Thursday, December 17, 2009


For a while now, I'm been contemplating my next professional step in life. Quitting my job as a Medical Technologist to be a stay-at-home mom has been such a wonderful thing, but as my kids get older I know I'll eventually get back into the work force. Not that I'm in any hurry or anything, but I do miss the money, the adult company, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done. Being a good mom, after all doesn't really pay the bills, and doesn't come with any sick leave or vacation time.

Soooo, I have tried on several different "hats" along the way, selling stuff on eBay, etsy, and craft shows, volunteering as a cub scout leader, a drama club leader, classroom aid, etc... I've read books, explored Internet sites, and recently I checked out a book from the library about career choices. The most recent thing I stumbled across was the Myers Briggs personality test. For those of you not knowledgeable about it, it breaks down personality types into 16 different types, based on 4 "type preferences: (Introversion vs Extroversion) (Sensing vs iNtuition) (Thinking vs Feeling) (Judging vs Perceiving). I took this test and got the answer "ISFJ". Reading about this personality type has been very interesting! And guess what... one of the top vocations for ISFJ's is medical technology. Seems as though I did my homework well many years ago when I decided to pursue this career. I took the same test in college even further back, and haven't a clue as to what I got back then, but this time around it really pegs me well.

Among other things, research says ISFJ's have the desire to serve others and to need to be needed. Can you say "doormat"?

We're also very loyal. Chris was happy to hear this ;-). We're "methodical and accurate", with "very good memories and analytic abilities"... sounds like a "med tech" to me! Uncomfortable in supervisory roles, yes, notoriously bad at delegating, yes, and good with people in small groups and one on one, yes... Families are the center of their lives, and they have high work ethics., with a few close friends, yep, yep, yep. Good career matches are religious work (my dad would have loved that), nursing, medicine, clerical, shopkeeping and home making.

I don't know why I was surprised to find that the career I had previously picked is still a good match for me, but apparently it is. I do enjoy "med-teaching", but for a mother of young children, it was and still is almost incompatible with finding childcare. With a husband who fights fire and is on call several months out of the year, my 24/7/365 hospital schedule isn't exactly what we can do right now, but hopefully in the future I'll be able to get back to it. I guess I was hoping to figure out a job I can do at home that involves my hobbies and interests (sewing, being outdoors, blogging (LOL), photography). Maybe I still can, but for now I'm letting my hobbies be just that... hobbies... Other than the demanding schedule, the stress and hazards that come with med-teching, medical technology work is extremely satisfying, mentally challenging, well-paid, and in high demand. I almost never had to take work home with me, and working within a medical team to help patients just made me feel good! I have always loved science, and the physical nature of the job fit me too (no desks to sit behind... just the occasional microscope or computer screen).

The test and reading about ISFJ also gave me a lot of insight into why I do the things I do. I know I have to take it with a grain of salt, but all in all, it was a very enlightening exercise.

So what about you? What type are you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Under the weather

I'm afraid I've been a bit under the weather lately. But I think I'm turning the corner. I've also been swamped with the usual Christmas hustle and bustle... getting cards done, presents made, and eBay packages, from recent sales sent out.

Speaking of weather, Pendleton got hit pretty hard with a winter storm over the week-end and first part of the week. I think we got 4-6 inches by the time it was all over, but then we got freezing rain that coated already slick surfaces with ice. What a mess! I learned that I need a drivable car ASAP! Today I bought chains for the Honda, and after Christmas (and my root canal), we're going to try to get the Subaru fixed, so I'll have 4-wheel drive again. I'm so glad I'm not having to get to a hospital job like I was previously in Oregon. Oh, and apparently Pendleton does not have a snow plow. Curious... They do have a truck that comes and spreads sand and rocks, but that's it!

Sooo.... I got all of our snow clothes out over the week-end, and thought I'd share with you my own weather indicator. It's my boots!

You see, the length goes up as the weather gets worse, and snow gets deeper. In Michigan, the first pair of boots only got worn in the Fall and Spring. The other 2 pairs were worn during the Winter, which was pretty much 6 months out of the year. I consider myself fortunate here to have only JUST dug these out this year. I'm not sure I'll wear my big black pair here in Pendleton, unless we go into the mountains. I use these for my snow shoes too. Today, I have on the middle pair, as there is still a lot of slush on the ground, but it's melting fast! There's just nothing worse than stepping gout of the car and having your shoes fill up with cold slush!

That said, here's some pictures of our recent winter wonderland. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

The first Friday of every month is free open admission at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, just an exit off I-84, East of Pendleton, on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. I decided to go with the kids as soon as school was out last Friday to take advantage of this.

What an incredible place this is! The word "Tamastslikt", means "interpreter". In the 90 minutes or so that we spent there we learned so much about the native people of this region and their rich history. The museum is arranged in a circular path inside a large round part of the building, that tells the tale of the native people from 10,000 years ago, up until the present and future. It is beautifully done, and is a sensual treat to hear and see. There are no photos allowed to be taken, so you'll just have to come see it for yourself. It's an attraction here that should not be missed!

The kids were impressed by the speakers hidden throughout the museum that had recorded oral history stories from native people. There was also a lot of beautiful sounds of nature throughout the exhibits. Being the seamstress that I am, I was really impressed at the amazing robes and intricate beaded clothing and attire that were displayed throughout the museum, as well as some of the basketry weaving.

All of us were stunned at the brutality of much of the historical treatment of the native people as settlers came to their land. As a mother, the pictures and stories of their children being sent off to boarding schools was particularly disturbing. Seeing the exhibits and hearing the stories was a valuable lesson learned for all of us, and gave us new respect and concern for not only the native people of this area and other areas, but a renewed respect for how to treat and protect the land so that it protects us. Despite our collective histories, the story that continues is one of hope and co-operation.

The museum has an additional space for temporary exhibits as well as events and meeting held throughout the year. With such an incredible resource so close, I know I'll be returning soon!

La Grande and the Blue Mountains

This week-end, we once again got sick of unpacking, and headed to the mountains. This time we went a bit further on I-84, to La Grande, OR. This sleepy town is home of Eastern Oregon University, and is just over the pass from Pendleton. I say it's sleepy, because we went on a Sunday, and there was hardly anything open, including a very alluring brew pub, Mt Emily Ale House. But we did drive by the University, as well as the downtown area.

After lunch, we headed back into the Blue Mountains to find some snow, explore, find a spot to take a family picture, get Biko and the kids some exercise, and yes, Chris did a bit of elk scouting...

It certainly is a lot different that Southern Oregon, even Eastern Southern Oregon, where I lived for a brief 12 weeks many many years ago. But it's beautiful, and full of new places, and things to see.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanks for the award!

I just wanted to thank my friend, Laura for passing along the "Honest Scrap" Blogging Award to me! It is awarded to bloggers for their honesty, and asks that the award recipient (moi) pass it along to 5 other honest bloggers, link back the the award giver (I JUST figured out how to do out...), post it in a blog, and to disclose 5 honest things about myself. Whew! I'll try my best...

I must admit that this feels a bit like a chain letter, which leads me to personal fact 1. I don't ever respond to chain letters, and rarely ever forward any email that has been forwarded to me. Sorry to all of the friends who have sent me these....

But I feel incredibly honored that Laura sent this my way. So I'll pass this along to a few folks. Since I am very new to blogging (thanks mostly to Laura), I only know of a handfull of blogs, but I'll try to come up with 5....

I just have to send it to Dan, Laura's husband, who is yes, honest. For my own intentions, though, I'd love to get some "dish" on him (pun intended). His blog, "Wooing with Food" has some mighty fine recipes, and maybe this will motivate him to post some more (hint hint).

I love reading about my "cyber friend", Beth, whom I "met" on an on-line quilting group. I started reading her blog when she was living in South Africa for a month. Her photos are incredible!

She has a link on her blog to another blog site I've been enjoying also: 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs, by Leah Day. She is a young quilter who is incredibly talented. I can't wait to try some of her design ideas, once I get my sewing machine going again.

And talk about honest... My old high school friend, Robin, whom I discovered recently on Face book (or did she discover me?), has a blog too, "Do You Know What Causes That". It's been fun catching up with her after many many years. She's a Pregnancy Childbirth Educator, author, and mom x 8 (or 9 if you count her husband... I always count mine ;-)).

Laura also has a link on her blog, to this blog, that I really enjoy, "Eat, Think, Drink" It has some incredible recipes, as well as (honest) restaurant critiques, mostly in the Portland, OR area.

Whew! Now the easy part.... 4 more honest things about me:

2. I know how to play the piano. But I have extreme stage fright. Being as the piano is a solo instrument, it isn't exactly the best fit, but at one time I was quite good at it. In fact I was the only non-music major (at the time) to be personally selected by the head of the music department at my college to be a student of hers. She was incredible, and said I had a gift that MUST be shared with others, but all I know is that I literally got physically ill and couldn't keep food down for a week or more before all of my recitals. I LOVE music, but HATE performing, even for members of my own family!

3. I know a lot about Tourette Syndrome, because I have a son with this neurological "disorder". This has consumed my life at times, in fact the additional anxiety "disorder" that sometimes consumes him, has also, consumed our entire family in ways that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It has taught us much though, not only about TS and other neurological "differences", but how to find help, how to put things into perspective, how to be humble and sympathetic, not judge others, and how to help others with similar neurological differences, such as ADHD or OCD, simply by accepting them.

4. I can't smell. Yep, it's true. You probably won't ever find me blogging about food, because I have never been able to differentiate tarragon from parsley, or pumpkin from acorn squash, or tuna sushi from salmon sushi. Luckily, my taste buds still work, and for me, cooking is still a pleasure because I love to create things that nourish my family and friends. I'm a good cook, but I'm not too adventurous, and textures are a really big thing for me. And those 4 (or is it 5 now?) "tastes" really define what I like. I like things REALLY bitter (IPA, coffee, tea, dark chocolate), sour (I eat whole lemons by themselves), salty (I even put salt on watermelon), and sweet (especially "fatty" sweet... can you say ice cream?). I also like things spicy hot because I can taste it, and feel it (cayenne, wasabi). I must admit though, that at times (like when I worked in a hospital) my lack of smell has been an asset. I also will never judge a person by their BO or bad breath (or, ahem, flatulence). I'm sometimes shocked when I find out by word of mouth about these folks "characteristics", because I have never experienced someone's personal "smell".

5. Many of you know this, but I have a twin brother, and for the record, I have never felt things he feels, had any ESP, or any other "twin" experiences, other than having had the same friends, teachers, experiences (birthdays, learning to drive, going to various school functions, college, etc..)at the same time. And probably my biggest pet peeve is when people ask us if we're identical, AFTER I tell them he's my BROTHER. It is kind of neat being a twin though!

Whew! I never knew getting an award could be so difficult! LOL! Thanks again to Laura.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Last week-end, we decided to take a trip to Portland, OR to see our new nephew, his parents, and some good friends of ours. Of course we wanted to see Portland too! Living in small towns leaves me yearning to be back in big cities from time to time. I'm not sure I'd ever want to live in a big city again, but if I had to, Portland would be high on my list of "livable cities". Truth be told, I've already lived in the Portland area when I spent a year at Oregon Health Sciences University, getting a degree and interning in Medical Technology (working in a medical lab doing all sorts of testing.. chemistry, microbiology, blood banking, etc...). At the time I was so incredibly busy that I didn't have much time to explore the city, but we've always been fortunate to have family in the area to visit and play tour guides.

This time we went downtown, took the MAX light rail to the Saturday Market to explore the hand made art and craft items. It was interesting to see some of the same vendors that were there many many years ago when I first started going there. They'd moved their location to another area under the Burnside Bridge. I'm afraid the seedier part of Portland was also on full display there. My kids both heard more swear words in a matter of minutes from homeless people than they've probably heard in their whole lives.... Oh well.... They later repeated a few of these words in the car and we had a few interesting teaching moments and discussions... ahem....

Portland is a city of bridges. With so many rivers traversing the city and so many hills it's a challenging place to drive in. No wonder the MAX is so popular.

It has to be one of the most eco-friendly cities that I've ever visited too. Only in Portland have I ever seen these public toilets...

See what happens when you get a tiny camera that fits nicely in your pocket? I wanted to take a picture of the hand dryers too. I've never seen anything like them either, but there were too many people and I'm not quite THAT bold...

Did I mention the food? Portland has some great places to eat. Sushi was high on our list. We stuffed ourselves! My in-laws also had at their home some incredible local coffee, bread and wine that will keep me day dreaming until I we can make another trip to sample them again. I highly recommend Portland as a place to visit. Many have a hard time living there, due to the dark rainy winters, but that's OK. Visiting Portland in the winter reminds me of visiting New Orleans in August. It's a great time for those (like me) who don't like "crowds"!

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I must say that I'm incredibly thankful for our family and the friends who have enriched our lives so much! I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pictures of Pendleton

Shame on me! I realized after my last post that I still have no pictures of Pendleton on here! I've been downtown many times, but have failed to take any pictures. I had to go to the dentist today (got bad news... I need a root canal). He's just a few blocks off Main Street, so I took my camera and got a few shots looking down Main Street. Pendleton's down town area isn't as large as Walla Walla's is, but they both share some similar architecture and some neat old buildings. Also, it looks like I'll be back in W2 sooner than expected, as they have the closest endodontist. Oh joy! On the bright side, I may be delaying my next mammogram for another 9 years ;-)... LOL

Of course my favorite spot downtown is the Great Pacific Wine and Coffee Company. (Gosh I need to figure out how to do hypertext, or whatever it's called) I have a very hard time going anywhere near it without stopping to get some yummy cheese, delicious chocolate or food and/or beverage. I spent some time looking at their selection of local wines from the area. There are SO many wineries and vineyards in and around the area, especially around Walla Walla. I'm more of a beer chic than a wine lover, but I'm thinking I see a Saturday wine tasting tour (or 2 or 5) in my future!

Oh, and the last picture I took at a stop sign on a hill South of the downtown area looking North. I'm still surprised at how hilly Pendleton is. Some of the neighborhoods are quite fun to drive around in.

Not much more to report! Enjoy the pictures! Did I mention how much I LOVE our faster internet speed?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Elk, Walla Walla and Raptors

Looks like we'll be filling up freezers with elk soon. Chris came back Friday with a cow elk. He/we spent much of the week-end cleaning up the quarters to take to a butcher, and butchering the rest ourselves (I'll spare you the pictures). We ended up filling our freezer in the house with elk meat, both for us, and for our dog (scraps). Chris likes to do the premium cuts himself (backstrap). The kids helped out. They both like working with knives, and we can supervise them closely. I like the fact that they get to see how an animal is butchered and can say that they themselves have contributed to helping prepare our food in such a way. I can't wait to get a garden going here in the Spring for the same reason. Our dog is quite the lucky dog, as we ended up with more than a few pounds of scrap meat that will be dolled out to him in the coming months.

Besides dealing with the elk and unpacking from his trip, Chris also hooked up our washer and dryer (yea!), so I can now do laundry at home. I'd been saving it up, knowing he'd be home, so I've spent much of the last few days doing loads of laundry.... We also got the computer desk put together, and some furniture moved around and put in more permanent places. I'm still unpacking boxes....

Right now Chris is in Portland for a regional inter-agency annual fire and fuels meeting. We plan to meet up with him Friday, to see our new nephew and his parents ;-). We're all really looking forward to that!

Today I decided to take a break and explore Walla Walla, Washington, about a 45 minute drive North. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the town is. It seems like the economy on the other side of the border is also doing better than here in Oregon. I made sure to drive down Main Street, as well as by Whitman College and Walla Walla University in nearby College Place. My ulterior motive was to go fabric shopping at Jo-Ann Fabric there. It's not a big store by any stretch, but at least it's there and I know how to get to it now (dangerous!). I stopped by Walla Walla Bread Company on Main Street to sample their yummy bread, and almost stopped by a Dutch Brother's Coffee stand I spied as well. I'll be back here many times, I'm sure!

Lastly, I've been noticing a lot more raptors here. These wide open spaces are much better suited for these birds than the woodpeckers we had in the woods of Northern Michigan. Even though I unpacked 5 boxes of books tonight I still can't find my bird field guides. Here's a few not-so-great pictures of a few. Any ideas what they may be? I'm thrilled to see magpies again, and the quail too, but these birds of prey are what has really grabbed my attention.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This morning as we were getting ready for another school day, Biko suddenly created a larger-and-louder-than-normal commotion. Hurrying to the dining room window to see what he could see, we saw our first quail here in Pendleton!

It's not the best pictures, but considering the dog and kid noise and excitement I was in the midst of, it was a wonder at all that I got it. There were probably a dozen or so total, most safely on the other side of the fence. When we could take no more, and after Biko had scratched up the window sill considerably (grrr...), we let him out to chase them away. The bird lover in me is sometimes not too happy about having a dog that has a strong bird-hunting instinct...

I love these birds! I'm hoping that we can soon put up a bird feeder here in our yard, out of reach from the dog (maybe out of sight too). Neighbors told me we get pheasants too. I can't wait to see what Biko does when he sees those!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taking a break

After several not-so-fun days filled with unpacking and trying to entertain my 2 kids, I decided it was time to take a break, and packed us all in the car and drove up to the woods. The area we live in is very devoid of trees, but this is Oregon, so I knew there were some out there to be found. In our case, we only had to drive 20 or so miles to Emigrant Spring State Park to get our "tree fix". And what a fix it was!!!

It was the first time in well over a year that the kids and I have been back in the PNW woods, and it felt like coming home. Even the kids remarked that it "smelled like Oregon". It was nice to see many familiar plants and trees again, and to see some new ones.

Emigrant Spring State Park is named after a natural spring that the pioneers on the Oregon trail would stop at to get water. This part of I-84 roughly follows the old Oregon Trial route, and there are many interpretive sites along the way. I hope to stop at as many as I can with the kids in the months (and years) to come.

This "fix" is exactly what we needed today. After a few grumpy days for all of us, fresh air and being out in the beauty of nature was the cure I knew it would be.

On the way back, we stopped at a look out point on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and wow, what a view point it is! INCREDIBLE!

If you look closely below, you can see the tiny dots that are the kids. We came back refreshed and ready to tackle the upcoming week.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Room with a view

One thing that really surprised me about Pendleton, especially after living in the very flat Midwest, is how hilly it is. There are some seriously steep hilly roads here. We're not exactly in the mountains, but it makes for some wonderful views and much appreciated change of scenery. One of the best things about our house is the view! It's really the first house we've ever lived in that is up out of a valley of sorts. There's a "green" (ha!) area behind our house that is a common area that will never be developed. The whole neighborhood has these spaced through out. I love this idea! Every day I see my new neighbors walking up and down the paths that go through them. There is a park at the bottom of the hill that has about a mile of paved walking paths, soccer fields, playgrounds and a small creek that goes through it. Across the street from the park is one of my son's schools.

Best of all, I now have a kitchen window again!!! I am so excited about that. You'd think that every kitchen would have a window, but not our last house. Here's the view I've had for the last 3 years in Michigan:

Now is that a crime or what? What a miserable thing to look at while doing the dishes and preparing food....

Well, the kitchen god rewarded me this time with a lovely window with a view to look out on: Ah... much better... The school is the long yellow building on the right side.

I also took this picture of our neighborhood from across the street up on the opposite hill. As you can see, it's at the very edge of town.

One last view I'd like to get rid of.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm an Oregonian!

Wow! What a hectic week or so it's been!! I hardly know where to start. We just got our TV and internet hooked up today, so I'm excited about getting back in touch with so many folks.

I guess I'll start with the trip. Our last day in Northern Michigan was Nov. 29th. The movers had already come and packed and loaded up our stuff in the previous days. We ate one last meal with our favorite neighbor, then got our remaining stuff packed up. Sleeping on sleeping bags and pads on a floor isn't exactly a thing I'd recommend for a night before a long day of travel, but live and learn right?

Our plumber came early to winterize the house, we finished cleaning, then said good-bye. Our later-than-anticipated departure got us down to Chicago right at evening rush hour. We also had a bad trailer light. It was the first (and hopefully last) time I've ever had a trailer on my Subaru, and driving with it was nerve wracking. Chris took the trucks and the boat. I had one kid, Chris the other, and dog and cat were also evenly div-eyed up! I must admit that it was the quietest trip I've ever taken with the kids.

Going through rush hour in Chicago with a bad trailer light was bad enough, but just after passing through we got hit by torrential rains. They were horrible! I kept getting passed by 18 wheelers, and couldn't see a thing. I don't think I've had a worse driving experience ever. Not to mention that we also went though construction and it was getting dark. We didn't get in to the hotel until almost 11 at night.

The next morning Chris finally got the trailer light working. High winds and snow in Nebraska kept us on our toes, and forced us to stop in North Platte, Nebraska for an early night. But by then my Subaru was idling horribly, and getting abysmal gas mileage. She was sounding terrible. Internet research led Chris to the answer... a loose spark plug wire. We'd had a major tune up right before leaving Michigan. We're guessing the mechanic failed to put the wire in snug and it had worked its way free. Upon inspection of the engine though, we discovered that some boots (CV?) had also torn. This concerned us enough to find an open garage to get advice from before leaving NE. It's a 3-4 hour repair job ($$) so we decided to wait and drive on, hoping for the best.

With I-80 still closed, and no signs of it opening soon we headed North into Wyoming. But the spark plug wire kept popping off. We had to stop several times to replace it as I couldn't drive once it happened. Once I got into Wyoming onto the interstate, it finally stayed put. Chris is guessing that the plug/wire was loose, and that possibly the heavy rain we went through got water into it, which may have been heating up and the steam kept popping it off. We'll get a mechanic to check it here in Pendleton once we get time and money... Needless to say, I've suddenly started dreaming about a new car.....

We stayed in Sheridan, Wyoming the third night, and got a very early start the next day. And what a wonderful day it was. Beautiful scenery, mountains (!), perfect weather, and best of all, no car problems! I must admit I was so happy to be back in the West again, so happy to see antelope and those rugged mountains. We stayed in Spokane that night, leaving the next morning for another uneventful beautiful day that brought us all the way into Pendleton at last!!

That was Monday. We took a friend's advice and ate at The Great Pacific Wine and Coffee Co. What a treat! They had more micro-brew on one shelf than I've seen in all of my last 3 years! Incredible salads (I've missed the wonderful salads we get out here), and for the kids, Italian sodas that they've also missed these last 3 years. We took the kids to each of their new schools to introduce them and to get the piles of paperwork to fill out. We then unpacked what we had, filled out school forms, and slept once again on the floor, but in our new house. This time we had our pop-up mattresses though, and it was much more comfortable.

The next day I took both kids to their new schools, got them settled in, and found the local laundry mat, while Chris went to work.

Wednesday was moving day. Did I mention that our truck driver on both ends was from Poland? He was quite a character. I loved listening to his accent. He was a really neat guy! We shared his truck with 2 other military families who were moving from Ohio to Washington state, and luckily were first to off load. It went quickly, and by lunch I was in a house jam packed with boxes! While the truck was being off loaded, Chris was loading up his pick-up with hunting and camping gear to go elk hunting. He said good-bye before they were done moving us in. I'm not too thrilled, but I figure he owes me big on this one! Hmmm I'm thinking Hawaii sounds good.... Maybe a new car AND Hawaii???

I must say that the kids are a bit frazzled going from a tiny small town school to much bigger schools, but so far they're doing well. I'm getting used to them being in 2 different schools that get out at the same time. One will soon be walking to school, while the other, I'm hoping will be taking a bus soon. We'll get it all sorted out. One of the kids' schools has solar panels all along the South side, but apparently the person who installed them passed away, and they can't find anyone else to figure out how to work them. (???!!??) But it also has passive solar design. It's a neat building, and it seems like a really good school. Both are.

Whew... are you still with me? I promise future posts will be MUCH shorter!

Anyway, you know the rest of the drill... unpacking all of the boxes, and trying to figure out how and where to put things. It's wonderful sleeping in our own beds again, and while I still haven't found my coffee maker yet, there is plenty of that wonderful PNW coffee to chose from just down the hill.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bird and Squirrel Channel

I thought I'd post one more blog entry about the things I'll miss about Michigan. We like to joke that the only channels we get here are the "Bird and Squirrel Channel". Truth be told, they're my favorite! They're free and just outside the window. As a former "wild-life person", I've always loved watching critters. I personally prefer the bird channel, as does the cat, but the dog is most definitely captivated by the squirrel channel, ready to interact if given the chance.

Lately we've had a house invader of the rodent/squirrel variety. These pesky critters, while cute, can cause so much damage! If I had to pick though, my favorite would be the black squirrels we get up here. I've never seen them anywhere else.

Of the birds, my favorite on our channel is the tufted titmouse and the pileated woodpecker. These are giant birds! We also get the occasional Bald Eagle and Loon flying overhead too. Since we're in a dense woodland, we mostly get wood peckers, but what a variety! These birds stay here year round too. I'm a bit partial to these birds, as well as the chickadee, nuthatches and titmice who live here year round. They are truly hardy creatures.

I thought I'd post a few pictures we've take over the years for you to enjoy!