Category Archives: Molly

December19 – O Tannenbaum


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.



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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.



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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.

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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.  😩


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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 …

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.


July30 – A Trip to the Sun

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. 


Ten happy years


Körner’s Folly


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)

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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!!


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.)

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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.

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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


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:

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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.)

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


Picking up Annie:

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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!




1236Menchies is a favorite of our family.  (Unlike other fro-yo places, Menchies always has 2 flavors of sorbet, which pleases me, since I don’t like yogurt.) After only two days on the road, I needed a good treat for the kids, and I was really pleased to find a Menchies in Baton Rouge.

This is when the virus really kicked in for Molly.  She was coughing yesterday at the ‘gator place, but she was a trouper.  She especially enjoyed all the geocaches found or just attempted along the way, no matter how bad she felt.

One of the most awesome parts of today was seeing an alligator CROSSING THE ROAD!  It happened just before crossing into Mississippi, but I couldn’t get a picture before it disappeared into the grass.  A good ol’boy had stopped traffic to let the ‘gator cross without harm.

1911 I loved the backroads of Louisiana: lots of swamps, bridges, crawdad boats, etc in Louisiana. Mississippi was a little boring until we reached the Gulf of Mexico.  We stopped at the beach in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.  I was completely infatuated by the deserted town, particularly eerie at sunset. – it was apparently wiped out by Katrina.  Molly and Zoe enjoyed the sunset walk on the beach.

The hotel in Gulfport, Mississippi had a 24-hour pool, and the kids did not want to leave!  The hot tub was extremely hot, so I did not enjoy it very much.  😦

And, more photos on Smugmug

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