Sunday, January 25, 2015

GRANGE HALLS AND RURAL COMMUNITY


FERNWOOD GRANGE ENTRANCE

Grange halls have existed in rural areas of our nation since the mid-1800s. Their growth was attributed to community activities associated with farmland living -- serving as a meeting house of sorts for country folks. It was a time of real family farms not corporate farms, 

They played a large role in our historic agricultural community. However the grange buildings have been slowly disappearing as land is being bought up for housing developments, malls, and commercial structures. 

I always look for the old grange buildings that usually sit forlornly on our former rural lands. As family farms have been exiting these areas, now one might find a grange sitting next to many commercial buildings or new subdivisions -- deteriorating ever so slowly.  So many have disappeared from our landscapes. At one time the above Fernwood Grange was among six granges in the Newberg area of Oregon. Today Fernwood Grange is the last remaining of the original six -- the result of city encroachment. 

Grange buildings are dying off as our culture changes.



For more info on granges across the nation click here 




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ME, MY DAD, AND STARBUCKS


Hey this is a neat place.


Just look at all the people in here.


Oh yes, and that lady over there is taking some photos of me. I heard her ask my dad if she could. I better put my best face on.


At last, a refreshing drink that my dad bought just for me.


Yummm!

Friday, January 9, 2015

NEIGHBORHOOD STREET TREES





Trees are ever present as one rides around Oregon. To me it is what makes part of Oregon absolutely beautiful. It's winter here right now and because of the huge majority of conifers there is always the presence of greenery in the landscape. 

I like to ride around the neighborhoods that are on the fringes of Portland. Once they were their own little villages until incorporated by the large city of Portland. One neighborhood is Multnomah Village.

Multnomah Village is a charming village with an active small downtown and a long established neighborhood that surround the old commercial area filled with several small businesses such as  a book store, a bike repair and a couple coffee houses.

To give one an example of the charm of the neighborhood snuggled within the village perimeter I took this street view of conifer trees that  were used as street trees. Street trees being those that line the streets.  

Being raised as a Midwesterner I was used to large deciduous trees lining neighbor streets. Trees such as oak, elms, and maples that provided lush leaves in the summer and fall yet no lush leaves could be found in the winter.  

Here in the Pacific Northwest one finds very tall trees that provide a greenscape all year round. Take a look at the photo above that I shot to understand what I am talking about. 

I am not saying that the Pacific Northwest is the best as I believe there is good in all types of environmental regions. Like humans of different ethnic makeups -- trees are much the same -- providing different yet beautiful landscapes in their own way.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

BALANCE IN THE NEW YEAR

In Balance


A few quotes for 2015. Saw the above rock balanced on top of larger rocks at a local park here in Portland. It gave me food for thought about seeking balance in my life for 2015. Looked up some quotes that relate to balance. I am sharing them below -- hope some of them resonant with you -----

Don't confuse symmetry with balance. 
~ ~ Tom Robbins

My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.
~ ~ Ellen DeGeneres

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
~ ~ Patti Smith

I want to caution you against the idea that balance has to be a routine that looks the same week in and week out.
~ ~ Kevin Thoman

Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.
~ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are in doubt about what's balanced, look at the natural world
~ ~ F.T. McKinstry


Rock Balancing (Wikipedia)





Sunday, December 21, 2014

WINTER SOLSTICE SPIRIT


Credit: knowth.com


The following YouTube video was produced by tubelookjohn. The video was shot at the prehistoric New Grange structure is Ireland. His accompanying beautiful music captures the sense of spirit and mystery of our Winter Solstice.






Thursday, December 18, 2014

EGGS IN A GLASS JAR




Photography became a real interest to to me when I began blogging in 2008. I started with a point and shoot camera that my eastern daughter gave me for Christmas. From that little camera I became hooked on photography. I started devouring books on photography and watching online photography videos. This eventually led me to buying a new Rebel T3i camera that required me to practice  the tricks of using it. Then my son gave me a Nikkon Coolpix that is smaller than my Rebel but is great when it comes to capturing subjects -- good for on the go use. 

Anything goes when I am shooting. As an example, I took the above photo of farm eggs a few days ago. My son had put the above eggs in Kerr canning jars as they took up little space on the fridge shelf. When I saw them sitting in the fridge I brought them out to a window ledge where they reflected the sunlight. To me they looked rather funky in the jars. I snapped their photos about 20 times before I got the one and only that I liked.

I have found that photography is about your eye and your feelings as well as the mechanics of using your camera. I don't pretend that I will ever be a famous photographer Why would I do that --  when I am having so much fun just playing with my cameras.

Monday, December 15, 2014

TRANQUILITY -- UNTIL. . . .


I spent my weekend reading, writing and (and no not arithmetic) cleaning up my blog a bit. I read many blogs that were new to me and many that I have followed for some times. Such pleasure I receive when I take the time to read blogs that cover many topics and are from many parts of the world. Hurrah for the internet -- it enables us to discover the rest of the world as well as our own. I discovered subjects that are important (at least to me) that I don't find being addressed by news services such as MSNBC and CNN to name a few.

Tranquility was the tone of my day.

Until I decided to read the major news sites.

I found some disturbing news to me personally. It  was that American worker's pensions are under attack by Congress. They want pensions to be reduced. There is a law in place that pensions cannot be touched by law yet Congress apparently has found a way around it hoping that U.S. citizens will not notice it until they get a notice in the mail saying -- sorry we just can't have you receiving the money that you paid into your pension plan. 

I know this will mean reductions for over a million folks especially older ones that worked and paid into retirement plans for many years, feeling secure it would be there at the end of their employment.

I feel there is a Congressional dark side to this whole reduction fiasco. Click here to read how this all came about also, how it will be carried out. 



Saturday, December 6, 2014

WEEKEND THOUGHTS




Guernica
Pablo Picasso --  Spain, 1881
(Credit: Museum of Modern Art)

As I sit here this morning, many thoughts run through my mind about our nation's plight over recent current events in our nation. I turned to arts and literature to emphasize what we are up against today in the U.S. The painting above by Pablo Picasso was painted in Spain, it is rather generic -- it was his plea against barbarity. 

And in literature I found this:

Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is... we cannot expect things to be much better in this world... We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity. ~~ Rachel Carson (credit: Hay Quaker)




Sunday, November 30, 2014

HENRY'S TAVERN -- UNUSUAL OUTSIDE DINING



Henry's Tavern has an unusual spot to dine attached to its usual inside dining. Its in an alleyway.


Henry's is located in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon -- a hipster type of environment. 



As you can see in the photos above -- their outside dining is located in an alley with towering buildings surrounding patrons. 

How's that for an unusual experience.

(What is a hipster? Click here )