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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One day, without knowing it would be the last time, my Dad parked his old tractor next to the little patch of trees out back on our property. For years he had used it to work in our little berry field, then a few more years when we took out the berries to plant nursery stock. And then one day, it was not needed anymore. Dad retired. No more berry field, no more nursery stock. He replaced it with a little Kubota for the smaller jobs he had around the place.  There it sat one year after another until it was covered with wild berry vines, broken limbs from the maple tree above it, and moss. Lots and lots of moss.  The tires went flat and became submerged in the soil and decomposing leaves.  A few weeks ago, my Mom saw it sitting out there all hidden and thought maybe she should clear it off. Dad thought it was kind of silly to work so hard on an old broken down useless thing. It took a while to get it done, but that old tractor was in plain view for all of us to see last Sunday on Easter. It is a piece of our history. I remembered the days we used to see Dad or Mom riding on it as they worked the ground to grow the berries that provided us with extra money as we grew up. I remember riding with one of them and even getting to drive it myself for fun. Funny how memories are made up of so many things, I can still hear the sound of it in my mind as it cranked up , yes, it had to be cranked! This old tractor put in a lot of miles before it was finally retired.  Now it is proudly on display.

I forgot to add this to the Easter post.  The only thing that would have made it better was to have had Gabriel and Daniel in it.

Arianna thought the little gloves I found for her were pretty special.  They were huge on her, but she loved them anyway.
Watching the kids find their Easter eggs that Great Grandma filled with money.  Poor Emily and Joshua have outgrown the hunt, instead they are the ones who get to hide them.  They are rewarded with their money filled eggs anyway. (Emily gave the camera a pretend pout.)
OK, so it is not traditional, but as the kids get older, new entertainment took place.  This year it included shooting Joshua's BB gun, riding Aunt Lindy's little motorbikes, blowing dandelions, pretend driving on the old tractor Great Grandma just cleared the brush off, topped off with the older kids getting to drive Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Dan's truck...well Uncle Matt topped it with letting them go 4Wheeling in Grandpa's field!

It's all about that cake!
This family did a pretty great job of making me feel special for my birthday.  

Another place we were able to go with them to was OMSI. What a fun place for the kids, sand pit, water station (aprons included), bugs and snakes to touch, and more that I can't list off.

Monday, April 28, 2014

We even were able to have a few sleepovers while Jessi was at work! 
(she is a night shift labor and delivery nurse)
Nothing like coffee with grandkids as the sunrises!!
cute little foamy hot chocolate mustaches
Ariel went to the Dominican Republic to visit his family for a couple of weeks before Jessi and the kids joined him.  So that meant that we got to spend some extra time with the kids to help out. 
 It was a tough job!
 One of the days we went to the zoo.

yep, after all those awesome animals, I think that Josiah was most impressed by the construction vehicles that were working there.  Here is is demonstrating what the claw is doing.

If you want to see any picture larger, just click on it.
Bonnie and I decided we wanted to get some sunrise shots of the tulip field in Woodburn this year.  We met up at 6am in order to drive down there before the sun rose.  It was nice here when we left, but once we left the highway and headed towards the field, the fog was settling in...by the time we arrived to the field we could hardly see to the end of the rows.  Not what I had in mind at all, but it made for some different shots that most people don't get.  
 That is a windmill out there.  

Here is a closer view of it.  
So since there was not going to be the typical shot of the layers and layers of tulips, I focused on some close-ups.  See that little web all coated with dew between the yellow and red one?  

The drops on the flowers really seemed like jewels...each petal was edged in little balls of glowing water.

The rows of flowers always make for a cool shot when there is blue sky at the end, but this time the fog ended up giving everything a mysterious look. 
I liked the reflections in the mud puddles

 This is what the sky looked like as soon as we got out of Woodburn.  Oh well, we made the most of what we found down there.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring has arrived.  Jessi, Josiah and Arianna came over yesterday and we took our first walk to the lake.  Well, we walked, Josiah rode his little bike and Arianna started out in the wagon.  Part way there, she decided she needed to walk too.  The kids played on the equipment until it started to rain and we hurried on home again.  Notice where the kids are and who is carrying the bike on the trip back home?  So typical.  Yep...isn't that what Moms are for?  

Last month we took a drive down Hwy 1 to California to visit Dennis, Abby and Gabe and John's Uncle Jimmy. I have decided that Florence is my favorite little Oregon beach town. So much to take photos of but we have only stayed overnight there, so I want to go back and stay a while next time.  
The old bridge there is so photogenic.  Here are my favorite shots that I took this time.

This sign was on one of the restaurant doors.
I know there are some dunes around there, but so far, we have not been able to find them.  It is on the list for the next trip.

The coastline is such a pretty drive.  It sure beats I-5!!!

I can never figure out why loggers leave a lonely old tree standing when they clear a patch.  Anybody know why?

Along the way was a little marsh full of White Herons...normally I only see them one at a time.

My favorite part of Hwy 1 is the elephant seals at San Simeon.  This trip there were not as many as last time, but there were still plenty to get photos of.
This guy just makes me smile.  That little mark on him looks like a little tattoo heart and so I have decided he is dreaming of his sweetheart.

Just before you get to Solvang there is an Ostrich/Emu farm.  Last trip we didn't stop to get any photos, so I put it on the list for this trip.

From icy cold weather to the outdoor pool.  OK, so the pool was still too cold, but we enjoyed the hot tub.

This was taken from the road that goes to Dennis and Abby's church.  A nice view and really pretty rock formations.

I know it should not seem so weird to me, since we grow fruit here, but I am always impressed to see citrus growing on a tree.
While John and Dennis did some home improvements, Abby, Gabe and I went to the Santa Monica Pier.

Under the Pier.

We always enjoy our time with Uncle Jimmy.  And it is always so sad to drive away and see him standing there alone.