Sunday, July 23, 2017

What is it With Sand Dunes?

First I must tell you, that in response to our inland trip to Sisters, Oregon, an Oregonian told me the name of The Three Sisters Mountains. They are Faith, Hope and Charity. And he asked if I knew why they named a lake Senoj. The name isn’t misspelled nor is it a Native American name. Can you figure out the answer? (I will tell you in the next blog.)

Okay onto the coast trip. Here we go.

On our last Oregon Coast trip, we began in Eugene and aimed north. You might have read about it, the Cannon Beach, Beverly Beach trip.

This time we aimed south. We spent the night in Reedsport. I won’t tell you that I mixed up the dates and ended up at midnight with no room at the Inn. 

However the kind lady at Expedia, with an accent I couldn't understand, along with my late night head, and ears filled with the sound of the car's motor,  fixed it, the kind desk lady interpreted, and we did have a bed at a different Motor Lodge.

Oh, I just told you?

Well, all ended well.

I would say if you want to see pretty towns and boutique shops aim North from Eugene, that way you will hit Florence, and Newport Beach, and my favorite Cannon Beach.

We must go further north sometime to Seaside. I was there when I was about 11 years old. I remember lying on the beach with my mother, and it was the first time I had seen the ocean. 

Much has changed since then.

Okay, on to the south.

There is a 40 mile stretch from Florence on down south where sand dunes form.

With Reedsport and Winchester Bay being the heart of dune country.

Oh yes, Winchester Bay is where we stopped for an iced latte’ at a little bakery that served blueberry scones with so much fruit each scone weighed in at about a pound.

The strip of land east of the Cascades is where the big trees reign, and I cherish them, and worry if I see a spindly one. But those southern trees were healthy, abundant and beautiful.

I guess I want people to know that Oregon isn’t all treed, and that our strip west of the Cascades is fragile. 

Here we go

Oh, there you are Miss Beautiful Pacific

At Reedsport, we drove down a long “spit.” Yep, it was called that. The spit stretched out alongside the river to the ocean. And there were the sand dunes, being used as ski slopes for the sand dune riders.

I wondered about how the dunes were made and why they were there and knew it was the play of wind but didn’t know much more.

Now I know that sand grains roll and skip, until they meet an immovable object, like a shrub. I read that they can even begin as an ant hill. The sand stacks up until it reaches such a height that it collapses upon itself, forming a windward side and a slip side. This is its angle of repose, where it is stable, usually 30-34 degrees.

Yep, the wind blew. I felt like I had spent the day in a convertible. Once I thought that a convertible would be fun, so we rented a jeep in Hawaii. Wow, talk about feeling beaten up.

Many RVs and campgrounds existed along the spit and even a horse camp where the campgrounds supplied wooden corrals for the horses to allow them free-time off a rope.

I was amazed to see so much water, lakes and ponds sitting right on the sand. How that happened is a mystery to me, but there they were dry sand and wet water. 

This lake was pretty. It reminded me of our estuary (didn’t belong to us, I just claimed it) in Hawaii that existed alongside the ocean at Black Sands Beach, and sported water lilies, and a ducky.

We drove to Bandon, where we had lunch. See our little Sweetpea peeking out from behind Dad’s legs?

In Bandon we saw the greatest chainsaw carving I have ever seen—a T-Rex.

Coming home we drove back to Reedsport and inland through Elton where the magnificent elk grazed right alongside the road, And you could get out and watch them, contented as tame cows.

In The Medicine Cards, by Jamie Sams & David Carson, the elk teaches us that pacing ourselves will increase our stamina. The elk has little defense against a mountain lion except his ability to go the distance.

Elk has a curious kind of warrior energy, for except during mating season, he honors his own sex, and can, therefore, call upon the medicine of brotherhood or sisterhood.

Friday, July 14, 2017


If as John Muir said, "Of all the paths we take, make one dirt," does sand count? See The Oregon Coast in the next issue.

Many moons ago—moons?--that is moons times 12 ago,  I walked into freshman Biology class plunked myself down beside a kid that didn’t take notes but got A’s anyway (Don’t you hate those people? No, envy.), I set a notebook on my desk, and wrote on the top of my page the words the professor shouted: “THIS IS THE STUDY OF LIFE!”


I want to know about life.

You know how an enthusiastic teacher can motivate you.

This man loved his subject, and I loved it too.

The trouble was that after studying, Kingdom, Class, Order, Genus, species, oh, biologists like to name things—I found that while physical life was spread out before me, there was not much about ethereal life.

The big questions couldn’t be categorized, labeled, pigeonholed, or even addressed in a satisfactory manner. I suppose it is rather like the question put to Alfred Kinsey, the sex study doctor, who, when asked why he didn’t include love into his equation answered, “Because it is not measurable.”

To me, the really interesting questions are ones not measurable.

Apologies to my biology professor, but life is not something in which we can achieve a degree. Life is something we all have, all think about, and all have trouble understanding.

That puts us all on an equal playing field.

Which brings me to my question of why we are so separate from each other?

Why do we fear strangers? Why do we demonize certain segments of our population?

Yes, they look different, act different, have different beliefs. There must be something wrong with them.

Well now, we can explain that evolutionarily.

Think of zebras, deer and other preyed upon animals; all look alike. The odd one gets singled out of the herd. He catches the eye of the predator. Whoops, old Ralph—the Zebra with brown stripes instead of black ones--is gone.

We are like that too. Different is singled out.

Remember when the TV show Star Trek burst upon the scene?

It was the first multiracial show. And on it was the first bi-racial kiss.

The Enterprise was populated with all manner of multiracial and multi-species humanoids. Spock, the hybrid Vulcan with pointie ears and little emotion, was loved. There was an Asian, a Black, a Scotsman, and on top of that all manner of aliens with faces that looked like they had been mashed into a mold.

I wondered at the time how that would change attitudes toward different races.

It took a while.

Think of the wild horse. To be ostracized from the herd is a death sentence. He would be free game for a mountain lion.

A horse will practically break his neck to get back into the herd--the safest place.

We, too, fear being ostracized, and thus we behave in a manner acceptable to the group.

For some native tribes being ostracized was the worst punishment, for alone in the wild, an alone person would surely die.

Thinking back to StarTrek, initially, it ran only for one year, and the network canceled it due to poor ratings.

Talk about an evolutionary come back. That was partly due to a writing campaign from the viewers and encouraged by the promoters.

Oh yeah, think of the flip-open communicator.

 I have one of those sitting on my desk.

It doesn’t beam me up though—not yet.

Science imitating art.

And Nasa named one of the Space Shuttles Enterprise.

Isn’t that phenomenal?

We have come to a place where we are instrumental in our own evolution.

(Oh, and don’t give me any flack for using the word evolution—it means change  over time.)

Evolution is an emotion packed word, for to Creationists it means we came from monkeys.  You can believe we evolved from monkeys, God created us, or the Universe is a perpetual motion machine. It's all up for grabs. However, the idea of beating each other up over an ideology is ludicrous.

A wise man once told me this story: Have I told you this?

We are all princesses or princes under a frog suit. The frog suit has tears showing the princess beneath, and we try to cover up those holes, yet if we ripped off the frog suit it would reveal the true princess.

P.S. Oprah motivated me to begin another blog--not personally, of course, but in leafing through her magazine, I noticed how it was laid out on a page, many pictures, bold headings, change of fonts, ads of course. I have heard that large blocks of type scare people. There are articles in her magazine, but you really have to decide to read them. In that vein, I began another blog, one I could maneuver better than the ones I have. 

When you have the time I would appreciate it if you would check in and tell me what you think of

Thank you ever so much.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I Had a Change of Heart Today

Good Morning,

I cleaned the refrigerator a couple of days ago. Imagine that! As I scrubbed it, with my head inside that huge cold machine and my butt in the air, I had this thought:

What idiot said, “If it ain’t fun don’t’ do it?”

If that were true I would never get my refrigerator cleaned.

You know, you are at the cleaning-the-refrigerator stage where all those half-used bottles that are not good enough to keep, but too good to throw away lay like fallen soldiers on the counter top. The produce fainted a few days ago and is still out cold, and opening that cottage cheese container? I was afraid to do it.

Please say you've done that for I don't want to be the only one.

And then I had a second thought.

I love this refrigerator.

Remember, Joyce, when you lived in Hawaii and used an ice chest, because you had no refrigerator?  And then the mortgage loan came through, and you bought a refrigerator, but didn’t have enough solar power to run it?
Remember the Hawaiian woman at The Pond’s Restaurant who said, “Living like you are will make you appreciate everything?”

I appreciate my refrigerator.

It came with the house, a perfect fit in the space created for it, and it matches the stove and the dishwasher. Oh yes, I didn’t have a dishwasher in Hawaii either, or an oven.

I am blessed!

I thought of the saying, “You can’t be depressed and in gratitude at the same time.”

I am grateful for my refrigerator.

And now it is clean, and all the labels on the bottles face forward, and it is beautiful. I would stare at it except that having the door open pours out energy. (I once saw a commercial that demonstrated energy loss by filling a refrigerator with ping-pong balls, You can guess what happened when someone opened the door.)

Ah well, I could end my ode to the refrigerator, but I have to say that, after having none, we now have three.

There’s the dear refrigerator in the house, and two in “The Wayback,” our auxiliary building. The owners left their earlier refrigerator there, and we house ours from our previous house.

Ta Da!

The universe is laughing.

I finally took a break from “Blogging” for some house cleaning.

Not many are finding me on, but that will change and I am happy for whoever shows up. No, I can't say that, I'm getting spammed by porn, and to keep it off I would have to pay a fee. (Gripe. Why do people do that?!) My parent blog is this one

Sorry about the .org as I lost my .com--$100.00 would get it back, but that seems a tad steep. I'm waiting for its redemption period to end. I hope then I can catch my .com and get it again.  

Most travel bloggers are young people, singles, newly married, or young families with children. Maybe I ought to let my hair go gray and tout myself as “Gray Fox at Large,” for I haven’t seen one of those, but I’m not going to do it.  I won’t admit that there are any gray hairs under my blond.

I’ll admit I sleep with a Grandpa, but that’s all.

Last weekend, before the blogging and the cleaning frenzy, we took another day trip.

We drove to McMinnville, OR  about a two-hour drive from where we live to see the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The Hercules, known as the Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes’ famous “flying boat” is housed there.
Upon approaching tour destination this is what we saw.

  "A plane on the roof."

It is a full-blown commercial jet sitting atop a water park next to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

The hangar/Museum where The Spruce Goose lives next door where it sits like a cake with flowers around it. Only the cake, the Goose, is wood, and the flowers are airplanes polished to a sheen. 

Everything was spotless, the planes, the white floor—no wonder I had to come home and clean my house.


The Spruce Goose with hubby.

We climbed inside that ginormous airplane and ascended a narrow spiral staircase to the cockpit--the service man gave me a peek inside before it closed entrance to it.

Darn, Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor who played Howard Hughes in the movie The Aviator, wasn't sitting there.

A duplicate of the Wright Brothers’ plane was there, and private planes, and military planes, trainers, and jets.

The Wright Brother's aeroplane.

How long did it take man to build a contraption that would fly? Now they can throw up a boat the size of a football field, and it will fly.

Next door the Space Museum housed rockets and space capsules, and spacesuits that you wonder how a man could ever maneuver. Those suits alone were an engineering feat, let alone that someone landed on the moon.

“The Wright Brothers flew through a smoke screen of impossibility.” –“Dorthea Brande

Look there, a 400,000 pound airplane made of wood can fly.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Of all the paths you take, make some dirt."*

Wish on white horses flatlined for a few days, lost its dot com, and in the process didn't even see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now we are back fresh with a new address. It is a dot org. The address now is Remember the originator of this blog is from Oregon, org, good ending.

And so we begin;

For 63 of his 87 years, Buckminster Fuller noted for the geodesic dome, kept a scrapbook/diary that documented every day of his life. It reflected his correspondence, drawings, newspaper clipping, grocery lists and other evidence of his unique story.

This information came to my attention on my “Free Will Astrology” by Rob Brezsny—in my opinion, the best column to read in The Eugene Weekly.
His point to Aquarians was that he would love to see us express ourselves with as much disciplined ferocity as Buckminster Fuller did for the next two weeks of our lives.

I had to laugh, but don’t worry folks I won’t publish every detail of my existence, not that you would have to read it if I did, I just thought it was funny that he threw that challenge in my direction.

Once I heard Buckminster Fuller speak in San Diego. Of that speech I remember two things, well three, the first was the long line before getting into the auditorium where the girl in front of me who kept obsessing that we wouldn’t get in. (We did.)

Of his speech, I remember this: He held up a model of the square. It was about four inches on a side built of something like four plastic rods held together at the corners with rubber bands. Press on one corner and the square collapses. But as demonstrated next, a triangle is solid and firm. If you press on a corner and it doesn’t collapse. That concept led to his idea of building with triangles.

The only trouble is I like squares—sorry Bucky, but a cube is quite stable and makes a nice house. Probably not as strong as a pyramidal shape though. Guess those ancients knew something.

The second point I remember is that he said he made $300,000 a year and spent every penny of it. He knew that the following year he would make another $300,000—now that’s my kind of guy.

His earlier years weren’t so positive. After the death of his daughter at 4 years of age, and with family financial difficulties, Fuller contemplated suicide as a means of giving his family money from a life insurance policy.

Instead, he had an epiphany, and heard this voice:

“From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others. -- From Wikipedia

He ultimately chose to embark on "an experiment," to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.

And, as a part of that experiment, he began chronicling his own life.

The military recognized the geodesic dome as useful. It could be small, lightweight, inexpensive and can withstand heavy loads. 

To quote “Bucky’: “I look for what needs to be done. After all, that’s how the Universe designs itself.”

And now a little inclusion from Joyce:

*The title is a quote by John Muir seen in a window in Sisters Oregon. 

On Social media you can find many people who travel the globe as a way of life, so I thought, I don’t want to travel full-time, but what sort of day-trip can my husband and I take?

A weekend ago it was Cannon Beach Oregon, two days ago it was Sisters, a small tourist catered-to town in the high desert of Oregon. We hadn’t been there for about ten years. (Our pleasant memories of that town was the chicken and dumplings the Sisters Saloon used to serve on Sunday nights. Long ago it was a large bowl with enough to take home. Alas, that went the way of the dodo birds.)

The shortest route from here to Sisters was still closed due to snow.  Snow? It was 90 degrees that day, probably the highway clean-up hadn’t removed any brush collected on the highway over the winter,  so, we took the over-the-mountain trip.

We have always loved the McKenzie River and long ago The Log Cabin Inn was a stopping off place where they served great Marian Berry Cobbler, but the log Inn, too, is gone. I heard it burned down when we were out of Oregon. It is replaced with homes and cabins now. It is still pretty for the cabin-style structures are integrated into the old-growth forest that surrounds the area. Yes, we do have some old-growth left. The McKenzie River was so high and swift that I took Sweetpea away from the bank and beat feet out of there.

We drove through the Cascade Mountain Range where the forests were spectacular, and white frosted peaks gave evidence of long-ago volcanic eruptions.

A Douglas fir forest is sometimes so dense you wouldn't believe a deer could wiggle its way through, but animal paths snake through.

Soon the firs give way to Pine forests where you could actually ride a horse between the trees--my mouth watered-- the forest floor was green and sprouted flowers, and the trees were spaced about ten feet apart.

There was some sage brush around Sisters, but it was still in the Pine Forest. I know, however, that if you continue driving east the Pines will give way to Juniper trees and further on there will be sage brush, and no trees.

We are lucky to have that Cascade Mountain Range that creates abundant forests. It also creates a rain shadow. The land east of the range gets little rain, while we to the west get gobs, and get green that I love.

In Sisters, we ate superb Mexican Food on a little outside deck with our traveling dog, Sweetpea, under the table getting bites of chili verde.

Too bad this path wasn't dirt, I would have gladly trod it, but someone threw asphalt on it. 

Beyond this path is a full sized river, the Metolius. It sprouts straight out of a mountainside. It was so overgrown I couldn't get a good picture of it, and I had to stay behind a fence. The water comes from springs that have been fault lifted to near the surface.  The right most picture is my view of the Metolius River from the view deck--a full-sized river only a few hundred yards from where it was born.

   A Douglas Fir Forest                                                                   A Pine Forest

Evidence of long ago big booms..

I do believe this last picture is of two of Three Sisters. If an Oregonian reads this perhaps they can identify these mountains.

There were snow capped peaks all over the place, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, The Three Sisters, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Bachelor. Whew. In high school they told us those volcanos were dead, and then Mt. St. Helens woke up. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

One Solution

Sweetpea and Joyce

Want driftwood? Well, it’s here. Beverly Beach, OR.        True.

How in the world did this happen? This geological wonder was situated where the beach sand abuts a cliff. Beverly Beach OR

Want to hear about my weekend?



Well, how about what led up to it?

“I can’t write, I can’t spell, my grammar sucks, and my style isn’t all not that hot,” I lamented after three days of editing where I felt tied to the computer, rummy, and foggy-headed. Husband dear said, “What can you do?”

“I can think,” I said.

So that’s what I am doing here, letting my fingers do the thinking.

After feeling fried, after beating myself into the ground at the computer, I decided to take care of myself.

We hear of our stressed lives, how we feel fractured and displaced. There is little talk of what to do about it.

One solution: change scenery.

Go to the Beach. Now that’s a good idea. There is something about the salt air that clears the brain.

I have wanted to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon for some time, about a three-hour drive from where we live. I could have waited until the weather got better. I could have waited until next weekend when the yearly sand carving contest happens, or go for Father’s Day or our Anniversary that is coming up this month. Even the weather wasn’t all that great. No, I was ready. I wanted to go THAT DAY.

And so with a willing partner, that is husband dear, we set out on Friday night for a drive to Cannon Beach.

You can stop reading now, but the best is yet to come.

You know how it is if you are distraught, things work maybe, but more often than not drama comes, matching your fractured energy.

I got the last room at a Motel—pet-friendly—for I wanted to take Sweetpea. A few minutes later, however, the Motel called, another traveler had slipped in before me. No room. Good thing we hadn’t left the house yet. I grabbed another motel, where there were two rooms left, I reserved one. Then discovered they had a “No pets,” rule. And in small print, "not cancelable without a 24 –hour notice."

Oh, well, take the room. Take the dog. I was determined.

The hotel owners didn’t know I had a dog, she did no damage, and she didn’t let out a squeak. I worried about being discovered, but it worked. I got up at 7 am to take her out and discovered a few folks ambling around a neighborhood, some letting their dogs run down the beach. The area was as quaint as the downtown shops, and the area, the plantings, flowers, shrubs, were all manicured, even the blackberry bushes looked as though they belonged there. A small shingled grayed-by-the-salt-air house, built like a townhouse with two stories, a 1920's issue, was listed for sale for $750,000.

After a latte and a scone, we took Sweetpea to the beach. She stood transfixed at the wonder before her. We unclipped the leash and she flew over the sand, chased the birds, skidded to a halt where the rolling sand from her toenails gave her something else to chase. All this she did while grinning like a Cheshire cat.

After our beach run, the downtown area became our new stomping ground, with people leading dogs, the shops quaint, and everything beautiful with abundant plants and flowers perked by the rain. Pathways snaked in and out of cottage businesses, and the shop signs were works of art. No industrial signs, no franchises that I could see.

I loved it.

We had fish and chips and left for a drive down the coast towards home. I wrapped in a blanket in hibernation mode and felt like one of the Hornbill turtles we saw in Hawaii lazily sunning herself on a beach. 

The weather was overcast until we got to Beverly Beach where the sun came out, and a long strip of coastline sparkled in all her glory. I roused, and we walked down the beach, and Sweetpea again exploded into joy with a frolic on the sand. A Hawk appeared as though catapulted from the cliff above us, dove down at breakneck speed, put on the brakes about a foot from the ground, then swooped up again to the top of the bluff. “Oh,” said husband dear, ”he is playing on the air currents.”

Don’t take a pill to calm your nerves, take in a beach.


I was like the dog, eating, napping, running on the beach, having an outing of window shopping, repeat. In Newport Beach we watched a glass blower create a vase out of molten glass, a substance like taffy candy that he alternately placed in and out of a 2,500-degree furnace.


We came home and watched a film called Minimalism, a Documentary, where two guys talked about getting rid of stuff.

I have tried to pare down with each move we have taken. Yes, it’s good to reduce stuff, not to accumulate redundantly, not to use buying as a drug, and acquiring as a means out-shine the other guy. On top of that don’t go crazy with Black Friday buying running rough-shod over people. That is plain cuckoo.

The fellows in the documentary felt that being minimalists made them happy. I would say, however, there was more to it than that.

They had a book to promote. They had a cause to champion. They had adventure driving place to place to give talks. They were meeting people.

They had meaning and purpose.

Long ago Dr. Viktor Frankl, an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. He wrote that identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imaging that outcome determined a person’s outcome.  Abraham Maslow wrote about becoming “Self-actualized.” Spiritual gurus show that a spiritual connection feeds the soul.

I think that is what we want, to feel we have meaning, that we offer value, that we are creative, and that we connect with a divine energy whatever that is for you. Without all that, we feel empty, and many try to fill that emptiness with more toys and more stuff.

James Clerk Maxwell often spoke on the subject of “authenticity.”  He wrote that in a society that is becoming increasingly insane, only a concern for ethics could restore sanity. He further commented that to arrest robotization, each person needs to develop high ethical standards to rejuvenate that society.

There we have it, my trip to the beach that you said you didn’t want to read, but did anyway, where I insinuated I wouldn’t write about it but did anyway.

 All that so I could stumble my way to a soapbox.