Posts Tagged With: getaways


Yesterday, we left Stephenson, WA and drove to Vancouver.  I spent two hours at the Maryhill Museum and thought I’d display some of their ceramics and glassware. The collection is not massive. They also have a crafts collection. The beaded vase above is the only item that “spoke” to me from the collection which had a mix of furnishings, jewelry and other objects.

One case contained a collection of antique glassware like the vase above. Some beautiful stuff worth a trip out if its your favorite “thing.” I have a friend who collects antique glass and its lovely, delicate, highly prized stuff.

Ceramics are among my favorite things. The collection here isn’t extensive and I may have snapped a picture of  every pot and bowl they had. What’s nice is they are all originals.

A sculpin fish teapot was my favorite.

My friend Donna Voorhees makes similar lidded bowls and I own one. I use it for one thing, to make bread pudding. Somehow, the bread pudding, my own recipe, turns out best when baked in this type of  bowl.

I own a yellow bowl, not as pretty as this plate. Yellow is one of my favorite colors and not all that common with ceramicists. Mine I use for pasta dishes with a cream base and a sprig of bright green garnish.

This piece has a lot of character and appears to be Adam and Eve enjoying the fruits of their table.

Glass work I know nothing about except that it takes a special type of furnace to work with it. The results are beautiful. The Maryhill collection was quite conservative. I’ve seen spectacular fused glass in galleries all over the U.S. that appeal to me.  The vase, (below) was wonderfully iridescent, fused, my favorite from the collection and I’d like to take it home.

The next couple days, I will be visiting with Damiann Kegney, a friend of my son’s.

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On our three capes drive, we entered the town of Tillamook. Everyone knows this place is home to a huge cheese industry. I don’t remember how many people they employ nor the number of dairy farms in the area. We were hungry and asked at the local Eagles Club for a recommendation for a seafood restaurant. We were sent to this ramshackle, roadside, fish stand that sells  basic eats, fish & chips, fish burger, crab salad, fresh oysters, etc. about 10 different items. It’s located directly across the highway from the cheese factory.  On each of the four little tables were three or more choices of hot sauce. I tried three of them on my great cod burger but the Irazu, a volcanic hot sauce made from “ghost peppers” was stunningly good and, I do like it hot. I know there are hotter sauces available, because this place has almost every one made, except, one of our favorites, Marie Sharps Habanero.  Here is a sampling:

When the cook noticed I’d tried the Irazu, he said, ” We have ghost peppers here. We make jerky out of it.”  He brought over a jar of them and carefully offered me a sniff.

I took a light sniff being careful, then the ghost factor kicks in. You don’t smell them at first, then the heat hits your nose. Ghost pepper is just a nickname for some hot peppers that, as the sauce names hint, are potent as in  Death, Pecker Pucker, Hemorrhoid Cleaner, and other colorful names.  What a hoot!  I could kick myself for not picking up  some Irazu, but we have one unopened bottle of  Blitz we bought in Louisiana last year, and our Marie Sharps is 3/4 full yet.

Cheese at Tillamook is excellent stuff.  They allow you to sample it. They don’t go in for anything fancy, just basic cheeses, milk, yogurt, and ice cream.  My last visit to a cheese factory was in Pleasanton, CA. in the 50’s where you watched the curds and whey being hand paddled by a guy with huge muscles. The strong smell of sour milk was enough to make you temporarily give up cheese. Here everything is stainless steel, climate controlled, automated, super clean and fascinating to watch the assembly lines. First formed into 30 pound blocks, then cut to the various sizes. Any uneven bits of cheese, or mistakes in the packaging go into a bin for shredded cheese.

Four  separate lines on this floor cut medium cheddar, sharp cheddar into one and two-pound sizes.  Without stopping the new sized cheese runs into the automatic wrapping and vacuum packaging machines. Each line sends up one package per second. Now that’s a lot of cheese.  We stopped in their restaurant  for a dish of high quality ice cream.

Our last stop of the day, mainly just a drive by, was a look at one of the largest timbered structures in the world. It was used to house blimps in the days when blimps looked like the new mode of air travel.

We’ll return someday to do the air museum housed here.

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Both the boys and Grandma are delighted every time we have occasion to visit Stories In Stones, a local business in Angels Camp owned by Pam and Russ Shoemaker.
Its Owen and Theo’s favorite store.

From the giant grizzly bear skeleton to giant trilobites, the fossils here of all kinds fascinate them. What’s nice is that Pam and Russ are so willing to inform and educate the kids about everything in the store as well.

A giant geode taller than a ten and eight year old is like an old friend. Worth a small fortune, they are always glad it hasn’t sold and they get to see it one more time.

Their favorite room is the wholesale room even though they have to pay more for their purchases than the listed “wholesale” price. They understand wholesale and retail pricing. Theo came away with a geode pocket in a polished wood base and Owen bought an emerald sphere on a small tripod stand. Such treasures.
We bummed around town a bit before going to Moaning Cave. They’ve been to Mercer a couple times but never Moaning. Theo shuddered a bit at the hand winder that at one time lowered people into the unknown depths in a half barrel “bucket” holding a candle. And, at the skull of a 12 year old girl who fell into the cave during a  distant, unknown past. We enjoyed watching the rappelling while waiting for our walking tour.

The winder-

The skull and other human bones and artifacts. It is now against the law to remove remains from caves. After taking the cave tour, we proceeded to the little gold mining town of Columbia, which is also a California State Park.

A cool way to spend the hot afternoon, playing around in the gold panning trough. No sign of any gold, but they found little pieces of gem stones that are almost as pretty as gold, while the boys were as good as gold. Nope, better than gold.
Before breakfast this morning, Theo picked plums from the tree on the deck with Aunt Dawn. He hopes his mom will make cake with them.

Its a wild plum that just grew. Tasty but small. Just right for little boys.

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