Sunday, March 29, 2009

I've reached my first destination! Virtual destination, that is. 5.5 miles on Hwy. 101 is Darlingtonia State Natural Site, and I made this stop on Friday. The first time we were there was last year when we went looking for a cache while geocaching up Hwy. 101. I would have never thought to stop here otherwise, but I am so glad we did. This little park has a pathway up to the carnivorous plants. Below the plants is a little grassy area with picnic tables. There are trees all around. Old trees, with their large roots sticking up above the ground. The kind of place you'd imagine fairies and hobbits to be living in. No wonder I'd love to live there.

Darlingtonia State Natural Site is the only Oregon state park property dedicated to the protection of a single plant species. Concurrently, the plants it protects are the only carnivorous flora in the system.This 18-acre botanical park provides parking and a boardwalk trail out into a fen that is home to Darlingtonia californica. Also called a cobra lily, the rare, strangely-shaped plant is the only member of the pitcher plant family (Sarraceniaceae) in Oregon.What visitors see in this little garden of multi-colored horrors (for insects), is a plant with yellowish green hooded leaves that form erect, 10 to 20-inch-high hollow tubes. On top, the leaves are often purplish to reddish mottled with transparent areas. A hidden opening into the stalk is bordered by a large, green, mustache-shaped appendage beneath the curved hood of the leaf. Nectar inside the plant's hidden opening attracts the insects. Once inside, an insect becomes confused by the transparent areas that appear like exits. It's all "downhill" for the insect from that point as it eventually drops into the lower part of the tube, is trapped by downward-pointed hairs and falls into a pool of water at the bottom of the stalk. Bacteria in the water decompose it into nitrogen that is then absorbed by the plant.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm Walking the (Virtual) Oregon Coast

So, I got this cool idea from a cool friend off of her way cool blog.
I'll be the first to admit that I do not enjoy exercise. Never have.
Chances are that I never will.
Jamee is riding her bike all the way from her home to Chicago.
I, on the other hand will be traveling up the
Oregon coast.
I am starting in Florence, and finishing up my
virtual journey in Lincoln City.
Today is Day One. I rode exactly one mile.
I am still in Florence, but I am imagining that
I am very near the
Happy Kamper Yarn Barn
which is in north Florence. This is an awesome yarn store.
I know because I've been there -
Jamee, thanks for this
awesome idea!
Maybe one year I WILL be the
biggest loser

Florence, Oregon

One of the town's most complete mercantile stores, located in the Kyle Building, was built in 1901. Bulk goods, farm tools, hats, boots, and other items were sold here, providing residents necessities for life in what was a remote part of the state. The town's vital link across the Siuslaw River was provided by ferry boats until 1936, when the picturesque Siuslaw River Bridge was completed. The ferries were soon made obsolete, overtaken by the growth of the automobile.
Today the town's legacy is still going strong and its history is well-preserved. Historic buildings line the narrow streets and picturesque waterfront of Old Town Florence. The Kyle Building can still be found along Bay Street, where it now represents a perfect example of early Central Coast commercial architecture. There are even a few remnants of the old Siuslaw ferry service on the south side of the river. Finally, there are a number of historic lighthouses left along the Oregon coast, including the one located at Heceta Head, 12 miles north of Florence. The Heceta Lighthouse stands out as one of the most-photographed lighthouses in the nation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We're Irish for a Day!

St. Patrick's Day is the day to celebrate being Irish, even if you're not. We make sure to wear green - well, most of us - and eat corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

Last weekend was the production of Journey With Joseph put on by the youth in our church, with the help of many wonderful adults. Syd was in the choir and danced; Erin helped the pianist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A couple weeks ago in the morning, as Adam was getting ready for school, he came up to me and told me he needed to make some gold and bring it to class. "Today?" I ask, already knowing what the answer is going to be. "Yes" was the simple reply. Well....uh....hmmmm, let me think, and think fast. I've only got about 20 minutes before we have to leave for school. I've got it! Adam, hurry and run next door to Grandma's and get some rocks from her front yard. He does, and we made gold in record time! (Seriously, I really think I should work for the Treasury Department) I could easily have been grumpy about this, because I certainly am not a morning person, and we are rushed more often than not to get to school on time. But my thoughts on it were how our children think of us. Adam didn't doubt that I couldn't do it, even pushed for time. How special it is to be so trusted by a child that he just assumed that I could make him gold. Kinda a big deal when you think of all that trust wrapped up in one child, and that you're holding it and shaping it into what they will become. He never did tell me what it was going to be used for, but I found out a few days later when I went to his classroom. The kids all made a map of South America, and the rocks were glued on to the map.

Recently we had Chinese take out for dinner, and got a big laugh. I always have said that I want the job of naming paint colors, but I think making up the fortunes that go in fortune cookies just may have to top that. The top fortune is Clay's, the middle one is Erin's, and the bottom one is yours truly. I mean really, If The Table Moves, Move With It???? What kind of a fortune is that?!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Catching up

I promised myself I would get caught up on the pictures I wanted to post, so here they are.
Last month we had Clay's brother and his wife, and some special close friends of ours over for Bagna Cauda (or Bagna Caulda - I've seen it both ways). It seems we just don't get together as often as I'd like to with friends. As I write this I seem to recall one of my New Year's resolutions was to get together with friends more often. Hmm, looks like I get to mark that resolution as one I'm working on. We had lots of fun eating and spearing our food with the skewers. Good food, good friends, good conversation.
Syd's JA dance also took place last month. What a great looking couple! Of course, I am a little biased - only a little! They went with another couple and had a lot of fun.
We got a good deal on the dress at Dillard's, and Syd knit this little shrug to go with it.
Today we had a break from the wind and rain and snow, so we got out and went geocaching. I had four on my list - found two, couldn't find one, and the other one we decided to wait to find for another day. Adam found the first one, and I found the second one. Some of the caches are so small!
I am guiltily admitting that when we got home from geocaching we were very lazy. Erin isn't feeling too well, and wanted to just rest and watch a movie. Hey, I'll go along with that! So we kicked back on the couch and did nothing but watch tv. Too bad I didn't have bonbons to go along with that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

They Said Yes, She'll Say Yes!

I know there have been lots of pictures I have taken in the last two weeks, meaning to post them on this blog. There was Syd's JA dance, school open house, bagna cauda at our house with friends, and there I was, camera in hand. Without attempting to overload on too many pictures with one post, I'll just post the memorable moments of today.

I think today we can officially call ourselves Foster Parents. We received our signed foster license, although we still have to sign the contract, which they are drawing up right now. Every time we finish another step in the process, I'm always asking, "What's next?" So far, I've heard what the next step will be, i.e., fingerprinting, homestudy, getting licensed, etc. Today when I asked, "what's next?" the reply was, "as soon as you sign the contract, your name is on the list." Wow. Now I think it's starting to sink in. We've done it! It's exciting, but I am so nervous.

Today when I got home, I was greeted by this on my front lawn:

When I saw this, I had a pretty good idea what it meant and who it was for. A little background information for you: Our church has a formal dance coming up, what the kids affectionally call a Mormal (Mormon+formal=Mormal). Syd is not shy when it comes to asking guys to go to a dance, so I thought she had someone in mind. I was pretty sure this same person was the one who put all the tickets on our front lawn (he's known for creatively asking her out on a date - see my previous posts). When I came in the house, the rest of my family (except for Syd, she was at work) showed me this:

He also had given her a key in case she couldn't figure out the words, but I won't post exactly what it says, because if you're like me you'll want to figure it out yourself. Ok, how cute is this?!!! I am sure her response will be:

Syd already knows how's she's going to reply back. But that's another post.

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