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Five simple things


Hope you and yours had a wonderful eclipse Monday and enjoyed either totality or partial. We here in Oregon got one heck of a show! Honestly, I've told many people already, it doesn't matter what words I use to describe it, it will never be enough. Seeing total eclipse in person was amazing! I am so glad The Bean, The Mr., and I got to experience something so great and for some people, a once in a lifetime experience. We have always been stargazers and this just adds to our bucket list of things we want to experience. For the rest of the week we were all on eclipse high and had a great week. Although, nothing else seemed to compare to the eclipse, we did have a pretty groovy week. So here are the things that made it great!

1. Prayer flags

With so much hate and hurt happening all over the world lately, we hung our prayer flags outside again. I had taken them down and this time decided to put them out and leave them out. These flags wave in the wind and send prayers where needed from the script written on the flags. Hopefully, if only one prayer, it will help, or heal someone out there that needs it.
You can get yourself some prayer flags here.

2. Golf practice

The Mr. invited The Bean and I to go play golf with him and a coworker. The Bean has been working on his swing and lineup coordination lately and I needed to work on my driving. We had a great time and The Mr. was able to get some practice in before his annual company golf tournament.

3. Solar eclipse

We enjoyed the solar eclipse here in the Willamette Valley, along with many others that were along the path of Totality. We couldn't have asked for a better show and the fun we had in our own backyard will go down in the books! Check out our experience here.

4. Mightnest's Mightyfix

Mightnest this month was a bit on the "need" side instead of the "want." We actually did need new cloth dinner napkins and some probiotics to flush out some of bad bacteria in our guts lately. Of course, those two things were an addon, but the actually item for this month's shipment was the Full Circle dish brush. Definitely can always use a dish brush, so this was a nice addition. As for the dinner napkins, when I ordered them I didn't realize they were from a company based in Albany, Oregon. Oh, Little Rabbit is a husband and wife team that make home goods and apparel in small batches. The dinner napkins are handmade, and eco-friendly-with 100% cotton, so that is a plus. We love them already and used them with dinner last night. The print on them fits in nicely with our dinning table too.

5. New carpet

We got new voc-free carpet for our area in the back of the house we like to refer to as, "the tv room," "den," etc. This new carpet has low vocs and feels great under bare feet. It's just what this space needed and The Mr. has already taken a nap on it and can vouch it's a win!

Have a great weekend!

Our 2017 eclipse from the Willamette Valley

We were in a prime location for the total solar eclipse and boy, did we get a show. I will be honest, and I've said it before, there are really now descriptive words to explain what we saw. It was really the neatest thing to witness live and those that had only partial view, or crescent view, it is not even close to what we had with total eclipse. We are going to be on an eclipse high for the rest of the week and there isn't a whole lot that can compare to our eclipse experience here in Oregon. The Mr. and I have already started making plans to be in Arkansas for 2024's total eclipse. Of course, we will be in our 60s, but hey, it's never too early to make travel plans, right? Here's a recap of our Monday-Totality Eclipse experience.

We first grab us some "Eclipse cookies" from the new bakery in our town called Rodriguez Bakery.

The Mr. and I started getting Emergency alert messages on our phones about the eclipse. Which, was kind of funny to us because of what some of the messages said. The first one that we got was warning of fire danger and at the rate of the way the Sisters, Oregon, fire is going, it was to be expected with this public warning. The second one, talked of climbers getting a better view of the eclipse and could get lost, slip, or get hurt otherwise and warned of falling rocks. The last one though, was sort of comical to us. It warned of looking at the sun directly and to wear protective eye wear. The only reason we found this one silly was because of the warnings that have been literally being blared on the radio, television, and even other people talking for the last month. But I guess overall, it's not a bad idea to "remind" people again.

We got our protective glasses on and started seeing first contact of the moon with the sun. PITA is always game for a little fun. 

The Mr. took some binoculars and got a great view of the crescent through the lenses. We had to turn them around backwards to view the sun. It was a great chance for The Bean, especially to get a good view of the eclipse at the crescent shape. This was before totality happened, so we played around a lot with the different ways to view it. Our pinhole box didn't pick up the view as well as the binoculars did. 

I was in full on amazement when totality hit and the temperature where we were in the Valley went from about 72 degrees down to 49 degrees. It got dark quick, but our solar lights kept it from going completely dark on us. It was really the neatest things I've ever seen in the sky, and we are a stargazing family! I was able to get a quick snap with my Nikon camera before it completely went away. This is probably the best photo of the night through all of our camera we were using. 

This is the view that my cell phone was able to capture, it wasn't clear, but it sure did get a good shot of the moon over the sun. 

After totality and after we all came down from our eclipse high, I was able to snag this picture with my cell phone through the solar eclipse glasses. 

We really did have a great view here in the Willamette Valley, but in Arkansas they were able to see a crescent shape for a few minutes and my brother, Will, and sister-in-law, Kayla shared their experience of the Eclipse with us. The Mr. told them to be sure to wear their foil hats like us and this was the picture they sent back to us...

They even put one on baby Henry! Ha! We loved it!

Their crescent shape was pretty clear through the cereal box viewer my brother made. 

It was a great experience and I am so glad The Bean was able to see it and enjoy it with us, and we were able to share all of our pictures with my family in Arkansas. The next total solar eclipse is supposed to happen in 2024 with Arkansas being in the line of Totality. We have already been making plans to be there for that one too!

...And the traffic afterward...

Five simple things


We have been gearing up here for the eclipse on Monday. The Mr. took the day off because it's supposed to get a little crazy here. The highways in and out of the Willamette Valley are supposed to be bumper to bumper with people parked along the sides of the road the morning of the eclipse, just to get a peek of this "possible" once in a lifetime event.  The Mr. and I have always been "self proclaimed" preppers, so we have stocked up on some essentials that we think we might need before, during, and even after the eclipse is over. Just so we don't have to go anywhere for a few days. Honestly, people have already been setting up their spots for camping for the eclipse and the town we live in has already seen an influx of people flooding in with their campers and RVs, and we are hoping the town is ready for the gain in temporary population for this Monday.

If you haven't started preparing for the event, better get on that this weekend, or better yet, today! The Mr. and I made a list of eclipse-prep items that we feel we need, but some of these may help you get ready too:

1. Waters filled: We have two three-gallon and two five-gallon water containers that we fill regularly. The city water where we live is less than appealing, so on our weekly trips to Corvallis, Oregon, for food and supplies, we fill all four of them-equaling 11 gallons total for drinking water. We made sure to have plenty of water on hand for the eclipse and filled our bottles early.

2. Dry goods: I always like to have certain dry goods on hand, regardless of what's going on outside our home-Solar Eclipse, brain-eating zombies, you know, the norm. I like to have essentials like, flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, dried beans, corn meal, wheat flour, pasta, coffee, granola, cereal, popcorn, humus mix, refried bean mix, white and brown rice-to name a few. Always buy these items in organic to avoid any traces of "Monsanto's hands" being in your mixes. We always keep these in jars and fill them at the store using our own containers. It really does help doing it this way to cut down on waste.

3. Refrigerated goods: Having a few staples on hand isn't a bad idea. I like to keep these things to a minimum when "occasions" arise, but I doubt we will get an apocalypse during the eclipse, so it's a good idea to have a few of these at the ready. Items like, milk, butter, yogurt, pickles, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, orange juice (or other type of juice), grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, sugar snap peas, celery, condiments-ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, bbq sauce, salad dressing, etc., wheat flour tortillas (I like to keep two large bags of these because you can always roll things up in a tortilla, or in a pinch cut them into triangles and make homemade chips with them), jam, and we like to have on hand some fog city salad for a quick bite on the go, or just to add to a meal. It's delicious, healthy, and can be made with all organic ingredients.

4. Freezer goods: This is the part of the fridge to keep long-term items. We like to keep items such as, hamburger meat x3, chicken breasts x4, salmon patties x3, frozen peas and beans that we grew in our garden, frozen mangoes, frozen corn, frozen strawberries, frozen juice x3, hamburger buns (yes we keep our hamburger buns in the freezer because the ones we buy don't have preservatives and they go bad soon if we don't use them within a few days of buying them). Also, we keep our compost bin in here, just to cut down on flies and smell. Ice packs, and a small bag of ice is also a stable in our freezer.

5. Other: We also like to keep items like, peanut butter, honey, chips, tea bags, dried mangoes, peanuts, chocolate-covered coffee beans and raisins, regular raisins,  tomato soup x2, macaroni and cheese x4, bread, etc.

Of course, this list works for our family, but you can alter it in any way you need to be prepared for any occasion. Now keep in mind, these are staples that we keep in the cabinet at all times. Once we use something up, we replace it quickly on our next shopping trip. Having things on hand, like the list above, can really help you stay on your game if you ever need stuff in a pinch. If you are a last-minute person, then by all means grab your stuff the day of and rock it! Just be prepared for other last-minut'ers and get ready for lines and waiting.-Especially, the roads.

If you need more direction on preparing for the coming eclipse, you can get ideas here and here.

So, with that said, here are the things that made this week great!

1. This road trip

This past week The Mr., The Bean, and I went on a little road trip over to eastern Oregon. We went over mainly to see some land we were interested in and made a weekend of it. We also wanted to check out some more camp spots on the Cascades and we found just what we wanted. While we were in eastern Oregon we decided to see what Mount Bachelor looked like this time of year. The sun was setting when we got there, but the Bachelor looked great standing tall in front of the fading sunset.

2. These camping spots




We found a few more places to add to our camping list this coming fall. We are extremely excited about Trout Creek. It seemed like just the right kind of place to camp in the middle of the Cascade forest. Some of the locations had some amazing views! 

While we were checking out the different camp sites, The Bean decided to give every one of the water pumps at each location a try.

3. This land

We have been looking at plots of land in Eastern Oregon and this one above was one of them. We liked the area and how secluded and private it was, but the only issue is, it's listed as recreation property. We have considered buying for that purpose, but we would like to secure some land for living purposes as well. 

4. These boxes

Yogi Surprise hit it again this month with the Lifestyle Box and the Jewelry Box. Look how awesome the items were in this month's boxes. The theme this month was "Giving Back" and everything in the box was part of an effort to either donate to a cause or help a cause with the purchase of their items. You can grab a box here.

5. Last, but definitely not least are, these glasses

We are ready and waiting for the Solar Eclipse here. The Bean has been putting his glasses to full use this past week. I requested three pairs from Travel Oregon and the best part, they were free. The State of Oregon was prepared for the Solar Eclipse and added as part of their Oregon State Parks Guides and State Trip Planner. The glasses came with a Solar Eclipse Guide and a parks and recreation guide on the best places to camp. The entire booklet came in handy for us because of our planning more road trips this fall and it will help us find some great camp spots. 

Have a great and safe weekend and enjoy the Solar Eclipse!

Five simple things


We have had the worst time here in the Willamette Valley with smoke from the wildfires that flank us all around. There's one burning in Medford, Oregon, one near Detroit Lake, one in the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, and another one in Easter Oregon near Bend, Oregon. There's a lot of smoke here from the British Columbia fires too. The breathing conditions here are less than okay. Our eyes are so red and they burn from time to time. This summer has been a hot one here and we hope the wildfires can get under control. One a positive note, we had a little bit of lightning last night and a bit of rain fell about 2:00 a.m. The sidewalk outside our front door was a bit wet, but as soon as the sun came up it was dry. Here's hoping we will get some more showers sooner than later. With that, here are the things that made this week great!

1. This skyline

Believe it or not, those aren't all clouds. Some of that in the sky is smoke. The sun setting on it though made it look pretty. I almost feel guilty posting that it was pretty because of how bad the conditions are where the wildfires are. Hopefully, they will get some relief soon.

2. This view

This is a shot of downtown Brownsville, Oregon. This is the area of the town where parts of Stand By Me was filmed. This day and this view reminded me of the scene where River Phoenix and Will Wheaton's characters come out of the store and are confronted by Kiefer Sutherland. With the older-style truck out front it took me back to that movie at that moment. Stand By Me Day is every year here on July 23(If you remember, another movie was filmed here that The Bean was part of)

3. This kid

The Bean had his state test on Thursday and he is now an eighth grader. I am so proud of him and the young man he is becoming, but it's hard to think of him as an eighth grader already. Unbelievable! The Mr. and I sometimes look at each other and say, "how did this happen so quickly..."

4. This house

A historic home here in Lebanon caught fire and was a total loss. This town doesn't have a lot of historical homes left, so this one is quite a sad one. It was built around 1912 and was part of the historical housing system here in the town. Unfortunately, homes built in this time period didn't have fire stops and once it hit the walls the house was completely engulfed in flames. Such a shame.

5. This smoke

And lastly, speaking of flames, we've been dealing with quite a lot of wildfires here and the breathing conditions are getting worse. As I stated above, these conditions have made the burning eyes one of the worse complaints here, especially in our home. We are keeping fingers crossed for some rain and a little bit of wind to help blow some of these smoky skies away. The sign below should tell you how bad it has gotten here in Oregon and other parts the last few weeks. Our family will definitely be doing a rain dance in the coming days.

Have a great weekend!