Author Archives: Dayl


Leave a comment

by | May 21, 2012 · 8:32 am

Tadpoles and Wine.

Hood River gets all of the attention and rightly so.  However,  the Washington side of the Gorge is perfect for a day in the sun with your kiddos.   My son and I love hiking at Catherine Creek.  It is twenty minutes east of Hood River and very kid friendly.   The terrain is open and not very steep.  There are many trails to choose from and plenty of opportunities to throw rocks into a creek or build rock art.  But the best keep secret is the frog ponds.  Slimy, mucky wonderful frog ponds.  This time of year you can see frog eggs, tadpoles and listen for frog songs.  There is slime to pick up with sticks and waterskippers observe.  It’s the perfect spot for a junior biologist.  If that’s not enough, every time I go there I have seen eagles and osprey in abundance.  Best of all, it can be cloudy and raining in Portland and sunny, sunny at Catherine Creek.  Worth the hour and 20 minute drive, wouldn’t you say?   If you think that sounds fun, it gets better.  Just down the road is several fabulous wineries.  Now Mama get her treat.  Syncline (YUMMMM),  Cor and Domian Pouillion are just short jaunt from Catherine Creek.  I like to start with Domian Pouillion and end at Syncline Winery.  Syncline has wine by the glass  and has a lovely area to have a picnic.    The wine makers at Syncline have children of their own and the tasting room is kid friendly.  Plus they have chickens, tractors and a friendly dog.

If you are still hungry and thirsty, Solstice Pizza in Bingen and Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon are both terrific.  The food and beer at Everybody’s is outstanding.  The deck at Everybody’s has a view of Mt.  Hood.  Solstice has a small kids area and a good menu as well.

So the next time you need an adventure,  head east of Hood River and enjoy sun, wine and fun for the whole family.

Go Play Outside,



From Portland, drive east on I-84 to Hood River. Cross the Hood River Bridge and turn right on Washington Highway 14. Drive through Bingen and continue about 4 1/2 miles to Old Highway 8. Turn left on Old Highway 8, which is also County Road 1230. Drive east on this road  for about 1 1/2 mile to the trailhead.  To find the frog ponds, take the trail to the left on the north side of the Hwy.  To play in the creek, head up the trail on the right.   Have a kid in a stroller, no problem.  There is a paved trail on the south side of the road. 

The wineries are off the Old Hwy 8.  To get better directions, refer to

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Fitness, Food, Nature

Flower Mac

Since I am on a whole food kick I have been experimenting with vegetable dishes that my kid might eat.  The other night I came up with “Flower Mac” and it was quite good.

Saute one shallot and garlic clove in olive oil.

De-glaze with wine wine and add one whole head of cauliflower chopped up.

Add plain rice milk (or veggie or chicken broth) and throw in a hand full of thyme.  ( I did add 2 tbs butter, too!)

Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer covered until its soft.  Once the cauliflower is soft puree in blender until smooth.

Use as sauce over your choice of  whole grain pasta.  I topped mine with paprika and shredded carrots to  give it some color.   You can use anything you want to add flair because  its pretty bland looking on its own.

Jim and Z loved it!!

Enjoy good food


Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Food

Time for a Change!

I work in an ER and the American Diet is killing us.  Obesity is as harmful to our health as smoking.  Most of the patients coming through the ER are on a fistful of medications and are over weight.  Drop the weight, drop some of the meds.  I know this is old news, but its time people take their health in their own hands and make a change.  How do  you do it?  Nutrition.  I recently watched “Forks Over Knifes”  and I am so inspired.  It is simple.  Eat a plant based, whole food  diet.  Cut down on the meat and avoid processed foods.  People say it is too expensive.   I once heard, “It’s better to pay the grocer than the doctor.”  Yesterday I bought a bag full of veggies to make a soup.   It was ten dollars.  It made enough soup for ten people.   Not bad.  I like to tell my patients, “shop on the perimeter of the grocery store.”

What is heart breaking to me, is our children.  Teenagers are being diagnosed with high cholesterol and Type II diabetes.  It sets them up for a long life of poor health.  I am as guilty as the next mother.  I have had a bag of chicken nuggets in my freezer.  But I want to try harder for my son and get him off on the right foot.   It does take a little more work, but aren’t we worth it? 

Fun Whole food Chocolate Pudding.

In a food processor add

a small banana

1/2 an avocado

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coca powder

2 tbsp  of coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend until smooth.  It is so yummy and tastes just like chocolate pudding.  You can adjust the recipe to taste.  Even my picky toddler ate it.  Eat it up because it doesn’t keep well. 

Good eating,



Filed under Family, Food

I am back!

After  months of being computer-less, I am back on-line.   The crazy thing is,  I did not miss anything.  I have been writing my thoughts for this blog on pen and paper.  What is that you ask??  It is along the lines of VHS and Landlines.  Wow it feels good to type.  Here is an entry from October.

FAMILY GONE WILD.  Oct 10 2011

We sold our house.   We sold it back to the original owners.  The Tribe.  Our land used to be village of 500 people or more.  It will now become a cultural center and Salmon research center.  But that’s another story.

So now we are in between homes.  One sold, one being built.  We are, in a sense, homeless.  Thankfully, our friend Bob has 10 amazing acres and is letting us live in a teepee.  That is right, a teepee with a two-year old.  In October.

Back in my pre-child days this would be ideal.  However, its raining, cold and dark.  Amazingly enough, the teepee doesn’t leak too bad, even with the hole on the top.   Smart people those Native Americans.  Zephyr is sleeping next to me as the rain falls in loud drops on the canvas.  Drop, drop drop.  I am under the blanket with a headlamp and notebook.  As I am wishing for simple pleasures like heat or a sink, I hear an owl hoot in the distance.  With a deep breath I realize that I love the teepee.  It has been a long time since I have felt so connected to the environment around me.  We are always going from heated car to snug house in warm winter coats.  Once in a while is good to be uncomfortable.  We live in  such controlled climates we lose touch with the world around us.   So instead of being damp and miserable, I am grateful.  I am grateful for this earth and its ever-changing seasons.  And most of all, I am grateful that my son is sleeping to the sound of nature’s symphony.

Ahhhhh love and life,


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Home, Nature, Travel

Lessons in Letting Go

Letting go.

I have to put down my best friend of twelve years.  I keep asking myself,  who am I to decide the date of her death? What gives me this  power?  If I look at the big picture I don’t feel like I have a choice, but is the most heartbreaking decision I have ever made.

Nala has been an amazing dog.  She has rafted many rivers including Hells Canyon and The Middle Fork of the Salmon.  She has hiked thousands of trails all over the country and has traveled to the tip of Baja twice.  She has not left my side since the day I adopted her.  Since I made the decision to let her go, I have had a pit in my stomach.   Physically ill.  Nala is 14 and has a lot of pain.  She has trouble getting up, falls a lot and now has bitten Zephyr.   Well it was only a snap, but it did draw blood. I keep holding on.  What makes this so difficult is she does have some quality of life.  She enjoys eating and lying in the sun and going for small walks.  However the risk for Zephyr increases every day and Nala’s pain becomes more and more pronounced.   She is starting to become incontinent.  The guilt of euthanizing is so heavy.  Besides growling and snapping at my son, she has been the perfect example of true love.  She never left me even though I have moved her to eleven different times.  Lived with countless roommates and their various dogs.  She sits at my feet, follows me from room to room and has slept by my side for 12 years.  She has outlasted six different relationships and four different jobs.   She is unconditional love.

I have an appointment on Wednesday.  I am thinking of canceling it.  I might need to take this journey with her week by week.  Although I know she would not aggressively hurt Z,  the images of a child we had to send to a plastic surgeon who was bitten by their family pet keep playing in my head.  Those parents did not think their dog was capable of such a bite either.   Their dog was also old and in pain.  They lost their dog, their son has a scar for life and now is deathly afraid of all dogs.  I don’t want that for my son.   Oh Nala!!!!!!!  How come the right thing to do totally SUCKS?  I also know it’s not just about Zephyr’s safety.  It’s about her  pain.  She fell down two steps today.  She pants and pants, she not longer wags her tail.

Now I have to let her go.  And as much as I know it’s the right thing to do, I am having trouble doing it.  We have had a lot of loss this year.

Life is like a sand dune, always changing, moving and shifting.  We are here to learn to love deeply and to let go.  I keep reminding myself that people, things, and situations are always moving through our lives like the sand moves across the desert.  I know that love goes beyond our attachment to the physical.  It never dies.  Love is endless. It is a bottomless spring.  That said, how do I let go of that sweet fuzzy face?



Filed under Family

Dining with Toddlers and Wild Birds

I love to dine.  How heavenly is a leisurely meal out with yummy wine, multiple courses, and good conversation?    Now add Zephyr. Dining out with my two-year old feels like combat dinning. When I am out with him forget the first course and instead of sipping fine wines that compliment my meal, I am slugging it for strength. He just doesn’t have my passion for food and good service. His passions are running, jumping and fire trucks.

Last night it was a beautiful, clear evening. My husband and I thought it would be fun to go to Indian Creek Golf Course for dinner. Plenty of outdoor seating and an amazing view of Mt. Hood.  We had been up playing in the woods and I should have known he was too punch drunk for a nice meal.  He would not stay put.  My normally active toddler was on overdrive.  A restaurant nightmare.  My husband and I had to take turns walking to the pond with him.

Nice family meal.

I chose an outdoor table away from the other dinners.  This is normally a great idea, but this time it back-fired.  While Jim was coming to trade-off with me so I could finish my meal, a raven landed on our table and ate the rest of my lovely crab pasta.   And knocked over my beer.  Ravens are the tricksters in Native American Mythology.  They trick you into learning.  What was that blasted raven teaching me?

The Ravens Dining with Hurricane Zephyr tips:

1.  Make sure your toddler is not at his limit.  That he/she is well rested and excited to go out.

2. Bring an activity such as small trucks or a game.

3. Ask your server to bring the child’s meal out right away.

4. Tip, Tip tip well.

5. Most importantly…..  BABYSITTER!!!!!  Leave the kid at home.  He has fun and you get to relax.

I have taken Zephyr out to eat since he was two weeks old and even though it is challenging, I still take him out about once a week.  It is important that he learns good restaurant etiquette  even at his age.  But next time I will be more prepared and use judgment.  If he is begging to go home, it might be a good idea to get take-out.

Dine happy,


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Food