Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Just Never Know

I was my checking my email a couple of mornings ago and noticed a communique from Etsy. The event chair for the Greater SW Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation in Arizona wanted to know if I'd be interested in donating my new salad serving set "Galaxy" to their annual silent auction and fundraiser for their juvenile arthritis programs. 

My grandmother Hazel Hobson Bagg and my mother-in-law Marjorie Helvey lived with arthritis for most of their lives and were brave beyond words to endure the constant pain. This seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to pay it forward in some small way. You're wondering why Arizona, when I live in California? Well my parents retired to Sedona in the early 1970's, my grandfather John Sherman Bagg discovered the Catherine gold mine (in western Arizona) in 1900 and his father, my great grandfather Stanley Chipman Bagg, lived in Arizona in the late 1880's. So you could say I have some Arizona connections.

Anyway, if you'd like more information about the fundraiser and programs here is the link:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just a Thought Series ~ June 1975 Update

Strolling through the pages of some of my old journals I found an entry from a June, 1975. I had recently traded my old VW bus in on a Datsun 240Z and was ready for a road trip. Off to Aspen to spend a week with my old roommate Patti. She lived in a small cottage with a very large boulder in the living room. We spent every day hiking and exploring and then would head out in the evening to hear live music.

Maroon Bells at Sunrise (unknown photographer)

On the trail around the lake someone carved these words on an aspen tree. One wonders if they are still there?  I just found the photo I took on that hike. Perhaps it's time for another road trip to Aspen to see if the tree is still there along the trail.

"If you can't find it here, you can't find it" 

I met musician and songwriter Chris Cox one evening and we talked about his love of music and some of his feelings on the subject. His words stuck with me.

What is true
Is that when you get down
To why you are doing something
Not for the money
Or the ego satisfaction
Not for the expectations
Or the promises
But for the shear love
Of what you are doing
There exist no droughts
No dried up wells

Thirty five years later I look at a creative life well spent and still growing and understand exactly what he meant. It never ceases to amaze me how random and serendipitous conversations can be so prophetic.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thoughts for Fathers Day

 My Dad and Me Nov 1945

My dad was a quiet force in my life. He taught me how to observe and listen and to take responsibility for my actions. I have always been a tomboy and on annual summer camping trips we'd spend countless hours checking out woods, creeks and rivers. He taught me how to build things when I was a kid and helped me turn my VW bus into a camper when I was in college. He was my mom's true love and a total romantic. I was looking through an old cook book of my mom's (the kind that has an envelope in each section for the recipes you cut out) and found this note under the sandwiches section.

This is the best g.. da.. tuna I ever et
so help me, the celery was an inspiration.
I love you, love you, love you, Grif

We rarely think about our parents in their stages of life: as kids or teenagers, first loves, marriage, raising children, retiring and then gaining elder status. My husband and I were talking on the porch last night and realized there are many parallels between my parents and us. They were both artists and happiest outdoors in the garden or on the road. They were total romantics and free spirited soul mates. And like us, even in their 60's, were mischievous and still 27 on the inside.

A salute to Dads everywhere who work hard to get it right even without a guidebook or users manual.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The West Coast

Just a few more photos from our excellent adventure that took us from the Redwood Empire to Oregon's northwest corner.

The Dragon at Bullard's Beach, Bandon, OR

Spencer Creek at Beverly Beach State Park, OR

Yaquina River at Newport, OR

The trail to the beach at Fort Stevens, OR

Roadside picnic on the cliffs at Oswald West State Park

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Honorary Oregonian

My husband is an Oregon boy and I'm a California girl. Truth be told I'm a bit of a weather wimp.  If I’m bundled up and water proof I’m good to go, but I often get chilled with the least drop in temperature. When the thermostat says 68 on a summer night it seems much warmer that when it says 68 on a winter's night. 

 Along the Oregon Coast in Oswald West State Park 
north of Cannon Beach

It’s been an extraordinarily wet winter and spring in the West.  It was raining when we left home and continued as we headed north on Hwy 101. On our 4th day in Marion County we had 2” in one afternoon. The weatherman said they expect a warm rain from the tropical environs in January (sometimes called the Pineapple Express), but not on the first week of June.  Even old time Oregonians were saying it was a little unusual.

 Spencer Creek at Beverly Beach Campground

Rod has always teased me that a light rain is only Oregon Sunshine and he has no qualms about being outside without rain gear. The past few days there’s been a lot of rain and light showers. When we first got to his Pop’s place I was in multiple layers. It's day four and I'm trotting around outside barefooted in shorts and a tank top. Think I’ve finally passed the moisture challenge and can now qualify as an honorary Oregonian. 

 One of several farms we passed with acres of white flowers.
Do you know what the crop might be?

We've traveled up Hwy 101 through Oregon every year, in all seasons, for 30 years and never get tired of views. This spring's trip was spectacular, with every shade of green you could imagine, wild rhododendrons in bloom along the corridor and wildflowers down to the road edge. Maybe it's time for you to take a road trip?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The B&B on the Hill

On May 31st, Memorial Day, we headed to Hillsboro to spend the night with some old friends. They live high up on a wooded hillside with an incredible view of the Tualatin Valley. On a clear day you can see Mts. Hood, Adams, Jefferson, Rainer and St. Helens. We got a brief glimpse of Mt. Hood this trip but clouds were the order of the day.

Art and Deb are avid and accomplished gardeners. When they lived here in Sonoma County their dahlias won numerous awards. Here they've found new passions. We are usually in Oregon in the winter and now that it was high spring I couldn't wait to see the gardens.

As we came up the drive we were astonished by the blast of color from the rhododendrons and bearded iris in bloom around the yard.

They’re a lot like us in that they don’t venture off their hill unless it’s time for errands, a workout or a concert. When friends show up they're treated like royalty. Deb is an accomplished chef and we were delighted to sit down to a formal table for meals. We are all rabid cribbage players so the annual smackdown continued with much laughter.

By morning the rain let up a bit so we took a long walk down the driveway and pulled up all the scotch broom starts (Cytisus scoparius) we could find. Its bright yellow blossoms are pretty along the highways and hillsides during the grey of spring, but it’s a nasty and aggressive introduced species that's taking over terrain at an alarming rate on the entire West Coast.

We headed back to Sublimity in the late afternoon. Deb sent us home with the rest of her homemade blueberry pie for Rod’s pop. He was quite pleased to see us when we stepped through the door. Needless to say, we are going to plan a longer stay on the next trip!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Oregon Coast and the Door to Where?

May 26, 2010

Looking inland from Bullards Beach, Bandon, OR

Our first night in Oregon was spent just north of Bandon at Bullard's Beach State Park, one of our favorites spots in southern Oregon. Got our site set up and took a four mile walk on the beach to work out the kinks.

On the way back we came across a rope in the sand. I pulled really hard but it was definitely attached to some large and immovable object. Got me to thinking of all the stories I'd read with secret doors and passages and how the mind sets to wandering when you stumble upon the unexplanable. Once back from our adventure we set up the camp chairs and enjoyed the first sun we'd see in days; reading while chicken and potatoes roasted on the campfire. There is nothing quite like falling asleep to the sound of waves breaking on the beach.