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August, 2004 | Scuff Productions

Aargh! I’m from “Way Back When”

Bloged in General Home Life,Oregon,Vale, OR by mark Thursday August 26, 2004

I still get the weekly “Malheur Enterprise”, a tiny local newspaper from Vale, Oregon that for the most part tells me who has passed away that may have been a teacher etc…. The tiny thing really does have a hard time finding news items so every week, one page is dedicated to the past and is called, “Way Back When”. I have always looked at the featured picture to see if I recognize the folks shown and it’s always been someone who’se likely been dead for years. This week three girls from my class were shown in the Hawaian dresses they’d been given by my friend Linda Bates (one of the pictured gals) after her return from Hawaii visiting her cousins. While there, Linda also learned to Hula Dance and did that at the local Mormon Church to show what she’d learned. It DID cause not just a few “gasps” out of THAT crowd. Well the newspaper asked “Can you identify these girls from our archives?” . Good Lord. I can see that I am simply a relic from a long ago period when Ice covered the earth and we had just learned how to make fire. I really didn’t expect to someone my OWN age on this page for another 20 years. Maybe now you will ALL treat me with respect and begin asking me for advice, eh? “So Mark, how were things way back when?”

an exhausted dog.

Bloged in General Home Life,Scuff Boys by mark Tuesday August 24, 2004

Here’s proof that Puppies DO wear out after peeing many times, pooping about 6 times, running everywhere, playing playing, playing…….and I believe he’s not finished growing:


Now how does the master get to take a nap?

Rocky, the Flying Squirrel

Bloged in Nature,Pacific Northwest by mark Saturday August 21, 2004

We’re getting so intimate with this character we’re giving him a name. After taking the pictures, we felt lucky and forgot about it. Here a few days later we’re preparing to leave for Bend one night and I have stepped out on the deck. The flying Squirrel returns to the feeder in front of me this time, not Rodger and stays while I move slowly closer to watch. I am so close I can see every detail about him and it’s thrilling mainly because all the writeups about them claim they’re so reclusive and shy. Rodger came out on the deck and got so close he rocked the tray feeder a little and the guy just sat there eating. When we creaked a deck board or made a fast move, he’d jump but return. This exciting nature visit went on for over 30 minutes.

The Hummingbirds seem to have all passed through ……………………..a sad thing.

flying squirrel

Bloged in Nature,Pacific Northwest by mark Wednesday August 11, 2004

Last night………………Our somewhat regular nighttime visitor, The Flying Squirrel was either too hot or too hungry or maybe simply just used to us by now that he did not flinch when Rodger approached him/her with a camera and he got some beautiful shots.

I thought just having this very shy animal sit there was pretty amazing let alone finally get our own pic.

Can you see the edge of his skin-folds along the side?


How about them eyes…………………………………..So wonderfully cute.

This was about 9:30………………..paying no attention to us unless the deck made some noise while we walked so close to him/her. We can only hope the Owls can’t find these cute guys.

Mark & Rodger.

when it is 100 degrees

Bloged in garden,Oregon by mark Monday August 9, 2004

dang. I did a couple things I had to do this morning. Now it is almost 2:00 pm and the lack of motivation continues to leave me weak… . .

hot day

This is how I feel and it’s probably going to reach 100 this afternoon.

Yours truly,
The Dog.

wind damage ?

Bloged in garden by mark Friday August 6, 2004

After posting the update this morning about the rainy morning, etc…..I just went to inspect the garden and found some of the corn over, a few stalks broken. I got a few posts and twine and lifted up the corn stalks affected, fixed up the serrano pepper plants and will hope for the best. The tomatoes look all blown together! I hope we’re able to salvage what will be a big harvest in there. Whew! You just can never know from one day to the next, eh?

a rainy day makes time for a post

Bloged in Family,Pacific Northwest,Scuff Boys,TRAVEL by mark Friday August 6, 2004

I AM wondering about our friends. Do YOUR summer months start out busy and get more frenetic as August rolls around? I’m expecting September and October to continue swamped just because a young pup will require so much time, but I’m only taking time to write this morning since, for the first time in months almost, it is raining outside…..NO one is complaining in Portland since things have been so very dry that they’re walking patrols through Forest Park behind us to watch for fire dangers. Anyway. We’ll only get a tiny drop of rain this morning, but it brought plans to pick blackberries to a halt since it will be sunny tomorrow.

The blackberries by the way look mighty disappointing in quantity. There was so much damage in last years ice that all the growth this year is in new shoots climbing over what’s left of the old woody ones. The OLD branches produce the berries and with the old vines smothered in new thorny growth, the berries are buried. I am trying to figure out what to wear to pick them……………….

We left for Seattle on July 23 to see this new young pup on a weekend forecast to be the hottest of the year in the whole northwest. We arrived at Marj’s house to see puppies stretched out trying to be in shade, but a little attention got ‘em going and the whole batch was a delight. Marj’s husband Tom had just gotten home from work and managed to get enough energy to make the puppies parents, Dillon and Penny run through a hunting exercise. Tom trained them seriously for hunting and I don’t think I’ve seen any dog obey whistles and shouts faster or in more efficient order than these two. It was an outstanding display. That was a fun short visit, but we knew we’d be coming back the next morning to talk more with the Bakkens about dogs.

We left for cousin Bruce & Nancy’s house in Puyallup (Edgewood, actually) and just got there, unloaded, and then left for Seattle proper to pick up Nancy at work and attend a Mariner’s game at Safeco Field. They were playing Anaheim so who was going to win didn’t seem much of a question considering the record this year, but we had never been to Safeco and looked forward to comparing it to Pac Bell Park in SF. Bruce & Nancy took us through the Old Town before the game where we dined quite beautifully in a 100 year bar…..a place well known for fine pre-game meals. Inside, all the old stuff was still intact, and the fine, fresh cooking was all done in a tiny open kitchen in the front corner. The poor Chef was about as hot as the grill itself, but kept meals coming out of there in great style. Then on to Safeco Field:


The game and stadium were great fun not to mention the company. The Purvine’s (Bruce and Nancy) are big Mariner’s fans so they haven’t had a lot of fun this year, but they were great fun to be with. We arrived back at their place about midnight so it was finally cooling off a bit. We slept in a mighty fine cool basement anyway, so loved it. Next morning we got to see Bruce’s handiwork: He has made Bows AND Arrows for his hunting expeditions, and we were impressed.

Saturday morning we were fed royally by Chef Bruce and finally said a goodbye to go back and visit with pups once again. We watched as Marj’ partner Janice came over and they “stacked” the puppies (stood them up on a table and held them out as they would be at a dog show… see how they were shaping up).


We learned a little more about all these kids, and it appears that all things continue to point toward one of the puppies in particular whose demeanor and personality are just like his Dad’s. The Dad, Dillon, was the Dog we first saw at a dog show here that allowed us to get to Know Janice & Marj. If all goes well, we will pick him up on August 21.

We drive back home in the HEAT. We found out it had been 103 here on Saturday and only 97 in Seattle……so as soon as we returned, watering the yard was first priority.

One week later, we attended a Paper Pasting Party in Carol’s Garden along with a grand buffet lunch. Carol’s a true artist, college instructor in Calligraphy. Her work is being featured and more places, she has just become a Grandmother for the first time, and I don’t know how she maintains her fabulous humble demeanor, but she’s a wonderful host. We were honored to be there. This was a great time and learning experience. One takes art paper, acrylic paints, and many tools to simply make beautifully painted art papers that can be used as book covers, wall displays, or anything your mind can imagine. My art mind is small so I ruined as many as I made, but Rodger did some nice stuff: Now we have to get papers, paints and try at home.

The Garden seems to be peaking (or at least it was until this rain). We picked enough cucumbers in one day from 3 plants to can 9 jars of pickles. We “think” we NOW have the process down and are hoping for the same quality as Grandma’s were. We GOT A REAL PICKLE treat. While at Nancy’s in Seattle, we were given 4 jars of her Mother’s true pickles, the very Aunt that had given me Grandma’s copy of her handwritten recipe plus Aunt Merle’s notes. But last year, I started blindly and had no idea what I was doing. After throwing out about 24 quarts of pickles this summer and getting the “rest of the story” by asking questions, we “believe” this year’s batch will be great. BY THE WAY, we finally tasted the ‘true’ RAY pickle with neighbors and they were just as great as Aunt Merle said they were.

We’re now eating tomatoes, yumm…………that time of year one eats ALL the fresh, juicy tomatoes your appetite can handle. Nothing like it.

Corn – now so cheap, we even bought some to dry for the squirrels. IF you BUY dried cobs of corn at a store wrapped and labeled “for” squirrels, they cost about $4-5 dollars for about 5 ears. We can now buy them about 12 for a buck and dry them in the yard…………so little do the varmints know, we’re preparing their own batch of corn for winter feeding.

The size of the garden plants is unbelievable. The Beans, Tomatillos and tomatoes have grown taller than we are. By now the tomato vines are falling over themselves as well as neighboring plants so have collapsed some. Everything remains quite lush. I am no longer able to move down a row dividing tomatoes. I did let this get away from me. I know many say if you over fertilize, you’ll have all vine growth and no fruit. In this case however, there are hundreds of blooms to accompany the growth.

We’re still eating salads of lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, cilantro, green onion daily and all of it from the garden. Yumm.

The old dog is enjoying his daily carrot too……..picked. He truly peps up when he even “thinks” you’re going out there since a carrot will be involved for his effort. It’s about the only time he’ll actually pick up and make a kind of a “run” toward anything.

The Birds. Sadly enough, it’s THAT time of year too. Our daily hummingbird feeding has dropped from a peak of about 3 quarts daily in May to less than half a quart daily today……..their visits here seems so very short. Hard to believe they flew in, built nests from scratch, incubated eggs, fed young for a couple weeks, then built up a little strength and………deserted us. They’re missed. In fact, almost all of our songbirds have already left despite the fact we have another 8-10 weeks of gorgeous weather. Robins and finches seem to have gone to the valleys already. Why THEY leave so early is a little mystery to me since they don’t’ migrate so far.

Wednesday, Aug 4 was spent watering the garden followed by harvesting herbs to dry (after sharing plenty of them with neighbors), harvesting all the onions and putting on the ground to dry for a few days, finally doing first two batches of Tomatillo Salsa, picking more lettuce, carrots, beans, etc. What a time of year.

Next week, we’re off to CA. where Rodger will help his Dad celebrate his birthday at 75. Rodger has been helping put together a family party at cousin Karen’s house, and thanks to a lot of family help, it should go well. It is a little difficult to coordinate from this distance, but Rodger’s been on the phone a lot and done some work to help make this happen.

Today…………………I’m posting this while it’s wet. I’ll clean a tiny bit more of the house to appease my guilt, and maybe, just maybe, with a little luck, it’ll still be raining and I can read a chapter or two out of a good book. I’ve grown to love reading………………it’s truly the ONLY reason I wish there were a little more earth time since there are millions of beautifully written things to absorb. I do not have time for even a tiny fraction of them. But I’ll try.

Mark & Rodger.

things a busy in THIS yard

Bloged in garden,General Home Life by mark Thursday August 5, 2004

I had to sit and write this short note because: As of about 0900 this morning, there are 2 pair of bunnies ….a pair up next to the house nibbling on plants in pots, and a pair actually eating blackberries out on the property edge. There has been a doe here eating some groundcover in the back. There are now migrant hummingbirds traveling back from the far north to head out through the gorge, the steens, rockies, etc., to get back far south for the winter. Beautiful sights. Yesterday was spent harvesting herbs for drying: Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon, canning the first Tomatillo batches, harvesting the onions, picking some beans, cutting flowers, watering everything, and a little, mighty little, housecleaning. Oh, and we’re preparing for a puppy:

We meet Mac and post a pic:

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday August 3, 2004

WE’re just back from Seattle, and there will be a post on the trip, but this was too cute not to send.

Here’s the first official “MAC” picture after we’ve met him:

The kids 101b

His demeanor and personality are incredible. Huge paws.

Thanks for your patience………… the post will come soon, despite the horrible heat wave we had throughout the NW this w/e, the trip was fun.

Mark & Rodger.

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