Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From Peaceful to Pop-Ups!

Wow....what a month! I had a really hard time deciding what to write about first. I decided to open with a photo of our latest water feature, mentioned in an earlier post. Our 'Water Pagoda, standing over 12 feet tall, was installed during mid Summer in a grove of fir trees to the West of our house. My husband, Fred, took two years creating it from steel that he cut and carefully welded together. Water recirculates from the top pinnacle and flows down the trays into a basin at the bottom, creating the most wonderful sound....like a gentle rain shower.... as the water drips from tray to tray! I've done my part by placing a few plants around it's base, along with river rock, and a small bench located a few feet away. It's the perfect place to sit and reflect. From the footprints that I've seen in the clearing it appears that the deer and a few other woodland critters like it too! It's a great addition to our garden.

Earlier in the month we took off for Central and Southern Oregon....Fred took part in the week long Cycle Oregon event with his fraternity brother Jim Dauber. The ride this year, which includes 1200 hardy cyclists, started in Medford and went across the Siskiyu Mts. into California...then back into Oregon for a picturesque 440 miles or more! While they were riding, Jim's wife, Chris and I were enjoying ourselves biking and swimming at Black Butte Ranch, tucked into a small cabin that we had rented from a friend. We drove down to see Crater Lake at the end of the week and then met our two super-cyclists for a grand celebration dinner at the historic Jacksonville Hotel. The weather for all of us couldn't have been better. It was a week that celebrated the sheer beauty that nature can provide if we only take the time to enjoy it.

Home again, we were hit with pounds of ripe tomatoes and garden produce....so the counters are once again covered and the kettle is boiling! I've discovered the delights of tomato pie, roasted tomatoes, and untold variations of tomato salads. The dry, warm weather and sunshine have continued, only giving way to cool mornings and the feel of Fall just recently. Our grapes are doing beautifully and may actually be harvested in a few short weeks....early for us, since we usually have to wait until the end of October before the sugars are up high enough. This Summer seemed to fly by.

I ended the month with a two day Pop-Up Book workshop, which now has me anxious to create books and cards for everyone that I've ever known. What fun! There are so many enjoyable things to do that I'm not sure which to do first. I've decided that this dilemma is a good thing and will help keep me young. I know that I will always enjoy designing, sketching, gardening, reading , and traveling....these are the threads that make life a meaningful, beautiful quilt.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Working the Farm

This week, pictures will say it better than words......
Every week my grandson and I walk to the farm just down the road, where a vast array of animals enjoy their days in an idyllic country setting. We help feed the chickens in enchange for eggs that he has learned to gather from the hen house. He also feeds the pigs....and sometimes, the goats, and Llamas! It is a magical time.

We have a farm of our own here at Cloudrest, but it is a farm without animals at the moment. I, instead, fertilize and weed my vegetable beds, and tend to the many grapevines that we have in the vineyard. At this time of year it's a chore just keeping up with eating and preserving all of the food.