Yesterday we took a short drive to see just how many trees actually toppled and blocked roads around us during #TheNightTheLightsWentOutInOregon 3 weeks ago, to find a new place to hike and explore as well as just plain enjoy the almost spring like weather.  We also ran across some local history!

One thing is for sure, road crews are guaranteed jobs for the foreseeable future!  On ALL the roads, but especially the smaller roads where trees fell they have come along and used a chainsaw to cut out the part across the road for now leaving the tops and bottoms along the shoulders for later.

We ran across a sign for the Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park and followed it to a fun area with equestrian camping, old historical buildings and an animal preserve.  The weather was beautiful for several hours and we enjoyed a nice walk, but I fell in love with the peacocks especially!

From the signs around the park and what little information I can find, Mildred Kanipe was a very colorful, strong willed woman and extremely set in her ways, an unforgettable character all the way around.  She always carried a pistol and a rifle when n the ranch.  She NEVER married and ran the 1100 acre ranch ALL by herself except for the occasional hand she would hire.

Mildred’s Gift

She passed away in 1983 leaving her entire beloved ranch, that her family had owned for over a hundred years and she had added to over the years, to the public as a county park.  Mildred’s gift included almost 1,100 acres of land consisting of pastures, creeks, rolling hills, orchards and forests. Historical structures include a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse that they are seeking grants for to restore, a farmhouse, and outbuildings. Her wish was for the buildings to be preserved, a ranch museum developed, equestrian trails and camping to be available and the land was to remain an animal refuge and the land and plants preserved.

Mildred left VERY specific instructions for her burial on the property also.

I fell in love with the natural beauty of the area and the peacocks in particular! They are so beautiful and graceful too.  This older woman comes to feed them regularly and when she pulled in the birds flocked over to her like she was a long lost friend 😀

We’re going to go back with a picnic when the weather warms up a bit.  I’ll remember to take my regular camera, but here are a few from my cell phone for now.


There was quite a bit of damage within the park from old trees that fell and literally splintered picnic tables, but I was impressed with these metal braces someone made many years ago for this old tree to preserve it.  The peacocks seem to really like this tree and while I wasn’t able to get a picture, they were all up in the tree when we first arrived.

I truly felt like I could hear these trees making a SERIOUS noise as they landed and splintered these tables.  Not that I was there when it happened, but in my head they were really loud!

I saw this glove and my mind went to Tom Hanks LOL He has an InstaGram account where he posts single lost items – a truly virtual LOST & FOUND 😀

2019 SNOWMAGEDDON update

So while the power is on and the internet is cooperating I’m going to do a quick update.  Hubby had been saying how disappointed he was that snow had been on the forecast all month, but never really materialized.  Well, I’m here to tell you BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!

We’re accustomed to snow, lots of it even from our time in the U.P., but unfortunately this little town wasn’t!  They are used to a couple inches that melts away fairly quickly.  It would have been okay and even a little bit funny if it hadn’t happened ALL at once and taken down thousands of trees and the power too!  I was never this cold even during the long winters of the Upper Peninsula… Here we are a week later and still have several inches covering everything.

Hubby tried to keep the walkway cleaned off, but every time he’d finish it would start snowing again.  At one point during the 3 day outage it was warmer in the refrigerator than the house and it continued to snow even more with tons of road closures all hampering the repair crews and their efforts to restore power.  Even the cell towers took a beating leaving us with compromised communication.  My neighbor and I resorted to throwing snowballs at each other’s window to get each other’s attention. 

During daylight hours we would use the cars to charge up phones and electronics which would also help melt the snow off the cars while we sat there getting a little bit warm and charging up. I braved it and walked over to talk with my neighbor.  Neighbors checked on each other and banded together as necessary.  Some were kinda stupid running propane heaters in houses that had gas pilots, letting their kids go out and get cold and wet with no way to warm them back up or take their cars where they couldn’t get out without making a HUGE slushy, icy mess.

I have to tell you 2019 Snowmageddon will not be forgotten ANY time soon.  Remote rural areas will NOT even be restored for weeks to come. 

When we finally left the house we were so surprised by just how many trees and I mean BIG trees had fallen onto and over roadways, onto power lines, houses, cars…  Clean up will take some time!  The sun made an appearance on Friday for a few hours and it felt heavenly, but other than that it has usually only appeared at the end of the afternoon in time to start setting.


I’m a BIG believer in buying local.  I also love when we move to a new area and there are so many new things to try.  My newest favorite is FACE ROCK CREAMERY cheese based out of Bandon, Oregon a quaint little seaside town that we visited not to long ago when our son and DIL were visiting.  I’ll add a few of those pictures after the recipe.  I tried a sample of FACE ROCK CREAMERY Jack cheese at Costco the other day and fell in love with their smooth and creamy cheese.  On a whim I bought their Vampire Slayer Garlic Cheddar and found a new favorite way to make an old comfort food on a cold and cloudy night.

Tonight because it is cold, foggy and miserable, I served it with left over Wagon Wheel Soup for a rib sticking good meal.

1 1/2 cups dried macaroni (elbows or shells)
3/4 cup heavy cream**
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 pound or 2 cups shredded FACE ROCK VAMPIRE SLAYER garlic cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.
  • Using the same pan, melt butter and add cream until smooth.
  • Add cheese a few pieces at a time, stirring until well blended.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fold in pasta.
  • Pour into casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle with crispy onions or Garlic Croutons if desired.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and golden on top.

**I found I was out of heavy cream, but wait, there is a substitute using what you have on hand.
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon Wondra flour (this can be omitted if using whole milk)

  • In a small saucepan, melt butter.
  • Whisk in Wondra until golden.
  • Add milk gradually, whisking until well blended and starts to thicken slightly.