I’m Just Me….

I’m not perfect.  I’m me.

I’ve made bad decisions and wrong choices, but I’m me.

I’ve said the wrong things,  I’ve said the right things, because I’m me.

I don’t like everything I’ve done, but I did it because I’m me.

I’ve love the wrong people and trusted the wrong people, and I’m still me.

If I had a chance to start again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Why?   Because I’m me!

There are a lot of good things about me,

You just need to look past the imperfections to see what’s right.

If you can’t do that, then it’s your loss. I’m the best I can be.  I am me!

Glass Bug

Glass Bug

~Oregon Smiles with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled

~Beautiful Photos courtesy of Tracie Louise Photography.  Thank you Tracie

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Autumn is in the Air…..

This header picture of the Boondooma Homestead Gardens was taken by my dear friend, Tracie Louise Photography, somewhere in the Darling Downs of Queensland, Australia  during her early fall.  It is now her Spring and we are heading into Autumn and then on to Winter here in Oregon.  The rains have started, but thankfully not the days on end kind.   Next to the fresh Oregon Springs, early Fall days place second for me.  The morning air is crisp, with that hint of fog, from having a warming through the day before.  The leaves are turning rapidly it seems this year, even though we haven’t had any frost yet.

As much as I have put it off, it is time to think about turning on the heat in the morning and evening.  It is time to button down the hatches and get ready for the next 6 months of shorter, gloomy, Winter Oregon days.  Not to long and we will have to move our clocks back and it will be dark when we go to work and when we come home.  That is fine though, it’s the way we roll out here “On The Road Less Traveled”

~Oregon Smiles with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled!

Renewable Resources

Since I have been so distracted with my new project, my blog and my home have taken a back seat.  Today in my quest for a topic, I have realized we are surrounded by renewable resources.   Some living here in Oregon, who may see the rain and our weather as a hindrance, for me it is what keeps Oregon green.  I am not speaking of Green as environmentally friendly, such as recycling though Oregon is big on recycling, but Green because of our color.  The weather here definitely make for some very good conditions for Renewable Resources.

For me the Renewable takes on many venues. Be it the Laundry that comes back day after day,  The dirty dishes that seem to stack up and it’s only me in the house and then there is my yard.  The grass  is definitely renewable,  It seems just like yesterday that I mowed it.  With the rain we been having, it has renewed itself, Back are those tall blades of grass blowing in the wind.  Dandelions, which have now gone from pretty yellow flowers, to the little round puffs of seeds that as children we would pick and blow to the wind, making a wish.  Little did I know then, why the neighbor disliked us doing that.  Blowing new  little Dandelion seeds into their beautiful landscaped lawn.

My flower beds are full of renewable’s as well.  The weeds we pull for hours at a time, clearing out to see the beauty of the garden, are now back in full force.   Some of the weeds look very nice, but they can take over all to quickly.

Intermission…….

 ……. Back from the brief interlude,

actually it has been a couple of hours.

It started to sprinkle outside and I needed to take care of some of my Renewable Resources.  Yes,  I got out and mowed my lawn.  My furry companions, decided that they would rather be in the house and not outside in the rain, but for me it was very refreshing.

While I was out working with great vigor, finishing before the big downpour, I thanked God for what I have.  Thanking him that I have a lawn to mow and that I live in Oregon where the refreshing rain keeps us green.

Some may see it as a big chore taking care of the renewable resource that comes with that rain, but then there are some that would give anything now to see the rain and green.  I prayed for those that live in Colorado, that have lost it all.  Prayed for those that are on the front lines of the fire, working so hard to save Humans, Homes, Wildlife and Nature.

Next time you think that it is such a chore taking care of those renewable resources that surround you, remember to not take anything for granted.  Be thankful for what you have, for there are those that would give anything to have what you do.

~Oregon Smiles with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled.

Thank you Tracie Louise Photography, for sharing these wonderful photos from Queensland, Australia

Memorial Rose

With Memorial Day coming upon us, there are many we can thank and remember.  I would like to thank all of our Men and Women Soldiers stationed all over this world, that give of their lives.  Protecting and serving,  helping to keep the world a better and safer place.  They don’t know me by name, but they are willing to give it all so that I can have peace and freedom.  So Thank You for Serving!!

Grandpa Harry’s Rose

This time of year also takes me to back to years gone by.  A time to look back  and reflect about the loved ones that are not with us any longer and the legacy that they have left.  Some things may seem small, like remembering the Grandma that always made the Cookie care package at Christmas.  The other Grandmother that made the BEST Apple Pie and Potato Salad in the world.  My Grandpa Harry, or Pop as I would call him, sitting in the morning on his knee, as he sat on the old blue kitchen stool.  He would be drinking his morning coffee, before heading out to milk the cows.

My Dad drove a log truck for many, many years.  I remember riding along with him early in the mornings, watching the sun come up over the dash-board, as we bumped along the logging roads.  The smell of the fresh-cut timber,  awwww….. as good as the smell of fresh mowed grass.  Every time I smell the sap running in the warm Fir Trees, it brings back those fond memories of  those wonderful days.

Growing up on the Oregon Coast, getting up early in the morning, heading to the beach to dig for Razor Clams.  At that age, I didn’t do much digging, but I had the fun of running around on the beach, collecting whole sand dollars, drift wood and always on the lookout for the elusive Japanese Glass Float.  To this day sitting and walking on the beach, brings a calm.  It brings clarity and rejuvenate my soul.

Pop’s Rose Legacy

So many wonderful memories of the years gone by.  I am very fortunate to have one living memory still with me to this day.  It is what I call Grandpa Harry’s Rose.  It is a Rose bush moved from their farm in Knappa, Oregon to their house in Portland.  My mom had it after my grandfather passed away and now it lives at my house.  I don’t know what her official name is, but oh what a beautiful site she is.  Grandpa always said there was nothing more beautiful and perfect than the rose.  Well she is blooming again…. Oh what a beauty.  Grandpa Harry’s Memorial Rose is a legacy that I will continue to nourish,  until it’s time to pass it on to the next generation.

~Oregon Smiles with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled.

Header picture by Tracie Louise Photography.  Thank you for your beautiful work.

The Garden of Weedin’

Rain, Rain, Rain….  it makes the garden grow.  We have had some really crazy weather here in Oregon, it seemed like it would never clear so I could mow the lawn.  A few months later…. and I was the proud owner of  “The Garden of Weedin”, some if it over 3 ft tall.  I never lost hope though,  just like everything in our lives we need to keep hope.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, The Big Island, Hawaii

Finally over the weekend the air had cleared, the sun was out and things where starting to dry out, things where looking good.  It took hours of work, running the weed eater knocking the tall stuff down.  I never lost faith,  just kept whittling away, as I see working in my yard as therapy.  Wonderful glorious therapy and in the end you have something very wonderful to look at and enjoy.

With the mowing finally done and the weed eater working  it’s magic, I realize that the weeds sort of represent things that happen in my life.  There are some very troublesome weeds, that just creep in and out and it is really hard to get rid of them.  Like some of the past experiences and people in life and how they still have an impact on our lives.  There are weeds that are bothersome, but you can pull them out and clean things up and move on.  Weeds can help feed the critters and creatures in our yards and there are even some to harvested for food and have healing properties.

The returning weeds show me that we compete against our own potential every day.  Most of us fall short of what we are capable of doing or being.  I believe that no matter what job you hold, what industry you work in, or where you live, every morning you wake  up with a clean slate and no weeds in your garden.

Just go out and explore your “Garden of Weedin” and see how you can clean your slate.   You can make your life and your dreams anything you choose it to be.   Keeping your faith will help keep up the hope for good things. Your Possibilities Are Endless!

~Oregon Smiles with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled

Photography by Tracy Louise Photography

Another Year….

Today is my Birthday…. ta, dah, da, dah…. sort of goes with the song from the Beatles White album.  Anyway, Just another year older.  It’s just another day.  Another year behind me.  Another year ahead On The Road Less Traveled.   Lots of ways to look at it.

By the Grace of God I am still here for another year.  Thank you Jesus for giving your life for me, that I am saved.

Lots of busy stuff going on this last week, so I have gotten behind in my postings.  Not to worry… I have some great topics coming through the gray hair… LOL.

Thank you all for the wonderful Birthday Wishes.  ~Franny

~Oregon Smiles with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled.

The Relic

When I first hear the word “Relic” I think of something very old.  Someone or something that maybe an antique or part of history, from  a very long time ago.  Funny thing is lately I have been referred to as someone’s Grandma.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being called a Grandma,  I am a Gramma of a wonderful little baby boy.  Also, I would be very proud as this person’s relative.  She is a wonderfully, talented young woman and I am very proud she is my BFF’s daughter.  Maybe it’s the gray hair.. maybe I am starting to look old… maybe I am a Relic.

I might have a history, in fact I know I do, but I surly wouldn’t say that I am famous or a part of history.  Now some of my ancestors are a part of history, does that mean they are Relics.

What is a Relic? This is what the dictionary gives as a definition:

  1. Something that has survived the passage of time, especially an object or custom whose original culture has disappeared
  2. An object of religious veneration, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of a saint.
Hmmmm.. well I am a survivor, not sure if I am in the “survived the passage of time”…. well on second thought maybe…. I did grow up in the 70’s and was sort of Oregon Hippie.  I definitely am not a Saint and the good Lord can attest to that.  So I guess I am just looking old, or older, but I usually don’t feel old or a relic.  I still love a great Rock Concert, have my hearing and my own teeth.  I think it must be a state of mind, but I don’t think I am there yet.
There are lots of not so famous relics, like SS Dicky, that Tracie Louse Photography photographed on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.

SS Dicky

It  has withstood the passage of time, laying there with an untold history in her bones.  Not only when it was functioning ship, but the stories it could tell of the visitors that have come and gone over the decades to take photos.  The stories of the storms and weather that surround it’s life on the beach.  Oh if the walls could talk.

Steamer SS Dicky was shipwrecked on a Caloundra beach which and named after her. The ship sailed from Rockhampton and as it arrived to clear Caloundra Head it met lashing rain and cyclonic winds that sent the ship on her beam ends. Captain James Beattie was forced to beach the ship to avoid hitting the rocks off Moffat Beach. On 4th February 1893 at 10.35 am the ship grounded stern first on the beach. The Marine Board of Queensland tribunal concluding the Captain showed lack of judgement in not successfully weathering Caloundra Head, for which his licence was suspended for three months.
Growing up on the Oregon Coast, we came to know the Peter Iredale.  It has weathered such storms.  As a kid we be up at the crack of dawn digging for Razor clams around the hull and a favorite destination for the local kids heading to the beach for a bonfire.  The wreck of the Peter Iredale is shown in this photograph, taken by Portland photographer Leo Simon on November 13, 1906, nineteen days after the ship ran aground near Ft. Stevens.
The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel bark built in Maryport, England, in 1890 and owned by British shipping firm Iredale & Porter. On September 26, 1906, the Iredale left Salina Cruz, Mexico, bound for Portland, where it was to pick up a cargo of wheat for the United Kingdom.

Peter Iredale Circa 2005

Despite encountering heavy fog, they managed to safely reach the mouth of the Columbia River early in the morning of October 25.


Some have aged gracefully, The patina a glow with the age.  Oh the stories they could tell us.  Of their voyages around the world and those adventures of visitors while at their rest.  I do hope that when I am 100+ years old I can say,  that this Relic is still standing proud, watching over all that come and go.

Peter Iredale - Present Day

~Oregon Smiles… with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled.

         SS Dicky photo’s provided by Tracie Louise Photography

Monday Madness

Today was one of those Monday Madness day’s, but I am looking at the bright side of life and my good thing for today was learning how to put a watermark logo on my pictures with my new Photoshop Elements 9 program.  It’s nothing fancy but hey,  Yippee Doodles, you can teach the old Gal a New Trick !  I am still a little slow at it, but it is working  🙂  Oh and yes, to top it off,  The sun came out here in the valley today.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
The Big Island

Well maybe I should clarify that…. here in the Vortex. It seems that the weather happens all around me at times.  Snow here, snow there, rain here, rain there…. but today was a Sunny Day!  For that I am very thankful.  With a few more days like this maybe we can actually feel like it is Spring and maybe dry out enough that I can mow the grass.  Yikes!!  Last week we had 8 inches of snow show up on the first day of Spring.  Trees down and some people are still without power.

I am totally ready for Spring and Summer.  In fact,  I think that I am in need of a little Island Time. Shorts, Flip Flops and one of those really good Mai Tai Umbrella Drinks.  Oh ya, that’s what I am talking about.

But it looks like I will be just looking at my pictures and remembering all of those wonderful days, from my recliner.  It’s just not in the cards this year for a trip.  Oh well such is life.  I am just glad that I still have my memory, my recliner and my dog, so there are lots of things to be thankful for.

As a native Oregonian, getting away from the gloomy winter weather is such a treat. A nice climate change is always a good thing and the rain is much warmer.   Going to a nice tropical destination is always such a relaxing get away.  The laid back island life…  Oh yes,  I could really get into the island life style.  Definitely Hakuna matata!

Yep, The Farmers Market will be up and running soon  in Hilo on Wednesday’s.  Local people bringing their wares to market, like they have for generations.  What really amazed me was the size of the fruit and vegetables.   What they can grow in the tropics is amazing.  Fresh Roasted Kona Coffee, Mango’s, Pineapple and Avocado’s the size of a grapefruit.  The sweet smells of the fresh fruit and when I say fresh, I mean fresh.  None of  dull stuff that you find on the mainland.  Scents of the Island flowers permeate the air.  Sipping on the water of a Fresh cut Coconut, while you stole along, enjoying the day.

Just so Amazing…. Nothing that this Oregon girl had ever experienced.

The Island Life…. A world of its own.

~ Oregon Smiles … with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled

Spring Has Sprung

Oh how I love Spring and I think maybe it is getting closer to us here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  We had snow last week, with the Daffodils and Crocus poking their little heads out of the ground, but in Oregon the weather never lacks in surprising us.  It is very unpredictable up until summer.   I remember spending many a 4th of July with it raining.  But as a Native Oregonian and growing up in Astoria on the Oregon Coast, you get used to it.

Waking up to the sun peaking its head out of the clouds, giving the neighborhood a nice glow, really gets one re-energized and makes me smile.  There is just something about the sunshine that makes you want to get outdoors and start all of those projects that you have thought about since Fall.  My goal has always been to do one major yard project each year, but for the last few years other life obstacles have taken priority and projects put on hold.

When my friend over at Luv and Light posted at the end of last year about crossing over the bridge and leaving all the old baggage behind and starting anew, that is when I knew that 2012 would be a good year.  Oh how I thank Daisy for sharing that with us.  It has given me some long-lost energy and life renewal.  Life changes and challenges have a never looked better than when that Sunshine greeted me the other morning.

So as the seasons change once again, I am dusting off those ideas, dreams and projects.  Looking forward and enjoying this Spring to come, with some old and new friends. Sharing my new-found creativeness and continuing to thank God for everything that he has given me.

~Oregon Smiles …. with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled

How’s The Weather???

Just another Oregon day you say… I suppose so.  Yesterday it was a beautiful warm 60 degrees, sun was shining and I even think I heard a lawn mower fire up.  The Daffodils and Crocus are starting to poke their heads around the yard, with hopes of Spring right on their heals.

Then I got up this morning…. Snow!!  Yes I said Snow!!  What the Heck…  Things started to turn white, then it turned to rain and then the sun was out.  It did this for a few hours.  Oh did I mention the wind?  Oh Ya there was a nice breeze coming in from the South West.  Yep, Only in Oregon.  Got to love the weather here, I know I do!

So what does a good Valley Girl do on a day like to day?  Yep you are right… I headed to Best Buy!  Got a new camera so I can start taking pictures of these great Oregon Days and share them with all of you.

Thank you for reading,

Oregon Smiles with Franny