Saturday, June 30, 2012

Computer Crash

Friday evening as Anthony was surfing the web, the computer died.  He tried to reboot, but couldn't make it happen, not even in safe mode.  It's looking pretty bad.  I'll take it in on Monday and see if the problem can be fixed or if we're just toast.  I'd be sad to loose pictures and video...we have some backed up, but not nearly all of it.  If that's the case, though, then that's the case.  

Meanwhile, that means no new videos and no new walk summaries.  We're using an old, slow laptop until we know what's what with the main computer.  I may not be blogging much until we have a resolution.  

I will let you in on our latest goof-ball thing, though.  A couple of months ago, we got an idea to eat according to the alphabet.  An ABC food challenge, as it were.  We had fun listing foods for each letter, then took it to the internet, where we discovered that this idea was not unique to us.  Still, we thought it would be fun.  Davan didn't want to do it until after Lena left, though, feeling it might interfere with their social eating.  

Yesterday, Davan and I talked about it again.  We decided to give it a go.  All three of us are doing it.  Today we ate (not everyone ate everything listed, but between the three of us we ate all this):

Apple Crisp
Apricots (dried and fresh)
African Bean Soup

We decided not to be too overly strict, as it's supposed to be fun, so, for example, if we wanted, we could eat African Bean Soup today under A, but also under S as soup.  

On the menu for tomorrow is:

Baked Beans
Boca Burgers (with fixings)

The whole thing will require extra food work from me, as we can't have leftovers the next day for lunch, which is something we do pretty often and Anthony can't just pack his usual breakfast of oatmeal.  He and Davan (who is doing an all day camp this week) will both need food of the appropriate letter prepared the previous day to pack for lunches and snacks.

I imagine I'll be really glad when it's over.  We also know already that there are some challenging days ahead, but we've got some good potential items listed for everyday except X.  We're not totally sure what we're going to do with that day except that Davan, for sure, won't be fasting.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good Bye, Lena

Don't let the smiles fool you.  You'll be missed, Lena.

Walk #14

The next walk on that Saturday was in Beaverton.  It was a 6 and change loop that seemed to us to be structured along the lines of "there is something interesting here and something interesting at the far end, so let's link it together, even if the middle is long and uneventful."  Still, there were parts we liked and one fun-for-us surprise.

It was nice having all three of us to juggle things like the book, the dog and the camera.  For whole stretches on Saturday, I didn't have to deal with either the book or Ranger wrangling.

Near the beginning of the walk, we went within a few blocks of the square where the Beaverton Farmer's Market was.  We were wanting lunch, so we detoured over to see what we could find.  Dogs were not allowed in the market area, so we took turns staying out with Ranger.

It turned out that we went right by the square at the end of the loop, but it's good we stopped when we did because, not only were there over 5 miles between this point and that, but the market was closed by the time we came back by.

Anyway, Davan and I each had a vegetable stuffed pastry which Anthony passed on due to not liking all the veggies in there.  As you can see, though, Ranger would have been happy to have one.

We also bought some strawberries, but seem to have eaten them before they made it in front of the camera.

We walked for a bit on this bike path.  There was a fair amount of time spent on multi-use paths like this on the walk.

Davan was rounding out her lunch from the market with crackers while Anthony lunched on the crackers and some peanuts while we were strolling along.

I remembered on the walk that I had a bruise I wanted documented.  I got it sparing at Poekoelan.  It did hurt, but looked much more impressive than it felt.

A close up.

We walked on this trail through a small forested area for a bit.

We emerged at this playground.

We hadn't taken a bowl for Ranger and it had been a while since we had found a place for her to drink, so I was giving her some water from the fountain here.  She has to be pretty thirsty to do it, but she will drink some if I shoot it out of my mouth for her.  She's not great at placement and usually ends up getting some up her nose, which is why I think she doesn't love this method of drinking, but it's funny to watch and it does wet her whistle.

Davan struck a few poses.

Anthony worked on his smile.  He often looks grim in pictures, so he's been working on smiling more.  He's got it here.

Ranger, taking a break while waiting for Davan to be done on the playground.

After the playground, it was time for another snack.  Granola bars.

Here was our surprise.  As we were coming up to this neighborhood and reading about it, we discovered that an architect called Rummer brought to Oregon the style of building created by an architect in California called Eichler.  What's cool about this for us is that my grandmother lives in an Eichler house.  To come across virtual clones of her house here in Oregon was a surprise and quite fun for us.

We took this picture because it's for sale.  We though Tad-ku might want to move in there because he loves Eichlers so much.  (Ahem.)

If you painted this one purple and put a carousel horse under the eaves to the left of the apex, you'd have my grandmother's house.

Rummer did a great thing with his neighborhood in my opinion.  He made cul de sacs all backing up to an open area that he donated as a park to the city.  So, each little pocket has their own small "forest."

There are grassy open spaces and paths.

Nearby there is also a large green space with several blocks worth of treed area to explore.

They even had this nature play area where you're encouraged to go ahead and climb trees, build forts and generally interact with nature in ways that are often not allowed in natural areas.  I thought it was a great idea, although we didn't find much we wanted to interact with when we went through the area to be honest.  No good climbing trees.

The above green space served as the turn around point on our walk.

On the way back, we went over Hill and Dale.

I forgot to mention earlier when talking about sharing the book and dog, we also shared the bag.  It was sure nice to walk unencumbered for stretches of time.

Enjoying the day.

Davan is actually on the sidewalk between these patches of flowers, although it sort of looks like she's walking through a field.

As we came back toward the center of town, we found another playground.

Anthony and I were happy to sit on the bench for a while while Davan played...but not as long as she usually does.  Then she came over for a picture.

At the other end of the park from the playground, near the Beaverton library, we found a small food stand that had Indian food.  We shared an order of samosas with a side of chickpeas.

Davan gets really excited when we get to see the MAX train pass close by.  Here she's looking askance at me because I was teasing her (just a little bit) about how excited she was.

It really makes her day, though.

After this crossing, I seem to have taken no more pictures before we got back to the car, even though I think there was close to a mile left, including going through some of downtown Beaverton.  Oh well.  This walk was okay.  There were things we like for sure, but it all seemed kind of spread out, as opposed to some of the in town walks where there is stuff of interest all over the place.  We had fun doing it all together, but our day wasn't over yet.

Time Jumping

On the Friday before we went to Colorado, Davan and Lena went to open workout - you may remember me saying they were going in a previous post about that Friday's walk.  They asked me to come and get some video.  I ended up with over 30 minutes of video.  Yikes!  I've finally whittled it down to a more manageable 6 or so minutes.

They were mostly just playing around with it, seeing what they could do.  Both girls loved this set up and they had so much fun.  I nearly didn't do music and just let the laughter and chatter be the background, ended up being better with music.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Walk #13

Walks number 13, 14 and 15 all happened on one long day.  Davan and I knew this was coming.  Having looked at everything we needed to fit in, we realized that if we didn't do three walks on Saturday, we would be sunk as far as completing our challenge.

It made the most sense to do three walks that were all out in the western suburbs that day.  It was a 16 mile day.  Anthony was able to join us.  Poor guy.  He'd wanted to go with us before, but it hadn't worked out.  The day he was able to - bam - 16 miles and no real choice for an early out because we were out in the burbs.  Really, though, he knew what he was getting into, although you wouldn't have known it if you didn't know his complaining as the day went on was all in good fun.

We headed out Saturday morning, not as early as we maybe should have.  For one, I had to unload the camera before we went and it took forever.  I guess I should have done it the night before.  But, off we went for the longest drive to a start of a walk.

Walk #13 was in Forrest Grove and was about 4.5 miles long.  We liked this one pretty well.  It started and ended on the campus of Pacific College.

We walked through the neighborhood near the college.

And then through a small commercial district.  We stopped in a coffee shop, where they let Ranger come in as long as she didn't go through the arch to where the counter was.  Anthony had had a little too much coffee before leaving home and needed a pit stop.

We decided we should buy something rather than just use the restroom.  We each got a bagel.  Davan, of course, would never pass up a bagel.

We found - surprise, surprise - a playground.

Forest Grove has a fair amount of history and older homes.  For a while, it was a major stop on a train line that later moved into Portland.  While it was the major train stop town, though, it had a big boom in commerce and a lot of houses were built.

Someone had this old gas pump in their yard.  It was pretty cool looking.

The view into the flood plane for...hmm...I can't remember and we've had to take the book back to the library, but for a nearby creek.

The far point on the loop (and we had to do an out and back, dashing across a busy road, to get there) was a Sake factory.  This is odd to say the least because it's out in the middle of a small Oregon town.  There are only a handful of Sake factories in the US period and this is the only one that is American owned.  It was a complete surprise to us to find it there, as we made a point not to read ahead in the book.

Anthony was disappointed that, because we were there in the morning, the tasting room wasn't open.  He's been wanting to try sake ever sense, but is a bit deterred by how expensive it is.

Davan, trying on a leaf mask.

After visiting the Sake factory, we decided that the roasted seaweed snack I'd packed would be a good tie in.

I don't know if you can tell just how tall those two trees are in the background, but they are huge cedar trees.

We stopped at another park, but Davan was done with her quick swing before I got to her with the camera.  The playground was pretty busy, so she didn't linger.

This one tree had three squirrel feeders.  When we first approached, there was a squirrel at each one.

Back at Pacific College, the author drew our attention to this rock.  It was placed here in tribute to the women of the Oregon Trail.  She had a few choice words to say about this being an appropriate monument for those women.  I'll let you decided for yourself.

Also on the campus, at the very tail end of the walk, we came to this labyrinth.  It was really interesting.  I've always wanted to walk a labyrinth but it's just not happened.  I do have to say that I've never tried hard to seek one out, I've just been intrigued by the idea.  It was cool to come across this one, which was pointed out in the book.

We all walked it...

until Ranger got too confused by all the back and forths and we asked her to just sit and wait for us.  She thought the whole thing was a little odd.

I would have liked to take my time a bit, but we did have two more walks, each 6+ miles to do that day.  Davan finally broke into a run to finish quickly.  Anthony finished at a bit more sedate pace and then I did, even a bit more sedately, but without the lingering I'd have liked to have done.

Davan and Ranger meeting up in the middle.

After the labyrinth, we walked the block back to the car and piled in to drive to our next walk of the day.