Smoke and Mirrors

“Gorge smoke crept in through our bedroom windows last night. The stealthy intruder stole our breath and brought acid tears to our eyes.” That’s how I began a Facebook post on Saturday.  People complimented me on the great description, though I can’t claim the credit.  I give that to my sleep-deprived, coughing subconscious.  Smoke and…

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When It’s Time to Unravel

My maternal grandmother taught me to crochet at the tender age of 7.  Despite limited formal education herself, she taught me many things over the decades – about making due with what I have, about self-confidence and bravery, about baking and cooking, and about being creative in all aspects of my life.  She also taught…

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Oregon Trail to Century Ranches – Part 2

Distances between houses often number in miles.  A single spread may sit in a valley, surrounded by mountains and hills.  Few trees dot the landscape, offering cattle and horses little escape from the summer heat.  Bighorn sheep scamper up the rocks.  Deer meander across the roads.  Bald eagles perch on tree snags, surveying the rivers…

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Oregon Trail to Century Ranches – Part 1

I’m working on a new series set in Portland about a wealthy extended family who are descendants of founding settlers of Oregon.  Immersing myself in the history and lore to better define my characters has been fun, particularly since it allows me to learn more about my (relatively new) home.  I ran across two inspirations…

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Always a Rock Jock – John Day Fossil Beds – Part 3

Driving through this country is a lesson in history by itself.  The Oregon Trail ran through here.  From the diaries of those emigrants, the area didn’t look too much different than today, except for the current lack of trees.  Settlers needed wood for structures and fuel.  If they followed a river, though, they had water. …

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Always a Rock Jock – John Day Fossil Beds – Part 2

Who was John Day?  Why was a National Monument named after him?  The story is more titillating than exciting. A trapper by trade, John Day’s claim to fame was being attacked and stripped naked by Indians as he hunted on the Columbia River in the early 1800’s.  A major water system in the area is…

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