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July, 2008 | Scuff Productions

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday July 29, 2008

Let’s see, a short note on the weekend:

**Rodger wrote up WHY we were completely worn out Sunday…….by doing what we did Saturday: You can see some pics and read his take on things over at Rodger Dodger. Whew!

**Now, all those Black & Blue spreadables have a little homely label, but definitely a BERRY picture on the lid:
**I still haven’t learned my lesson on Mother nature. NEVER think you have gotten one step ahead of that Mom of all things. After pompously declaring our place raccoon free Sunday night………….Monday night brings yet another raccoon to the feeder. This time, I was wise enough to have put all the seed in a little flat bowl out there, so simply removed the bowl. Damn!

For the last 6-8 days, this fabulous rose stayed at its peak in the yard….I wonder if I could dig up the label out there:

Sing Your Puppy to Sleep….

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday July 28, 2008

THANKS, NANCY G for telling us about this………

IF you like puppies, but have dreaded that first couple months getting them to calm down and feel secure, watch this lovely little video. THIS guy SINGS his puppies to sleep. It’s too heartwarming.


Afraid of Liberals? HIS conservatives are the ones to be afraid of.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday July 28, 2008

I am heartsick this morning to read the crazed out-of-work nutjob murdered people at the Unitarian Church (who supports gay causes) because they were a “LIBERAL” organization. He didn’t even KNOW anyone there. ……. NO ONE with a functioning brain could be blaming liberals on the sickening condition of our society today.

Give ALL YOUR blame to the complete failure and corruption of the conservatives that, ideally, could have done something, but rather are well on the way to complete decimation of the constitution, ANY human services. Their greed is so blatant and corrupt it sickens me.

The corporations are THRILLED to be moving jobs overseas and will continue to do so UNTIL the wages in THIS country match those in the 3rd world, only THEN, will they begin hiring destitute hungry workers here.

LIBERALS are all that hold the thread of any decency hope alive……………… It is NOT liberals screaming hate and vengeance in talk shows, it is the fabricating O’Reilly’s, Hannity’s, Mormon Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, James Dobsons, Hagees, etc etc etc etc. THAT is where their followers get their inspiration that the enemy is NOT within their own criminal ranks (can you say ROVE?), but in the halls where intellectual thought, spiritual growth, tolerance, hope, inclusiveness are taught. Where equality is embraced.

Don’t get me started…………….

ON A GOOD note, we believe we caught the master adult leader villain raccoon Saturday night. It has been MONTHS since were could leave food out in the big tray feeder at night in hopes of seeing our faithful family of flying squirrels who’ve been our little night visitors for years. I TRIED ONCE again placing seed in the feeder the very next night after believing we were free of Raccoon attacks.

WOW! There it was, even early in the evening about 9:30: a BEAUTIFUL lovely, Flying Squirrel came into the feeder and stayed and stayed…………… She looked so plump, we’re hoping she is expecting.
Hope springs eternal.

Remember OK Rep Right Wing Nut Sally Kern?

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday July 25, 2008

I hope you remembered watching the right-wing religious OK state representative Sally Kern on You Tube describing homosexuals as a bigger threat to American than the Terrorists? She is part of the fundamentalist right-wing conservatives who want to control this country. From Planet Out, this headline yesterday you won’t find in other media. Hm… THIS the kind of woman I want making legislative decisions for me?
= = = = = =

Look out: Sally Kern’s got a gun

Thu Jul 24, 8:02 PM ET

SUMMARY: The anti-gay lawmaker, stopped Wednesday at the statehouse, says she forgot all about the loaded semiautomatic handgun in her purse, a misdemeanor.

A state lawmaker who gained national notoriety with an anti-homosexual rant was stopped from entering the state Capitol on Wednesday when she was found to have a loaded handgun in her purse, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Patrol spokeswoman Chris West said Republican Rep. Sally Kern was not charged because there did not appear to be any “malicious intent” behind her actions.

West also confirmed a second incident in which Kern made it into the building with a gun in June.

Kern complained earlier this year of receiving death threats after an audio clip was posted on YouTube in which she calls homosexuality a bigger threat to the United States than terrorism.

Guns and knives are prohibited in the Capitol and those who enter must pass through an airport-style security checkpoint, including a metal detector and an X-ray machine. It is a misdemeanor to bring a weapon inside.

Kern told The Associated Press that both incidents were simple mistakes. The first time, the weapon got through the security checkpoint, she said. “I got all the way up to my office before I realized I had it, so I reported it,” she said.

On Wednesday, she said she forgot to take the .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun out of her purse after she stopped to talk to a colleague. ”It was an honest mistake from being out of my routine, you know,” she said.

Kern said she had a permit for the gun and had carried it long before the YouTube controversy. (Ron Jenkins, AP)

The Dry Part of Summer in Portland

Bloged in garden,General Home Life,Nature,Oregon,Pacific Northwest by mark Wednesday July 23, 2008

Our brief dry period seems to be under way. The brief glory of the Day Lilies has already past:

AND……..SO………….. Watering the lawn has begun….at least parts of it that are getting seriously brown. Watering the garden will be done about every three days now…..

Animals from the park are moving up here on the hilltops where people have watered gardens and flowers to eat. During the daytime, we are seeing Northwest Blacktail Deer wandering in Ed’s field every 2-3 days, at least one pair of Does.

On our own place, deer have munched heavily on: ALL the nasturtiums growing on the edge of the garden….. daylilly buds, many of them, all new branch growth on weeping pussy willows, raspberries, roses, apple trees, AND the two lovely cally lilly blooms we’ve had. It’s not even August.

Rodger luckily saw a huge 5 point buck near the Smiths…..probably the same one that has eaten all of her roses.

Raccoons are hitting feeders almost every night either here or at the Smiths. Why is that annoying? I forgot to take up the squirrel walnut feeder last night….the raccoon could NOT get those nuts out, so the little feeder was turned every which way, ending up upside down:
and chewed up on the side that the roof will NOT open:


We have finished our Raspberry ventures for the year last week with this purchase from West Union Gardens:

Yep, we do not have as many pure Raspberry jars as last, but have some interesting mixes of Marionberry, Tayberry, and Rasp.

THIS week we will be making, thanks to Mark & Susan sending us some last year, a NEW jam. Granted, it does sound a bit gay doesn’t it? Yep, Blueberry and Blackberries will become the new “Black and Blue” Jam !!!

THEN……..I must get out my To-Do List….there’s so much there, I’m blanking it ALL out quite conveniently. Must go check it now.

How could it be the end of July? It was May about a week ago.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday July 22, 2008


I am still unable to get my head around the speed the days seem to be moving by this summer. We ALL talked about it last night at Monday Swim……….I am not alone and still believe it to be the fact we stayed in so MUCH shade/gray/cloudy/damp spring weather until the END of June that our minds haven’t caught up. But we ARE busy.

We DID spend time at the Cathedral Park JazzFest under the St Johns Bridge Saturday PM with Thomas & Brenda.
Nice chance to relax in the perfect sunlight with breeze to some nice music and visiting. Baird and Karen even showed up for the piano jazz of Randy Porter……. lots of interesting people, nice crowds, kids, dogs, ice cream cones, a perfect summer evening.

Apart from that, it just seems to a never-ending list of little jobs catching up……(to include making jam, the FUN job) and not even beginning the list of BIG summer tasks.

MAYBE one of the garden problems this year (slow growth) is it’s getting over-grown by trees…..I have noted the corn is NOT seeing direct sunlight until after 11:30……as witnessed in this elevated shot:
Hm……….Maybe our landscaping needs some major trimming…………..a BIG job. We KNOW we have to take out two maples in front of the house, and cut MAJOR branches on almost every tree around the yard. Oh well, we haven’t done THAT BIG pruning job for a long time. The two apples get it every year, but not the landscaping trees.

At LEAST the sunsets are spectacular right now:

Rodger’s waiting on more progress in CA on his sister’s estate before we take another trip there to help Dad iron out living quarters somewhere.

We saw LARS and the Real Girl.………………….
After putting off seeing this thing a FEW times despite encouragement from friends, I finally relented. How COULD I find a movie about a love-doll entertaining? Well, I was WRONG………..I cried a bit in this tale for Lars painfully shy condition….and have known a few people who’ve NEVER known love or intimacy. This movie NEVER goes over the top, and plays the entire sometimes silly sounding plot to perfection. HAVE ANY of you seen this? I hope you enjoyed it as we did.

Hopefully, I’ll be more creative next time I write here, I REALIZE I’m not saying anything interesting………my mind is too distracted by LITTLE summer chores. It IS the grasshopper and ant story I think.

The Baghdad Theater Back Stage Bar

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday July 22, 2008

A couple weeks ago, we joined up with John & Toni for dinner at Wild Abandon, a most welcome get-together. We had a fabulous time catching up on their hectic social calendar the last two months, the least of which isn’t the work on their new home up above Hood River facing the back side of mammoth Mt. Hood………

These two have been getting ready for their upcoming nuptials in Ireland for a hectic past two months with visits there, in-laws coming FROM there, gowns being fitted, ALL to be capped with a truly beautiful Irish wedding ceremony in a chapel found in a tiny town, on windy narrow roads that is hundreds of years old. Once the ceremony is complete, many of the guests will walk to the hundreds-year old Irish Pub a few blocks away for a quick cheer, THEN, possibly even walk to the lovely old Hotel where all 90 guests will be feted with dinner and dancing into the night.

If you’d like to read MORE about Toni’s Irish adventures, visit her diary she’s kept mostly so her family in Ireland can keep up with her and John’s wanderings at: Portland Diaries.

WHO wouldn’t want to be invited to that?

The HIGHLIGHT of the evening, however, was us four wandering into the BACK STAGE Bar at one of the McMenamin Brothers restored historic buildings, the Bagdad Theater. This cavernous and literally, Back Part of the old Stage with high enough ceilings that all the curtains when opened disappeared up into these high ceilings opened into quite the inviting pub about 6 months ago:
If you click on the link, be sure to take one of the photo tours….it’s a beautiful spot, restored as only the McMenamin’s seem to do here.

It is certainly one of those quirky old Portland Buildings that’s been preserved and is worth visiting at least ONCE.

On that note, I’m fully intending to get to OAKS PARKsoon on a night the roller skating is in full swing with the big Oaks Park Wurlitzer Theater Organ

It’s a beautifully kept up skating venue:

THAT park has also been open since 1905………….and the Organ should be mighty mighty fun to hear.

Oh well…….I don’t think many people are even left around who have ever HEARD a grand Theater Organ being played by an artist who understand them and make them truly sound glorious as they can. It’s such a sound in my emotional mind that it always brings back memories of something happy in my youth, I’m not just sure what though.

Terror War: The Solution Here.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday July 18, 2008

My eyes welled in a few tears when Baird told me this little story here in Beaverton how Christians and some Muslims are interacting together.

After 9-11, some threats and anger was vented at local Muslims in Beaverton….some were afraid to even leave their homes to go to the store despite they’d lived here a LONG time.

Southminster Presbyterian Church there immediately had a line of volunteers who made contact with these people, got their shopping lists, did their shopping for them, and tried to alleviate their fears about American people.

NOT wanting this interaction to fade away, the two congregations, Muslim and Christian, began meeting together occasionally…..

Muslims would worship with the Christians THEN meet in a hall and discuss life topics in general. ALL family members would be included and kids could ask anything they wanted.

Christians met with the Muslims, THAN………….meet and discuss, laugh, grieve, share.

The outcome?

The common humanity was discovered and friendships are growing out of this effort. One little Muslim girl once asked, “OUR parents are SO strict, they make us come home early at night, dress all modest etc., do YOU Christian kids ever get that from your parents? She and her friends found that the Christian kids were going through the very same struggles as they with parental love.

It struck me as bold and immediate. That would end ALL war IF we tried ONLY to discover our common humanity.


The July view from here: Owls, deer, raccoons, berries, and life.

Bloged in birding,garden,General Home Life,Hummingbirds by mark Tuesday July 15, 2008

Hey! Our roses have had a tough year, and although the city’s roses are mostly spent, ours are just being cut and sniffed at:

1) OWL Update: Regarding our owl mystery………….. There has been a NEW sighting! Rodger posted his news at his page, LUCKY RODGER ! ! ! I was inside the house and missed it. I have NO, none, “0” worries that this owl can possibly thin the chipmunk, squirrel population enough to make a difference in the crowds of them that are feeding under our feeders.

**Think this guy has a chance? If he doesn’t make it, his other 3 dozen cousins can fill in, I’m sure.

I DO worry though that we are NOT seeing any flying squirrels……it just MAY be the fact I reduced the amount of food sitting out there at night because of the fiendish raccoons, of which, we’ve place 2 into the “secret witness relocation program” (moved to a new area that was logged about 20 years ago) …………an accomplishment I would deny to Fish & Game officials who have laws on the books to protect this rascal. As Baird says, “Yes, we all love nature……until it does something we don’t like.”…. Hm.

2) BERRIES! WE have finished our strawberry work, and loved using the NEW Sauvie Island Bridge that was dedicated a couple weeks ago. This thing dwarfs the old one as you can see here………….

ABOUT berries though, we HAVE done SOME canning, and almost gave up waiting for the Cadillac of Raspberries. Up to date, so far, we’ve put away some batches that taste very good:

Fresh froozen Strawberry Jam: 28 cups.
RED Raspberry – from Krueger Farm, 22 cups.
RED COHO Raspberry – from JD Ranch, 16 cups
Blu-Mari (combination Blueberry & Marionberry…..good name, eh?)……. 16 cups
Ras – Mari (comb Rasbperry & Marionberry – frozen)…..5 cups

The GOOD NEWS? I got the word from Farmer Sheryl at West Union Gardens today! Tomorrow mid-morning, I pick up 2-3 flats of yes, the Cadillac of the berry world, Cascade Delights, and the canning of that fabulous berry Jam begins. Melanie’s coming over to do a couple batches for her family, and we’ll finish out our year quota for this lovely fresh tasting jam. The Cascade Delight berry has only BEEN around since 1998………’s a winner if you can find it.

3) Garden Harvest slowly beginning? Well, rhubarb has been cut twice, herbs are being used, thyme dried and stored, oregano will be cut very soon, dried, and stored for later use in Tomatillo Salsa, AND…..we ARE eating lettuce out of the garden from now till fall. I LOVE fresh cut lettuce.

The Potatoes, those little Finnish Fingerlings that volunteer every year will be harvested Monday:
Those drooping, pale vines, tell me, the growing’s done.

4) Marigolds as a natural Mole barrier….. This is the 2nd year I’m testing that claim, and here, mid-July, it is STILL working. NOT ONE MOLE has pawed inside the vegetable garden with these things planted about every 4-6 feet….I’m convinced and will plant them every year….so MUCH easier than fighting them varmints all summer long and the language that creates, hah. The plants don’t LOOK bad either:

5) The garden is just coming into its own, although its progress seems more like late June than mid-July:

The corn is JUST taking off, and that “bare” spot next to it isn’t bare….it’s just the onions are SLOW getting up to speed:

Tomatillos, as always, came up all on their own, and have JUST NOW taken off:
Hot Tomatillo Salsa, anyone?

6). Those pesky DEER! I went out the other morning to find I’d left one corner of the fence open from watering…..woops. A Deer walked inside that opening, BUT…..luckily, the dog discovered him, he mistakenly ran to the closed end and jumped out to cause damaged fencing:


and luckily, the giant sunflower didn’t snap off:

I had to spend an hour or so taking part of it down, getting everything straightened up, and hopefully, he won’t try that again. Hopefully, I won’t leave it open again.

And this shows why we never get raspberries from our yard plants………either birds steal the fruit as it ripens, OR the deer just strip the new branches of every bit of growth:


We’re into our seriously dry NW weather phase………….and the plants are growing fast. That translates to a 1-2 hour watering session by hand twice a week………….I don’t mind it though, it’s the most relaxing time of the day.

7) Hummingbirds. We’re feeding about .8 of a quart daily now………….I believe most of our adult females have gone. I cannot believe it happens that quick.

8) Evening Grosbeaks – SOME are still here, but I don’t think all. I’m hearing a new sort of “chortling” call in the mornings from some of them, and believe it to be the roundup call…….I love these birds and will miss them.

OKAY. There’s work to be done other than jam, so I’d best get that out of the way, eh? Wish you were all here! We’d have some fun, then some good fun, then a little wine, and all laugh at our silly human condition.


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