Crater Lake

Crater Lake
Crater Lake in May

Friday, March 2, 2018

03-02-2018 The Rest of February

I am laughing as I read back over this blog.  A commenter on the last post asked if I would please keep writing when we got home, and I said I would, but that home time was definitely not all that exciting!  Who knows if you will find anything of interest here, it is all simple daily stuff.

The sun is making a rare appearance this afternoon, after a few days of in and out rain and snow.  It is cold, and Mo and I haven’t had much oomph to get out to do much of anything around the place here.  We did manage to finish hanging the outdoor art that we found on our travels to the southwest, and planted a small group of shrubs.  Spring Bouquet Laurustinus is a lovely evergreen shrub with pale pink flowers and purple berries in the fall.  Listed as deer resistant, I learned the hard way that resistant does NOT mean deer proof.

The first morning after planting them our neighborhood deer herd had nipped off the upper branches and leaves of the little shrubs.  I have roses and other plants that have been sprayed with Liquid Fence, but I didn’t really think the deer were even around, much less that I had to spray the darn things the minute I planted them.  I immediately got out the sprayer the next day and covered everything in the yard with the smelly stuff.  I have real proof now that it really works, since nothing else was touched except the newly planted shrubs.

One afternoon that felt almost like spring, I decided to plant some pansies in the big pots by the garage.  They are holding their own, in spite of the snow.  The primroses that I transplanted from Rocky Point are looking happy as well.  Makes me happy.  I had some of these purple primroses back in Northern Idaho before I moved in 2002 to Klamath Falls and like old friends, I take them along wherever I go.

We thought winter had passed by this way gently, but it showed up with a vengeance in the last two weeks.  Snow on the ground isn’t common for Grants Pass, and we have had snow several times.  It usually melts within a few hours, and so far has required no shoveling or plowing, and no ice to contend with, so that makes me very happy.

It is a great time to be indoors, and I have been working on curtains for the house in the living room and dining room.  We didn’t want big window treatments since we love our view, but did need a bit of protection from the afternoon sun on the southwestern window in the living room.  We also thought it might be nice to hide the view of the ancient work shed from the east facing dining room window. 

I found the fabrics when we were in Palm Springs, shopping at my favorite quilt stores.

I have also had a bit of time to slip into my easy hobby of card making.  Love that I have most of the stuff needed for these little projects, and I can accomplish something in a few hours, unlike quilting which requires a big input of time, money, and space.  The cold weather sparks the desire to cook as well and I made a seriously amazing roasted chicken and veggies, and finally did up last summer’s blackberries in an iron skillet cobbler recipe.

I find other ways to keep busy.  What in the world is this thing called entropy?  If I don’t stay right on top of stuff, it can immediately deteriorate into a mess.  With a new house, new floors, new appliances, I am a bit obsessive about keeping all those pretty things looking nice and new.  Seems as though I spend more time than usual polishing and wiping and swiping and sweeping and such, just to keep that new house look going strong.  Wonder how long that will last.  How long can that refrigerator look like it was just delivered.  So far so good, after 4 months, it still looks all shiny new. 

Weekends are fun when my daughter Deborah makes the hour long drive from Shady Cove to visit and she and my grandson Matthew drop in for conversation, sitting around in the comfy living room by the fire talking about everything and nothing. 

We are settling in.  We have an excellent doctor in a rather amazing medical facility, with everything we need in the Asante medical complex less than 10 minutes from home.  Mo found a dentist that accepted both of us, and she is next in line for an eye doctor.  It is scary how much time can be spent going to appointments for all this stuff.  Hopefully that will slow down a bit, as we are both reasonably healthy.

We also have an excellent car repair shop that we have used over the last few years here in town.  After more than 3,000 miles on our wheels for the last trip it was time for an oil change, brake check, and wheel bearing checks for the MoHo.  We dropped the rig off and headed downtown for breakfast at a well reviewed Grants Pass spot popular with the locals.  The Powderhorn Cafe was right out of the west, with down home breakfasts, cowboy decor, and groups of old guys drinking coffee and chewing the fat in front of the big windows. 

After breakfast we took advantage of the early hour to walk along G Street in the Historic District of downtown.  We discovered some bars, bistros, and cafes that we hadn’t seen before, and looked at the Garden Mural up close.  Sadly, no camera, but you can bet when Erin and Mui visit I will have to take Erin to see the murals.  We have several in town, but there are three that are extra special.

As the month drew to a close, the snows kept falling all around us on the hills, but not always here.  We are at 1200 feet, and town is at 900 feet.  The snow often seems to start around 1500 feet.  I looked at the snow and decided on another house project that kept me indoors.  I had promised myself I wouldn’t put up any St Paddy’s stuff until it was actually March, but gave in on the 27th and brought out the green bin. 

I had started the blocks for this table runner three years ago in Rocky Point, and last year worked on the rest of the runner.  This time I actually backed and quilted it and all that is waiting now is the binding.  I cut out some fabric for place mats, but with our upcoming trip to Mexico, it might be next year before I get back to them.

We do interesting things for entertainment sometimes, in between our travels.  A business run to Medford, about 45 minutes south of us, was augmented with a Costco Run, since we don’t have a Costco here in Grants Pass.  There are no better hot dogs in the world than those crazy $1.50 dogs at Costco, so we decided that could be our dinner for the late afternoon.  Of course, wine is always nice with dinner, so we found the only bottle of red wine in Costco with a screw top, and bought it to accompany our impromptu supper.  With a $17.00 bottle of wine, decanted into those free pepsi cups that come with the $3.00 worth of hot dogs, we had a delightful time laughing ourselves silly in the front seat of the car as the rained poured down all around us and we shared our $20.00 dinner.  Don’t worry, we didn’t drink the whole bottle, just a little bit.

When we first got back from the southland, we thought leaving for Mexico wouldn’t be all that exciting since it felt like spring here.  Not any more! Snowy rainy wet weather making our upcoming trip to Cancun look very inviting!  It will be an easy week visiting ruins, hanging out in the pools, snorkeling and eating good food.  Many thanks to Daughter Deanna who offered to share her Riviera Maya timeshare with us, and to air miles for flights.  Looking forward to it.

Mo’s birthday was yesterday, and it dawned with big wet snowflakes. The skies were very dark on this first day of March, with “thundersnow” predicted for the Cascades. In like a Lion out like a Lamb?

We decided to celebrate Mo’s day with a dinner at one of those little bistros that we found last week walking around town.  The Bohemian Bistro and Bar bills itself as a “New American Restaurant”.  We had a delightful early dinner, with snazzy cocktails, including a Lavender Lemon Drop for me, a very fine salad made with locally sourced baby romaine and balsamic reduction, some Goyza dumplings with a spicy dipping sauce, coconut shrimp with habanera pineapple sauce for me and halibut for Mo.  Mo wasn’t that excited about her halibut, but I liked it.  My shrimp was to die for, but the winner was the dessert, a perfect little ramekin of caramel latte creme brulee.  We were happy that we found parking directly on the street in front of the restaurant since it was pouring when we went in and still pouring when we left.  Nice place and a good find.

We are traveling over the mountain back to Klamath Falls tomorrow, hoping that this big storm that is enveloping most of Northern California and Southern Oregon will pass, at least enough to get through with our studded snow tires and 4 wheel drive truck.  The Apartments are fully rented, and we need to check on a few things.  We are so grateful that we were able to rent them all through Zillow, bypassing the property management people.  So far, so good, and I think we have very good renters.  The years when Mo used a property manager for the apartments when she lived out at Rocky Point were somewhat of an expensive convenience, and not always that convenient.  We will see how it goes with the two of us managing things, and our good renter Jacob taking care of snow plowing  in the winter and lawn mowing in the summer.  Lucky to have Jacob.  He keeps an eye out for things as well, letting us know if something doesn’t look right.  Mo had a new fiberglass roof installed over the upper deck and we are anxious to see it as well as the new sign that was part of the EPA re-do.  The old sign was too hard to keep so they trashed it and had a new sign done for her.

There has been a LOT more snow there than here, so the little day trip tomorrow will definitely help us remember why we love living in Grants Pass even if it does snow a little bit now and then.