Archive for May, 2011

Trip to Stockton, Ashland, OR

When I arrived in Ashland I checked into the Peerless Hotel, a historic boarding house in the Railroad District.  Originally this red brick boarding house let rooms to Southern Pacific Railroad workers in the early 1900’s.  There were fourteen rooms, each one ten foot square.  The one bathroom was shared by all 14 rooms.

Peerless Hotel



The restoration of this beautiful old building was completed in 1994 now with only seven rooms, each a different size and price and updated with modern facilities but still keeping with the authenticity of the period.  I stayed in Room #6.  It was furnished with an antique iron bed and oak armoire and the bathroom has a claw foot bathtub.  Besides the furnishings, a local artist hand painted different motifs on the walls and ceilings throughout the hotel.  My room had magnolia trees painted on the walls.  The bed linen is made in Italy.  When I checked in the manager took me up to my room and turned on classical music.  I felt like I’d stepped into the movie “Somewhere in Time”.

My room

The weather was gorgeous so I immediately took off my jeans and put on my capris and sandals and went out to explore the town.  Ashland is a very cute and green town complete with prayer flags, little picket fences, earthy people and the Zen apartments (complete with a Zen garden).  Most restaurants are vegetarian and/or have all organic ingredients and from what I could see, there are more ice cream shops than bars.  I ate dinner at the Standing Stone restaurant.  It’s a micro brewery with all organic food including homemade breads.  Even the catsup was home-made with all organic ingredients.  My dinner was absolutely delicious!

Ashland, Oregon

Next I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to watch Julius Caesar, held in the New Theatre.  There are three stages and eleven plays throughout the season.  I would have loved to go to the Elizabethan Stage but it was too early in the season.  I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the play.  I expected it to be an original version with costumes and all.  Well, it wasn’t.  For one thing Julius was a woman, played as a woman Julius.  The play bridged between what happened to Caesar with other leaders in history when a small group of people form an attack on their ideas.  Anyway, I’m glad I went but it definitely wasn’t what I anticipated.

New Theatre

After a wonderful night’s sleep I went to The Peerless’ sun room for coffee

Peerless Hotel sun room

then to the breakfast room in their restaurant next door for my breakfast which was included with the price of the room.  I have to tell you this was no ordinary continental breakfast.  They offered wonderful organic coffee, orange juice, Oregon huckleberry bread, grapefruit brulee, orange and amaretto waffles with pure maple syrup, organic apple & pork sausages, and organic granola (made in Ashland) with yogurt and fresh sliced strawberries.  All I can say is WOW!  What a perfecting ending to my stay in Ashland!

May 31, 2011 at 6:58 am Leave a comment

Golden Retriever wins Valor Dog of the Year

Paul Horton with Yogi

It’s like something from Rin Tin Tin or Lassie, except Yogi saved a real
human life.

Yogi, a Golden Retriever, was chosen by the Humane Society of the United
States as the 2011 Valor Dog of the Year from ten finalists.

His owner Paul Horton had taken Yogi along as he rode his mountain bike on
trails near his home in central Texas. Suddenly disaster struck. As he hit a
curb, the front wheels stopped and Horton went over the handlebars landing on
his head, knocking him unconscious.

When he woke, he couldn’t move and was bleeding from his nose and mouth. He
was hidden from any passers about 100 feet from a dead end road. Horton told
Yogi to get help, but Yogi didn’t want to leave him.

Finally, Yogi headed back to the main road, where Horton’s neighbors Bruce
and Maggie Tate were walking. The normally mellow dog barked frantically. The
Tates knew something was wrong and followed Yogi to Horton. There, Yogi stood
protectively by his friend.

“It’s pretty amazing that Yogi first stayed with Paul when he needed
to, then recognized us and came to get us,” Bruce Tate said. “Paul
was in desperate shape. He wasn’t in a place where there’s a lot of

Horton remains paralyzed from spinal injuries today. He has some movement in
his arms and hands and is beginning to get some sensations in his legs and
back. But without Yogi, there is a good chance he would have choked to death or
gone into shock.

Today Yogi doesn’t let Horton out of his sight, following him wherever he
goes in his wheelchair.

“It takes a very unique and special dog to do what Yogi did,” said
Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director of the Humane Society. “He
obviously has a true bond with Paul, and it just demonstrates how close we are
to our companion animals and how much we need them.”

May 26, 2011 at 6:08 am Leave a comment

Trip to Stockton, Oregon Coast

After leaving Heathers my first stop was in Beaverton to meet a prospective pet sitting client then over to Hwy 101 and down the Oregon coast.  The drive to Lincoln City was beautiful.  There were moss-covered trees, meandering rivers and little farms along the way.  I even came across a covered bridge!

Drift Creek covered bridge

Finally I saw the beautiful Pacific Ocean! 

Beautiful Pacific Ocean

I have driven along the Oregon coast many times but I never tire of it.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day; the sun was shining and glistening on the water.  I stopped at Depot Bay to watch the water horns.  I stood there watching the water spray into the air while feeling the salt water mist on my face.  It just makes you feel alive! 

Water horns at Depot Bay

The wonderful thing about the Oregon Coast is not only are there the beautiful sandy beaches to stroll along or fly kites on and rocky shores where the waves crash and make a beautiful show, but there are light houses

Heceta Head Lighthouse

sea lion caves

Sea Lion Caves

and sand dunes. 

Oregon Dunes

The things to see and explore are endless.  I’ve seen them all and always love coming back

I even found a road named after me!

I spent the night in Coos Bay before heading inland towards Ashland and the Shakespeare Festival.

May 23, 2011 at 6:40 am Leave a comment

Trip to Stockton, Heathers

The last couple of years I’ve been going to Stockton, CA for about five weeks in the spring.  I schedule the cherry packing lines for the company I used to work full time for.  This year I decided to take my time and stop and do a few things on the way down.

My first stop was in Bellevue to spend the week-end with my daughter Heather.  Her husband had flown to California for a seminar so it was just the two of us, well us and the dogs of course :-). 



I don’t get to spend a lot of time just with Heather any more so it was so special to have this week-end.  On Saturday we had manicures and pedicures.  It was fun being pampered!

Being pampered

Then we headed out to go to yard sales.  Now mind you, Heather is NOT a yard sale kind of person but she read the entire town of Mukilteo was having sales and had seen some that had baby stuff so she decided to try it out.  She actually liked it and found some really cute things for her baby boy who is due in just a few short months.  

Will LJ like this one?

 What a fun week-end!  Too soon it was time to say good-bye and head south.

May 19, 2011 at 10:30 am 1 comment

Adopt Older Dogs


One by One, they pass by my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can’t run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can’t justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the grey, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that I must leave, I know you will
cry and your heart, it will grieve.

And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

– – – – – – – – Author Unknown

 Please don’t forget the possibility of adopting an older pet

May 10, 2011 at 3:35 am Leave a comment

Columbia River Gorge

Quite often I pet sit in Portland, OR.  On my way down from Wenatchee, WA there are some pretty interesting things to see.
One of the places that I like to stop is America’s very own Stonehenge located on Highway 97 just before crossing the Columbia river into Oregon.  On a bluff overlooking the Columbia River and the town of Maryhill, WA is the full size replica.  An almost identical copy of the more famous English Stonehenge.  It was built by Sam Hill, a road builder, as a memorial of those who died in World War I.  Sam Hills mansion, as well as the American Stonehenge, are now a part of the Maryhill Museum of Art, which also includes monuments to the soldiers of Klickitat county who died in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam.

Maryhills Stonehenge

After crossing the Columbia River at Biggs start driving west along the Columbia River for about 45 minutes and you will come to Hood River.  This area is always bustling with sailboarders and kiteboarders in the summer months.  It’s fun to see all the brightly colored sails.  The wind coming through this area is perfect for this sport.

If you want to stay in this area, why not stop by the stately Columbia Gorge Hotel on a bluff overlooking the mighty Columbia River with its Wah Gwin Gwin Falls on Phelps Creek located on the hotels property.   Look it up and read about it’s history!
I often get a glimpse of the Sternwheeler that tours along the Columbia River.  There are several different sightseeing tours during the summer months.  I haven’t taken any but I sure enjoy watching it plugging along and I like thinking about the days gone by when this was very much a way of life for many people.  If you want to enjoy the experience you can go to the Cascade Locks Visitor Center.  It might be a fun way to spend a beautiful day on the Columbia River. 

Continuing on I have to mention Multnomah Falls.   Multnomah Falls is a waterfall located east of Troutdale, along the historic Columbia River Highway. The falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet and a lower falls of 69 feet.  Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon and is an awesome sight.  Underground springs are the year-round source of water for the waterfall, augmented by spring runoff from the mountain’s snowpack and rainwater during the other seasons.  A foot trail leads to Benson Footbridge that allows visitors to cross 105 feet above the lower cascade. The trail continues to a platform at the top of the upper falls, the Larch Mountain Lookout, where visitors get a bird’s-eye view of the Columbia Gorge and also of “Little Multnomah”, a small cascade slightly upstream from the “upper” falls, which is not visible from ground level.

Multnomah Falls

If I’m traveling to Portland in the winter months I always look for the swans on Mirror Pond just west of Rooster Rock exit on Interstate 84.  What a treat to see these beautiful birds!  The migrating swans winter November through March in parts of the Columbia River Gorge before going back to their Arctic tundra nesting grounds.

Swans on Mirror Lake

Of course this entire area is part of the Lewis and Clark trail so there is tons of history along this route.  The list of places to see goes on and on.  So if you ever get a chance to travel along the Columbia Gorge, plan an extra day or two to really enjoy it!

May 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment