Home Page

Monday, December 31, 2007

Fun Monday - My favorite joke

Fun Monday is hosted today by Peter at Holties House. No Worries, Peter. I had help with my joke video while I'm visiting my daughter's family. It's been a rainy rainy visit. It's the kind of weather that frogs love. So I had to repeat my silliest joke, my wide-mouthed frog joke. When my daughters were very young, they were always embarrassed when the wide-mouthed frog came out to play.

Wide-Mouthed Frog from Karmyn R on Vimeo.

Make sure to check out the other comedians that are signed up down under the big pond!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

100 years ago…. Well almost.

We arrived to have dinner with Auntie Fern and to celebrate the holiday. Auntie Fern will be 99 in April.

“I’m feeling punk.” She said. “I’m worried.”

Her 71-year old son who lives 2 hours away wasn’t answering his phone on Christmas Day.

The hubby spent some time on the phone searching, and located him in the hospital. He was experiencing shortness of breath, but would be going home after some treatments.

I feel so much better,” she exclaimed, “and I’m hungry now.

Our subsequent dinner conversations lead to the celebration of Christmas and how it had changed in her lifetime.

I remember getting an orange in my stocking! That was something! We never got oranges any other time of year. It was a special treat to get that.

My brothers would shoot a wild goose for Christmas dinner. Sometimes we would have wild rabbit instead. Wild rabbits were really good. But we had to quit eating them because they got spots. It was Tularemia, and it was fatal to people.

We decorated by stringing cranberries and popcorn.

I don’t really remember much about the gifts, but I’m sure we must have gotten a small one.

I encouraged her to share some of the other important events in her life.

Bill and I got married in a little Presbyterian church that was next door to the courthouse where we got our marriage license. It was just us and Bill’s mom and brother. We had to have a parent because Bill wasn’t 21 yet. Then we drove to his aunt’s house in Kelso.

Our faces must have reflected our excitement because she said, “I bet you two just got married.”

We said, “Yes we did!!”

So she crawled up in the attic and pulled out a bottle of Dandelion Wine. (This was during prohibition) Bill drank it, but I was only 18 so I don’t think I did. Then she fixed us a wedding celebration lunch.

We moved to Pullman (the home of Washington State University) so that Bill could finish his college degree. I was so lonesome. He would go to the library to study, so I went along and read books. I read so many books.

Two weeks before he finished, he sent me home to visit with my sisters. That was my chance to say goodbye. We were moving to Payette Idaho, and I wouldn’t see them for a very long time.

Bill taught school there for 6 years. Then they returned to Pullman for 1 year where Bill completed his advanced degree.

It was during the depression so money was very tight. I got a job cooking for 10 young men. Five dollars a month. The boys were going to school and working their way through the School of Agriculture. They were such gentlemen. ..Always so polite and well mannered. They were easy to work for. At Christmas they bought me candy.

They said they liked everything but rabbit. So, on my final week of employment I tricked them. I cut up a rabbit and cooked it just like chicken. They told me that was “the best” meat they’d ever eaten. Then I told them it was rabbit. So, I pulled one over on them!

While she was talking with us an elderly gentlemen walked up and greeted us with the sentiments of the season.

Oh, that fellow thinks he knows everything. There is a woman that lives here who is 100 years old. She tells people that I am her daughter.

Several staff members came by to wish her Merry Christmas.

Oh you know you are my favorite, don’t you?

Auntie Fern punctuates her conversation with giggles and guffaws. She is a positive and happy person. But, she also says she is tired and ready to go home.

I hope she waits awhile. There are more stories we need to hear.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

No Room in The Inn

Allow me to introduce Little Girl. She belongs to our daughter Amanda, who, along with all the others who lived in their apartment complex, received eviction notices for Christmas. You can read about it here.

She and her family raced the clock to find an available apartment - and moved in just five days before Christmas.

But - NO ROOM IN THE INN for pets at the new apartment. Strictly forbidden by the management.

So, she adopted her two cats out; Baby went to Karmyn's house, and Little Girl arrived here late last night.

Amanda hopes the cat move is temporary and that she will be able to reclaim her family sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, Little Girl has only wandered out of her hiding place to use the cat box and Meow very loudly. I'm going to move Little Girl into my bedroom tonight and lock The Contessa in the family room.

Our Contessa is spittin' and fluff-tailed over the new arrival.

Linking for Dollars - Give to St Jude


Kelly, Passing the Torch, is one of my very first blogging friends. Last year, her company, Empowering Youth, Inc, sponsored a successful effort, Linking for Dollars, and raised $500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

She's going to do it again!

You can help.

Empowering Youth will pay one dollar to St. Jude, just for posting this announcement.

Want something easier? She will accept your comments until Christmas Day, up to a maximum donation of $500 — one dollar per comment. Details are here.

Kelly says: Our hope is that during the season of giving, you’ll inspire others to give as well - either from their own wallets, or by linking to us so we reach our $500 goal. How many dollars will you inspire? Please spread the word!

It doesn't get any better than this! Thanks Kelly, for letting us be a part of your Christmas giving.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pensieve's Poetic License - Cinquain Celebration

Robin at Pensieve has challenged our creative juices this month. I wrote this, in a burst of catch up, last Sunday evening, thinking that the assignment was due last week.

When I realized my mistake, I set it aside with the idea that I would write more, make it wonderful, and just be on it with a joyful vengeance.

Didn't happen.

So without further ado, I present my Cinquain - which celebrates my daughters. Happy birthday (December 17th) Karmyn and (December 30th) Jennifer. And,our Goddaughter, Beckie (the 22nd).

I am blessed.

in December
Highlight the Calendar
through tear smudged Memories
of Daughters

Robin will have Mr. Linky up tomorrow before the sun rises - I'm going to be there or be square.
(Fun Monday is Below)

Fun Monday 46, On the Street where I live.....

Kitten (Kitten's homeschool) is today's lovely hostess for Fun Monday. She wants to know about our house and the street on which we live. A prize will be awarded to the person living in the oldest house. That won't be me. However, the original homestead in the area sits on our back fence. I hope she enjoys the picture I included of it.

* * * *

We live on a quiet street - except in the afternoon when the high school kids decide to use it as a short cut.

When we moved in there were many open fields with cows and horses, but there were also many new homes.

When our neighbor Bill moved in over forty years ago, there were only two other houses nearby. He and his late wife raised their five children in a 1923 era home with an unfinished cellar, unfinished dormer style upstairs, and only two bedrooms on the main floor.

It sat on a dirt lane in the 60’s. Barbed wire fences contained the horses and cows. The chickens, however, wandered wherever they pleased. His kids rode their horse through the fields and up the slopes of Stubblefield Hill where the old Boys Ranch was abandoned and crumbling. Bill spent time up there gathering square nails from the old structure. The hill provided local kids with the best sledding for miles around. Now the hill and the farmland are covered with houses and asphalt. Several of the original creeks that babbled through were directed into culverts and disappear underground. I hear babblings now and then of returning some of those back to the surface. The south side of the distinct hill and the creek valley remained untouched for many years after we moved in. In the past ten years developments sprawled across the area.

Further north on our street stands the second house built in the 20s. The old couple that lived there passed away; now their son and his family have been slowly renovating it.

The third one, an old farm house that is adjacent to our back yard on the East, was built in 1902. The original owners never sold. After their deaths the house belonged to three different families prior to the 3 M’s purchasing it in 1978. That was the same year we bought this tract home from the original owners. Our and M’s daughters became fast friends, so the hubby added a special gate just for them when he built the fence. Our girls spent many hours catching frogs in the creek.

(pictures from this summer)

A red barn that belonged to the original homestead still stands. It was built sometime in the 1890s. M's started a winery in the 80’s which originally featured the old barn on the label. (They have since moved their successful vintner activities into a wonderful facility that attracts many wine connoisseurs.)

In the early part of the century the old farm was self sufficient, and the dairy provided the main source of income.

I’ve read some of the written accounts from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and other early explorers and settlers. The native grasses were so tall that a horse and rider were easily hidden from view. That all changed with the Oregon Trail and the influx of ranchers, farmers, and settlements. Now the farmland is changing with the incursion of sprawling homes, vineyards, and commercial ventures.

When our girls come back for a visit, they are always surprised at how their home town has grown and changed.

Although I think of it as quiet, our street is a microcosm of the world around us.

I invite you to click on Kitten, and read other participants take on this Fun Monday assignment.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

B.S. (A Meme)

Several weeks ago Tiggerlane tagged me with the education meme. The rules: Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It's more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you'd also like to take. Tag five.

(1)The amount of time that has passed since I was given this assignment proves that I already have a degree in procrastination. However, a refresher course in time management might be helpful. I would probably call it Personal Time Space Continuum 365. (yeah, my own little universe) This class would provide an overview of the students one year journey around the sun. I just don't know if I can fit it in my schedule.

(2) Especially at this time of year, Making Payday Last Forever $101 is highly recommended. We've all heard the saying "So much month left at the end of the money," or "So long between Paydays, so short between Bills." Well, this class would apply the theories from Space Time Continuum so the financially challenged could change money for month and long for the short of it. If you understood that sentence you already have it figured out. Tiggerlane might appreciate this class because she is in the final stages of building, furnishing, and decorating a new house.

(3) Life Bucks. Often. Therefore Bumps & Dumps 1Õ1 is also in my required curriculum. The student in this class would learn how to climb on, hang on, and survive the ride. Unfortunately, most will have to repeat this class. Over and Over and Over.
Several mandatory field trips .

(4) Diet and Exercise While You Sleep €¿
. All my friends would join me in this class. It would be such a success story that students would have to bring their own blankets and pillows. You say, "in your dreams!" I say, "e x a c t l y."

(5) After graduating from Washington State University some years ago, Karmyn acknowledge that something was missing from her education.
"Mom," she asked, "You know how schools teach the three R's: Readin', Ritin', and 'Rithmatic?"
"Yes, dear."
"Well, they need to teach the fourth R: Real World."
So my final class offered, in my daughter's honor, is Real World 1©1. Basics would include how to read between the lines, decipher labels, be wary of signing the dotted line, differentiate between what is good and what is too good to be true, and talk with the animals. I just threw "talking to the animals" in for the heck of it.

All are welcome to create and post your life fixer courses. Let me know, so I can enroll as soon as possible.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fun Monday #45- A Christmas Tree Ornament

Katabug is hosting today's Fun Monday. She's being very seasonable with her choice of topics. I look forward to some wonderful posts today.

The rules were: In the spirit of the season I would like to see your favorite Christmas tree ornament. Not to be confused with the WHOLE tree. I want you to zoom in and show me one or a few(you know I can't choose just one!) of your favorite ornaments. If you don't decorate a tree, show me your menorah or dreidel, Kinara, or Yule Log. I want to see your favorite decoration for this holiday season.

When I was a little girl (in the 50's) my favorite Christmas Tree ornament was a blown glass raspberry. My mom had a special attachment to it. Every year she packed it away with much care and concern.

When she died 14 years ago, my eldest brother claimed it and keeps it wrapped securely with his Christmas decorations. (They were still in storage at his house in North Central California and I was unable to get a picture of it in time for this post.)

This picture was downloaded from Elizabethan Christmas. There are many more blown glass unique and exquisite Christmas ornaments on the website. The raspberry in this picture is of similar quality to Mom's, but with leaves. After speaking with siblings today, I still don't know the origin of mom's glass ornament. A sister remembers a blown glass pineapple that once dangled from the home grown fir tree that the two eldest brothers cut down in the "woods." A brother remembered a golden ornament that could have been the pineapple, or maybe an orange or an apple. It must have broken as any others were that may have one time completed the set. The raspberry is very fragile.

I don't know why I never asked mom how she came to own them. There never was much money for luxuries and dad opposed spending it on Christmas. I think he may have been one of the original Bah Hum Buggers.

In my growing years, the little glass raspberry was a special tradition in our simple and frugal holiday celebration.

(Having discovered the web site linked above, I may just decide to do some shopping. Did I mention that I already have a glass pickle ornament?)

Click here to see who else signed up with Lady K to share their ornament memories or dreams.

Have a Fun Monday!!!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gram's Story, Part 3

In Part 1, the family arrived in the Touchet Valley during the late 1800s. Jennie, our Gram, was born in 1902 and grew up on a wheat farm. At age 10 she faced the death of her mother and the challenges of being the family cook and caretaker. In the final paragraph of Part 2, the young farm hand and neighbor asks, "Jennie, will you marry me?" Her response was "Yes!" Here is Part 3 of Gram's Story.

Jennie wanted to complete Normal School before she returned to the valley and into the arms of her betrothed. As always, with the best laid plans - things did not go according to hers.

The first problem arose immediately following their winter engagement: John, her father, became contrary about the tuition expense. He did not want to pay for her remaining education and asked to be reimbursed for the amount he'd already covered. Jennie was penniless until she received her teaching certificate and a position. Raleigh's job as a farm hand was subject to season, weather, and crop fruition.

Unfortunately, there was more trouble brewing for the young couple in love.

Her eldest brother, Floyd, was enamored with Raleigh's only sister, Blanche. She was very attractive and the four had often double dated.

Apparently, Blanche accepted a casual dance invitation from a fellow student while completing her Teaching Certificate at Normal School. When the gossip reached Floyd, he was jealous and angry.

Floyd's emotions boiled over and spread towards all of Raleigh's family. He couldn't say enough bad things about them to anyone who would listen. He told John that he had witnessed Raleigh urinating on the outside wall of the local church and that Raleigh and his brothers were "hooligans."

That was all the encouragement John needed to present Jennie with an ultimatum.

"Call of your engagement," John told Jennie. He declared that the two were not meant for each other and the relationship would never last.

"No! I am going to marry Raleigh," was her emphatic reply.

Those were the final words that passed between father and daughter that day and forever.

On May 31, 1923, Raleigh and Jennie eloped. One of their siblings probably had a Motel-T Ford that they borrowed for the hour drive to the Justice of The Peace.

Jennie wore a navy blue suit with a matching hat. Her most vivid memory of the day was "how handsome my new husband looked" and how her hat "was ruined" in the pouring rain as they dashed from the courthouse to their hotel.

There was no honeymoon as "we didn't have a car or much money."

Her handwritten notes mention a wedding shower and a gift of $50 that her sisters had collected between them.

John disowned his daughter Jennie on that day.

(Comments from her sister Fern who will be 99 in April, 2008: I never understood why Floyd and Dad were so ornery with Jennie. They didn't treat me that way. Jennie cooked and did the laundry and worked so hard. I tried to help her but I was seven years younger. I remember one Saturday night when Floyd arrived home late from a date. He went into the kitchen and ate a whole pie that Jennie baked for Sunday Dinner. He did stuff like that. I think Floyd was dad's favorite because he was the son born after the first three were daughters. Dad was on his death bed in December of 1949. He eyes seemed to turn constantly towards to the door of his hospital room. I think he was waiting for Jennie to come and say goodbye. But, she didn't.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Snow. Wind. Rain. Wind. Snow

Many distractions the past few week; not exclusive to computer problems and illness. The weather in our "neck of the woods" has garnered attention.

Fortunately we are not in an area that had noticeable floods. First we had a cold front with snow. Within 24 hours of a beautiful snowfall, the wind blew in with a vengeance. It stayed 3 days. However, the worst of the storm hit the west side. Then it blew right over the top of us and tore through northeastern Oregon.

We have returned to a beautiful snow covered morning on December 7.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

November's Perfect Post

Take four little men, a big dog, and a tree, then mix it up with mom and her camera to get an early bowel full of Christmas.

I invite you to get your spoonful of early holiday delight by viewing Try It If You Dare, posted by Nan over at Life is Like a Lunch Box

She and her family make me smile on the inside and giggle on the outside. I always expect to be entertained and have my spirits lifted when I click on her blog. I'm never disappointed.

Nan, I've nominated you for November's Perfect Post. The Original Perfect Post Awards

Thank you for letting us share your joy!

To see other Perfect Post nominees click on over to Lindsay at www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com and Kimberly at www.petroville.com .

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Up Over from Down Under

When I arrived home from work there was an envelope waiting for me from Willow Tree, NSW Australia.

Why? Because of Mappa Tassie.

I decided to inspect it closely.
Note: There was a Dangerous Goods Statement.
Note: It was addressed to a Tough Bag. Oooooouch!

Note: I opened it carefully and peaked inside. No poisonous snakes or spiders.

Awwwwwww! Surprise. An Australian Flag, Australian Flag Stickers, and Australian Flag Tattoos. And, a 3 phase fridge magnet. Bobble your head and choose between wombats, Koalas and Kangaroos. This is fun!

Does it get any better than that.

Here is my 2008 Birds of Australia Calendar. You can't impress better than this.

Thank you so much Peter. It will hang above my computer desk and I will enjoy it every day next year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fun Monday - Unfinished Proje

Blue Momma (of Life in The Fish Bowl)
is hosting todays Fun Monday.
She finds that having a toddler is hampering her ability to finish projects. To reassure herself that others share the unfinished project gene, she has requested that we expose ourselves.

I have a whole pile of unfin

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun Monday #42, A trip Down Memory Lane

Karisma is today's Fun Monday Host! She requested that we share a Trip down Memory Lane. The story that pops up now and then and gets better and better with each telling is the one she wants to hear.

Having 7 elder siblings gave the following story a run for its money at many family- get- together.

It's also a trip down memory lane because I posted it one year ago (and hang that Perfect Post button in my side bar as a gift from Kelly of Pass The Torch.)

I hope you don't mind hearing it one more time.

The Runaway -- written as I remember that day.

I decided to run away from home when I was about 5 years old.

My best friend Beth lived down a hill and across several acres of prime dairy farm. There were a few barbed wire fences and a herd of black and white Holstein cows along the way. Those small things, however, were not going to stop me. I was going to go live with her. Life would be good at her house. She didn’t have any brothers.

I threw all my earthly belongings into Moms old hat box, grasped the flimsy ribbon band like a handle, and snuck out the back door.

My escape route led beyond the back yard, past the chicken house, the fruit house, the woodshed, and the garage. A narrow path led between a wall and a sharp uphill slope to the garden.

Through the gate I pushed, and fled beneath the pink climbing rose that trailed up to the roof. I was going to miss the rose bush and the chicken house.

I hurried across the flat grassy area that was edged on one side by some old growth forest. It was very dark and scary when you were alone. The other side had low scrub trees growing on the perimeter of a steep incline that led to the “lower pasture’ and a duck pond. Sometimes it was just mud and swamp and that day was no exception.

I tumbled several times during my descent. That box was bulky and awkward for my short little arms and legs.

When I reached the pasture, I tripped over a plowed furrow and landed in the mud. The hatbox lid rolled away trailing with it my panties and socks.

Darn clothes anyway. Beth’s mom would probably take me shopping and buy me all new clothes. Most of mine were hand me downs.

By the time I reached the electric fence that separated our small farm from the dairy, the hatbox was beginning to fall to pieces. I had tears in my eyes as I propped the disintegrating package against a fence post.

Several bovine in the adjacent field became aware of my whimpers and ambled over for a closer look. It wasn’t long before the entire herd headed my way.

This was getting serious. I couldn’t go on because the cows were so big and they had tails like ropes that kept switching this way and that.

I didn’t want to go back, because I knew that there would be a switching there, too. Especially when mom saw what I had done to her hatbox.

Hence, I bent over, sobbed into my hands and hid my eyes from the staring cows and the demolished hatbox.

That’s when something touched my shoulder.

I looked up to see my brother Mike standing close with a silly grin on his face. He couldn’t help it. He just had a silly grin.

“Let me help ya!” he offered.

He gathered up scattered muddy clothes and ripped up hatbox in one arm. With his other arm, he reached out and offered me his hand. Together we started walking back across the soggy pasture towards home.

That’s when I decided I didn’t want to go live at Beth’s house after all. She didn’t have any brothers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pensieve's Poetic License

Robin(The Pensieve One) has invited us all to the debut of her first Pensieve's Poetic License. She's made it very easy by suggesting a simple Limerick about Thanksgiving. I've decided to join her group of rhyming bloggers and add my silly little offering.


Old Abe made a big proclamation
That “thanks” be the prayer of a nation
But Cranberries and yams
And turkeys and hams
Have since become glutinous temptation

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's a Shin-Dig

Julie (Another Chance Ranch) and Tiffany (Tiggerlane, the Neophyte blogger) are soon moving in to their new homes. We watched the groundbreaking, the foundations poured, the walls and roofs raised, and the electricians in the crawl space. We approved tile, cabinets, and faucet designs. The only thing more fun would be moving in with them. In the real world that won’t happen, but I’m sure we’ll observe that part with envy in the near future.

Meanwhile, we’ve all been invited to a cyberspace house warming. It’s a Shin-Dig at Swampys!

I love cyber shopping! Money is no object. My only limitations was narrowing down the choice of what I would gift these two wonderful blogging friends, with the idea in mind that it would be something they would enjoy at the new house.


A Chuck Box from Texas Country Furniture

I picture you and McD having fun with the grandkids out for a picnic with Hickory, Ruby, and Babe. Just roll this out, or prop it next to the front porch and have yourself a party. When the company heads home, you can just close it up and store it out of the way until the next visit.


Five Swivel Rockers for your front porch from Tropitone

I really picture you as a swivel rockin’ girl. Get your evening drink, some background music and watch the sunset through the trees. These will sit on your porch year round - so get out your favorite comforter and a Hot Toddy for the upcoming holiday.

I hope you two enjoy your pretend toys. I certainly enjoyed the shopping.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fun Monday #41: Mother May I?

Hootin' Annie is the host of todays Fun Monday. She asked that we take 30 giant steps in any direction and take a photo. She directed us to take a photo and write a short essay. Then take 15 baby steps back and repeat the process.
Mother May I?
I took my giant steps East from my work station, through the patio doors and almost to the east side fence. This is where I arrived.
The bird feeder that the hubby built for me some years ago stands between a Blue Spruce and a Lace leaf Maple. I no longer rush out the patio door and clap my hands to chase the squirrels away. I surrendered seasons ago. Now I fill it with peanuts for the little tail swisher. For the birds I hang tubes of sunflower seeds and thistle. Occasionally a Crow or Magpie challenges the squirrel. I enjoy the rare visit of a shimmering Stellar Jay.

Fifteen baby steps back brings me to a Christmas gift I received from my "baby" several years ago. Amanda (aka Mandy), my youngest daughter chose this bird bath that is also a sun dial. This bath is favored by the finches because they can sit on the sun dial and ruffles their feathers before flying away. I've seen 10 of them vying for position at one time.

This is a zoom in on the sun dial sculpture. It has a teeny hummingbird that balances on a flower sculpture. Early in the summer mornings I have to hunt for the little piece after a raccoon or possum knocks it down. Yes... I did notice that I need to clean it out.

(PS. I have a tiny heater that is made for bird baths to prevent ice and to promote spoiled birds.)

Please visit the other Fun Monday participants by clicking right HERE.

Veterans Day 2007

Or call a Soldier, a Sailor, a Marine, an Airman, a National Guard, or a Coast Guard.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Hopyard Hobo - the final chapter

Written by my late father (1900-1977)

Part 1 of my father's short journal told about the depression and his experiences in California. Part 2 narrated a satisfying 5 weeks living off the fat of the land on a self sufficient farm in Southern Oregon. Befriended by a Hop grower in Part 3, he was hired as a chauffeur and then offered a job in the hop fields. Dad described his first impression of life on in a Hop Yard in Part 4. His high hopes of continuing the easy chauffeur type duties were doused by a hard dose of manual labor. The teasing by his fellow crew members and the young Russian beauties are not mentioned again. I think this says much about his discretion; Dad didn't kiss and tell. Part 5 describes a Hop Yard in the 1930's with detail - just in case you wonder where your beer has its earthy beginnings. Dad became the nozzle man on the spraying crew and a raise in pay. Nora, the bosses daughter, eloped in Part 6. He didn't suggest it in any way, but I wondered if Nora was trying to force my dad to declare for her by asking him to help her. In any event, he vowed never to interfere in a love affair again.
(My brother told me recently that "Putnam" was not really their name - Dad apparently believed he should not reveal identities. I think I met a very old "Mr. Putman" once when I was a child.)
Part 7 disclosed the inner workings of a hop harvest- the people and the field mechanics. Here is the final chapter. I wish that he would have continued
to journal the rest of his life.

The field to be picked was marked into sections, sixty rows in each, with two or three pickers to the row. There was a weight boss, a check boss, and a helper for every two or three sections. A wire man lowered and raised the vines, and finally a vine cutter removed the picked vines from the wires. There were also sack bucks and haulers who took the hops away to the kilns to e dried and baled for shipping all over the world.

Putnam's son, Winston, was field foreman. He needed a field boss who was to walk over the yard and see that the pickers gathered only good hops and that they did not put more than nine percent leaves and vines in their baskets. I got a surprise when he gave this job to me. It was the first time I had ever seen hops picked. I had never bossed women and children, Later on it became embarrassing, especially when some pretty young woman tried to flirt with me. The yard was well supplied with all types of beauty. There were college girls from Corvallis, country girls from Eugene and Albany, and city girls from Salem and Portland.

My nickname of Happy-Go-Lucky Al seemed to suit them and I was soon known to everybody.

Fritz Launer, a vine cutter, and I became infatuated with a couple of nice blond college girls. We took them to shows and dances and enjoyed their company. But, it was only a passing fancy with me. I never missed the girl when hop picking was over.

The early hops lasted only four days with this army of pickers. When we started picking the late field, Winston let over 200 of the hands go. Many of the remaining ones quit later, so that the crew was not nearly so large when the season ended.

There seemed to be trouble brewing one morning. Winston seemed to think the field boss has been chiseling, so he fired him. This boss was a young Russian, a brother to the one who had been boss all during the training and cultivating season. All of the Russian men and women quit out of sympathy for the discharged boss, Leo. Winston stepped lively until all of the vacancies were filled. I was made check boss and held this job until the season was over.

September the fifteenth came and the last of the hops were picked. There had been delay on account of rain. This, however, was the usual occurrence in Western Oregon. The pickers drew their money and were on their way. Some went back to school, some went to Idaho and Washington for potato picking, some went home, while others started they know not where. They probably fell in a soup line before the winter was over.

I had to get mixed up with romance again. Young Putman had asked me to be a witness and also best man at his wedding. His was a hop yard romance. The girl he was to marry worked in the yard all season. He is a lucky boy, for she is a splendid girl. She was literally a darling, her maiden name being Vesta Mae Darling.

When picking was over I got a chance to learn how to bale dry hops. When dry, the hops have an aromatic, spicy, tangy odor. After inhaling this invigorating odor and wrestling with two hundred pound bales all day, one needs no coaxing to eat a hearty meal or a lullaby to put one to sleep.

When the baling was done we cleaned the camp ground and put it in order. This included burning the trash and stacking the tables and benches where high water would not sweep them away. Everything seemed deserted and forlorn. The yard was barren and brown. The wind sighed lonesomely through the fir trees and even the purling water of the Luckimute had a mournful sound.

It was October the second when I bade the Putnam family goodbye.

I had found Mr. Putman to be A-1 in every way, and one of the most versatile men I have ever known. He was a farmer, a salesman, a carpenter, an architect, a musician, an artist, and a poet. He was a man worth sticking to; but I wanted to go drifting. Perhaps I shall come back and find romance next season. Quien sabe.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

October's Perfect Post

Today I invite all of you to visit this October 21 post titled Do I Enjoy Rain. Make sure you turn up your speakers and sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Congrationlations, Inland Empire Girl, who blogs at Gathering Around The Table, You are nominated for Octobers Perfect Post!

The Original Perfect Post Awards - Oct

Please check out the October Perfect Post Awards at www.petroville.com and www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - No Scarin' Heron

This Great Blue Heron, initially camouflaged by the sunlight on the creek, seemed to jump out of nowhere into my vision. Although he was just a few yards from me, he remained a silent, motionless sentinel.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fun Monday #39, Don't Leave Home Without It

Candid Karina is hosting today's FUN MONDAY. She wants us to be very CANDID...about what we take with us everywhere we go. Her words:
I want to see your security blankets. No, not the kind Linus carries around with him in the Charlie Brown cartoons, although, if you have one of those, by all means share it. What I want to see are the items you just cannot leave home without. What is it that if you leave your house without, you feel naked, incomplete, not quite right? This can be one thing or many things. And since most of us don't live in a clothing optional society, lets just assume we all leave the house fully dressed...I want to hear about those other things...the extras. The things that make women's purses so heavy and men's pockets so messy (I'm going to get grief for this one, aren't I?) What can't you leave home without? Show us pictures, tell us stories...have fun!

I have entirely too much junk in my purse and most of it I could leave at home. Distraction is a poor excuse for not removing it.

It holds my day timer/address book, my credit cards, my grandchildren photographs, my lipsticks, lotions, eye drops, fingernail file, pay stubs, store receipts, Altoids, and the kitchen sink. The strap groove is my shoulder is proof of a far too heavy bag.

The past few years I have added several items to this carry-all. Just in case I want to blog it, paint it, or identify it, I take the following:

ps. If I'm spending the night, I take my pillow and comforter, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


After I dipped my Fuji Apple in Caramel at lunch time, I returned to work and finished the Coconut Crème Pie that was leftover from my birthday.

I cringed when the afternoon sun cast my shadow across the parking lot. Ouch. Shade in the summer, heat in the winter.

Speaking of heat in the winter…we purchased a cord of wood last week in anticipation of some cool autumn evenings around the fireplace. Instead, we opened the doors every evening this week. Indian Summer.

Several times I’ve heard the cry of a Night Hawk and glimpsed it’s graceful pursuit of insects by the light of the street lamp. Maybe the cold front moving in will encourage him to begin his migration. I hope he doesn’t have to travel through southern California

Tonight it might freeze. If it does, our yellows, oranges, and reds will turn to winter brown. Apparently, the length of the night has equal influence on the hues that paint the deciduous trees. I always thought it was the frost.

I remember studying about photosynthesis when I was in high school. That was many fall seasons ago. If I close my eyes, I can remember the smell of chalkboards and floor wax. The fall weather confused the heating system, so, by early afternoon the classrooms would be uncomfortably warm. If the teacher was boring, that after lunch class was a real head jerker.

I would wrap my morning sweater around my waist and stroll the 2 miles home. Then, mom warned me away from opening the outside door to the kitchen. She didn’t want any temperature change to influence the sealing process in the pears, her last fruit canning of the season. The house smelled of boiling sugar syrup mixed with the fumes from bleach water. Mom always scalded and sanitized her ‘mason’ jars. Once removed from the boiling water bath, the jars of fruit lined counters and tabletops. I kept track of the telltale pops as they sealed. If the numbers didn’t match up, Mom tapped the lids with her fingernail and listened for a certain resonance.

Freshly canned fruit was a wonderful treat with my bowl of Ruskets for breakfast. (*Ruskets was a cereal that came shaped like a biscuit of pressed wheat flakes.)

As much as I love fall, I think it’s the time of year I miss my mother most of all.

Perigree Moon

Was the moon bigger last night? According to Spaceweather.com it is. 14% larger to be exact. The moon is in it's closest orbit of 2007. Its Perigree.

I love my Canon Power Shot (S2IS), but I haven't mastered all the settings. Like taking night pictures. This was the best of fifty.

Join the wolves tonight and go check it out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The predicted high today is 78 degrees (26 C). What happened to fall?

The beautiful ornamental cherry trees greet me on my way to work this morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun Monday #38, Shirts and Hats

Willowtree, the dictatorial host (his admission), has asked to see some clothing art. Make sure you click here to see the list of all the participants.

These aren't necessarily artsy items that I have chosen to share. But, you may figure out why each came to mind when WT mentioned T-shirts and Caps. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

I got this shirrt four perticipatin ina sppeling bea. It wazzent my seezon, if yoo no what I mean Verne. Anyhooz, the husbunned wheres it to werk in the yawrd.

Someone gave this to the hubby to remind him that he came from a family that didn't laugh at "natural bodily functions," and married into one that does.

We flew to Hawaii on a Saturday (2002) and the next day my father in law had a heart attack. Before flying out the following morning,we (in a daze) purchased pineapples and T-Shirts at the Airport. At home Hubby stopped by his "office" wearing this shirt. It could have been a very sticky situation. Fortunately, someone who knew he was grieving for his father took him aside and suggested that he change his shirt. It really is a beautiful shirt. He looks great in the color, so he wears it around the house.

A friend brought me this T-Shirt hundreds of years ago. I have worn it to shreds. I still love it.

Pamela's old favorite from pamela on Vimeo.