Category Archives: Our Environment

A pleasant few days spent in the calm beauty of Key Largo.

“Saw Bogarts African Queen”Saw Bogarts African Queen

“Tiptoed around an Iguana”Tiptoed around an Iguana

“Fed Tarpons from the dock”Fed Tarpons from the dock

“Drove past Seven Mile bridge on way to Key West”Drove past Seven Mile bridge on way to Key West

“Attended a wedding on the gulf”Attended a wedding on the gulf

Springwater Bunny


For several days, I have seen this little white bunny along the bike path by Oaks Park. It seemed unusual to see a white one in the wild.  Then one day it wasn’t out,  and I mentioned my new little friends disappearance to Honey. She worried that it may become prey of the feral cat community that exists along the track.

Do not fear Honey, this morning I see  my little friend is still fat and happy, enjoying the sunshine.

While you were gone

Three years, we planted a Cardiocrinum. These plants tend to be monocarpic, dying after flowering. This one spent two years as a little knee high plant.
On the third year it shot up to 5 feet. Every day, we watched as the large flower heads formed and, as they were ready to burst……
We went away for a bicycle trip to Germany.
We left instructions with the young son to photograph it if it bloomed while were were away.
Here is what he saw.

The night we came back, there was one wilted flower hanging on.
And it dropped off the next morning.
Three years!

Doe on the Springwater Corridor

This morning on my bicycle ride to work on the Springwater Corridor just north of Oaks Bottom, I stopped to watch this doe, chewing on the ripening blackberries.

Don’t know how he got to this spot, as its bordered by the Willamette, and heavily trafficked Mcloughlin Blvd.
But the little guy did look hungry, and perhaps not as afraid of people as he should be if he is to survive this far in to the urban environments.

Doe on the Springwater Corridor



Now its 4 days later, and riding at the same stretch of the bike path and theres the doe again, though this time there are three of them. I was able to get a shot of the last, and smallist deer as they headed back into the bushes.  They must be bedding down in this spot right off the trail.

Another but smaller Doe on the Springwater Corridor

Mark the tile guy is finally done

Our tile guy has been great. He has been here about every other day for weeks, it kind of feels like he is family. The counter tops got installed on Friday and Mark was here all day Saturday installing and grouting the glass tile backsplashes. He used epoxy grout which is much more difficult to install but is durable and mildew resistant. While we will miss his smiling face when we come home from work, we are glad he is done. Counter and back splash in downstairs bath

Counter and back splash in upstairs bath

In preparation of the tiles.

Today the county posted the plumbing permit on the wall. We are legal in the eyes of the law, yet, we are now in the system.

Mark, the tile guy, has finished installing the cement backer board on the floors and surrounds in preparation for laying tile. As well as doing what looks like a great job on the show pan foundation.

Plus he has placed some tiles down for Honey to see just how the upstairs floor might look like against the tub.

Drain work and Delays

Old style can be solid, but not always most efficient. Sometimes newer is better. Replacing some drainage systems will hopefully make some things, well, drain better.  So today the sewage system was replaced from upstairs……….

down through the the main floor bathroom.


Currently, the drywall work is waiting for the tile guy to install his tile cement board.
The tile guy is now waiting for the county to approve the permit, for the work to the tub, shower pan, new pipes,  and sewage replacement.
The county guy isn’t going to come out on Friday since he is waiting for more tax money in order for the county offices to be open 5 days a week.
Because now, they dont work on Friday.
I guess that means that nobody is going to work here on Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday.

This was a good time for Honey to head east to Louisville.
Have a good time Honey and enjoy that clean and convenient bathroom.

Mason Bees for our backyard.

We got a couple tubes of mason bee cocoons that we are hoping will hatch about 30 bees.
Plus we want them to know that they always have a home to come home to.
So they should soon be hatching, and going about their busy bee like activity.
Then plugging up the little holes with baby bees for next year. We will watch closely.
Last year we had a colony of bees in the bird house below this bee home, but it doesn’t appear they are coming back.

We got our bees and home from The Backyard Bird Shop, here is their blog post on Mason Bees.

The Backyard Bird Shop has recently been instrumental in promoting a bird seed tax to assist with wildlife preservation projects. Wildlife habitats are shrinking rapidly in the Portland metro area especially, and much work is needed to preserve and resurrect the areas that we do have left.

Roasting Chestnuts in an enclosed oven…..

So Honey finds this wonderful stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, and one of the ingredients is roasted chestnuts.
Hmm, where can you buy roasted chestnuts?
No matter. The internets are full of how-to pages for roasting them, all I need are fresh chestnuts, still in their shell. I can learn how to roast chestnuts.
And as I discover, Safeway does indeed have fresh chestnuts.

Click On - Whole Chestnuts

Here’s a plate of fresh chestnuts. I am not sure I ever knes what they looked like before now.

Click On - Peeled Chestnuts

Most of the instructions say to score them with a knife.  A serrated knife worked best for me. Some say make one cut, some say make an x, some say just stab with a fork.
I chose x’es. It just felt right. The internest did say,  Do NOT roast them without scoring them first, or they will explode. Honey quickly nixed my plan to see how they might explode.

Click On - Roasted Chestnuts

We roasted them in our oven for 20 minutes. I know the song, but the fire just seemed like overkill.

Click On - Peeled Chestnuts

Then after letting them cool a little bit, just peel off the skin.
They were great in the stuffing, and not bad to eat by themselves while they are warm.

Seaside in December.

In at the Shore View
We spent a couple days at Seaside during the Christmas break. Mostly the wind howled, the waves crashed, and the hail came down. But we did manage a few walks along the beach and the promenade.

Beach bikes to use

We stayed at The Inn at the Shore condos, where they have some very nice bikes for use out on the sand. We elected to walk.

Snow in the Coast Range

As might be expected at the end of December, it snowed in the coast range.
A careful drive home, and all is well.