Tag Archives: Oregon

Every Chicken Has A Back Story

IMG_3462

Now this would catch your eye and curiosity right? But it’s not too out of the norm here in Oregon. But I need to know this chicken’s back story. Stay tuned!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Bagged the bird! For those of you who thought I’d lost my mind last week, my poultry paparazzi patrol paid off. Did a quick recon before leaving for my fiction critique group last Saturday to see if the violin playing chicken was in attendance. No fowl. Dang it.

Got in the car and headed for my meeting. Ready to make a left turn and looking right, chicken ahoy! I ignored my left turn signal, and the car behind me, and turned right to get a quick chicken pic. Using my vast stealth abilities from the military, I parked a block away and then went chicken stalking. Got two pics. Here is the best one.

Now this fowl encounter has become a quest. I want to know the chicken’s back story. My journalistic roots are tingling. When did the chicken take violin lessons? Why here? Why now? Why the outfit? Does the chicken have a website? Do all chickens wear Birkenstocks? Or flip-flops? (I’d say thongs, but I don’t want to confuse people and I really don’t want to go there with this chicken.)

Saturday is the big Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade so we all know what that means, rain. Not sure the chicken will show if it doesn’t like to get wet. But I’m intent on getting an interview.

When writing fiction, the author always needs to know the back story of each character. Where do they come from? What happened to them to make them do what they do now? What is their biggest goal? Worst fear? In my fiction books I’m writing, there are quirky animals too. Of course. And like their human counterparts, they all have back stories which explain their motivations.

In “real” life and fiction, everybody’s story is important. We all matter. Our stories matter. What better life long pursuit than to fight for our own happy endings?

How do we do that? We find out each other’s back story. Don’t judge a book by its cover or a chicken by its violin.

Every chicken has a back story!

4 Comments

Filed under Fiction Writing

The Old Trunk Or Creative Jewel?

IMG_3542

Here is a fun spot in Hood River, Oregon. Make sure to take your camera to search for all kinds of treasures. Bring money for the ice cream!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised. One of my favorite ways to get the imagination train moving is shopping antique stores and flea marts. Not only is it a photographer’s paradise, it is so much fun finding treasures hiding in plain sight.

IMG_3548

The vinyl mother lode! Actually, I have a cabinet full of vinyl myself, so feels like home. Notice the vintage radios and album carrying cases on top. I have one of those too.

Last week on our road trip we stopped at The Old Trunk in Hood River. This killer combo of antiques and soda fountain, plus fruit later in the year is a fun jaunt. I’ll admit we were lured in by the promise of huckleberry ice cream on their website; I’d go just about anywhere for huckleberries. Ice cream too.

IMG_3549

These are cameras before the one in your phone.  Upper left? No batteries, ran on person power.  Viewfinder in the middle with the round disks? Video games for Boomers. Bottom left, Polaroid camera only known to the young people now due to Taylor Swift. Round canisters in the middle? Real film! No digits! Vintage rules.

With the trusty camera along, my creativity gets inspired and things jog my memory or I marvel at items combined in a different way. Of course, seeing all books a buck about sent me into a buying spree. I controlled myself; my bookshelves are overflowing.

IMG_3567

Soda fountain! That red contraption in the middle is the soft serve ice cream machine. They mix Tillamook vanilla ice cream with fresh huckleberries, or other berries, and heaven happens.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy ice cream! One of the owners described the crowds they are seeing now and how crazy it will get as the season gets warmer. We lucked in between the crowds late in the day at 4 p.m. for a high ice cream, instead of high tea.

IMG_3561

Soft serve huckleberry ice cream. Fabuwonderfulfantabulous! Trust me.

Simple pleasures, good friends, good weather and ice cream. Living the dream!

Whether you wander on purpose or journey to a destination, take your camera along and prepare to experience some whimsy.

Exercise your creativity muscles!

 

https://www.oldtrunkhr.com/

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creativity

Unleash Our Cameras For Spring

IMG_3415 (2)

This pic I took from the far right side of the falls, jostling around visitors. Trying to avoid the sun and get an angle. I hadn’t cleaned the water spray off the lens. Did not notice the cross in the water bottom left until I looked at this on the computer.  Water and sun? I don’t change my photos except to crop on occasion; it’s the photojournalist in me. And a surprise appears!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Monday I took a road trip with a friend up the Columbia River Gorge. Haven’t been through since the devastating wildfires last Fall. Wanted to check in with Mother Nature. Glorious weather this week, so the fruit blooms and the mountains were out.

IMG_3523

With zoom from the side of the road, fruit blooms in front and Mt. Hood up close.

Kathy volunteered to drive, which is such a treat for me. I gave her photo lessons in return. And lunch too. Excuse to eat at my favorite restaurant in Hood River, the Sixth Street Bistro. So I wanted to share with you some pics from our adventure.

IMG_3524

Exact same location as above photo, pulling back on zoom. Too much sun, but I’ll take it!

Stopped at Multnomah Falls which only allowed visitors recently. While the lodge gift shop is open, the parking lot is fenced off and the old highway too. So driving into the parking lot on I-84 is the only entrance. It was nice to not dodge crossing cars on the way to the Falls, but there were people everywhere anyway.

After doing some combat photography fighting the people, dogs, strollers, water spray and flying pollen in the wind, I got a few good pics. Shooting into the sun not the best, but I managed to worm my way on each side of the Falls to take photos.

IMG_3529

Mt. Adams in Washington had to get into the act too.  From the parking lot of Packers Orchards and Bakery – almost open for the season.

Then it was off to Hood River for lunch, then exploring the road up the mountain for some of my favorite picture-taking sites. The fruit blooms were opening up and the mountains were basking in the sun.

IMG_3536

These fruit blooms mean apples and pears and all sorts of goodies come this summer. Go bees!

 

We are having record temperatures right now, might be 86 today, and we broke a record yesterday. Rain back on Friday, but who cares, enjoy the sun!

Ready to unleash your cameras? Pics away!

2 Comments

Filed under Photography

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Quirky Fridays

Got Spring Fever Snoozies?

IMG_3414

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!

IMG_3403

1 Comment

Filed under joy

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden

Have You Hugged An Easter Alpaca?

IMG_3377

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?

2 Comments

Filed under Garden