January 10, 2013

Local Ghost Towns....


   Those of you who know me, know that I am a bit of a history buff.  I love local history even more as I can actually SEE where things happened and can get a better feel for what it was like. 
   For many years I thought of Grants Pass as a small boring town with nothing to do, I am sure I am not the only one who has felt this way....
   However, when you start looking at the history of Josephine and even Jackson and Douglas Countys, you will see, there are actually some fun things to do, and see!  We have some AMAZING history.

   For instance, did you know that we have several ghost towns around here?  Many of them long forgotten and no longer standing.  However, if you go visit some of these areas in the spring, you can see tulips, and dafodills planted in straight rows where a house or building once stood.  You can find remenance of walls and foundations.  If you didn't know this was once a booming town, you wouldn't even see them. 
   A lot of these small towns disappeared during the Indian Wars of 1855.  There was a lot of bloodshed and several towns were burned to the ground and the surviving residents were forced to move to new locations, or even built new towns in a new location. 
Others, such as Sterlingville, were mined until the town slowly declined, and eventually everyone left, or passed away.   All that is left of this once booming town is the old cemetary, which tells a very sad tale of disease outbreaks, where several families were taken all at once. 

 Buncom, was also a small mining town that was mined unitl the gold was gone, although this town still has a couple very small buildings standing. 

   Another one not widely known, is the town of Galesville, in Douglas County.  (Just north of Josephine County)  The history of this town is a sad one.  The residents were forced to sell their homes for a fraction of what they were worth, as the area was to be filled with water.  This is now the Galesville Reservior.  If you are ever out diving in this man made lake, be sure to keep your eye out for the old town of Galesville!

   I will be posing individual posts on local Ghost Towns, including the ones mentioned, for you all to enjoy.  They will be filled with as much information and pictures, as I can find, and hopefully you can feel like you are standing in this old town watching the mining folks go about their business!  Next stop, Golden!

September 05, 2012

Fashion Police

  I have never considered myself "fashionable".  I have always thought of my style as comfortable, appropriate, and up to date.  With this being said, let me tell the folks of this lovely world what kind of dress is NOT attractive.

  We will start with the girls who, like me, have some extra fluff.  This is nothing to be ashamed of, whether you have had kids or not, but lets dress appropriately for this body. 
   If you are a size 12, wear a size 12.  You are not fooling anyone by squeezing into the size 9/ 10.  It really accentuates that you are NOT the size you are wearing, and it is not attractive in any way.  Think, not only do you have the muffin top going, (all the way around) you also have your butt crack hanging out.  The 12 really does, not only look better, but is also more comfortable!  Try it, you may like it!  (So will the guys!)

  On this same note, I do love me a pair of fitted work out shorts..... That fit.   When you have the size 12 body and you buy the size 10 shorts, they do not look good!  Repeat, NO BUENO! 
   This creates the muffin top, and the thigh bulge.  Sure you look all taught and slim IN the shorts, but as soon as the shorts end, it's over.  Your thighs bulge out in desperate search of freedom from the squeeze!  Do not put your poor body through this torture.

   Even worse?  When you fold down the top!  DO NOT FOLD DOWN THE TOP OF YOUR SHORTS!!!  This only makes the aforementioned muffin top problem even worse.  If the shorts were meant to be so low, they wouldn't have added the extra fabric to begin with.

   And another thing, say you ARE wearing the right size clothing.  Wear real clothing.  You wearing your pajama/ sweat pants and slippers around is not cute in any way.  (Unless you are sick and on a medication run, this is not acceptable) Get up and get dressed!  Do your hair, or at least brush it!  You may think this is a cute style, but everyone else just thinks you're lazy, and you wouldn't want that, would you? 

   Sweatpants with the saying on the butt.  These are just another topic all together.  If you wear these, you are asking all men, young and old to look at your ass.  Seriously, the creepy guy who keeps staring?  Think about it girls, you are just asking for trouble here....

   OK, off the subject of pants.  Shirts.  Please be sure these are appropriate for my children to see unless you plan on being cooped up in your house.  Have some respect!  I don't want to see your breasts hanging out, this is what bras are designed for.   I don't want to read cuss words, my kids can read too!  ( Think, how would you feel if they were YOUR young children reading them and asking YOU about what they mean)  More importantly, if you have the muffin top as mentioned earlier, you shouldn't be showing your midriff!  Cover it up!  I don't care what size you are, dress appropriately!!

   Guys....... Really?  I don't want to see your underpants, boxers, etc, nor do I want my children to see them!  Pull up your pants!  This is more attractive to females, than letting it all hang out!  Besides, girls like to check out your backside, and can't when it looks like you have pooped in your pants..... So gross.....

   On another note, skinny pants.  I will really never understand these on men.  They make it look like maybe you lost your pants somewhere and had to borrow a girl friends pair.  And sagging these is a super serious NO!

   I understand it gets hot in the summer, but have some class.  You do not need to mow your lawn, go for walks, shopping, etc. with your shirt off.  Women have more clothing, and yet somehow still survive the summer with their clothes on!  (Well most of us.....)

   My general rule for dressing?  Look around!  What are successful people wearing?  Their sweatpants and slippers?  No.
  Saggy skinny jeans?  No.

   This goes for any size.  I have some friends who are curvier than me.  They dress nice, and look great! 
  Dress in the size you are, and if you are unsure of what size this is, go to a department store.  They would be more than happy to measure you and tell you what size you should be wearing!

 Dress for success!  First impressions are a big deal, and you never know who may end up being a future employer or interviewer. 

  (I had to mention this as I have had a young girl turn in her application in her jammies.  I didn't even look at her as a possibility.  If you can't get dressed, what makes me think you can make it to a job?)

  What are some "trends" you can't stand?

September 04, 2012

The Summer of FUN!!!

  Our summer started the way any summer does, with expectations of fun, and the excitement of school being out.
  As school was coming to a close, we were also closing in on a transfer for the surrogacy.  So we didn't plan any summer activities until the end of July, in hopes of the transfer sticking, and me becoming pregnant!

   So we kicked off the summer with a week long camping trip at the end of July.  We met our friends, the Walkers, at Sun Set Bay, near Coos Bay, Oregon.  Between the 2 families we had 7 kids from 12 years old to 2 years old. 
  There were a lot of "warrior battles" with bows, swards, daggers, and sticks, all found, and carved around the camp sites.  I should mention, there is only 1 girl in the whole bunch.... poor thing.....


   We played on the beach, went on hikes, crabbing, bike riding, and so on.  Honestly, I could continue for far longer than you want to read!

   We were sad to see the Walkers head back to Washington, but are thankful for the time we got.  We drove at a leisurely pace all the way home, mostly to protect the awesome Japanese Maple tree we had found and bought!

   We were home for only a few days to wash clothes and bedding and leave again.  This time our destination was McMinneville for the Evergreen Air and Space Museum!


   We stayed at McMenamins, which is always fun, and had the annual King Jewelers Corporate meeting.

  The air and space museum were better than last time, only because they had added more stuff! 

  On Sunday, the day we arrived, they had the OSU Robotics team at the space museum with their robots they had used in competitions.  This interested Taylor the most, as he himself builds robots for competitions.  It was fun to see their ideas and watch the robots do what they were programmed to do.  It also helped Taylor see that this idea is used on a larger scale, such as the Mars Rover. 

  On Monday we spent the entire day at the Evergreen Wings and Waves Water Park.  This is a great water park with 4 slides that come out of a Boeing 747 that they have parked on the roof. 

   In addition to the slides, they have Smokey's Forrest, which is great for the littles in your life, a pool, a wave pool, lots of science activities, and of course, food.  I would recommend this stop for any family in need of a fun day out!  Did I mention this is an indoor park? 


  Then we headed back home for just a couple more days before leaving again, this time for the San Francisco 49ers pre game VS the Vikings.  This was our first real football game, besides high school.

   This was a GREAT trip with just the King and Walker adults.  ( I was here, I promise!) 
We had a short road trip to Petaluma, and stayed with Aunt Glee and Uncle Chuck, who were more than hospitable.  She was so kind to open her house to us and she made us a great breakfast so early in the morning!  The only downside to this whirlwind trip, was that we couldn't stay longer.



  The 49ers pummelled the Vikings, and had some GREAT plays!  It was fun to see La Michael James from Oregon out on the field with his new team as well.  (The 49ers, if you didn't know, #23)

  We got home just in time for my girls night out at our house.  Dancing, shopping, and talking.  What more could a girl want?

   The next fun adventure was the Hellgate Jetboats.  We do this every year as it is super fun, and now that the kids are old enough, we don't have to find a sitter and feel bad about coming home late.

  The Dinner trip leaves at 4:15pm and cruises down the Rogue River, where you will see and learn lots of historic facts and landmarks, wildlife, fish, etc.  You will also get drenched.  Just be prepared. 
   The Jetboat drivers have a lot of fun spinning the boat, slamming on brakes and having competitions with the other boat captains, as to whom can make their passengers the most wet.  IT IS A BLAST!!! 

   The next fun summer event was Arthur's 11th Birthday!!  He chose to have a small family get together and a family movie at the theater!  So I got my lazy butt out of bed at 5am to make Minnesota Blueberry Coffee Cake, get the shopping done and also had to stop in at work for some aquarium parts. 

   It was timed perfectly!  Everything was done and ready for brunch at 10am!  Arthur chose to see the new "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" in the theater.  As far as kid movies go, it wasn't too bad.  (I suffer through too many kid movies...)

  Summer is now over and the kids started school today!  We now have 3 boys in 3 schools, and they are all itching to start some extra curricular activities, which means my schedule is about to become even more cramped!

   Next adventure?  Man trip to Disneyland!  I get a whole week alone to work on my own projects and hang out with my Gram playing Bingo!  Can't wait, it's only a couple weeks away!

   What did you do for your summer vacation?

July 14, 2012

Oregon Vortex

  After living in Southern Oregon my entire life, I finally decided to get the family to the "House of Mystery".

  This area was known by the local Indian Tribes as "forbidden".  Their horses refused to go into this forest.  Actually, there are NO animals in this forest, just lots of bugs, with nothing to eat them.  This is strange as Southern Oregon is filled with deer, squirrels, and singing birds.  Here...... Nothing.....

  They have certain points on the ground where, if you relax and stand still, you will start oscillating, due to the magnetic pull.  You try to fight it, but cant.  You walk along a level board, and are taller on one end than you are on the other.  Mind you, it is level.  If you use a tape measure, you are the same height, but not so when you take a picture and measure it with a ruler later.  Weird.

Is Arthur taller on the left, or the right?  Not just Arthur, look at the difference in size with the kids right next to eachother! 
( I stayed in the same spot for both pictures....)

   The magnetic pull allows for a broom to stand alone in the middle of a room.  You look around and find you, and everyone else are leaning, or are they standing straight?  Balls and jars roll up hill, or so it seems.

   There is definitely something weird. When you get closer to the house, which is built right in the middle of the vortex, you find it harder to stand up.  It feels like you want to topple over, but you are on level ground.  Or so you think.  It looks level, but its like you are standing sideways on a hill and want to fall.  Also, your head feels light and slightly dizzy.

   Yes, this was an interesting experience.  It was very cool and defies all normality.  It messes with your brain a bit and makes you really think about which way is up and which way is down.  Nothing seems to be what it seems.....

   If you have never checked this out I would recommend it!  It is a fun, new experience worth doing at least once!  The boys really enjoyed some of the demonstrations they gave as well!

   Have you ever been to the Vortex?  What did you think?

July 13, 2012

Desperate Times


   I have a confession.  I have been a chicken writer.  I have been holding back funny stories as I don't know how people will react to them!  I know, I know, you don't have to tell me. 
   So today, you get a hilarious story I have been holding onto in fear.  It was 6 years ago......
   Titus was just a baby and  Nick and I were exhausted!  We never slept, and NEVER had a moment alone.  The "love" was not happening!
   We finally decided we were taking off!  We planned a trip alone to the coast and left the kids with grandma and grandpa.
  We decided to take an obscure back road for the fun and beauty of it.  Ahhh, it was beautiful!  It was relaxing, and most of all, quiet.  Then it happened...
   I found my hand on Nicks leg, upper, inner leg.  This is a dangerous place of no return!  Well the desperation we had both been feeling got the better of us, and we found a secluded pull out and pulled on in.
  We couldn't stop!  We were like horny teenagers on a hot date!  Anyway, when we were done we started pulling the van out and heard a funny sound.
   It was a loud mixture of scraping and whooshing.  Nick and I looked at eachother in wonder, but as we drove faster, it went away.  So we forgot about it and REALLY started to relax and have fun while away from the kids. 
   A while later we had come to a rest area, and decided to stop in. 
   The sound came back as we started to slow down.  It got louder, and louder, the slower we went.  Upon opening our doors, we discovered what the sound was.....
   Apparently someone had thrown out their old Christmas tree in our pull out, and in our desperation, had not seen it before we drove over it.  The van had picked it up and we had branches sticking out both sides of the van! These were not twigs, these were full on huge branches sticking WAYYYY up!  Half of the tree had been scraped off on the road, and I can't help but wonder what any passers by thought when they saw us driving with a tree sticking out from the underside of the van! 
  Just thinking back on this story, I am laughing, and have had to take breaks due to the laughs! 
  I think any parent wil understand this level of desperation, and the hilarity of this silly situation!
  Do you have any desperation stories?

May 16, 2012

Mothers Day Special....

All moms dream of this day and hope for relaxation.  Once you have kids however, you realize that relaxation will not happen unless you ditch the kids and head for the spa, which defeats the purpose of mothers day, doesn't it?

   The husbands and dads are so sweet to try and get our lovely children to adhere to the rules of mothers day.  You can hear them whispering in the morning, and talking sternly in the evening.  They make breakfast in bed, lunch and dinner or plan fun outings and try to make sure you don't lift a finger all day!

   My mothers days are always filled with fun!  This year, my day started the night before.  Titus has been afraid of the dark lately, and sounds, and so he was up all night needing mom to comfort him and rub his back.
   Early the next morning I woke to the smell of bacon and eggs wafting in the air and the sound of my husband talking to the kids.

Nick~ "You had better be quiet and let your mom sleep!"

Kids~ *Laughing, talking, being loud

Nick~ "Boys!  Shhhhh!  I am serious!"

I finally drag my lazy butt out of bed and it is about 7:30 am.  Nick is so sweet.  He had coffee ready and had gotten me creamer, and had breakfast ready as well!  As I drank my coffee trolling Craigs List for a great deal, when I saw it.  A wooden play structure for only $50.

   Let me explain my obsession a bit.  We have a nice sized property and thus have what has been dubbed, "Boy Island".  This boy island consists of several wood play structures all built together over a period of time to create a monstrous play area.  It also has a large tree fort and also a fire pit for the grown ups.

   So when I saw another structure for such a great deal, I had to call.  They still had it!  We packed up the family and headed to Eagle Point to pick it up.  After much bugging for lunch before 11 am we had it loaded up and were on our way back home!

   Nick and the kids got me some outside plants and a nice flower pot and the kids made me some very nice cards and home and school made gifts.
This is my favorite part of mothers day.  I love to see the proud looks on their face when they present the beautiful cards and or gifts they have worked so hard on.  These are bits of love that you can cherish for a life time.  I love the array of wild flowers (including dandelions) they bring in and place in a plastic cup for you to enjoy.  This, is parenthood.  Sure, you have the bickering, and complaining. The messy rooms and stinky bathrooms, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

   Nick was sure to keep me off my feet and I did take a small break to get my hair cut and get my free Dutch Bros smoothie.

  There were some periodic meltdowns, and bickering as is to be expected, but overall the day was great!  I could have done without the kids bickering at times, but you know what?  I am a mom, and this is what moms hear day in and day out.  At least my sweet husband did all he could to curb the poor behavior.  Just that is enough to make me smile and enjoy my day.  He cares THAT much.

   I think Mothers Day should be re named "Appreciate Your Spouse Day"  because that is what happens after mothers day.  You have another chance to see why you love them and appreciate them as much as you do.

 What was your favorite part of mothers day?

April 24, 2012

Sonoma, Wine Country!!

  Last weekend Nick and I had the privilege of staying in Sonoma California.  It is a quaint little town in the heart of wine country!  It reminds me of Grants Pass in many ways.  The old brick buildings, the nice down town area, and the friendly folks.

  I only found one problem with Sonoma......

  Nick and I stayed at the Sonoma Historic Hotel while we were there.  It is a lovely place and has fun accents that hint at it's age.  They have free wine tasting from 5 to 6 in the evening and a free continental breakfast with coffee and orange juice to go with it.

  The first night in Sonoma was perfect.  Nick and I wandered around and looked in the open shops, and found an AMAZING Italian restaurant.  We stopped in for dinner.  We tried the Duck in a reduced white wine sauce with house made wide noodles.  It was pretty good!  Nick and I had never tried duck, so it was a new experience for us.

  We also had a bottle of wine from the valley, and dessert..... I cannot fully explain the amazing desserts, but I will try.   We liked the sound of 3, but had control and ordered 2.  We ordered a rum cake and tiramisu.

  The rum cake was completely different than any other rum cake I had ever tasted.  It was like a fluffy angel food cake that was infused with rum and had a delicious vanilla taste perfectly balanced with the other flavors.  This was served with an amazing anglais sauce that we could not get enough of.

   The tiramisu was also different.  It did not have any mascarpone cheese like it would normally.  Instead, it had an amaretto mixture of the whip cream consistency and lady fingers soaked with the perfect mix of whatever they put in it.  Again, it was served with the anglais sauce.

Both different, both amazing.

The next morning, Saturday, we had our pastries and went out to find a coffee shop for our much needed espresso.

  The morning was beautiful!  The sun was shining and the day was going to be great!  We passed several wine bars and taverns that were open at about 8am and still could not find our espresso.  After over an hour of walking in the sweet morning air we had come to a very sad conclusion.  In Sonoma, you cannot get an espresso drink prior to 10am.

   We were beside ourselves!  I could not believe we could get wine and beer, but no coffee!  This is the only problem with Sonoma, and I am sure it would not be a problem if we did not come from the land of espresso.

  We finally got a coffee and it was really not pleasant, but we managed to get through it prior to our day of meetings.

   The rest of the day was scorching and beautiful.  We met some new friends for dinner at "The Girl And The Fig" which was AMAZING! They have great food! We then headed in for the night, only to discover the air in our room was not working.  We headed downstairs and after speaking with the person on staff learned that the entire 3rd floor had no air.

  This would not be a problem if it were not 90* outside.  We opened our window and hotel door for some airflow and eventually went to sleep.

   The only problem with having the window open was that Sonoma folk don't seem to sleep!  They are so busy having fun, they were making a horrendous amount of noise outside our window.

   We did not get much sleep that night, but the trip was still fun overall!  They have great wine and fun shops, along with beautiful weather!  I would suggest "The Girl And The Fig" for dinner, and the Historic Sonoma Hotel to stay at.  It was really beautiful, despite the bad air conditioning unit!

 Do you have any fun places you like to visit?