Showing posts from November, 2006

30 Days of Sitting

Today will be the end of 30 days of creating a post every day. I discovered that it was a difficult task. So many hours I sat in front of my computer wondering what I could possibly write about. Often I gazed about the room and contemplated the things that share my space. If you sat at my computer desk in our family room, you would find many photographs on the wall, a few water colors, and some other items that would tell you more about me and my family. Just above my monitor is a shelf that holds the Family Dog House. I remember when the kids were small, and how they thought they were being very clever when they would sneak in and move mom dog or dad dog into the hot seat. On the wall to my left hangs a Seth Thomas submarine clock, compliments of the U. S. Navy. You can see I forgot to wind it. It's stopped at 12:30. My husband always reminds me that when I wind it, I should take care not to do so to tightly. He can show you the perfect tension. Also, when setting the time you MUS

The Runaway

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 grow

Oh...that's a No No. I don't know where your Paws have been.

Well, actually we do.

The Hop Yard Hobo - Part 2

Continued from Part 1 , written by my late father (1900-1977) From San Francisco I hitch-hiked to Los Angeles. Luckily I made the trip in two days on Highway 101. I found everything normal after the disastrous quake. I found, also, that there was no chance for an outsider to get work. I never saw much of the damage done by the quake, since the curious were prevented from going into the damaged area. I stayed only overnight in Los Angeles and left the next morning on Highway 99, hitch-hiking to Oregon. I had an invitation from a friend of mine south of Roseburg to come up and live the life of Riley with him on his Cow Creek Ranch. I made fair time. I picked up some money by helping truck drivers load and unload. Part of the time I drove for some tourists who were worn out with too many hours at the wheel. That seemed funny to me, after having seen so many thousands out of work. It was true, nevertheless. My being a registered California chauffeur perhaps accounted for some of my lucky r

The Day Ended Snow Well, Michele

A BIG THANK YOU to Michele for solving my sizing problem with my banner. She says she uses ArcSoft PhotoStudio. So while she did my work for me I got to go out and play. My friend Vee and her daughter K took me up into the foothills of the Blue's for an afternoon snowball fight. We left Bud and the hubby to do chores. K took her friend -Little Yellowboots. The wind was blowing like ice-picks and I was so c-c-c-c-cold that I thought about recent posts by D, Silent Tun e s of Grey who said it was too cold to breathe and Nan, Writer Mom, who was waxing poetically about frozen boogers. Yellow boots made a very impressive snow angel. K was shaking so badly she could hardly hold on to her snowball. But she got in a couple of accurate strikes. No Snow Outing is complete without the obligatory snowman. On the drive back down we got to see these wild turkeys along Blue Creek. It' s windy and rainy here, too. And the hubby said we were supposed to get snow showers tonig

It's For The Birds !

Businesba is a website that gives origins and meaning of expressions or words that have been used in our everyday speech. There are new phrases that enter the social intercourse as events and famous personalities influence the language. A very old phrase, For the Birds (also strictly for the birds) - means useless, unreliable, unacceptable or trivial. It implies that something is only for weaker, unintelligent or lesser people. Credit for that description is given to Kirkpatrick and Schwarz Dictionary of Idioms. Decharne's Dictionary of Hipster Slang references the Hank Janson novel, Chicago Chick 1962. "'It's crazy man,' I told him, ' real crazy. Strictly for the birds.'" I've been having blogger problems. I know a lot of it is my lack of experience and know how. I'm sure my brain is bigger than an ostrich eye, which is how big an Ostrich brain is said to be. Right now I just think Blogger is Strictly for the birds. Yes - my f

Is It Lawful to Remove the TAG?

It was tag week for me. As much as I love writing "junk," I find writing about me very difficult. Nevertheless, I am going to try to do this without ME2's help at this conjuncture. (ME2: psssst. She doesn't even know what conjuncture means. Sigh.) Thanks to Kelly for giving me the opportunity to share five things few people know about me. visit her at Pass The Torch . Her blog has everything put together exactly how it should be. She's made a decision to stay home this year and homeschool her two kids, D and C. (You'll find C jumping into the lake from her Banner.) I'm wishing they were my grand kids, they are so cute, and smart,...and lucky to have Kelly, not only as their teacher, but also as their mom. Now, back to the subject at hand. Here are the five things you don't know about me. 1. My weight 2. My innermost thoughts 3. My bra cup 4. My foot deodorant 5. The side of the bed on which I sleep Thus, they remain the five things you don't

Dinner With Auntie Fern

Last weekend Grand Auntie Fern called and invited the hubby and me to come to her retirement home for the holiday dinner. In the past, she has been to our home, as well as to other extended family members in the valley. Everyone loves this sweet lady who will be 98 in April. This time, however, she wanted company at her home. We were pleased to join her, as none of our girls could make the trip to ours. We couldn’t go out of town because of my Friday work commitment. The dining hall was half-empty as many of the residents would spend the day with family. The food was traditional Thanksgiving; turkey, stuffing, mashed potato and gravy. Senior citizen sized servings found no complaints here. I usually eat too much. The hostess asked if we would allow a recent arrival to join us at our table. Shirley had been there two days and didn’t know anyone yet. We were happy to make it a foursome. Auntie was dressed in a lovely suit, with complimentary

Thank You Lord (By Ricky Nelson)

Thank You Lord Rick Nelson Thank you Lord for lovin’ me For giving me the chance so I could see The love that you feel inside for me You’re everything I want you to be And I thank you, my Lord Thank you Lord for being there You take me thru life and you always care I think about the times I needed you You were always there to see me through And I thank you, my Lord Thank you Lord you’re my friend You give me the strength to start over again When life becomes hard no ones seems to care I reach out for you and you’re always there And I thank you my lord Thank you Lord for lovin’ me For giving me the chance so I could see The love that you feel inside for me You’re everything I want you to be And I thank you, my Lord Ricky Nelson was my first crush. He was a heart throb that could sing. I could listen to him all day. I could look at him all day. He wrote some sweet music. He wrote this song that speaks so clearly for me on this Thanksgiving Day. Thank you Lo

R.A.M. into the wall

One morning last week, I was surprised to see an SUV on the side of the street about ½ mile from our house. Something totaled the vehicle. The front end was a V shape ending in the front seat. There must have been a serious injury. Where was the other car, I wondered? The next morning, the wreckage gone, I saw the other half of the crash. It was the stone wall surrounding one of the town’s historical homes, a Victorian mansion. A rock musician owns this property. When the musicians wife purchased the house a few years back she decided to return it to its glory days. At first, I was stunned when the painting began. Every day on my way to work, I watche d the progress. I also noticed a number of curious strangers parking along the road to review the restoration. In the beginning, I thought it was going to be gaudy. The contractor installed an electronic gate and security lights. They kept the beautiful old stone wall, but a mason was required to repair a section

Moms Christmas Cactus

Two days in a row, I have been thinking about my mom. Today I am thinking about her because her Christmas Cactus is blossoming. There are scores of buds promising a big bloom. A remarkable feat, considering the plant is over 50 years old. I always keep a start growing beside it in the window. It’s blooming, too. Some of you know I have a propensity to name things. This plant is named “Mom’s Christmas Cactus.” It has graced my living room since 1993, which means that by the law of possession it should be “My Christmas Cactus.” My daughters all have their own pots started from “Mom’s Christmas Cactus.” I may have heard one call her plant “Grandma’s Christmas Cactus.” When mom died, the cactus was so large that we had to trim it to get it through the doorway of her house. I didn’t have an out of the way place for it to grow, so it has never returned to its former dimensions. Frolicking children and clumsy adults impede its attempts to reach out into the

My Wooden Egg

Jenny, one of five contributors to Mama Drama , asked readers to tell her about “the weirdest” things they own. She even has a creepy prize for her weirdest commenter: A picture of Mr. Poodlestein in what appears to be an antique frame. First, let me say, I am not writing this post so that I can get my paws on Mr. Poodlestein. As much as I love canines, nothing draws me to this portrait of someone’s dearly departed dog. (I already have a picture of my own dearly departed dog. Thank you.) And then I saw that Willowtree has posted a picture of cat butt gum . So much for winning that contest. (And he thought he wasn't all that weird.) ANYWAY..... the idea of sharing one of my most peculiar possessions did intrigue me. (I am trying to post daily in the month of November. (I am not signed up for NaBloPoMo , but I’m pretending that I am. Blogging about my old wooden egg takes care of Monday.) What is it you ask? Yes, you did too, ask . Do not quit re

My Town

I don't want my town to change. The sunsets are amazing. There are four seasons. In 45 minutes you can be in the mountains skiing, or boating on the Snake or Columbia River. Raising children was easy here. There are elementary schools in every neighborhood. The town hosts a Community College, an award winning liberal arts college, and a parochial college that is becoming a University. There are many extracurricular activities such as sports, theater, and art. The availability of health care, housing, public transportation, and a quiet life are amenities that attract older people. A city water park was voted down on election day. I voted for it because because I think it would be a great diversion for the children, and I planned on taking my grand kids there when they came to visit. I knew it would raise my taxes, but that's a given in all areas with the change in the government. Crime has been on the rise and everyone has his/her theory on that. I'll leave that

The Oscar Suit

The year was 1903 when Bessie and Charles Hoover bought the little German made suit for three-year old Oscar. At that age he would have preferred a drum or a wooden train. However, mom wanted to show off her little gentleman to all her friends.Oscar grew fast and it wasn’t very long before the suit was too small. Bessie packed it gently in paper and stored it in a bureau drawer. She cherished her little man’s expensive suit from the old country. When Oscar grew to an adult, married, and had children of his own, Bessie brought forth the suit as a gift.  Although his first born, Pat, was a girl, he dressed and photographed her in the suit. He did the same with daughter number two, and then finally, his own son.     Then the suit was wrapped up again and placed in storage until another generation of children marched through. The hubby was one of those that posed in the little woolen garment before it was placed in an updated storage compartment; plastic. Along came our girls and

Winter Goldfinch

People who live here are often surprised when they are told that Goldfinch (The Washington State Bird) winter over in our valley. In the summer the male birds are so easy to spot because of their vibrant yellow feathers and black and white striped wings. In the winter they lose their mating colors and are less likely to be distinguished from other birds that fly around in the neighborhood trees and bushes. So, a lot of people think they are summer visitors only. They twitter and chatter in our birch tree and flit down to my entry way to choose between sunflower chips or thistle seed. Some days they only chow down on one. Some days they devour both. I should ask the Audubon experts "why?." These two pictures were taken through my dusty front door. They fly away if they see me move past. Last year there was an outbreak of "bird pox" which devastated the finch population locally. It is highly contagious and will pass between the birds at feeders. As a


Sometimes I go to pick up the office mail in the middle of the afternoon. Usually our manager makes the trip. When I offer to go it is when I want to get outside and clear my head. I don't want to take the company car. I just want to put on my walking shoes and walk through the downtown. My route takes me past the coffee shops, the wine tasters, and all the banks. On a warm sunny afternoon on a summer day I did just that. As I approached the side street entrance to the government building I was shocked to see a young woman wearing a skimpy white shirt and white Capri's walk directly into the path of a car preparing to park. There was an older man driving. (Old is relative I guess - but he was at the least 20 years my senior.) He wasn't parallel parking in the usual sense because there were two parking spaces open. He was driving straight in. Her appearance forced him to slam on his brakes. The young woman, who should have used the crosswalk, jumped forward into

What is Your Name?

The 911 call for a man down came from one of the grocery stores that activated an emergency vehicle with fireman/medics to the scene. Charles and Walt were young, handsome, excellent paramedics, and good friends. Together, they had responded to many accidents and medical crisis as well as geared up for fighting fire. The description on the dispatch had them preparing mentally for a stroke or a heart attack. Flashing lights and sirens allowed them to park at the store entrance and roll through the electric doors with their equipment. An Assistant manager pointed them immediately to the elderly man lying on his back near the apple and orange display. He appeared to be unaware of what was going on around him but responded when they shook him. (Shake and shout is standard procedure if they suspect someone is unconscious.) Because he seemed somewhat alert Charles began checking the vitals signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc) and Walt tested for mental clarity.

Unique Jewelry

Marnie showed Melissa her cute necklace from Disneyland. Heather showed Melissa her Arizona turquoise and her under the car seat ring. Karmyn showed us her brand new wedding ring awhile back which replaced the one she lost at the airport in Provo, Utah. A friend made this unique necklace for me out of a silver coin about 32 years ago. He died soon after in a motorcyle accident, which made the gift more precious. Last month I also displayed the cool Hummingbird pin from my brother and his wife. I'm tagging anyone who wants to show Melissa their jewelry. (No WT , not the family jewels.)

Lord of the dead-ringers. Well, sort of.

Two years ago I made a calendar in which I took all our family members and turned them into either fantasy characters or cartoon character. Here is my Lord of The Rings Bunch. You will find the hubby, my three daughters, their men, and a couple of my grandsons and some great nephews. Can you tell which characters in the trilogy that each of them portrays??? This year I have one month to come up with an idea for a family calendar. I'm starting to have an anxiety attack about it. If I don't start it soon, it will never happen. Hope someone out there can be my muse.

Out of Your Gourd

Last weekend I was tracking the nuthatches as they flitted between my house and my elderly neighbor's yard. He walked out and told me to "C'mon out back, I have something that might make a good photo." He opened the door to his little "greenhouse" and proudly displayed all these fantastic gourds that he had grown this year in his garden. He also grows "loofah" or "vegetable sponges" and had some hanging on his clothesline. He breaks the "loofah" by hand and washes and washes them until they are soft and pliable. His old hands must be very strong, and I thought about asking him if I could photograph them. But he is very private. He is also going deaf, so you are never sure if he understands what you say to him. For a man in his mid 80's he is very active. He grows all his own vegetables and fruit. I see people stopping during the summer to buy tomatoes and raspberries. I am the lucky recipient of cucumbers and be

Veterans Day

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

An unusal Christmas

My very first thought when I saw the Blogging Chick Carnival theme was to suggest it would be easier to just skip the holidays altogether. The Holiday Blues is not a favorite music group or Christmas album at my house. It’s my dancing partner for the season and has been most of my life. There are probably a few armchair therapists as well as some licensed ones who might ask that as “mature” as I am, why I haven’t pursued the “cause and effect” and worked through the problem. ‘Tis a good question and maybe I’ll get back to you. Instead let’s talk about our 2005 Holiday season. Last year the hubby and I received an E-mail early on from one of my childhood ‘forever’ friends. She and her husband had been recruited by their church to spearhead a relief team in an earthquake ravaged region of Kashmir . They had lived in Pakistan for quite a few years with their three daughters; their knowledge of the culture and language made them the perfect choice for such an endeavo

Carnival of Blogging Chicks - Holidays made Easier

The carnival this week is about “Holidays made Easier.” Michele, the BC Guru says "Holidays are special. They are also stressful. Trying to decide what to buy for your Uncle Bill, Aunt Kate, Grandma, the postman, favorite daycare provider . . . Wondering who is eating where with whom? Is it your time to host Christmas dinner or New Years buffet? Divulge your inexpensive gift giving ideas or real time saving tips. If we share, we will all be blessed." and relaxed this holiday. This weeks host is Eileen aka Cybercelt at CoolAdzine. My entry is in the works but I don't think it's quite the advice on holiday "trimming" that you might be looking for. I'm sure some of the others will have some ideas that will help you get your holiday chicks all in a row.


The Christmas Tree that is headed to Washington D.C. stopped for an hour visit one block from my work place. I could see it through the window. The town had a festive little greeting and local kids brought their home-made ornaments to send along the way. The mayor gave a muffled speech, but I couldn't stop and listen because I only ran over to take a picture and a peak. When I peered into the back of the semi, the tree was wrapped up pretty tight for its trip and you could only see the very tip of the evergreen branches. It might be passing through your town or city. Wave!! Capitol Christmas Tree Arriving from Was hington State A 65-foot Pacific silver fir cut from the Olympic National Forest will serve as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. The tree, which was cut down Wednesday, will be taken on a festive road tour in Washington State before traveling to D.C. It will be decorated with more than 3,000 ornaments made by students in Washington State, and will have 10,000 li

Coffee People

Just wanted to make sure that Robin checks her coffee beans before she grinds them. I've gotten this Email from several places and I found the little man right away. If you call your coffee a cup of "joe" then you may want to click on that picture for a closer look. I like a bold blend with my "fat-free half n half" (altered skim). I'll leave all the expresso and latte's to the rest of you.

The Border Patrol

At least thats what my cousin in Alaska called it when she E-mailed me this photograph. (UPDATE: I'm wondering if it is Canada... and if the road sign is photo-shopped in? Any guesses?)

As told by Aunt Hattie (part 1)

This is a picture of my great grandfather and great grandmother (me, my mom, her mom, her parents) , Franklin and Augusta Castle, with Hattie. Hattie wrote some of her stories by pen before her death in 1965. I have been blessed with copies that I have tried to present without any correction. Just as she remembered them. Hattie had four older brothers, two of whom died in childhood. The new baby sister she speaks of is my grandmother Grace, followed by four more boys and another girl. My grandmother Grace didn't write any memoirs, however she had a treasure trove of old pictures, such as this one of her mom and dad and half sister. To you who choose to read on, thank you, and enjoy her memories. MY CHILDHOOD HOME I was born in the little town of Bucks Bridge, New York , October 2nd, 1869 , the year that the 1st railroad was completed across the U.S. But the following spring my parents and two brothers, Herbert and Newton , moved to a farm 4 miles o