I can hardly believe that we've been here two weeks already. Time has flown by; I know we've been busy, but it still seems unbelieveably fast. We've been to the ocean twice and once to the county fair, picked blackberries, made blackberry and blueberry jam, hiked, played, eaten and generally had a wonderful and relaxing time. My sister and her fiancee have been able to come down both weekends and my mom has been able to have lots of time off (even more than we first anticipated!).
The county fair was going on the first weekend we were here. We went in the early afternoon, so it wasn't at all crowded. There were farm animals and quilts, preserves and flowers, art and so many cool things to see. We got to pet a shetland pony and a full sized horse. There were cows, sheep, miniature goats, chickens with feathery feet and others with feathers covering their faces, tiny bunnies and bunnies with huge ears, there were even pigs that had been born the day before AT the fair; it was all interesting and completely enthralling. The kids loved the idea that other kids were responsible for raising, creating and taking care of most of what we saw. 4-H is definitely alive and well and it was really fun to share with the kids.
Here in southern Oregon, there are tons and tons of amazing hikes to waterfalls. The really nice thing is that many of them are short, a mile or less and not too strenuous. The hikes are gorgeous through forested areas with huge trees, ferns and along running water. At the end we get to see beautiful waterfalls, with assorted wildlife, and the bonus of getting to play in the water! Both times we hiked with my parents and my sister and her intended. Every kid got plenty of attention and the adults all got to be entertained by their non-stop narration and commentary. The first weekend we went to a waterfall that empties into a huge, very deep swiming hole, which then empties into another waterfall. Isaac had good company in Uncle Don regarding his rock throwing compulsion. The two of them stood and threw rocks of all sizes, for a very long time. Physics is amazing, is it not? The second hike we did last weekend and was to a waterfall that empties into a large shallow pool. It is shallow enough that I can walk, without getting soaked, to where the water falls down and touch it. GranEde and I took each kid out to the water and put them in! They all had a blast and they all were soaked when we were done; no matter, we were hiking to escape the hundred degree heat that hit Southern Oregon at the end of last week.
And we've had the opportunity to go to one of my all time favorite locations, the beach, not only once but TWICE!! Yippee. The first time we went the weather was beautiful, hardly any wind and sunny and warm. Unfortunately, when we went on Sunday the weather was cold, windy and rainy. Even the cold rainy day was tons of fun, though. Things are just better at the ocean. The kids had a blast and they really enjoyed playing in the water on the first day. They all got soaked, but Talia took the prize by being the only one to get swamped by a wave while not paying attention. GranEde was right there, though, and scooped her up out of the water. We all had a great time finding shells and meandering through the waves. On the cold day, we didn't stay long at the water, we had just gotten on the beach when it started to rain. So we drove to a nearby lighthouse. There we got to do something you can only do two places in the world (Brazil and Oregon) and that is: stick your head into a Fresnel Lens! The lighthouse is still operational and so we all got to go up the ladder and put our head inside the lens. Way cool. We did some geocaches to round out the day!
We've also been able to take advantage of some of the local agriculture. We spent one morning picking blackberries. I was quite concerned that they would have big brambles, so I made the kids wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and tennis shoes. Turns out, these bushes have been bred to have NO thorns. In addition, we picked tons of marvelous tasty blackberries, which we then made into jam. My sister brought down some blueberries from her local agriculture and we had a jamtastic time, making jamlicious jam.
Dadam joins us today, which we are all excited about. And this weekend we'll take another ocean adventure, where we will sleep in a yurt, go get delicious food, go to my sister and her intended's house and go to an aquarium! More fun for all!!!!