Sunday, March 27, 2011

All good things must come to an end.

Even when it's cold and pouring, it's still time to get up, pack, clean the cabin and load the car. That's Matt's elbow peeking out of the sleeping bag.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Triwizard Tournament

On our first camping trip, I brought along the card games Uno, O'No 99 and Boomo. That weekend, we had several of what we termed "TriWizard Tournaments" after the event described in the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Since that point, whenever we have gone camping (or camping in a cabin) we usually bring along games and hold a TriWizard Tournament. This despite the fact that we are not Wizards, there are only two of us and we play card games rather than run through mazes and swim through lakes or pave the way for the return of He Who Must Not Be Named etc. In our TriWizard Tournament we play one game of each card game and the person who wins takes that game. On Friday night, in our first TriWizard tournament I was soundly defeated and we didn't finish the series. I accepted Matt's challenge on Saturday and the results were:

Matt won: We Didn't Playtest This at All, Monty Python Flux, Flux and Pirate Flux.
I won: Guillotine and Gloom.
This makes Matt the winner of two straight days of the Stub State Park March 2011 TriWizard Tournament.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bike Ride

Our purpose for staying at Stub was to get a few training rides in for our planned bike tour that will happen this June. Due to weather and our general vacation mindset, we got one good ride in.

First we biked up the hill from the Mountain Cabin Village.

We rode on the Banks/Vernonia rail trail. Stub is in the middle of the trail and we took off for Vernonia. However, we eventually discovered we were actually headed toward Banks. I was surprised we made this mistake, because Stub has a lot of signs. I checked on the way back and there is no sign indicating which way is Banks and which way is Vernonia.

Being that it was a trail and that there weren't many people about, I took the opportunity to take a lot of photos by bike.

After we made it out of the "woods" we rode through farm land. Matt stopped to "kill a layer" and I documented the weather.
Matt killing his layer.

We made it to Banks. It was a slight downhill grade the entire way, so it went by very quickly.

We had lunch at a cafe and while eating, it began to pour, so we braced ourselves for a cold and rainy ride back. While waiting for our lunch, I noticed that one of the fliers advertised well water testing by the Washington County Extension Service. In my previous job, I helped coordinate that effort, revising and printing the fliers.

On the ride back, happily, the sun came out after the first 10 minutes of rain and it was time for Matt to kill a layer once again.

We're back in the park.

More photo by bike collage.

We found an amphibian and Matt helpfully moved him off the trail.
The ride from Stub to Banks took one hour, the ride back took two. The last 10 minutes of the ride were particularly grueling as Stub's elevation changes rapidly from the entrance to the Mountain Village cabins. I wasn't sure I was going to make it back up the hill without walking the bike, but my 21 gears came in handy.

The long journey to our spring break destination.

After careful consideration we have decided to "spring break" at LL Stub Stewart State Park. We will be spending two nights and hope to do some biking. It doesn't take very long to get to Stub from our house, (46 minutes according to the Google map) so to make it more of a vacation, we took the country roads after dropping off the kitties at my Aunt's house.

Due to the hectic nature of packing three cats for transport (Sentinel and Antares, plus we were cat sitting Squeak, my Aunt's cat) I forgot to take a picture when we left. So when we missed a turn, I took the opportunity to take a picture in front of this grange where we turned around.

It turned out to be the Kinton Grange, which is a very close spelling to the Kenton neighborhood where we live.

We stopped in Forest Grove for lunch at a Thai Restaurant.

And then we went to the McMenamins Grand Lodge Soaking Pool, which was lovely.
It had a different feel than the Kennedy School Soaking Pool, being less crowded. They also offer a "frequent soaker" discount at Grand Lodge, something that is not available at Kennedy School.

Matt outside of Grand Lodge.

I drove the last bit while Matt navigated and took pictures of the countryside.

We had a rain/sun thing going on all day.

And Matt needed to take a picture of the driver.
We arrived at Stub to find our cabin was the exact same one we had last time.
We took a walk and found the new disk golf course. We played imaginary disc golf.

I had a really good over-and-over throw.

The park is still being constructed and so there are stumps everywhere.

The hilltop parking area makes for nice views when it isn't raining.

Pest Control Formula HOS Pome News Winter 2011

I've had this in my physical inbox for awhile because I wasn't sure what to do with it. I want to use it in the future, but didn't know where to put it. Then, VOILA! the answer came to me. I'll just type it in here and come back later to retrieve it when I need it.

Pest Control Formula
Mai Schreiber, HOS Member

Mai got this formula from a Seventh Day Adventist family who had used it for two generations. Mai has had extremely clean fruit in her ancient orchard that had been neglected for some years.

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 banana peel, chopped
1/2 gallon water
Also add chopped, withered, or even partly rotten apples

Mix all ingredients. Divide into half gallon milk jugs or other containers to hang in fruit trees. Mixture should be about three inches or more deep in bottom of container. Leave cap off so insects can enter. Insects are attracted by the odor of the mixture.

Hang containers in orchard (3 in a standard tree) on other branches in early March. Check regularly an replace when filled with insects. Dump on weeds--vinegar will help kill weeds.

Clean or replace containers filled with new mixture. Keep containers in trees all summer and fall until leaves fall off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Calm Coat Closet

Behind this door used to be a whirlwind of chaos: guitar sitting on the ground, gym bag and game bag thrown haphazardly, DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution) pad on top of everything.
Now there is calm. The guitar is now hanging on a hook, the winter hats have their own hooks, the gym bag and the game bag have their own spaces and the DDR pad is cleverly suspended above it all.
To do this I used two spring-loaded curtain rods. The DDR pad sits on top of the fray, but below the coats.

Peace of mind for $8.00.

Recipe Holder

BEFORE: I stuck the recipe I needed to reference to the wall with ticky-tack.
AFTER: I installed a magnetic knife holder vertically and now can post the recipes with magnets.

Drying Laundry Indoors

I like hanging my laundry to dry, but not outside during the three seasons it rains and is cold all the time. So I've purchased these drying racks and have mounted them on the wall. They lay flat when not in use.
But pop out when it's time to hang the laundry.
A full rack will stick out fairly far, but I can still get by.
I've also got an Octopus dryer in the closet for my underwear and socks.

It's handy because the clips are built in. I also think that things will dry more quickly in there because of the heat from the hot water heater. The pipes are insulated, but I can feel a temperature difference.
My goal is to use the dryer to dry my sheets (during the winter only) and let the air air-dry the rest. The dryer is typically the second biggest energy hog after the refrigerator, according to some quick googling. Our washer leaves a fair amount of water in our clothing, despite a second time through the spin cycle, and the dryer is becoming less efficient, even though we keep it clean of excess lint. So air drying is my attempt to save us some energy. I'll report back how the experiment works.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brother projects

Chris came over and we accomplished so much:
A compost sifter.
Planting of the contorted quince and three blueberries.
Framework for the Belgian fence. The trees will be planted and then the branches trained to grow along the bamboo supports. I can now just show people this picture to give them a visual rather than ineffectively throwing my hands into a "Y" shape and then an "X" shape.
The rain garden in Ryan and Emilia's yard is officially in operation. Now I just need it to rain so I can see how it does.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saved from the faulty shoe rack.

Here is my "before" picture of the unfortunate shoe rack I've been living with for ten (!) years. The large space between the two bars mean that the shoes always fall through. Happily, Linda, Matt's mom gave me an Ikea gift card for Christmas and I purchased a much better option.

The famous Ikea assembly.
A good helper.
More of an onlooker than a helper.
The finished product.
It holds eight pairs of shoes.
If I want to put my laundry basket in the closet, I can't access the bottom drawer easily, but I rarely need the shoes in the bottom drawer.