Tuesday, November 17, 2009

outside by our shed

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Geese and (lack of) Geysers

For Kirsten's birthday on Sunday we went to the site of the "Old Perpetual Geyser" here in Lakeview. The catch is that the geyser isn't actually blowing now, due to a number of factors. Funny, it's billed as being regular as clockwork, but doesn't blow anymore!

The warm nearby pools are a haven for ducks and geese, and Dominic really enjoyed all the racket and water when we went.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween and Taylor Ranch

Halloween seemed to come and go really quickly this year, but we got all the major components together in time. Grandma Cassingham found Dominic a great used costume down in CA, and we carved the pumpkins and decorated the house as the kids were starting to arrive. They start early in Lakeview!
Dominic really liked his pirate costume, and even let Dad put a mascara moustache on him. He wouldn't sit still enough for the beard, but you take what you can get at this age!
Here's Dommy with the neighbor boy Garrett, who's about 5 months older than Dommy. No, you can't trick or treat by yourself yet!

On Sunday after Halloween we went out to our neighbors' ranch down in Barnes Valley. They have about 1,800 acres down there that they lease out for cattle, so we got to run around and explore the area. Dominic really liked sitting on the 4-wheeler and his first ride with Dad.

Portland with Aunt Marsha

The week before Halloween we went up to Portland (actually, the Portland/Clackamas area) for Kirsten to attend a conference. While there, we got to do some shopping in the big city and see Aunt Marsha, who lives there. Marsha also looked after Dominic for an afternoon so Dad could go down to Eugene for a meeting, which was a good bonding time. Marsha still had all her hair when we returned, so I guess it went alright.

Unfortunately, we didn't take many fotos during the trip, so these are all from our last lunch together before returning to Lakeview. We got to do some hiking, see Mt. Hood, walk through the hippie sections downtown, and eat our fill of Costco samples during the visit. Not bad!

Pumpkin Carving

Many of those reading this have already heard the Kirsten pumpkin contest saga, so I'll just hit the lowpoints. Kirsten was part of the team that came up with the idea for the contest, and was super excited to win on her first try here in the new job. Well, turns out there is a lot of talent in her office (and maybe some other stuff). After Mike spent ~6hrs perfecting the pumpkins the night before, we ended up taking 8th place out of 8 entries. No joke!! Our pumpkin shows the US Forest Service logo on one side, then a complete map of the Fremont-Winema Nat. Forest (which they manage at Kirsten's office) on the other side. Moreover, Kirsten is a mapmaker for the office, and her pumpkin was a map!! You be the judge! Wait, did I mention that one of the pumpkins that beat us was ceramic, and two were just painted (not carved for the pumpkin carving contest)?
For our house, Kirsten made some quick pumpkins to put on our porch that turned out great.

Sunriver Resort

In the middle of October we went up to Sunriver Resort near Bend for a week while Kirsten attended a GIS conference. While she was "working," Mike and Dominic went around exploring the Greater Bend area. It's a beautiful place, surrounded by the Deschutes National Forest, Mt. Bachelor, and lots of volcanic landmarks. Below are fotos from Lava Butte at the Lava Beds National Monument. We hiked around the Newberry Caldera and Crater. Lava Butte was formed from the cinders when the Newberry volcano erupted, so there is no vegetation near the cinder cone. Very cool. Nothing like hiking the Trail of the Molten Land on a hot day.