Thursday, September 25, 2014


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Jim and I stopped off to visit my son while he builds a new house for me. He is housed in a fifth-wheel while he works. I designed it and he made sure everything worked so a cupboard door doesn’t bang into kitchen fixture, and that I have enough outlets for electrical and important stuff like that. Then he drew the plans and had them stamped for approval and any input from a local architect. It was raining steadily while we were there and my camera lens got smudged and wet, even though I had it covered with a hat, under a poncho, while I carried it.
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The forms were ready for the required inspection. He made an appointment last Monday for the inspector to arrive this Wednesday and his pour was scheduled for today, Thursday which involves his labor, the cement company, the materials, etc.  And, a delivery for framing materials on Friday. Doug has 28 years of building experience, from tract homes, commercial tilt-ups, condos, fancy custom homes like Ruby Ridge in Livermore, and he has built bridges in environmentally sensitive areas. This house is a small two bedroom and I designed it to sit on a narrow site where the original mobile home sat. That way we take advantage of an existing well, and septic system. So it is 16 feet wide by 64 feet long,  and will be wheel chair accessible. Just in case…
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I love my place here on Evans Creek, so I tromped through the wet to look at the river. It looks good for spawning salmon. Nice and full. Little gravel beds near the banks are spots they like to lay their eggs. When I bought the place in 2001, I specified I was looking for a property that was south-facing. I had to be able to walk into the river without climbing down a steep bank and it had to have year round water and fish. I’m standing looking down river with rain drops visible on the surface. I’ve seen beaver here, and a turtle, some frogs, and many, many ducks.
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This is looking up river with high weeds and blackberry vines regrown during the last couple of years. The trees on the bank are alder and they have a limited life span.DSC05354 (Copy)

I tromped the 7 acres from one end to the other, looking for star thistle that took me three years to obliterate by hand picking it. I found a few colonies had resurfaced and Doug will hire someone to hand-pick them again. And, the blackberries I had removed mechanically have come back. And, another invasive plant has found a home and I will have to return in the spring and work removing it. I’m very much a farmer at heart. I’ve seen wild turkeys, coyote, fox, many deer and a possum on my small strip of land. And once, I scared something heavy that thrashed through the bushes. Don’t know if it was a bear, or a feral pig?
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My back gate onto the property has been locked for so long, the key wouldn’t turn in the lock.  I was thoroughly wet by the time I returned to the guys in the 5th wheel. Jim set Doug up with a set of ear phones so he could use his satellite service to make phone calls by computer. His cell, nor mine, nor Jim’s work from the property, though a few people have been able to call from here over the years. Not with any consistency, though every company you talk to promises, AT&T, Verizon, Century Link and some others I’ve forgotten the name of. I guess I bought property in a dead spot.
An even deader spot is the Jackson County Building Department.  The inspector didn’t show up yesterday and Doug had to cancel his pour for today.
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But the people here are friendly and helpful. Rogue River has a beautiful library for a small town. Doug has built birdhouses for one of their fundraisers, and he loves it that he can buy great books from their book sales. We thought we’d check out their book sale, but they are closed on Wednesdays. The totem is part of the library building.
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I don’t know how to interpret totems and this one has similarities to many of the Pacific North West tribes we’ve bumped into. For a small town, Rogue River has some good restaurants and “watering holes.”
We stopped at the VFW and had a beer. We met a great group of friendly people and that has been my experience in the past. I love the people here. When I told them my son would like to join them, they personally told us he should just come down, he’d be welcome. Since his father was a vet, he can join, but even if he wasn’t they said, he can come by any time.
People make a place and I feel fortunate to have had good years in Rogue River and a never-ending supply of water. I’m also a survivalist. I need to know I have access to water.

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