Driving around Central Oregon

School was closed for 2 days last week due to the big storm (18″ in one day at our city home), but Nate had a wrestling tournament on Saturday in Redmond, so we had to go out…


We took the back way down Deschutes Market, easy going.



I’ve taken so many shots from this overpass!  Deschutes Market turns into Tumalo Road and here are our gorgeous mountains.  The 3 Sisters and Broken Top to the left.  Great for hiking in the summer, incredible for snow sports in the winter, and ALWAYS fun to look at.




HWY 97 runs the length of Oregon, this stretch is between Bend and Redmond.  Another nice clear road and too early to be packed, yeah.




View from the high school where the wrestling match was. That’s Mt. Jefferson with clouds rolling in.  I was inside all day for the meet and just wanted to be OUTSIDE!

Redmond Oregon – Hope & a Home

So prices are going up up up in Bend, Oregon and those who don’t want to pay the higher prices often buy outside Bend. A wonderful community nearby is called Redmond.  Started as an ag town, it has really grown into a wonderful, active, involved community.  The views from many of the homes involve the full range of the Cascade Mountains and will take your breath away now that they have snow.


This playground is one example of how hard the community worked together to fundraise and build an accessible playground for all kids.  It used to be a big wooden structure that my kids and I played on, often getting splinters.  Now it’s tripled in size and usually when I am walking nearby there are kids all over it. Yesterday it was 41 at 1pm, no kids in sight.


Taken from under the deck on one of my listings, the Cascade Mountains are out there in the clouds – imagine the view from the deck on a cloudless day!



A side view – the canyon dips way down and back up again – full of Juniper and deer.  The light in the afternoon was just beautiful.  If you want to see more/better pictures of this home and the views, go to my realestatesally.com website and type in 1585 NW 35th, Redmond, Oregon.

So Bend, Oregon is expensive, but many people will only live there.  I think they are selling themselves short if they buy before checking out Redmond, Prineville, and Culver.  Each has its own vibe and a great community of people!

Pilot Butte, Bend, Oregon

We have this awesome hill in the middle of town that many of use as our free outdoor treadmill. Every time I walk it I take a picture from the top, any view, because it’s so beautiful.  A friend and I started walking it in 1985, when you’d only see a handful of people during the hour. Now it’s been turned into a state park on the east side, the road up has been improved, there are numerous trails all over it, and TONS of people use it daily.  Walking, running, biking it.

We can always tell the tourists from the locals – the tourists drive up it – when you come to Bend, get out of your car, it’s more fun!


This is the view looking east – my home is over there somewhere!



At the top is a huge plaza that has this mountain marker as the centerpiece.  There are always people reading it to try and figure out which mountain is which and I’m often asked to point them out correctly.  When it’s snowing or cloudy I have to tell them to come back another time!  Or in an hour when the weather changes…



This is the view west  – look hard for those little white bumps, that’s the Cascade mountains.  The little town of Bend is down there, too!  For some reason, I cannot make these pictures any larger, sorry.

butte-dogs My walking companions today!  Lady the Golden is almost 14, and Jessica the Maltese -Shitzu is in charge. She’s a pill!  Attitude beyond all. On this day I made the mistake of saying to them, “let’s go to the butte” then came in the house for something I forgot. I could hear them howling in the garage for a full 5 minutes; they were ready to go!

butte-nlj My son’s wrestling team RUNS the butte for practice.  I leave 25 minutes ahead of them, walk as fast as I can, and still Nate catches me at the top.  It’s a little over a mile.  We usually take the dirt path down because it’s easier on your knees when you run.  Or jog as I do, tripping over the dogs, saying hello to friends.

So when you come to Bend you have to walk the Butte! (Check out more information at the Oregon State parks website.)  When you’re done and have taken at least 20 pictures of all the various views, go the 1/2 mile to the Pilot Butte drive in and have the best burger in town, you’ve earned it!







A little more hiking!

family-wychus-creekWe all lucked out and had Veteran’s Day free for a little exploring near the 3 Creeks area outside Sisters, Oregon. Normally I would volunteer or we’d take part in a celebration of some type honoring our veterans, but this year I needed to be in the TREES.  Desperately needed the green for my soul.  We let the teens sleep in, so that started us out right.

This new overlook had a beautiful view of the 3 Sisters mountains and  Wychus creek was just over the edge.  Always nice to have it a little overcast so we can hike hard and not overheat, but this trail was only a mile loop, so we didn’t have to worry about that.


New trailhead signs and one says that the trail is difficult, so I wasn’t sure how Dan’s new hip would do…. but it wasn’t difficult for anyone!  Even a toddler could run it, it’s made so a wheelchair could be pushed on it, it’s really a very easy trail.  Interesting sign.


We went further up Road 16, and saw the devastation from the wildfire again.  We’ve cut down our Christmas tree in this area before, but we won’t be doing so this year.  Hard to see, but we know the forest needs the fire and watching it all regrow will be a cool process.


This view of 3 Creeks lake took my breath away.  Of course, then we had to hike around the lake to see it up close.  There was an old trail, so it was fairly easy.  The Tam McArthur Rim hike up there on the flat part of the mountains was calling me, but we didn’t come prepared to hike in the snow, so it will have to wait until next July. This area will get so much snow, the road won’t be passable until about that time of year.


The trail went up the side of the mountain for awhile, and we did more off trail exploring to try to see a better view up top, but couldn’t get a clear view of the 3 Sisters.



Yes, we threw snowballs into the lake!  They didn’t melt quickly because the water was so cold, so we were able to throw rocks at them, too.  Yes, I’m over 12, but will never stop hiking and throwing rocks.  To be outside like this, it really does nurture my soul.  I’m happy with my career, in love with my spouse, and adore my children – but this, these mountains, trees, and lakes,  I NEED them.  Lucky me, we live here, so we can enjoy it.



Hiking outside Sisters, Oregon


I got a wild hair yesterday morning and texted a friend to see if she wanted to play hooky with me – so we could go see these gorgeous mountains up close!  Thank you, Nora, for being willing to get outside!

These are 2 of the 3 Sisters, past an old burn. We could have still hiked up there to the snow line, but we were on a mission to find Peterson Ridge. Really, how hard could it be?!


It was harder than we thought.  There was a small brown sign along 16, which we found on our way back down the road. The trail markers above, however, were great.  Easy to find and read.  But who names a trail Hello Kitty? There must be a good story, but I cannot find it online anywhere.


The first view point – Mt. Jefferson tucked behind Black Butte and the pine trees.  Which smelled amazing.  It was almost 70 degrees, so the high desert smell was strong. Look at that blue sky! We live here!



We hiked for almost 3 hours and were so happy the whole time. Just heaven to be out in the trees on a perfect fall day.  Sisters is only 30 minutes from Bend, so we had plenty of time to chat.


View of the sunset on a roundabout heading home.  I love fall in Central Oregon!

“Hiking” in the Old Mill


We “had” to go to REI yesterday, so decided to take a short walk around the loop in the Old Mill area…. on a gorgeous day like this, we just kept going!  This is the Deschutes River in fall – no rafters and no mountains in the distance – nice, quiet fall day.


Here’s why we kept going!  The river is much lower, but still beautiful. I saw 3 trout, but no fishermen.  Easy first “hike” for Dan’s new hip – 5 miles and no pain.  Yes, we live in paradise!





Organizing 101 = S.P.A.C.E. !


I’ve taught an organizing class for years, and one of the most frequent questions is “how do I get rid of my junk?” If you Google organizing tips, you’ll get 61,900,000 responses for you to read. That’s crazy! Easier to boil it down to these simple steps:
S.P.A.C.E. = let’s use the example of your closet:
S = Sort. Put on some comfortable clothes, crank the music, and sort items into like piles on your bed. T-shirts, short sleeve long sleeve, pants, shorts, outdoor wear, work clothe, play clothes – whatever you’ve got in there.
P = Purge. Now look at that pile of 75 t-shirts that’s falling over – do you really love all of them? Have you worn them in the past year? Do they still fit? Get rid of at least 1/2 of them. And to donate them, they go into a bag RIGHT THEN, then into your car. No leaving the bag in the house so tomorrow you can go back and take 1/2 of it back out. Be ruthless. Save your favorites! Are you saving if “just in case?” Picture me holding up a Stop sign because you cannot have a whole closet full of “just in case”.
I recently called 12 local non-profits to ask what they need for the winter. The response was overwhelming. Besides cash, they desperately need items in good repair, clean, and easy to sell. Bend may look like an affluent community, but we still have many people just barely getting by.
If you need a reason to get rid of your stuff, think of those people, not yourself.
A = Assign a Home. This means figure out where items are supposed to go so that you can use them easily and they’ll be handy. Who cares that you use the dining room for your office? Make your home work for you. Many people leave their shoes in the garage now, to leave the dust and dirt outside, so they have extra room in their closets for their scrapbooking items. I say yes to whatever works for YOU. Leave space on every shelf for growth – you’ll receive gifts, buy new items.
C = Containerize. This is where you get to buy all the fun organization items! Many people erroneously do this step first, but then end up with too many baskets/bins that don’t fit how they live. But first look around your home and use what you’ve got. If you collect tins, use those, baskets, use those, the fabric bins, use those – all are easy to fit into different closets and on shelves.
E= Equalize & Put It All Away. This is where people have a hard time. When I was organizing homes, people would hire me repeatedly for the same room because we would clean it up, donate everything, and then they would go back to collecting crap. They forgot this step! Even though I taught it!
So the key is to spend a little time each day picking up the clutter and leftover items in each room. Put the dishes away. Hang up the coats. Put the clothes in the dirty laundry. Whatever you’ve gotten out, just tidy it up. 10-15 minutes at the most, with the whole family helping and the music blaring, and you’ll have it done.
Another key part of this final step is that you learn to follow the “one in, one out” rule. Our grandparents easily lived by this because when they bought an item, it was a big deal. Now, in our materialistic society, we consume, buy, and buy more, without ever purging. If you can teach your kids, and yourself, that happiness doesn’t come from buying stuff, it’s a valuable lesson.
S.P.A.C.E. Organizing is a process. One that you take step by step. It takes time and the rewards and hard work are well worth it. you are NOT going for perfection, your home will never be perfect. Learn how to create a balance of the things you need and love, the space you have, and the life you want to lead.
Let me know if you have any questions!

Proud Mom

The picture on the left was taken at the last 9th grade football game on Thursday night – Mountain View played the Civil War game against our nemesis, Bend High. We won 73-8 and much of it was due to our incredible team working so hard together!  Nate, my son, is a running back, and was able to score 4 touchdowns from Abe, our quarterback.  (The little guy is our next generation!)  It was another fun night for football!

The picture on the right is Nate’s broken thumb last night after the new cast went on.  A few of the freshman were asked to practice with the Varsity/JV guys and in the first practice on Halloween, he hurt his thumb. In pain, but not wanting to see the doctor, he was hoping to dress down for the first playoff game, he finally said okay to an x-ray because the team trainer said he had to.  Thanks, Lindsey.

I’m so proud of my son.  He played hard, with integrity, leaving everything at every practice and game.  We’ve been watching him play since second grade, and it just gets better and better.  Now if he can just heal quickly!