Friday, February 27, 2015

Why I Bought a Hay Hook

When we go to Rockaway, we always like to stop in Wheeler, a small town on the Nehalem Bay, and visit the Wheeler Station Antique Mall. This trip was no exception.

We never know what we might end up with.  But I could not have expected to come away with this. 
 This hay hook is a blast from the past.  When I saw it (priced at $4.50) I immediately pictured myself wielding such a hook out in the hay field, where I would drag newly baled hay toward the flat bed hay wagon, pulled by our old tractor. My first experience at driving was that tractor out in the hay field. 

I loved haying season.  I grew up on a small nine acre farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where we raised much of our own food through our vegetable garden, fruit trees, and our animals: milk cows, beef  steers, pigs, and chickens,  Our place was an old farm house with a big old barn. We raised hay on our fields, and also bought hay from neighbor's fields. We would load the hay and bring it to our old barn to be stacked for winter feed for the cattle. 

So what am I going to do with a hay hook? Well, it will join other memorabilia hanging on the back wall of the garage, next to our potting bench.  It will join a grain scoop, hay fork and cowbells from my grandfather's farm up in the hills above the valley, where he had dairy cows. There's also an assortment of old garden tools, some cast offs from my own gardening era.  

I don't expect to be hooking any more hay bales, but I can get hooked on the memories. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast

While we did a little work during our stay at the cabin, we also took lots of time to play and walk and rest and read and enjoy the beauty of the seaside. 

Friday it was cloudy when we arrived, but Saturday morning dawned crystal clear. 
 I decided to walk to the Tillamook Bay jetty. 
 Twin Rocks from Rockaway Beach, where I started, 
and the same rocks farther south at Twin Rocks beach, where they look more like twins, 
and still further south, where they look completely different. 
 Walking on an almost deserted beach at low tide -this is where I came from, 
 and this is where I'm headed. 
 The jetty looks so close but it's still 15 or 20 minutes of walking away. 
 Tom drove down the highway and then met me on the beach. 

Tom walked out to the end of the jetty.  Here's his view looking back to shore. Unfortunately, he got a little too bold, got out to where waves crashed on the rocks and slipped and fell and twisted his ankle.  He has been gimpy ever since.  Fortunately I did not have to send the Coast Guard out to rescue him.  He made it back under his own steam. Kinda' scary, though. 
I stayed much closer to shore and enjoyed the view. 

Looking back up the beach↑ 
and up the channel into Tillamook Bay ↓

 As we left to go out to dinner Saturday night I had to have Tom stop the car when I saw this.↓  A sliver of moon and Venus hanging in the sky in the last glow of the sunset. 
 Sunday was another beautiful morning.  
I crossed over the railroad bridge over Salt Aire Creek, next to the cabin, and walked north this time. 

 In the afternoon we both walked into the town of Rockaway, checked out antique shops, and had ice cream in the sunshine. 
I interrupted my watching the Academy Awards to catch another sunset.

We did a bit of work too.  We replanted the Rhododendron that had been moved out of the way for construction.  It looks sad, but we hope it will make it.  It's a memorial plant for a lost son of my sister Ilene. 
 We also salvaged a concrete pad that another child had helped her grandpa make that was located at the base of the old steps, and dug out stepping stones that our son had set that had been lost in the turf. They now make a firm base at the bottom of the new steps. 
 We stopped at the Blue Heron to buy Marion Berry syrup per Isaac's request and picked up some locally made brie cheese. 
 We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory where there was no cheese making going on, but there was ice cream!
 And we enjoyed the sunshine until it was time to return home to Seattle. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.

Photo taken in April 2012

My parents bought the little red cabin by the sea nearly 40 years ago.  It was a dream come true for my mother, who wanted to provide a get away by the ocean for her family. 

Her legacy has served three generations very well. As the family grew with kids and grandkids and cousins galore, more sleeping space was desired. It was finally decided to lift the roof and make a full two story out of the sleeping loft up stairs. 

One thing led to another, and as the thinking went "if we can do this, maybe we can do this", until the construction grew into something much bigger. Permits had been obtained, but the city of Rockaway Beach now claimed that the construction had exceeded the original plan, and in fact now added an increase if 50% of the value. 

That 50% was a magic number, a number that required the cabin to be lifted above the tidal surge flood stage. This was news to us, and we fought city hall, but lost. Now we were looking at $30,000 to $40,000 in construction costs in addition to the original second story expansion. 

The process has taken three years, but it is now nearing completion. The cost was covered by our mother's legacy too, as she lived frugally and saved money to pass on to her children. We returned some of that money to save the cabin. 

 Photo taken February 23, 2015
The framing of the upstairs and the lifting of the cabin were contracted out.  But there was much finishing left to do.  President's Day weekend, the crew assembled. 
Dads, Uncles, Grandpas, sons, nephews, cousins, the men of the clan came together to spend their vacation working together .
They rewired under the cabin, insulated and finished off the underside.

Upstairs, they installed pine paneling, cutting and fitting all the angles.

Trim will still have to be added, but the results and wonderful.

I wasn't there for the work weekend, of course, but Tom was, and he unintentionally left his Samsung tablet there.  That's his reader as well as his email and Facebook source, so of course we had to go back and get it.  We just got back from our three day weekend there, with sunshine and beach walks and sunsets and everything you could hope for on a February weekend by the sea. 
 Stopping at the Neakanie Mountian view point on the way to the cabin on Friday.
 Saturday's sunset.

More beach photos to come. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Home Projects

I don't usually garden in January and February.  After all, it is winter. Tom gets out in the yard and does the pruning of fruit trees and shrubs while I work on inside projects and putter about.

However this winter isn't really happening - winter, that is. It has been warm and mild and everything is starting to grow.  Tom said there was a lot that needed to be done out there in the yard and when I got to looking, I saw that he was right.  So I have been cleaning outside.

I have spent most afternoons of the last week crawling around on my hands and knees, cleaning out the flower and shrub beds.  Now it's looking good out there.
 Bulbs are coming up.  Mini-daffodils are blooming. I'll wait until the first of March to prune the roses. 
Yes, we finished it all off with Tom getting the lawn mowed. 

 Trillium are popping up. 

 By June you won't be able to see the ground here.

We had an inside project too. We finally decided it was time, way past time actually, to buy a new mattress set. Our old king size Sealy Posturepedic was 45 years old. I had been putting it off because today's mattresses are so high off the floor and I didn't want to lose my headboard or have to buy new bed coverings and window treatments, since they all match and had been replaced not that long ago. 

Friday before Tom left for the Rockaway work weekend, we went mattress shopping.  We purchased a firm Beautyrest with a low profile box spring, and scheduled delivery for this Wednesday. 

Monday morning, President's Day, I went to JC Penny's and bought new sheets and pillows, saving about 60%.  Thanks, George and Abe. 

Wednesday morning we took apart the old bedding and cleaned and were ready when the delivery guys arrived just before 11:00.
To prepare for getting the mattresses up and down the stairs, I had removed all of the family photos that line the stairwell. 

 Now everything is back in place.

The bed coverings work fine - I just hemmed the bed skirt up an inch the night before - and all is looking settled again.
And we had a very good night's sleep on our new mattress.  Comfy!

We are running away for a long weekend tomorrow. I'll tell you all about it when I get back.