Easy Hike At Beverly Beach State Park


On our recent trip to the beach, we camped at Beverly Beach State Park, near Newport, Oregon.  At the campground, there was a little trail bordering a little creek.  One day, I decided to hike along it for exercise.  The day was rainy and cloudy, but I walked between showers.


The hike was extremely easy, although a wheelchair would not be able to navigate the path, as there were many roots sticking up and the path itself was narrow and sometimes muddy.  There were clearly signs that this little creek had recently flooded over its banks in places, but it was not hard to hike.  I wore old tennis shoes and did fine.  I only travelled a short while on the hike, as the family wanted to do something else.


A couple of days later, Rob and I went down the trail again, to see if we could make the short loop.


We walked east, down to the end of the campground on the little path.  At the end, there was an adorable bridge and we crossed it to the other side of the creek.  We then hiked west, hoping to make a loop back to our camper.


There were many beautiful mushrooms and ferns growing on the trees.  There was also quite a bit more water on the path in places.  After we had gone a while, we reached a place where the path was closed, due to a tree that had fallen in recent storms.  So, we just backtracked where we had hiked, and went back to the camper.  It was a short, easy hike and gave us time to chat with each other while enjoying some time along together as a couple.





On our recent trip to the Oregon Coast, we were taking a scenic drive  in-between rain showers and pulled into a view point to just sit and watch the majesty of the Pacific Ocean.   Rob was able to capture this photograph of a seagull perched on this sign.  We thought it was rather funny as seagulls are always trying to get people to feed them old bread and it seemed like he was warning us to not leave any unattended!  Unfortunately for him, we had not come prepared this time with any scraps for the birds.


Later, when the rain cleared for a few hours, we were able to get down onto the beach and enjoy seeing more gulls.  Even though they are one of the most common birds at the beach, we never get tired of watching them.


When we got too close, they took flight, heading off away from us intruders who had dared to invade their patch of the sand!


Rainy Oregon Coast


Recently, we went camping along the Oregon Coast.  As usual, it rained.  Thankfully, we have a camper, which enables us to camp even during inclement weather.  This view of the Pacific Ocean was taken right before the clouds opened up into a heavy rain storm.  Literally 2 minutes after it was taken, we were driving through a heavy rainfall.


We were heading south on Hwy. 101, towards the town of Newport, and drove past Agate Beach.  The mix of clouds, sun and pouring rain did not make us want to get out and hike along the beach, but we still enjoyed looking at the majesty of the ocean, and the beauty of the scenery.

Wooden Cutting Boards


One thing Rob likes to make in his shop is cutting boards.  He takes different kinds of wood and glues them together.  Then, he cuts and shapes them into cutting boards.  Over the years, he has made many different shapes and sizes.  We have given these cutting boards as gifts on many occasions.

For the last few years, this has been our gift of choice for wedding gifts.  Because the cutting boards take quite a bit of time over several days, sometimes he can’t get one done for each new couple and we have to give them something else instead.  This happened when our nephew, Geoffrey, got married this fall.  He got a different present, but Rob really wanted to make him a cutting board.  So, in December, Rob started a new batch of boards.  Geoffrey and his new wife, Keri-Anne, will get one for Christmas, along with a couple of really nice knives from the Kershaw knife sale.  A couple of other people will get one as well, and we will have a few extras for the next time a wedding gift is needed.


After the wood is glued, dried, shaped and sanded, the cutting boards are covered with mineral oil. After that’s had a chance to soak in, we usually wrap the cutting board with white tissue, and send it on it’s way to the recipient.  All the new owner has to do to care for their new cutting board is  occasionally rub mineral oil over the cleaned surface.  Otherwise, they just need to wash the board in a sink, with hot, soapy water as they would do with any other cutting board.  Rob does not recommend washing them in the dishwasher, or soaking them for prolonged periods of time in water.  It may ruin them.


Here is the finished product, ready to go to its new home.



Willamette Falls


Oregon is known for it’s rain and the weather is certainly living up to its reputation this fall and winter.  We have had a lot of rain here–way more than the average for this time of year. Over the last few weeks, the rivers have been filled to the brim, Mt. Hood is covered with snow, and some flooding has occurred.  Today, Rob drove up to Oregon City on an errand.  He pulled over and took a few shots of the swollen Willamette River, and of course, Willamette Falls raging and foaming with so much extra water going over.  It was an awesome sight to see that much power roaring and crashing over those rocks, when it wasn’t that long ago when the river was low and lazy.  What a difference a few weeks make!


Last Minute Christmas Gift–Potholders


Cast iron is hot, and it’s easy to get burned, whether you are cooking inside or out.  One quick and easy Christmas gift you can make for an avid cast-iron cook is some potholders.

I started with scrap fabric.  I didn’t want to use anything that cost a great deal, because cast iron can be very messy, especially if you are cooking over a fire.

I cut 10 inch squares of fabric.  Other sizes would work fine, that’s what I had.  I also thought it would be big enough to grasp a pot or pot handle.  I cut a back and a front from fabric, and a layer of Insul-Bright.  The Insul-Bright is a batting that has a layer of heat reflecting material.  It is supposed to protect the user from getting burned.  It is not recommended for use in a microwave.  I plan to give these as Christmas gifts to those who need to grab a pot, so it will work fine for me and keep the heat from seeping through the fabric and burning anyone.


Once I had them cut, I layered them.  I put the 2 main pieces right sides together, and the Insul-Bright on top and pinned all around.FullSizeRender

I sewed around all 3 layers with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving  a gap, as shown in the picture.  I clipped the corners and trimmed.


I turned them right side out, pressed, and pinned the hole shut.  I topstitched all the way around.  Then, to hold all the layers together, I topstitched from corner to corner, making a big “X” on the potholder.

Cost breakdown:  Fabric–free- Mine were scraps from previous projects years ago.  You could use old jeans, or other used clothing.  You could ask people who sew for scraps, they usually have lots and would love for them to be used.  Insul-Bright–I paid around $5.50 for a yard. I got mine at a quilt shop, but JoAnn’s also carries it. I think I can get about 12 from this yard (I used some for another project, so I’m guessing a little).  Thread–I had some.   For me:  Around 50c per pot holder.  It would be more if you purchased new fabric.

Time used:  About 15 minutes per pot holder.

I plan to make some more.  I’ve decided there are a few people that I want to remember at Christmas.  They are quick and easy and they look very nice when finished.