Showing you Oregon,one post at a time. Did you know that I post the links of many of my stories and articles on the sidebar? When you have extra time, please scroll down to see more. At the bottom of this page there are links to many other blogs that I enjoy.

Hello, friends, thank you so much for stopping by. I really hope that you will enjoy your visit to Oregon Gifts. Due to spam, I am not accepting comments from anonymous people. Please email me at: if you are unable to leave a comment on here. I write back through email when I can.

My words and photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without permission, even on Pinterest.

~ Kathy M.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paulina Loop Saturday Drive:

We (Cary, Mom and I) left Gordy's at around 11:00 to go on our drive. We drove up Fish Hook Road, which is the gravel road across HWY 97 from La Pine State Park Road. It was a blustery day, but the rain had stopped, and the road was really in pretty good shape. We didn't know where we were going, or if we would find a tree blocking the road and need to turn around, but Cary was our driver and we have good tires, so we headed out. Mom and I remembered Grandma T. and how much she enjoyed going on drives out in the woods with Grandpa and then with other family members. Never come back the way you came, was her motto. So we didn't.

At around MP 6, there is a locked gate on the side road. We kept going for another couple of miles until we got to a huge lava flow, where we stopped to get out and take pictures. We could clearly see Lava Butte with the Cascade Range behind it. Our cell phones worked there. We kept driving slow, taking our time, until we came to a crossroad with a sign announcing it was North Paulina Road:

On the right was an unkempt dirt road, and on the left were arrows announcing Swells Wells, 12 miles and HWY 97, 13 miles. So we turned left. We figured out as we got closer, and saw off road motorcycles, that that must be Swells Wells. Gentle bumps with trails. We were speculating why it was named that in the first place. I'll need to look it up.

We ended up at HWY 97, a couple of miles north of Lava Butte, nearly at the High Desert Museum. It was about a 30 mile trip on gravel roads, and it took us around 2 hours. It was so fun to visit with Mom and Cary as we drove along, enjoying the views. Remember, you can enlarge these pictures by just clicking on them ... you will be able to see the deer better if you do.

Views looking down the road:


A big, male deer with lots of horns stopped
for us so that we could take his picture.


We stopped for a photo shoot and a smoke break.

Views of the lava flow and trees, up Fish Hook Road around 8 miles or so:


Lava flow with a view of Lava Butte
and the Cascade Range in the background.

Same view, a little bit over.

Close up of that view.


A hill across from the lava flow.

The hill from across the lava flow, zoomed in.

The hill when we got to it on the other side of the loop.


Lava Butte from around MP 8 from on the loop.

Lava Butte from the view at around MP 8 on the loop.

Lava Butte, from HWY 97

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taylor's Crossing will be playing in Springfield this weekend:

If you will be in the Eugene/Springfield area this weekend for Halloween, and if you enjoy country rock, please consider going to the Countryside in Springfield to see Taylor's Crossing. Leon Taylor, my friend from high school, and his lovely wife Kimberly, will be playing for your enjoyment on both Friday and Saturday nights.

To learn more about them, please check out their website at:

Kimberly and Leon Taylor

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Wishes and Cool Halloween Costumes:

Happy Halloween From Us!

Many of our friends and family had their Halloween parties last weekend. Here are some of the costumes I found funny and lifted from various Facebook pages. Thanks, guys, I hope you don't mind. I'm not going to name names!

Dr. Shots

California Cousins in Style

Dog the Bounty Hunter

A Good Nun

Joe Dirt

The Joker

Dan the Rodeo Clown

If you would like your costume picture posted here,
please email me at:

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Wednesday's Positive Quote of the Day:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guest Post: "Bike Riding and Middle Age":

Bike Riding and Middle Age
by Carly James*

"You'll remember how, it's just like riding a bike."

This quote has been used to convey that when you have not done something in a long time, that it will come back to you.

Well, has anyone got on a bike 25 years after not being on one?

When my car recently died a slow and unnatural death, I had to start riding a bike that I had custom made for me. When I first bought it, I expected to get in shape and cut down on expending resources on imported gasoline. It was an ecological statement. I rode it a few times, then it moldered in my ex's garage for five years.

Now, this is no clunky Schwinn ten speed. My custom bike is a 21 speed made out of space-age lightweight alloys, measured and fit to be ergonomically correct. No stinkin' heavy girl's bike for me. I got a Bike's bike.

The tire width is compatible with off roading, as well as handling pavement.

Do you remember our old ten speeds, with the down turned handlebars that you had to sit up and ride in the "Look, no hands, Ma!" position or else your neck got a crick in it? Or do you remember those "racing" leather seats, that chafed and disappeared into the depths of your butt? Or what about those paper thin "racing" tires that slipped sideways when hitting a minuscule bit of gravel? Ah, those were the days.

My new bike is designed so that I suffer no stress on my back or knees. It sports a comfy extra wide padded seat--one we would not have been caught dead riding at 16 years of age-- a nifty bell to warn passers' by, fenders, a LED light for night travel, and a nice nerdy basket on the back. (Very practical and tres chic, I must say. Pee Wee Herman would be proud).

With this new and improved design, I would be able to whip around town. At least that was the plan.

I have heard that there is such a thing as "muscle memory". My muscles must have Alzheimer's, because my mind remembered, but my muscles didn't.

At first I wobbled, and the death grip on the handlebars made it iffy on the cracked road I was using that leads to the convenience store.

Those that have used that often repeated phrase have not tried riding a bike in recent memory or else are lying through their teeth. I remember riding my bike as a teenager, which weighed probably 50 lbs all over my home town. I rode MILES.

Now, my thighs burn after riding one mile to the store. (And my knees don't feel that great either--but it IS uphill. Well, sort of).

One thing that I tried to do, was the rolling dismount. When I was young, I casually slipped my right leg over the seat, with my left foot on the pedal and my right foot behind my left leg. Then I would coast gracefully to a stop, simultaneously applying the hand breaks, and dismount. Coolness, personified.

My brain remembered this and I tried it. The first time, I think I caught my leg on the seat. The next time I caught my leg on the basket on back. The third time I went a bit slower, and managed to lift my leg up and over the seat, and coast to a really cool stop. Unfortunately, no one was around to witness this spectacular feat of riding skill.

However; when I tried this move again, I ended up holding the handlebars too tightly and when coming to a stop, wobbled and then crashed towards the left.

Very uncool. And in full view of teenagers standing and chatting or texting in front of the store, supposedly about the un-coolness of old geezers riding bikes. ( Well, maybe I was imagining this a bit.) I wonder if this was recorded on a cell phone of said teenagers and will appear on You Tube as the hilarious clip of the day.

Recently, these teenagers decided to shake things up a bit, since I am a regular now at the store. Some quick thinking pixie decided to loosen the release lock on the front tire. When a kid crashes their bike, they usually aren't hurt, jump up and try to act normally; then plot to get back at the kid who sabotaged their bike.

I, on the other hand at age 51, ended up going ass-over-tea kettle, landing first on my head. Contact with the pavement sort of had that satisfying sound of thumping a ripe watermelon. However, my helmet was the thing being thumped. And, it wasn't satisfying.

Thank God for helmets. But, going forward in momentum over the top of my now wheel-less bike (at least in the front) gravity took over and I ended up stopping my bike using my knee as a brake pad on the pavement. (Rather skillfully, I might add.)

Even though it was dark, I heard other apartment dwellers say, "Oh, My God! Are you alright?" (I guess they heard the nice thunk of my helmet hitting the concrete, too.)

Have you ever watched those videos where it is super funny to see people get knocked over, hit in the balls, fall into water, fall off skateboards and so forth?

Do they ever show the "after" of these clips? Those are the ones that show the person grabbing their nuts, crying like a baby and begging for their Mamas, or an ambulance?

I ended up rising quickly, putting my tire back on and acting like everything was okay.

I don't know why I do this, but if I trip badly in public, I always look back at the spot where I tripped and act like,
" Gee, what was back there? It must have been the size of a German Shepherd!"...Never show the bystanders you are hurting. (C'mon, you've done this, too.)

Instead of holding my knee and howling like a four year old child, I slunk into my home and tended my injuries. And, also revised my bike riding routine.

No more flying dismounts, no more "Look Ma, no hands!" And I will personally hunt down the kids that loosened my tire. Maybe by then, I will have obtained a magic crystal ball where I can show them as middle aged, wobbly bicyclists.

Fear and tremble, you hooligans! Someday, you will be wobbling along on a bike with an over-sized seat to conform to your super-sized ass, with your bald head gleaming in the sun.

And I'll be there pushing my walker, laughing. Maybe I can try a rolling dismount then. Walkers seem to be a bit safer.


* Carly James has been my dear friend since 1968. We were inseparable when we were young neighbors, and had many fine adventures together. We have recently reconnected due to the kindness of Facebook and Carly is an excellent writer with an excellent sense of humor, and has graciously agreed to be a guess hostess on here from time to time. Thank you, Carly!

Carly James

Tuesday's Snowy Dawn in La Pine and Unusual Photo's:

Enlarge this one for a closer look. Does anybody else get stuff like this showing up in their photos? It could be my breath and a spot on the lens, but the other two pictures were taken seconds later and I was still breathing and there are no spots. Our front yard seems to have a lot of energy.

Below is a picture I took two years ago at 7:00 in the morning, I call it my freaky picture. I can see an alien in it, and sometimes a huge angel head:

This was taken a few seconds after the freaky picture.

Vapor Owl


You may have noticed the Mary Engelbreit theme I have going on here in recent days. That is because I sat down for three hours on Sunday in my p.j.'s and cut up an old desk calendar, as I watched The Grapes of Wrath and whatever else my best friend husband landed on with his flicker.

I had this brainstorm that I could use the pretty pictures to make my own greeting cards. Then, I thought, why not use some of the pretty pictures I took myself? So, I got started on doing just that. But, being resourceful and all of a sudden into recycling without putting things in the garbage, I decided to use the M.E. stuff for a daily positive quote before I turn them into cards. So, I hope you will enjoy them.

Here are two of the cards I made from my own photos. It was fun!

No Copying!


Links to My Oregon Blog Posts (Except for Central Oregon):

"Oregon Bloggers"

"Sepia Saturday, Postcard and Stamp Blogs"

"Writing and Poetry Blogs":