A Hazy Trip to Oregon

Air Museum in TillamookCampingCrater LakeCrater LakeSquirrel on Wizard IslandCrater LakePhantom ShipPhantom ShipDevil's Punch BowlWizard IslandWizard IslandHikingHikingMultnomah FallsMultnomah FallsHiking in OregonOneonta GorgeOneonta GorgeSalt & StrawPotrait on West CoastJelly FishJelly FishOregon Coast AquariumOregon CoastNana's Pot PieCooper Mountain Chicken


I took another trip to Oregon this August, and it was an even grander adventure than my one in November 2013, this time I was able to bring my husband with me. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is an easy thing to miss here on the Plains. It was overcast and raining most of our trip; we even had to pitch tents in the rain and hail.

Some of our adventures on our trip included:

  • Cooper Mountain Vineyard This wine tasting was delicious and informative. My favorite was the dessert wine. I brought some back to drizzle over fruit, so good!
  • Distillery Row (Our top pick was Rolling River Spirits. They only have vodka, but it was the best one we had and the cocktail they made was delectable)
  • Salt & Straw Very interesting  ice cream flavors. My favorite was pear and blue cheese. There is also other flavors such as carrot & watermelon sorbet, bone morrow & smoked bourbon cherries, and more normal flavors like sea salt & caramel, chocolate & brownies.
  • Blue Star Donuts More interesting flavors for the palette: blueberry basil, passion-fruit with cocoa nibs (my favorite), bacon maple, lemon poppy seed, blueberry pistachio, raspberry old fashion, and more traditional glazed and sugar and spice.
  • Multnomah Falls I visited this waterfall last time, and did the same hike on the Wahkeena loop. Full of a variety of springs and waterfall. If you can hike 5 miles I highly recommend.
  • Oneonta Gorge This was a new hike for me, and it was amazing but definitely challenging with the log jam, and deep pools of water (which was really cold even though the weather was in the 90s). Definitely put this place on your bucket list.
  • Crater Lake  |   camping  |   tour of the lake & Wizard Island This was incredible! Too bad that it was hazy and stormy most of our visit. I would love to give crater lake another chance to wow me with its beauty. A crystal clear lake with stunning natural phenomenon. This volcano has the deepest lake in North America, waterfalls, Wizard Island, Phantom Ship, Witches’ Cauldron, Devil’s Backbone and just so much to offer. Take the the boat tour if you can afford it and if you can hike the 700 ft elevation of the steep rim.
  • Devil’s Punch Bowl Another hazy visit, but a surprising natural marvel. We visited at high tide when the bowl was full, but I think if you visit at low tide you can walk through it and explore.
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium A very nice aquarium full of the wonders of the Oregon Coast. This is expensive for a large group to visit it, but you can often find coupons online. Located in Newport this is is a few hours for the Portland area.
  • Nana’s Irish Pub Best food we had in Oregon. This pub is in Newport  and is definitely worth the drive from Portland.
  • Nye Beach One last hazy visit to the beach before we headed back. The fog was thick and was not able to see the Pacific clearly, but is very typical Oregon trip to the beach.

See the flickr album for all of my photos from my amazing trip.

We Have Power!

Our aging house is full of mismatched outlet, and it is a pretty simple repair job to make our home more cohesive.

Tools you need:

Multi-meter screwdriver needle nose pliers

Steps:Turn the power breaker off

1: Make sure you turn off the breaker to the room you will be working on

Make sure to check that your power is off2: If you have an older house like mine, you probably should check that the outlets are actually off. My breaker is poorly labeled and the house is wired oddly. Sometimes the outlets in a bedroom are also connected to the fridge or the garage. You will put 1 of each prongs in each side of the outlet. Make sure the power registers zero.

5 wires: positive, negative, ground3: Once you are sure the power is off unscrew the face plate, then unscrew the outlet from the wall.

4: Pull out the outlet and you will have anywhere from 3 to 7 wires. At least 1 black, 1 white, and 1 ground. You can loosen the screws for all of the connected wires, and pull the wires away from the outlet.

5: Now with you new outlet putting it back together is pretty simple. Black wires always go to the brass screws, white white go on the other side, and the greenish blue screw is where the ground wire loops around. You will loop the exposed  ends of the wire around the screws and then tighten the screws down.

Fixing and Out: Black to Brass

6: You can now fold the wires back to the wall, and insert the two screws on the top and bottom of the outlet to tight. Try to eyeball it to keep it flat and straight. You will be able to tell for sure that you did it right when you add the outlet cover. If its not straight you can always take back of the cover and adjust accordingly.

Finished outlet!7: Once you have the outlet all screwed back together you can now turn back on the power. If you did not wire it correctly when you flip the breaker it will pop back to off.

Working with electricity is not for everyone, so if you do not feel safe call a professional.

Rhubarb Cake

I love rhubarb, and we planted some in the garden last year. This is the first year we have been able to harvest it. I love this rhubarb cake recipe, and it has become more special because I grew the hero of this dish in my own backyard. I like to make this recipe in two 8″ pans so that I can have one for home, and another to take and share.


Rhubarb Cakerhubarb cake

1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
4 cups diced rhubarb (roughly 1 lb)


1/4 c brown sugar
1.5 Tb butter
1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8″  round pans.
  • In a bowl mix together you dry ingredients. Now add the egg and sour cream, then fold in the rhubarb. The mixture will be thick. Pour into the pans, evenly.
  • In a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the topping. Sprinkle over the two cakes.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.