Monday, October 31, 2016


I was up early one morning while camping in Ashland. I walked to the crest over looking the lake and looked down on a flock of geese floating gently in the water. Suddenly something startled them.

The take off with the water following the strong beating of wings.

Rising into the V formation that would take them across the lake. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saddened and Angry

I am saddened and angry at the rise of racism and sexism in this country. It is like somewhere along the line we have been given permission to be racist and sexist again - or to let out the feelings that have been there all along. Black men are being shot and killed for being black. Whites are given preferential treatment by juries while Native Americans are beaten and jailed for making a legitimate protest against the invasion of their sacred lands by industry. Women are verbally abused and threatened and harassed.  Nothing has changed. 

The horrors I saw growing up just went underground for a while. Now they have burst through the thin veil of civilization and are growing with startling rapidity. I pray for our country on the eve of this election. America really is better than this and somehow we must find our way forward. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Camping Ashland

To finish up our Ashland trip, here are a few random pictures.

Our camp site

The view from our camp site

The tree at our camp site

Michelle made my Aunt Lalah's sour cream pound cake - yum!! 
It was as delicious as it was beautiful. Wonderful shades of my childhood.

Dean filets the fish he caught. 

Awesome hat.

And this is what they do at birthday parties these days. 

Mama Susan and her pride and joys. 

An interesting cloud on the way home.
Thanks for taking this fall journey with me.
Next up: we head for warmer climes to see another set of grands in SoCal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Rocket Scientist as Fisherman

One of Dean's joys of visiting Ashland, besides grandchildren, is fishing the Rogue River. You hire a guide who knows the river and all you do is fish. Dean's guide also fished in a style that Dean has been learning, so he was glad to have extra expert instruction. 

The guide controls the boat and the fisherman casts ~ 

~ and casts,

~ and casts.

And then Success!!

This is Teresa, Dean's guide and expert fisher and teacher, showing off Dean's catch. 
This is a steelhead trout, a rainbow trout that has swum upstream from the Pacific creating a very salmon tasting meat. This particular one is also one that Dean was allowed to keep rather than catch and release which is his normal way to fish.
Due to life circumstances, we ended up giving the fish to son-in-law Marc who loves fish and who, I am sure, delighted in a fresh catch. 
There is always a tall tale to go along with a day of fishing. Dean also caught another, larger trout which jumped and released itself. "It was a beautiful fish." And of course he had a witness so the tale is probably not so tall after all.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ashland Fall

Ashland was beautiful this fall so here are just a few of the wonderful views we had as we ambled through Lithia Park and around town.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rocket Scientist

I'm going to take credit for the idea. The rest was up to Dean. Dean worked on the Saturn V project for NASA which designed and built the rocket that took the first humans to the moon. I thought it might be nice if he spoke to the grands' science classes if their teachers would be interested. Well, the teachers were Very interested. And so for three classes at the high school and three at the middle school, Dean spoke on the history of technology, what is happening today, and what will be available in the future that will impact the students' lives. 

At the high school, the student newspaper came to interview him and take some pictures, allowing the question at the middle school, "Are you famous and do you have paparazzi?" to be answered, "No but yesterday the high school newspaper interviewed me." The young man who was the newspaper photographer, told Dean he was amazing and inspiring because that was exactly what he wanted to do with his life. Wow. 
Questions ranged from educational preparation to if the moon landing was real to Area 51. 
Having not worked with teens in a while, I was interested in the fact that the middle school kids were much more engaged and fascinated. 

When Dean discussed the future of technology, he was able to point to the chart above his head that stops with millimeters and move on across the wall to include a nanometer which is 1/10,000th of a human hair. The kids loved the fact that their cell phones had more capability than the super computer which sent the Saturn V into space.

In one class hands were up almost before he reached the front of the room. They were all interested and engaged though. Some of them asked questions that used technical language, proving they had watched a movie or a documentary or read a science magazine. In every class Dean would ask who might be interested in science or engineering. In every class at least a few hands went up. Given that response and the nature of most of the questions, the future of science and technology is in good hands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ashland Contrasts

Grandpa and I took Akira shopping. We actually went shopping and Akira went along ~ and found a pair of boots that he wanted on sale. Good sturdy, steel-toed work boots. Meanwhile, Trinity had gone to the mall with a friend and taken her own money. She found a pair of boots on sale that she really wanted. Interesting contrast in boot styles. 

Brother of the fly away curls and Sister of the straight, sleek pony tail. 

Daughter and Mama and

Me - the matriarch. All with the same delighted smile. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Finally Fall

We slept with a little, gentle, lull me to sleep, rain last night and this morning woke to a beautiful fall morning. Here are some Ashland views as we wandered around with Akira.

My two good looking men.

Another angle.

Marc in his Dr. Who scarf which Michelle knitted him for Christmas with no help from the BBC website where you can go if you are so inclined. I love it! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rockin' and Rollin'

We spent the night at the McCloud Hotel. We drove to Ashland in a beautiful morning until the last 10 minutes of the drive during which there was rain and heavy fog. We arrived at our camp site to find it occupied. That worked out, we started to set up. The pop-up motor died and the crank stripped. Michelle's timely arrival with a ratchet wrench saved the day. A 20 minute set up process took 3 hours in the rain. We arrived at Michelle's at 1:35, Dean turned on the Cowboys' game and he wasn't allowed to watch it on his computer. Except he was supposed to be able to do that. A rather long phone call to whomever finally got him a new app and he settled in for the last half.

We left the house while it was still a little light but by the time we reached camp it was dark. We pulled the suitcases, food box and cooler out of the truck, got them in the camper and the rain started to Pour. And pour. And pour. When the rain stopped pouring. the wind started. The rain was loud, the wind was hard. I admit to being a little scared a couple of times. I came within a hair's breadth of calling Michelle and saying Come get me!!

The good thing was that Emigrant Lake is a plug in camp ground so we have electricity. For the first time we turned on the heat control on the bed. Sweet. In spite of the wind and rain, we stayed warm. Warm is good. Warm keeps the muscles from tightening up any more than they already have from nerves. Warm allows you to sleep when the wind and rain stops swirling around you. And ~ it was with a grateful smile that I looked out and saw this sunrise.

We dressed quickly, had some breakfast and headed to Michelle's.
It was also with gratitude I saw these smiles of welcome. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The End of the Rainbow

I ended the last blog by asking if I had walked into the field would I come to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Well, probably not ~ and . . . when we got to McCloud we found a gem at the end of the rainbow trip. 

This is the McCloud Hotel. An absolutely lovely hotel. I would call it more a cross between a hotel and a B&B. It has maybe 20 or less rooms. There is a small restaurant and a lovely complimentary breakfast. The rooms are large and cozy.

Our bed.

The other end of the room. 

The living room where we had wine and cheese between 4 and 5.

The Sage Restaurant where we had a lovely dinner at the romantic table in the corner and breakfast at the table by the window.

Dean at the beginning breakfast buffet ~ homemade coffee cake, delicious fruit, and homemade granola. 

And then you get of choose from the menu. Dean had Lemon Ricotta pancakes and I had a crustless spinach quiche. Both were delicious. And complimentary. 

And on the way to Ashland we were blessed again by a rainbow. That blessing lasted until the last ten minutes of rain and fog. We are here and happy and safe and our decision to stay in McCloud was a very good and safe decision. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Chasing Rainbows

Today started a camping trip to Emigrant Lake in Ashland, OR. And of course Ashland is where Michelle and her family live. So off we went. Except we were driving during the worst storm the Pacific Northwest has seen for a while. However, at the first of our trip, we were blessed with rainbow after rainbow after rainbow ~ assuring our safe journey to our stopping point in McCloud about an hour and a half from Michelle's. 

This one arched across the road so this pictures follows the one above.

I wonder: if I had wandered into that field would I have found a pot of gold?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Season is Over

Throughout this fire season, I have posted blogs, FB comments and pictures of son-in-law David flying a helicopter to fight fires. He has been all over California this season ~ one time "resting in place" meaning he didn't get to home just a few days off to enjoy the Pacific Ocean before flying again. And now if we are all lucky, fire season is over and David has piloted the main helicopter he has been flying back to home base in Montana.

If you watch it all the way through, David will wave at you. This may be the first time all season you have actually seen this very special person. This is taking off from a Yellowstone refueling stop.

Daughter Meredith is a writer and can write anywhere so she travels with him as often as possible. Most of the time she drives from site to site, sometimes even driving the crew van for them. On the trip from Sonora to Billings though, she flew with him and filmed the video ~ and she's smiling at you too. It's been a long season and they are glad to be home.

And we continue to be grateful for all of David's hard work, and the work of the ground crews, co-pilots, people who scheduled the work, everyone who kept many folks safe from fires all over the country this season. Thank you!