Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back to Oregon!

We slept in for a bit this morning, but got going fairly early for our trip back to Auntie Violet parked in Daughter Dawn's driveway in Hubbard, Oregon. It was another gorgeous day -- so pretty when we came down the hill to the Vantage Bridge over the mighty Columbia River.

We were a bit surprised to see how many more wind turbines there now are in the hills along the river --

We stopped at the Ryegrass Rest Area on I-90, where you can see Mount Ranier, known to the Native Americans as the "God Mountain."

And later down the river, we began to get glimpses of Mount Hood --

We cut off and took Highway 82 down to Yakima, then 97 to Goldendale and Maryhill, just to see some different scenery. We then drove Highway 14 along the Columbia on the Washington side. The basalt bluffs along this route are every bit as spectacular as the ones in the southwest -- they just don't have the bright red colors...

This would not have been a route for Auntie Violet. This tunnel is only a bit over twelve feet high...

We made a quick stop in Canby for hamburgers at Burgerville, then were finally home again. No one was home when we arrived -- they were busy painting over at the new house!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Such a Lovely Day

We woke this morning to an unexpected thunderstorm that travelled through most of eastern Washington. There was lots of thunder, lightening and rain. It sure dropped the temperature, which was very much appreciated.

Mid-afternoon we headed out Stratford Road to Road 11.5 which led to Hidden Meadow where Mark and Kim's wedding was to be held. It's way out in the middle of nowhere and it really is a hidden gem. Tables were set up in an open-sided building and a short way away down the hill from the house an area of chairs was set up in front of a flower bower. A ways further is a pond complete with a pair of swimming swans.

The attendants - the girls all dressed in smoky grey short dresses of various styles, the fellows in suits - came down the grassy hill followed by the little flower girls (the little ring bearer sw all the people and fled back into the house!). The bride was laughing as she joined Mark at the front for the ceremony.

The rain held off and the cloud cover thankfully lasted until we moved over to our tables. It would have been unmercifully hot without that cloud cover. A scrumptious wedding supper with ham, rolls, summer salads, fresh fruit and smoked salmon was served by Di's Catering. (I can't believe Diane is really thinking about retiring!)

The food was wonderful, but visiting with friends and church family was even better. We had assigned tables, but everyone seemed to mingle and chat. After toasts, the new couple cut a giant cupcake. Guests had a choice of peppermint chocolate or raspberry cupcakes. An area beside the pond was set up for the musicians and dancing and a good time was had by all.

We are back at the motel with my foot elevated. I chose to go without the wrap and air splint today and did okay, though it's swollen tonight. I 'm glad I had my purple cane though as the lawn was a bit rough.

We're both tired, but had a lovely day!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Moses Lake

We wanted to be in Moses Lake tomorrow afternoon for Mark's wedding. It's not until four in the afternoon and it's about a five hour plus drive. We could have driven over tomorrow and been there in plenty of time -- and we could have turned around and come right back. And many years ago we would probably done just that!

But, that's a lot of driving for us in one day anymore. I was not sure how my messed up ankle would tolerate that much time without being elevated... First we made a reservation at the Holiday Inn Express for Saturday night after the wedding. Then we thought about it some more and decided to go ahead and make a reservation for Friday night as well.

We didn't leave real early and we made a couple of stops along the way. It's been a beautiful, sunny, HOT day and the drive through the Columbia Gorge was gorgeous. The Welcome to Washington sign was such a sight to see! On arrival, my ankle was a little bit swollen, but I sat with it elevated for a bit and it came right down, We made a big splurge this evening and walked across the parking lot and street to eat dinner at Denny's.

It was a really big day back in Oregon. Daughter Dawn and Son-in-law Todd signed the papers and received the keys to their new home in Keizer!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tale of a Tator Tot Casserole

Confession Time! I have never in my whole life made a Tator Tot Casserole! It was my friend Phyllis' "go-to" casserole for potlucks and family meals, but not something I ever made for my family.

Yesterday Todd suggested that's what I should make for dinner. He got a package of hamburger out of the freezer to thaw so I could use it later that afternoon. Somewhat skeptical, I queried him about how they went about making it. I didn't remember Phyl putting green beans in hers, but he said they used cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup as well as a can of green beans...

I googled Tator Tot casseroles and found all kinds of recipes, some with the tator tots (thumb-sized shredded frozen potatoes) on the top and some of them with the tator tots on the bottom. Some of them were just hamburger, some had hamburger and sauteed onions. Some even had shredded cheese on top.

So, I browned the hamburger and onions, added the two cans of soup and the can of drained green beans and was ready to put the tator tots on top and put the whole thing in the oven when Todd called and said that they had forgotten they were supposed to go into Portland for dinner with friends...

So I covered the cast iron skillet with foil (sans potatoes) and stuck it in the refrigerator and went back to Auntie Violet and baked a potato and broiled a steak for Forry and me.

Todd did finish the casserole this evening and it was actually pretty good. Daughter Dawn called it comfort food.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

And the Rain Comes Down...

Right now, it's actually pretty nice. It was nice last night about this time too. A few clouds to give the sunset some color. But then as it got dark the clouds moved in and the rain came down. It came down off and on all night.

It was raining pretty hard this morning when I woke up. It's rained pretty hard practically every day since we came to Oregon. I think the only nice sunny days were the two days of the Graduation festivities -- thankfully.

I understand it's been raining in the Menno area of eastern Washington where our wheat ranch is as well. My late father-in-law always called June rains "million dollar rains." He was referring to the amount of filling of the winter wheat kernels that happened with the moisture as well as the boost spring wheat always needed about that time of year. Our friend Bill says he got .6 of an inch of rain at his place.

For an area that usually has an annual rainfall of 7-9 inches, that is a lot!

The forecast is for more rain tonight and again tomorrow. The map on the TV showed a whole expanse of white clouds swirling around the Pacific Northwest. I'm thinking I'm looking forward to being in Phoenix next week, even if it's 100 plus degrees...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tae Berry Pie and More Jam

Daughter Dawn has some funny looking berries planted along her sideyard fence. I must admit I have never seen nor tasted tae berries before.
This is a picture from the internet. Hers look like the ones in the middle --

Grandson Micah was tasked today with picking the berries, both the tae berries and raspberries. While I was napping this afternoon, Todd suggested to Forry that it sure would be nice if I made a pie out of the ones Micah had picked. And there was enough left for a batch of raspberry/tae berry freezer jam.

I looked up and found a pie recipe on the internet. I was a bit concerned that the one and a quarter cup of sugar that the recipe called for was a bit much, but the berries are tart and it turned out to be just enough. It was an interesting recipe as it used both flour and tapioca as thickeners. Granddaughter Havela's friend Katy made seven of us for dinner, so the pie quickly disappeared.

We've done okay with internet recipes. Todd had a rabbit he wanted to put in the crock pot with some mango chutney. I found a recipe for chicken chutney curry that worked pretty well. The chutney had jalapenos as well, so it was nice and spicy.
Otherwise, I spent the biggest share of the day again on the couch reading. I've have gotten hooked on Fern Micheal's Sisterhood series of books. I vaguely remember perhaps reading one or two of them many years ago, but had never read the whole series. I'm up to Free Fall, which I think is number seven.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What Day Is It?

I wish I had bought the clock at I saw in the Big Tent a year or so ago in Quartzite. It didn't have any numerals at all and the hands didn't move very fast. Instead of times, it had days of the week around the face. I NEED that clock!

It was a bit easier the last couple of weeks when school was still on. At least, when I saw the school buses, I knew it was a week day. I used to have a watch that told the day of the week as well as the time. It was quite handy.

Of course, it doesn't help much that I have been sticking very close to the couch with my foot elevated and haven't really been out and about. I did see Daughter Dawn driving away on her way to work early this morning, so that helped. But, at that hour I wasn't very wide awake and I don't think it really computed as I remember asking Forry later on if she was at home...

Later this afternoon Todd came over and we looked at some of the possibilities for transportation to the airport here in Portland and from the airport in Phoenix to the downtown hotel. The way it stands right now, is Todd and the Youth will take the Light Rail into downtown while Forry and I will take the Super Shuttle (It's a couple of blocks walk to the Light Rail on either end and I'm not sure about how well I'll be walking by then...).

I went on-line and made our reservations for the Super Shuttle, then realized I had made them to go to the wrong Hyatt! I tried to cancel them on-line, but could only get the trip to the hotel from the airport cancelled, but not the one from the hotel to the airport. I called their 800 number and the operator very graciously got it cancelled, then offered to make the new correct reservation. When she realized we had a convention discount, she apologized and said I had to go back on-line as she couldn't honor it. It didn't take long and at least that's done.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another Quiet Day

This rest and foot elevation is getting OLD! I'm trying very hard to be a good patient as it is only one more week until we leave for the biennial conference of Mennonite Church USA in Phoenix. I must admit that the swelling is quite a bit reduced this evening, but now the bruising is beginning to look ugly...

We have had visitors off and on all day. Micah came over with his crackers and peanut butter and joined us for orange juice. We saw Kyra for a few minutes before her ride arrived and she left for Drift Creek Camp for several days.

Daughter Dawn came over with some of the memorabilia she has been finding in the boxes from the attic. Much of it was from her time as Ritzville's Junior Miss back in her high school days. She also had some Christmas decorations made from plaster of Paris from grade school?

Todd stopped in for a while after church, then went back to his sorting and packing job. Havela came back from her overnight stay at Katy's, bringing Katy with her. Tonight they are here watching the first episode of the new show "Whodunnit." (Not so sure Forry is much into it. It reminds me of playing Clue when we were kids.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Monsters' University

It was another very quiet day today. I spent most of it on the couch with my iPad reading. I've been trying to keep my foot elevated and the swelling is about the same as it was yesterday. Todd and Dawn and Kyra spent most of the day bringing boxes and other stored stuff out from the attic. Havela's friend Katy had her Graduation Party this afternoon.

Dawn and Todd stopped by the party on their way home from a Goodwill run and had enough pulled pork there that they weren't hungry for dinner, so Forry and I decided to run into the Dairy Queen in Canby for some dinner. We were going to take Kyra and Micah, who hadn't gone to the party, with us. Then somehow, we ended up deciding to go to the movie theater and see Monsters' University as well. Dawn and Todd joined us there.

Since the movie was in 3D, I decided that I didn't want to eat anything before hand. The rest of them had popcorn and drinks. Without a full stomach, I was able to watch the 3D movie without getting nauseous! After the movie, we did finally go to DQ so that I could have a hamburger while the rest had ice cream.

It was good to get out of the house for a while.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Most Boring Day...

This has been a very long boring day! I have done absolutely nothing but lie on the couch with my foot elevated! It actually doesn't hurt a whole lot -- only if I twist it. I've been just fine with some ibuprofen at intervals.

This is the ace bandage/air splint combination that I'm supposed to wear for the next couple of weeks.

I'm not supposed to wear it when I sleep and I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see that much of the swelling of last night was gone. The bad thing about it is that I twisted it at the same place on my ankle (fibula) that I broke on a motorcycle many years ago. On the other hand, that might be why it didn't break as they say that the callus formed at a break is actually stronger than the original bone..?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Not What I Wanted To Do Tonight!

Well, it's almost 10:30 and we just got home from the Emergency Room in Silverton...

I was heading over to Daughter Dawn's to put the washing I'd done earlier into the dryer; caught my sandal on Auntie Violet's step and took a tumble. I pitched forward toward the bottom of the three steps and ended up with my right ankle twisted on the last step while my left one was still up on the top one. I guess it was a good thing the screen door was closed, as otherwise I might have ended up outside on the gravel!

By the time Dawn got home from wwnork and we ate supper (pork chops with blueberry sauce created by Granddaughter Kyra), my ankle was getting pretty swollen. So, we decided I should at least get it x-rayed to make sure it wasn't broken. Daughter Dawn, Havela and I went to the closest Urgent Care, but it was already closed, so went on to the Emergency Room at the Silverton Hospital.

It was actually a pretty fast visit considering that the ER was very full. We were there a little over an hour and a half. One of the things that moved it along very quickly was that their portable x-ray machine was brought to the room and the doctor was able to quickly review the scan on his computer. Turns out it isn't broken, just a bad sprain. I came home with an ace wrap and a soft air splint that I'm supposed to wear for two weeks.

On a much more enjoyable note -- I took Kyra into Canby to her orthodontist this afternoon to get her braces off! Isn't this a happy smile?!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Packing and An Anniversary!

The Granddaughters were busy cleaning house this morning, while I packed some more boxes. I had to seek their help to get platters and vases out of high cupboards. Havela got the bottom ones for me, but we had to recruit taller Kyra to get the top ones. Even standing on a chair, it was all she could do to reach the back. We packed all of the big plates and platters (most of which we had used last weekend for the Graduation Party) as well as Daughter Dawn's collection of vases.

We're packing the boxes about 2/3s of the way, then filling them with pillows. I've been using extra bedding and towels as packing which seems to be working well. After we got that cupboard empty, Kyra and I started on the decorative stuff -- the pictures and knickknacks on the walls and mantle piece. We packed three large boxes from the living room, kitchen and family room and I think we've still got one or two to go.

The last thing we packed away this afternoon was the raspberry freezer jam we made yesterday. I sent a couple of jars over to Auntie Violet's freezer, They sure look pretty --

Yesterday was our oldest daughter Mary Mae and her husband Scott's 25th wedding anniversary. She posted this lovely picture on Facebook. They were married at our home, Tree Heart Ranch, Ltd. The dress she is wearing was made using lace crocheted by her maternal Great-grandmother Kubik and her mother, Great-great-grandmother Telecky. Since MM had been away in school for several years, she wanted to have a weekend party. Many of their friends came and pitched their tents and stayed (one was even doing kayak rolls in the swimming pool!) for a couple of days. Texas John barbecued a pig and we had strawberries and angel food cake instead of the traditional layers.

The picture sure brought back memories!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Costco and Raspberry Jam

We were out of bread, milk, bagels and berries! Heck of a way to not have breakfast! It was pretty obvious that we needed to make a trip to town. After a bit of discussion, we decided to head into Costco and restock. You can tell that much of the summer produce is coming on. The boxes in the produce area were stacked almost over my head!

Todd had been checking what was left in the refrigerator from the Graduation Party. Sister Roxy had brought several packages of frozen raspberries that we had served for desserts with angel food cake and whipped cream. There were several left and he suggested that it might be a good idea to make them into jam. (Hint, hint!)

So we made a stop on our way back from Costco at the local Safeway store to pick up pectin and sugar. When we got back, Todd had already put jars in the dishwasher for sterilization. There were enough berries left to make two batches of freezer jam. We ended up with six pints and six half-pints. They sure looked pretty sitting on the counter. It was an easy job as when it came time to stir the berries and sugar with the pectin, I had Kyra and Havela to help!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cloudy With a Chance of Rain...

After the absolutely perfect day we had on Saturday for the Graduation Party, we are headed into some rainier weather. Today's forecast was for cloudy weather with a chance of rain. As we move towards sunset, it's getting cloudier and Granddaughter Havela said she felt a few drops of rain as she came over to the RV.

The younger grandkids are down to their last half day of school tomorrow while Havela is already finished. She did get up early this morning to take Granddaughter Kyra into Canby, but I think she's very glad to have no more classes. Kyra got to go and read during her math final as she's already got a 102% in her math class. Grandson Micah had a class trip to a bowling alley today, so I don't think he worked too hard either.

We've lots of sliced peppers, onions, celery, cauliflower and broccoli left from the Graduation Party vegetable plates, so I marinated slices of pork and we had stir fry tonight for dinner. I'm having a bit of fun transitioning from cooking for two to cooking for seven!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Quiet Father's Day

We had a pretty quiet day today. I hadn't slept well last night with lots of leg cramps, so really did not want to do anything today. Todd and the girls and his parents went to Salem to church while the Boggs family went off to see the Pacific Ocean. The rest of us just sort of vegged out.

Later Granddaughter Kyra came over to take pictures of Auntie Violet. I had asked her to make a drawing of the rig for me (she's a pretty good artist) and she wanted some pictures to use for a guide --

We took and printed several pictures for her to work from --

 Then she took another of the inside. I'm still not sure why?

We were all commenting yesterday how much our Brother Pat reminds us of Dad. His generosity with his garden produce and his venison sausage is so much like the way our Dad always was. You never left his house without lots of goodies! Dad has been gone for many years now, but he lives in all of our hearts -- and our stories!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Party Time!

The guest of honor slept in after the GAP (Graduation After Party) which didn't end until 5 AM! But the rest of us were busy getting ready for this afternoon's party. Granddaughter Kyra and Auntie Roxy have been working on this banner for the last couple of days. It took quite a crew to get it hung.

Everything was being set up in the back yard and everyone was busy carrying food out and setting up chairs.

After Havela woke up and got back home, she had a chance to open the present that her parents and grandparents purchased for her graduation.

I think she was pretty pleased with her new computer!

We had quite a parade of people in and out during the Open House from four until seven. I don't know which was the bigger hit, the chocolate fountain with all of the fresh fruit, or the turkey mole on the baby tortillas.

I think this was the best shot of the day -- the two grandfathers enjoying the sunshine and their job of supervising. That's Todd's father on Forry's right.

It was a lovely day with lots of sunshine. It was a lot of work, but there were lots of hands to help. So good to have so many family members and friends around,

Friday, June 14, 2013


By late afternoon we had a houseful! First to arrive were Todd's parents, Jan and Jerry from Parma, Idaho. We had a nice visit with them before they went into Woodburn to check into their motel. Not too much later, Todd's bio-parents, the Boggs arrived with their son and his family. We had barely started an early supper of spaghetti when Brother Pat and Sister-in-law Cindy arrived from Moses Lake.

By five-thirty we were all loaded up in various vehicles following Todd into Canby. We parked in the Safeway parking lot and walked around the corner to the football stadium (except Forry who hitched a ride on a golf cart!) The grand-parents had tickets for "special seating" which allowed us to sit on folding chairs instead of the bleachers.

The actual ceremony didn't start until 7 pm, so we had lots of time for people watching. There were over four hundred Seniors graduating, so it took a while for all of them to march in -- the band played through "Pomp and Circumstance" more than once!

The Cantalinas (Canby High's elite singing group), performed two numbers during the program. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the stadium to see Granddaughter Havela's face (she's on the far left) -- and I swear, that woman with the grey moved her head in front of the camera everytime I tried to take a picture!

So the only picture I got of them singing, was the back of Havelita's head...

I had a pretty clear shot of her when she came up to get her diploma -- and of course, you know what happened...

But, she's got it in her hand!

The lady was leaning over talking to her friend. I wasn't quick enough...

It got pretty chilly by the time the last student came across, but considering the number of students, it actually went pretty fast. Most of the family went from the stadium to their motels, so it's actually pretty quiet around here tonight. Havela has gone to her graduation party at the Middle School, but she promised me I could get a picture of her tomorrow in her regalia.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So It Begins

Sister Roxy arrived this afternoon, so I'd say the Graduation Festivities have truly begun. Son-in-law Todd was busy perfuming the air with the scent of the turkey he was smoking to go with the mole for Havela's party.

Daughter Dawn, Roxy and I soon headed for town where we made a large purchase of fruit, vegetables and bread. We needed fruit and marshmallows for the chocolate fountain; vegetables for a munching tray; bread for sandwiches and garlic bread. We went to the Mexican market in Woodburn where there was a really nice selection of fresh stuff. We got almost everything we wanted there, but ended up with a stop at Safeway as well. (We are trying to get everything organized for meals as well as the party...)

When we got back, Todd had some more papers he needed to have printed and scanned. My computer had gotten seven automatic upgrades last night and I could not get anything to work! The scanner/printer would not even respond to it. Finally, I shut everything down, unplugged it all and then started all over again. Then, it finally all decided to work! I know the upgrades are necessary and useful, but it seems like it always takes a bit for everything to work correctly once they are all integrated...

After dinner, Roxy and Dawn started shredding the turkey meat. It was a big job, but they got it all in baggies to go in the freezer until it's needed on Saturday. Havela's classmate Katy has been staying the last couple of nights, so we have the start of a houseful. It will be fun tomorrow when the other grandparents and uncles start to arrive.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We're getting close to Friday and Havela's high school graduation and Saturday's celebration party. The first of the relatives will be arriving tomorrow and by Friday afternoon we'll have a houseful.

I spent part of this morning working in the yard. I dead-headed the last of the peonies and then got the little pointed hoe and went after the dandelions that had sprouted in the front yard after the girls had put down mulch. The nice thing about it, with the mulch, the weeds came out very easily.

After school, all three of the grands were here at the motorhome for a while, eating sunflower seeds, reading and watching TV with Grandpa. It's fun just to hang out with them. I had marinated some cube steaks for supper, so Daughter Dawn put them on the barbecue. We shared the artichokes that she had harvested from her flowerbed along with some of Grandma Hardt's poppyseed pasta.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The "Busy Book" Project

One nice thing about spending time at the grand-children's home is the opportunity to get in on their projects and schoolwork. When we were last in Mount Vernon, I got to help with costume "fix-its" during Granddaughter Claire's play, Witches.

Granddaughter Kyra, who is a freshman at Canby High, has been working on a project for her Human Development class in which she had to make something to entertain a child. She choose to make one of the quiet books you often see with toddlers in church --

She put together several pages, like this one with zippers. There was one with snaps, another with buttons, one with Velcro, another with a crackly packet and one with something to lace.

This one is my favorite page. I just love the little pocket --

That has its own hankie stuffed in it (and sewn in so it doesn't get lost) --

Ky was going to lace the book together with yarn, but after some discussion and brainstorming, she decided to use shoelaces instead. After school, she and I drove into Canby to the Fred Meyer store where she found a florescent green pair.

While we were there, we also bought some art pencils and heavy paper. Ky is going to draw a picture of Auntie Violet for me to use to make new business cards. Tomorrow I'll need to take some pictures of the rig for her to work with.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday, Once Again

Everyone was back at school or work today. Todd and Forry went over to continue working on the new house (Todd's putting down a vapor barrier underneath and Forry has been changing out plug-ins.). Which left me home alone again most of the day. So nice!

Micah's school (91 School) was scheduled to have their Spring Band and Choir Concert this evening at six, which meant he had to leave at 5:30 which is before his Mom usually gets home from work. We decided the easiest thing might be was to eat dinner after the concert. I was trying to think what I could make that would keep -- something that wouldn't mind sitting for a half hour or more. Todd said they had lots of packages of stew meat in the freezer, so we decided beef stew would work very well.

I was going to have the fellows pick up onions and hard rolls on their way home, but when I called them I discovered that they would not be home until after five thirty either. So when Havela and Kyra got home from school, we went into the Safeway in Canby and picked them up along with a few more groceries.

The 91 School (Grades K-6) had full bleachers in the gym for the Spring Concert. The music alternated between the band and the choir, telling the story of the settling of the country and the explorers and settlers that game to Oregon. The program was only a half hour long, but it was very well done. Grandson Micah and his trombone are hard to spot in the above picture as he is way in the back...

When Havela went to start the car to go to her choir practice after Micah's concert, it would not start (even though Dawn had just arrived home in it!) Grandpa took her into Canby, then came back to eat supper and to help Todd work on the car. (They ended up getting a new battery for it. Can you believe they actually found a Reilly Car Parts open in Woodburn at 10 PM at night?!)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Navajo Tacos

We definitely have a communication gap around here! Luckily things all worked out and we got to where we were supposed to be when we were supposed to be there...

We worshiped with the congregation of Salem Mennonite today. This is the church where our son-in-law Todd has been called to be the new pastor in August. It's quite special for us that our dear friend Duncan Smith is serving as Interim Pastor, so we got to hear him preach today. It was also good to see Lynn Miller, another pastor I've worked with in the past as well.

Yesterday, Dawn had mentioned to me that Todd had purchased tickets for a fund-raising Navajo Taco dinner today. We both understood that it was to be this evening. But as we were getting in the van to return home after worship, Todd informed us that the meal was planned for this noon -- Sunday Dinner!

So, off we went to Louise and Glen's home. They taught in a school in the Navajo Nation several years ago and learned how to make fry bread there. When we arrived at their house, Glen had a batch of bread ready to fry. Served with a bean/hamburger mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese and salsa, they were delicious. Glen made mine nice and crispy, just the way I like them. As an added treat, we all had seconds with warm honey. Then they served a wonderful dessert of angel food cake, whipped cream and fresh Oregon strawberries! We were definitely stuffed. And the kids got a nice donation towards their trip to the Phoenix convention next month.

We didn't get back to Auntie Violet until late afternoon, it was time for a nap. But, soon Granddaughter Kyra was knocking on the door asking for help on the project she was doing. She was packing the wrapping paper/bags collection from her Mom's underbed cupboard and needed someone to hand stuff back out to. (The cupboard is a narrow one that runs from the foot of the bed to the head of the king-size bed. Once she had crawled all the way to the head, it was pretty hard for her to turn around...) Once we got that task done, it definitely was time for that nap!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A BIG Costco Run

The guys and Granddaughter Kyra left early to haul trash to the recycling center and then went on over to Salem to do some work on the new house. Kyra and Todd were working under the house removing old fiberglass, putting down a vapor barrier and doing some other work. Forry is replacing some of the outlets in the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Daughter Dawn, Grandson Micah and I went to Costco to start stocking up supplies for the Graduation Party next week. We were also getting ready for a house full of relatives who are all coming to help Havela celebrate. We bought hamburger patties, chips, cheeses, big paper plates, little paper plates, cups and all sorts of other stuff needed to feed a crowd.

Granddaughter Havela finally got home late this afternoon after having marched with her high school band in the Rose Parade this morning. She was one tired cookie, but she and her Mom made another grocery run for chilies and small tortillas, then came home and started making a second batch of mole (Dawn had already made and froze one batch last week). She's going to add smoked turkey to the mole and serve it on the little tortillas at the party. One thing about it, it sure makes the house smell good!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Puzzle and a Cleaning Spurt

I wish I knew how to copy someone else's video and paste it here. Daughter Dawn posted a video of Granddaughter Havela's Cantalina group singing "Rock My Soul" at Canby High School's Spring Concert Wednesday night on her Facebook page. I shared it on my Facebook page yesterday as well. I sure would have liked to put it on my blog...

Havela left for school very early this morning and got home after six tonight. She has been practicing with the Canby High Marching Band. She will be playing her flute with them tomorrow when they march in the Rose Parade in Portland. After two concerts two nights this week plus school, she is really tired and fell asleep on our couch shortly after she got home.

Forry and I -- and Havela -- shared the last care package of frozen smoked ribs that our friends Juni and Tom sent along with us from Albuquerque. They sure were "falling off the bone" good.

It's been a fairly quiet day. Everyone left the house early for school or work, so we were home alone. I got all of the pillow covers from the couch washed along with my special blue Agatha Franz afghan. I got ambitious and took down the greasy ceiling fan and screen from the kitchen and got them washed. I had washed the screen before we left Mesa, but hadn't washed the fan blades. It's a spinning plastic circle with blades inside. Of course, it was a lot easier to get it down than to put it back. I had to enlist Forry's help for that part. I also scrubbed the ceiling vent for the air conditioner. (All of the things I noticed yesterday when I was napping on the couch...!) 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another Very Nice Day

All is quiet around here tonight. It was so gorgeous again this evening that we took dinner outside -- it is very nice to sit out under the grape arbor Todd built last year.

I had a Costco bag of shrimp that I wanted to fix for dinner, but wasn't sure that there would not be enough for everyone if I just boiled them and served them with drawn butter like I usually do. Todd suggested I fix them with pasta, which worked out very well. Since this family does not deal well with garlic, I substituted finely chopped onion in the sauce base. I made a lemon white wine sauce for the shrimp that served over pasta with Parmesan cheese and parsley made a very pretty dish.

It was so nice outside that we (the ladies anyway -- Forry went in to watch the ball game) stayed outside and just visited. We did do a bit of planning for the food for next week's graduation party. It's not just the party we need to think about, it's also the houseful of folks who will be staying here to help celebrate (three sets of grand-parents plus aunts and uncles!).

Forry and Todd spent most of the day over at the new house today. The electrician was there changing out the electrical panel, so they were without electricity and couldn't do some of the things they had planned. It makes it nice that Todd has been able to do some work on the house before the official "closing."

It was nice to have the motor home pretty much to myself today, but I sure didn't accomplish much. I hadn't slept real well last night, so sorta made up for it...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Visit With a Friend and a Choir Concert

It was another beautiful sunny day today. This morning my friend Margaret saw the RV parked at Dawn and Todd's when she went by and invited me to come visit her and see the new building that has been built by the Pacific Northwest Historical Society. I walked the couple of blocks down Whiskey Hill Road to the building.

The building was built on the grounds of Zion Mennonite Church, just behind the barn that is used to store Mennonite Central Committee donations.

This is the library portion of the building. It has a great many of the historical records of the Mennonite migrations as well as the stories of PNW churches and families.

This is the archival portion of the building with movable fireproof storage shelves --

Margaret is currently working on the records of the now-closed Peace Mennonite Church. All of the records are in boxes that need to be sorted and cataloged.

I had a lovely visit with Margaret. It was such a joy just to sit and chat with her!

Late this afternoon we headed for the auditorium of the Canby High School for their Spring Choral Concert. Granddaughter Havela not only sings in the select Cantalina Group and the Concert Choir, but tonight she was honored to be the Senior Student director of one of the songs (Lacrymosa) of the Mixed Choir. She did an excellent job!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What a Beautiful Sunny Day!

It was a gloriously beautiful day today! The sun was out and it was most definitely shorts weather. (Though Grandson Micah, for the first time since we've been here, wore long pants to school today instead of his walking shorts...?)

I was going to make a grocery store run today, then Todd decided he had some stuff to mail and a stop at the bank to make. Forry decided to come along to keep us company, so we ended up riding in with Todd. They dropped me off at the store while the guys went on to the bank.

Todd had taken steaks out of the freezer and mentioned that he thought rice pilaf would be a good side dish to go with. I bought some orzo pasta and some brown rice and made a batch. Then my darling daughter thought I had bought a couple of boxes of RiceRoni! I guess I did use to buy it when she was a kid... I also made Tom's braised brussels sprouts with toasted pine nuts. Todd barbecued the steaks and we were actually able to sit outside to ear.

I love this time of year. The warm evenings when it stays light so long are just delightful when you are outside.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Packing Books

We didn't do a lot this morning, we're both still feeling a bit puny. (Forry really didn't have to share his sore throat with me...!) This afternoon I felt ambitious enough to go over to Dawn's and work on the packing.

So I packed books. And then I packed books. And then I packed some more books. It certainly brought back memories of all the books we packed up when we downsized from the Spokane house to the RV. We gave books away, we donated books, we even sold a few (very few!)

First I packed up the cookbooks. Dawn was worried when she got home from work that we might need some recipes for the graduation party. Granddaughter Kyra assured her mother that we would be able to find any recipe we needed on the internet.

Next I went to the bookcase in the living room and packed those books. Lots of books about Bolivia and lots of books in Spanish. I was using the small boxes Dawn and I had retrieved from the little grocery next door, but filled with books, even those are heavy.

Lastly, I headed for the bookcase in the family room. Kyra was home from school by then and helped transfer the photograph albums and scrapbooks from the bottom shelves. We got a bit carried away and filled one of the larger boxes. I didn't realize how heavy it was until I was taping it up. Todd used his dolly to move it to the stack of boxes in the garage and said it was manageable, but I still felt bad.

When I was packing the cookbooks, I ran into the box that held all of Grandson Micah's Boy Scout badges. So when I was finished with the day's packing, Todd found me a needle and thread and I spent an hour or so sewing badges on Micah's Honor Sash. He had six new badges that he recently got along with his First Class Scout badge.

Micah and Todd are off tonight to a Scout meeting, Havala is at a Catalina (honor singing group) practice. It's been a while since we've been in the midst of such a busy family (probably since last fall's visit to the Hardt-Andrews crew.).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Havela's Quilt and the New House

The Ladies Group at Zion Mennonite has a tradition of presenting a quilt each year to each graduating high school senior. Granddaughter Havela received hers in church this morning along with seven of her classmates. What a lovely job the ladies did! This quilt so perfectly reflects our very musical granddaughter --

This afternoon  we drove into Salem with Daughter Dawn and the children, meeting Todd at the Salem Mennonite Church (where he'll become the new pastor in August!) to go see the new house --



It's certainly obvious that the previous owners were great gardeners! I fell in love with this gorgeous yard. Even though it's right in town (Keizer), it feels very private and secluded. My mother would have loved all of the roses.

I didn't take any pictures of the inside, but it is very nice also. After our tour, Todd and the girls went off to a church youth group meeting while Dawn, Micah, Forry and I went to the Thai restaurant in a nearby strip mall. I think we finally filled Micah up -- he asked for a box to take the last of the calamari pad Thai home.