"Look not for the donkey you are sitting on."
Chinese Proverb

A taste for simple things.

Simple pleasures, like the company of someone you love and enjoy while tramping through the Eastern Oregon desert.

We decided to leave Sunday night when Duncan got home and packed up for an over nighter and headed out. We took a lot of pictures all the way to Burns, found a motel, and camped out. We love doing this kind of thing, a loose destination in mind, and the freedom to go off course if we are so lead.

One of the amazing things about the high desert this time of year, is how green it is. And red, and white too. The darker stones mixed with red volcano rock. There is a wide open beauty to it that is appealing and repelling at the same time. You want to be with the land, but there is such an exposure to the elements. There is a soulfulness to the desert.

I had never been past Burns before, so we went on to Vale and then Ontario. We even went into Idaho. Payette and Fruitland.

Does an hour stay in Idaho count as being to idaho?

Ontario was much bigger and more active than we thought... going on what Duncan remembered of it from forty years ago. If the old downtown isn't the main street going through town, like most small town are, we hunt it out. Used book stores are often in the old downtown areas.

What we found was a closed up downtown though, as there was some big swap meet, Harely rally, or something, that we didn't know about going on at Sumpner. So, even the stores which are usually open on Mondays were closed.

Oh, well. The traffic was light. It was free sailing most of the way home and we turned into our driveway by 7:00 Monday night.

Duncan, took many pictures too,
he was looking for fences.
I like small roads and paths.




bumper sticker

Finally, Duncan and I are having a day off together.

New Years day was our last one off at the same time.

We will put up "GONE FISHING" signs and will high tailed it out of town for the day.

Just packing up a lunch and moving down the road.

Out to the desert. Under a tree, that's where we'll be. Maybe we'll check out the Petrified Forest. Or the Painted Desert again. Or the Steins or French Glenn and the Bird Refuge.

We're just going to point the horses under the hood and let then follow their noses.

When one day seems like a vacation, Wow, we've been working to much.

I did get to go the Portland and see our kids last weekend, so I'm not as deprived as Duncan has been. But it is always so much fun to travel down the road with him.

We always have the best time just driving and talking and stopping to check things out, or following some side road we've never been on before.

Just getting to spend the whole day together out of town is exciting.



"As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious."
Will Durant



"... that I began to feel stirring of anxiety that was unconnected to the story itself. I was distracted: my thumb and right index finger were sending me a message: Not many pages left. The knowledge nagged more insistently until I tilted the book to check. It was true. The thirteenth tale must be a very short one."

(The Thirteenth Tale) Diane Setterfield

I always have more than one stack of books of want to read soon going. I've been clipping right along this past month, as in April I had been sick, then hurt my back, and so was sort of not my usual busy self. I was able to read more or listen to audio books.

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield was my all time favorite for the year so far. A complex store with a few surprises alone the way. Really well done. The story is about twins, books, writers. The writer, Vida Winters, within the story, said, "Every story has a beginning, middle and end, it just depends on whether you get them in the right order, if the story is to live and breath, or not."

This author got them in the right order. I really enjoyed this book. It was rich with the five senses.

I finished a small book by the Dalai Lama, which I really loved. A paper back that was mildly intertaining, and bits and pieces of interesting looking books that crossed my work table at the store.

Right now I'm reading a young adult book by an author I've not been aware of until now, I'd never seen any of his titles before. Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, by Obert Skye. It has an ominously dark and shinny, attractive cover with a young boy and a little critter of some kind. (Have I mentioned, I'm like the crow in the Secrets of NIHM, Oooh, shinny, sparkley).

The young adult or junior readers really have some wonderful authors to choose from these days.

With "Leven Thumps" I'm only a few chapters in so far so don't really have much to say as yet, but it has intrigued onto the next page.

I'm also listening to Shelter of Stone, by Jean Auel. When the first of her books came out, Clan of the Cave Bear all those many years ago, I read it and the second one, but she spends some real time writing her books, so, I sort of moved on to the other things and never got back to them, this one is the latest one she's done and it is a few years old now. I like to listen to story's when no one is in my store, while I'm cleaning, pricing and putting books away. It makes that work go faster. Although lately, the store has been so busy, I've been listening in the car, more than at the store.

What has been your favorite book this past month, or year?