"O see, how brightly the universe gleams!
There is a radiance on everything;
you drift with me on a cold sea,
but a special warmth flickers from you to me, from me to you."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

forest service cabin rentals

Have you guys ever heard of this?  These historic forestry service cabins and fire lookouts are available for nightly rental.  Some year-round, some only during certain seasons.  Some you can drive up to, and some are really remote and are only accessible by hiking or snowshoeing.  Some have electricity and kitchens, and some are really primitive.  Some allow pets! 

From the website:

"Many of the cabins and lookouts that compose the Recreation Lodging offering in the Pacific Northwest Region are the historic representatives of a once- extensive system of protective structures designed to detect wildfires – and to house fire guards, "smoke chasers", who formed the front-line defense in fighting those fires as the initial attack.
The cabins were "Guard Stations" – intermediate protective facilities between the Ranger Station and the back country. Guard Stations were strategically located, to afford the maximum contact with people headed into the back country– to check permits, provide information, and caution about the use of fire. Guard Stations also placed fire guards closer to forest so that no time would be lost in getting on the trail when a phone call came in from the lookout locating a "smoke" (fire). Many of the trails that are now recreation trails began as fire trails to connect and supply fire lookouts, and to reach far into the back country."

I love stuff like this.  Last summer, my husband and I went on an epic road trip down the coast of Oregon and California.  In Humboldt County, the coastline there is called the Lost Cost because it's so remote and difficult to get to.  In fact, much of the Lost Coast is only accessible by hiking the rocky, windswept coastline.  After driving for what seemed like hours down a twisty, muddy dirt road, we got to Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, where we stayed the night in an old barn.  On a bluff overlooking the crashing surf, with groups of pelicans flying home for the evening outside our window, we inflated our Thermarest sleeping pads and rolled out our sleeping bags.  (The barn is part of the State Park and costs $30/night to sleep in--we weren't just crashing in some random barn.)  It was so beautiful and foggy and desolate and romantic.  We only stayed one night--I really want to go back some day.

 Image of Sinkyone State Park barn from here.
Find out more about the forestry service cabins here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

wishing for spring...

this picture is really making me long for spring.  It's going to be -5 degrees F here tonight.  I know that many people love winter, but for me, between November and March, life is a little harder.  It's not long now, though!

what's your signature scent?

I started wearing Lancome's Poeme in around 1997 because my friend Helen wore it one day in music history class, and she was so pretty and stylish and I kind of wanted to be just like her.  She was a big fan of Juliette Binoche, who I'm pretty sure was in Poeme's original ads.  Helen eventually moved on to something else, but I'm still wearing it.  It's not a subtle perfume, but it's warm and inviting and smells comforting to me.  I just try and use it really sparingly so it's not overpowering.  The scent lingers on my clothes for days, if not longer.  It's a little heavy when it's warm out, but I don't usually wear perfume in the summer anyway, cause it's not usually something that crosses my mind when I'm living out of a tent.  Although, there are definitely some beauty rituals that I never abandon, even in the wilderness.  (More on that in another post.) 

I love perfume.  It makes me feel like I'm trying on a new persona.  And I've always had such a strong association between scent and memory.  Everyone has that, right?  Like, every time I smell a certain shampoo, it takes me back to exactly where I was in life when I was using it.  Oooh, or the smell of citronella candles and the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling of summer camp romance. 
So, because I love perfume, even though I have kind of a signature scent, I'm always sniffing out something new.  After Christmas, my neighborhood Walgreens had all their drugstore-celebrity-fragrance gift sets marked down 50%, so I bought a couple...!  I actually really like Halle Berry Pure Orchid.  It doesn't last on my skin, though.  An hour or two after I put it on, I can't smell it anymore.

 I love the samples they give out at Ulta.  One time I went in there I asked if they had any fragrance samples, and the girl behind the counter said, "sure," and pulled out a giant box of different teensy bottles of perfume.  It was like trick-or-treating, but way better!  I snagged like five.  Last time I went in there, I got a sample of Vera Wang's Preppy Princess, which, despite having an embarrassingly stupid name, smells delicious.
I also really like Coach Poppy.  It's really hard to justify buying more perfume, though.  Sigh.

I'll leave you with one final thought.  I read recently about a new fragrance from Demeter called Lobster.  They describe it as smelling like " a combination of the sea, sweet meat, and a hint of drawn butter."
Glamour magazine said it didn't so much smell like lobster meat, but more like the sweet, salty scent of the ocean.  That actually sounds wonderful to me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I like yurts.

forest yurt via

river yurt via

My husband and I stay in the yurts in the Oregon State Parks on the Oregon Coast pretty often.  Reserving those yurts is next to impossible without pretty long-term planning, though!  You can reserve them up to nine months in advance, and people snatch up the weekends during the summer really fast.  They have electricity and heat, and are super cozy.  We stayed in a yurt near Bandon, Oregon for five days after we got married!

Monday, February 21, 2011

first post!

This is my first post!  Hopefully it gets easier.  My name is Mandy.  I love my family, my dog, the ocean, making music, taking pictures, taking pictures of my dog and the ocean, and trying to enjoy the beauty that exists everywhere.  I don't like spiders, cantaloupe, loud noises, and those ASPCA commercials that make me cry.  This is a Polaroid I took with my SX-70 and Fade to Black film.  It's Cape Kiwanda, at Pacific City, on the Oregon Coast.  It's one of my very favorites.  Thank you for reading my very first blog post!