Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Close to home but far away

We celebrated our 35th anniversary (!) last week by going to the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton,for an overnight close to home, but it felt a long way from Portland. The garden was in financial trouble a few years ago and was taken over by a savvy businessman who already owned several resorts in California under the Moonstone name. He has created a lovely, tranquil resort, right at the edge of the garden that is a very pleasant place to stay. Not only is it a nice getaway, but it is also a very good value . Our midweek package included dinner and breakfast and admissions to the garden for less than $100.
Lodging is in these cottages, each with several nicely appointed rooms and a private deck attached, where we sat in the sun. When you are tired of that, you can enjoy the pool and hot tub, or tour the gardens until dusk. I mostly enjoyed the quiet, laced with birdsong.
This is a view from the restaurant, looking down the length of the garden. It is a subtle place, full of typical nursery plants, and a variety of interesting gardens within a garden like the children's garden and market garden. It is a pleasant place to while away a couple of hours. Don't miss the oak grove, where we have spotted deer on two separate occasions.
The lily pond is another special place, and it is sack dab in the center of the garden. Lots of yellow lilies, too, and carp. If you want to venture a little further afield, you can drive the short distance into Silverton and stroll the town. Some of my favorite stores are Stone Buddha and The Purl District and Lunaria Gallery.Silver Grill is another good restaurant.And down the road a little further is the very beautiful Silver Falls park, where you can take a short hike to several beautiful falls. Consider Silverton next time you need a getaway from the city.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Top Spots Spokane--Summer Solstice?

I have a few more scenes from Spokane that I wanted to share before I move on to another subject. But first, I just want to say, "Is it really the SUMMER SOLSTICE today? Where did June, and early summer, or even late spring weather go? I hope we get some sun soon, or I am off to Arizona!
This is one of my favorite scenes from Spokane. That is Jim, waving from inside the radio flyer, just to give an idea of the scale of that thing. The handle is a slide, which nearly wrecked my knee as I tried to go down, But what a piece of sculpture. It is situated in the very lovely Riverside park, a focal point for the city, complete with antique carousel, churning falls and a little gondola ride that traverses the falls in a short ride. A week after we were in Spokane, Garrison Keillor brought the traveling Prairie Home Companion show there, and professed that it is one of his favorite cities since childhood.
I'm so glad we found this place, Mary Lou's Milk Bottle! We escaped the crowds at Farm Chicks and had a great lunch here. It has been around since the 30's, and is a classic Spokane landmark restaurant. I love finding places like this that still exist in forgotten corners of America.
The mocha milkshake is almost worth driving to Spokane for. It is always thrilling to find a place that still serves up a shake with the metal tin it was made in. The special included a hamburger, shake and a side (including pie!) for $8. Now you may not want to eat this very often but it was truly a find, as was the whole Garland neighborhood, a well preserved piece of history.
Another reason to attend Farm Chicks is to see the caravans owned by Sisters on the Fly that are parked along the peaceful river at Riverside State Park. There was a small, but very cute contingent of these trailers assembled, and each one has a different theme, some of them decked out inside, too. These ladies like to fly fish, and gather together across America at various times of the year. There have been magazine articles and books published about them , too. They are now over 1,400 strong.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Farm Chicks in Spokane

Of course I gravitated to this booth that had plants and flowers spilling out of it, tucked into all kinds of sweet containers and planters. I do remember Butter Nut coffee!
Oooh, this was probably my favorite booth, mostly for the memories it evoked of a childhood past, where we really did wear these starchy, scratchy full slips underneath our dresses. That was a wonderful time of my life, and I always felt special with that big slip on, and pretty grown up, too!
I almost couldn't resist this huge ice cream cone sign, but I didn't think Jim would have appreciated trying to bring that home in the Jetta. And what would be the appropriate place in the house for it, once home? Besides, I really don't need that message around all the time, fun as it was.

This was another favorite booth, Hutch Studio. Everything was charming in a quirky way, and they had made things from the simplest materials like cardboard and book pages. I loved these little fabric mushrooms. They got my vote for best booth and sweetest merchandise.

Farm Chicks getaway

Eventually I am going to get back to making some art to show on this blog, which was supposed to be about what I am creating, but lately I have been feeling less than arty and more like getting away from the rain, so a trip to Spokane to see the Farm Chicks show was in order. This is a show that is rated by Country Living magazine as one of the top antiques and collectible shows in the country, and people fly to Spokane to go to it. We, on the other hand, made a road trip out of it, testing our our new diesel Jetta, which made the seven hour (each way) trip on about one tank of diesel!
Fortunately it was a gorgeous day, since we all were in line for nearly an hour. Eventually they had to split the line in two, as we were spilling into the road. Everyone seemed in a fine mood, ready to discover the treasures that awaited us.
These were a couple of the well dressed "farm chicks" ready and waiting to get into the show.
And two more of the "best dressed" ladies, who even had their shopping carts all decked out in style. Ruffles are all the rage this season, don't ya know.
I loved this gal who clearly was having more fun than anyone else. She never got tired feet, or grew weary of fighting the crowds to get to the merchandise, like I did.
There are lots more photos to come from this weekend, so I will do a few more postings.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We had a short "window of opportunity" for dashing over to view the peonies at The Peony Place between raindrops and were able to take a few photos before the rain let loose again. It has not been a good year for peonies--too wet, but we enjoyed seeing them, and sketching very briefly. This one with the frilly center is a favorite.
These bright red ones almost look like tree peonies. They really don't love the rain any more than we do, as it makes their heads droop. In spite of all the rain, though, they were spectacular, as usual, in all their color and variety.
I like to call this "Waiting for Summer". The chairs were set out on the grass at Lonesomville Pottery last weekend, just waiting for some sun. The talented guys who own these lovely gardens also make the pottery and paint the chairs (and large indoor paintings) and open their grounds a couple times a year for their pottery sales. This has to be one of my favorite gardens in Portland and it just keeps getting better over the years.

This is one of their pottery vases, filled with flowers from the garden. Simply elegant, as is everything they do. I feel lucky to have attended their sales over the years to acquire some of their varied designs, which are always evolving.