Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Heat, Then Rain

After the three day heat wave was done, then the storms moved in and we had quite a bit of rain and, thankfully, much cooler temperatures. We had some thunderstorms too. I love the sound of the rain on the roof, but it does put quite a damper on my work day. I haven't gotten much work done in the past week. I have attempted to work every day, except yesterday, but I kept getting rained out -- or melted out, on the hot days. Instead, I met up with a friend from Baja last night at Edgefield Manor in Troutdale. This is quite the complex with a hotel, several restaurants and pubs, a concert venue, a movie theater, a brewery and a winery, plus they have a number of artisans on the premises. I didn't get to see everything and I have no photos, so I'll have to go back to do a more thorough investigation. Tonight I had dinner with some Air Photo friends who were working in the area, so I feel like I have done quite a bit of goofing off lately. It's time to get some work done.

I think Rylie needs a new diversion. He has been getting obstinate lately. I wish I could get him to fetch a ball or a stick, or play in the water, but he couldn't be less interested. He rarely plays with other dogs, so he doesn't seem interested in doing much other than chasing cats, squirrels, ducks and other small critters.

Rylie's Notes:

I would be happy to play fetch. All that The Staff needs to do is throw a few treats. Then I'll play fetch.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River from Crown Point

It was 100+ degrees today for the third day in a row, and a bit more humid than what I'm used to, so I decided it was too hot to do much working. After a couple of hours of work I threw in the towel and went for a drive up the Columbia River gorge. I took the Columbia River Scenic Highway this time, and boy is that a beautiful drive. My first stop was at Crown Point, where they have the Vista House.

Vista House

I'm not quite sure why they call this a house, since it is really a visitor's center and gift shop, but I guess they can call it whatever they like. My next stop was at Wahkeena Falls, but you really can't get a good photo of those falls from the viewing area near the road. Instead, I moseyed up the road to Multnomah Falls, which is the second largest year-round waterfall in the nation.

Multnomah Falls

Upper Multnomah Falls

Looking Down at Lower Multnomah Falls from the Bridge

I climbed the short distance up to the bridge for a closer look, then stuck my head in the gift shop for a quick peek on the way out. They also have a restaurant here, and a snack bar, but I didn't check those out. The river was packed with people today, and cars were lined up along the road everywhere that they had room to park.

In case you are wondering how I am doing with the Diet Coke, I can tell you that for the past three days I was held hostage by the caffeine. I had such bad headaches that I had either a Diet or regular Coke each day. Two steps forward, three steps back. But today I managed to make it through the day without anything, and the headache wasn't as bad today.

The other night I stopped at the grocery store on one of those days when I was having the bad withdrawal headache, and I found myself going down the soda isle. They had Diet Coke on sale, buy two-twelve packs, get three free. Diet Coke AND a bargain -- how cruel! I stood there for a good five minutes battling with myself over whether to buy it or not. I'm sure the other customers were wondering what I was doing, hanging out there so long. I finally walked away without the Diet Coke, but that was a close one.

Because of the heat, Rylie has not been very interested in going for walks, other than our morning walk when it is cooler. At the other times during the day when I bring him out for a walk, he lays down in the grass as soon as we step outside of the motorhome, letting me know that it is too hot for a stroll. I let him do his business on the nearby tree and we hop back into the air conditioned comfort of the motorhome. It is supposed to be a little cooler tomorrow.

Rylie's Notes:

Did someone order a sauna?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off the Wagon

I made it through two days without a Diet Coke, but today, I caved. It has been about a week that I've been battling a headache and today it was the worst. It would not even give in to my trusty Advil, so I dug out the emergency Diet Coke from under the sink and slurped it down. Boy did that taste good. Maybe it was psychological, but my headache finally disappeared. Don't worry, I'll be back on the wagon tomorrow.

I got to work along a river for a bit today, and that was really soothing. What is it about water that is so peaceful? I do like working in this area, although it is getting hot again. It was nice sitting outside for a bit tonight. I love summer evenings.

Rylie is getting bored. He went after my memory foam mattress when I took off the mattress cover to wash it yesterday. I didn't have time to put the cover back on before I went to work, and apparently the memory foam mattress looked like it needed a good biting. It's not like him to chew on things that don't belong to him. I think we both need a good, long hike.

Rylie's Notes:

A hike would be good. It would be even better if it has squirrels, rabbits, mice, or birds to chase. I'll even chase flies.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day One

Well, I made it through my first day without a Diet Coke. That may seem like small potatoes to you, but for someone who has not gone a day without it for years, and who has a bit of an emotional attachment to it, it's an accomplishment. It was easier than I thought, but I have a feeling it will get more difficult, especially because it is supposed to get quite hot by the end of the week. There's nothing like drinking a Diet Coke on ice on a hot day...

One day down, the rest of my life to go. Well, not really. I'm sure I will probably have a Diet Coke again at some point in my life, but I'm not going to get into that daily habit again. Is that what the alcoholics say?

Rylie's Notes:

Big deal. Do you know how long I've gone without the raw food?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kicking the Habit

Hi, my name is Heidi, and I'm a Diet Coke-aholic. Is there a twelve step group for that, because I think I need it. I have never liked the taste of coffee, so Diet Coke has been my caffeine vehicle of choice for years. Well, that and chocolate, but that's a different support group.

Somewhere along the line I got in the habit of having a Diet Coke with my breakfast, just like you would your cup of coffee. I also looked forward to it like you do your morning cup of coffee. Pretty soon I found myself having one with lunch as well, and if I was in a restaurant where they offered free refills, I would go for it. I realize that all of this Diet Coke is not good for me, but I have not been willing to go through the detox until now. At least I think I'm willing. We'll see.

I decided that when my current stockpile of Diet Coke was gone, I would not buy any more to have at home. It's gone now, except for the two cans I have hidden under the sink in case of an emergency. (I know exactly where they are. Don't you dare touch them.) So this week I have not been having my usual morning current with breakfast. I must say, I don't look forward to breakfast like I used to. Maybe that's why I have been waking up with a headache every day this week. Or it could just be stress. I have been feeling stressed this week. It can't be from the lack of caffeine, because I'm still having one at lunch. I figure I need to decrease my consumption a bit before I go cold turkey so that my system doesn't go into shock. Cold turkey is coming soon.

All of this talk about going cold turkey is making me anxious -- and thirsty....Make that one Diet Coke under the sink.

Rylie's Notes:

I remember when I had to go cold turkey with the freeze dried raw food. The Staff said it was too expensive and too hard to find on the road. She didn't consult me about going cold turkey on the food, she just did it. I think I know a good hiding place for that can of Diet Coke under the sink.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Camp 18, the Coast, and Ice Cream

I took a day off and spent it with Norm and Jerri, some friends that I met when I was in Baja and haven't seen since we crossed the border back into the states. It was really fun catching up with them. They took me to Camp 18, an old logging camp that is now a restaurant, where we had a tasty lunch.

Norm and Jerri at Camp 18

Old Logging Equipment

Camp 18 Restaurant

From Camp 18 we drove to the coast, which is dramatic and beautiful, but I have no photos to share since we didn't stop until we got to Tillamook. If you go to Tillamook you can get cheese, or ice cream. I think that's a no brainer, don't you? The ice cream was delicious. You can also see the factory where they make the cheese, although nothing was happening in the factory while we were there. I guess the cows had the day off.

Rylie's Notes:

Did someone say cows?

Monday, August 04, 2008

This and That

What first made me realize, upon arriving in Oregon, that Toto and I were not in Kansas anymore was when I stopped at the gas station. In Oregon, they pump your gas for you, just like in the old days. I was told that Oregon and New Jersey are the only states that do this by law. It can make for some longer waits to get gas, but it's kind of nice.

For the first couple of weeks after I got here, it was snowing every day. At least that's what it looked like. The cottonwood trees were shedding and it looked like constant snow flurries. It has settled down now. It's so nice and green here, with all of the old forest. It's very pretty. The people are nice too, and quite friendly.

Rylie and I made another attempt to find a good walking trail yesterday but we were foiled again. The road to the trail that I heard about was closed off for a triathalon. We watched the runners and bicyclists for a bit. Doesn't watching someone run or bike burn calories?

Rylie has been pretty determined to chase cats lately, so I have to keep a tight hold on the leash when one is nearby.

Rylie's Notes:

Those cats like to taunt me. The Staff doesn't hear what they are saying, but I can. They say things like, "Look at the big baby, he has to have his mommy hold the leash." If I could get free of this leash just once, we would see who acts like a baby.