Saturday, November 28, 2009

Is it canine or feline? No.

We were sitting in the living room when there was the sound of a herd of elephants charging up the stairs followed by a ruckus in the hall and a few crashes in my bedroom.

Without turning around, I asked, "Was that canine or feline?"

Rachel replied, "That was Felinicus Dooficus."

Oh. Ollie is upstairs.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Yesterday I was harassing Caesar and Ollie. Caesar doesn't like it when the cats tough him because it usually involves claws and Caesar's tender bald belly... Not a great warm fuzzy combination.

So as I'm harassing the two, Frank tells me to be nice to his Baba.


"Yes," he says. "That's what I call Ollie."
(Remember, Frank is the Deaf guy...)

"Why Baba?" I ask

"You know," he says with a twinkle in his eye. "Ollie Baba."

... I smacked my forehead as I walked away from the weirdo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Frank's wish list...

This year at Thanksgiving we kids (ok, we're six adults and two teenagers) are drawing names for a Stocking Stuffer exchange. Tina had the smart idea for us to exchange wish lists instead of just names.

Today I texted Rachel and Frank, reminding them to start working on a wish list. I didn't mention that it's probably a good idea to keep the items within the suggested dollar limit for the stocking exchange because I thought that was obvious....

Nevertheless, here is Frank's wish list, directly from his text:

Blackberry cellphone, laptop computer, cash for new sweateurs, cash for work shoes...
New lamp for by my recliner.
Penthouse magazines.

I think I know what he's getting in his stocking.

...And coal.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

July Camping Trip, part 4

Continuing from yesterday's post, here is what we did while camping at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7781, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

On the way down the mountain we stopped at a viewpoint to admire Mt Bachelor (left) and the Three Sisters.

Sounds like if there's one Bachelor and Three Sisters, there's gonna be a girl fight in the future. Of course, one of the Three Sisters has a bulge and geologists are monitoring it for future volcanic activity...

Hwy 20, west of Bend, Oregon - from our "dash cam" at 55 mph.

Can you imagine living in this house? Oh, what an incredible view to have in your backyard!!

It's about a 2+ hour drive over the Cascade to get home and I want to show you something. This is Mt. Jefferson in the distance:

Heading west on Hwy 22 - heading downhill, riding the brakes, rounding a curve, and oh, what a view. It's hard to see in this photo, but the white bit above the trees in the center of the photo is snow-covered Mt. Jefferson. (In July.)

This photo is out of order from our road trip home, but I wanted to show you what the forests normally look like going over the Cascade mountain range - lush thick forests.
Now take a look at what we encountered near the mountain pass...

B&B Complex burn area

It's a shock to drive through mile after mile of lush forest, then go around a bend and see this. These trees were part of the B&B Complex burn that devastated the area a few years ago.

Since the fire, there has been some new growth, but it's still incredibly different from the rest of the forest. This pointy mountain (below) is Mt. Washington.

The B&B Complex was an extreme forest fire that raged through this area in 2003.

There is a pullout on the highway where you can park and walk to a viewpoint. There they also have signs that explain what happened. I'll let the signs do the talking:

Ahhh, at last.
No matter how much fun you have on vacation, it's always good to come home.
Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7836, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Highway 22 coming into Salem

I love zooming down this hill.
Shot at 55mph from the "Dash Cam" - this is usually one of the prettiest views of Salem. (Not so great when your windshield is dirty, but still very nice.)

We're sure the cats were glad we were home, too.

The cats babysat themselves.

Since we were only going to be gone for two nights, we just put out a huge bucket of water for the cats and filled up two pie plates with food. I guess we overestimated their appetites, but at least they didn't starve for anything more than attention.

Monday, November 23, 2009

July Camping Trip, part 3

Continuing from yesterday's post, here is what we did while camping at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7752, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Enjoy the fire now while it's actually burning. One thing we learned about building campfires is that we suck at building campfires.

...until the camp host told us to douse all the kindling and wood with lots of starter fluid first...

...too late for this fire...

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7759, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Yes. S'mores for breakfast.
Why not?
We're on our first vacation in many many years.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7764, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

It seems most of our camping time was spent building fires and managing meals. That was fun, though.

What surprised us was the climate on the mountain. Again, we were at an elevation of about 6400 ft in a part of Oregon called the High Desert. Of course, this is a very arid part of the state and the sun is intense.

This photo was taken at about 6am and the outside temp was only 50 degrees. Everyone was bundled up in sweatshirts and heavy pants to keep warm. Pam had been pulling things out of the cooler and placed a hershey bar on the table. In about 30 minutes the sun melted the hershey bar into chocolate soup.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
Rachel's Cabin, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Rachel's Cabin

The kiddo opted out of sleeping in the tent with the snoring adults, so we laid down the back seat and slid her twin air mattress into the car. Yes, in our little car! It wasn't super warm (the mattress was cold) but it was cozy and quiet.

And she was safe from bears!

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7773, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We forgot some kind of blanket or pad for the pooch to lay on, but he seemed happy sunning himself in the dirt.

He got a good bath at East Lake before we packed up the car and left the mountain.

Coming up next: Central Oregon scenery and the trip home

Sunday, November 22, 2009

July Camping Trip, part 2

Continuing from yesterday's post, here is what we did while camping at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon.

One fun camping activity was to have the teenager take self portraits while Mom and Dad were loading up the car to go swimming. Please note how straight her hair is; it squiggled up into tight curls as soon as it got wet.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
Rachel, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We brought some games to play in the afternoon. Of course, since we knew we were camping on a mountain in bear and cougar country, we had to bring along the Survival Game. According to the game, we all died.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7727, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
DSCN7728, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

I think his finger is stuck up his nose...?
(Yes, mom, that's a box of Twinkies in the food bag.)
Ooh, which reminds me to ask: Have you ever tried cooking Twinkies over a campfire? Just stab one with your weenie roasting stick and roast until golden brown.

At dusk, we had a contest to see who could take the scariest picture of themselves.
Frank wins because he's smoking.
He quit smoking a month later, but that's another story.

Check out our sunburn!

Adventures of Pam & Frank
Scary Sunburn!, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

And no camping trip is complete without S'mores.

...Mere seconds before she burned her fingers on the metal prongs.

Here's a video she shot moments later.

Dusk at the campground

Unhappy Caesar makes a nest in the dirt
Dad acts normal (for him anyway)
Mom acts like a mom
Rachel shows off her burnt fingers

Coming up next: More camping fun

Saturday, November 21, 2009

July Camping Trip, part 1

It occurred to me today that you haven't seen the photos from our camping trip in July. It's been pretty hectic around here since, so that's no surprise.
Without further ado, here they are...

Our very first-ever camping trip as a family was a 3-day weekend at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon.

We had a blast.
(Figuratively, not geologically...)

Adventures of Pam & Frank
Hangin' out, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

The car was full and we were anxious to get the heck on the road.
No chairs of any sort made it to the campground.
Oh well...

Adventures of Pam & Frank
Mmmmm, bacon, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Mmmmm, bacon

There were absolutely no mosquitoes to worry about, but there were lots of moths. Lucky for us (maybe lucky?) Caesar kept the tent moth-free.

Of course, there were a few slimy half-chewed moth carcasses left behind on the air mattress.

Our campsite among the ponderosa pines

At the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
Our campsite elevation was over 6400 feet. We all experienced a few symptoms of altitude sickness, which surprised us, but on the upside it forced is to take it easy and relax. After all, it was a vacation.

Adventures of Pam & Frank
The tent, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

The tent

Set up for the first time... in the dark... without instructions.
It didn't collapse on us, so we must have gotten it right!

Here's a video Rachel took that first morning.

Caesar drinking water... and more water
Dad sitting under a tree with coffee
Our pathetic campfire
Mom's clown shoes

Coming next: Camping activities

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Seventeenth

This month on the 17th we're going to have one of our traditional Pot Luck and Board Game Nights at our place.

Yes, I complained earlier that it's too small, but we're going to give it a try. We recently had a birthday party here with 14 people and there was enough room for everyone, so I think we can do it.

For more info, go to

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rachel has insomnia

And when i got up at 5 this morning she was busy cleaning the living room. 'Hi mom! We need more duct tape.' what? 'I

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Keep Portland Weird

That was on a bumper sticker we saw when we first moved here. It took a while, but now it all makes sense, and I wish more than ever that we lived right in the middle of it instead of an hour or so south... Here's some of the delightful weirdness courtesy of Flickr:
(We don't know these people, but if would be fun if we did!)

"David and his Art Trike"David and his Art Trike
David and his Art Trike, originally uploaded by gregraisman.
Makes perfect sense to me.
"Nice Socks!"
Adventures of Pam & Frank
Nice socks!, originally uploaded by METROFIETS.
Nice socks? What about that cargo bike?
What's that you say? Cargo bike?

One of the comments on this picture (by the photographer) is:
"We make them this way! This bike pictured above is just one example of the bikes we make. Any of our bikes can have a pallet or a box - just pull the box and put on the pallet - no tools required. The pallet works really well for awkward loads like couches, pet carriers, stoves, pottery wheels etc."

I don't see the need to carry my couch or pottery wheel across town on my bike... But if I could get a keg of beer on my bike, then we're in business.

"Katie getting ready for Kegging Day"
Yep, a keg on a cargo bike.
Is you jaw on the floor? Is that the most wonderful thing you've ever seen?

Just a side note: I want to paint my house to look exactly like that one in the background.

...placing my order today.
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