Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hiking, Dancing, Staining and Writing

Wow, so it was less than a week that I last posted but so much has been going on, it seems like ages!

The weekend was eventful, I went on a hike with Damien on Saturday up Spencer's Butte and was really impressed with the view and the steep climb up to a long rocky top. It was the absolute best day to do it! Clear blue skies and we could see out to Mt. Baker and the Three Sisters, all covered in snow. Between the rocks grew an array of wildflowers and the few trees that had taken root near the top were covered in lichens and moss such that you felt like you were looking at an underwater ecosystem. We picnicked on burritos courtesy of Damien and some crazy everything but the kitchen sink muffins I'd made.

The Wildflowers were amazing, you couldn't help but get so close.

A view of the mountain coming out of the driveway, that's how close!
Damien and a view towards the south
That evening we met back up and drove to Corvallis (45 minutes or so away) for a Swing and Blues dancing event! The swing was a blast and, since I'd done it before I was able to pick up fairly easily but it had enough differences that I asked each guy who danced with me that he have patience with me! We had an hour intro lesson and danced for 2 hours and then they turned the lights down and we danced blues for the next two hours.  
No introductory lesson. I hadn't even heard of blues dancing til coming here! 
So I kind of just dove in and did the best I could. The idea is to mimick your partner, and the lead would improvise these slow artsy moves. It took me a while to get use to it, especially with each guy's different style, but I loved it!

This is my underwater scenery...
This stuff was so bright and the knots in the tree were just crazy accents.
A congregation of knots.
This is at the event I covered: a worm compost expert explains the process and gives advice.

Saturday I went to cover an event that was going on in my coverage area, a garden tour. There were booths set up outside of the River House community garden so I just kind of went up to the people behind the tables and asked what they represented and why they were there. I ended up learning a ton about the Master's Garden extension program because many of the booths were some group within that extension: master gardeners with a specialization, like compost, food preservation and just pure gardening. It was a fun afternoon learning about this program and the people were really interesting to talk to. They all are just so knowledgeable. 
There is a good story behind this cake..or inside it!
For the afternoon, Cathy and I had the pleasure of restaining her enormous deck! Neither of us had been looking forward to the job but we sucked it up and got to work. It took 2 1/2 hours and we got a system down and enjoyed talking as we worked, with music playing in the was done before we knew it! So that was nice to get out of the way, especially since we knew if we didn't do it then, we'd have to do it on the long weekend of the 4th and couldn't even be out on it til it dried! We were very pleased with ourselves. 
We are having fun in our class, it's neat to be able to read others' stories to get an idea of different writing styles, but also a little intimidating! If you want to have a look, we post it here to our class blog.

A beautiful residential garden on the garden tour.
For Monday night, while I should have been writing, I was instead eating cupcakes at Divine Cupcake. I met my friend Holly there, who really liked their cupcakes and suggested it. We both got the chai with vanilla/cinnamon icing. I tried not to gulp it down in four bites, but rather savor it with my soy latte while we talked. She is very passionate about knitting and I had said I'd love to learn. Well, wouldn't you know it, she pulls out a pair of needles and a big ball of yarn and set to teaching me right in the cupcakery! She taught well, I did a row or two before we were kicked out at closing time. 

I got home before the night's rain and I turned my article on the Master's Gardeners in a half hour before it's due time, midnight!

Happy girl on mountain.


  1. you are killing your brother with the "underwater" craziness & mossy knot spindles...

  2. I've got tree bark and lichen on my desktop at home right now. I think I took the photo at Warren Wilson.

    Your pictures are gorgeous. I'll visit the class blog when I'm not at work, I'd end up spending the day goofing off. Looking forward to it.


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