Saturday I attended the all-day "Spring into Gardening" event at the Community Center in McMinnville. It was quite a shindig, and going with Mae made it so much fun. Volunteers from the Yamhill County Master Gardeners Association had knocked themselves out decorating this gymnasium for the event. Nice work!
And I just knew I was going to have a good day when I saw tables (plural) groaning under the weight of millions of cookies...
and health food. Of course, I chose only the healthy cookies.
One of the local nurseries had set up islands of plants for sale all around the room.
And don't you feel important when you get a name tag? I certainly do.
Not to mention the "packet" of helpful information.
A few of you said you were looking forward to hearing my gardening tips from this event. I'm afraid I don't have a lot for you. The speakers were just so-so, and I didn't really come away with anything I'm going to put to use. However, the last speaker was pretty interesting. She was helping us think of ways to attract pollinators to our gardens. A few things are helpful. For one thing, native blooming plants will attract the bugs in your area and having things that bloom throughout the season is also helpful. There's always plenty blooming in the spring and early summer, but as summer wears on...not so much. Also...clumps of blooming things are more efficient targets. So plant in groupings rather than single plants.
She gave us several ideas about plants that bloom later in the season, and one of the things I came away with was the idea that zucchini plants will attract pollinators. Apparently their flowers are attractive, even if you don't continue to gorge yourself on the tons of zucchini you'll produce. Keep harvesting it, throw it into the compost pile if you must, but keep those flowers coming. The bees will love it. It's prompted me to plant a couple of zucchini plants this year, even though we aren't planting an outdoor vegetable garden. I have a spot where I could have a couple, and since I want to make zucchini relish this year, even the zucchini will be appreciated.
Other ideas were to cut back the bloomed off heads of lavender. It's possible to get a second bloom off of them. In general, just figure out what plants bloom late in your area, and the pollinators will thank you for it. We've thought about this quite a bit because we've wanted to encourage mason bees, in particular. They can be counted on to pollinate our fruit trees. Also, I learned that honeybees will travel three miles to forage while bumble bees will only travel one mile. We always have a lot of bumble bees in our yard, and now that I know our neighbor has four bee hives just up the hill, I'm wondering if we'll see more honey bees in our yard this year. I hope so.
So that was the garden event. You just never know what you're going to see when I start taking the pictures off my phone. Maggie feet anyone? I love her one gray toe.
And now that I've washed and patched the utility quilts, Smitty and Maggie are hard at work re-seasoning them.
So turn forward the clock an hour and we're waking up to the day of the RV show. It was raining sideways when we left home. Lake Stanbro is filling in nicely there in the driveway. The flowering plum is the only bright spot in the picture.
The RV show is always held at the Portland Expo Center. This morning while we waited for Matthew to arrive, we read the historical timeline of the place. It went on right up to 2012, but I was interested in these two panels. The top image is the beginning of the timeline.
This was the next panel. The Vanport Flood is quite famous and happened decades before we arrived on the scene. I was more surprised by the bottom image.
Okay, and there was more, but it wasn't all that interesting. Before heading in to where the RV's were on display. We stopped off at the restrooms. My fellow restroom visitors probably wondered why I was taking a picture of the floor. You know, don't you?
And then...we were off. Mike and Matthew tested out the recliners in the larger truck campers. We're still looking for a little more luxurious truck camper than our current one. Our biggest complaint is that there really isn't a comfortable place to sit inside. This one had a slide out at the rear with these recliners. Yeah, I can see myself sitting there and doing my embroidery in the morning.
This is a different truck camper. It has a nice kitchen with a good amount of counter space and a good-sized refrigerator. The kitchen is on a side slide-out.
These two recliners are on the opposite side slide-out.
The rear also slides out and has a nice table and chairs with a nice big window. I could definitely see us eating here.
Looking toward the front of the camper where the bed goes over the cab of the truck, this one has a split floor plan. The bathroom is inside that middle section and behind is a king-size bed. The split layout makes it possible for each person to get in and out of bed without anybody having to climb over anybody else.
There's the king-size bed. Our first trailer had cabinets over the pillows like that. Head bangers. Ask me how I know.
Having a big bed means you get kind of a tiny bathroom, but it's still larger than our current camper bathroom.
This is what happens when you travel with engineers. They get bogged down playing with their electronic toys. We're a two engineer family now, so we have twice as much fun.
As for me, I'm more into the low-tech aesthetic. Certainly, I need this string of lights for our awning with pink flamingos AND palm trees. Be still my beating heart.
We were only interested in the largest of the truck campers, and we exhausted those pretty quickly. Then we started perusing the smaller trailers, more within Matthew's price range and tow capabilities. Is there anything more fun than watching and listening to your kids dream of their future? We took Erik with us in November, and having Matthew on this trip was a lot of fun.
We also looked at some of the newer fifth wheels. It's always kind of fun to see what new floor plans the manufacturers have come up with. This one was unique. Mike and Matthew gave all the comfy chairs a good testing out. When you came through the door of this rig, you were in the living room. The bedroom and bathroom were at the back end of the rig, which is kind of unusual.
Toward the front, where you'll usually find the bedroom this rig had the kitchen and dining area, and this was really nice. So step up there, and the dining room was at the front cap. On a fifth wheel, this is the portion that extends out over the bed of the truck.
Just to the left of the stairs was a very nice kitchen.
Stand at the stove looking the opposite direction and there was this sidebar with lots of storage.
Stand at the sink and peer down into the living room, and there you are. Yes...a fireplace. Don't even get me started.
Also in the don't-get-me-started category are these toy haulers with fold down patios. Honestly, do you really need this when you're in the great outdoors? We decided Matthew could invite his band along and they could set up their instruments and amplifiers here. Wouldn't they make a lot of friends in a quiet campground? I told Matthew they could sell tickets to their concerts and he could finance his RV that way!
We were there for several hours, and then our eyes were full. Then we came home and collapsed on the couch for naps.
Here's one more random photo off my phone. It's a flowering pear tree in the parking lot of my grocery store. It was kind of high over my head, and so it's not a great picture, but there you go. It's in keeping with my quest to photograph every blooming thing.
The only sewing I've done for the past couple of days is more slow stitching on the Hocuspocusville block. There's just a little bit more to do on the left side, and this one will be finished.
It's hooped up and ready to go again. I think about one more move of the hoop and I'll be stitching the last of it.
And that's one busy weekend...spent. Tomorrow is Pi Day. I've had a yearning for lemon meringue for weeks, and so that's on tomorrow's to-do list.