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Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dennis!!!
You would have thought that by baby #2, I would have had it all figured out.  But nope, along you came and I had new things to figure out, like how to be a mommy to a baby and a toddler at the same time.  Sometimes I felt bad because you didn’t get the same attention as John did being the firstborn.  But as I look back, I realize that even though it was not the same attention, you got the added attention of a big brother.  It was so fun watching the two of you bond as you grew up.  I hope I don’t ever hear of all the adventures the two of you had together!!!  You were such a daredevil! It is pretty bad when the ER knew us by sight.  I loved your curiosity and inventiveness. I never knew what I was going to find in your room….from a broken down mini bike to a drawer full of electronic parts, the ceiling covered with exploded paint balls or a desktop full of illustrations of some sort of device you were going to try to make. You have always been good at letting those around you know what you are feeling.  But I also knew your feelings by reading your face.  It would get me every time I would see your little jaw cock to one side and your eyes roll in the other direction, I knew it was your way of holding back the tears when you were hurt physically or emotionally. It melted me, I just wanted to hug you and shield you from it. Even now, I still get glimpses of that look.  You were my cuddle baby, the only one of the three of you kids that would sit endlessly on my lap or curled up beside me with a blanket. I love how you have never grown too old to hug and cuddle and have your head massaged and know that is part of what makes you such a great husband and Dad.  So proud of the man you have become in your family life, spiritual life and the leader you are in your professional life.
I love you!  Momxo

Friday, June 20, 2014

Father's Day 2014
We are so blessed!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

  John ran in the Newport 1/2 Marathon the last weekend of May.  He has done the full marathon a few times, but this time decided to try the half.I think he said it was the first time they had a 1/2.  Anyway, he was first in his age division and 11th overall.  I have been going to his races since he was in grade school.  You never stop wanting to be a part of your kids activities.

I saw a sight on the beach that I have never seen before.  Up on higher ground away from the water line were all these formations.  At first I thought I was seeing sandcastles left behind by some kids, but as I got closer I realized they were sand formations.  There were thousands of them!  It went on and on...first rows of these, then dunes of sand, then more of these.  From what I could figure out, it is from the wind drying out the sand from the winter storms.  I would guess that the sand was pretty wet, then with all the wind we get at the beach and it beginning to dry, the dry sand is being blow against the wet sand leaving these behind.  It was pretty amazing.  As you can imagine, I took a ton of photos, I put my favorites here.

 If we go to Newport, we always make sure to include a trip to the lighthouse and then on down the trail to the tide pools. 

  This time we got to see seals swimming and found a nest on the ground with eggs in it.  The eggs are from the black birds called Common Murre.  They had hundreds of nests out in the ocean on a rock, but there are also some nests on the cliffs behind the tidepools,  this one must have fallen from a cliff .
I read that this is one of the largest colonies of Common Murr on the coast.
The ones that look like penguins are the Common Murr.  The ones with blue on their neck are Brant's Comorants.  They only have the blue when they are nesting. There was a woman there with a really powerful telescope that let us see them really close.  I was pretty happy when I got home and put my photos on the computer and was able to see that blue show up.  You could not see it by just standing and looking out there.

 There was Peregrine Falcon nest.  One of them kept flying out of the nest and resting on some rocks, then flying back, so I was able to get a fair shot of it.  The nest was pretty far away, so I didn't really get to see much going on there.  

Summer has arrived and we are pretty happy to see that a little restaurant that we found out about last summer is open again!  It is called The Deck.   It is only open from the end of spring until the end of September.  It is a floating restaurant. You have to park the car, then walk down a long walkway to the water, then onto the pier to the restaurant at the end of the houseboats. It is nothing fancy at all, but it is always busy. It just feels like you are on a beach vacation sitting in plastic chairs on the rocking restaurant at a plastic table under an umbrella.  Birds and ducks fly in and beg for food, which speaking of the food, is simple but always good.  Sailboats float by as airplanes take off from the airport just down the road. Sometimes you have to completely stop talking as they roar overhead. Sometimes as we eat, a boat will float up and park and those aboard will get off and  have a meal. We go there for lunch most of the time, but if you go for dinner, you can get a great view of the sunset.  We like it so much, it won't be long until they know us by name!
One of my favorite birds of all is the robin.  

 A few spring flowers.

 This was taken at my friend Irene's.  I didn't notice until I got home and viewed it on my computer that there was a dead bee in the center of the clematis flower. 

 A field of clover on the way to Salem with Mt. Hood in the background.

I am still working on taking photos of birds.  Getting their fast movement has been a challenge, but little by little I feel like I have learned something.  Here are a few shots that I have taken right in the back yard.  This guy just makes me laugh.  He reminds me of a clown with those crazy eyes.  It wasn't just an odd shot, all of these guys have those crazy eyes.
And then there are the starlings.  Most people hate them.  They arrive in flocks and don't leave until the last bit of food is devoured.  
 But if you take a closer look at them, they are amazingly colorful!!!
 I have a flicker that hung around all winter.  He really loved the suet.
 Early spring, a pair of ring neck doves showed up.  I just had to add the one with the eyes closed, it was if he was flirting with his partner or vice versa...not sure who is the male and female.
 And the jays.  I always am wishing we had crdinals here when I see the shots of them that people post on Flickr, but really, these guys are pretty vivid and amazing too!  
 I remember the first time I saw finches.  It was quite a few years ago when I put up my first bird feeder.  I was positive that somebody had lost a parakeet.  But it didn't take me long to figure out they were wild as they covered the thistle bag feasting on seeds.  
Memorial Day 2014
The first Memorial Day since John's brother died.
I have never been to Willamette National Cemetery at Memorial Day.  I was unprepared and awed at the sight of all those flags.  Every grave had been marked by the Boy Scouts with a flag. Acres in every direction were filled with waving flags.  It really was a visual image that will stay with me, as to all the people who have served our country.  

 I was not trying to be artistic with a camera tilt in the shot above, it is just the way it is, since the cemetery is at the top of a hill in Portland.