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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

From what I hear, it’s “cold” in Oregon.  I’m so used to the weather here I don’t notice, but compared to the humidity of Florida… I can see how it’s “cold.”  We have had some really amazing days.  Hubby and I are excited to be experiencing our yard and trees for the first time.  Now that everything has bloomed we are ready for the fruit to come!  We have a plum tree and SEVERAL cherry trees, we are really big on canning, dehydrating and freezing food for later use and it looks like God has provided us with some amazing food this year.

This cherry tree doesn’t seem to be producing fruit anymore.  We had that happen at a rental house with a plum tree, however after our garden, plenty of chicken and bunny poo, that plum tree started to produce again! Maybe we’ll be blessed with this cherry tree and it will do the same.

Praying for some plums!

Jack playing in the creek.  He LOVES his ball!

Jack & Lyla in the creek.  She wouldn’t go near the water when we first got her, she has come a LONG way!

Can you tell I love my dogs? He’s just so handsome!

She is certainly “my” dog.  She is a blessing!

One of our desires in our house was to have a creek, God provided everything we asked for!

Hubby went to visit his Grandma for her birthday.  She lives in the Columbia Gorge (one of the most amazing places on earth!) he came home with mushrooms!  Here are some coral mushrooms he picked up.  He made some Chinese food with these last year, looking forward to that again!

He also came home with fresh Morrells! We enjoyed them last night, and they were SOOOO tasty! Yay for mushroom season!  I love spring in Oregon!

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Well isn’t God funny sometimes!?  I was sure 100% last week that my time at my job was ending.  That it was time to make a change and I made a move, but nothing has happened.  In fact I prayed, Lord if this is not where you want me to be (the new job I applied for) close that door and make me know that I am supposed to stay.  Boy, Oh Boy, did He answer that prayer for me!

I had the most amazing weekend.  My mental health Friday was exactly what I needed.  Three whole days off of work and a beautiful sunny Oregon weekend ahead of me, it was wonderful!  We got out into the yard, got wet in our creek, played with the dogs and the next door neighbor kids.  I even got a sunburn!  Which I’m quite grateful for actually, it’s been nothing but rain here for months so I’m excited to have red shoulders.

Next thing I know it’s Monday again.  I didn’t give myself enough time to make juice this morning so I figured I’d do that for dinner.  Another beautiful day, it was easy to get on the road and open the sunroof.  I got to work and had some Teeccino in tow.  Teeccino is a coffee alternative, I gave up coffee about a month ago.  My boss walked in and gave me a face, “that looks like you scraped it up off the parking lot.”  I half laughed, was that suppose to be a joke or was he serious?  Later he told the medical assistant the same thing, she replied to him “it’s probably juice, Corri’s been juicing.”  I missed a very interesting Friday, apparently one of our patients (that the doctor knows personally) had begun juicing and had lost 20lb.

Sitting in my office the medical assistant beeps my phone and says “can you come back here please.”  Awesome, called to the “principal’s” office on Monday.  I get back and she and the doc are staring… “uh… what’s up?”  I ask.  “What kind of juicer do you have?”  My boss asked, “A Hurom slow juicer, why?” I respond.  Turns out he’s looking into buying a juicer for the office.  The Medical Assistant told him how much she wanted to start, then the patient on Friday and now he learns Hubby and I have been at it for a month, it was the perfect “storm.”  My boss is great in the fact that he wants us all to be healthy, he gives us extra time during the day (paid I might add) to go for a jog or a walk or to a gym to workout.  He’s an Orthopedic doc so he’s into fitness.  Anyway, he saw it as a way to help us, add some health to our lives and I’m sure it’s a tax write off too.  He asked me to go with him to Sur La Table at lunch to look with him.

Come lunch time, we head over.  I tell him about Hubby and my journey, he tells me about the patient who lost 20lb.  We get to the store and the only juicer there is the Hurom.  I tell him all about it, how it works even the sales person came up and asked me if I had a job! LOL  I guess I was doing a good job selling the product. 😉  When you love something, you love it, I guess it showed.  He bought it for the office!!  I am giddy!  I ran to the store picked up some produce and came back and made everyone juice.  Now I don’t have to stress myself out if I didn’t make juice for the day before heading home!

I never did hear from that job I applied for.  Then my boss bought a juicer for us… I heard the answer to my prayer loud and clear.

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I absolutely love Oregon!  It is (although I’m pretty bias) one of God‘s most beautiful and amazing places.  The winter can be a bit, depressing, especially for those who are not used to rain 24/7.  Rain, however, keeps Oregon green and lush and beautiful.  People who are not from here comment a lot on the size of our trees, the moss that grows on them and the lush forests.  After a particularly long winter I am starting to see signs of life and spring again.  It does remind me that our God lives and no matter how dark it is before the dawn, the sun rises and life begins new in Spring.

My drive to work today was particularly wonderful, the cherry blossoms that grow along the freeway through downtown Portland are in bloom.  I saw daffodils bright and yellow, happily standing above the ground.  Color is starting to come back, although it’s almost always green here, it is nice to see other colors.  I even saw a beautiful rhododendron blooming in pink.  Spring also brings some fun new things for Hubby and I.

If I haven’t talked about it before,  Hubby really has a passion for growing food.  We got married in 2009 and were living in Portland off a very busy road, where city buses were constantly passing our apartment.  Our landlord was not the most… uh.. pleasant man, he would not allow for gardens.  Unless the garden was in containers and you removed everything at the end of the growing season, you couldn’t have one.  Not to mention that the sun exposure wasn’t great either.  So we never had one there.  We eat organic as much as possible and were spending a fortune at New Season’s.  So we moved to the country.  We got amazing Christian landlords (totally God’s hand).  See Hubby had just seen a movie called Faith Like Potatoes.  It is based on a true story about a farmer in Africa and his struggles, he comes to know God and then grows potatoes.  The thing about potatoes is you don’t know what kind of crop you will have until you dig them out, so you must have “faith like potatoes” that God is going to give you a bountiful harvest.  Hubby was completely inspired!  When we met with our new landlord, Hubby asked the wife if he could plant potatoes and her response was “it’s your yard.”  He has been passionate about growing food ever since.  That same year, God provided him with FREE seed potatoes from our favorite feed and seed (Linnton Feed & Seed in Portland).  In fact, they didn’t even know they had any more seed potatoes and everyone said it was too late in the year to plant them, but Hubby didn’t listen.  He knew what God wanted him to do.  Then he was in the store-room of the feed and seed looking for something while the staff was busy (we have a great relationship with them) and back in a corner was a pallet of seed potatoes!  He went and asked and they said they didn’t even know they were there, but they were his if he wanted them.  Wow!  Long story short, this has become hubby’s passion.  He has started a mini food share program.  One year he went to people’s homes that wanted a garden but didn’t want to do the work themselves, he planted the gardens, got a majority of the food and the home owner got what they wanted as well.  Last year he found a person with a large plot of land and mostly did gardening there.  This year however, we finally have our own home and a half-acre to boot!  He is still going to use that large plot of land but also our own this year.  Another blessing is a local seed company, Territorial Seed, donated to him almost $200 in free seeds!

Yesterday we got a freak snow storm.  Woke up with an inch or two (yes that is a lot of snow for us) and as I walked out to open the chicken coop, I saw a tree with leaves opening up, covered in snow.  Luckily, it all melted pretty quickly.  I am excited to see what our new yard will look like in bloom.  We moved into our house in November and we don’t know what all the trees are in our yard yet, and we get to see flowers bloom for the first time!  The other beautiful thing is we get to have a permanent place to plant our growing plant collection.  We have had pots and carried them with us as we moved, but now our rosemary, goji berries, thyme, sage and horseradish will have a permanent home.  What a HUGE blessing!

I feel renewed today, can you tell?  🙂  For the first time we have a place to call home on this earth, that we can enjoy and grow beautiful food given to us by our Creator.  I look forward to writing more as the growing season gets into full swing and post photos of our garden and beautiful bounty.  I’m thankful to the Lord for Spring, a renewal time where we can remember that we serve a living God, who loved us so much not only died for us, but gave us living food to nourish our bodies.  Praise God!

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I LOVE naturalnews.com!  Seriously when something happens to me and I’m researching treatments and such, this is my go to site.  I have to share with you an amazing new study about menstrual cramps and vitamin D I just read.   I actually suffer very greatly from horrid cramps, some of it is related to PCOS but I’ve always had this issue. (Sorry to the men who read my blog, but if you have a wife or might one day this might be a great thing to remember.)  So what this study did was give an ULTRA high dose of vitamin D3 five days before their expected period.  They gave 300,000 IU’s!!  I take 5,000 a day, because well I live in rainy Oregon and most of us here are vitamin D deficient.

The results were pretty astounding, after two months the pain reduced 4% and the most noticeable group were those that had the most severe pain.  There is really amazing hope in this for us woman who unfortunately have to deal with this monthly.  I’m actually overjoyed to read this article!  The unfortunate part of PCOS however is the infrequency of periods so knowing exactly when to start (5 days before) is a bit tricky, but I am going to give this a try.  I will be back to post my results after giving it a fair shot.

 http://www.naturalnews.com/035114_vitamin_D_mega-dose_menstrual_cramps.html

 

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We live in Oregon, one of the best places on earth I might add, although I might be a bit bias. 🙂  One of the most amazing things happens here in the winter and spring time, truffles!  I have never been a mushroom hunter before I met Hubby.  He grew up in the Columbia Gorge where morel mushrooms are very prolific so he has a much better grip on this whole deal than I do.  The beautiful thing is you get to get out into creation and breathe the beautiful air, be among the trees, and get exercise to boot.  Generally an outing, especially this time of year, includes Hubby and myself and sometimes our dogs.  They enjoy running around like crazy wild animals while we search for the elusive truffle.  Our female is in “training” to be our truffle hunter, in fact the first day we got her she ate the first black truffle we found.  We have taken an occasional friend out with us and generally the same love we have for this scavenger hunt is then passed on to them.

This weekend a avid truffle hunting friend invited us to a truffle foray, it happened to be about 10 minutes from our house so…why not!  We haven’t spent a lot of time around other truffle hunters before and it was an adventure.  We arrive at the tree farm to find there were probably 100 or so people there.  Every where you looked there were people on the ground with hand rakes searching for the little nuggets of goodness.  There were people who brought their dogs and dogs in training, it was really a fun atmosphere.  We paid our $5.00 to hunt and made our way away from what seemed to be the bulk of the people.  On our way down a path a voice said “do you mind if I follow you?”  We turned to see a woman looking a bit lost.  She was only told to bring a rake and stood amongst the trees bewildered, obviously she had not done this before.  We aren’t the secretive type of mushroom hunters, some people think they have secret spots, but if you’ve ever been to Oregon… everywhere is a “spot!”  The amount of doug fir trees we have is mind blowing, truly there is no way to “rape” the land, there is so much land that there is no way that all the truffles could ever be dug up!

Our new friend was apprehensive thinking that we wouldn’t allow her to follow us, but really what fun is there in that?  Why not share the info we have acquired over the past three years?  Because of the amount of people there, there were not many unsearched areas but we did find a place to settle down on to the cold ground.  We began to rake back the duff and into the soil, after a few minutes, success!  Out popped a white nugget of happiness.  I showed our new friend who I think got a renewed sense of hope.  She found a spot to start looking but nothing came up.  Finally she went over to watch over Hubby’s shoulder and he let her start looking in his area.  Her first truffle was found not too much longer after that, which was celebrated with lots of hoots and hollers.  How fun and amazing it is to find your very first truffle!  Her friends must have heard our celebration and in a few minutes they were calling her name.  We were surrounded by a group of older ladies who were so interested to pick our brains.  How did we keep them? How long have we been doing this?  What did we know that we could share with them?  Could they join us sometime for a hunt in our spot?  It was lovely.  I LOVED sharing the info we had with them.  But the crowded tree farm began to be a bit too much for us, we were use to large forests that go miles and miles with no other people around and you don’t have to search for an area that someone had not already dug.  So we bid our new friends ado and passed on our phone number so we could connect later to take them REAL truffle hunting.

Since this was a large event, there was doughnuts and coffee so we went and grabbed a little bite.  There were lots of people standing around eating, talking and sharing their finds.  Next to us was a couple, they were unsure of what they found and wanted me to look.  I showed them our few truffles and let them smell them.  Truly truffles are for flavor, not a mushroom you slice and eat.  And just because I’m kind of a truffle geek, truffles truly aren’t mushrooms, they are tubers but most people do call them truffle mushrooms, so there is your truffle trivia for the day.  So I’m looking through their finds and mostly they had nothing.  There were some marbled looking, something, but they were not truffles.  They had a few pieces of truffles but not a whole one.  After some casual conversation they said they were from Michigan.  Most people who live in Oregon these days, didn’t grow up here (present company excluded), so it’s not uncommon to hear that someone is from somewhere else.  However, what they meant was, they actually flew in to Oregon JUST to come to this foray!  Talk about true truffle people!  They had never been to the Pacific Northwest, but the husband was a mushroom hunter back home and always wanted to find truffles.  So for his birthday his wife booked this trip for them.  I couldn’t let someone who flew all the way from Michigan to truffle hunt go home with broken pieces of truffles.  Hubby and I agreed, we had to take them out for some REAL truffle hunting.

The couple seemed shocked that we wanted to do this, but we’re nice here in the Pacific  Northwest, that is the kind of things we do.  Off we went on our adventure.  We took them to our “spot” and started showing them how we did things.  We learned they had booked a trip with some guide who ended up taking them for $400, how lame is that!?  But ultimately they got the local guided tour.  Just as expected we started finding truffles, it’s such a joy!  You can look and look but when you uncover that first one there is just a beautiful thing about it.  Similar to finding a needle in a haystack.  We ended up sending the day with our new friends, we found  one of the largest white truffles we have ever found, we took them on a bit of a road trip into the beautiful Oregon mountains, and ended up at a best kept secret restaurant that locals know about but not too many others.  They left with real Oregon truffles and we sent them to the Oregon coast the next day and suggested they check out the Tillamook Cheese Factory, which I hope they made it to.  It was one of the best and most bizarre weekends I think I have ever had.  My body is still sore from all the work that I did, but I also know I’m alive because of it.

If only I could start a truffle guide service, now that would be the ultimate dream job!  Cheers to our new Michigan friends, I do hope we see you again and safe travels home, even though you’ll probably never read this. 🙂

 

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I’m an Oregonian, through and through.  100% born and raised here, I left for three months to go to South Florida and quickly returned.  It rains here 90% of the time, but that is also what makes this state so beautiful and green and clean.  Recently I went to the bank, I met a sweet girl who told me she had moved here from California when I told her I was from here she said “whoa! you are a rare one.”  See everyone in Oregon generally happen to be from somewhere else.  In fact my first question when meeting new people is “So where are you from?”   When I was growing up, everyone was from here and if you were from somewhere else you were automatically popular because, well everyone was from Oregon.  I’m not exactly sure when it changed, but in the 90’s Oregon seemed to be this mecca for Californians.  Things here changed, housing went sky-high because real estate in CA was much higher than Oregon.  People came up here, gobbled up houses and the rest of us were left thinking if we could actually afford to buy a home where we grew up.  Attitudes changed, Oregon is friendly, not saying that CA isn’t… I am sure there are a whole bunch of nice and sweet people there, but as a majority that isn’t what “we” were shown.  You walk down the street and say hi or good morning to a person, that changed to the impersonal, look straight a head and don’t acknowledge anyone else around you.  Then the drivers, oh the drivers!  Again the normal courteous drivers here would let you in when your blinker was on, they would give you the nice “hey thanks!” wave when you let them in.  It went from that to cutting you off, not letting you in to traffic in fact even speeding up so you can’t get into traffic.  The “hey thanks” waves turned into another finger gesture.  Now let me clarify, not everyone came here is from California, in fact I know A LOT of New Yorkers, Colorado, Florida, Texas… I mean Oregon has turned into a mixing pot of people.  This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that many of these people aren’t use to the rain, and it rains here a lot.  I’ve been hearing that most Oregonians are vitamin D deficient.  From about now (sometimes earlier) until April or May it is rare to see the sun, our sun comes in the liquid form.

Driving to work this morning I was irritated at the driving going on.  It’s raining here, surprise surprise.  As we come around a corner and start hydroplaning the car in front of me slams on their brakes!  Luckily I’ve been driving here for a while and I know what to do in situations like this, let off the gas and lightly tap the breaks.  It just got me thinking and I wanted to write a “how to drive in the rain” blog.  Just in case someone decided to sue me or something crazy, I’m gonna say that I’m not an expert and don’t follow my advice like I am.  If you get in an accident it’s your fault and not mine and I don’t have any money anyway so not worth your time to sue me. 😉

First off, when it’s raining you HAVE to give yourself stopping distance.  There are so many factors here, like the first rain of the season, the big and bad first rain, will ALWAYS have oil and car fluids on the road.  This means it will ALWAYS be slick, and much more than you think.  There is also the fact that leaves start to fall and they can make it really hard to stop when it’s slick, go slow and slow down slowly.  You are not going to want to slam on your breaks in any of these situations.  The last point here would be that most people are not aware of how to drive safely in the rain, don’t trust that they do give yourself stopping distance.  For whatever reason, it seems like every time I leave myself stopping distance between me and the car in front of me that gives someone the “ok” to cut in there and get in front of me.  How frustrating! Can anyone explain why this is happening so frequently these days?  Are they not teaching drivers ed? Or is everyone just so self focused that they don’t notice or don’t care?  Ok back on track…

When you do start to hydroplane, the best thing I’ve found is to take your foot off the gas and don’t apply the break.  Ride it out.  Most of the hydroplaning will happen because the water from the rain gets trapped in the ruts in the road.  My situation this morning was I was coming around a corner and the water was running down the hill and thus instant hydroplaning.  The person in front of me did the no-no, they hit the breaks and hard.  I know it is a scary moment when your tires are floating on water, but just like in snow and ice the fast jerks and reactions will generally only cause you problems rather than get you safely through it.  I also tend to have a good grip on the wheel, I’ve heard it’s like ice though were you need a slight grip, but I generally have both hands on the wheel in case I need more control.

It does rain hard and sometimes it is hard to see, if it gets too bad and you can’t see then pull over until you feel safe.  If not then put your wipers on as fast as they can go, and don’t look at the rain,  find something outside to focus on.  Focusing on the rain on your windshield will only confuse your brain, seriously focus on the car ahead of you.  It is like watching the road as you drive, it can make you dizzy.

Look two and even three cars ahead of  you.  Break lights are an amazing invention.  You don’t have to wait for the person in front of you to use theirs either!  One of the best things you can do to stay prepared when driving is to look for break lights on the cars ahead of the one that is in front of you.  Don’t assume the person in front of you knows how to drive well, be proactive.  I almost always look a few cars ahead, if there is a slow semi truck, if they are breaking etc.  You will have much more time to react this way, especially if the person in front of you doesn’t.

If you are just terrified, if you aren’t that great in driving in it yet… or whatever it might be, please get in the slow lane.  That means the furthest right you can go.  Some of us do know how to drive in the rain and wanting to go faster than you.  It is after all only rain.  Don’t go 25 miles an hour on the freeway, in the left lane.  PLEASE!

In case you forgot, a friendly wave to say thanks to someone who lets you in to traffic is really a nice thing.  Leaving stopping distance for yourself isn’t an invitation for someone else to come in and take it, seriously be courteous! You know the whole “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself” thing?  It works in so many different situations, even driving!  It could be such a more pleasant experience for everyone if we did remember that maybe that’s a mom ahead of you trying to get home to her kids, or maybe that elderly person going too slow is just trying to make it to a doctor’s appointment that no one was able to drive them to.

However if you move to a place where it rains 90% of the year than please, for everyone’s good… learn to drive in the rain.  These are not the dry streets of California, and there is no reason to go 25 miles an hour on the freeway when it rains.  Thanks from a Oregonian girl. 🙂

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