch to Folgers!  Or Maxwell House pre-ground.  All I want is a decent bean I can grind myself that won’t cake up in my grinder!

Spring is Springing

It may not be Spring on the calendar but we aren’t complaining.  People have told me about how early Spring arrives here and while I have believed them — that’s not the same as seeing it with your own eyes and my eyes are mighty happy right now.   Back home in WI this wouldn’t be happening before April, or more likely May.

I wonder how much longer we need to wait before putting plants in the ground.  I keep hearing that seeds often rot before they root — so we are looking at a few potted nursery plants for our home here… We’ll keep you posted as we make our choices.  I’m sure it won’t be all that involved — KISS — Keep it Simple Stupid!  But we crave plants.

Old Diary, Travel

Next Year I’d Sure Like To Be Here

Anticipating our own closing on June 7, we could not make the Blanco TX Lavender Festival this year, but next spring might just find us here…

10 Adventures in Texas’ Hidden Hill Country

Between the Lavender festival, swimming in Bluebonnets, and picking peaches — this sounds like a little bit of heaven.

numeral 33

Thirty Three more Days…

Today is home inspection day.  As you know we are out of town just so we got a good nights’ sleep Saturday night and so we had somewhere to be all day Sunday while the inspection was going on.

We’re still optimistic that we have a deal, but so far as I know the inspection today and the results of whatever testing they may or may not do are the final hurdle before closing.  They have a few days for testing results — normal enough.  And no matter what happens we head out for Elkhart a week from tomorrow to get the flooring done in Journey as well as the new sofa installed.

It’s an exciting time and a frustrating time, not only for us, but for Michael and Kathryn who are awaiting our closing so that they can proceed with renovations on their building and their new residence.  So, fingers crossed…  All we can do is wait.


Minimalism, Old Diary

One Hurdle Overcome

numeral 36

36 days till closing

Talk about hormonal downs and ups! Wednesday was full of them.

Loan appraisals are less about whether the property to be purchased is worth the dollars lent, and more about whether the lender could get their money back should the buyer default.  As a result, a buyer’s appraiser looks very carefully at the nature of the building and whether they feel there is a market for such buildings.  In our case, our very unique building could be seen as a lending risk.  Our agent, Julie, did a good job of covering us with fact and honest and after a very fitful night and waking up grumpy we got a call from Julie around 9:30 to tell us that the appraisal went just fine and the lender is satisfied with the building’s risk level.

One Big Hurdle Down

Vector Athlete running and jumping over hurdles

And one more big hurdle ahead, on Sunday.  And our solution for coping with that one is to….

Run Away….

Well, at least for an evening.

The inspection is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and I’m sure if we are here anticipating getting up and out of the house by 8 a.m. that neither of us is going to get a good night’s sleep.  So, we’re going to head out of town for the night to a place we’ve stayed before with a decent weekend rate.

I’m not all that happy spending as much money as we have during this time but right now minding our blood pressure and making sure we don’t stroke out or some such thing is higher on our priority list than being cheap and holding onto all our nerves and stress.  As far as I’m concerned the expenses of the next 36 days go under the category of wellness care.

Chicago Botanical

We enjoyed another day at Chicago Botanical. Since our last visit it’s amazing how many flowers have broken out into full bloom.  It’s still early in the season but on a day with 76 degrees and clear skies it was good to be out and soaking up Vitamin D.

I’ll put up some images from the day after I get a chance to work on them.  Right now I owe my daughter some images that I need to get to work on.

Talk to you tomorrow. 🙂

Old Diary

68 Days Left – Mastering the Process

Saturday went by quickly. Not without stress and strain — physically — but we’re feeling good about where we are.

We are also still revising what our downsized version of our stuff will look like. There have been a couple items, like a dining room table and chairs, that we have “decided” to keep, to sell, to keep, to sell.  It’s funny the way getting closer to going mobile continues to morph our ideas of what we need, what we do not need, and what might be nice to have if and when we return to living in brick and mortar.

Lisa wants us to limit the number of rooms that buyers will need to enter on the days of our estate sale.  To that end we have been moving belongings into fewer rooms.  Out of 21 rooms here at the school we have cleared out 7 of them.  The last two days have been pretty strenuous but aside from sore muscles we are really happy with the results of our efforts.

Mohammed’s Radio / by Linda Ronstadt.

Saturday we tackled the hardest of those rooms — the workroom and the mid-level office. There were a lot of heavy items in those rooms so we’ll sleep well tonight.

We intended to take a walk along the lake today but by the time we got there the wind have shifted, wind speed increased and it wasn’t all that much fun so we headed back to the house.  But on the way my sweet tooth kicked in and we ended up making a side trip to Honeypie‘s for coffee and……  The “and” turned out to be Coconut-Banana-Caramel Cream Pie… it was yummy, with really great coffee.  If you haven’t tried this Bayview (Milwaukee) slow food restaurant you are in for a treat.  Big on local food, big on home made preparation:  this place always delivers.  For those who care — Honeypie and The Comet Cafe share ownership, concept, and style.

I’m almost sorry I didn’t take any pictures — the pie was so good it disappeared before I thought about pictures.

Peg has started another Jigsaw puzzle. 1000 pieces of Quebec and the Chateau Frontenac.  I hope she enjoys it and has time to finish it.  We are no longer thinking so much about living in the school after the sale and are giving some consideration to doing some RV’ing before the closing — so we’ll see how much time she has to work on the puzzle.

We also satisfied our curiosity about Jonquils and Daffodils.  We’ve had a longstanding uncertainty about what’s the difference between the two and it turns out that jonquils can be daffodils, but not the other way around.  Also jonquils and daffodils both are Narcissus.  Oh, my aching head.  I have always hated classifications.  This has not help; not one bit.

Turns out the biggest difference is that jonquils tend to have clusters of several flower while daffy’s do not.  Jonquils also tend to have a strong scent and dark TUBE shaped leaves.

I’m better with birds…..