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Total Solar Eclipse in Oregon

With my boys so heavily into outer space and celestial bodies, we made our way to go on a long drive to Oregon to watch and experience the great American total solar eclipse which happened August 21, 2017. I was not much excited about the eclipse but my excitement was for what interesting places to see in Oregon. Lots of pine trees? Pine scent? Love it! But no, we didn’t smell the pine trees, haze yes. Too bad, it’s brush fire season. We got to see some along the highway on our way home.

We had to get the best possible spot that would make our 14-hour drive trip worthy. Best, meaning no traffic, with cellphone signal, not cloudy and not hazy. First, the mandatory welcome to Oregon picture. We’re about an hour away from the border of California and Oregon but the main driver was so sleepy so I decided to drive. Not fond of the road as it’s just a two-lane roadway that sometimes has a passing permitted markings and sometimes no passing zone. And you have a truck with a trailer in front of you, oh boy. All my passengers were sleeping and I was droopy eyed but my brain said I should be wide awake. When the a/c blows it made me sleepy but when I look to my left, the view was fantastic. I feel like seeing Mars! Too bad I can’t take pictures. To make the story short, I was able to let them sleep and wake them up when it’s time to have our pictures taken at Welcome to Oregon sign.

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So many things happened and I can’t squeeze them all in here. Maybe in a separate entry. We were able to pick the best spot (based on our requirements) and it was in between John Day and Mt. Vernon, Oregon. We got a dry camping spot at Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site by the pond for just $11/night. Dry camping meaning no water, just portalet for potty. I’m so glad I brought our own camping potty. Anyway, it’s just for the night and the following morning. The main campground has showers and bathrooms. So it’s not a big deal. Here’s our set up.

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The park gave us 4 eclipse eyeglasses for free! We paid $50 for 6 pairs of glasses of the same kind. But it’s okay. Who would go on a 14 hour drive to view the eclipse without glasses on hand? But still, we can bless the people of Chile by sending our used eclipse glasses.

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I appreciate the fact that Oregon prepared for the eclipse. They even had a presentation in the middle of the campground.

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On the morning of the eclipse day, while others head out to town to get some breakfast, my family just chilled and waited for a hot breakfast. Hot, meaning, hotdogs and squished bread that I grilled and some cup noodles and green tea. Glad to have used our camping stove that’s been with us since 2012. Very useful!

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How to make green tea? Boil water, then add the teabag. Wait for a few minutes. Easy peasy. :) The sound of the stove makes me feel like we’re in a youtube cooking video, Almazan kitchen. IMG_8099

Since total eclipse will be around past 10, we were in no hurry to prepare our stuff. Mich was busy with every BTS songs and everything kpop. Ad had been setting up his telescope and camera while hubby was preparing his binoculars with improvised eclipse lens filters. And I got to sketch too!

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From time to time we this was how we look. :)

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I can’t remember ever experiencing a total solar eclipse. Hubby said, when we were in high school there was a total solar eclipse in the Philippines so I consider this my first.

The great American total eclipse was promoted in all possible media coverage and social medias. It became a huge tourist event (people from different places flew and drove to the path of totality), family affair and an avenue for celebration and reunion of some sort. Lazy towns became lively. Bouncy castles and playgrounds were set up for kids. All sorts of BBQs were being sold. Concerts and festivities were all over. It’s fun!

I can’t explain the feeling of excitement and much anticipation of what it would be like. And the 2 minutes and few seconds of total eclipse happened. It became dark like a night. Birds chirped. I was awed by God’s creation. In ancient times, it could be a source of bad omen, talk about superstitions. But now, it’s a feeling of happy moment that when you see something unusual like the moon covering the sun, we could see how powerful the sun is for us. And that perfect timing of rotation and revolution only comes from the master of the universe who created it. So glad we could experience this event as a family. Something to cherish for the rest of our lives. That happy feeling inside of me is unexplainable. We thanked my husband for pushing this family trip that he planned since April of 2016 and we thanked God for His provision in everything for us to be able to come here.

This is the picture I took using my Iphone at the exact time of the eclipse.

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Photos of the eclipse that Adrian took using Nikon DSLR attached to Celestron telescope.

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And here’s the time lapse video of the before and after the eclipse. We truly enjoyed our trip.


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original painting by Che: 11×15 on Arches paper

I am fond of taking photos of random things, that’s why my phone is always full. This watercolor painting was inspired by one of those photos I took when I went to a Filipino store here in San Diego to buy fish and basically do my grocery shopping for Pinoy ingredients. I grew up in Malabon/Navotas where fishing is one of the main sources of income. I have seen so many species of fish in our local market that’s not usual in other markets in Manila. I got inspired to paint this to honor my father who was a fisherman. I remember the times when he would bring us, his children, to ride a boat and tour us around Malabon river just for fun.

Here’s to commemorate my father’s legacy. I believe 51% of my artistic inclination came from my paternal side. September is always for you, ‘tay (dad)! Your memory lives on…

 

 

Summer Art

One of the benefits of summer vacation is to have time to just chill at home and get bored :) without any worries of waking up very early to prepare for school or work. We don’t let our chores get in the way and we let ourselves in pjs all day. Drawing in sticky notes or in canvas and paper, it doesn’t matter as long as we’re having a great time. Sometimes we get frustrated because we don’t get the results we wanted, sometimes we get revitalized by the splashes of colors that accidentally formed in the palette but it’s all part of the fun! We’ve done some paintings this summer!. On days when we can’t get out to the beach, we painted waves, ocean, fish, boats and flowers. Welcome to our mother & daughter summer art!

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Camping: Lake Powell

This is what camping on a 100 F weather in Arizona looks like. Everything is bright and clear till 8:30 p.m. Welcome to Wahweap Campground in Lake Powell, Page, Arizona! This is Lake Powell Resort’s campground area. The view is amazing & relaxing. It was a busy season. Glad we made a reservation just in time. Given some more years and the trees will grow much more, providing bigger shades and it will be perfect. lakepowell

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Here we pitched our tent carefully because it was super windy that time. We saw some flying tents around! And while it’s still 100 degrees, we went to the resort’s lounge to have dinner and avail of their wifi. How can I survive with my GPRS cellphone signal?  lakepowell2

At 9:30 p.m. we were swimming under the stars. Cool! Yes, we needed this to relax our tired bodies from the long drive. Resort amenities are also open for campers. Yay! But the problem with swimming, you have to take a shower, dry up before you go back to the tent and sleep. Complex task!
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Our first night was awesome. The night sky was clear and stars were very visible, we even saw the Milky Way! For the first time, I saw a shooting star. :) It was nice to just lie down on a beach chair under the bare sky and watch the stars till you get sleepy. Adrian was busy with his telescope that night.
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At 6 a.m. I woke up to this calm view and prepared our breakfast composed of baked salmon, pork tocino & quinoa multigrain rice mix (wow fancy! fancy leftovers 😉 )…Everybody was able to sleep well. Thank God for camping fans. It’s rare that we get to use fans in camping. Yes, because it’s summer and we’re in Arizona. :)

lakepowell5This is Lake Powell. The gorgeous Lake Powell. We went exploring the area, in the next blog coz it’s too much in one blog. See yeah!

 

Watercolor Study: Labrador, Mailboxes, Villa, Gerberas, Portrait

This is my first ever dog painting and hopefully not the last coz I’m gathering my strength to paint our white bichon named Poochie. :) Soon! Below are some of my other watercolor paintings.

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Mailboxes and geranium (11×15)

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Italian Villa (14×10)

gerberaGerberas (7×10)

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Thai Lady (14×10)

Hiking: Garnet Peak

One of my most favorite hikes in San Diego is Garnet Peak in Mt. Laguna. It’s about 6,000 ft. above sea level.  It’s an easy 3 to 4 miles hike from where we started. I know there’s another start area closer to the hike but we chose the longer trail. garnet1

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It’s windy and sunny at the same time. Mich looked like she’s sporting a new hairdo. :) We had spectacular views of Laguna Mountains and Anza Borrego desert.
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The last stretch of our hike to the summit.
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Selfie time!
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We left the selfie pod at home so he improvised one. We’re the only ones on the summit.
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Can’t beat the view. garnet9

This is a highly recommended hike but be sure to check out the weather especially wind advisory.

 

 

 

Doodles & More

Depending on the mood of the day, a quiet time of relaxation from all the cares of this world, one can find an inner release of self-expression through paint & brush. It’s my first ever drawing of a zebra. And I never thought that I’ll get confused along the way, which is really black and which is really white? I was copying a picture, I didn’t realize there was an ear in my painting. Zebras have ears! lol
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One lazy day, the roses that husband gave me caught my attention, so I decided to draw them to immortalize the flowers.
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Sometimes colors play in my mind. I played with colors that day, later on I realized that they’re the colors of our decorative pillow. That’s why it looks familiar! Look below.
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It was harvest time, and the colors of the season are orange and brown. I want my pumpkin to be so unique so here it is!

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And another fall season must have, leaf! We need more golden leaves.doodle-leaf

I went to the market that day, and bought a pineapple. I used to be intimidated by pineapples. If I have one, how can I cut them like the pros from the fruit stands? Not anymore, now I can cut them and even paint them my style. We love pineapples!doodle-pineapple

Finally, poinsettias! I never expected that the pot of poinsettias I bought will really stay up to this day and be ready for next Christmas. Haha! Battle of poinsettias next Christmas season.

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Canyonlands: Island in the Sky & Mesa Arch, Etc.

This is a summary of what we have accomplished in a short period of time after traveling long hours. We just had a quick breakfast and loaded our mini cooler with some blueberry muffins, an apple for the boss, Poochie, beef jerkies, gatorades and water and off we go to this vast land filled with nature’s wonders.

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This is Utah’s largest national park, Canyonlands National Park located in the Moab, Utah. We had to prioritize what we want to visit and come back some other time for other scenic areas.

Names easily catch my attention so I chose Island in the Sky and it’s surrounding attractions. It’s surreal! It’s one of those things that you don’t normally see on a daily basis. It’s breathtaking to see these rugged canyons carved by Colorado river.  It was made more spectacular when we watched how the sun sets down and makes the canyons’ color turn golden. The clouds and snowy mountainous backdrop, the texture of the rugged canyons and crevices are so picturesque. canyonlands1

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Only a short mile hike going to this awesome view, the Mesa Arch. If short hikes are like this one, everyone will be more motivated to hike regularly. The arch looked small but in reality, it’s big. If we have the luxury of time, it’s nice to just sit and relax here the whole day.
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We passed by this Wooden Shoe Arch going to the visitor’s center. It really looks like a shoe. Unique in it’s own way.

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In the back is Newspaper Rock, a petroglyph site located along Indian Creek in Southeastern Utah. It’s really cool how people from old days connect to us through art and some form of writing. canyonlands9

This is really a cool roadside attraction going to Canyonlands. It’s called Wilson arch. We decided to stop by and have some pictures. What seemed like an easy hike turned out to be difficult and impossible for me to go up with Uggs on. It’s scary to go up some more so I settled in this spot and had selfie with the rest of the gang.

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Blessing Our Children

Time passes by so quickly that I had to look for old pictures coz I miss them when they were this little. This led a prompting to say a little prayer of blessing for them. Paraphrasing Mary Ruth Swope’s prayer in The Power of Blessing Your Children here it goes…

In the name of Jesus, I bless both my children with the power to see with accuracy their special, God-given abilities. May they become a competent worker in the field of endeavor for which God has ordained them. May they see themselves as persons with many latent talents. May the Holy Spirit stands ready to help them understand and develop their gifts, so be bold in asking for His help. May the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit to help others be evident in your lives. I bless you with the anointing of God to fulfill His special purposes for your life. xoxo – Omma & Appa

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Hiking: Iron Mountain

Iron mountain is one of the most favorite hikes in San Diego. Whenever we pass by the area coming from Julian, there are always plenty of hikers and parking is full. It’s a moderate 6 mile hike with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet.

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Hiking is more fun with friends. What a perfect day to hike when it’s a little cold but sunny. Today was kinda special because of this burst of cloud that looked like a fountain. This is our fountain of youth. Haha! Looking forward to more hikes with you guys!
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“Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.” (Proverbs 27:17) Iron mountain sharpened our legs and feet. lol! Seriously, it’s a comfortable hike for everyone. 

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We just don’t hike wherever we want. We make sure that trails are safe and we are prepared. Thanks to Modern Hiker for his blog. Tips and overall information we need in hiking are very helpful. We bought our shirts from you! :) Matchy!

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