September 25, 2012

What I Did This Summer

Something I miss about Autumn is the annual "what I did this summer" report that seemed to be a staple during the first week of school-- a pleasant way to linger over the joys of summer vacation.  Here is my report:

1. My 8 days in HELL, er, I mean my beloved birthplace, Southern California

My recent descent into the flames began with a solo two-day, 1000-mile drive south during which I had a "tire separation" (an inside belt broke) and a nerve-wracking detour to a Les Schwab Tire Center in Modesto (god bless you, Les Schwab).  The goal of the trip was to help my little sister move out of her 100-year-old two-story house. It should be noted that my sis, like every other member of my immediate family, was endowed with the Packratitis gene.  In her defense, she is an antiques and vintage clothing dealer, which accounts for 90% of her glorious accumulation.  My brother, sis, and I spent eight days in the 95+ degree humid heat moving boxes full of treasures, closets full of clothing, and well-made [translation: HEAVY] antique furniture.  On my last day there, the mercury settled in at 108-110 degrees in the afternoon-- the day that we had rented the truck to move the furniture! The only thing that saved me was a wet kerchief tied around my neck-- and old trick from my hiking buddy Mary-- the evaporating water creates the sensation of coolness around your head!

These are the only pictures I have of the trip-- the succulents in my sister's back yard.  It was just too dang hot to stand out in the sun and take pictures.  These are going in my "to paint later" file...

Happily, I survived my time in the sun, the sale of my sister's house went through (yay!), and I got to spend lots of quality time with my siblings and my BFF Anne, the hostess with the mostess who provided lodging, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and Boggle games to revive me each night!

Like many other places in the USA, leisure-time activities are heavily influenced by the weather  and the seasons here in the Pacific Northwest.  This means that outdoor fairs, festivals, and such are highly concentrated between the months of May and September.  Our local Yamhill County Historical Museum plows and plants their fields the old-fashioned way at the May Farm Fest:

then they reap it all at the August Harvest Fest...

It really makes you appreciate farmers and the food on your table!

 The most aromatic festival in the county and my favorite art fair! 

My new lavender sachets were a big hit this year!

The Yamhill Lavender Festival takes place in mid-July, in the town of Yamhill Oregon. It includes a plein air art show, lots of vendors, and entertainment, all in the lovely shaded Beulah Park.  The Festival is part of the larger Oregon Lavender Festival Tour, where you can visit lavender farms throughout the county, a real treat to see AND to smell (we're talking MEGA aromatherapy!). 

By far the most hilarious event of the summer, the PDX Soapbox Derby takes place in Portland each August where "Portland's finest freaks pull their home-built creations to the top of Mount Tabor and let gravity guide them to the bottom of the hill." 

The derby draws crowds of over 5,000 people who come to watch this hilarious spectacle with 40 some teams letting loose with their creative coaster cars. 

zoom zoom
Yes, indeed you are seeing Three Men In A Tub racing down the hill in a trail of soap suds...

The crowd favorite was this airliner, complete with sassy stewardesses handing out salty snacks...

It turned out to be too stormy and windy at 6 a.m. for the hot air balloons to ascend at the Loose Goose Balloon Rally at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum , but in the evening we enjoyed a piano concert out on the lawn; the Evening Glow with inflated balloons was cancelled due to wind, but we enjoyed the showy Candle Stick Glow where just the burners were fired up in the twilight sky...

I'm a new dahlia fanatic, thanks to a visit to the Swan Island Dahlia Festival in August, and as you might already know, I am especially obsessed with bees on dahlias.

All in all, it was a glorious (but somewhat brief) summer. The Art Harvest Studio Tour starts in less than two weeks, so it is time to pack away the shorts and flip-flops and get in gear as I look forward to a glorious Autumn!  Now where did I pack away all of those sweaters?


curator said...

! You got to the PDX Soapbox Derby!! I miss going. I used to go every year WITHOUT FAIL. Waah, now you've mae me miss Portland all over again.

curator said...

I mean "made me miss"...too homesick to type I guess...

jhitomi said...

Wonderful post, and great photos. We drove once from WA state to southern CA with unexpected car troubles and it really is nerve wracking.
Lavender fair looks lovely.

My Corner of the world said...

What a lovely summer!!!! (even with the CA trip!) Thanks for posting your "what I did this summer" enjoyed reading it and your pics!

Unknown said...

This was the first year we'd heard about the Soapbox Derby, Curator-- now we can't wait to go back! Portland certainly is one-of-a-kind and we love it!!