Plan B: Renaissance Festival

Since we lost our 3rd annual Renaissance Festival in Hillsboro, OR to stupid government decisions my photography student, Liz, and I are heading for the Washington version August 8th. I’ll pick Liz up in my SmartCar and finish the drive to 20021 Sumner-Buckley Highway, Bonney Lake, WA August 8th. I’ve had so much fun the past two years at our now defunct festival I can’t wait to check out the Washington version, a different company. Photo opportunities abound as everyone is in period costume. Liz has already ordered her outfit for the occasion. She was with me last year as we both had a blast interacting with the entertainers. I look forward to the event.



In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I would rather drive. I don’t speed so I am seldom happy with other’s driving habits.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

Neither I would throw them away. If I wanted to listen to loud noise I’d go to McDonald’s and be forced to listen to McDonald’s Radio station.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less.

Kill them all let God sort them out.

Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

If there a choice “C”?

What Is A Yurt?

I guess I should have explained this before I started posting articles about my dream yurt.

What is a Yurt?

The Pacific Yurt is a modern adaptation of the ancient shelter used by Central Asian nomads for centuries. The compact shape of the yurt and combination of lightweight members in tension and compression mean that the structure is highly efficient in maximizing strength while minimizing the use of materials.

The Pacific Yurt is a lightweight, low-cost, state-of-the-art version that retains the sense of wholeness of the ancient form while delivering the structural integrity, longevity and low maintenance demanded by modern users.

Though generally classified as a tent, the yurt is much stronger and weathertight. The Pacific Yurt is a circular structure that consists of a durable fabric cover, tension band and a wood frame that includes a lattice wall, radial rafters, central compression ring and a framed door.

Yurts are insulated, can be internally heated or cooled, have running potable water and/or electricity, whether from city hookup or off the grid via wind turbine or solar power. A basic 20′ yurt is $7,800. Then the accessories begin to be endless.

Yurts come as kits that you can carry in the back of a pickup truck. The claim is that you can put them up or take them down in one day. That would probably turn out to be a week or two for me. Maybe after my arthritis stops I could attempt such a task but right now I can barely walk across the house to the refrigerator. I hope to buy my yurt plus insulation and flooring for about $10,000 if I’m lucky. That’s still less than half of a tiny house on a trailer with twice the space to play with.


20' Yurt Floorplan

I’m Pissed

We regret to inform you that the Oregon Renaissance Festival of Hillsboro will not continue into a 3rd season.

On the conclusion of our 2014 Festival season the future appeared bright. The positive support from within our community was greatly encouraging of things to come, and planning commenced for the 2015 season.

Early this year our Festival was presented a 2015 lease proposal from the Washington County Fair Complex. The lease was found to be unacceptable by the Festival due to numerous non-negotiable changes in terms. The proposed changes would have adversely affected many of our entertainers’ and artisans’ ability to continue to participate and thus, the Festival’s ability to successfully operate.

The Festival made a concentrated effort to secure an acceptable alternate site within the greater Portland community. Unfortunately, the remaining challenges to work out an acceptable lease are too numerous to overcome within the time we deem required to move forward in summer 2015.

The Festival sincerely appreciates all of your support and patronage these past two seasons. We believe you, our guests, have always been the driving force behind our young show. We hope that the brief time you spent with us brought you joyful memories that might be carried forward in each of your lives.

Wishing you a journey paved with good health and good luck!

Fair thee well and HUZZAH!

I wrote a scathing email to the Washington County Fairground Complex voicing my displeasure with their decision to run off one of the best events ever to hit our area. I pointed out the necessity of them pulling their heads out of their collective asses and get with the program.

Playing With My Dream

Part of my artistic background had me drawing floor plans for my dream houses. The new dream yurt is not the first imaginary dwelling I’ve designed. I’ve been doing this for almost 50 years. I used graph paper in the beginning that allowed me to draw my creations to scale. Now it’s Photoshop that puts an even more realistic look and feel to my renderings. I can add color and texture these days.

So it was yesterday as I drew a floor plan for the 20′ yurt I’m drooling over. I’ve been in the exact model I want so now it all seems much more realistic. I have some limited furniture and I’d like to keep it that way. What continues to amaze me is how much room I have to play with. No tiny house sized appliances or furniture needed. I can put in full size refrigerators and stove if I choose to. I don’t.

I would need to build in three separating walls to partition off the bathroom, bedroom & great room, my term for the main living area. I’m upgrading to a queen size bed from the twin I’ve had in my tiny one room worlds for the past 8-10 years. I’ll install pocket sliding doors in those walls to allow for privacy when I need it without using any space taken up by swinging doors. Because of the loft free design of yurts I can use 8′ lumber and plywood for walls.

Utilities can be centralized by having one wall that carries the few plumbing needs in common with the kitchenette and bathroom. Electrical outlets can be installed in that same wall. I want to make the three interior wall sections modular in the event I ever want to move the yurt. I’ll design the sections with receptacles and plugs so I can carry the fully constructed walls in the back of a pickup along with the whole yurt broken down into the original kit, a plug-n-play house. 🙂

Anyway you’ll notice from the rendering below that I still have tons of room for more furniture after I put in my 3-4 meager pieces. I’ll probably get any additional furniture from Goodwill. 🙂

The Plan

20' Yurt Floorplan

Orange Daylily

I couldn’t help but photograph this gorgeous bright orange daylily at the Jim Dandy farmer’s Market the other day. It was so vibrant it glowed.

Orange Daylily #1

Sunday Kewpie Doll Challenge

The photo below was taken yesterday at one of my local hangouts, The Jim Dandy Farm Market. Mae & her hubby own the farm as well as the market that sells the best organic food and most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. I’ve been making the 40 mile round trip ride/drive for many years now. Goodness I love good food and their fruit & produce can’t be beat. They just planted acres of their award winning corn that I try to encourage to grow faster in anticipation to harvest time. It’s a mixture of white and yellow corn that just plain yummy.

So yesterday I went to pick up a bag of cherries for $5 and had to restrain myself from eating the whole bag right there at the counter. We talk often as Mae doesn’t own a computer. She’s 70 and just never got into those “thangs”. LOL I showed her the photos I’d processed from this week’s previous visit to her market. There were Fuschia, Turban Lilies and two colors of Daylilies. She brags to her customers that this famous photographer makes special trips to her farm to photograph her flowers.

Macro Pod 1I entered the Tri County Farmers Market Association photo contest last year and won first prize for the shots taken at Jim Dandy. The prize was my photo entry on the cover of their quarterly publication. It was quite an honor to have been chosen. The winning photo can be seen to the left.

So it was that  i made a solo trip to the farm before hours this past week, grabbed a dozen photos and returned yesterday to show them to Mae. She kept showing customers the pictures and then pointing outside to where they were actually located. She sold bunches of flowers doing this. Meanwhile I kept sampling those cherries in my bag in front of me. I finally had to stop and put them in the trunk of my scooter or they would never have survived.

The photo below was captured yesterday but I forgot to ask Mae the variety. There’s another Bob Kewpie doll reward for identifying it. Making another scooter ride out to that farm just to ask a flower variety is pushing a good thing just a bit too far. By the way the traffic yesterday on highway 26 West was bumper to bumper for the 65 mile drive to the coast and cooler temperatures. I had to laugh at all those fools stacked up in front of her store. The ride home was a snap because there was no traffic heading east into the heatwave. 🙂 I’m glad I got there early before it was too bad.

So here it is, the mystery flower of the day. I have no idea what it is but I do know it’s pretty and needs a name.

Jim Dandy Yellow Flower #1