Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

As you all know today was Black Friday. That's the big shopping day right after Thanksgiving and something I never felt the need to participate in.  But since I had to be there bright and early for work I decided I might as well take advantage of one of the specials at our store.

Poinsettias, $.99 each, limit 12 per customer.  So I got six of the red, and six of the white for $11.88.  That way I don't feel so bad when I throw them out at the end of December.

Now it is time to start decorating for Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  I know we did.  We had the traditional turkey, stuffing, yams, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts.  I was totally stuffed but of course there is always room for desert:  pumpkin pie and apple pie!

Our tiny, rather thin, just over 9 lb turkey going in...

...done cooking...

...and after we ate.

And a couple hours later we dug into the apple pie and pumpkin pie.

After today comes the best part:  left overs!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wrong Number!

I got this message yesterday on my phone.  It sounded somewhat important so I thought I'd reply and let the person know they had the wrong number.  I think they finally got the message.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Finished "Message Center"

I had to buy more of the tiny iridescent tiles because I had miscalculated the amount I would need to finish the border.  The pleasant news about that was I actually got a small refund on that order because it didn't cost as much to ship as they had originally charged me.  Hooray for!

Here is my board hanging on the wall where I wanted it, but its not quite done yet.

Now I have finished the tiles, grouted, and added a section of cork to pin whatever up.

I really like how the tiles almost glow with the iridescence. Unfortunately it doesn't really show up too well in these photos.

And finally a close up of the side tiles I used.

In the end I may have spent more than I would have if I had bought a ready made board but my home made message center is prettier and definitely more satisfying!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Boyd Cave

We received a report of racoons invading my mother-in-law's house (they are now at their winter quarters). I was off work today so we decided to check it out and do a little exploring of a place we haven't been to yet on the way home.

The house was fine, though we did clean out the fridge of the rotten/rotting food.

On the way home we decided to check out a place called Boyd Cave, just southeast of Bend. It is easy to find. From Hwy 97 take the Knott Road exit (towards the Deschutes County Dump).  Then take China Hat Road east. Eventually the road turns into a Forest Service road. Keep going on that and after a short while you will see the signs to the Boyd Cave. (On Google Earth the coordinates are:  43 °56'31.81"N  121°11'53.85"W (elevation 1307 meters.)

After turning off the paved road it's a short drive to a small loop that curves back into the dirt road.  At first we thought we'd have to hike because the entrance is not obvious.  We parked and followed the trail. It's only about twenty yards to the cave entrance from the loop.

Boyd Cave entrance.  Notice our truck is parked at the loop, so not far at all.

At the bottom of the stairs is a little map showing the layout of the cave.

Off we go into the cave.

Boyd Cave resident.

The only one we saw.

The cave is about 1800 feet long.  It was created by a lava tube.  

Heading back to the entrance.

Back to daylight!

We didn't go all the way to the end but we would like to go back with better lighting.  There is also another cave (Skeleton Cave) nearby which we would like to take a gander at.

It is extremely dark so if you go make sure you bring a lantern and a backup flashlight, just in case.  The temperature wasn't too cold but it was cool. I suspect as with most of these type of caves the temperature probably remains fairly constant, maybe around 55°.  The footing is rough in spots:  I would not bring my mother-in-law there. For the most part the ceiling is pretty high but there is a spot or two where you need to watch your head.  We did not have to crawl though!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Three Days Off

This week I somehow managed to get three days off in a row.  We took that opportunity to make an overdue visit to our friends in Roseburg. They graciously offered us some wood if we helped cut some trees.

Here is the first tree, actually a large branch off a madrone tree, that had been cut and then got tangled in other trees as it fell. Its being pulled free with the tractor.

Cutting the limb.

After the limbs were cut the pieces were placed in the bucket of the tractor to bring to the truck bed.  The left over debris was piled on top to bring to the burn pile.

The burn pile.

The madrone wood is extremely dense and heavy so we actually could only put about one and a half of those big limbs in the bed of the truck. It was like loading the pickup with large sacks of cement! I think we were able to fill the bed about 2/3 full with the wood so the back end of the truck didn't get too loaded down.

Afterwards we enjoyed "adult beverages" around a blazing fire pit.

We had a wonderful visit with our friends.  It seems the snow season is upon us now so we may not be able to do it again for a while but we are certainly looking forward to when ever that time may be!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dry Erase Board

Several weeks ago when I was at work a lady came through my line with a 4' X 8' "thrifty white hardboard panel" board (basically a thin sheet of malamine) that she had the guys in the back cut into one foot squares. When I asked her what she had planned for the pieces she said she was a teacher and she gave each square to her students to use as a "dry erase board".

This intrigued me.  Over the next couple of weeks a few more people came in with the same plans. Now I really wanted to look into it further. I had wanted to get something similar so we could put our grocery lists on there and notes to remember things. A full size 4' X 8' board was just over $13 and our store gives free straight cuts. A 36" X 24" plain dry erase board is about $15 on-line.  

I finally bought a board at the end of a shift and since I wasn't sure of how big I wanted it I had our guy cut it in half.  I figured I would cut it to how I wanted it once I got home.  What I hadn't thought of was that though my cars trunk is fairly large I would not be able to fit the now 4' X 4' boards in. Fortunately the boards are fairly thin and I was able to give them a slight bend and manuever them into the back seat of my Hyundai Sonata!

I used some reclaimed wood pieces to make the frame. I wanted to cut a slot into the frame to fit the board into and because I don't have a proper table saw to do that with I ended up modifying my saw in order to make the groove.

Then I glued everything together and I was ready to fancify the border. I couldn't find any tiles at our local stores that I liked that wouldn't need cutting (Lowe's or Home Depot) and I felt I'd be paying a small fortune for the tiles I liked at Michaels.  So I went on-line and found a new favorite mosaic tile outlet at  

The only problem is now I miscalculated how much I would need and I'm a whole side short.  I ordered more tiles today and I'm eager to finish up.

I got "tiny iridescent recycled glass mosaic tile".  The ones I got are a fairly neutral color and I think I will grout it with black to make them really stand out.

It feels good to be doing a mosaic type project again.  As I said, I'm not done yet, but I will post a picture when it's all finished.