Got Cat Maze Boxes?

by Kimberly A. Cook                         (Twitter@     WarriorTales)

Still don’t have a grasp on August. Hopeful for September. In the meantime, we are preparing for eclipseageddon here in Oregon.

Yesterday was the first traffic jam in La Pine, Oregon for folks arriving for the music festival eclipse party. With even all the hotel rooms in Vancouver, Washington booked, all 17,000 rental cars reserved at the Portland Airport and not a Porta-Potty available in the state, it’s going to be a weird weekend and wacky Monday.

So what are those of us who live here doing? Hunkering down with snacks, watching the tv coverage from our LaZBoys so we don’t damage our eyes and staying off all roads for the next four days. Trafficageddon and cell phone tower overload is predicted. The current mantra? Pack food, water and cash.

So what better thing to do instead then set up toys for your cats? Cole and Marmalade demonstrate an indoor activity for cats and cat staff everywhere. This is one way not to have to put eclipse glasses on the felines!

Happy Quirky Friday, have a safe weekend and very safe eclipse!

 

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August Summer Daze?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

August has gotten away from me. Between a record heart wave with à la mode forest fire smoke for 11 days, a house guest, roofers, a plugged up garbage disposal and a two-day writer’s conference, time marched on.

Today is our first half day of clean air and more humane temperatures. Yeah! For awhile there breathing was optional and not recommended. Thank heaven for air conditioning and forest fire fighters! And marine air from the Pacific Ocean.

So before it became harmful for everyone to be outside in August, including our Oregon Zoo residents, here is how they were enjoying the summer days.

Have a safe weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Happy Birthday Beatrix!

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Today is Beatrix Potter’s birthday, that champion of little rabbits in coats with brass buttons.  What better way to spend a Friday than having bunny dreams.

An extraordinary woman, especially for her time, she is an enduring artist, author and treasure. What she accomplished in countryside land conservation with the proceeds from her “little bunny book” is legend and part of the National Trust in the United Kingdom. If you havwen’t seen the movie “Miss Potter,” take a look at this trailer and put it on your list.

Rabbits rule! Go Peter!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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Can You Swim, Eat And Dry Your Hair?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (twitter@  WarriorTales)

One reason I went into the Army is I can’t swim for beans. Do a mean dog paddle or glide? Yes. Breast stroke? No.  So when I saw this clip from the “Nature” television show with sea otters not only eating and swimming, but a momma otter blowing her baby’s hair dry and swimming, so impressive.

I can barely dry my hair standing on dry land, let alone swimming. Might be an electrical issue with the whole power cord thing too. That’s why those warning labels are on hair dryers because you know some idiot tried it. Once.

Watch these otters in action courtesy of the robot “Spy Otter” who snuck up and got these papparazi shots of the sea otters.

Have a great, safe, weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

 

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Heaven In Hood River?

by Kimberly A. Cook                               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last month I took off on a day adventure with my family to celebrate my birthday. One of those decade birthdays and I’m not telling which one. Now this trip came about because the two special places I wanted to go for lunch only served dinner. Drat it all. After trying other ideas, I asked myself what I really wanted to do; road trip to Hood River was the answer.

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Packer Orchard and Bakery pre-made pie fillings. Seriously, the easy button for pie bakers. 

 

Born and raised in Oregon, sometimes it’s easy to take our amazing state for granted. A quick trip up Interstate 84 and I feel miles from Portland. It’s a short trip unless it’s winter, then it can be a skating rink for semi trucks. Which is why Troutdale has a big truck stop for the gazillion truck drivers who need to sleepover when the Gorge highway closes to all rigs.

This summer day was perfect with fabulous sun, a great view of the Columbia River, waterfalls on our right and excellent company. Ever the operations officer/sergeant, my mission op was in place; first stop Packer Orchards and Bakery, at 3900 Highway 35, on the road up to Mt. Hood.

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North View from the Packard Orchard and Bakery parking lot. They have picnic tables you can use in the orchard. The view is Mt. Adams in Washington state.   

 

This is the mother ship for big cookies and the fabulous cookie bar. In addition, there are pie fillings you can buy, jams and jellies and even pickled asparagus and white honey to name just a few treats. Since I’d bought a bargain tiara before the trip I’d decided to wear it only in the car, but upon a few glances from other patrons I realized it was still on my head. Every woman should wear a tiara into a fruit stand at least once in her life.

After loading up on jams and cookies, piled back into the car and headed for? Foothills Yarn & Fiber, 4207 Sylvester Drive, my favorite alpaca yarn store that comes complete with alpacas. The herd had been shorn for the summer and they were quite happy to bound toward us to get the feed we purchased from the former quarter candy machine.

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Sunny day, shorn alpaca, daisies. Be still my heart.

 

After playing with the alpaca kids and the greeter dog, bounced into the store and bought more yarn I don’t need for my collection. It was my birthday so I could buy yarn; it’s the law.

Next it was off to the Sixth Street Bistro and Loft, 509 Cascade Avenue, for my favorite salad of all time and a grilled cheese sandwich where cheese goes to die. The 6th street pear and walnut salad with maple vinaigrette is the closest I’ve come licking a dish in public, every time.

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Local pears, sugar coated walnuts, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, maple vinaigrette, sourdough bread, three cheeses; my life is complete.

 

Went for the gusto and finished off the meal with the chocolate mousse, which I hope is served in heaven or I’m not going. Amazing dessert. Almost licked the glass too.

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Local chocolate mousse!

 

All in all a wonderful day with family, food and laughs; life doesn’t get much better when you throw in sun and alpacas too.

I’ll let you in on a little secret about the Hood River area; it’s the setting for both fiction series I’m writing. More about them in the months to come.

Also explains why more Hood River road trips are necessary to eat and soak up the ambiance with a chocolate mousse chaser. I LOVE research!

Got a favorite summer place? Hit the road and explore!

 

P.S. Working on combining my web site and blog, moving domains and a web page redesign. If everything disappears it’s not my fault.  Heading off to get a dump truck load of Dove Dark Chocolate to make this happen in the coming weeks. Pray for me, send chocolate or tech help. Preferably all three…….

 

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Two Fast Girls Move Into The Oregon Zoo

by Kimberly A. Cook                             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Here in Oregon we get a lot of new folks moving up from California, but these two San Diego gals are very quick. Mary Jane and Darlene are the new cheetah residents at the Oregon Zoo. They look fast standing still. Like the supermodels of the feline family. Go big kitties!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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A Pool, A Watermelon And An Elephant?

by Kimberly A. Cook          (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Summer is finally here and what better way to enjoy the warm weather than splashing in the pool. Unless you’re Sammy at the Oregon Zoo; not only do you dive in the pool, you get to eat watermelon – in the pool – underwater. Life is good for Sam!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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