Friday, July 31, 2015


I'm playing catch up a little on the blog today.....


July was a blur -
Wheat harvest began early and caught us hustling at work.
We celebrated Lindsay's bachelorette party as tourists in Seattle, and I got to see the Clancy cousins during a work trip to Minneapolis.
Clint hustled at the ranch, but I felt like I was hardly around to help.
Bev turned 80 and I got my first chance to ride the Sternwheeler.
A lot of firsts and a great month that I hope we get to experience again next year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A different angle.

Every Tuesday evening of this month, Kelby (the Genex intern who's been living with us this summer) and I have taken a photo class in Pendleton.
When Kelby first came to stay with us in June, she said she wanted to learn how to use her Canon Rebel more proficiently.  I knew that the Art Center in Pendleton had a monthly class, so we signed up.  It was a beginner class - and people I knew that had already taken the class said I wouldn't learn anything - but I wanted to support Kelby and I also figured it'd be good for me to.   I've never taken a formal class before, and everything I've learned about photography I've either 1) read on the internet, 2) asked Lindsay Murdock about, or 3) winged it and tried to make it work.
So I figured going would probably be good for me. 

 And it was. 
I'm not sure I gained a lot of new skills with how to use my camera - although I did learn a few details - but what I really got out of the class was perspective.

Bill Peal, the instructor for the class would tell great stories of how he'd go to certain places - Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, etc - only so that he could take a specific picture. 
We on the other hand go places to do something - breed cows, build fence, whatever - and then along the way I try to shoot a few frames. 
Rarely do I set out thinking "I'm going to capture "XXXX" shot".

So as a result of the class, I really realized that I classify myself as someone who documents life as it's happening through pictures.   I think the thing it did for me the most was allow me to realize how lucky I am to live a life where I am surrounded by opportunities to take photos that capture our lifestyle.
What really stretched me the most were the assignments we were presented during each class.  During the class period we'd walk around the Art Center and our instructor would tell us certain things we were supposed to shoot.  He pushed us to be creative and try new things...things I don't normally have the "time" for when I'm trying to capture life in between thawing straws, or catching a cow in a head catch.  :)
As a result, I got to take pictures of things that I normally wouldn't have - like the pictures of Pendleton's newest bronze statue "Requa".

The last class is tonight, but I'm in Minneapolis for work this week so I'll be missing out.
But what I haven't missed is the lesson that sometimes it's good to change our angle, and try a new shot. 
Thanks Bill for that one!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015



So it's harvest time here in Eastern Oregon.

Actually, if I'm being honest, farmers have been harvesting for awhile now.  Hay is on it's third cutting, the wheat is probably 65% combined, and the peas & beans are all at the processors.

And let's talk about the corn this year - it's huge.  Like, throw the whole "knee high at 4th of July" saying out the window - the corn here was almost touching the spans of the circles earlier this month and has ears on it that look almost fully mature.
It's been a crazy year - we're in a drought and short on water and everyone is just trying to make it all work.  At the ranch, the crew was proactive and way back in May put some groups of pairs in pens at the White Corrals where they get a ration delivered, and more recently other groups of fall calves were just weaned.  Clint has been waking up early this week to start preconditioning spring calves as their weaning will get moved up earlier this year too.

And even in a year of less - there is still enough.

The ranch still has irrigation water, and while some circles had to be shut off - others were able to be kept on and a good amount of hay is getting put up.  Ponds that I've never seen dry are, but that's just let the water trucks and supplemental tanks have their moment to shine.

Yes.  It's all taken more work, and it hasn't been ideal, and I'm sure it has been stressful for those who have a financial interest.

But sometimes - enough is enough.

This is one of those times that we're thankful for enough.

Success is reason enough.

Here's to a successful, continued harvest.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Last weekend, we celebrated my sister Lindsay during her bachelorette party in Seattle...

We were SO those tourists - but we took down downtown and had the best time!
All of the girls arrived at different times on Friday night, but Lindsay and I got there first so we took some time to shop at Nordstrom's downtown.
I scored this sweet Hobo crossbody bag and was so thankful the entire rest of the weekend that I did!
Seriously - I'm not sure what took me so long to get on the crossbody train, but I'm onboard.  Best travel bag ever.
Then we met up with Maddee and headed down to the waterfront to have dinner.

We met up with Marcie & Randie back at the hotel and got a good night's sleep before our big day on Saturday.
We started the morning off with brunch at the Space Needle and I'm here to tell you that if you could only do one thing while you were in Seattle, you should do this.  The meal was delicious, and the views were outstanding!

The restaurant at the top of the Space Needle spins 360* and over 47 minutes you get to see the entire city.  I'm not sure how our server knew where we were at the entire time, lol, but she did!
After brunch, we headed up to the observation deck and took in the view some more before we headed back down.

We made a quick pit stop across the street to reserve our Duck tour, and then headed out to Pike Street Market.
Where I may have had the most delicious macaroni & cheese of my entire life.
Let it be known -

I did not spare ANY calories this weekend! 

We kissed the pig, watched the fish fly, gushed over the flowers and were grossed out by the gum wall.

We tried to see it all, and after picking up a few bouquets for ourselves and some fish for the guys in our life, we headed back to the hotel for a power nap.
 We headed to the Happy Hour at Tolouse Petite on Queen Anne hill and it was AMAZING.

It's been voted as one of the Top 5 Happy Hour's in the US, and it's made it there for a reason.  We sampled a variety of small plates (all less than $10!), enjoyed some delicious cocktails (again, less than $10!) and then headed back to the hotel for our Duck tour.

Because the dinner was so good, once we got back from our Duck tour, we went BACK to Tolouse Petite for dessert and another round of drinks. Seriously - the food was outstanding, the key lime cheesecake was probably the best I've ever had, and server Amanda errr, I mean Magdalena was hilarious!

And we were very grateful to the hotel's van driver Fernando who shuttled us back and forth....we could have walked, but I think we would have regretted it.  :)

And the Duck tour!

Yeah - we TOTALLY did that too.  :)

The Ducks are these amphibious World War II crafts that both drive on the street and can also go straight in the water!

Your boat is captained by a hilarious tour guide - ours was Captain Chowder - and he took as all through downtown Seattle with music blasting.  He'd point our touristy features, before we headed to Lake Union where he drove us straight into the water and we spent a half hour or so out on the lake.

It was a little breezy!  :)

 It was super fun - and we were definitely the {FUNHAVERS} on our Duck.

Our McDonald's cups filled with our own bachelorette beverages might have had something to do with it too.

Wait - we were just drinking soup.  :)


Congratulations to Lindsay on her upcoming marriage to Henry and thanks for getting hitched so we had an excuse to go up to Seattle to celebrate!

It was a weekend well spent!