Adventures, Animals, Antiquing, hiking

Hike – Miller Woods Conservation Area – Part 2

Here is part 2 of our hike to the Miller Woods Conservation Area near McMinnville, Oregon. Don’t forget to read Part 1 first!

After exploring the pond and field areas, we continued on to the forested areas. The trail was sticky mud in many places and I was glad I had on my waterproof boots!

Kangaroo getting a selfie of us while I get a photo of her, haha!

On the way to see a stream, we found this small plant with a protective fence around it — can you see the plant?

Very spindly shrub.

The plant had this label. Neither of us had heard of a Western Wahoo. Sounds like it should get to be rather a large shrub.

There were these nice benches scattered along the trail, and I thought those people knew how to build a trail right! Oh, how we wished for benches when we were hiking the PCT!

A lovely bench.

We reached this summit…

But this was the view…

In one area some trees had signs. We admitted we would have a difficult time telling the conifers apart without the labels!

Grand Fir

Douglas Fir

Another tree full of nesting boxes

This little guy was on the trail, quite aways up from the stream. We wondered how long it took him to climb all that way, and Kangaroo suggested he might be on a thru-hike 😃

Newt friend. (Photo by Kangaroo – she always gets the best wildlife photos)

This is actually a data collection site for snow. Considering that we seldom have snow here, I thought it was a strange location for it.

After the hike we planed to go to the little town of Lafayette, a few miles away, and go to the antique mall there. We didn’t find anything at the antique mall we couldn’t live without, but there were some interesting items. One was a giant buffalo head that was positioned next to the entry door (I believe they were asking $2700 for it!). Because of the moisture in the air, the poor buffalo smelled like wet dog, ugh! There was also a wonderful secretary desk with supports that automatically came out when you opened the door of the desk. So neat! I didn’t get photos of either of those, unfortunately!

Before we went in to the antique mall we walked a couple of blocks down to get some lunch. We went into the little “Cafeyette” and noticed a sign that said they were serving soup, but no other signs of food except pastries and coffee. I asked the lady what they had for lunch and she said they had sandwiches, ham and turkey. She suggested that olives on the sandwich would be delicious, so I chose to have everything except onions on my sandwich, and Kangaroo chose everything as well and did add onions. As they were making the sandwiches, the lady asked if we would like jalapenos, but we both declined. I got an Italian soda to drink and Kangaroo got a berry smoothie, and we sat down to wait for our sandwiches.

BIG yummy sandwich

The lady brought our sandwiches, and they were BIG and very yummy! While we were eating we noticed a man come in and look around. He asked us if there was a menu, and I replied, no, but there are sandwiches. He went up and put his order in and left the building, and when he came back he had an armful of yardsticks. I was about to comment on his yardstick haul when he said that he was going to be using them for projects, and that the man he got them from had only wanted 50 cents each for them so he bought them all. I said they were nice yardsticks too, and he asked us if WE wanted yardsticks, and we said sure, we’d love one, and he gave us each one. It’s a very nice, strong yardstick from the Power and Telephone Supply Company.

A very nice yardstick.

On the way home we came through Dayton towards West Salem, and I suggested we take the Wheatland Ferry since it would give us a straight shot home instead of going around through West Salem. The Boy works in the McMinnville area and takes the ferry home to Keizer most days. I hadn’t ridden the Wheatland Ferry since The Boy’s first ferry ride when he was a tiny baby! It was a nice adventure to end our day 😊

On the ferry

Leaving the ferry

Driving by the hops fields on the way home.

We enjoyed our hike and decided that we will go back to visit Miller Woods in the spring sometime when the birds and other critters will be out.

Just keep walking!

~Ninja

Animals, Health, Things I've Learned

Allergy

I went to the pulmonary doctor this week because my primary care doctor is concerned that my asthma isn’t well controlled. She prescribed the Trelegy inhaler, which has another medicine in it compared to my other inhaler. The Trelegy inhaler is just one puff once a day, which is better than the 2 puffs twice a day the other one required.

They asked what respiratory allergies I have, and I’ve always known cat dander is one of them, along with grass, trees, mold, etc. The doctor ordered a blood allergy test and the results are a bit surprising. The normal range for cat dander is <=0.34 kU/L. Guess where my results landed? 19.40. That means I’m a bazillion times over the normal range for allergy to cat dander. Next was birch tree, at 15.00 (normal range <=0.34). Alder tree, grass, and oak tree also play a big part in causing my allergy problems. I grew up in an oak savannah surrounded by fields of grass, and we had 20 cats (outdoor) at one point and I enjoyed spending time with them. I mean, I’ve known I was allergic to cats and grass since I was a little girl (funny nobody ever said anything about the trees) but no wonder I’ve always been a mess of allergies! The asthma came along when I was 7 years old, about a year after we moved out to the country full of all the allergens. When I was young there were no asthma inhalers, and no helpful allergy meds that didn’t cause me to sleep all day. If I had an asthma attack I just had to suffer through it, until I was 11 or 12 years old and they invented albuterol rescue inhalers. Then they invented Seldane allergy pills in the late ’80s or so, and those were awesome. They took it off the market for some reason, which is too bad.

We had an aspen tree out in the front yard here for many years until half of it fell down. It was sort of two trees growing out of the same spot and the other one was leaning toward the neighbor’s, so The Hubs cut it down a couple of years ago. Aspen and birch are in the same family so it’s good that that tree is gone now. We also live in what used to be a walnut orchard with some really big walnut trees, but I am only at 0.10 kU/L (normal range <=0.34) for walnut, thank goodness, and the same for maple tree. Our neighbor has a huge maple tree that is on our side of his yard and it drops pollen like crazy all over our cars during the pollen season.

Other surprises included that I didn’t show as much of an allergy to dust mites as I thought I would, and that most of the mold allergens didn’t show much of a reaction. Whatever A. Alternata mold is showed up the highest at 6.87 kU/L (standard range <=0.34). Our valley is a fairly humid environment so fungi/mold is to be expected, but thankfully God has blessed us with a dry house. I’m concerned there may be mold in my office ceiling because of the roof leak above, but I haven’t seen any mold so far.

I had my tonsils and adenoids out when I was 5 years old because of chronic ear infections. I don’t know if those were caused by allergies or not. I remember being in the hospital eating grape Popsicles, and a lady from church brought me a Fisher Price Little People circus set. They wanted me to let a little girl with a broken arm play with some of the pieces and I remember not wanting to share, ha!

A really annoying thing about having allergies (other than, you know, not being able to breathe and stuff) is that my eyes are constantly itchy so I want to rub them. This causes bags under my eyes. My nose and the face around it is also always itchy. I have in the past gotten hives (urticaria) which caused my lip to swell up in a very strange manner. It happened at work when I was in my early 20s, and I actually walked a mile in the snow to go to the allergy doctor (I walked to work so didn’t have my car with me, and wanted to make sure the doctor saw my swollen lip before it went away). The result of that appointment was that my hives had “no known cause”. Hmph.

So unfortunately my allergies will have to stay around for awhile, specifically the cat dander allergy. Philip isn’t going anywhere that we know of, and we love him so. He is especially a daddy’s boy and would be sad if he had to go to a new home, and I wouldn’t want to put him through that. <Ahchoo! Snif> excuse me — I might just have to find a way to keep him out of our bedroom though. And I should set the Roomba to vacuum more. I do take an allergy pill (Xyzal) and that keeps some of the allergies at bay.

Philip and his Daddy

Also, Happy Groundhog Day! I’m up too early to know if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, but I hope spring is just around the corner!

Punxsutawney Phil – famous rodent meteorologist
Animals, Home and Garden

Squirrel

I bought this shepherd’s hook and suet cage at an estate sale awhile back, and the birds have been enjoying the suet blocks I put out for a few weeks now. Unfortunately the squirrels have finally found it, and this is the result:

Skwirl wants the suet.

Hummingbird silhouette conveniently located.

The squirrels have knocked the suet cage off the hook a few times so the birds can’t get to it very well, and I don’t like that much. I did get this cute photo of two squirrels sitting close together though. I hadn’t seen them do that before. I’m not sure if these are the ones getting into the suet block, there were two others around the fence as well. I think they are happy with the sunny weather we are having for a couple of days!

Animals, Pets, Philip

Shadows

Philip is suddenly obsessed with shadows, he has been chasing them all over the house for about a week now. His favorite is the shadow I make as I’m leaving my office. He can jump about four feet in the air to try to get my wiggling shadow fingers! It’s so funny how pets can obsess about things just like people do, ha.

Ohhh, there it is!!

Loading up for the jump!

Gonna get it!!

Got it!! Wait…

Where’d it go?!

Animals, Decor, Holidays, Home, Philip

Decorations

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I decided to put up the Christmas decorations, so I brought the black and white things down from upstairs and had The Hubs bring down the tree.

The little pink tree goes in my office. We didn’t use the blue ornaments after all.

Philip was very interested to assist with the decorating, so he inspected the tree:

And got an even closer look and a good sniff:

Then he checked out the box to make sure all the important things had been removed:

The Girl wasn’t feeling well so she supervised from the couch. While we were decorating, we put on a video of a Christmas scene that played Christmas music:

Philip did enjoy sitting by the fire in the video!

Here are the finished results — the tree:

I like all these ornaments quite a lot, but the little coat with the skis is SO CUTE! It came from Target.

These little trucks also came from Target. Since The Hubs like trucks, I thought they were appropriate.

Here is the front entry:

And the living room:

More little trucks, these from Hobby Lobby.

Can you find Bigfoot? Also, we have two clocks because the mantel clock belonged to The Hubs’s grandma and it makes him sad to hear the chimes, so we don’t wind it. But he also insists on having a clock there, hence the little alarm clock.

Philip and I wish everyone a festive and peaceful Christmas and holiday season filled with love and joy!

Animals, Home and Garden

Thanksgiving

Yesterday I was able to get this photo of one of our squirrels eating some corn he found leftover in our garden. They are determined and industrious little ones, he carried that whole cob up to the top of the fence in his mouth! He has obviously been feasting for the past few weeks in preparation for winter. Look at that tummy, haha!

Wishing my friends in the USA a wonderful Thanksgiving feast! I am thankful for all of you who read and subscribe to my blog!

Thankful little furry friend.
Animals, Home and Garden, Keizer, Observations

Garden Friends

I got photos of some of our garden friends this afternoon, although most are a bit blurry since I had to zoom well in to see the little critters because I was inside my office. The birds have been enjoying the suet block and the squirrels have been very busy running back and forth along the fence from the walnut tree to wherever they are putting the nuts they collect.

Maybe a woodpecker?

Robin

Blurry Blue Jay waiting for the woodpecker to be finished with the suet block.

Industrious squirrel friend.