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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Only four of us showed up for watercolor class tonight. So, we didn't start the new landscape project - we drew and painted this old man who's already headed our way.... actually, he's here.

There was Christmas stuff in the stores last week.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Man or Beast ?

One of the most frightening moments of my life occurred a few years ago when I crawled out of bed, stumbled sleepily into the restroom and saw my deceased mother watching me from the mirror. Now I see her every morning. I loved her dearly, but I never once thought I resembled her.

Stay with me now as I completely flip-flop to a totally unrelated topic: Bigfoot!

Also known around the world as Almas, Barmanus, B'gwas, Booger, Devil Monkey, Gin-sung, Gugu, Kakundakári, Mo Mo, Nguoi rung, Nuk-Luk ,Nyalmo, Oh-mah, Old Yellow Top, Orang-Pendek , Sasquatch, Skunk Ape, Tano Giant, Teh-Ima, Ucumar, Windigo, Yeren, Yeti, and Yowie.

The hairy guy really gets around doesn’t he?

My daughter Karmyn posted a story of the time we accompanied a Big Foot Hunter into the Blue Mountains. I used the excuse of another daughter’s class project to finagle the big man’s cooperation. The truth is I was and still am curious about what may or may not be. (The videotape of that day’s adventure has inexplicably disappeared.)

I also was acquainted with a wealthy and healthy older couple who owned a summer home up where the Blue Mountains cross into the State of Oregon. They would visit with me at work and share stories about bizarre ‘screaming’ and rocks and mud flung at their log cabin. Their neighbors shared the same strange occurrences including seeing ‘Bigfoot’ tracks at the muddy edge of a nearby stream. An old mountain man would stop by their cabin with his trusty pack mule when he passed through and tell them about his encounters with a family of hairy beasts. They seemed so genuine and they piqued my interest with their credibility.

My most recent “encounter” story comes from some close friends who I will only call Dick and Jane. (They wish to remain anonymous.)

The other evening they were at our house conversing on general topics when Dick mentioned his unidentified sighting. Of course, I had to hear the complete story.

They love to go camping in the wilderness. On an impulse, they will throw things in their small SUV and head up into the mountains. Then, they backpack into some remote spot where they eat over a campfire and gaze at the stars that aren’t observable from our lighted neighborhoods.

However, it was an entirely different weekend in the mountains when their odd event occurred.

They rented an A-frame cabin on a lake that is visible from the curvy two-lane highway that threads through the Blue’s and then continues on to the snow-capped majestic Wallowa Mountain range.

Seated close together on the open deck that overlooked a small shrub-filled ravine, they gazed over it and down at the lake reflected moon. The night noises provided a soft soundtrack for an evening that Jane portrayed as the three R’s; relaxing, reviving, and romantic.

“There was a sudden and eerie silence,” was how Jane described the mood change. “Even the dogs barking in the distance stopped, as did the frogs and the crickets. It just became freaky quiet.”

Dick smiled at his wife and then over at me and said, “Yeah, I got a weird sensation and the hair on my arms and neck stood on end, like when you shiver.”

Jane recalled feeling so uncomfortable that she insisted they retreat into the cabin where she changed her clothes and went to bed. She refused to entertain any scary thoughts.

Dick, on the other hand, was restless and unsettled. He flicked off the lights and turned the easy chair towards the full-length window, watching wispy clouds drift across the moon and wondering if there was a cougar in the area.

That’s when a tall upright figure moved abruptly from the right edge of the trees into his line of sight. It walked down on the far side of a log that lay across the width of the gully and stopped not more than twenty feet from the deck.

The being turned towards the cabin and Dick was positive whoever, whatever it was, was looking directly at him as he sat immobile and in shock.

“I did manage to swallow a big lump in my throat.” He added in a humorous tone.

Then it twisted away, and in several strides moved across the ravine, disappearing into the shadows. Dick had no immediate urge to rush out to investigate, nor did he sleep well that night.

The next morning they walked down to inspect the fallen log. Dick, close to 6 foot in height, could not see over it. Whatever peered across to glare at him would have needed to stand at least 8 feet tall. The sogginess of the soil captured several foot and toe prints that extended well past Dicks size 10 ½ shoe in both length and width.

In telling their story, they both took some deep breaths, and released some uncomfortable sighs. I imagined it was very like what they would have done at the moment of their discovery.

Then Jane's trademark cackling laugh, something she does a lot, cut through the strained moment. She announced, “Oh yea, now sometimes on Friday after work we just hop in the car and drive up that way and just sit and wait, hoping we’ll see it again. Or somehow resolve the issue in our minds.”

Then she saddled up next to me and gave me a conspiratorial nudge. “Hey, next time we go, you wanna tag along,” she asked

Does Bigfoot Poop in the woods?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Short weak ends .. or something like that

We hopped in my little car and got much better gas mileage on our short weekend/long trip to Portland. We do those things to see daughters and grand kids.

The Gorge is always a beautiful drive and this weekend was no exception. Canadian Honkers were everywhere, including waddling up the railroad tracks that parallel I-84. A passing grain car must have left some lunchables for the feathered travelers. (Northern Pacific, Really Terrific. Anyone remember that?)

Fall colors in the trees were mostly shades of yellows and brown. The western trek was unusually wind-free, the leaves weren't scattering, and the the Columbia River was like glass. While I was driving, and the hubby was asleep, I noticed the colors reflected like the wells of a painters pallet. I could have dipped a brush in the water and continued tinting the autumn designs on the hills.

The fog became heavy in the deepest area of the mountain pass. 'The Nothing' from The Never Ending Story loomed in the distance and the stony faces on the cliffs bore resemblance to 'The Rock Eater.' I remember his Big, Strong, Hands. The fog lifted in one area and hung like a perfect cover for the 'Swamp of Melancholy.' Yes. I have that movie.

The grandchildren were rugrats. Curly Mop demonstrated her ability to make mommy squirm by throwing a hissy fit at the store. Terrible Two's. Later, she entertained us with singing and coloring and hopping with grandpa. BenJammin' was pleased that we ate Thai-food. He and I played "Four-Score" plus he read books to grandpa. The Buttercup arranged butt races down the steep carpeted stairs in Amanda's apartment and played the awesome sport of "get me grandma' because she knows she's much quicker on the corners. To end the race I have to hide behind a door and scare her into Karmyn's laughing hugs.

The trip home arrived quickly and we were pushed by the prevailing easterly winds that draw the wind-surfers and para-sails from all over the world. And, they were everywhere.

Even with the gusts, the leaves were stubborn, refusing to let the wind loose them from the swaying branches. The sky began falling as soon as we left Portland and prompted a short fat rainbow on an opposite river bank with the most vibrant colors I have ever seen. The hubby was asleep - so he missed hearing me name them. Violent Violet and Yodeling Yellow were two. ( A friend of mine told me she drove through a rainbow a few weeks ago. I was intrigued?)

The hubby saw a white mountain goat on a sharp rocky ledge and later we both saw a herd of big-horned sheep. I know where to find the sheep, as they always winter between the same two canyons. As the eastern slopes of the Cascade drop into rolling hills and sagebrush I always watch for antelope. I never see them. About six months ago, however, I saw the sleek and muscular stretch of a big cat race across the freeway at dusk. The cougar must have been very hungry (and the traffic was light) to have made that appearance. It was the second sighting in my whole life. The hubby was asleep.

The clouds raced us home while the sun played peek-a-boo through them as it set in a pink and golden orb.

And just now, close to midnight, when I should be in bed getting my "beauty sleep" for another work week I discovered something shocking. I turned on the patio light to look outside and it was snowing. My begonia's were still blooming!! The temperature has dropped to about 38 degrees but I don't believe it will stick. (Unfortunately, it will stick it to the Begonia's.)

I haven't seen snow in October for at least 30 years. This time I woke the hubby.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Go read this stuff

Today I have to share three links for people to enjoy.

The first one is Susie's Space, who blogs out of the San Francisco area. Just scroll down until you get to her pictures of the costumes her kids wore during many years of trick-or-treating. Why didn't I TAKE PICTURES OF MY KIDS THAT WAY!~! Then scroll on down for her Halloween advertisements from old newspapers. Its just a fun time with her.

Then you need to visit Karmyn's Dreaming What If's for her ghost story and her 13 reasons she loves Halloween. Of course I'm biased, because she's my grown -up kid.

After you've had your fill of Halloween I recommend a sweet and loving tribute to a grandfather by Songbird.
I got all teary-eyed reading her fond remembrances.

UPDATE ! ! !

AND DON'T FORGET that Robin over at Pensieve is hosting the CARNIVAL OF THE BLOGGING CHICKS on Sunday. The theme is all things FALL --- so it should be a colorful read. See you there.

So THATS why they call it The 'D u g o u t".

First I must extend my sincere apology to Susan in VA because I know how she detests anything that has to do with nose debris. And to her blogs question, ARE WE THERE YET? Yes, in regards to nose debris, we are.

I am guilty of not being very excited about the World Series. Last night the hubby turned on the TV and was asleep on the couch as the game played on.

I was reading blogs.

Some excited commentary snagged my attention. There was a close call at 2nd base, so I stopped to watch the replay. They replayed it at least 10 times from four different angles. I continued to watch for a little while after that to see what was happening with the Tigers.

That's when the camera tuned into the dugout and zoomed in on some guy on the bench.

The player very clearly picked his nose. Then, he held his finger up and looked at it.

(I wonder if his nickname is Booger.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What happens in Vegas. . . .

Today I was visiting another Pam's blog to enjoy her lovely tour of Las Vegas through her camera's lens and and verbal ramblings.

One picture rang a little bell in my head that filled me with tinkling mirth.

Last year we accepted an invitation from our friends Michael and Beth to meet them in Las Vegas for a weekend. Michael (not to be confused with Michael my brother, or Michael the Piper, or Michael the cyclist, and a few more Michaels in our lives), is a psychologist. His schedule included a speaking engagement at a convention at the Wynn. We were going to do some touring with Beth and then Michael would join our party after his meetings.

The first morning we walked from our more humble accommodations over to the fantabulous Wynn so that Michael could register and map out the conference rooms.

Beth and I stood near a magnificent column, admiring the fresh flower arrangements, the exquisite artistry tiled into the floor, and the opulence in general. (In the picture over at Pam's you can see a nearly identical spot which she describes as whimsical. )

As we waited for Michael to complete his paperwork, we chatted away as friend always do. We were only vaguely aware of an overweight fellow in Bermuda shorts edge in behind us up against the pillar.

"You would think that the owners would have wanted to name it something more exciting," I exclaimed in wide-eyed wonder. "This is so remarkable that the name "Wynn" just doesn't describe it at all."

Just then, the fat guy in the Bermuda shorts, who had his behind firmly planted against the pillar, ripped the most amazing 'stinker' that either of us had the misfortune ever to hear. It resonated against the cold marble and probably blew the shirt up his back.

There was only a brief pause on Beth's part.

"I totally agree.' she was straight faced and self controlled. "A more appropriate name would have been The Breaking Wynnd."

As for the rest of the trip, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oh Donna! Revisited.

My friend Donna moved back to northeastern Oregon in September to the Strawberry Mountains and the small friendly town that they left a few years ago. She was able to find a job immediately; Robert is still a traveling man but plans to retire very soon.

This picture of a Canyon Mountain Sunrise was taken from their patio the morning of October 18.

Photo By Robert

Not only does her new home have a patio, but it has running water, electricity and a paved driveway. This time around she's enjoying the view with modern conveniences. She says that Willy and Nike (her dogs) love it, too!

(Oh, Donna. Rose and I miss you!)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Hop Yard Hobo - Part 1 (by my late father)

I am known by many names --Whitey, Mizzou, Shorty, Slim, Mac, Red and Al: but Al or Whitey will do for me in this narrative of rambling and working in an Oregon hop yard.

I am what is known these United States as a migratory worker, an itinerant laborer, a drifter, a floater, a bubble chaser, or, in slang terms, hobo.

The first two-and-a-half months of 1933 I spent in idleness in the neighborhood of Sacramento, California. A large part of my time was spent in the city and state libraries of Sacramento. Sometimes I spent hours in the beautiful capital park, which is said to have one of the finest botanical collections in the United States.

On other days I spent the time listening to soap box orators in Plaza Park. Here one could hear opinions expounded and discussed on almost any subject from the Bible to birth-control The Young Communists' League, Industrial Workers of the World, the Red Internationals and may other such organizations were represented.

Most of their grievances were directed against the systems of relief which have been used since the depression began in 1929. I was a member of the great Army of the Unemployed, but luckily did not have to eat or sleep at the soup houses or flop houses. I went to them to be able to understand the soap box orations. Many of their grievances were justified. Nearly all of the speakers were guessing and wondering what the incoming President-elect Roosevelt would do for them. I wonder how they all feel toward him now.

I was in Sacramento when the great crash came. One large bank closed its doors but the others remained open all day and part of the night while depositors stood in line for their money. Mr. Roosevelt became president just at this time and declared a bank holiday. This act closed all banks and apparently prevented the ruin of many of them. To make matters worse, along came southern California's series of earthquakes. This catastrophe made the headlines of the newspapers and served to bring a lull over the financial excitement.

Immediately after these quakes I became too restless to stay in one place and left Sacramento to rustle for employment. I hitchhiked from that city to San Francisco and went up to the Hearst Building. A friend of mine, Mr. Al Green, had an office in this place. He had worked at a a variety of callings --marine engineering, rigging, dredging engineering, general contracting, and oilfield wildcatting. Mr. Green was glad to see me, but had no work for me.

He said, "Whitey, everything is in a bad way here. Eighty thousand people are living on charity. There is no work, but are hopeful of a change with the new administration."

After a long talk in the office we walked over to Howard and Mission Streets near the employment offices. I called them a slave market. Here the streets were crowded with idle and one could feel the misery of jobless, penniless, and hopeless men. Here one could find almost any kind of human wreckage that civilization produces. We visited the large soup lines and found them to be well organized and doing a satisfactory job of feeding the thousands in the ever- hungry lines.

(more to follow another day - Pamela)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fall In Love

The park is just a short walk from our house.

Our daughters are going to be sad when they see this sign.

Looks like someone needs a sign like that on her fridge.

There - thats really what I was trying to photo.

There are 58 acres in this park. I forgot how many variety of trees.

Some autumn reds.

Stocking the pantry for winter.

The smaller duck pond. (Same size ducks, smaller pond)

The Band Stand Gazebo.

Picking a bouquet.

For my coffee table.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blogging Chicks Carnival

Make sure you pop over to my Gooey's blog, Dreaming What If's, on Sunday the 22nd. She is hosting the 17th Blogging Chicks Carnival. The theme is "Mistakes." My entry is just below this post. (Sorry, I didn't share any of MY mistakes. Too many to count.)

Two birthdays, One mistake

Zackary Johnson has a birthday coming up in a few days so it wasn't odd to have an envelope addressed to him show up in the mail last week.

His mom, Glenda, pulled it from the mailbox and noticed immediately that it was spelled "Zachary " Johnson . She didn't find that unusual because many people spell Zackary's name incorrectly. (Her husband Steve insisted they spell his name with a "K" because "you know we’re going to call him Zack!")

She looked at the sender’s pre-printed label with some confusion. That name didn't match up to anyone of her acquaintances.

"Hey Hon,” she inquired of her husband, "Do you recognize this name?"

"Nope," Steve responded and became somewhat concerned.

Still, they agreed to present the envelope to their son to see what was in it and his reaction.

Zack opened it to find $20 tucked in a birthday card that said "Happy Birthday Zachary!” He was excited. Boy, howdy, he was ready to go shopping!

However, the unease increased for Glenda. The card was unsigned.

Something was amiss. She spent the next day looking at the envelope and wondering why a stranger would send money to her son and how he would know it was Zacks birthday. A variety of scenarios can go through parents’ minds, especially when they hear stories about internet predators and stalkers. Glenda and her husband knew they would have to make some inquiries not only to give them peace, but also to protect their son, if the situation required.

There was an immediate and strange twist when Glenda's dad was apprised of the situation.

"I know who that fellow is!” he told her, "He is an old farmer that lives out on Hillberry Road."

They quickly hopped in their car and drove out into the country. The house was well marked and they found it easily. Unfortunately, no one was home. Steve decided, rather than leave a note on the door, to get a telephone number and dial him. He left a brief but urgent message that the call be returned as soon as possible.

The next day the old farmer called.

The farmers great grandson, Zachary Johnson, had recently moved with his parents to Heavenly Drive. That’s the street where Zackary Johnson lives with his parents. The farmer looked in the phone book and found a listing under S. Johnson on Heavenly Drive. That was the name and the street that he was seeking. He was sure suprised by the turn of events. He figured he'd have to send another card.

But, Zackary Johnson, who is turning eleven-years old in a few days did the right thing.

He and his parents made their way down Heavenly Drive to the home of Zachary Johnson who is turning four-years old in a few days.

They delivered Zachary’s great grandfathers card with the twenty-dollars. Plus, Zackary Johnson wished Zachary Johnson a very Happy Birthday.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Brayden R U L E S !

My co-workers son Brayden (Bubby) is an almost six-year old. He loves to draw pictures, which includes the little tattoo pictures all over his mothers office desk phone.

His Kindergarten teacher taught Bubby and his classmates all about following rules. They also learned about a sign that has a red circle and diagonal line.

His mom said, "Bubby took this as the perfect opportunity to make rules of his own. He has always been a stickler for following the rules and making good choices."

(Hey Marnie and Melissa -- when I saw this one today I knew you two would be humbled.
And then I thought I would send it to Kelly to consider for her Pass The Torch Tuesday!! Or I could have submitted it to Kailani's Carnival of Family Life. This poster really is the best!)

So from now on, Brayden, I will remember never to choke anybody by the neck - no matter how much I really want to!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Brother Mike is Bald (part 2) but Handsome and His Wife is Beautiful

I can't take back the part about my brother Mike being bald, because he is.

However, I can add that he is handsome and is wife is beautiful. She is also a Sparkle Bug.... and finds the grandest jewelry in the most surprising places.

So, take a look at what came to me in the mail yesterday in pretty wrapping. It's pinned to my black shell. I'm hummin' today!

Thanks you two!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Drive

We rarely take a drive "just because."

But, there was something about the fall day - the sunshine and the fruition of a long dry summer. It called us and we answered.
The river winds up a valley into the Blue's and ends at a small park that was dedicated years ago by the rotary club and a now defunct pine mill. We hadn't driven up the south fork in years.
In the valley the fruit orchards have been cut down leaving fields of silent stumps and memories of Red Delicious apples and Bartlett pears. Wild blackberries, elderberry, and other native plants are abundant along the roadways. One reminded me so much of snow on the fence that I was hesitant to touch it for fear it would melt in my hand.Once the pavement ends, the gravel road gives one the feeling of those bygone days of buggies and box lunches. At one curve there was a line of celestial black locust trees that demanded we stop and walk beneath them just for the pleasure of looking up.I heard a soft whinny and turned to see three horses beyond the trees near the canyon's edge. One was particularly interested in me and followed his curiosity to the fence. I was sorry that I didn't have an apple or a carrot to offer. He posed briefly and then wandered away when I produced nothing for his efforts.We continued on to where the road ends at the park.

There the pine trees worship the sky

and the river babbles in tongues as it prays through the rocks on its journey down the mountain

We wondered why we've stayed away so long.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I didn't want to melt.

The Declassified History. At midday, and again in the early evening of October 16, 1962, John F. Kennedy called together a group of his closest advisers at the White House. Late the night before, the CIA had produced detailed photo intelligence identifying Soviet nuclear missile installations under construction on the island of Cuba, some ninety miles off the Florida coast; now the president and his men confronted the dangerous decision of how the United States should respond . . . (The Cuban Missle Crisis)

I was in elementary school. Mom sent me off to school that day with full knowledge that it could be the very last day she said, "Goodbye, I love you." We lived about 3 miles from the huge Air Traffic Center that controlled the skies over Washington, Oregon, Idaho and into Montana. They were sure that one of those Nuclear War Heads would be aimed at our little piece of paradise in the Pacific Northwest. If war was imminent, and everyone thought it was, then we were a target.

Being so young, my understanding of the situation was limited. Everyone at our house was quiet and my parent’s faces were drawn and pale. I was worried about not having any socks and I did not want to eat my cream of wheat. It was leathery on the top and mushy in the middle.

Other than the tension in our little home, everyone was carrying on as usual. My sister Trish and I walked the mile to school together and Nick rode on ahead on his bike. Mike left early for his first period class in high school. Our four older siblings were off to Colleges and Universities.

The teachers at school seemed to be at odds just like my parents. They weren't allowing any noise in the classroom and they were whispering in the hallways.

Classes began with the teacher telling us that we would be doing a series of drills during the day. The first drill was very similar to what we did for earthquakes. We got to squat on the floor besides our top-heavy desks. We were hiding from something I was sure.

The second drill was fun because it took us out of the classroom. Every student lined up next to a classmate and then we power-walked to the high school about 3/4 a mile away where we were escorted into a basement hallway sitting butt to butt on the cold floor. I remember David S. sticking his stinky shoe under my bottom and jiggling it. He was a brat. (Now he is a surgeon.)

It seemed to take forever for the squishing of little bodies and the counting of heads. While we waited for the adults to decide on the seating arrangements the other kids started telling me about the "bomb" and how our bodies would melt. I also learned that radiation flew straight and couldn't sneak around corners. There was a wealth of information being shared over stinky saddle shoes and sticky bodies.

I think I had a tuna sandwich for lunch, because after that I never wanted tuna again. I still will not eat it. My stomach hurt and I attributed it to that. I didn't want to be bombed. Who was Khrushchev and where was Cuba. Why did they want to melt our bodies? I didn't want to go to town anymore because we had to drive by the Air Traffic Control Center. It must be a frightening place. When the 'crisis' was over my childhood had been robbed of some innocence. I discovered that my sweet little world where blowing dandelion seeds with a puff of breath could just as easily be blown away by a hydrogen bomb.

Mom was a Christian, and I know that she prayed with me that night and asked that my scary thoughts would go away.

She was also much wiser than I gave her credit. The next year she arranged for my classroom to go on a fieldtrip to visit the
Air Traffic Control Center.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

$2.59 per gallon.

If you travel in Oregon, not only do the station attendants fill your tank, they wash your windows, too.

When I was a small child I remember hopping into the car every Sunday morning to drive into town with my dad. We always had two tasks. The first one was to buy the Sunday edition of the Seattle Times. The other one was to fill the gas tank of our little Nash Rambler.

Dad always said, "I'm going to stop at the fillin' station." The attendant would check your oil, tire pressure, and top off the tank with a smile.

There was a station a short distance from our country home, but dad wouldn't stop there and he wouldn't let his kids go there either. We called it "Browns Store." There weren't any convenient stores in those days - but many neighborhoods had the little grocery and filling station combo. I'll have to ask one of my siblings if they know why Dad had feuded with the old guy. For whatever reason, we never bought gas from Mr. Brown.

'Gas Wars' had nothing to do with the middle east or Venezuela. It was a term that was used to describe the dropping of the price per gallon to compete for customers.

Dad was tickled when he filled his tank at 19 cent per gallon.

One unpleasant thing I remember about that ride to town was getting car sick. Looking back I now believe that it was the ink that was used to print the newspaper, which I usually held in my lap. Although, my dads driving may have been suspect.

Earlier this fall the highest price I paid per gallon was $3.19, self-serve. I felt kind of sick and I didn't even have a newspaper in my lap.

Two Step Manual

This is an easy HOW TO manual with visuals on satisfying a cat and her owner.

#1. Cosmic Catnip and Brachs Autumn Mix Candy Corn

#2. Serve

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bibbity Bobbity Boo..... Tag

When Shauna tagged me with the meme "Five Famous Oddities about Myself" I was sure she had me confused with somebody else. There's nothing odd about me. Nothing at all!

I had a lot of fun reading hers as well as the odds of Amanda, Karmyn, Pete, MJ, Susan, Tiffany, and I'm sure there are more of you............... (I've just amazed myself at how many links I could get in one post!)

They really did reach some apogees with their memes....mine will stink in comparison.

My first oddity is that it seems that no matter what the conversation is about, when I am in the room it always leads to something that has to do with poo. Just last night we were having dinner with Mike and Kim while talking about the lovely fall foliage and colorful falling leaves. Kim said it brought back childhood memories of one weekend that she and her father gathered leaves from the whole neighborhood and piled them high in their northern California back yard. Monday, after school, she dropped her books on the kitchen table and went looking for her dad. Her calls for him were answered by a muffled and barely audible "I'm right here." It took her several trips around the house to finally realize that he was under the pile of leaves. If you knew Kim, you would be able to visualize her pint-size body taking a running leap and tackling her dad where he was buried. There was rolling and wrestling and screaming and laughing and then a gasped "uh, oh" from her dad that stopped the frolic. Apparently the neighbors dogs had been curious about the leaf mountain as well. The doggy doo was smeared all over her dad and even in her hair. Like I said, we were eating dinner. Gag.

I find it odd, and bothersome, that whenever I order a salad at a restaurant I inevitably get the core of the lettuce. Do any of you ever put the core of the lettuce in your home tossed salad? Why does a salad chef do that? And why do I always get it? You can ask the hubby if this is not the truth. The server sees me coming and puts "lettuce core" on the order. And speaking of lettuce, did you see in the news today that there is now a big concern that cow manure has contaminated the recent ice-burg lettuce crop. Cow Manure? Oh... Gag.

Odd dogs like me. I don't mean that they just wag their tails and let their tongues hang out in appreciation. I am liked much better than that. When I visit people with dogs I have to dance around or sit on my legs on the couch to keep those canines from doing what dogs do to peoples legs. My step-sister-in law says of her dog, "oh he never does that" while she tries to grab his collar and pull him off my pant leg. When I'm walking down the street dogs jerk free of their leashes and make a break for me. The story is always the same: "Oh, I'm so sorry. My dog never has done that before." All the while I'm thinking "get me home so I can throw these pants in the wash machine. . . . " I've heard that dogs have cleaner mouths than humans, but there is no "kissing" involved in this scenario. Oh.... Gag.

It is probably odd that when we are traveling down a country road that I have this need to "moo" at the cows. The hubby tries to speed up the car but I usually get the electric window rolling before he grasps the situation. My daughters were always embarrassed. I think that the gene has been passed because I believe one of them is a closet 'moooer.' Mooing at cows in a closet is not a pleasant thought. Well, I mean if the cow is also in the closet. That reminds me of when our middle daughter wanted to bring a cow home. She was probably six at the time. We asked her where we would keep a cow at our house. "In my bedroom." I asked her, "Where would it -- ya know-- do the cow pie thing?" And she said, "My waste basket." Oh.. Gag.

One physical oddity I have is that my head and neck can move as though unhinged from my shoulders. I can hold my body perfectly still and then allow my neck to slide sideways in such a way that my head looks like it's sliding back and forth on my shoulders. Then in opposition I am able to hold my head still while my neck allows my body to move back and forth. This trick has gotten more difficult to do as I have grown older. In fact everything is more difficult to do as I grow older.

Well, Bibbity Bobbity Boo, this last one I made it through with no poo!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Cup of sinking sun

Light fluffy clouds

Cotton candy

Monday, October 09, 2006

What a day

I battled four hours with blogger this morning trying to publish a M-E-G-A post for my ben'jammin. (He'll read it when he's in his thirties.)
I want to know why blogger remembers me some times and not all the time. Why will one picture show up 4 times when I only publish it once?


I wanted to do a little water coloring.

I planned on making concord grape jam. I want to know why two identical trees would not produce fall colors at the same time.

Yes.. thats the bowl I picked grapes in. I must have dropped it there in my bewilderment.

Today was a holiday for me. Thank you Christopher Columbus.

A 400-year long post, for BenJammin'

A little over 412 years ago, The Spanish Armada, the greatest naval fleet of its age, met their defeat in the English Channel. The first European colonies were being established in the new world.

It was during this time that William Harland was born in England. Was his father a farmer? a Blacksmith? a Peasant? or a Wealthy Merchant? I wish I knew. A girl named Deborah caught his eye when he was but a young man. They married and a son was born in 1625. They named him James. It was an extremely popular name because the Scottish King James I had reigned over Britain from 1603 to 1625.

Little is known about our James. He may have married while yet young; the deaths of children and spouses were common. I do know for sure that he became a father at the age of 58 when his 23-year-old bride, Elizabeth Duck of Ireland, bore a son, Moses.

In October 1702, William Penn granted a charter to the city of Philadelphia and five years later Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston. Our Moses must have sailed to the New World during this time because in 1712 he married Margaret in Newark Meeting, Delaware. Soon after that they moved north. Their daughter Rebecca was born three years later in Kennett township, Pennsylvania.

In 1739, England declared war on Spain with ensuing hostilities between Florida Spaniards and South Carolina Colonists. The following year, another war pitted France and Spain against England. That is about the time Rebecca married John Blackburn. They soon had their own little girl, Margaret.

In 1745, the first theatrical performance was given in Philadelphia in a storefront. In '61 plans were being made to pave the streets of Philadelphia and in '62 the first medical school in Pennsylvania was organized. That was the year Margaret married Solomon Shepherd.

On July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence was adopted. I'm sure some of the Shepherd clan were called to serve in the Revolutionary War.

Sara was born in 1779 and The Definitive Treaty of Peace was ratified by Congress five years later.

Around the year 1795 Sara met and wed William Colvin. I wonder if they were aware that in 1804 Meriwether Louis and William Clark set out on an amazing expedition. The Colvins made their own small expedition and moved to Ohio. One of their 13 children, Thomas, was born there in 1807.

The war of 1812 began and in June of 1813, Mary Pickersgill was commissioned to sew two flags for Fort McHenry in Baltimore. One of her designs became "The Star Spangled Banner."

In 1831, Thomas married 17-year old Elizabeth Pembleton and my great grandfather George was the 2nd born of their nine children. William Henry Harrison was elected President in 1840 and died within one month of taking office. "His Accidency," John Tyler, succeeded him.

Burnetta Vandever, a comely black-haired girl, married George in 1857. My grandfather William was born in 1858 followed soon by a brother Benjamin. The May 5, 1860 census places George and his family in Prairie Township, White County, Indiana. He is described as being 5 feet five and 1/2 inches with dark hair and blue eyes.

Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President and the South seceded from the Union. In March of '62 the Colvins welcomed twin daughter and by August George marched to war. He served in the (U) Company D 12th Indiana Infantry. He died on March 3, 1863 from Typhoid Fever in Grand Junction, Hardeman County, Tennessee. (In 1987 his remains were moved to a national cemetery in Corinth, Mississippi.)

Burnetta remarried. With her new husband, John Lees, she bore ten more children. Her Benjamin and several of his half siblings died before they reached adolescence. Stories handed down through the family hint that the marriage to Lees was a miserable one for her. There may have also been misconduct by him as a step father to the twins.

John Lees granddaughter wrote in a letter:

"The folks moved there (Union Park, Colorado) in November and Grandma died the sixth of the coming January. Grandpa was not with his family when she died although he knew she was desperately ill. Being a dedicated Mason and Odd Fellow, he had traveled to Tin Cup to attend a meeting. Grandma passed away while he was gone. I can remember my mother telling me how Uncle Charles and herself traveled on snowshoes for several miles to their nearest neighbor for help."

Burnetta was 42.

My grandfather William married Elizabeth Wright and had four children, three of whom died in childhood. The family story is that Lizzie tried to poison him and they divorced. No one knows what became of her and the child.

In June of 1895 at the age of 37, he married my grandmother Grace, barely 16. They had 10 children. One died at birth.

William had the wanderlust - perhaps it was in his genes. He was always on the move because the grass was always greener over the next hill. He often left 'Gracie' and the kids to seek his fortune or a more prosperous valley to house his family. When my brother and I went through grandma Grace's things we found this postcard. Did William save it out of guilt or did Grace keep it because it was a beautiful piece of art.

As the kids grew older, Grace packed them up and followed William on his quests. They moved through Idaho, Oregon, and Washington with the harvest. My mother Evelyn was born in Naches, Washington in November of 1914. The following month The Christmas Truce in the trenches of World War I became history. British and German troops shared cigarettes and chocolate cake in a brief moment of peace.

My mom worked hard and knew hard times. As a child she would search the ditches in the springtime for greens and wild asparagus to supplement their diet. At a school she was able to attend there was a "rich" girl who would let mom have the orange peel to eat. It was a treat. But, she said there were others in more dire circumstances. There was the widows boy who had no shoes and his lunch was always a boiled potato wrapped in a pancake.

The Charleston was a popular dance, Prohibition encouraged mobsters to bootleg, and you could order a lethal weapon from the Sears Catalogue.

My mom met Alvin while working in a hop field in central Oregon.

John Dillinger and two others shot their way out of an FBI ambush in Wisconsin and Hitler became the Furher of Germany.

Mom was almost 20 and dad was 34. He had been a wanderer just like her dad. However, when he and mom married they put down roots.

They lived through the depression, remembered Pearl Harbor, and tuned in to hear Edward Murrow report during World War II.

I was their 8th and final child. (I think I broke the mold.) The country was embroiled in the Korean conflict. General Eisenhower worked out a truce and became the 34th President.

By the days standards our family was poor. Dad worked construction and mom worked hard on our small farm. But, we had fresh milk, eggs, garden vegetables, fruit trees and a lot of pride.

I remember in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated and in 1974 when Nixon resigned. In between there were flower children, super teased hair, and the first man on the moon.

My parents were heart broken when I dropped out of college to marry, have a child, and seek a job. The marriage was short-lived but produced your beautiful mother, Karmyn. I was forgiven because Karmyn brought such joy to their lives.

The world continued to be scary. There was the Palestinian revolt in Jordan when the PLO was expelled from the country. An earthquake in Peru killed more than 50,000 people.

Karmyn graduated from Washington State University in 1994. Her grandpa, 1900-1976, and her grandma, 1914-1991, may have had front row seats in heaven.

That was the year the beautiful city of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia was destroyed by civil war and thousands were massacred in Rwanda.

Karmyn found employment in Portland Oregon and began making new friends. One of those was Dave. They married in 1999. The population on earth exceeded six billion, the Denver Bronco's won their second consecutive Super Bowl, and President Clinton was acquitted in his impeachment trial.

In 2001, George W. Bush took the oath of office, the Russian Space Station Mir fell out of orbit into the Indian Ocean and Benjammin' was born in April. The worst attack perpetrated on American soil took place on September 11.

It has been a rough world through out the ages. Our family has endured.

And, Jammin', you give me hope.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Manastash Classic

If you like bird watching, then you might grab your binoculars and set out beside the road when avid cyclists "fly by" in one of their regional fun rides.

I googled the question, "Can Peacocks Fly?" and was assured that they do.

These two peacocks are the hubby (right) and his buddy Mike. They drove to Ellensburg, Washington and had a pleasurable day riding in what is called a " metric century."

The weather was perfect and the only pitfall was that Mike forgot his helmet. The local bike shop loaned him one and away they flew.

The route follows the Yakima River and parallels the North Cascade range.

With the sun shining and the open road calling, the boys pedaled their hearts out.

Then they hurried home and had just enough energy left for baked chicken, stuffing, gravy and red potoatos.

Don't forget the Fall Carnival

A reminder that you should be able to access the "Fall" Carnival tomorrow morning. Michele spends alot of time on the Blogging Chicks.... I guess you could say she's the Big Egg!

I entered one of my picture posts from the first day of Autumn.

Have fun.

Friday, October 06, 2006

When I grow up I want to Be Aunti Fern

(Aunti Fern, the youngest sister of the hubbys gram, at our Anniversary party in August)

Aunti Fern will be 98 this spring. She is a delightful woman who is still the life of every party. Recently she was complaining in her usual lighthearted way the woes of growing old. This poem was her wonderful lament:

I feel like the old women in the shoe
I have so many wrinkles I don't know what to do,

so I guess I'll paint them with pencil, powder and paint
but that makes me what I ain't

so, I guess I'll stay like I am
cause at my age, who gives a damn!