Category Archives: Annie

December19 – O Tannenbaum

Standard

IMG_5807-0Today, we cut down our very own Christmas tree … in the woods. We found out that you can get a permit to chop down a tree on BLM or National Forest land. Five bucks a tree, up to five per family.  We paid for two trees, a saw, a tree stand, and it cost us an additional two hours of family time.

We have been planning this for two weeks, but we kept getting sidetracked by activities or weather.  Finally, today was a beautiful clear day with lots and lots of snow, and our friends have left town for the holidays, so we had no other plans.  We drove toward Mt. Bachelor, hunting for a place where we could stop and walk off the road to even access trees.  The sights were beautiful, and it got colder and colder.

~

~

IMG_5791-0  IMG_5793

IMG_5799-0It was 23 degrees when we got to the ski resort.  We decided to check out the slopes, since we were there … We are planning to do ski lessons in January.  Annie is freaked out by the height, so we are not sure if she will do it — but she and I might try cross country skiing.  (I cross country skiied in Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Finland — and downhill skiied in Wisconsin, Finland, and Australia. But that was over 25 years ago! 😜)

 

~

~

IMG_5860Anyway, after a lot of complaining about the cold and wind, we returned to our original mission.  We drove back toward home and found a spot close to a trail, where another family was sledding.  Phil slipped on some icy tire tracks as we set off on our search.  We laughed at him.

The rules say you have to be 150 feet away from a highway, but this was just a regular road.  To be on the safe side, I told the kids to count to 150 steps, which led us to a fork in the trail.  We walked a little further and found a few suitable trees.  The rules also said the tree have to be under 12 feet tall, which was fine with us.

~

~

IMG_5824-0  IMG_5823-0

IMG_5822-0  IMG_5803

IMG_5805-1  IMG_5821-0

Annie wanted a little tree, which took longer to find than the big tree.  Eventually, we finished the shenanigans associated with walking in snow that was knee-high, took a bunch of pictures and made our way back to the truck.

IMG_5830  IMG_5834

IMG_5846  IMG_5836-0

Each of us helped Phil carry the tree, but I tripped literally at the edge of the road and twisted my ankle.  It still hurts.  😩

IMG_5849

IMG_5851  IMG_5857

We now have a tree.  It is outside.  We put lights on it tonight, and we will decorate it with weather-proof ornaments.  Maybe Santa will bring some toboggans or other snow toys under it …

~
IMG_5863-0
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum
Wie treu sind deine Blätter
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen.
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren.
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit,
Gibt Trost und Kraft zu jeder Zeit!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Dein Kleid will dein Kleid mich lehren.

Advertisements

July30 – A Trip to the Sun

Standard
July30 – A Trip to the Sun

Today, I took the girls to the Oregon Observatory and Sun River Nature Center. Our agenda was to look directly into the sun.  This is what we saw:

 
Yes. That is a picture of the sun, taken with my iPhone, through a special white light filtered telescope. If you look closely, you can maybe see a sunspot: which is actually a COOL spot on the surface of the sun. 

“Sunspots appear dark because they are cooler, by up to 1,500°K, than the surrounding photosphere. They are associated with strong magnetic fields and solar magnetic storms moving in a vortex pattern, similar to a tornado on Earth.”

Then, we saw this:  

This is a picture taken through the hydrogen alpha filtered telescope and reveals “surface details and loops of gas called prominences.” The gasses on the right side are the prominences. 

The core of the sun is about 27,000,000d F – thesurface of the sun is about 10,000d F – hot lava is about 1,000-2,000d F – the daytime temperature where we are (near Bend, OR) is in the 90s – nighttime temperature here is in the lower 50s!!

To round off the solar experience, here is Astronaut Zoe:  

And Molly, the Gray Squirrel:         

The rest of us were Kangaroo Rats. Humans are at the 7th line. Seems impossible to me. 

 

Teenagers Take Triple Falls

Standard

I took Annie and 3 of her friends to find “The Rock” where Peeta lay camouflaged in The Hunger Games.  I won’t bore anyone with all the details, but I will bore you with photographs.

Triple Falls, North Carolina:

IMG_5496   IMG_5472

Home Schoolers Obeying Signs:

IMG_5487   IMG_5486

IMG_5479   IMG_5477

Finding THE ROCK:

IMG_5488   IMG_5494

 

Sliding Rock (there were many other insane people getting into the cold water, too)

IMG_5497   IMG_5506

 

Annie actually slid down the rock twice!  Annabelle and I were the only sane ones who did not do this.

IMG_5510   IMG_5511

The day ended with ice cream, but I don’t have any pictures of that.

Körner’s Folly

Standard

As an architect with a specific interest in residential, I was excited to tour this house today.  The kids were less enthusiastic,  but in the end, I think they enjoyed themselves.

We started off in a bad way, though.  As soon as I parked the car, I realized I left my wallet at home!  Molly had $7, and I found $4 more.  I finally succeeded in begging Annie to loan me the additional $11, and we were set.  The tour started with a short video.  Zoe was her usual fidgety bored self, but we got a little information.  The house has 22 rooms and 15 fireplaces (which held Franklin Stoves instead of open fires).  It even had a cool (pun) passive cooling system of trapdoors, transoms and rotating windows that I’ve never seen before.  The house is being decorated for Christmas now, so there were Santas and ornaments everywhere.  (and boxes of more decorations waiting to be used)

IMG_2060 IMG_2059 IMG_2058 IMG_2057

Jule Körner began building in 1878 and remodeled the housenrepeatedly until he died in 1924.  He built it because he loved his work, but he also used it as a showcase for his interior design company – every doorway and room was unique.  I loved it!!

IMG_2061

This is a sunbathing dress – Victorian women would sunbathe as a social activity on the ROOF .  In order to maintain the pale complexion that was fashionable, they would also sit under parasols with hats and gloves.  Annie, in particular was astonished as to why they would even **go outside** if they didn’t want a tan.  (As recently as last summer, Annie has despised having a tan and would complain that her skin was getting darker … I think this summer might be different.)

IMG_2048  IMG_2051

IMG_2052  IMG_2045

Jule’s wife Polly ran a community theater for children in this theater on the top floor.  The ceilings are 25′, and there are murals and wonderful woodwork everywhere.  They still hold small shows here.  The family were also musicians and had puppet shows – which continue today.  There is a display case of old puppets, which freaked Zoe out, and here, she was just beginning to show her annoyance.  On our way home, 3 hours later, she suddenly began talking about it again – begging us to never ever go back again.  😦   The girls performed various theatrical antics on stage for the camera.  Don’t let Annie tell you she hated this – the third picture is of her laughing hysterically.

After the house tour, we met Phil half way with my wallet.

IMG_2063 IMG_2062

We then went to Old Salem Visitor Center, where we got some amazing fresh fudge.  We also walked down old Main Street and found this cool water pump.  We found two geocaches, and Annie was bored to tears.  Dinner and shopping at Whole Foods and back home.  We are heading to the mountains tomorrow.

We saw a geocaching sticker on a car for the first time tonight – unfortunately, we couldn’t read the tracking number on it.  I want one!!

Camp Was Fun

Standard

1045006_267906196684882_1597676676_nAnnie and Molly just returned from a week-long sleepover camp!

Ten days ago, we learned about this local camp, Crescent Lake Bible Camp, which is literally 5 minutes away from Grandma and Papa’s house.  The camp has been operating for over 80 years and has wonderful activities ranging from water skiing and tubing, swimming in the lake, a trampoline on the lake, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, rock climbing, archery, paint ball, ropes coarse (including zip line and rappelling), horseback riding, and more!  They also offer week-long day camps, but when the girls found out about the overnight camp, they both insisted!  We found out about it 3 days before it started, and this was the only week until August that either of them could do overnight camp.

The only drawback, in my opinion, is that the overnight campers were  mainly from out of town, but the day campers would probably be more local.

Before and After Camp:

1043905_10201546238162520_964724357_n  1010639_10201546238882538_897316500_n

Dropping off Molly:

(Molly’s cabin is green.  Annie’s is pink.  There is an orange dot and arrow showing where I took some scenery pictures.)

421834_267906270018208_1915282663_n  988650_267912603350908_1360921997_n

1000898_267906253351543_1049820323_n  998899_267906293351539_1334217122_n

Without two children, the house was very quiet, and Zoe sure did miss her sisters.  Even the shoe shelf was lonely after they left.

1044945_267906313351537_1315188845_n

Picking up Annie:

1013425_10201547394591430_732301145_n  934936_10201547400711583_178855373_n

Now, both girls are sad that camp is over and wonder if they will see their friends again.  I sure do hope they keep in touch with someone!

 

Oregon to Texas, February 2013

Standard

feb11lunch

HarveyTwo has brought us back to Texas!  It was a long trip, with lots of interesting detours.  Phil has returned to work, which is hard for us all, but it is necessary.  I am having trouble thinking of Houston as “home”, but it is familiar and warmer … I hope to have the kids write about some of their impressions next week, when “school” resumes. More pictures can be seen at SmugMug

February 10:  After a long day of last-minute preparations, a last-lunch from Burgerville, and lots of rearranging, we finally pulled out of Sandy Riverfront RV Park in Troutdale, which we had called home since June 2012.  We drove to Eugene, Oregon, where we spent the night.

feb11sunset2February 11: Lunch for the road was fresh-fruit-salad-in-a-jar.  We drove west to Highway 101, where we had breathtaking views of the coast.  We stopped at Turtle Rock, Oregon, where we stayed for two nights in a nice RV park on the coast.

February 12: We learned about “sneakers” and “seastacks” and played horseshoes.  We all got wet feet when the sneakers snuck up on us while we walked on the beach, but Molly actually fell in a wave!  It was COLD, but we mustered the courage to keep walking and admiring the views.  The park hosted a Mardi Gras party, which seems really ironic to us Texans.  They ruined the gumbo, though, with the addition of critters we don’t eat, so the kids only got to eat dessert!

February 13: We said farewell to Oregon.  Weeks of angst about crossing the California border were dismissed instantly when we crossed without even stopping.  (I was worried about what they might think of our worm-bin.)

feb13redwoods3We stopped at a Ranger Station in Crescent City, where we got quick advice about how to see the most while towing a big trailer.  We drove out to the beach in Crescent City for more spectacular seastacks and found the local hangout for sea lions before heading further south for the Redwood National Forest.  When we got our first views of the Giant Redwoods, I was impressed.  They are truly as awe-inspiring as I had hoped, and our monster truck was indeed dwarfed by the trees.  The forest is wet and quiet and just “feels” ancient.

February 14:  We drove to Eureka for the afternoon to meet up with an online friend of mine.  The kids got to run around a great playground for feb15hikedownawhile, which was definitely good for them.

Feberuary 15:  We decided to go for a walk before we left.  It was a LOT further than we anticipated, but it was fun – at least for the grownups.  We walked to what we thought was a “beach access”, but it was only a scenic overlook.  The cliff was steep, but a trail taunted us, so we investigated.  When we got to the bottom of the hundreds of steps, we found a rather primitive “ladder” that seemed to have been beaten by the tides into a very unstable position.  After lots of complaining that it was “not fair”, we finally convinced the kids that we had to return to the top without going all the way down to the tidal pools.  (I did test out the ladder, and it was just a little too unsteady to attempt with the kids.  Maybe 20 years ago, but not today.)  That night, we stayed at an RV park that was at the top of a hill – a dark, twisty, narrow road led us there.  If we hadn’t been so tired, it would have been a good place to explore.

February 16: We drove south through beautiful places and across the Golden Gate Bridge.

feb17February 17:  Bare feet and sandals! We arrived at Orangeland to find ripe oranges and grapefruit on the trees.  What a difference from Portland, in only seven days.

February 18:  Annie was responsible for finding something new to do in Los Angeles.  All she wanted to do was go to Hollywood – again – which really didn’t appeal to me, but this was a long trip anyway, so we needed to do something the kids wanted to do.  She found a historical ship, the Queen Mary, for us to visit.  It took us about two hours to get there, due to an unfortunate accident of BOTH parents forgetting their wallets.

feb18submarine2We did finally get to see the ship, including its gigantic engines and propellors and fascinating history as both a cruise ship and a military transport.  Adjacent to the ship is a Russian submarine, that we toured, as well – Molly left her puppy Ruby by the periscope, causing another MAJOR drama for the day.

February 19:  Happy Birthday to Molly!!  We celebrated with a trip to Hollywood Boulevard, where she was serenaded by a girl-band recording a music video.  We went to the Guinness World Record Museum, which was hokey but amusing.  Part of the Boulevard was closed, preparing for the Oscar ceremony (“not fair” that we were there on the wrong day).  We finished the day at a very enjoyable ramen restaurant in Los Angeles – Orochon.

feb20windmills1

February 20:  We drove east through fields of windmills.

February 21:  Arizona

February 22:  We arrived in Las Cruces, New Mexico and were greeted by a centipede.  For the next three days, Zoe was petrified to walk outside the RV, for fear of the “spiky thing.”  Our RV park was down the road from the dealership where we found HarveyTwo, 10 months ago.

23febsand1February 23:  At last, we reached White Sands, a destination that had intrigued me since our return from Calgary, in the fall of 2011.  We watched the movie in the Ranger Station and bought the obligatory sleds before driving to the dunes.  Again, my breath was taken away by the splendor of nature.  We climbed the hills of cold sand, under the perfect blue sky.  Molly and Zoe had the most fun with the sleds, but they preferred just rolling down the hills.  Annie, Phil and I each tried it, but it was anticlimactic.  We took dozens of photos, which we will put online soon.  We chatted with some horse-riders, who had been riding in the sands all day long.  I have never seen such sweaty tired horses!  As the sun set over the mountains, even Annie didn’t want to leave.

February 24:  Weather kept us in Las Cruces for one more day.  Windstorms were just not a thing we wanted to endure with our trailer.  We spent a couple hours hunting for Geocaches instead and relaxed.  If you have never heard of Geocaching, it is like a treasure hunt, following clues and GPS coordinates that are posted on a website.  We found four, and we rather enjoyed ourselves.

feb25welcomeFebruary 25:  We entered Texas!  A long way, still, from Houston …

February 26:  We arrived in Kerrville and visited with Aunt Linda for a little while.  It was a momentous day:  Happy Anniversary to my parents, and Happy Birthday to Nana!

February 27:  Katy, Texas!  (I’m still not sure how we crossed Texas in only two days.)