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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

They really DO exist! and this 'n that.

I tell you..... no matter what age you are or how long you've lived, you can always learn something new!  Before I go any further though, I just want to wish you all a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.... and sending my blessings to you, each and every one of you.

Now for the rest of my story: Before I post the picture of what really DOES exist that I never KNEW existed, I have to tell you a little story first. Hubby and I took a little trip to the Oregon coast on November 3rd for a few days... to see my son and his girlfriend of almost a year now. 

The little town they live in is Astoria, Oregon. I've always loved that town. It's right on the uppermost northwest corner of Oregon. Beautiful (wet, damp) place! I had forgotten how damp it is at the coast!  It's the first time I'd seen the house he is now living in... a darling little farmhouse on 7 acres.

Neat old farmhouse - only has wood heat.
We had a great time! Ate out several times (pizza, yummy breakfast at Pig 'N Pancake) which is a real treat to us as we hardly ever eat out! Went to the jetty out in Hammond and watched the waves crashing against the rocks and climbed the 2 story tower to watch.. .............boy was it windy, could hardly stand up!

Tidelands inland from the jetty... no water now but when the tides are in, it's full!
We went to Ft. Stevens State Park, which is quite famous in Oregon. From Wikipedia: Fort Stevens was an American military installation that guarded the mouth of the Columbia River in the state of Oregon. Built near the end of the American Civil War, it was named for a slain Civil War general and former Washington Territory governor, Isaac Stevens. The fort was an active military reservation from 1863–1947.[2] It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We walked the beach a little bit, and I mean only a little bit, as was COLD and windy! Saw the Peter Iredale skeleton of the wrecked ship from 1906.  Here is my picture of what is left of the huge ship:

Here are a couple of pictures from Wikipedia and a little history of the ship wreck. I've visited this wreck since I was a little girl. I've always wondered when this happened.  Now I know!

Peter Iredale in Seattle, circa 1900. From Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia: The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. It was abandoned onClatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River channel. Wreckage is still visible, making it a popular tourist attraction as one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Peter Iredale, shortly after grounding in 1906. From Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia: The ship was named after Peter Iredale, who not only owned the vessel as part of his shipping fleet, but was also a well-known figure in Liverpool,England, where his business was headquartered.

Sailing from Salina Cruz, Mexico, on or about September 26, 1906, the Peter Iredale was bound for Portland, Oregon with 1,000 tons of ballast and a crew of 27, including two stowaways. The voyage up the coast was unremarkable until the night of October 25, when Captain H. Lawrence sighted the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse at 3:20 a.m. local time. The crew altered course first east-northeast and then northeast to enter the mouth of the Columbia River in thick mist and a rising tide. Under strong winds out of the west, an attempt was made to wear the ship away from shore, but a heavy northwest squall grounded the Peter Iredale on Clatsop Sands (now called Clatsop Spit). High seas and wind drove the ship ashore. A lifeboat was dispatched from Hammond, Oregon and assisted in evacuating the sailors, who were tended to atFort Stevens. No casualties occurred in the accident.
There was little damage to the hull and plans were made to tow the ship back to sea, but after several weeks waiting for favorable weather and ocean conditions, the ship had listed to the port (left) and become embedded in the sands. She was sold for scrap.[citation needed] All that remains is the bow, a few ribs, and a couple of masts.[citation needed]
Captain Lawrence's final toast to his ship was: "May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands."
This is such an interesting story, I thought you might enjoy it. I had never really looked up the history of this ship before, so I did learn something new (but this is not the only thing new I learned............)

Riders on the beach! I was envious.

Elk on the side of the road, in Hammond. They are everywhere in Hammond and the outskirts of Astoria. It's a perfect climate for them. My son's girlfriend said most mornings she sees a herd of elk in the pasture across the road from her house.
Astoria is so green and lush and so much water everywhere. The rivers flood the pastures and the tides fill up the meadows when they are high. It has so much history and sits on the mouth of the Columbia River where it joins up with the Pacific Ocean. 

Which leads me to the "new" thing I learned that weekend. 

Do you recall seeing these little red and white things in movies and in cartoons? Red with white polka dots? (not the ones with teeth). I always thought they were from someone's imagination, Walt Disney maybe? Never gave it much mind really, but thought they were cute.

But wait........ my son's girlfriend told me, after I admired them (along with the little pixies), that they GROW ALL OVER AND AROUND ASTORIA! What? I said! Really? no way!..... She said she takes the little pixies and her handmade jewelry (she has a store with all sorts of precious gems, stones, gifts, and her beautiful handmade jewelry), and takes pictures of the pixies amongst the real mushrooms, with her jewelry! She then posts the pictures on her store Facebook page.

Terra's store in downtown Astoria, on Commercial Street. If you are ever in that area, you HAVE to visit it. It's awesome!

She said these mushrooms are mostly past their prime this time of year, but if she saw any on our drive, she'd point them out to me.

I was flabbergasted.. and excited maybe to see some real ones! I would not believe it until I saw one.

As we drove over to Fort Stevens, and were headed out to the jetty, she did a quick stop and a U-turn, and back down the road we went..... we got out, and there.... was one lone one along side the road! Snap goes the camera. It's real! It's called Amanita Muscaria or "fly agaric" and is highly poisonous.

She went back to her car and got a little gnome she had hanging from her mirror, so we could get some shots with the gnome!
Clapping my hands! I want to see some more!
 On to the jetty we go..... .then back to town to eat.. then on back to their house. I go inside to warm up, and later, she comes in and says, hey.. come here... I want to show you something.. and bring your camera, and a few pixies. By then she knew I was a camera nut, just like her!

So we trudge through the wet and muddy ground, up a long (and steep) path to her pasture, through the tall (and wet) grass.... me wearing my hubby's shoes (that were too big), as I couldn't find the old ones I had brought for just such a thing as this..... up towards the deep dark forest (where the 3 giant trees stand guard over the woods)..... to the far side of the meadow.... and.... voila! three more red mushrooms!  Click goes the camera again.. Click, click........MANY times! 

These look a little flatter and more orange.. and see the one leaning? In my excitement to place the little pixes for their photo shoot, I knocked it over... darn! So I carefully put it back for picture taking. It was so fun posing the pixies.

I had brought the Christmas pixies, "just in case", thinking I could pose them in the moss for Christmas cards. She brought this little guy as she knew that he would be posing on top of a big flat mushroom! She said not to touch them, and if you do, do NOT rub your face or eyes.
See the baby one? No polka dots yet.

We had such fun.. spent about a half hour there taking tons of pictures. Giggle giggle. Snap snap. I was still so amazed that they really do exist!

And wasn't I just a wealth of information today? :-) 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by the ones you love. I'm off to start cooking for the big day.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving pumpkin treats.... yum!

Here you go..... just in time for Thanksgiving!

I got this recipe from There is an entire gluten free section of the most appetizing recipes!  I always have boxes of Bisquick gluten free baking mix and gluten free cake mixes around, so wanted to make some pumpkin goodies that were quick and easy. 

I did use Bob's Red Mill gluten free Vanilla Cake mix this time, as didn't happen to have the Bisquick cake mix.  You could always use a regular cake mix if you don't need to eat gluten free. I like gluten free desserts as they usually don't have as much sugar in them.

I added a cup of raisins and a cup of chopped pecans.

My mouth was watering already.
Fresh out of the oven with some cream cheese frosting.... one for hubby, one for me.
These were SO moist and delicious. Try one with whipped cream on top, rather than the frosting - or try one with both! These are fairly low in sugar which I like (except for the frosting of course). And, naturally, they are already gone! We don't waste our time when it comes to desserts!

Here's the recipe:

This is going to be one of my FAVORITES, any time of the year! Hope you try them. Let me know if you do.

I think my next experiment will be some pumpkin cheesecake....... sigh.

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