Mini Tour of Tumalo State Park

Nestled against the Deschutes River and among the many Ponderosa Pines lays the quiet spot of Tumalo State Park, just 5.5 miles (one-way) away from home, northwest of Bend off Highway 20. The two part park has a day use area and--across the road--the campground, both are simultaneously close enough to town for a quick jaunt either into Bend for any kind of shopping or to Tumalo for a nice dinner and libations but yet the park is far enough away to escape the bustling commotion.

The riverside of the park has a very large and comfortable grass area for picnics as well as tables and grilling stations. The park is large enough to throw Frisbee, play tag, or setup a croquet, volleyball, or badminton game. The river can be easily rafted or swam in by young and old alike. The kids' favorite spot is by the bridge as this allows a good ½ raft trip when they walk up river. The kids love to play around the boulders catching crawdads. The bridge area also has great fishing for both Kokanee and trout and plenty of bait resides on the rocks for these edible creatures. It is a popular fishing spot for beginners and veterans gamers alike.

Here you can park your RV, your tent, or just rent a yurt. If you are not big on roughing it...this is a perfect solution. The yurt is very adorable and quaint. There are bunk beds, a futon, coffee table, table and chairs. Kick back, Relax and enjoy a glass of wine around the fire with families and friends. The campground has 23 full hookup campsites and 54 tent sites; equipped with a solar shower building and flush toilets are available.

On either side of the river there are many hiking trails and legend, from what I've heard through native friends, when they were kids the bluff side of the river had several old coins thrown out by land owner who owns the property above you. As kids, they actually did find a few buffalo nickels and Indian pennies so this has good potential for those who also endeavor in metal detecting.

When they camped out earlier on Wednesday, my girls reminisced watching deer forage for food--just as the sun creeped below the rim of the canyon--listened as coyotes performed their haunting call, announcing sunset and coming darkness, smell the sweet fragrance of sage and juniper as the dew dripped off its branches, sat quietly in the evening and let the stars put on a show of its own.

American Bakery in the park? This cave was found off the bridge (as pictured above) across the camp ground...interesting, huh?

Next to the cave, there is an unmarked, graveled trail...

which led to this ridge...

with hundreds of feet steep drop...did I tell you I'm afraid of HEIGHT!!!

View of the park across the river...from the Ridge...

Don't look DOWN...Getting an adrenaline surge!

My body redirecting flow of blood to other muscle groups--if any left--I'm tensing up!

Which way?

Not down, for sure.

Here--about a foot-wide path?

A single careless slip...I'd end up down...down...down here!

Stumbling block...should I...should I not? It's time...

A sign??...Disrupting a flow of energy...Did I tell you I'm afraid of HEIGHT!!

All that adventure...led me to the middle of the the crossroad of Johnson/Tumalo Reserve and OB Riley/Tumalo Reserve

These adorable domestic turkeys were fearless, hangin' out at the park all week...can't figure out how someone heartless could abandon these cuties!

By the way, this was my second trip to the same trail because I left the camera in the van on first expedition! I will no longer be paralyzed by fear of HEIGHT...not...someday perhaps. Hope you enjoy the mini tour. I didn't get to the river trail on the other side by the camp ground as planned. Another day...another tour.

Happy living!
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Save a Gallon

A true Inner Vision isn’t doing something you can live with
It’s doing and being something you can’t live life without!”~~Me

Last night, both girls slept over at Tumalo State Park with their Campfire friends. Downside, besides missing them? I lost my reliable babysitter. What am I to do with my 7-year-old on knitting night? It's unimaginative to skip my weekly knitting social. So, my son and I, picked up my friend Cindy on our way, walked 2.5 miles to Makahna's...only to see that Cafe was closed once again. Meeting was canceled last minute last week because Cafe owner had another family emergency. I agree it is a great spot to meet, but, proven unreliable thus far. It's time to consider other venues like WineStyle at Northwest Crossing. Cindy and I weren't the only there, joined by Hildy, Tamra, Carla, Judy, and Dany. Thanks to Dany, the gracious hostess, we had our social at her home just around the corner. Knitting out in her yard was terrific. Weather was perfect--warm with light breeze.

Though whining a bit walking there, DS really perked up going home. We chatted all the way home, joyfully, telling me about camp hike and things he did and found earlier in the day. Wish I had taken my NEW CANON with me as we came across many points of interest in our walk. Next time for sure...FIL called last night to tell me the second best sunset he has ever witnessed. DS couldn't stop ranting to grandpa about his 5-mile adventure. He is quite a charmer, with sored feet. "I am on fire!" as he put it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We have been doing more walks around town since February even before gas hike. Now, I am more allured than ever trying to save a gallon (in order to offset all the driving hubby is doing to California and back!) It's not too hard to save a gallon a week when your tank, like mine a guzzler, not a sipper, gets under 10 miles a gallon! Here are 10 easy ways I came up with so far:

1. Hop on the bus, Gus. Even if you think this is not an option, check out Bend Area Transit or here for other cities/states. You may be surprised by all the options you have never considered. Or carpool. Leaving the car at home and sharing your commute occasionally can help you reach your gallon-goal quickly. Sharing the ride--and expense--with another person regularly can cut your gas costs in half. Check out your carpooling opportunities at eRideShare.comand

2. Take it easy. Faster you drive, more gas you use. If your average commute includes 20 miles of highway time at 60 mph, instead of 70 mph, it will take you only three minutes longer to get to your destination--and you’ll save approximately 1.3 gallons of gas in a five-day work week.

3. Trip-chaining. Need to pick up groceries, mail a package, pick up gardening or craft supplies, and go to the bank? Instead of spreading these tasks out over a few trips, chain them together by doing all of them at one trip. Park in a central spot and walk from place to place.

4. Shop online. Save trips to the store and consider other online services to minimize errands such as banking, buying stamps, and paying bills.

5. If you own vehicles of differing size, take the smaller, more fuel-efficient one on any long trips that you can.

6. Take a hike (or ride a bike). Instead of driving everywhere, lace up your sneakers and get some exercise while you save gas. A bicycle can help you rack up car-free miles even faster.

7. Work in your sweats. If you have a job for which working from home is possible, ask the boss if you and your coworkers can telecommute one day a week to save gas. If you are the boss, consider making it a company-wide initiative.

8. Drive as if gas is being rationed. The time may come that you will be allowed only a set number of gallons per week no matter the cost, no matter your needs. Drive now as if you are on a 10-gallons-per-week limit. The practice will do you good.

9. Share rides. Instead of picking up your kids from gymnastic, dance, swim, or tennis practice every day, ask a neighbor with kids in the same class/group to help. You can each take turns picking up.

10. Keep the trunk light. I am the bigger offender I know because I like to have everything accessible at all times! Heavier the load your car has to carry, more gas it guzzles. Don’t use your trunk for long-term storage.

What are your gas-saving tips? I'd love to hear about them!

Encourage, Inspire, Laugh...and GO GREEN!
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My Happy Happy Children

Happiness is not a destination.
It is a method of life.~~Burton Hills

Funny thing occurred several times recently--enough to make me think about it. Typically, I don't really think about our unschooling life as I don't feel like my life is about leading people through my words--plenty of awesome wise folks in Blog World, holding torches for those on unschooling trail. Instead, I do have a passion for those I come into contact with, in our daily meanderings through life, let it be grocery stores, parks, riverbanks, health clubs, art and nature walks, movie and shopping outings. I have always been one to show through example rather than words, and this has flowed into my children, I think. Since we're on the go constantly, we have ample opportunity to converse with people about unschooling. I often find myself being watched by people for weeks/months, only to have them approach me at some point and bring up parenting. It often starts out as a complaint (typical frustration at "the children.") I just listen...and nod...lots of encouraging nodding.

Eventually, I remind them how much they do love their children. How amazing they ARE. I disagree when needed about specifics--punishment, limitations, disciplines, time-outs, etc.---most often, I don't really have to disagree. In odd contrast, I agree with them--that they love their children, and yes, they're frustrated; that they want the best for their children, and YES...they're frustrated. I ask them questions about how their style is working: How's that working for you? How could you do that differently?

Anyway...specifics aside, I've been noticing people talking to me about parenting. People that I don't even know that well, but we see them around town or at kids' activities. Now I'm starting to notice it's happening quicker--rather than taking weeks, people are talking to me almost instantly; sometimes in checkout lines!! It's gotten funny...and sad...all at the same time. Is it because I enjoy my children so much and they're curious to know why? Why are we laughing together? Don't I CARE that my kids are _________ (fill in blank)? Ain't I worried about what others think? This particularly applies since my kids are often doing something socially unacceptable, like MOVING AROUND THE STORE AND GETTING THINGS OFF THE SHELVES OR MOVING TOO MUCH AT CHECKOUT LINE. It's funny they're comfortable enough to be happy in a checkout line. Unlike the rest of people, who are like zombies...waiting their turn...quietly...conformingly...and STILL. Just like they learned in Kindergarten.

This reminds me of when the kids danced and sang while we were in line at Dean Lesher, most of us were quietly waiting our turn to enter. It was freezing--January in the Bay Area, FREEZING...RAINY...windy, cold...perfect weather for dancing-to-keep-warm. So the kids danced. Picture it: 100 people standing in line, all queued up along the building, in the SHADE, watching these girls dance/sing/laugh....away from the line, in the sidewalk, plenty of room for dancing. Nobody quite knew what to do. For awhile, I acted like I didn't know the girls; Whose kids ARE those? Nah--not really--we DO do that sometimes, just for giggles.

My kids are extremely funny; they make me laugh. When I was a teenager, I had such different thoughts about myself--for a period I wanted to fit in, have adult approval, and never EVER make a scene in public. And I wanted to like myself.

The ironic part is that my kids DO like themselves. And therefore they don't think about others' opinions of themselves. They're okay with someone not approving of them; they'd rather be true to their own thoughts and ethics.

And I love this about my kids. And apparently THIS is what reaches out to folks and makes them take notice. My kids are being true to themselves and I still enjoy them. I still want to be with them.

Happy living!
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Feeling a Disconnect

If you want to change your life,
change your inner programming.~~Me

WARNING AHEAD...experiencing one of my rare PMS moments!

Hubby has left for his 10-day trip to California without waking me. I heard through my oldest DD he is heading to San Diego rather than just visiting the Bay Area. Granted...I haven't been approachable due to his recent business decision which impacting our lives, our future significantly. He is now afraid to talk to me about his trips in advance. He is fearful of my unfavorable reaction? I am guilty as charged. I haven't been the supportive wife and best friend that I should be. My inner voice tells me he is doing it for our benefits. He needs to know he is NOT alone. Why am I holding on to my fear, anxiety, and anger?

What put me over the edge this morning was that my kitchen was a MESS--caked baking utensils and mixing bowls overflown both sides of the sinks; two oven-sized cookie sheets coated with dried, hardened cookie crumbs, flours and baking ingredients all over the floor and counter...No, cookie monster didn't drop by uninvited. It was my 12-year-old baker baking aplenty (delicious cookies) for the siblings last night. Cleaning after herself has not registered yet no matter how much I set examples. I know, it will come...when it becomes important to her. But, I can't help to wonder when that time may be. Why did a messy kitchen bother me so?

Kids are at Day Camp all week and they have been reminded repeatedly by their counselors to be on time--at campsite by 10 a.m. It's hard enough to pack everything for the, drinks, and knitting projects to fill my day at the park while the kids are at camp. Now, my morning routine has been interrupted. I did not scream or shout. But, I was fixated in restoring my kitchen to order. Funny time happened at that moment. Both girls switched to high gear. One got lunches made/packed for all three children and loaded up the van; the other unloaded and put away clean the counter and floor...while I attended to the dirty dishes. I can't stop but wonder How are the girls so sensitive to my mood? Are they fearful of me? Or, are they simply loving and caring beings, sensible to my needs and wants?

Half an hour later, my kitchen was restored--at the expense of the children arriving at camp 10 minutes late this morning. This unwillingness of mine, stressed by my outraged exclamation mark, means that I cannot be happy unless my kitchen is orderly. As a result, my children were punished--they were late for camp--and that in itself made me unhappy too. Am I destined to be unhappy?

There is a disconnect here, confused at which inner voices to trust, but I'm committed to have a breakthrough in this area of my life, for my happiness and well-being, and that of each and every one of my children. I'm called to make a difference--right where I am. I don’t need to wait until I get a better job, bigger house, more free time, or more money to start making a difference--I can start today, right where I am.

Encourage, Inspire, and Laugh!
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Inner Desire...Kindness...and Orzo Salad??

Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things
even if we do not get anything in return.
It is the joy of our life to do them.
When we do good things from this inner desire,
there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do.
~~Emmanuel Swedenborg

I love to cook delicious, abundant, satisfying food using the simplest of ingredients. Orzo is rice-shaped pasta made from wheat. It is terrific in super easy and no-fuss salad and soup. I made this--one of my favorites--to complement my grilled Teriyaki wild salmon and broccoli salad last night. Be zealous when making this--leftovers are just as yummy!

1 lb Orzo, Cooked (or Pasta of Your Choice)
1 Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
¼ C Raisins
3 C Halved Grapes
¼ C Chopped Green Onions (Optional)
2 Carrots, grated (Optional)
3 T Pine Nuts
Salt to taste
Chicken Breast, Diced and lightly browned, or Crumpled Tofu (Optional)

4 t Curry Powder
4 T Mayonnaise
4 T Lemon Juice

1 ½ t Curry
1 T Minced Garlic Clove
¼ t Ginger
¼ t Salt
½ C Chicken Broth
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 T Lime Juice
4 T Rice Vinegar
2 T Honey

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until it's just tendered. Drain. Drain, rinse, shake, and set aside.

Combine the non-dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a container that securely seals and shake to combine. Add to cooked orzo and toss to coat. Then add apple, raisins, grapes, green onion, carrots, and nuts. Mix well, refrigerate, and best serve after chilled.

Hubby was thrilled to take some along another dreadful drive back to the Bay Area, California (yes, again) early this morning. Good thing...he will be back to celebrate the 4th with us, stay for a few days???...then return to the Bay Area for a month or more. Hopefully, he find some reasonably priced apartment in this short trip. Ooooh, how I am not smilin'...stressed being "a full-time, single mom" all alone! I know...many are in the same situation--past and present--nonetheless, it is straining on me and I feel a need to vent my frustration. For me, it helps them dissipate just by getting these feelings out...and escaping to this venue. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. It's a beautiful day.

Happy living!
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Summer Solstice Today

Life without a purpose is a languid, drifting thing
Every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves
"This day let me make a sound beginning."
~~Thomas Kempis

Ah ha, the season of summer is upon us. The garden is in full swing now. So, why not take advantage of the flowers and plants that are available to us and work a little magic with the spirits of nature and the tides of the moon as we celebrate this lush and fertile season of summer?

Today, to be exact at 7:59 PM EDT in the Northern Hemisphere, is the summer solstice--the turning point of June--the longest day and shortest night of the year. As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky. In celebration, will you gather to light a sacred fire, welcome the sunrise, and stay up all night to welcome the dawn, with folklore and rituals that mark the much-awaited long, bright days of Midsummer? Maybe it's the fireflies or blazing barbecue...the long, lazy days, and warm nights that follow...all the fresh, juicy fruits, and melty ice cream/popsicles...memories of flashlight tag and shivering under a towel after a long day of swimming...

I will be standing on an overlook gazing into the purest and most pristine place of power and meditating in Mount Pisgah. It is my hope that you will be there with me, in spirit, during this incredible time of transition.

Stop by here, if you will, for a peek at my latest lace creation...Happy living!
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What Kind of Coffee Are you?

Life is a tragedy for those who feel
and a comedy for those who think.~~La Bruyere

You Are a Soy Latte

At your best, you are: free spirited, down to earth, and relaxed

At your worst, you are: dogmatic and picky

You drink coffee when: you need a pick me up, and green tea isn't cutting it

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

Swing by over here, if you have a minute, to see what I'm excited about...Happy living!
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Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sometimes you've got to let everything go--purge yourself.
If you are unhappy with anything...whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free,
your true creativity, your true self comes out.
~~Tina Turner, American Singer

In this short, entertaining lecture focused on creativity and the failings of current day education, Sir Ken Robinson presented the somewhat scary truth about education systems and how they affect creativity. It is a pleasure to watch and absolutely worth the few minutues of your time to listen.

Surely, I am blessed and feel great about the choice to homeschool and being able to take these types of issues into consideration in our life journey, cultivating talents, and rethinking our view of intelligence.

On a separate note, a friend has created and is selling an absolutely marvelous, comprehensive, creative planner. If you are crying out for help in organizing your life, this next best thing is for you.

Happy living!
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True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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