Tag Archives: Oregon

Spring, Cats And Chaos?

by Kimberly A. Cook

The blooms are coming! The blooms are coming! We are up to our eyeballs in buds, blooms and pollen here in the great state of Oregon. Sun breaks, rain storms, and buzzing bees. A big wind storm is on tap for tomorrow, so batten down your yard art!

It’s not just us humans who enjoy spring, felines get into the act too. Check out Simon’s Cat take on the joys of the season.

Have a great safe weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Got Spring Fever Snoozies?

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Hugging trees time!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Napping. That is all I want to do right now. Between the wacky weather going from ice in the bird bath to rain then warm exploding buds then back to a windstorm this Saturday, my body thinks winter might be returning. Or the pollen is cutting off my air supply. Think both actually apply.

While I should be working on business projects, reviewing the beta readers comments on my fiction book and writing, I want to snooze. Seems this always happens when the season turns from winter to spring and fall to winter. Primitive cave wiring, hibernate time.

While driving on errands I see folks jogging along the side of the road and get jealous. Not that their jogging, hate that after doing it five days a week every morning in the Army, but the fact they seem to have energy. Where do they get that? Caffeine? Red Bull? No allergies? Maybe all of the above. Scary.

So sometimes you have to slow down and take the nap. Don’t fight it. Spec Ops Cat is a ninja nap master. I have much to learn from him. Of course he gets to sleep a minimum eighteen hours a day, so he has it down to a science; upstairs naps, downstairs naps and hiding in the closet naps.

My Army Battalion Commander used to take a thirty-minute power nap at lunch every day. As a troop you really don’t want your Battalion Commander recharged for the afternoon, but it worked for him.

On my way home from Office Depot today, I stopped to take some quick photos of the blooms. So pretty. Bees were everywhere doing their job. Very busy. I also practiced my spring ritual of reaching out and touching the blossoms. Love to cup them in my hand. So soft.

Spring blooms burst upon us then leave quickly. Savor the season. Slow down and touch the flowers. Inhale the fragrant air.

Then take a nap.

Enjoy!

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Happy First Day Of Spring?

IMG_3303by Kimberly A. Cook

Here in Oregon the trees are budding and Spring may actually appear. We had a wonderful warm day yesterday and then the bird bath froze last night. Welcome to weather.

I read another Nor’easter is headed for the East Coast. So sorry. Thought I’d send some blooms your way. This is one of the trees on my street. Used the telephoto so we could all get up close. Tree climbing is not my thing.

Hope this finds you enjoying the small signs of Spring. Or if you can’t find the ground buried under snow,  I suggest silk flowers and bunny figurines. Couldn’t hurt!

Have a wonderful first day of Spring!

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Have You Hugged An Easter Alpaca?

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How cute are these two? Still in the paper bag when they arrived home. I’m keeping the pastel one and have named her Rainbow. She has moved into my office. Easter alpacas on sale. Is this a great country or what?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Bought two alpacas yesterday. Don’t freak, they were stuffed toys. Gotcha! The last thing I need is something else to take care of, as cute as alpacas may be. I like having the excuse to drive up the Columbia River Gorge or over to Sisters to make personal alpaca visits.

They were a complete impulse buy. I was on a mission for potting soil and ended up with these two cuties as well. One is a gift, one is for writing inspiration. Seems the next fiction book in my Vintage Vets series involves alpacas. Animals just keep showing up in my writing. I am not in charge.

But first I feel I should apologize to the USA residents in the East. Sorry about all the stupid snow. It was 69 degrees here yesterday, a fluke and we loved it, hence the potting soil trip. Rain again today, so back to our regularly scheduled weather.

When you live on the West coast, for me everything past Montana is back East. I have been told by Midwesterners that is not correct, but it works for us out here. Imagine that is why in Hawaii we are all “the mainland” because the rest of the country is East to them, except for Alaska which is North and East.

Potting soil bags does mean Spring is on its way. I’m downing the allergy pills to prove it. The two toys were on sale as Easter alpacas. Never heard of Easter alpacas, but I fell for it. Sometimes you just need an Easter alpaca.

What Spring rituals are you looking forward to?

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White Christmas Memories

by Kimberly A. Cook

Happy Boxing Day! It’s a balmy 28 degrees here in Oregon and the ice and leftover snow are still on the roofs in my neighborhood. The unexpected freezing rain on Christmas Eve turned into fluffy snow in the late afternoon.

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The glare of ice crystals on the bird bath on Christmas Eve, lit by the street lamp reflection. Birds will need ice skates!

 

Geared up with crampons on my boots and cookies and eggnog in my backpack, I hoofed it over to my Mom’s house at 2:30 p.m. for Christmas Eve eggnog and cookies. Walked carefully since one does not want to fall on their eggnog. The Army did teach me to find my feet on the ice. The walk back home through fluffy white snow and the quiet that only a holiday with a blanket of white can bring was magical.

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The bird bath on Christmas Day. Since the birdie bath heater died, it’s now an ice rink. Must get to the store to replace the heater.

 

An emergency run for take-and-bake pizza on Christmas Eve morning by my sister worked out well to pre-position food for the holiday. We went with super easy Christmas dinner this year. Christmas pizza a first for us. It was wonderful with eggnog and cookies, plus some salad thrown in for good measure. Plus dark chocolate. ALWAYS dark chocolate.

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This is the winter camellia blooming while hit by the freezing rain. Note my fabulous mini pink bunny trellis in the background. Did that this summer for color in the garden for the winter.

 

So I played with my camera and thought I’d share some pics from our little weather event. Forecast for more freezing rain, snow, sleet, locusts tonight. Something like that. So here are pics from a lazy photographer who basically stands on the front or back porch and takes photos. I blame the pizza and eggnog.

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One of the last rose blooms attacked by the ice.  Spring will come again!

 

 

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This is my laziest photo of all.  I’m a big Music Choice fan on Comcast. I love the holiday music which comes with fabulous rotating pictures. This is my favorite photo every year. Cookie conveyor! It dawned on me I could take a picture of the tv from my LaZBoy and share it. Truly the laziest pic of all. Almost Happy New Year! 

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Happy Bright ZooLights!

by Kimberly A. Cook

While we’re still full from Turkey Day celebrations, it might be time to go for a walk and work off those 4,000 calories from yesterday. The ZooLights program at the Oregon Zoo is one way to support the animals, get exercise and see fun lights!

Whatever your community offers, get out there and mingle. Then you have an excuse to eat leftovers. More pumpkin pie please. I have my own personal can of whip cream.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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Miracles Do Happen

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

When last we chatted Oregon was preparing for the fabulous eclipse. It was a great party. Since then, correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels like we’ve been playing a national game of disaster whack-a-mole. Hurricane Harvey, wildfires in Oregon and the West, then Hurricane Irma. Yowsa.

Whoever ticked off Mother Nature, apologize now.

But miracles do happen through the efforts of “ordinary” Americans:

The fire fighters who stood their ground and saved the historic lodge at Multnomah Falls by surrounding it in a wall of water all night while the flames burned all around and over them and embers flew across the Columbia River. No easy feat that save, with the fire coming within thirty yards of the wood shingled lodge.

The shelter dogs and cats evacuated ahead of Hurricane Harvey from Houston to Oregon and Washington, many have already been adopted.

The 1,700 food boxes packed and shipped by the Oregon Food Bank to Houston to help feed those in need. Know they will be packing more for Florida.

The curator and a staff of nine at the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida who rode out the storm with the fifty-four Hemingway cats and all were spared. Angels were above them all.

The news reporter who helped get one exhausted baby dolphin back out into the sea and helped with other volunteers to carry another stranded dolphin back out into the ocean.

The bystanders who quickly realized two manatees were stranded in the mud after the storm suck took all the water from the bay. With the help of Manatee Sheriff Deputies, they dragged the two manatees back out into the ocean a hundred yards.

There will be many stories of kind acts and we will grieve for those who have died. We will also rejoice in the team who went out in the storm to help deliver a baby. Baby’s don’t wait for weather.

Through all the damage and destruction, we’ve seen the best of our country while Mother Nature hit us with her worst. Maybe she wanted to let us know she was in charge after all, by blocking out the sun then hitting us with her best shots.

Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Oregon, California, Washington, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the East Coast, we’ve got your back. Huge hugs and thanks to all the law enforcement, fire fighters, U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, FEMA, federal, state, county, city, power company and gasoline employees working their butts off now and for weeks to come.

A special thank you to the men and women at the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida and the military personnel at the Key West Naval Station who stayed behind and did their jobs. You guys are rock stars!

Also gratitude to the American Red Cross volunteers and staff, the non-profit agencies, and all the animal rescue groups. The retailers who opened their stores and the restaurants who are feeding people now are all a big part of our USA team.

Our hearts swell from the volunteer efforts of the Cajun Navy to the monster truck drivers and the thousands of folks who helped their neighbors and the news crews who jumped in to help when needed.

This is going to be a long rebuild, but we’ll get through this together. What better way to honor the loss of the men, women and children on 9/11 that we honored yesterday, than to become a better nation after their and their family’s sacrifice.

With folks like the ones in the video below, USA, we’ve got this.

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