Honey Peach BBQ Chicken Tacos — Cooking with a Wallflower

This is something I can’t wait to try. It’s from one of my favorite bloggers, Cooking with a Wallflower…

This post is sponsored by Foster Farms Simply Raised Chicken. All opinions are my own. Soft tacos filled with mixed greens, honey peach BBQ shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, corn, and shredded mozzarella. These summery honey peach bbq chicken tacos are super easy to make and absolutely delicious. It’s the end of the summer, which means…

via Honey Peach BBQ Chicken Tacos — Cooking with a Wallflower

Skinner’s Butte Recreation Complex

Whenever the sun is shining, I feel obligated to play outside!― Charles M. Schulz

In the heart of Eugene, Ore., just a stone’s throw from the University of Oregon, is a large open space known as the Skinner’s Butte Recreation Complex. It is a large park made up of several major attractions: a park with hiking/biking trails, the Columns climbing area, and Skinner’s Butte Summit, to name a few.columns

Skinner’s Butte Park was dedicated in 1914, making it one of Eugene’s oldest parks. The beautiful Willamette River runs along the park, which has more than 100-acres of land. A great feature of Skinner’s Butte Park is it has a little of everything for everyone.

replicaHistory fans will enjoy the rich history of the site and enjoy the farmhouse replica at the park’s entrance, while Outdoor enthusiasts will find the trails and paths remarkably enjoyable. Those with kids will appreciate the park’s play structures and picnic areas; also, the park has a senior center on its campus.

Another major attraction is the climbing Columns of Skinner’s Butte. The climbing area is a 50′ vertical rock face on the western side of the complex. It’s a great place for people to get exposed to basic rock climbing or for people to hone their skills performing various maneuvers. Non-climbers will appreciate the rugged beauty of the Columns.

panoramaThe pentacle of Skinner’s Butte is its summit. With it’s near 360-degree view of the Emerald Valley, it offers great photographic opportunities for aspiring photographers or for people wanting breathtaking selfies. It’s a prefect place to relax, reflect, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Eugene.

Skinner’s Butte Recreation Complex has nearly boundless opportunities. It’s a great place to enjoy nature, expose yourself to new experiences, or simply soak in the scenic beauty of the Emerald Valley.

Each attraction is easily accessible and is close to other interesting sites within or near the complex. The Skinner’s Butte area is a place a person can visit several times and not see all that this park offers.

Skinner’s Butte Park


Marion Carl: The Unknown Hero

Bob Norton and I were quite proud of Marion Carl; as a pilot, as a personal friend, and as a Marine.–Major General Hal Vincent, Test Pilot & Friend, 1959

carl4Most Americans have no idea who Major General Marion Carl was. That is a shame because in his day, he flew higher and faster than his contemporaries. He pushed the envelope of aviation and set the standard for future pilots to aspire to.

Sadly, June 28, 2016 will mark the 18-anniversary of Carl’s murder. The National Aviation Hall of Fame’s enshrinement page states, “Marion Carl departed life in the same way he had lived it: heroically.” That statement is entirely accurate. In true gallant fashion, the aviation pioneer died defending his wife on the evening of June 28, 1998.

Marion Eugene Carl was born in Hubbard, Oregon on November 1, 1915. Carl studied engineering at Oregon State College (now Oregon State University) and received his bachelor degree in 1938. The following year on Dec. 1, 1939 he earned his Marine wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

Carl’s military career soared during WWII. He was among the first pilots to engage Japanese forces at the Battle of Midway, when his squadron encountered more than 100 enemy fighters and bombers flying towards the strategically significant atoll. Although Carl’s squadron fought courageously, the heavily outnumbered American’s suffered substantial losses at the hands of the better-equipped Japanese. Carl was one of only two men to survive that engagement.


Two months after the Battle of Midway. Carl headed to Guadalcanal. On August 26, 1942 his prowess in combat earned him the title of Ace Pilot, making him the first Marine of WWII to earn that honor.

On Sept. 9, 1942, in a scenario worthy of a Hollywood scene, Carl was forced to jump from his heavily damaged airplane. He was stranded for several hours in the Pacific Ocean, nearly drowning due to exhaustion, before local natives in a canoe rescued him. Less than a week later, Carl returned to his base and continued in the war effort.

The hostilities in the Pacific theater ramped up at this point. Acepilots.com states, “During the period from late August through November 1942, the Marine pilots faced almost daily combat, and some of them, like Carl… ran up large scores.” Carl would return to the United States on October 21, 1942.

Following a second tour of combat in 1943, Carl was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland. He would quickly distinguish himself by becoming the Marine’s first helicopter pilot and the first Marine to land a jet airplane on an aircraft carrier.

Carl went on to become a Navy test pilot. His major achievement was on August 25, 1947, when he set a world speed record of 651 mph at Muroc Field (now Edwards Air Force Base). His fame was fleeting though because Chuck Yeager would eclipse his record two months later. The following year Carl became the first man to lead the U.S. jet aerobatic team.

The 1950s proved to be a busy decade. Carl would serve in the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and fly reconnaissance missions over Red China. He also got deployed abroad to command classified operations in Taiwan. Carl even set an altitude record of 83,235 ft. in 1953. The record was unofficial because the mission’s launch wasn’t a ground to air flight.

Carl continued his military service throughout the turbulent ‘60s rising to the rank of Major General in 1967. In 1970, he would become Inspector General of the Marine Corps.

After serving more than 30 years in the armed forces, Carl retired in 1973. He and his wife, Edna, settled near Roseburg, Ore. to enjoy their sunset years. Tragically, his life ended when an intruder broke into their home demanding money and the keys to Mrs. Carl’s car.

The murder of Maj. Gen. Marion Carl sparked outrage throughout the nation. Spokesman for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Marine Col. Denis J. Keily (ret.) said, “It’s a hell of a way to lose a great American hero.”

Since his passing in 1998, numerous posthumous honors have been awarded to recognize Carl’s achievements. The Roseburg Regional Airport renamed its field the “Marion Carl Field” and the city of Roseburg erected a beautiful memorial at the airport’s entrance to honor his memory. Carl was also inducted into the McMinnville Evergreen Museum’s Hall of Honor and The Oregon Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

Oregonaviation Files.pdf

Oregonian Article: Family of Maj Gen Marion Carl Wants Killer Locked Up

NY Times Article



An Icon At 90: Marilyn Monroe

I never wanted to be Marilyn—it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane—Marilyn Monroe

June 1 is a pretty unremarkable day. It’s the 152-day of any given year, except leap year. It has no special or distinguishing events to mark its passing. This otherwise dull day has nothing going for it. However, that all changed 90 years ago with the birth of Norma Jeane Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe.

It’s safe to say that no other American actress has captured the imagination of a nation quite like she did. Her beauty quickly took Hollywood by storm and caught the eye of men and women alike.

Monroe Birth CirtificateBorn Norma Jeane Mortenson. She came into this world as the third child of a troubled woman; who was later diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia. The future star eventually wound up a ward of the state.

As a young girl, Norma Jeane bounced from foster home to foster home. She would often dream of becoming a famous actress. It’s easy to imagine the life she fantasized about must have seemed out of reach, but destiny would come calling a few short years later.

A lucky encounter with a photographer, a few “breaks”, and an ability to market herself catapulted Norma Jeane to fame. She famously took on a new designation: Marilyn Monroe. The name is an amalgam of a 1920s Broadway starlet named Marilyn Miller, who ironically passed away in her mid-thirties too due to alcohol and other health issues, and her birth mother’s last name (Monroe).

Marilyn Monroe quickly rose within the industry. Her stardom was due to a rare combination of raw sexuality, vulnerability, sensuality and innocence all beautifully rolled up into one larger-than-life persona. That would ultimately take on a life of its own.

Carey Grant once said, “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” The sentiment behind this statement surely applied to Marilyn Monroe. During her life she routinely hung out with Hollywood A-listers, married a sport’s legend, and was linked to political royalty. Her life seemed to be going perfectly. Vastly removed from the lifestyle of the orphan Norma Jeane.

But celebrity can be a double edge sword. At one point–in what may have been a veiled cry for help­–Monroe exclaimed, “Fame is fickle, and I know it. It has its compensations but it also has its drawbacks, and I have experienced them both.”

Following her death on Aug. 5, 1962, details about her private life painted a picture of a troubled woman spiraling out of control. Personal issues contributed to her slipping into the miasma of depression, alcohol, and prescription drugs. All of which contributed to her death.

The ensuing years since her passing Marilyn Monroe has never left the public eye. Fascination about her life and death has spawned multiple conspiracy theories detailed in books, documentaries, and movies. The public’s infatuation with Monroe has never waned, in fact its only grown over the years.

In life Marilyn Monroe struggled to earn as much as her costars, while in death her estate’s income consistently tops the charts for deceased celebrities.

Little Norma Jeane, who came into the world on the humdrum day of June 1, went from an orphaned childhood, to troubled Hollywood starlet, to an international icon. Her life may have been short, but she made a far greater impact than her contemporaries.

As for June 1, it’s no longer a day marred by indistinction. For more than half a century fans around the globe mark June 1 on their calendars to celibate Marilyn Monroe’s birth. This year the iconic actress would’ve seen her 90 birthday. Imagine that!

Happy Birthday Marilyn.

Marilyn Monroe Website


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Memorial Day 2016 — Pacific Paratrooper

The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude–Jeff Miller

Memorial Day is a special Holiday that is too often overlooked. Take a moment and read this poem, then reflect on the sacrifices of America’s finest. A Crow’s View

The following is rebloged from Pacific Paratrooper:

The Things That Make a Soldier Great The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die, To face the flaming cannon’s mouth, nor ever question why, Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red, The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed, The grass plot where his […]

via Memorial Day 2016 — Pacific Paratrooper

The Refugees of Duchess Santuary

And indeed, a horse who bears himself proudly is a thing of such beauty and astonishment that he attracts the eyes of all beholders. No one will tire of looking at him as long as he will display himself in his splendor ~ Xenophon

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Just north of the sleepy town of Historic Oakland, Ore., a horse refuge quietly works to rescue abused, abandoned, and neglected animals by providing them a safe home on its 1,120-acre facility. This equine utopia is the Duchess Sanctuary.

Established in 2008, the Duchess Sanctuary strives to provide a safe environment for its herd of nearly 200 to thrive in. Its website states, “the sanctuary is committed to providing the highest standards of equine care and basic loving kindness that these horses—and any future residents—deserve.”

The sanctuary is located on a beautiful Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 11.46.06 PMpiece of land that offers spanning views of local rolling hills and distant mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest. A recent trip to the Duchess Sanctuary’s open house on May 21 allowed me to witness first hand the high level of care these beautiful animals receive and to see these prodigious horses interact with the public.

If anything can be more impressive than the horses, it may be the staff and the facility itself. The employees and volunteers are all friendly, and they genuinely seem to really enjoy their work. Evidence of their hard work can be seen throughout the sanctuary. The grounds and any ancillary structures are meticulously maintained.

IMG_4324A particularly significant building is the hospital barn for animals with long-term ailments or injuries. This stable is a top-notch facility that provides a great space for equines with “special needs” to heal.

Most of the horses at the sanctuary are rescued from the pregnant mare urine (PMU) industry. PMU refers to the practice of harvesting urine from pregnant mares for pharmaceutical development. Critics of the PMU program argue that the treatment of horses is inhumane, while supporters counter that the industry offers invaluable aide in treating human illness and disease.

Some residences of Duchess Sanctuary have tremendously inspiring stories of survival.

A blind horse named Nellie survived an extremely harsh case of abuse and neglect. Sanctuary staff said it was one of the worse cases they have ever seen. When she was rescued Nellie was starved and near death. Today Nellie is paired with a horse named Herbie who acts as her “guide horse.” The two are best friends and virtually inseparable. Nellie appears to be healthy and happy at the refuge. She is quite popular with visitors and the attention she gets is welcomed in her own shy way.

All of the animals at the Duchess Sanctuary are well cared for. The pastures are filled with  comfortable looking horses freely roaming the acreage. The overall health of the horses on site is impressive. The medical attention alone that the facility provides is remarkable.

If you’re an equestrian fan and in the area, it’s a safe bet that you will enjoy an afternoon at the horse sanctuary. Just be advised that the Duchess Sanctuary operates on a “by appointment only” basis, so plan your trip ahead of time.

Duchess Sanctuary

Yelp Review


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The Ghostly Town of Golden  

Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeableWallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

img_4187Just off exit 76 along Oregon’s Interstate Five, stands a small ghost town. The mining community of Golden was founded during the gold rush. In its heyday, the town served about 500 area minors (mostly Chinese immigrants) and produced up to 1.5 million dollars of wealth.

Getting to the ghost town is quite easy from the main highway. Take the Wolf Creek exit (as mentioned above, number 76). For people traveling southbound, you will have to drive through the town of Wolf Creek and pass under the Interstate Five overpass before proceeding east for about three miles on Coyote Creek Road. Northbound travelers only have to take the Wolf Creek exit and turn right to be on the path towards Golden.

Once at the town’s site, there is parking along the Golden2shoulder. After viewing the ruins, visitors can cross the main road that IMG_4182passes through Golden and take a trail that leads to the Golden Coyote Wetlands. The site is where minors worked more than a 150 years ago. It’s a beautiful area that’s recovering from the devastating affects of hydraulic mining.

A Campbellite minister, Reverend William Ruble, formally established the town of Golden in 1890. Its religious foundation took front and center during its existence. The small mining community had two churches and no saloons, a rarity for mining towns. According to the Josephine County Historical Society it made “this town unique in Western annuls.”

Golden has an interesting history with pop culture too. Its cemetery was featured on an episode of “Gunsmoke.” However, the town never had a graveyard until after Hollywood came knocking. In fact, all of the faded and illegible wood markers are leftover props. There are some contemporaneous headstones peppered throughout the cemetery, but they were placed there after the episode’s airing as memorials to former residence of Golden. No one is actually buried there.

Ultimately, the pursuit of riches is what fueled the town’s growth, and when the gold dried up, the city’s population dwindled. “In 1906, thirty-six children still went to school in Golden. Now not a soul lives here,” reported former KEZI News anchor Rick Dancer in a 2014 report.

Golden3Version 2Today only fragments remain of this 19-Century community, but like in the city’s prime, the fabric of the town’s DNA is apparent. The Campbellite church proudly stands tall welcoming visitors to Golden, and the old school building, which doubled as another church, prominently stands too. Both buildings are open and accessible to visitors.

The remnants of several other buildings still stand. They are obviously not safe to enter and aren’t open to travelers. Despite their dilapidated state, they are still picturesque to a skilled photographer.

Enjoy taking a step back in time by visiting the ghosts of Golden.


Oregon Exit 76

Golden, Oregon

Golden’s History