October Was My Turn

When you make friends with bloggers, the friendship can include finding a way to visit. For those of us able to travel, it’s kind of fun to get creative about how and when to show up on the doorstep of a long-distance friend. This October I had not one but TWO blogger friends come to visit me, and I feel so fortunate that it was my turn.

Ms Marlene from In Search of it All came to Portland for a bucketload of catching up with old friends. She said she would be here anyway, to buy shoes, so she added on visiting. I think that is a good reason to go to Portland! Please any of you reading this who need shoes, come to Portland, and then we can meet for lunch.

On my way to pick her up from her other friends house where she stayed, I passed a cute display on the front lawn of the Milwaukie City Hall. Marlene was game to go right back there and see what the heck it was all about, so before we went to eat, we explored the Halloweeny scarecrows.

The setting sun cast long shadows as these two teenagers walked past the display.
Scarecrows perch behind funny gravestones.

I looked this up and discovered that the city of Milwaukie (a Portland suburb) hosts a scarecrow contest every year. This year there are three categories of scarecrows:

• Traditional or Contemporary Scarecrow: Think outside the box and create a cutting-edge creation OR give us your interpretation of what you think of when you think ‘scarecrow’.
• Character Scarecrow: Create a scarecrow based on your interpretation of your favorite movie, television character – human, animal or animated!
• Group/Organization Scarecrow: Create a scarecrow that represents your group!

There is a fun variety of scarecrows.
This living plant a la Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favourites. I also like the flashback to Wayne’s World behind it.
As silly as they are, I enjoyed all the headstone jokes too.
  • Headstones in the lawn included:
  • Dearly departed brother Dave. He chased a bear into a cave
  • Your Name Here
  • Claire Voyance. Should have seen it coming.
  • Aaron Judgement. Accidental death.
  • Mary Aster. Should have walked a little faster.
  • Here Lies Sam I Am. Who despite his better judgement ate green eggs & ham.
  • Ricky D. Bones
  • Fester N. Rott
  • Jim Wattsisface. Gone but not forgotten.
This one apparently had her head shrunk.
A CROW scarecrow!!
A little skeleton sitting on the crow’s shoulder wishes us a Happy Fall.

My companion was tired at the end of the day at the end of an exhausting week, and when I asked if we should get a photo together, she said “No.” But I had already stealthily taken one of her. Forgive me, friend. I love you so much I took one without asking.

Marlene was enjoying the scarecrows as much as I was.

Look at Marlene’s great post on this display. She captured lots of scarecrows and gravestones that I did not.

After exploring all the scarecrows, we went out to dinner, and Marlene insisted on buying my meal. I argued a little bit, but then let her win. I say “let” her win, but you should try to out willpower Marlene. It simply doesn’t work, and I realized I had met my match. After lots of hugs I said goodnight and goodbye and she left soon after to fly home to Arizona.

Since I’m on a Halloween theme anyway, let me throw in some fun pictures from a recent weekend with Pedro and his twin boys. We went to the most popular pumpkin patch around here, which is on Sauvie Island. It was pure madness. Cars were bumper to bumper from Highway 30, crawling all the way to the parking lot. I had my heart set on walking through the corn maze, and all the men supported me. Then we stood in line for treats of caramel apples and roasted corn. Then we went home! So many people were there we had zero interest in hanging around any longer.

This scarecrow hangs above the parking lot. Look at all the wildfire smoke on the horizon. Yucky.

But!! The corn maze was huge and somewhat private, and quiet and peaceful, so it was enjoyable.

My boys ❤
There are two bridges inside the corn maze, that you can walk up and take a look around and get your bearings.
Inside the corn maze: which path should we take?

Last month, Pedro and I had visited a different pumpkin patch and purchased pumpkins for our home. He painted his and I love it so much I just have to share the photos he sent me:

It’s harvest time at home too. I stopped battling the deer and finally took down all my garden plants that were in the yard. The deer had eaten the tomatoes back to stumps. Apparently, they don’t like tomatillos, so I had a big harvest.

My harvest of tomatillos

Also this time of year, the many many maple trees slowly let their leaves drop. This careful dispersal of leaves onto the driveway means that I am constantly behind on cleanup. The first year I was here I did not understand what piles of leaves do when left on the driveway: they turn to mud, which in turn encourages weeds to grow in the driveway. So now I am forced to clean them up. I also need to climb up on the roof multiple times and dig the leaves out of the gutters.

Using an electric leaf blower means I must employ an extremely long extension cord! ha!

I usually check my email first thing in the morning, then I do not look at it again until first thing the next morning. For whatever reason I happened to glance at my email in the evening and saw a note from another blogger. Curt and Peggy Mekemson from Wandering Through Time and Place would be in the area as part of a long road trip. Would I be around the next day? Whew! Thank goodness I had looked. I would have been heartbroken if I missed them. I invited them to park their RV at my house and stay the night.

We met up at the highway in Rainier and I led them into the hills to my house. I had it all worked out beautifully in my mind, how easy it would be for them to pull right into the loop driveway, then park as they were. Then simply pull forward in the morning. I worried about this little kink in my driveway on one side, where there is a fencepost next to my woodshed, but I took a good long look at it and thought they would be just fine.

Oy. No. The little S curve required to get between the fencepost and the woodshed was simply too tight for the truck and trailer to get through and I felt so terrible for getting them stuck. They had to back out of that S curve onto the main road again. Peggy drove and Curt gave directions and then their backup technology failed, but after a long time of frayed nerves and me running out into the road to stop oncoming traffic so no one plowed into the RV, we finally got them parked on my lawn up by the main road. Yeesh. Peggy said she needed a hug after that, and she had certainly earned one. ❤ They told me the previous night, visiting another friend, the same exact thing had happened. Oh my goodness.

Anway, my friends were here!!

Peggy, me, and Curtis in my house. (Oh yes, also I got my hair cut since the last photo)

I told them that I had been so pleased to visit their home in Southern Oregon (back when they lived in Southern Oregon), and recognize all the scenes that I had learned from Curt’s blog. Now it was their turn to look around and see if they recognized scenes from my blog.

They certainly recognized my kitty Racecar.

Racecar learned quickly that she could get lots of scratches and pets from these two, so she followed them around and whenever they sat down, she soon showed up looking for available laps to nap on.

I knew they had been driving all day and would want snacks, and I had just the thing to put out. Remember all the tomatillos? Earlier in the week, Pedro had honored me by bringing his molcajete over to my house, and he gave me some instructions on how to make salsa that he had learned from his grandma. I roasted garlic and peppers and about twenty tomatillos, and then began the surprisingly hard work of grinding it all up.

The next morning Curt & Peggy bought my breakfast at a local cafe and then with lots more hugs, I sent them on their way down the coast to continue their road trip as they make their gradual way to Florida for holidays with their kids.

That afternoon, Racecar jumped up onto the same loveseat, looking for laps, and found none. “Where are those nice people?” she asked.

14 thoughts on “October Was My Turn

  1. Hi Crystal! First, thanks for inviting us over. Lovely house and property, good food, and comfy bed. Not to mention your well-loved cat– Racecar, who made us feel right at home as well. Sorry, we missed Pedro, but with our last minute arrival on your doorstep, we were darned lucky to get you. 🙂 Great Halloween kick off with Ms. Marlene. My favorite tombstone was: Claire Voyance. Should have seen it coming. Little Shop of Horrors was my favorite scarecrow. Happy Halloween! Curt and Peggy

    1. Hi guys! Sorry for the late response, because I’ve been in Disneyland for a week. It was wonderful to host you for the night and to introduce you to Racecar. Next time we will make sure Pedro is included.

      1. How was Disneyland, Crystal. I haven’t been there since Peggy attended some type of school related conference way back in the early 2000s. Racecar, Crystal and Pedro… Who could ever ask for more. 🙂

      2. The kids and I had a great trip. We spent four days in the two parks, going back and forth. It was enough. Now I’m just packing up to head over to Pedro’s. Our plane leaves in the morning for Rhode Island. A friend of mine from Brandeis is getting married.

      3. So glad. Great of you to take the kids. Like our trip up the Rhine with the grandkids. An experience that won’t be forgotten. Peggy calls them memory-makers. And you are off to Rhode Island. I swear, you wander more than Peggy and I. 🙂

  2. LOVE the painted pumpkin! I’m totally going to copycat this next year. I have a few pumpkins on my porch that I wanted to paint, but it didn’t happen this year. I’m even putting a reminder in my phone, because this is too cute!!

    1. I’m glad you liked the pumpkin so much Lenore! I’m glad I decided to post it. Pedro had been telling me for a long time that he planned to paint his pumpkin, and I said, “Yes, honey, that’s nice.” I had no idea how amazing it would be and I’m so delighted with his creativity and artistic ability. ❤

    1. Bonnie we are so close I consider it a given that we will meet one day. In fact, I’ve already made plans for what we will do. I have a little wish in my heart that you will take me up Rainier for a sunrise. ❤ I have never hiked that mountain before and I think the experience would be the best possible if my guide was someone in love with the mountain.

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