Sunday, December 05, 2010

Snowvember Days

It is already December..and the weather is very much like it has been for the last few weeks. So, I'm going to post a few snow photos from LAST month. Just to get us caught up to December!

Godfrey was almost up to his knees. Thankfully, much of it has melted. Jon is our snowman!

Thanksgiving it was pretty snowy. The kids didn't get to come down and that was probably a good thing. We have continued to have snow and freezing fog!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


It is about time I got the pumpkin story up here! This is a saga of volunteerism, ingenuity, and pollination. We put wanted to put taters in the spot where our 2009 punkins had grown, so dumped the seeds and junk after Halloween last year in an odd spot in the yard. Well, they came up!

Steve was pretty excited and we went to this wonderful website called the pumpkin nook to learn about raising our own. We learned that these gals are pretty easy to grow, yet they are very sensitive. Most of the early summer was spent watering and hoping for baby pumpkins. Later, Steve got more serious and made a cover for them. If the female flowers get cold, they die! There were a few large ones that started, but Steve was wanting more.

He finally decided to pollinate the female flowers. And they took off! Here you see a male flower on the left, and on the right a not very old female. The gals open in the morning and that is when they are at their best. So, using a q-tip, Steve touched the inside of one of the very abundant male flowers and tapped the pollen into the female blossom. If he was fortunate, the baby pumpkin on the end of stem grew into an orange ball!

We harvested these ones first. Almost at the start of September! We knew we had some great jack o lanterns!

As the weather chilled, we diligently covered and uncovered the girls so they would not get too cold and grow big and strong. Unfortunately, the days just were not warm enough and they stalled.

For some reason this photo-which really is NOT slanted-seems to want to blog off kilter. The littler green pumpkins we ended up tossing as it and three others froze. The bright orange one made 4 cups of puree and the larger one is orange all over now.

And here is Steve with his 12 'girls'. He did have two more, but they went to Beaverton with Tony and Kym. We planned on carving the bigger ones for Halloween, but decided against it. One, we were very busy at the end of October and, two, we did not want to have someone come and smash our hard work while the house was empty over the holiday. So, he plans on carving some for Thanksgiving! It should be fun, we hope it doesn't snow!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Just a few photos from our visit with Mum-

Mum got to relax with Moses, visit the horses next door and go up to the Mountains with Jon. Next time she visits, we'll take her shooting! (Maybe!) And we'll hope the weather is better. The mountain visit was pretty much the prettiest day she was here..and it didn't stay pretty very long!

The wedding was ages ago and I really need to get a bit up about it! It was so neat having mum come down and visit. We had not seen her in ever so long and it was special to actually get to hug her for a change! The weather was pretty frightful for most of her visit, so on the drive to the coast it was fun to stop in Arlington and photograph the ducks. Actually, Jon took most of the duck pictures! The drive to the coast was hectic, rain on the freeway and a novice city driver was interesting, but only a foreshadow of what was to come!

(a view from a car window..)

There are many thoughts that come to mind when you think of a big project. One quote by J. Heywood is particularly apt, “Many hands make light work.” There are so many people who helped with the wedding. Roxanne and her two, Flett’s, Pam W, Jacit, Karla B, Teressa S, Dr. T, Doug, Scott, Tex, and the list goes on! And it really did help make the work lighter.

I think the most amusing thing happened after the wedding, though. We had bunches of flowers left over and as it was Halloween, we decided to give some away. We had a rental house, so we didn’t get many trick or treaters. However, the ones who did visit received chocolate and the girls got roses. Well, one of the guys got one, too. He was adorable. A group of Alice in Wonderland characters came by to visit and the Mad Hatter wanted a rose. When I gave him one his response was, “I got a rose!” followed by “I love you!!!

(a visit to the creamery was a must-I got some adorable Tillamook cheddar earrings--metal, not cheese!--and we had a yummy lunch!)

On the way back to EO, the weather was truly horrid. Jon drove thru rain, bumper to bumper traffic, and wind. We barely got mom to the airport in time! The rest of the ride back was fairly uneventful and when we got back home~it was shirt sleeve weather! We were thankful we had two cars, Steve drove the one with his parents and Jon drove my Escort.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hiking with Guns, continued.

Monday after school. It was just barely 4 o'clock and here he is hiking away into the grass. At 430 I heard two shots. Several minutes later I saw Jon hiking back, almost running. Sans coat, hat, gun, and with a huge grin. Yup, he got a deer!

However, it was a bit of a ways away and in a gully. He did drag it up from where he shot it, but it was still on a hillside. The first photo shows about the location of the kill. (the lighter green bushes near the darker ones by the taller lone bush..kind of in the upper right of the that?) He did say it was a 'Forrest Gump shot' and he managed to avoid all the guts. He thinks he is going to write to Remington because their core lok bullets don't expand when they hit bone, they explode. Which did ruin a bit of meat, but not much. They did find one fragment.

The deer was, they think, an older one. Steve says it was a 6 by 4, including the eyegaurds, and the antlers were thick and spiky. The ears on the deer were notched in at least 3 places by what we think were previous fights. It was a pretty big and heavy buck.

This was the first 'knot' made to haul it the rest of the way out of the draw. Things actually went more downhill from there. It didn't take long to get it cleaned out (via cell phone instructions by dad), but the hard part happened when we tried to get it in the truck. We used several methods and ended up calling for dad again. We were planning on meeting him partway and dragged the buck several hundred yards through the grass. However, we hit a snag. Well, more of a ditch than a snag. And since I am the mom, I had to check out what happened and fell in the ditch also. By this time, it was dark. If we had gone 6 feet on either side of the ditch, we would have been fine. But, we didn't.

As you can see, it was a bit of a jarring experience for all involved. The tire is off the ground and the truck was sitting on the bumper and the leaf springs. The driver's door would not open because the cab itself slid forward on the frame. Other than that, they were able to dig it out and it drove home fine. But apparently, getting stuck on the ranch is a Hansell tradition. So, Jon has officially joined the club.

The deer is now hanging and Jon plans on putting this European mount (he wants another one) opposite the one in his room with the coyote tail hanging from its antler. Go Rednecks! We were all pretty sore on Tuesday and my ankle is swollen, but on the whole, it was an eventful afternoon and evening that we will never forget!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Hiking With Guns-Part 1

The scenery was lovely, the weather was amazing, but the deer were scarce. I was told they saw one, but he scented them and was hot footing it elsewhere. It could have been the sounds of WW2 in the hills around them, too! It appeared that everyone was out in force this weekend. It is frustrating to see so many deer and then when you need to see them, they are gone!

Jon did get a coyote. It was sort of cute, he told his dad how he shot it by using Teddy Grahams as markers. That, I think, was one of the key notes of this first part of Hiking with Guns. They REALLY liked Teddy Grahams!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Round Up-100 years!

Saturday started out a bit damp, but quickly warmed up to tank top weather! All along the street were no parking signs and a man in a tow truck drove past often warning, "all cars parked along the parade route will be towed." He wasn't joking! After the rigs were moved, these guys came by to pick up the signs. The one the man is reaching for also had part of bumper near it. A lady came by and knocked it over, bumping off a piece of her car. She got out to put the sign back up, but didn't know what the black thing was. She drove off before anyone could tell her it was her bumper.

At the beginning of the parade there were 100 people on 100 horses carrying 100 American flags. It was pretty impressive! Rumor was that these flags were flown on bases overseas, but between you and me and the internet, the flags looked pretty pristine for being flown in a desert! After they rode past, a wagon of people came by. I don't remember who they were, but obviously a wagon was a great place to talk from!

These pretty horses have tiger stripes on their legs. It is a particular breed that I don't remember, but they were very striking. Almost as impressive as the band that played while riding horses!! Doesn't that tuba player look like he has his hands full? The people next to the players are leading the horses in case one of them takes offense at the odd noises coming from their backs.

These oxen were also very cool. They, too, have handlers in case of unhappiness. I was told by a fellow spectator that one year the handlers gave them too much relaxant (they have to because they can get a bit out of control) and the beasts lay down in the road and wouldn't move!
I also took a photo of this stunning black and white horse and rig combo because it was so pretty!

There were a LOT of horses in this year's parade. It is completely non motorized, although I did see at least one gator scooping! I liked the fringe on this one's harness and the large ones pulling the fake wool bags are very stately creatures.

These two signs made me laugh. The first one is on an oil rig proclaiming use in motor cars! The second is just funny!

I loved this little guy and his mining couple! Except the lady was way too far behind and almost as overladen!

And at the end, is the hearse! I am not sure I'd want to be carted around in a glass hearse, but then..I would be dead, so maybe I wouldn't care! Actually, the very last thing in the parade is a steam calliope, but none of the photos of that came out very well!

Oregon Live has some stats on this and if I knew how to post a link, I would do that! The hope this year was that the parade would make the Guinness Book of World Records for a parade with the most horses in it. And apparently it did. Don't know how many there were, though. There were 188 or so entrants in the parade and most of them were horseback or rode in wagons! Some of the more interesting entries were the rodeo queens from ages past. And many of them were still riding and they had on the most amazing outfits! The horses did not stand still enough for photos, though. And I am pretty sure the horses were not the same ones they rode from 1950 or the 60's!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mtn Ranch (Jon's pix)

I figured that will all the interesting things we have been up to, it might be a good idea to post the photos that Jon took on our camping trip. Well, not all of them. I am just posting the animal ones..and well, one of Steve and I.

This deer photo was of the deer we saw on that first night. As you can see here, they were in a line: 4 point, 3 point, two point..and the last one did not get in the picture. He was a spike. So, as we keep saying-the deer are there. We only hope they stay til October when Jon and Steve will go 'hiking with guns' (deer season). The next morning, after the cows woke us up, Jon got up first and proceeded to wander around with his camera.

He found this teeny tiny frog that was about the size of his thumbnail..and took photos of it after he 'released' it.

He also learned where grasshoppers sleep.

This top one is guaranteed to make one feel VERY VERY small! It is where we are going to go for our Youth service next Sunday morning. It is on the 'upper place'. While up there, we visited a teeny pond that was so covered with water skippers it looked like a convention! Jon also found a Hairy Woodpecker. They look exactly like the Downy ones, but are bigger. Of course, on the tree, they look small!