Archive for June, 2007

Surfing and Flowers


What a lovely day. This morning, after a bit of a late start, we headed to the coast. Our first stop was Seaside, but the wave situation wasn’t so good there so we made for Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach. I love this park although the waves are rarely good, and being Oregon, its always freezing cold. There is something more peaceful and protected about it, with a pretty beach and beautiful scenery.

I am pitifully out of shape. Nothing makes it more obvious than trying to fumble through wave after wave of white water just trying to get off the shore. My arms and sides are so sore from trying to paddle out. Either I’ll sleep like a baby tonight or every painful movement will jolt me awake.

It was fun though. David caught several nice rides early on and throughout, and I was actually able to paddle out beyond the white water to wait for waves with him. There are days that the breaks are so rough that I just can’t get past them. Of course, once I’ve caught a wave, I end up riding it most of the way in, only to have to fight my way back out again. Barkley had a great time as well, running along the sand and fetching the pieces of driftwood we’d hurl into the water for him to retrieve. This was only the third time we’ve taken him surfing with us, although he’s been to the beach quite a few times. The first two times he would bark as we left him (secured to a tree with plenty of water and at least a sliver of shade). This time David went out first, then I did a walk around the beach. He barked only once, and after I was out of sight, I circled back around to him, so that he would be reminded that we’ll always come back eventually. I left him with a Greenie as I grabbed my surfboard and headed to the water. This time he was fine and didn’t bark at all.

After surfing we drove into Cannon Beach for our favorite halibut “fish and chips” dinner at Ecola Seafoods and then gorged ourselves to fresh waffle cones and ice cream at The Picnic Basket. Normally I am a mint chocolate chip kind of girl but today a scoop of both chocolate peanut butter and caramel pecan praline ruled the day. Delicious!

On our way home we stopped at Raintree, a nursery near Seaside which is now owned by Seven Dees. There were several nice hedges blooming where we sat and ate dinner so we brought in a few clippings to see if they could i.d. them for us. $56 bucks later we ended up with three gorgeous dahlias, a six-pack of lobelia, two compact escallonia and one Irish heath with the most adorable little purple egg-shaped bell flowers. David is becoming quite the gardener, and I am so glad this is something that we enjoy together. We’ve spent a fortune on plants for our yard since we bought the house. Unfortunately, the two important things I learned a little too late are: 1. Buy mostly perennials. Annuals are fun for color spots, but after the season ends your money is gone. Perennials offer repeat blooms year after year, a long-term commitment but a real bargain. 2. Always plan room for evergreens. It totally sucks when all the deciduous plants die out in the winter and leave nothing but swathes of ugly dirt where their once was healthy blooms and foliage. Evergreens that bloom are the way to go (thus our new escallonia and heath, but also our lavender, hebes, azealeas, rhododendrons, heather, viburnum, etc).

I’m sad to say that I hardly took any photos today, except of the plants, so I’m inserting a previously taken photo of David above. It was too fun just to be active, and bask in the memorable, if fleeting, moments of a perfect summer day.


Dragon Graffiti Art

dragon graffiti art

Check out this photo taken right off the side of the road near a construction site in Beaverton. Its not a great shot, but you can see the level of detail in the dragon is really good. It obviously must have taken some time to do. Graffiti artists have a lot of guts (or maybe they’re just insane, or high?). I personally cannot imagine trading the risk of jail time for my art. I guess I’m just too practical.

Melting a Vinyl Record into a Bowl

Melted Vinyl Bowl Record

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Converting Diesel Vehicles to Use Vegetable Oil

I was reading this month’s issue of Wired tonight when I came across Veggieburners, an article about how you can modify any diesel engine to run on used or fresh vegetable oil. It says that the conversion process is really easy and there are even DIY kits by a Los Angeles company called Lovecraft.

I am so not mechanically-inclined, but the idea is pretty thought provoking. I definitely think I’d do it if I had the right kind of car, especially if I still lived near my mom in Virginia. She currently works two full-time jobs in two different restaurants. I could be swimming in used fryer fat for free!

Just imagine that for a second. Free biodiesel. No skyrocketing gas prices. An incredible individual step to protecting the environment. Huge.

According to Lovecraft, Mercedes, Volkswagon and Ford are the best choices for conversion. They go on to cite these three specific vehicles:

Mercedes Benz 300SD, 1981-85
Blue Book Value: $3200
Conversion Cost: $700

Volkswagon Jetta TDI, 1996-2006
Blue Book Value: $3800-$8950
Conversion Cost: $950

Ford F250 Diesal Truck, 1995-2000
Blue Book Value: $6325-$12,900
Conversion Cost: $950

I am actually really surprised at how reasonable the conversion costs are. I also can’t believe that more green-minded diesel owners don’t take advantage of this opportunity, so I did a little internet research on the negative impact and found out a few interesting facts:

1. Fresh Vegetable Oil can cost about 30% more than diesel and a man was recently fined in North Carolina for using biofuel.

2. If the vehicle’s warranty is still in effect and a problem occurs (even non-oil coversion related), the manufacturer may refuse to honor the warranty.

3. According to one British driver, “The only noticeable draw back of using vegetable oil as fuel that I found on the journey, was its negative affect on my diet. With having appetising smell of frying food following me around all the time I found myself regularly nipping into chippies on route for my meals, with the result that I had developed quite a belly by the end of the journey.”

Hmm…I guess I’d still find Biodiesel pretty darn attractive.

Another Rummer for Sale

rummer home

One of my beloved Rummer homes just went on the market for the bargain price of $435,000. It is just so beautiful that my heart just aches to live in a place like that, so open and bright and spacious. Its funny how my heart beats a little faster everytime I see one.

Normally, I’m pretty happy in our little house. After three years we’ve built up some nice equity and done some comfortable remodeling. Its times like these though, with my thoughts filled with dreams and envy that I have to remind myself how lucky I am and not dwell on the “if onlys.” “If only I didn’t have a student loan that will take me another 10 years to pay off” – “If only I could win the lottery,” – “If only I chose a more lucrative career…”

I’m happy. Truly, I am. I like what I do, where I live, and my life in general. But just maybe I’d be a little happier living in a Rummer. 🙂

See more photos of this Rummer for sale on

What it feels like for a girl…

Today was my first day back at work after a wonderful whirlwind 5-day vacation across central and northeastern Oregon. Of course, coming back is never easy but I had some interesting projects to look forward to. Sadly, it took forever to finally get started. First my computer had a complete meltdown so that my boss had to reinstalling my system and then I found that my fonts had gone awol, too. Ugh. It was almost noon by the time I was finally organized and rolling enough to step away to the bathroom. That’s when I noticed the spots.

You’d think by now, after menstruating for over half my life, that I would have the whole monthly situation down to a science. Not so. In fact, in the bathroom today I realized I might as well be thirteen again because I was confronted by two noticeable blood stains soaked right through my jeans. Great. This was definitely a moment I was grateful to have a desk job. Not having much choice, I spent the rest of the afternoon with my cubicle sweater wrapped around my waist. So embarrassing.

Eastern Oregon Day 4 & 5: John Day Fossil Beds, Painted Hills and Smith Rock

I didn’t post about these two days, probably because we were either having too good of a time or simply exhausted from driving or the excellent hiking. These two days we drove from Baker City to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – first to Sheep Rock and then to the Painted Hills. We’re definitely going to come back another day to see the Clarno site, which was farther north than we were able to make on this trip. From the Painted Hills we headed to Smith Rock, where we camped in the bivouac area. God that place is just amazingly gorgeous. Makes me wish I was still a rock climber. The next day we hiked around the whole park and by evening we were home. Here are some pictures from these days:

john day fossil bed area

Painted Hills

Smith Rock

Smith Rock Sunlight

Deer at Smith Rock

Smith Rock White Flowers

Paperseed's Photos

Other Things I Make