The whole thing started when Susan, our realtor for selling the condo, suggested that some prospective buyers were horrified at the amount of gardening they might inherit should they buy the place.

There is a lot of plant life out on the terrace, thanks to Kate Bryant, whose green thumb and hard work have made quite a show. And yeah, I wouldn’t want to take care of all that, either. But hey, we can use a lot of those pots down here at the farm, just needed to haul them down.

And for that sort of thing, we have Bob-the-Truck. Bob smells of the generations of mice who have lived and died under those faux leather seats and duct tape, so not a pleasant prospect, riding 100 miles up the freeway. Can’t listen to music, story, as Bob is not so equipped. Conversation is difficult thanks to the noise, so we have only scenery and our private thoughts to amuse us on the way.

A note to explain that you can’t get where you’d like to go in Portland lately with all the new construction, street alterations, bikes, scooters, pedestrians, and of course, all the other cars and trucks and busses. Bob is a country truck, with pretty bad manners and an attitude about parking, so that was fun.

A dozen five gallon, two feet tall, black plastic “ceramic” pots full of geraniums and what not, seven smaller clay pots, and three fat feedbags full of flowers we’d dug out of pots too large to relocate later, we were on the way. We thought about all those flowers on the freeway at 70 per and decided to go the back way down 99E.

An unfortunate electric outage, causing chaos at every traffic light, made the the atmosphere in the cab a little testy, but we made it. Here’s a photo of our arrival at the farm.

It was a lot worse than it looks! But at least you can meet Bob, whom you may have forgotten.

So with brute force, a wheelbarrow, not a little profanity, we got the pots resettled and the transplants bedded down along the wall of the garden. Here are some of the newcomers by the front door.

And here are the assorted transplants looking forward to a life spent in actual dirt. Stay tuned.

We planned to spend a few days in a hotel in Half Moon Bay in California, just below San Francisco. A family gathering! Everyone able to come! Larry and I would drive, as is our wont, so began a day early. The signs were definitely there, but we chose to hope for the best. High winds anticipated in northern California. Fire danger extreme.

We had spent the night in Portland, and would begin our trip from there. But it was about right near Corvallis that I realized I’d left my phone in Portland. Damn. Stupid. Could I live a week without my phone? Yeah, well, no. So we have these good friends (you know them, Vik and Gordon) and they could go into our condo and retrieve the phone. We met them at a Starbucks in Wilsonville, picked up the phone, and they headed East for the film festival in Bend, we back on our way south.

We made it to Grants Pass, right at the bottom of Oregon before we heard from Peter that our hotel had no electricity. PG&E had decided to shut off service in areas threatened by fire. Remember last year? A few phone calls and we learned that yes, we had no electricity in the town of HMB, but the hotel was providing flashlights in the bedrooms. Restaurants? Service stations? Well, no, but.

So we bailed. Fortunately all the kids could cancel their flights. The hotel cancelled our reservations. If you have to turn around, Grants Pass is a good place in which to do it, because they have — an In ‘n’ Out Burger there ! ! ! The farthest north that franchise has yet seen fit to expand ! ! !

But our bags were packed, the chicken sitter was in place, what should we do instead? By about Eugene we had realized that we could spend a few days at Black Butte. Yes, we have a chicken sitter, but calm down. That just means she comes by every few days to gather eggs and be sure the water/food situation is okay. Seriously. You people.

Turned right at Eugene and made it to Black Butte by nightfall. This meant we had driven 550 miles in the state of Oregon to arrive 125 miles from home. Nice job, huh?

Larry checked his phone the next morning and was pretty surprised to see a cow wandering in the yard back home on the farm. We have this wild-life camera that so far has caught a few cats, a raccoon, but with this sighting has proved its worth. We do have cows alright, but they are contained in one or another of the pastures, so what the heck? A quick call to Ryan, owner of the cows, and luckily he answered. Was able to turn from his own trip out of town, go herd the herd back behind the fence, close the open gate, and all was well. The garden is mostly put to bed by now, but what about our new plants along the fence? We wouldn’t know until we got home. Most people don’t have these things to worry about as they leave for a vacation, but we do.

A really nice time with Martha and our buddies for a few days and we arrived home. I walked into the kitchen and discovered that we had no water. Oh, man. A little history there, so this was sobering. Nope, cistern full, Larry reported. Valves all turned on in the water purification system in the shed. Okay, see I’m tired, now. And yes, we could get back in the car and head to Portland, but first, we called the pump guy. It’s Monday. It’s a holiday. Of course he doesn’t answer. Larry went out to check one more time and found the one valve he’d overlooked. Oh thank God, we have water!

And yet, it wasn’t hot water. Larry went to the garage to check the GFI for the water heater, and bingo. But don’t celebrate yet. The freezers are on the water heater line and yep. How long had they been without power? Well, the meat seemed hard although the waffles had slumped.

I think it’s about time for another photo. Larry “harvested” these today. The cows had chewed off the tops, but that’s just fine.

I know the photo is sideways, but if you’d be good enough to just tip your head I think you can get the picture. This is what real actual organic home-grown carrots look like. Kind of like people. You know what I mean, right?

Whoa, bed time here. But it’s been nice visiting with you. See you again real soon now!