Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Last year a robin couple built a lovely nest in our maple tree.  They raised a family successfully and the nest weathered the winter, rain and wind.  So, one would think they might use this nest again this year.  Nope, this robin (I'm assuming it's the same one, but maybe not) decided to build her nest under the eave of the screened in porch.  A good idea in theory, but she's built her nest on top of one of the chickadee nesting boxes....which has a peaked roof.  She built it once and it blew down in one of our spring wind/rain storms.  I thought for sure she'd rethink her plans, but nope.  She's built it again in the same spot and is serenely sitting there day in and day out.  I hope the babies won't "rock the boat" once they reach a good size.  Only time will tell.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Friendly Skies

I took a wonderful trip last weekend!  I attended my first women’s retreat in 25 years with the wonderful ladies from our church.  Our retreat was held at the Macleay Retreat Center near Salem.  The theme for the weekend was Journey of Faith and when we arrived, we were handed our boarding passes, one way from Earth to Heaven, and which indicated our “assigned” seats in the “plane” and then we were directed to Gate 7.  Once we were seated, a video was shown replicating a plane takeoff...very authentic.  And then the "stewardesses" came down the aisle and served us peanuts and ginger ale.  Too cute!

This was a multi-generational gathering of women, and I had the privilege of holding the newest female member, Sabrina Rose!

Each of us were also handed our "luggage", creatively crafted by one of the amazing women heading up women's ministries.  She folded each of these large and smaller "suitcases" out of paper and packed them with goodies, including our passports!

We had several sessions over the course of the weekend and heard some amazing testimonies of God's faithfulness and sovereignty. Life is, indeed, a journey of faith and this was a wonderful time of fellowship, bonding, encouragement and laughter.  I just might do it again next year.  Oh, and the food was excellent.  The dining hall was a brief walk across the beautiful grounds and they treated us royally....roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, horseradish sauce (yay!!), and green beans with almonds one night. 

The fellowship of women never grows old.  😃

Sunday, October 29, 2017


October is almost history.  I so dearly love this time of the year, and this year has not disappointed.  We have had a beautiful Indian Summer with temps hovering in the high 60's and low 70's, cloudless skies of cerulean blue and leaves that have outdone themselves in their glory.  There are a few streets near us that are completely lined on both sides with the most brilliant red trees I've ever seen, they literally glow.  Every time we head out anywhere we drive up and down those two streets first!  We have a bit of glory in our own yard, our snowball trees has turned a variety of yellows,reds and oranges.

With all this warmth, I still have a raised bed of lettuces, herbs, kale and a few die hard flowers.  I can't bring myself to do them in until the first frost threatens.

I even have a few sweet peas that finally decided to grow after sitting basically dormant all summer.  The heat was intense this year and they were not pleased and didn't start to grow and climb until things cooled off about 6 weeks ago.  Sweet peas in October...definitely a first for me!

The black-eyed susan vine is still going strong as are the roses.

And Wally has been in a race against the weather.  He has planned for months to put in a "sidewalk" all the way around the house so we have a way to navigate when the rains hit and swamp forms!  He's spent a lot of time measuring and figuring how many 12" cement blocks and bricks he would need to accomplish this task.  Gives me a headache just thinking about it.  But this is his forte, so he's a happy camper.  Thankfully the weather has cooperated and he's made it 3/4 the way around the house.  He's got 3 more days before the weather will change and by george, I think he's going to make it!

The start of the "path"along the back of the house.  Each of this sections has required digging up the sod and leveling out the base for the blocks.

Along the back behind the screened in porch.....

Turning the corner on the side yard......

 A little patio under the trellis that we're training fragrant jasmine vines up!

 The long stretch from the backyard out to the front of the house.

Along the front of the house, the hardest section so far, required a lot of digging and sorting out rocks before he could level it.  And then.....it will be finished....and before the rain

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Moving Day

Today was the day.  Susan, owner of the Oregon Knitting Company, had to be out of her old digs by midnight tonight.  Her "community"  assembled this afternoon, bringing with them wheelbarrows, carts, suitcases and in some cases, just arms, and we packed up all that yarn we packed into plastic bags last week and we marched enmasse down the main drag of McMinnville (better known as 3rd Street) the three blocks to the new...albeit temporary....space inside the McMinnville Mercantile building.  Susan has rented a VERY TINY space in the back of this building that houses a variety of businesses.  We unloaded our containers into the hall of the new space and we were done.  It was a grand party complete with balloons and a photographer from the News Register, the local paper.  What fun and what a treat, for me anyway, to be a part of such a great community of people.  All week long people have been hauling all the shelving, counters, etc, that are necessary to make this business work into the new space.  The shelves have been reconfigured to fit the new space and all the counters have been redesigned to roll on wheels, which means they can push everything out of the way so we can set up chairs for........KNIT NIGHT which premiers in the new space on September 5th!  

 Lining up in preparation for the parade

No traffic laws were broken during this event, we walked only with the "walk" signals.  Cars tooted their horns in appreciation!

Again, this is not a gender specific event!

There were a lot of us!  There was a LOT of yarn!

Kids were involved!

No wheelbarrow.....no problem, we can improvise!

We're here, and bystanders are VERY curious!

Well, almost all of us are here, there were traffic lights involved!

And last, but not least, our fearless leader, Susan!

Who's got the key, we need to put all this stuff into the new space!

Which is in this building!  Come on down!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Many Hands.......

McMinnville has a wonderful local yarn shop called The Oregon Knitting Company.  Its owner, Susan, learned last spring that her lease would not be renewed.  She only learned this by chasing down the owner herself, who kept "forgetting" to let her know he was not renewing her lease.  

Last winter I began attending the store's Knit Night which occurs each Tuesday evening from 6-8.  I quickly became fond of this group which spans generations as well as gender!  It pleases me no end to see grown men knitting away along with us ladies.  When our group learned of Susan's plight....having to find a new space in a short period of time....we let her know we were committed to helping in anyway we could.  Susan found another space, albeit much smaller than the present one, so it will be a temporary move until something a little bigger and more adaptable comes along.  

Last Friday morning we all converged on the store and began the process of packing up all the wool, needles, patterns, books and other needlework ephemera.  We are a force to be reckoned with and we had it all done in about 90 minutes!  Some of the ladies' hubbies generously volunteered to take down all her shelving and will reinstall what will fit into the new temporary space.  We had a grand time, working seamlessly as a group.  Susan was overjoyed!  She's a neat lady and it was a joy to help!  Stay tuned for the actual moving of the yarn....it's going to be a real kick!

All the yarn is packed in clear plastic garbage bags so it will be easy to see what's what when it's time to unpack.  We tried to keep brand and yarn weights packed together. 

Many hands make light work!

We couldn't have done without these wonderful men who did the disassembling of the shelving.

These lovely ladies were a big help, sorting all the shelf hooks into sizes!

All the needles and other needlework accouterments had to be packed as well.

Susan is beloved and one of her faithful friends brought posies to brighten up what was a difficult day!

Needlework is not an age specific activity and all hands were on deck to help this day!

We don't just work, we have fun too!

The pile is growing!!!

And there were treats at the end of our packing party, provided by another faithful yarn store friend!  Susan has a wonderful community of people committed to supporting her and each other!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

4 x 4 Is Not A Piece Of Wood

Our church has a wonderful women's ministry called 4 x 4.  Women sign up if they are interested in participating and then the list is divided up into groups of 4 women who will meet once each month for four months!  Each woman in the group is assigned as the person to organize the get-together for one of the four months.  I signed up for the first one last Spring and we had a wonderful group of women which spanned generations....I loved that.  There were two of us oldies but goodies and two young women with small kids.  We bonded big time, and we are still meeting, even though a new group of 4 x 4's has started.  And sadly, I never got a photo of the first group.  But there's still time since we will still be meeting off and on.  But I'm learning.  
So this month I was on board as the organizer and I decided to have the ladies come for afternoon tea, a ritual I never tire of.  This was the first get-together of this group and some of us knew each other, but for some of us it was the first time we had met.  How fun!  I kept it simple, made a fruit salad, some lavender scones with clotted cream and lavender honey, and a first time ever ground cherry torte.  We just discovered ground cherries a couple of weeks ago and I am in love with them and I am dedicated to bringing them back into vogue...I guess they were in the 30's but became passe somewhere along the line.   Of course there was tea involved, a choice of Yorkshire Gold (WONDERFUL British tea), Lapsang Souchong, Apricot Green Tea and Mango Green Tea.  

We had a fabulous time getting to know each other, and sharing prayer requests.   What a great ministry!  Here's our group at my humble table!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Friend Indeed!

Remember these cute guys:

These adorable goats belong to my friend, Leslie, who lives waaaay up in north Whatcom County.  These were taken in May of 2016 and since then Leslie has posted some wonderful videos and photos of this crew.  She knows I'm a farm girl at heart!

Imagine my delight when I sauntered out to the mailbox hub the other day and discovered a key in my mailbox.  The key means you have a surprise in one of the larger boxes set aside for packages!  A package!!!  Wait, what could it be?  I haven't ordered anything and it isn't my birthday and the box itself gives me no clue as to what might be inside.  I hurry back to my abode and open the box and look what I discover:

How cute is this?  And I love the card that came with it letting me know that Leslie is thinking of me and brightening up my day with a bit of farm life!  If I can't have the real thing, this is the very best substitute and a lovely testimony of a long-standing and ongoing friendship.  Bless you, Leslie!