Saturday, May 31, 2008

Something good to do

We don't do this nearly enough, but I wish we could head over to the coast more often. It's an hour's drive over the mountains, which aren't big ones - the summit is 763 feet above sea level, so we only climb and descend less than 1000 feet. (I think Minneapolis is at 600 ft.) Anyway, it'd be fun to take Caesar and let him chase seagulls on the beach.

There's something mezmerizing about the ocean here. On the Central Oregon Coast, the trees look really neat from being beaten and scrubbed by the huge storms that come in off the ocean. It's always windy and the town we usually go to, Lincoln City, is well known for kite flying. The shoreline varies from rocky cliffs to sandy beaches peppered with rocky outcroppings that turn into neat tide pools when the tide goes out. Totally unlike any lakeshore beach.

*Uploaded on April 10, 2008 by tbirdshockeyfan.

The water is way too cold and underwater rocks make it dangerous to swim in (pretty violent churning) but the tide pools are fun to climb on and explore.

Driving into town we midwestern landlubbers have a curious ritual. Coming over the mountain we pass through the uninhabited, heavily forested cell phone dead spot called the VanDuzer corridor. This forrested winding two lane road would be shaded and dark 24/7/365 if it weren't for the wind storms last winter that knocked down several acres of douglas fir trees. As we exit the corridor, Frank points out the first house. We count the houses and I point out my favorite old yellow house with the enclosed front porch. We snicker and point out oddball things as we approach Lincoln City: "The Second Coming," some sort of house converted into a junque store, filled with second hand things, then abandoned, a billboard that warns, "Logs Can Kill"* and "For Sale: Town Of Otis" advertising an outstanding real estate deal. No really; the town was for sale. As we pass Devil's Lake, Rachel and I roll down the windows and stick our arms out to wave the ocean air into the car. Yes, as we pass a fresh water lake. Yes, I'm driving with my arm all the way out the window, scooping up the air.
*The log warning is valid. Less than an inch of water can move a huge log sitting on the beach. People have been crushed to death by their choice of seating or shelter from the wind when sneaker wave comes in. But we like to read the billboard in a menacing tone of voice, as if advertising a horror flick.

Frank rolls his eyes and waits patiently to see the surf.

Traffic in Lincoln City is usually bad. It's a tourist town that tries hard to be hip, family friendly, kitchy, laid back, and appealing to city folk. To get to one of the public beaches, we drive past the casino, two pancake houses, myriad hotels and motels, upscale restaurants, art galleries, glass blowing studios, saltwater taffy and fudge shoppes, antique shops, clothing stores, trinket stores, fast food, slow food, sea food, more art galleries and gift shops, and then finally - (fanfare, please) The D River Wayside.

Ok, it's a big parking lot with a railing along the raised sidewalk and 9 steps down to the beach. Sometimes we drive down 17th street and creep the car down the steep alley to park on the sand. Frank's not too keen on that, even though other people do it.

up the stairs, originally uploaded by jensect.

Sometimes we park down at the end of 25th street in the little beach parking lot and hustle down the 40 or more steps to the sand. Walking back up the steps is the hard part, especially after a day of hanging out, chasing waves, digging pits, and climbing all over tide pools.

oh look!, originally uploaded by alyssa.rickel.

What are they looking at?
Tide pool critters.

tide pool creatures , originally uploaded by alyssa.rickel.

I grew up on Lake Superior and love the wild untamed lake, and worried, when we first moved here, that I would really miss the lake. Not quite... My friend Marcy credits the ions near the water, and she may be right, but I know I just feel so relaxed and at peace when I'm near the water. I think that's was I was afraid I'd lose when I left the Big Lake. The big difference I notice is at Lake Superior, I have to walk in waist deep and let the waves rock my body back and forth to feel its relaxing powers. At the ocean, just a few minutes of tasting the salt spray on my lips and feeling it absorb into my hair is all I need.

Hmmm, a trip to the coast is all I need...

(Thank you to the talented flickr photographers who shot these great pictures.)

Friday, May 30, 2008


When people are making closing comments to disconnect from a phone call, why do they say
"Mmmm. Mmm. Mm-bye."
Ever notice that? Do you do it too?
What's with the Mmmmmmm??

The answer from one of my buddies:

It's lazy person for "ok thanks ever so much for what you've done for me. I can never fully express my gratitude. God save the queen."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Securing the tv for their own use

Plastic soldiers provide cover while others rappel down to the dresser to hunt for the remote and possibly steal it from enemies.

One soldier has been attacked by paper clips but we think he'll survive.

The rugged green duct tape terrain makes the going difficult.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rachel's bedroom tv

Ok, it's blurry, but you can see that the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The 15th Anniversary of Pam & Frank

Don't be misled by the title; this is our wedding anniversary today, not the 15 year anniversary of this blog. As we tell others, "Fifteen years - and we haven't killed each other yet..."

Hard to believe we've been married that long. Doesn't seem like it.
And we still make each other laugh, so I guess there's hope for another 15 short years.

Anyway, since Frank has to get up so flippin' early in the morning, I set up the coffee maker for him and stuck the post it note on the coffee maker so he didn't dump out the fresh coffee grounds or overflow the reservoir with water.

Then Rachel asked me to have him do a little laundry switcheroo when he gets up so her jeans are dry in time to get dressed for school. (She frequently runs a load at night when she goes to bed.)

I decided to wish him a happy anniversary since I probably won't see him much today, with all our running around and Rachel's orchestra concert tonight. It was at that point I got a little punchy...
And Rachel is wayyyy too much like her goofy parents.

Frank's view at 3:30am.

Our family message center.

Two frequently used notes and one special message.
The special message reads:
I love you
xoxoxo (heart)
From - Guess Who .

Rachel's contribution.
She smacked her hand on her forehead and exclaimed, "My God, you guys are dorks."
Then she added a note of her own.

One final note from Rachel.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Yep. Broken elbow.


At night, in the park, going down an incline when she hit a twig.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Paul The Hamster - Sept 2006 to May 2008

Last night, walking down the hall to get everyone to bed, we reached into Paul's cage to discover that he had passed away in his sleep. Rachel, who is 12 years old, got very very quiet but didn't cry. We talked about the last time we saw him running around his wheel or chewing the bars of his cage in preparation for his next big escape, and we figured he expired either that day or the day before.

Paul was a reclusive little guy, whom we all agreed had some pretty unique traits. Here he is pictured with 18 raw almonds stuffed into his cheeks. It had been decided that if he were human, he'd be the guy who sits around the house in his shorts and grubby wife-beater (that's a tank top style undershirt,) smoking cigars and yelling at the neighbor kids to get off his lawn.

Funeral arrangements will be handled by me, with visitation and a short service today just before lunch. Burial will be handled by our trash man. Due to the nature of the ceremony planned, Rachel and Frank decided it would be best if they did not attend, but our dog Caesar plans to attend the event. In lieu of flowers, we may donate his unopened food and treat bags to the local humane society.

Unless Rachel talks us into getting a gerbil.