Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farm Memories

Driving granddaughter, Hope, to school for the next few weeks, I drop her at her friend's farm for the rest of her transport. Sigh, how I LOVE being on the farm! I am seriously missing that farm experience!
Roadside view of sunrise
A bit of history about farms in my life: My great-grandparents were farmers in Charlton MI when they came here from Hungary in the early 1900s. My mom's cousin still lives in the farmhouse with her family and mom. My mind had a memory overload this week when my cousin, Mark, called. He grew up on that farm, the youngest brother of the cousin who now lives there. Mark has his own farm in Texas these days, but we shared some sweet memories of family, events and landmarks on the farm.

Daddy ALWAYS had onions and tomatoes growing in a garden patch. There is NOTHING as good to me as a "fresh off the vine" tomato, especially when served on toast and mayo! Mmmmm....

When I was a teen, mom dated a man who bought a farm intending for us to move there "someday". I used to love going to the farm for our "vacation", even though it meant living in the tenant's cottage, because the big house had regular tenants. We had to spend our weeks bringing in the Timothy hay, and those were memorable years for me. [I drove the tractor because I was only slightly bigger than the bales that had to be thrown into the wagon I pulled in the fields.]

When Al and I moved to the NW in 1974, we tried to garden in our yard, but found the clay soil and damp weather produced more moss and mold than produce. It was a short-lived and not too fun adventure.

Arriving in Vermont in the fall of 1978, we missed the growing season. BUT, in the spring, we got caught up in the spring planting season with all the other residents after a long snowy winter. We plotted out a small area of our small lot and cleared it for the garden.  It felt great to be outside planting, pruning, weeding and best of all, harvesting our own crops. We used the freezer extensively and lived off the proceeds all the next year! Our plot was rich and sandy, and after adding several truckloads of manure, was also fertile and lush. Our tomato plants were big and bushy and full of blossoms... until a farmer instructed us to chop off most of the branches, calling them "suckers". They ate all the nutrients the tomatoes needed to ripen in our short summer season. The corn got so tall and most had two or more ears. We hand fertilized the ears as they matured, so the ears were full and good. We made so many memories in our garden those years. We learned to grow and love spinach crops, sweat peas, and even grew a giant pumpkin one year!

Back in the northwest, we moved to our current house in 1990. After a few years we decided to try our hand at a small garden patch. We harvested some strawberries and a few tomatoes and beans, but not enough to warrant the cost involved for such a small patch. The weather continues to be a factor for success or failure in this yard. THIS YEAR would have been great weather to garden, but we missed the opportunity.

This week, as I visit the farm every morning, I occasionally pull out my phone and snap a few photos. Today I captured their friendly emu, who has been coming out to see me in the mornings.

Yesterday I stopped to photograph their pond next to the house, and caught the sun coming up over the hills. (Adobe kindly removed the utility pole and tractor from the shot.)

I loved the cloud in the valley and both sun and moon in the shot!

After shot, with utility pole and tractor removed.
Maybe we should move to a farm? :) I'd love it, if someone else would do all the work!

Monday, July 14, 2014

NW Trek with Grandsons

We were trying to find a day we could spend with two of the grandsons that did not get to spend time with us for their birthdays. Since Austyn (11) is here for the summer with his daddy, we wanted to include him. He is so close to the ages of Jesse (9) and Reuben (12), so they all got along pretty well.

Our original plan was to take them to the ocean, but they are already going there with mom soon. We considered taking them to Wenatchee to see Lisa's Cupcake Blues shop...  (Pastor Blue's daughter) that would take too much out of our day or require an overnight.

Last week we stumbled upon NW Trek as an option and found it would be "just right" for a day trip, being just over an hour away, toward Mt Rainier.

Jesse, Austyn and Reuben enjoyed all the different animals.
The black bears were pacing their space.

No skating allowed in this buffalo herd... there are twins at the center!
Mama stayed in close proximity to her "little ones" (less than 2 mo old)
From the tram, we saw the resident herd of Elk laying in the sun.
I tried to capture the boys in some of the photos for the blog,
 and some of the better photos can be use for my designs that are developing.

Twin black tail fawns, across the road from their mama.

This handsome curly horn sheep came right up to the
tram to have his photo taken!

The boys on a fallen log: Reuben, Jesse (seated), Austyn

Grandpa joined the boys for the next photo.

Al caught this solar flare shot from the path.
 Hope we can do this park again! The weather was BEAUTIFUL for it! At the very end, as we headed for the ice cream cart, Mt St Helens appeared when the clouds finally lifted! AWESOME sight!

Although it was a LONG day, we really enjoyed the visit with the boys and hope we can plan an outing soon with other grandkids.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day - A Memorable Day and a Great LAUGH

For Father's Day this year, I decided to extract his bike from the photo of our front yard and make him a special card. (He plans to frame it for his office!)

A few weeks ago he came home grinning and told me he discovered why he likes riding that Triumph so much... it made him feel so YOUNG!

Since then we decide to name the bike "Fountain of Youth". Appropriate, I know! 

He was SO happy to get the special card and the mug that I personalized with the words, "You Make Me Feel So YOUNG" on one side. He was so excited! He planned to use the mug at the office so it would not get into the dishwasher by mistake, and ruin the special phrase on it.

Later that morning we went to the office to prepare for services, and he went down the hall to get us a cup of coffee. As he returned to the office, I noticed the cup was losing it's black color quickly. He gasped, "I wondered what it meant by "REVEAL" mug!"

OH, NO! I was so embarrassed! I did NOT see that "REVEAL" feature mentioned and had no idea what that meant, if I did!  (I may have to add more vinyl to "clothe" her!)

I guess he WON'T keep this at the office. Not everyone would understand the "joke". :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Little Get Away at the Beach

Long time no blog... I'm back!

The past few years we have vacationed at the cabin in Montana. It was so restful.

Lately I have been inwardly craving the coast, so we planned a 3 night get away and wanted to go somewhere nearby, less road time and less costly, and just after a busy session of back to back "big days" at the church. We were tired.

While the cabin we rented was new and beautiful, it felt a bit cramped for 3 days for us. The tiny kitchenette was well equipped, but had small appliances, tiny fridge and the only sink in the cabin.  (Al felt awkward shaving in the dining area with a bowl of hot water in front of the cabin's only mirror.)

Charming, the newest dog, had never been to the beach. We wanted to introduce him to it this trip. The cabin was walking distance to a very nice inlet on the east side of the peninsula.

Al took this photo of a lean-to built into the hillside next to the beach. It made me think of Moon Doggy's hut in the Gidget series. :)  Maybe some hobos use it on better days?

The beach was fairly deserted each time we went. Charming had the place to himself, and the waves were so calming. The air was warm for a change!

Al stooped to rinse a shell as the tide was coming in...

He had to back up and run away in a hurry!  (Never turn your back on the sea!)

He can FLY!!! Who knew? Charming was delighted with the beach!

Check out Charming's BIG GRIN! He never knew "WALK" mean "FUN before this day! The next day when we said "WALK?" he beat us to the door, to the car and to the beach!  :)

The time spent was relaxing, as well as productive. We were able to ride bikes on FLAT land instead of hills, collected a bucket full of shells for projects and made some wonderful memories! I finished up several pages in Joy's wedding album and finalizing some things for sending it out. (Getting SO close!)

Thanks! I needed that!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wedding memories

It was a busy 2013 for us, with 2 weddings in the summer. I am scrapbooking the pages as fast as I can.
Today I finished another page for Joyce's album.

Used mostly Shabby Blanc by Brandy Murry of Scrapgirls and other Scrapgirl brushes.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Charming Christmas...

Prince Charming
Our Christmas letter is done and Facebook won't allow me to upload it, so I will load it here. :P  (Take THAT, Facebook!)

After the letter was completed, we discovered our little Prince Charming was available for adoption, so we brought him home. Its going to be a Charming Christmas! We are Charmed!

FOR EASE in reading the letter, RIGHT click over the letter and open the letter in a new window. You can use your browser enlargement function to zoom in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Annapolis Street

So many of my childhood memories occurred at our home on Annapolis Street. My parents bought the home when I was an infant and we lived there until I was 16.

After Urban Renewal purchased and tore down the house in the mid-60's we lived in rented homes until Mom could afford to buy a new home.

Today a brick home sits on this site with the same address, but that is another story for another page.

I miss this house sometimes. I wanted others to know about this place.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Puyallup Fair with Gregsons

Taking the babies to the fair is always fun, but you never know if they will LOVE or HATE the baby animals. For Bailey, it was "look and don't touch". For Savannah, 6, "show me WHERE to pet!"

Bailey is reluctant about the goats 
The Camel exhibit had both single and two-hump camels and they offered rides. No takers among us.
2 hump camels... I don't see them much

Jesse wanted to take my picture. NOW there is evidence I was there!

Some day I can be the Cow-pants Tractor driver! [Great retirement goal?]

Jesse trying to "outrun" the baby elephant (cardboard... he will survive)

Wouldn't you know the two "clowns" would have so much fun
with the cardboard elephant? Charles and Jesse playacting.

"It's on my TOE!"
"AHHH! Get it OFF!! 
The girls were fascinated by baby goats in pens
How big was your fish, Reuben?
Getting a photo of Savannah without a "cheesy" grin is tough. Here is one!

Savannah and Jesse really were into the fishing!
When I asked Reuben how big his fish was he showed me. When I asked Jesse, he held up three fingers (the number of fish he caught!). They LOVED the free fishing event. We spent better than a half hour at this exhibit after lunch.

The Rainforest Exhibit was really special. The kids really enjoyed seeing tortoise, spiders, scorpions, snakes, alligators, birds, monkeys, and weird bugs.

The tortoises were cute and pet-able. Savannah liked them,
but not Bailey, when she saw they were moving (slowly).

Always looking for a laugh, Charles is the TORTOISE BOY
Some kind of African primate 
Clever Charles... perfect photo / hand combo
I loved these colorful birds. The camera was tough
to get a shot, but at least the color is visible
It was a great day at the fair. I was glad I took my own vehicle this year, as I was "done in" by 3 pm and they still had lots to see. Fun in the NW Sun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Puyallup Fair 2012

We made our annual excursion to the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup WA today. We went to many of the same displays and did not stop for any of the "free entertainment" this year. 

After browsing the dealers hall and seeing all the new products, we were hungry for lunch and headed for the Earthquake Burger place. Oh my! That's a lot of BEEF, if you were looking for beef!

Earthquake burger: half pound of madness with a loaf of fries!
After lunch we viewed the quilts and art displays and were amazed at some of the lovely quilts this year. The art made me want to go home and paint! Inspirational!

Al found a HUGE butterfly in the rain forest. (silk :) )
After lunch we wandered over to the animal barns for a bit and eventually discovered the Rain Forest Exhibit. We didn't stay for the show, but it was crowded by folks and young children waiting to see it. This Rain Forest display is very well done with a variety of live animals from Africa's rain forests, as well as Australia and Brazil.  There were some very lovely parrots and monkeys, as well as snakes, porcupine and tarantulas!

Barb found a Praying Mantis eating a red ant.
 Outside the Rain Forest Display we found a statue of a Praying Mantis eating a red ant. Blech!

CAMELS: Not an everyday event in our state!
As we were heading to the car we noticed camels on display. They offered camel rides (just like in the Middle East, when Al was there!).

We parked for the third year in the church parking lot just west of the red gate parking. That church uses the parking lot funds for their missionary fund; so we help missions when we go to the fair! How neat is that!?

It was a good day with some great weather. Loved going to the fair again!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Preacher and the Bear

We have done quite a bit of biking this trip to Kila, Montana, especially Al. He even upgraded his bike while in the Kalispell area. Today we biked about six miles.

This mural of bears has always fascinated me, at the exit to Kila off Hwy 2. This year the restaurant has  closed, so we were able to get a photo.

Then the preacher wanted a photo of him and the bear. After I took it, I said, "the Preacher and the Bear!" Pretty good photo! That mural looks so real and about the right size too!

All week we have watching this field of Timothy Hay being mowed, raked, baled and harvested. Farmers have such a big task. 

Today we stopped to get a photo of the rows of stacked bales to show their hard work nearly done. They were collecting the last of the bales when we went through today.

These photos remind me that the ministry is never "done". There is always more to do in some area.

It has been a restful vacation and we are preparing to leave in the morning and get back to "work". Thank you for praying for us. It has been a blessing.