Oregon or Bust

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Bruce has put in his notice for retirement and we are moving to Oregon in two weeks.  We bought our farm in Roseburg on June 26, 2013 which was the same date as our 37th wedding anniversary.  We sold our house in San Jose this month and we are Oregon bound!

We’ve been slowly moving our things to Roseburg and the house is FULL of boxes.  I’m sure I’ll eventually get it all sorted out but I’m tired of packing and cleaning and sorting and maybe some of those boxes will stay in the basement.  While I was packing up our San Jose house Bruce found a box of drinking glasses and mugs that had never been unpacked from our last move–twenty-three years ago.

Anyway, we are impatiently waiting for the moving out day.  I’ve been thinking lately of all the things that I would  miss about living in California.  This is the second time I’ve lived here.  The first time I was only there for a year and none of my family missed anything about California.  This time though it’s going to be bittersweet.  I’ve lived here for thirty-eight years, the longest by far of any place I’ve lived, and both my children were born here.  So here’s a list of what I’m most going to miss:

1.  All our friends and neighbors.  We may not make it back to California, but we are hoping to have people come and visit us.

2.  Our blueberry bushes.  We planted them before anyone thought they could grow here and they are still going strong, giving us more berries than we can eat.  I loved going out in the morning or late afternoon to pick the berries and sit on the step, look at the garden and take some photos.

3. The absolutely CAN NOT be beat gorgeous weather.  I’m already missing it because it’s been unusually cold in Oregon this year.  It’s never too hot or too cold here,  it never rains in the summer and the humidity is low.  And even though the tourists hate it in the summer, the fog is lovely pouring in over the mountains on a hot summer day broadcasting to us all that cool days are ahead.

4.  The huge diversity of ethnic foods–I love them all!  Why would you ever go to McDonald’s when you can have Greek food, or Thai, or Indian…?  So far, though, we’ve found a wonderful Thai restaurant in Winston, the next town over.  It’s called Hello Thai, http://www.hello-thai.com/.   It’s a super cute place with the most delicious food from Chef Donny.  If you live in the area, please go eat there, because I want this place to stay open!  We also found an Indian restaurant called Shanti’s Indian Cuisine, 780 NW Garden Valley Boulevard, Roseburg, which has excellent Indian food and they will make it mild for people like me who hate spicy hot food.

Well, that’s the short list–I’m sure I’ll think of others after we move.

I thought I would also list what I think I’m going to like about living in Oregon:

1.  LOTS of space with no neighbors.  I really do like my neighbors in San Jose, but I’ve always wanted to live out in the country.  We looked for a place in the Santa Cruz mountains near San Jose but that giant earthquake in 1989 put an end to that idea.

2.  No more putting up with the San Jose City government.  I’m not saying Roseburg will be better, but it surely can’t be worse?  Get it together San Jose!

3.  A much smaller population–going from 900,000 people, just in San Jose, to 20,000 in Roseburg.  Maybe I’ll actually start getting out on the weekends instead of staying home to avoid the traffic and crowds.

4.  The abundance of wildlife on our farm.  We have some here in SJ, but not anything like elk and deer.

5.  From what we hear there is an abundance of wildflowers that bloom in the spring on our farm and we’re really looking forward to seeing them.

6.  The unbelievably clean roadsides in Oregon, with almost zero trash and no weeds.  Of course, the fine for littering is over $6,000 (not a typo) but it seems to be working.

6.  Last, but not least, we’ll be living closer to Sara, our eldest daughter.  We thought we would see her more often when she moved to the Portland area, but getting on a plane is a pain.  Now, we’ll be just a 3 hour drive away, just like when she lived in Fresno.  So we can drive up to see her AND go to Portland (sorry Fresno, there’s no love for you).

So, we’ll be sad to leave California behind, but Bruce and I are looking forward to some great new adventures in a new land.  Just as soon as we get those boxes unpacked!

On our February trip to Oregon we saw that the ponds were full and the wildlife were taking full advantage.  Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Two Canada geese flew in for a short stay.

Canada Geese-Feb2014

Canada Geese2-Feb2014

Four deer criss-crossed around the pond several times.  We noticed that at least one of them has a collar and ear tag.

Deer2-Feb2014

Deer4-Feb2014

Deer5-Feb2014

Four of these ducks swam in the pond all day–3 males and one female.  They are Green-winged teals, anas cardinensis.  They are a common duck of sheltered wetlands and widespread in northern North America.  They are the smallest of the dabbling ducks (feeds on vegetable matter by upending on the water surface, or grazing and rarely diving).  Highly gregarious, they will form into large flocks.  They have a chestnut head with a green eye patch and a vertical white stripe on the side of the breast.  (Wikipedia)

Green-winged Teal-Feb2014

Here are the upper and lower ponds, full of water.

Lower Pond-Feb2014

Upper Pond-Feb2014

There were a lot of these cute little birds feeding on the ground next to the kitchen.  It is an Oregon Junco, the last bird bearing the state’s name.  It is now part of a larger group called the Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis.  The dark hood identifies the species.  The male has pinkish-brown sides and the female has a gray head, but they both have pink bills and white outer tail feathers.  They feed on insects and seed and forage on the ground.  One of the most common birds in Oregon, they can be found in the understory of coniferous forests during breeding season.  They nest on the ground, usually under a fallen log or shrub.  Their song is a sweet trill of rapidly delivered notes that vary in frequency.  (The Oregon Encylopedia, Stewart James)  Perhaps you can see in the photo where the deer have been nibbling on the green plant shoots.

Oregon Junco-Feb2014

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5 thoughts on “Oregon or Bust

  1. We will miss you and your prolific gardens here, Susan and Bruce. Maybe a few of the skunks and opposums will follow you northward…I could use a little less urban wildlife around here!

  2. We just moved to Roseburg a couple of months ago from So Cal (Corona) and are going through all that you are. 😀 One thing about all the deer that I just realized is not so nice…deer ticks. The dog takes laps up the hill and comes in with ticks. Ick! It hasn’t been that cold…just that nasty spell in Dec. Finally starting to rain. And I too got to where I never went anywhere because of the horrible traffic. Looking forward to nicer weather so we can take some drives. And I have crocus and daffodils coming up everywhere. Need to check if you have a facebook pg…mine is Wing Shadow Farm.

    • I was thinking of letting our cat go outside, since we have a super cat door, but what with the cougar sightings, deer ticks and who knows what else, I guess she’ll just have to enjoy the farm from inside. We do have a facebook page, Gravens Gardens. I’ll look you up.

    • Barbara, I should also give you our other facebook page–Bruce Gravens. We use that one much more, the other is more garden related. I like your page. I was surprised to see all the flowers on your farm. I wasn’t expecting any until maybe April.

  3. I made my cat stay inside for a month to get oriented. Started letting her out with supervision and she is doing fine now…staying close by. I have not seen any ticks on her (do keep Frontline on both the dog and cat) so I’m hoping the ticks climb up higher on the bushes than she is. Have not heard of any cougars on this side of the valley. Hoping that won’t be a problem!

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