Monday, October 31, 2016


Son-in-law Scott brought us the mail when we went out to dinner with them Saturday night. Of course, we were anxious to get our ballots. We waded through the Voters' Guide this morning and got the ballots filled out. They are long sheets this time with both sides completely full. Washington State is an Initiative State, which means that anyone who can get enough signatures in support of an idea can get their idea on the ballot. In some ways I like the idea of citizen involvement, but unlike the regular legislative process, there are no hearings for public input, nor any way to make amendments. We have seen many times the unintended consequences of initiatives, especially when you've got people who, instead of running for the Legislature and winning a seat, make it their life's work to write initiatives instead.

We also realized this morning that today was the last day of the month and that the second half of our Property Tax payments was due today. By law, there is no grace period for paying these taxes. So I got out the calculator, added up the parcels for the various tax districts and wrote out a check.

What this really meant was that, in spite of my desire to not even get in a vehicle for at least a week, we needed to go to town to the post office to ensure the envelope with the tax payment was postmarked today! But that way we also got our ballots mailed.

Forry wanted to pick up a heat tape for the water standpipe as well, so we ended up running some errands. Thank goodness we really didn't need groceries - I don't think I could have handled that at all.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Back Over the Mountains

We were in bed last night very soon after we got back to the motel in Bothell from Mount Vernon. Even with Bill doing all the driving, it had been a long day. We made it up this morning and were checked out of the motel by ten. We made our way over to Pleasant Lake RV Park where Serenity, Bill and Leslie's RV is parked. It's a lovely park. The sites are close together, but there are shrubs and trees between them and they are all clustered around a pretty little lake.

We left our car there and took the Yellow Taxi out for one last brunch. We ate at the Original Pancake House where I actually found Dutch Babies on the menu - properly served with wedges of lemon and powdered sugar! Forry had pumpkin pancakes, Leslie had pecan pancakes and shared with Bill a huge fluffy baked omelet that he ordered with a side of chocolate chip pancakes. If we had stayed in Bothell any longer, we would have had to be rolled home, we've eaten so well.

We were back on the road by noon and rolled into Sun Desert a bit after three thirty. We had stopped once for gas and made one potty stop, but it was a quick trip. It's a lot shorter than going to Seattle from Spokane!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Good Day

We started off the day with brunch at Portage Bay near Lake Union. Leslie had made reservations the night before, so we avoided the long lines waiting for service. What great food! We had Dungeness crab omelettes, while Leslie and Bill had some of the day's specials. There were so many wonderful choices, it was hard to decide.

The next stop for the "Yellow Taxi" was at the Alderwood Mall where we took a look at their display of the Americana exhibit of Lego buildings. We saw the Capital Building, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument. It's incredible to see the detail in these models. The detail of the columns, the windows, the flags and the statues is incredible.

Then it was time to head north to Mount Vernon for "Our Town" at the Lincoln Theatre. Our Granddaughter Claire had the lead as Emily and she did a wonderful job. This young woman at fifteen, already has quite a resume' as an actor. Our Town is a rather somber emotional play, but the cast did a great job.

The four of us joined Daughter Mary Mae, Scott and Claire for dinner at the Trumpeter in downtown Mount Vernon. Claire has been fighting a cold and was very tired. They had the Opening Night last night, the matinee today and another matinee tomorrow. Then there are two more weekends of performances to go. Oh, to be young!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Driving Again

We got a fairly decent start this morning and after a stop in Ellensburg for gas, made it to the Bothell StayAmerica Extended Stay by a little after 1:30 PM. The GPS took us through Royal City over to I-90 near Vantage. We left the fog behind midway there and had sunshine the remainder of the trip.

Forry got in a short nap before our friend Leslie arrived following her acupuncture appointment. We visited until it was time for Bill to finish work and join us. Leslie had made reservations at a place in the renovated Anderson Middle School called the Tavern on the Square. It opened about a year ago, though they had not been there yet. But they'll definitely be back. The food was extremely good. Leslie and I had some excellent mushroom risotto while Bill had a pork shank and Forry had a hamburger that was almost an inch thick!

We headed back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep before Leslie and Bill come pick us up in the morning to go to brunch.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Home = Laundry

I do so like the nice bags motels/hotels clip to their hangers for you to use for laundry services. They are excellent to use for dirty clothing as you travel. Then when you get home, you have all of your to-do laundry in one place ready to go. I unpacked last night and made a pile for today's washing. Instead of my usual one load of dark colors - jeans and such - I had two today. My little Splendide washer/dryer combo can easily handle two pairs of jeans plus some shorts and socks, but that's about max if you want clean clothes.

I finished up the laundry just about the time the hamburger soup I'd made for supper was done. It started raining about seven this morning and it drizzled all day until just about six. It was a day that definitely called for warm soup. The fall colors here at the park are gorgeous. The wet red and yellow leaves still on the trees and the ones on the ground just glisten.

We finally decided that if we wanted to see Granddaughter Claire's play, Our Town, we needed to do it this weekend. We will drive over to Seattle tomorrow, then go up to Mount Vernon with our friends Leslie and Bill to see Saturday's matinee. The preview publicity pictures are fascinating and I can hardly wait to see it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

We're Home!

We were more than ready for bed last night when the first disappointing game of the World Series was over. The little cabin we rented in St Regis had a bed in what would be the living room, another in a bedroom and a rollaway for Todd in the kitchen. The nice thing about ball games played in the east is the early start time which means you don't have to stay up so late.

We got a good night's sleep. I was awake by five, so got up and took my shower. Todd followed right behind me and by six thirty everyone was up and dressed and ready to go. It was raining and I must admit, traveling over Mullen and Sherman Passes in the rainy dark is not fun. But Todd was driving, so all was well.

Our goal was to make it to Frank's Diner in Spokane for breakfast in the restored train car. Granddaughter Havela wanted to take little Kahlyn to Riverfront Park to feed the goat and ride down the little red wagon. It was too wet and rainy for the slide, but they did get to go see it. Havela also wanted to drive up on the South Hill to see our old house. She has fond memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases celebrated there.

We drove down to Menno so they could see where her parents had been married and to look at the new addition. Pastor Matthew came over and he and Todd were able to exchange a little shoptalk as well as toss a few basketballs. We went by the farm, but didn't stop in. We did stop at El Rey Tacos to  refuel our travelers, then went on out to Sun Desert and our lonesome RV.

It felt so good to be home again, it's been a busy week! But it was so sad to see our fellow travelers head on without us. They planned to make it to the Lehman house in Salem yet today. We are going to miss our precious little Kahlyn and her Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa, but we'll see them again in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On To Montana...

Today was a pretty steady day of driving.  We made it through the rest of Wyoming and started the long trek through Montana. We've been taking fairly long breaks for both gas and potty stops - it's a chance for little Greatgranddaughter Kahlyn to run a bit as well as a diaper change. She's a very good little traveler. Her Mommy and Daddy take turns sitting beside her car seat in the way back of the van, keeping her entertained.

We've been taking turns driving, though Todd has done the greatest share. I took a turn through a few hours of Montana this afternoon while Grandaughter Havela rode shotgun. Then we traded seats while she drove. We said it was appropriate, the women in the front with the guys in the back taking care of the baby...

We pulled into St. Regis, Montana this evening just in time to watch the start of the first game of the World Series. Ben and crew are avid Cubs fans, so they are very excited about having the Cubs finally in the Series.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Only Two States Today

We are in Gillette, Wyoming for the night. We made a couple of fairly long stops in South Dakota. We stayed in a very interesting motel last night called the Earth Inn. It was literally dug into the hillside with grass on the roof!

We made the obligatory stop at Wall Drug in Wall. Todd now has pictures with two of his children with the old lady cardshark as well as his solo one...

We drove through Badlands National Park, at least the north portion of it. The kids and Todd took one of the one mile hikes, but I heard that Kahlyn got to ride Daddy's shoulders a good share of the way. The South Dakota Badlands are pretty, but I think the ones in North Dakota are more dramatic due to the coal seams. There are some advantages to traveling with Seniors - our Parks Pass got us all in without charge.

We debated whether or not to check out Mount Rushmore since we were so close and Granddaughter Havela had never seen the Monument. We knew it would be dark by the time we got there, but Todd knew that they are now lit at night, so we made the detour. Boy, things have changed since the last time we were there many years ago. Now there is a very fancy grand entrance that is a bit of a walk from the parking area. Before there was just a road that took you fairly close to the mountain so you could just drive by. It certainly is dramatic to see it all lit up.

We put in another hour or so of driving to get us to Gillette, figuring we would quit and tackle Montana tomorrow. The restaurant in the motel was closed, but they said you could get pizza in the bar. Forry and I had snacked enough that we weren't hungry, so we kept Kahlyn while the other three went to eat. Our new Grandson Ben is always hungry - he's a tall guy with a hollow leg!

I stuck Kahlyn in the bath tub and let her play a bit. She was definitely ready for bed by the time she got out and the rest of the folks came back.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

We're On Our Way Home

Todd asked us to be ready by eight. He figured it would be easier to pick us up from Patty and Darwin's, go back over to Ben's parents where the others were staying and pack the van there. Havela and Ben were just getting organized and those that were flying today were just sort of milling around. Finally, everything was packed, sandwiches were made. I think we finally managed to leave just a little after ten.

There are now five of us adults in the car plus Baby Kahlyn. We made several more stops than on the way so that she could take a break and run and swing. Ben has such long legs, he needed a break too.

After the long slog through Iowa, we made it as far as Jackson, Minnesota and are settled in a motel here for the night.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wedding Day!

I hope everyone reading this is a Facebook friend. If not, send me a friend request and I'll take care of you. Because, there are lots and lots of pictures of the wedding on Facebook!

In spite of a few glitches that will be good stories in the future, it went very well. Havela was a beautiful bride. She wore her hair up with a rhinestone hair comb that her Uncle Sean had given her many years ago. Her father, Todd performed the ceremony. Her sister Kyra was her Maid of Honor and her brother Micah was an usher. Micah also carried Kahlyn down the aisle when she decided she didn't want to ride in her wagon.

Ben's two sisters were also in the bridal party while the rest were all college friends of Ben and Havela. His brother Cam was the other usher. So it was quite a family affair.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wedding Rehearsal Day

i got up fairly early so that I could go with Granddaughter Havela to her Young Mother's Bible Study Class. It was an interesting small group of young mothers that Havela calls "her weekly therapy!" Kahlyn got to play in the nursery with the other children while the mothers met.

The afternoon was busy with church decorating, rehearsal dinner cooking and baby-sitting Kahlyn. Forry and I decided it would be easier for us to stay back and watch the little one rather than be running up and down decorating the church. Might have been a mistake - she is such a busy little girl. But she is so much fun. She is enamored of her Uncle Micah and I think vice versa!

We all gathered at the church a little after five o'clock, and Todd tried to get the whole crew organized. Most of the ten attendants are college friends, some of whom have not seen each other for a while. A couple made it just in time for the rehearsal, including Granddaughter Kyra who flew in from her college in Virginia. We ran through the whole process two or three times including the escorting of the grandparents down the aisle. I think it is going to work well.

We returned to the Litwiller home after the rehearsal. Lisa and Kevin had fixed barbecued pork loins, cheesy potatoes, salads, corn, peas and rolls.By the time you added in all of the wedding party and all the family, there was quite a crowd for a delicious feast.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

We Made It!

We slept in until 6:30 this morning. A bit after seven there was a knock at the motel room, Daughter Dawn had arrived. She took a red-eye flight out of Portland last night, then took the shuttle from the airport to the Sheraton.

We shifted luggage and seats around and were on our way again. After a stop for breakfast crepes and pumpkin pancakes, we paid one more $1.90 toll and continued on to Hopedale, Illinois where the Litwiller family lives. When we arrived, Granddaughter Havela was off with her Bio-Grandmother getting her nails done. GreatGranddaughter Kahlyn had just woken up from her nap and was not real happy about all the strange people who had suddenly shown up...

Dawn and I joined Lisa, Ben's mother, and Ashley, Ben's sister, and Dorothy, Havela's Bio-grandmother at very nice tea shop for a little Ladies' Luncheon honoring Havela since we had not been here to attend any of her bridal showers. We did a good job of embarrassing her with some naughty lingerie.

By late afternoon, two of the groomsmen had arrived and the fellows picked up their tuxes. Dorothy  helped Lisa make Sloppy Joes and we ended up with quite a crew for dinner. After dinner Ben took Forry and I over to his Uncle and Aunt's home where we will be staying. Now we are enjoying watching the battle between the Cubs and Los Angeles. Of course, everyone around here is rooting for the Cubs!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


After another long day of driving, we arrived in Chicago, actually to a Sheraton close to O'Hare Airport. Daughter Dawn is taking the red-eye flight tonight and will arrive in the morning and take the shuttle to the hotel to join us for the last leg of our trip to Hopedale.

We only managed four states today. We had breakfast at Wall Drug in South Dakota so that Grandson Micah could enjoy a bit of that crazy place that is basically a tribute to billboard advertising. They still offer a free glass of water to travelers, which was their original hook to lure them to stop. The fellows enjoyed today's Special of Biscuits and Gravy.

After South Dakota came Minnesota. I-90 travels along the lower portion of the state bordering Iowa - and it looks a lot like Iowa with miles and miles of corn and soybeans. All of which the farmers were busy harvesting. We drove by a beautiful portion of State Forest, with autumnal trees and cliffs of sedimentary rock. By then it was getting dark so we didn't see much of Wisconsin, nor Illinois.

After a quick stop for a noodle dinner, we paid the multiple tolls to get into Chicago - three different tolls for $1.90, $3.00 and a final one of .90!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

L-O-N-G Day...!

We were up at five this morning and out the door a little before six. We would have been a bit ahead of SIL Todd's schedule if Forry hadn't remembered about five miles out that he had forgotten his wallet. Since he needs to help drive, we turned around and went back. So we are meddling up leaving at the planned six o'clock after all.

Many, many hours and five states (Washington, Idaho, Montana, a corner of Wyoming and South Dakota) later, we pulled into an AmericanInn in Rapid City, South Dakota. Todd drove a whole lot, especially through the rain until we hit Montana, Forry drove some, and even Grandson Micah put in a shift with his Learners Permit.

Tomorrow won't be quite as long a day, we won't leave until seven, but we'll be near Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Thursday morning to meet Daughter Dawn's flight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rushin' Around

Due to some miscommunication between our daughter and our son-in-law, our departure date got moved up a day. So we have spent the day finishing our packing and tending to other details. I made a trip into Moses Lake this afternoon and picked up a scrap of something for a bridal shower gift.

I took our mail box key over to Barb, the park manager. She will pick up any packages for us and will keep an eye on the place while we were gone. So nice to be in a park where people are so helpful. We will turn off the water, disconnect the hoses and turn down the heat and hope everything does just fine while we are gone.

Not knowing for sure when we will be back, I think I have overpacked, but we will see how it goes. I need to check the Illinois weather forecast yet so I have some idea of how cold it is going to be in Hopedale.

I did take a few minutes to go outside and take some pictures of the colorful foliage in the park and put them up on my Facebook page. The colorful leaves will most likely be all gone by the time we return...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sabbath Day

Now that it's barely light at 7 AM, it's even harder to get up and get going on Sunday mornings. Forry keeps trying a variety of different routes to the church, trying to figure out the shortest route. Today he used some of the gravel roads as we came off the freeway. Trouble is, when you're married to a directionally challenged woman, all it does is confuse her!

Story we heard this morning was that the area had gotten two inches of rain! Considering that average rainfall for the area is 7-9 inches annually, that's a lot of rain. You could tell it on the gravel roads, some of them actually had ruts in them - and mud!

Pastor Matthew finally publicly announced in church this morning that he has accepted a call from Grace Mennonite Church in Pandora, Ohio and will be finishing up his term at Menno by the end of the year. Rumors have been flying around the congregation for over a month, so it was nice to have it made official.

We stopped at Safeway on our way home to stock up on breakfast sandwiches and load up on snacks and lunch stuff for our trip to Illinois this week. Son-in-law Todd and Grandson Micah are slated to arrive here tomorrow and we will head out from here on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

It has been raining almost all day. There have been a couple of brief breaks, but then it starts up again. We've had a bit of wind, but so far nothing like the horrible gusts they were predicting.

I had to go out to the shed to get an onion for the chili I was making for supper. So while I had my shoes and a jacket on, I took the garbage to the dumpster and checked the mail. And I got wet!

Chatted with both daughters this morning, one via text and one on the phone. Neither of them had any damage from the predicted storm so far this morning.  Son Sean says it's been raining all day in Spokane as well.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Great Service

I was very frustrated yesterday. I had ordered a new blood pressure cuff as mine had given up the ghost. The tracking number said the USPS had delivered it on Friday. Here it was mid-week and no package. I checked with the park manager as we have noticed things occasionally get delivered to her. Barb hadn't seen it. So I called the post office in Othello. The postman looked up the tracking number and said it indeed had been delivered, but he would check with our carrier and get back to us.

About two o'clock, a Jeep driver beeped outside our door and the carrier brought the package to our door. She said it was in the parcel compartment and the key was in our mail box A10. I told her Forry had checked a couple of times and was sure it wasn't there. She made a comment about men and left.

This afternoon she was back at our door with the box of mail Daughter MM had sent. She also said she had figured out the problem! She went around to the front of the mailboxes and realized that the box labeled A10 that we had the key to was not the same as the labeled A10 box on the back side where she puts the mail!

She also said it had really puzzled her yesterday because we seemed so sincere about not finding the parcel box key. It bugged her most of the night until she finally figured what the problem might be!

We had originally had trouble looking for A10 as the numbers on the front are not in any order. For example A10 is right beside A4! I think the manager just assigned us an empty box and labeled it A10...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Very Rainy Day

I woke up about 4 AM, very stiff and sore. Last night when we came home from Bible Study, I tripped on the edge of the patio and did a full body plant. Amazingly, I didn't break or even scrape anything, not even the iPad I was holding. I think my tumble frightened Forry a bit. It knocked the wind out of me and I couldn't get enough air to answer him when he kept asking me if I was okay.

But, I am a bit stove up - perhaps as much from the cold damp weather as my fall. I decided that there was no way I could handle going out to Menno with Regan for Mission Society and a five hour work session. I did decide I'd better keep moving and walked over to the clubhouse for coffee this morning. If you can call the colored water they had, coffee!

It has rained steadily almost all day. At least it's not near as cold as it was a couple of days ago. I borrowed a hammer from Forry to help cut open one of the piedbald winter squashes I bought at Tonnemaker's last week. Baked with butter, brown sugar, salt and a little honey, it was a real treat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just Tired?

I don't seem to have my act together these days...

It was COLD last night! We have not had a freeze all this Fall, but ice came with a vengeance last night. There was frost on the grass and all of the shrubs. And the water in my glass bird bath was frozen. I need to bring it inside and put it in its traveling drawer for the winter. It was a surprise gift from my elder sister that I dearly love.

So I bundled up and went out into the icy morning, thinking it was Thursday, time for the lady's weekly gathering at the clubhouse. Still without coffee, it finally dawned on me why no one was there and the coffee pot wasn't on! Then I remembered I wouldn't be going anyway, because this Thursday is Menno Mission Society's monthly meeting...

Forry went into town with me tonight as he wanted to go to Lowes to look for a heat tape and insulation for the water pipe. Still not thinking straight, I told him that our Bible Study at Monroe House would be an hour and a half and he should be back by seven. Now how I thought something that started at 6 pm would be over by seven is beyond me. But at least the chairs in the entry area are a comfortable place to sit and wait.

I was there a bit early and had a chance to visit with our old neighbor Betty. She turned 80 this past month and was delighted to tell me that she had a new great granddaughter that they had named Charlotte Anne!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Very Busy Day

Today was Forry's last post cataract surgery eye appointment. I had changed the time from 9:30 to 11:30, so we weren't in such a rush to get going this morning.

After his appointment, we drove out to Great Cuts on Sprague to get my hair trimmed. Fortunately for me, Becky, the one who cut off my long hair two months ago, was on duty. She took off about an inch and lo and behold, it was wavy again. She said she thought that the inch or so it had grown added just enough weight to my baby fine hair to straighten it. While we were there, Forry got his beard trimmed as well. He's still traumatized about how short his hair is, so it was off limits.

Next, it was off to find something to wear to our granddaughter's wedding. We looked at Ross, but had no luck, so went out to Macy's at the Valley Mall. I thought sure they would have some pretty red Christmasy tops, but no such luck. It was hard to find a pretty cherry red, most of the tops were an orangey red, not a good color for me. I finally found a true red shirt that I paired with grey slacks and a long grey tunic coat. Much more me than a lacey frilly dress. I lucked out on shoes as well - the lady in the shoe department remembered a pair of gray and black flats in a wide width that had been custom ordered, but never picked up. Since they were basically returns, they were 25% off!

The last stop was at Costco. By then, I was tired and left my list on my phone in the car. But, I actually remembered everything on the list! I sent Forry with their electric cart to get toilet paper and paper towels. I got everything else on my list, went to the check stand and waited and waited. Didn't know if he gotten lost, met someone and was talking, or? What a pain to be without a phone! I finally went looking for him...

We stopped in Ritzville to get something to eat and then headed on out to Menno for the post MCA sale meeting. Turns out the total is now over $122,000, the biggest sale ever. Over its 39 year history, our little sale has raised over 2.2 million dollars for world relief!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Indigenous Peoples Day

Talked with Daughter MM this morning about sending over a box of mail. Sounds like she's got a boxful again. BUT, we all forgot that today is a federal holiday, which means no mail service.

Considering how hard and long it rained last night, it was pleasant to wake up to clear blue skies. It's been a bit breezy and cool, but still a gorgeous day. We have had a few visitors at the bird feeder today, mostly sparrows. Late this afternoon, there were a bunch of robins. I assume they are migrating through. The swallows that were so plentiful in the early evenings have definitely moved on to warmer climes.

I got a couple loads of laundry done, which of course, nessitated the draining of the gray tank. Seems like there are always chores that need to taking care of.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


We were up early, had breakfast, got our stuff organized and headed for Menno. It was raining when we got up and rained off and on all the way to church.

It was raining again as we headed home and it has continued to rain all afternoon and evening. We watched the PBR from Nampa, Idaho and we're delighted to see JB Mauney back and winning.

And then we watched the Presidential debate. It was said this morning in the sermon about the Prodigal Son that we are living in a pig pen. Watching the debate brought the point home.

It's still raining.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Another Day

Another quiet day today. It was raining when we went to bed again last night. This morning was clear  with just a skiff of clouds, but by late afternoon it had clouded over again.

We didn't do very much today, we got our showers done by noon, but that was about as ambitious as we got.

Friday, October 7, 2016


The rain woke me up a bit after midnight. I think I heard it off and on again throughout the night. However, by the time we got up, it cleared off. We had some gusty winds early this afternoon, then it quieted down.

The maintenance crew was back at it today, blowing out the sprinkler lines. They started yesterday, but there's a great deal of lawn and therefore a large number of sprinklers. It's kind of fun to watch. They're using a large air compressor that blows out one set of about six sprinklers at a time.

At least the birds have finally found the new bird feeder. We've had a few visitors today. I'm still waiting for the quail to show up...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I went into Moses Lake to join the Menno ladies for Bible Study tonight. I ran a couple of errands first (rescued Leslie's Tigger that got left at the motel'), and still had a few minutes to chat with Vic before time for class. We have quite a crew of Menno folks who are now living at Monroe House, so it works well to have our group meet there instead of at the church.

Regan gave us an update on the sale receipts from the weekend's Mennonite Country Auction. It looks like the total is now over $120,000!

Earlier today we were able to Skype with Granddaughter Havela and our little Great-Granddaughter Kahlyn. It is so much fun to see how our little one has grown. We'll be seeing them in just a couple of weeks. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Rest and Laundry

We've stuck pretty close to home the last couple of days resting up. I did get the laundry done yesterday and washed the bed sheets today. I am still debating whether or not to put regular sheets back on the bed or go ahead and put my new flannel sheets on. Guess I better make a decision pretty soon as it's almost bedtime...!

We did go over to Tonnemaker's Fruit Stand this afternoon. I replaced my stock of tomatoes and peppers. I was delighted to see that they had bins of winter squash today. Since baked squash is one of Forry's favorite foods, it's always good to see them come on the market. There were still some melons available and about six varieties of apples.

We were excited to see a large flock of Sandhill Cranes in a harvested corn field as we went by. There must have been over a hundred of them. We have seen several flocks flying and circling overhead, but this is the first flock we've seen on the ground. They are gathering for their migration and they are gorgeous to see.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sale Update

In spite of pitifully low wheat prices, people were incredibly generous on Saturday. It looks like the total of the auction, the meals and the various booths is going to be over $116,000. Plus whatever the kids' collection of coins for My Coins Count comes to with Saturday's donations. With the two $1000 matches, they are going to be very close to $4000!

It is incredible to see how so many people come together to make this all happen! It warms your heart to watch even the youngest children carrying chairs and fencing. They're encouraged to participate and no one castigates them for getting in the way. And it's not just local people either. Participants come not only from the five Washington State Mennonite churches, but from many other states. And not all of the volunteers are church members. Many folks come to the sale once and then return year after year to donate or help out. The auctioneers donate their time to make the auction work.

Donation of sale items, especially quilts, come from all over. We had maple syrup from Canada and olive oil from California. And then there's the food, everything from hamburgers and sausage sandwiches to green bean soup and groundnut stew, New Years Cookies (raisin fritters) to barbecued ribs, kraut ranzas, pie and homemade ice cream. If you went away hungry, it's no one's fault but your own. Plus there was pulled pork on Friday night for the workers and pancakes and sausage for Saturday breakfast.

All of this becomes a donation for world relief.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A VERY Big Day!

It indeed was a VERY big day. We were up by six and on the road again by seven. It had rained during the night, but it looked clear with just a few clouds on the horizon. The forecast was for wind and there were gusts off and on all day. But overall, the weather was nice to us.

Thank goodness our good friends Leslie and Bill came over from Seattle with intentions to help with the sale. Indeed they did!  Forry took on the task of handing out auction numbers while Leslie and Bill entered them into the Auctria program on the computer. I ended up mostly greeting people, answering questions and making public address announcements.

The new software program really worked well. Having almost real time feedback on auction item bids made settling up almost easy. The only glitch we ran into was a couple of people who got auction numbers and immediately bought an item, before we even had a chance to enter them into the computer. We had a separate line for credit cards and payments went swiftly!

I think we are going to end up with a very respectable total for this year's sale. The auction alone raised over $48,000! I'm sure we are going to end up with a total very close to $100,000 by the time all the booth sales and meal monies are added in.

A very good day indeed! We thank everyone who came to work and to buy. These dollars raised for Mennonite Central Committee's world relief programs will make a big difference in the lives of many people!