Thursday, April 28, 2005

JUST FOR TODAY

Two or three years ago I was sifting through the religion section of the local used book store and came across a couple of "offices" (prayer manuals) from a small religious community in Northumbria in England. They are a loosely affliated group that emphasizes the Celtic strain of Christian practice. With all the emphasis and controversy over things that may happen fifteen or twenty years down the road, I've found this really speaks to me.

This is the profession of faith from the set of prayers for the evening.

Lord, You have always given
Bread for the coming day,
And though I am poor,
    Today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
Strength for the coming day,
And though I am weak,    
   Today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
Peace for the coming day.
And though of anxious heart,
   Today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
Me safe in trials,
And now, tried as I am,
    Today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
The road for the coming day,
And though it may be hidden,
    Today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
This darkness of mine,
And though the night is here,
    Today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
When time was ripe,
And though You be silent now,
    Today I believe.

Yes, it's only wise to plan for tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. But, sometimes when the going gets tough, just getting through one day at a time can be a triumph.

So, good luck for the morrow. May you get through the day in peace and be blessed with a little joy.

Blessed be

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

FILIBUSTERS AND OTHER RUMINATIONS

My, oh my. This one got a little long, didn't it? I knew lunch hours were good for something. LOL

 

Personally, I think the filibuster is a great tool. Oregon was the home of one of the great filibusterers of the last century, Senator Wayne Morse. He was one of the few senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that helped expand America’s role in Viet Nam. I suspect if the senator were still with us he would be hoppin’ mad.

 

Several things are making me really nervous. First, the personalizing of political appointments. The ambassador to the UN is not representing the president. He is representing America. The judges are not the president’s judges. They are doing the people’s business. The last time I checked there was no quota system for judicial appointments. In other words, so many judges for the Catholics, so many for the Methodists, so many for the Hispanics, and so on. In my opinion, this can only lead to chaos and more fragmentation. Oh, and if these gentlemen are personal representatives of the president. HE can pay their wages out of his pocket. If I have to pay for ‘em, I want a say, through my representatives, whether they are fit to represent me.

 

Second, the blurring of the separation of church and state. I feel that these protections are as much for the protection of the churches as the protection of the state. Once the church climbs in bed with Caesar, she’s apt to find that Caesar hogs the blankets and the remote, leaves crumbs in the bed and wants to leave the windows open all night no matter how cold it gets. The radical religious right will get dropped like a hot potato when their support is no longer needed.

 

 

Oh, and a word to the pastors of these Mega churches. It’s hard for you folks to remember, looking out on your huge congregations, that you are not the majority in this country. You’re not even the majority of the folks who call themselves Protestants. Personally, I have no desire to belong to a church that has more members than the town I grew up in. Oakridge Oregon-population at the time, about 3,500. And since you’ve managed to create a safe little world where you never run into anything or anyone that disagrees with your view of the universe, you seem to have gotten the idea that the larger world has to conform to your comfort zone. Not gonna happen. No way, no how, no sir.

 

Third, and the most scary, the idea that the law is whatever the president or congress says it is on a particular day. This implies that if they change their minds tomorrow then the law changes. That is a very scary, very radical idea. The English speaking world has been working toward the idea that the law is interpreted by the judge since the time of Henry II of England. And he parked his royal pants on the throne in the 1100's. It isn't perfect and it still needs work, but it beats the alternative.

 

An independent judicial branch is absolutely vital to the survival of our government. What keeps getting overlooked is that Republican presidents appointed most of the judges they’re screaming about. There seems to be something very liberating about knowing that you can’t be kicked off the bench as long as you keep your ethical nose clean.

 

I believe what I’m trying to say here is that WE are the government. When you scrape away all the barnacles that have grown on the beauracracy over the centuries nothing has changed. Everybody in Washington from the President on down is just the hired help. I do believe it's long past the time to remind the whole sorry lot of that little truth 

 

Oh, and another thought for the day. “Where there is one, there is a majority of one.” I truly believe that our government was set up to protect all those majorities of one

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A CELTIC PRAYER

This is an adaptation of a Celtic prayer that I found in the book KNITTING INTO THE MYSTERY.

May the blessing of light be on you,
light without and light within
and light inside the darkness within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you
and warm your heart 'til it glows,
like a great peat fire, so that strangers may come
and warm themselves; and that friends may come.
And may the light shine out of the eyes of you,
like a candle set in the windows of a house,
bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you--
The soft, sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that the seedlings of light
in you shadow may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the great rains be on you,
that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing for the earth be on you--
the great round earth
who carries all; the great round earth
whose suffering has already become radiant.
May you ever have a kindly greeting for people
you pass as you are going along the roads.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly,
your kin and all creatures.

Blessed be


Friday, April 22, 2005

A QUARTER OF AN INCH

There's a new entry over at Hestia Homeschool about some screwy definitions of child abuse and whether or not to spank It reminded me of something that happened with my oldest nephew when he was about two or so.

My brother in law was working swing and my sister was going to real estate school so we watched Chris a lot. Chris was and is (19 years later) mischief incarnate. We discouraged him from touching the tv screen. I looked up and he was in front of the tv with his hand up. I started to say something when I realized that he was NOT touching the screen. The finger was about a quarter of an inch FROM the screen, but was not touching the the screen. He looked over his shoulder with the cheekiest grin I'd seen up 'til then. I just about turned purple trying to keep from laughing and he just kept grinning. It is one of my most treasured memories. :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

JUST GOOD ENOUGH

I ran across a quote from Sam Walton, the founder of WalMart, regarding the wages they pay their employees. “We pay them just as much as we can get by with.” In other words the pay is just good enough to get someone desperate for a job to work for you.

 

The Portland Oregonian ran a series on WalMart several years ago. It described the process suppliers of items like clothing go through to get their items accepted. If the buyer figures that one item of trim is enough that’s all that is ordered. If you can get by with no trim that’s even better. In other words, the garment is just good enough to get a customer to buy it.

 

I’ve run across this attitude in a lot of letters to the editor. Especially when the schools or public works departments are trying to get adequate funding. Sam Walton didn’t invent the attitude. WalMart is just the most blatant example.

 

Just good enough. Imagine if a surgeon does a job that’s just good enough. How about the people who clean up after the operation is over. Do you want to trust your life to just good enough? Do you want the mechanic who works on your brakes to do a job that is just good enough? How about the architect who designed the skyscraper you might be working in and the metal workers who drove the rivets that hold it together-do you want them to do a job that’s just good enough? When it’s time to dump treated wastewater into our rivers, do you want the job to be just good enough? There are a million examples and I know that any of you could come up with a great list of your own. That so many do such a fantastic job with so little is a testament to our shared pride in creation.

 

If we truly are made in the image of the Creator, and I believe that we are, then there has to be so much more. We share that urge to create and to look at what we create and to see that “it is good.” The ones whose hands and minds and hearts create the clothing, make the cars, build the houses, grow the food, clean our streets, teach our children, and care for ourelders deserve the greatest respect. And the way our economy is run right now doesn’t support that drive to create, it tears it down.

 

What they are doing is creating our world. They are the eyes, the ears, the hands, and the voice of Creation. That is worthy of the highest praise. And JUST GOOD ENOUGH doesn’t cut it.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

THROUGH THE WINDOW

Shot these with the 1.9 mega pixel camera that came with my camcorder with the telephoto lens as far as it would go. It's good for candids, if you aren't too picky.

I'm not sure if some of the fuzzier shots I didn't upload are the fault of the camera or me. It's really hard to hold your hand still, keep track of the LCD display and get the shot.

I know, practice, practice, practice. LOL

ANNA IN THE UK

Just wanted to note I have link in my favorite places to what I think is a great Webshots site. And not just because she signed my guestbook. Some really fantastic close up shots of butterlies, gardens (Monet's in France for instance). Anyway I took a look, got hooked and just wanted to share. :-)

http://community.webshots.com/user/annedm1 This is her web address, for some reason links don't work in my journal right now. Go figure.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

THE FURRY SEED THIEF

One of the local squirrels has figuared out that there are a couple of feeders in the dogwood. He may have known before but didn't care until we changed the mix to one that includes sunflower chunks.

We added baffles to the feeder set up today. We'll see how long the "bafflement" lasts. I don't really begrudge him the food, but they have their own little cornor of the yard. I spotted a seed feeder for squirrels when we got the baffles. It looks perfect for fastening to the top of a fence post. I'll see about it after pay day. I'll see if I can't encourage them to hang out on the other side of the yard. Anybody care to place a bet on how successful I'll be?

There's a local craftsman who makes bird houses for one of the local nursuries. He makes a two story one labeled for day or night pest control. The upper part is for bats, the lower part for swallows. It's awfully big though. The local bats already have the hill to hang out in and we never seem to remember the hole in the garage wall until after a swallow family has moved in for the new year. We're having to take a zen like approach to adding things to the yard. It isn't that big and it's easy to be attracted to additions that are too big.

Besides if I can get them out in the open maybe I can get some decent pictures. The ones that like to visit the feeder in the front window like to hang upside down. I have some really good shots of squirrel tails. LOL

JUST GOT THESE IN

Thanks everybody, I think we set a record for comments on my last journal entry. Lisa, thank you girlfriend for steering so many people my way.

I have a much longer entry percolating, but I just picked up some new film and these little guys were just begging to be shared.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I beel better just looking at them. :-)

They are 1) a pink dogwood blossom. the tree is just reaching full bloom.  2) a primrose after a spirng  shower 3) a new tulip we got last fall, Sorry, I don't know the vareity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

THE LAST WORD

Hopefully this will be my last comments on dear old Tom Delay. The man makes me wish I had stock in Pepto Bismol.

Ran across a blogger who shall remain nameless who believes that Tom Delay deserves another chance. Another chance to do what? Threaten judges who don't dance to his tune? Trample on the concept of separation of powers? A concept he obviously either doesn't understand or just doesn't give a damn about. Figure out new and creative ways to raise money from corporate donors? Sell out another piece of OUR country to the highest bidder?

The preamble to our constitution starts with WE THE PEOPLE, not we the Republicans, not we the Democrats, not we the drug companies, not we the credit card industry, not we the companies of Big Oil, but WE THE PEOPLE. That's all the people Tom, not just the people who support your narrow view the direction this country should be going.

There is more to a "Culture of Life" than what happens before birth and at the doorway to that path we're all going to take. It's about clean water, clean air, making education and affordable medical care available to everyone. Making sure that the working poor don't have to work two or three jobs just to stay in poverty. It's about making sure the Wal Marts of this world don't subsidize their low prices by paying wages so low that their associates have to apply for food stamps or use the local emergency room as their primary doctor because they can't afford insurance coverage for their families or by buying products from contractors who run sweatshops. So, how 'bout it Tom. How about a little We the People for a change.

The saying "What goes around, comes around" was never truer than in this case. Here's hoping it comes around sooner rather than later.

Friday, April 8, 2005

A WORD OF ADVICE

A couple of words of advice for Tom Delay. I suspect you’ll finally get dumped for violating the first commandment of politics. “Thou shalt not embarrass thy fellow party members or the voters in thy home district." They’ll overlook a Mt. Everest sized pile of unprocessed farm yard fertilizer as long as it doesn’t make THEM look bad and the smell stays pretty much down wind.

 

As for the sorry excuse for some the alleged violations that “Everybody else does it” just doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t work with my sisters when my nephews try it and it shouldn’t work for you, either. Come to think of it, it didn't work with my mom when we tried it either. Gee Tom, if everybody else climbed to the top of the capitol dome and tried to fly off would you go too? Or would your inevitable run-in with the law of gravity be blamed on the out-of-control judicial branch of government.

 

Ouch! I think my curmudgeon genes just kicked in. LOL

Thursday, April 7, 2005

WHAT WILL YOU REMEMBER?

My last entry, my own leanings, and some conversations with co-workers and friends got me to thinking. And that can be dangerous.

 

We are living in a time that seems obsessed with diet, the latest clothes, the latest technological gadgets, super fast internet connections, the whole commercial glitz, and glitter.

 

I found myself thinking. Tomorrow, next month, next year, whenever the time; when I’m facing that road we all have to take, what will I remember. Will I remember that I had a big screen TV or that I shared a good movie with a friend. Will I remember that I had a computer with a super fast Internet connection or that I shared pictures with my sisters and friends. Will I remember that my I pod held x number of songs or that I loved Celtic harp music. Will I be thinking about all the fat grams I worried about or that my mom and I loved to go to McGrath’s for their Fisherman’s’ Stew. Will I regret that I didn’t have the latest cell phone with all the bells and whistles or will I remember long conversations with my sisters, no matter what kind of phone we used. Will I remember all the latest gadgets that briefly caught my eye over the years or how good it felt to take up my knitting needles again. I think you get the picture.

 

I know what I’ll be remembering. May your memories be as good.

 

GO FIND A MOUNTAIN

I’ve been watching Rome fill up with pilgrims to gaze at the mortal remains of a great man. But, I can’t help thinking this is a morbid way to honor the man.

 

The man loved to ski or hike, go find a mountain. When he was serving in a parish, he took the youth groups on kayaking trips. Go find a river. He loved soccer. Go kick a ball.

 

There’s a wonderful picture in the current Newsweek. I’m don’t remember if the caption said where it was taken. The man is still standing tall and he’s up in the snow country. He’s managed slip away from the entourage and is gazing up towards the mountains and the sky. If no mountains are handy, try for a park and just spend a few minutes glorying in what the Creator(ess) has freely given.

 

From what I gathered from the article he was constantly having friends in for lunch or dinner. Hug a friend and go out for a meal. At least spend some time together.

 

The man prayed unceasingly. Spend some time with whatever scriptures speak to your soul. I truly believe that death is just a doorway. The road keeps going on the other side.

Monday, April 4, 2005

I'M MYSTIFIED

I have worked my way through Article I several times. While I find the right of congress to establish the lower federal courts. I haven't been able to find anything to fit what both houses did during the Schiavo fiasco and I find no entry that gives congress the power to tell them HOW to rule. Am I missing something here?  

Article I

Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President ofthe United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

Section 4. The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 5. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time: and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries; To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--

And To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Section 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from anystate.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

Section 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

THINGS I'M THANKFUL FOR-OREGON

Let's see if you drive west by north for about two hours you can be in Newport and visit the Aquarium. Two hours or so east by south you can be just outside of Bend and visit the High Desert Museum.

About three hours north and east will get you to Crown Point in the Columbia Gorge. Also known as the Great Northwest Wind Tunnel. On the way through the gorge you can see the remains of the Bridge of the Gods. Native Americans told stories about a land bridge that spanned the gorge. Supposedly two warriors got into a fight over young woman and when the dust settled the bridge was gone. The gods turned the three into mountains-Hood, Adams and St Helens. I think Mt. St Helens- the maiden- lets us know every once in awhile just what she thinks of that outcome.

Three hours or so east and south will get you to Crater Lake National Park. The lake is a wonderful deep blue. The rim drive takes maybe an hour. The lake is in the remains of Mt Mazama. Mazama erupted so violently the lava chamber emptied and the weight of the mountain caused it to fall in on itself. Rain and snowfall filled the collapsed mountain and created the Lake. The area around the lodge is inhabited by some of the boldest chipmunks and squirrels I've ever met. They will literally hold you up for peanuts. Or anything edible for that matter.

Drive up 101 on the coast and you'll pass the replica of Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark spent the winter and lamented that it never seemed to stop raining. And where Clark first viewed the Great Western Ocean. He said he refused to call it The Pacific (peace) because he hadn't "seen one peaceful thing about it since he got here." Go a little further north and you come to Ft Stevens State Park. It's the site of an actual fort that was manned during WWII and one of the few places in the continental US that came under enemy fire. Go back down 101 and you can visit over a dozen State Parks (conservative count, there's threeon the peninsula  just below Coos Bay alone) see old light houses and stop at Depot Bay. Depot Bay is one of the smallest working harbors in the country. If you can find a place to park you can stand just above the channel and watch the tour boats go in and out. There's also a small candy store that sells salt water taffy and has the old cutting and wrapping machine in the front window.

This time of year you can drive up to the overlook at Cape Perpetua and if you're very lucky you can see Gray whales migrating south to Baja.

Frankly that's a small list of what you can see here. About what I could come up with in say fifteen minutes.

In spite of the economic problems Oregon has been having it's a good place to be. And I suspect that my itchy footed ancestors ended up settling here because they ran out of dry land when they came west.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

SATURDAY MORNING IN THE UNTRADITIONAL YARD

We've got a break in the rain showers this morning and the yard is alive. The computer is right by the front window and I've got finches on the rose trellis and had a chickadee on the partially enclosed porch. I suspect that right now he's telling all his friends about the monster that kept moving things while he was trying to get through that funny barrier between him and the rose bush. (the porch enclosure is mostly window) The poor thing was on the verge of giving himself a concussion. I've found that if I can get behind the bird, it will eventually find its own way out.

The yard is becoming everything we'd hoped for when we pulled the grass two years ago. It's full of life and bird song and I've seen at least two bumble bees so far. They like vinca and Oregon Grape. What they really like is lavender and that is greening up beautifully. The dogwood where we hang the feeders is showing the first blush of pink.

I look at the ads for the weed killers and the turf builders and just shake my head. Green lawns (sorry Scotts and Monsanto) are so boring. The only insects I've ever seen on a perfectly green lawn are lawn moths. And birds, forget it. Except for an occasional robin lucky enough to catch a worm after watering, they usually go somewhere else. We live in an old neighborhood right next to a hill with lots of trees so we've got finches in the dogwood, chickadees in the rhodies, sparrows in the phone lines, and we'll probably find that family of starlings has nested in the garage wall again. LOL

Hobbits had the right idea. Build your house into the hill, and plant the garden on top.