About Me

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Enjoying the great Northwest raising a 17 year old. Connecting to others around the world.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flowers and Bees

Here are some of our very welcome friends, the bees. Every morning they are busy on our lavender. They love the lavender, stargazer lillies, and our butterfly bush.

Bees play an important role in agriculture in our area. In Oregon and Washington apple, pear, cherry, and other crops depend on bees to spread the pollen tree to tree and flower to flower each spring. Much of this is accomplished through beekeepers and their "hired bees". The beekeepers ferry their bee colonies from location to location.

Over the last few years there have been problems with honey bee colonies dying off around the country. Hopefully our busy friends will again establish themselves and continue their vital roles of pollination.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Williamette Valley Farmlands

Today as I drove to Silverton, I came across a vast array of various farmlands. As you can see we have flower farms, alfalfa farms, barley farms, and bean farms. Actually in Oregon you can just about grow anything. It does rain up in the great Northwest, so water is not as much as an issue up here. We do have some problems occasionally, but this years snow pack was good. Having been from California's San Joaquin Valley I am familiar with farmland and appreciate the efforts of our farmers. Oregon farms benefit our State and its people, and countless other states and countries. I am excited for the future of Oregon and believe that the farmers will play an important role. One of our favorite things to do is driving around to produce stands and making our selection of vegetables or fruits. Many stands have no one in attendance. All you do is leave the money in a box to pay for what you take. I guess there is still some honesty around these days.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bee Swarm

The other morning I got quite a surprise in my back yard. A swarm of bees had taken up residence in one of my Douglas Fir trees. Quite an amazing thing up close. This morning I went outside to check on our little visitors and found they had left as quickly as they had arrived....never even got to see the queen! Here is a shot of the bees taking up temporary residence.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Prius

Will I finally did it. I got a Prius. I must say the gas mileage is superb averaging around 45MPG and saving mucho $ each month. My other car was a SUV getting around 13-20MPG. I am sold on the technology of the Prius and am looking forward to the new lithium ion battery pack due out October 2008. For those who don't know Hymotion out of Canada has a battery pack as an add on that will increase the mileage to up around 100mpg. It is a little pricey so I envision that the older Priuses might be a better choice for the battery pack. The web site for Hymotion is: http://a123systems.com/hymotion.
I failed to mention my 2005 Prius has over 225,000 miles on it and still going strong!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fishing the Santiam

Friday, John and I went fishing at the Santiam River. There is nothing greater than a father and son fishing. We had fun and actually caught a trout. We threw it back in, thinking it was the sporting thing to do. There was a lot of activity on the Santiam that day: fishermen, canoers, rafters, and kayakers.
John even got in some reading while relaxing between nibbles....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Personal Mosaic

Here are the instructions:

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Use only the first page of results, and pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.Some people chose to always choose the 8th picture, or the 3rd on the 8th page or whatnot, but I chose which ones I liked best or felt like me.

Onto the questions and my answers:

1. What is your first name? Richard

2. What is your favorite food? BBQ Ribs

3. What high school did you go to? Exeter High School

4. What is your favorite color? Red

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Sharon Stone
6. What is your favorite drink? Cosmopolitan

7. What is your dream vacation? Tahiti

8. What is your favorite dessert? Key Lime Pie

9. What did you want to be when you grew up? A scientist

10. What do you love most in life? Family!

11. What is one word that describes you? Relaxed

12. What is your flickr name? ricardisfree
Index to photos:

John & Richard Climbing Mt. Lassen

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I got tagged by Cindy, so after much work I got the answers . This was not as easy as Laura explained, but it was fun. The instructions are at the end. Have fun.

1. My Hometown: Exeter, California....small city in central California, population 4,000 when I lived there....9,000 now.

Things haven't changed much. Citrus crops are the main thing. Your can climb up Rocky Hill, or go to Visalia for a "big city". Everybody knows everyone so it is a close community. I go to reunions every 4-5 years, but that's getting hard since a lot of my classmates keep dying........

2. Favorite Hobby: Photography....love my digital camera. I have a Canon Rebel which takes great shots. It sure saves on the film......

3. Favorite Vehicle: The Prius, of course. I got a Prius this year and love the gas savings. I was surprised on the amount of room inside the Prius. Anyway, I save mucho on petrol.

4. Favorite Restaurant: PF Chang's. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.......PF's food!

5. Guilty Pleasure: Love Cheesecake......especially with a little swirl of raspberry

6. Favorite Flower: The Dalila, I think it is the perfect flower.

7. Favorite Color: Red....The Romantic color that gives us such beautiful sunsets!

8. Favorite Vacation (Tie) #1 New Orleans....have been there numerous times and never get bored. It is one of the most amazing sites for history, culture, food, and numerous activities...This October will be our first time back since Katrina.

#2 Tahiti........Moorea, Bora Bora. One of the great vacation spots I have been to. The people were great, the snorkeling superb, food awesome, and the sunset unmatched.

Now it is your turn!

1. Go to flickr.com or images.google.com and get your photos.

2. Type is your answers in the search box.

3. Copy the html and paste for the answer.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Memories of Montana 2008

Whitefish, Glacier Natl Park, Deer, Bear, The Vortex, Hiking, Eating out, Swimming, Big Mountain, Snowballing, Playing Pool, Exploring.....
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Camp Pendleton - Here I Come

Our friend Josh has enlisted in the Marines. We attended his going away BBQ on Saturday. Here is a photo of him with his wife, Ginger - along with Cindy and John.

John & Skittles

John & Skittles
A Boy and his Cat