Detroit Lake State Park-Memorial Day 2017

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We went camping at Detroit Lake for Memorial Day weekend.  We stayed 3 nights, and were blessed with exceptionally nice weather.  It was especially welcome since we have had such a rainy, wet spring.

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The wild rhododendrons were in bloom.

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There were a couple of unusual strains of Scotch Broom–usually it’s just yellow.

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There were many ducks and geese, but not as many as we have seen in years past.

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Even this chipmunk was cooperative when I wanted to take a picture!

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Some geese had babies.

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Patsy and I had a great hike one day, circling the campground.  One side runs along the road, but they’ve done a great job of making you feel like you are more secluded than you are.  The other side runs along the lake, and that is always a treat.  We talked to people who were fishing, and some caught fish, but we did not this time.

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We did enjoy some quiet time next to the lake, though, in the early morning on Saturday.  It’s rare for Rob and I to get any time alone, so that was one of my favorite times of the entire trip.  I also enjoyed time spent with family members who came up to visit us later that morning, and enjoy the lake as well for the day.  Rob cooked chicken over the fire, which is a favorite of everyone.  People pitched in and brought some things, so we sat and happily munched on chips, veggies, and melon.  One evening, we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire.  On Sunday afternoon, I got a big nap.  All in all, the trip was just what we needed–some time to get away from the hustle and bustle that our life is, and just enjoy some time out in God’s beautiful creation.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, 2016

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We want to wish every one of you “Happy Thanksgiving!”

It’s been a year of changes for our family, as I’m sure it has been for many of you.  We are feeling more and more settled in our new home, and our new jobs.  I’m sure that as each month passes, we will relax more and more as we get comfortable  with all of the changes.

Every weekend, we try to unpack a few more bins and boxes.  Right now, all of the extra is stacked in the shop, but we are making progress.  Rob’s got his Ebay shop all set up, and is very thankful to be able to stop working out of bins and boxes.  He has a new job as an instructional aide in the public school system, working with special needs children.  I am working as a personal support worker for my autistic niece and my special needs nephew.  Our house is much smaller than the old one, but is adequate for our needs.  We live in town now, but have 1/3 of an acre with a shop and a garden area.  We were able to get the camper moved down here last weekend, and it has a concrete pad where it will park.

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We are looking forward to going camping soon.   As I had hoped, living in the camper all summer did not ruin our desire to continue camping often.  We are eager to go!  Maybe even at Christmas time.  If so, we’d better make some reservations soon!  Until then, we will keep moving forward in our lives and continue getting settled here in our new home.  We have much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.

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We had a lovely day today.  We celebrated here at our new house, with lots of family and tons of food.  Tomorrow, we will continue the fun by going on a ride on a historic holiday train.  It will be fun to spread the fun with our family out even longer.  I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, too.

 

Happy Easter

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Today was Easter!  We did some things the same as usual, but many things differently this year.  The first thing we did today, was to go to church.  The service was amazing, the music inspiring, and the worship marvelous.  Easter is one of the most special days of the year to be at church, and we also had the pleasure of 4 of our children with us this year.

After service was over, things got very different.  On a normal year, we have between 20-40 people over for Easter dinner.  This year, many of the relatives were out of town, or going to other relatives’ houses.  Also, because we are selling our home, it is in “perfect” condition, and we didn’t want a big mess to clean up.  Although we did not expect anyone to want to view it on Easter, we hope that some more people will this week.  We decided to drive over to the beach, instead.  The 3 girls who still live at home went with us.

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Our first stop was at Mo’s.  If you live here in Oregon, you know all about Mo’s.  If not, it is a restaurant (they actually have 4 of them along the coast) that we have enjoyed for many, many years.  They serve clam chowder, shrimp in all forms, and other seafood, along with hamburgers and other items.  We teased our daughter, Lovana, that she would have chicken strips because that is all she would ever order for her entire childhood.  She chose a salad and fries today:)  I guess since she is turning 20 this week, her tastes have changed.

During our lunch, we were able to enjoy the view of the water, a man flying 2 kites at the same time, another man throwing sticks for his very eager dog, and children and families digging in the sand.  They must have been very determined to be down on the beach, because it was COLD!  This is Oregon, but today, it felt like Alaska to us.

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We decided to drive down the coast a ways.  This is the Boiler Bay Oregon State Park wayside.  We got out of the van and enjoyed the view for a few minutes, at least some of us did.  The rest huddled in the van after a few short moments, shivering.

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A few miles south, we arrived at Depot Bay.  A couple of the girls huddled in the van some more while we got out and looked around.  There is a spouting horn in Depoe Bay, but the tide wasn’t in far enough to make it spout very much while we were there.

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The waves were very rough, though, and they were fun to watch.  The weather cooperated with us for a while, and although the wind cut right through our coats, it did not rain at that time.

At the magic words “candy store” the 2 frozen princesses suddenly came to life and eagerly joined us on our trek to find some sea foam candy.  We bought what they had left at the first candy store, 3 pieces, and got some from the next store as well, along with some cheesy popcorn.  At that point, the girls got into the van again, and Rob, Patsy and I went into the whale watching center.

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We have been at the center many, many times, but Patsy wanted to go in.  The center is free, and has stations where you can learn about the various kinds of whales that migrate along the Oregon Coast.  Some take up residence for part of the year off the coast of Oregon, but some are going from Alaska to Baja California and back again.  Today, they had seen 3 whales earlier in the day, but there were none sighted during the time we were there.  We have seen whales before, there and in other places, but the wonder of seeing them has never left us, and we are always eager to get another chance to spot one.

After that, we headed back north, stopping a few times to enjoy looking at the ocean, and eventually headed home.  It turned out to be a very happy Easter, indeed.

Last Minute Christmas Gift–Potholders

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Cast iron is hot, and it’s easy to get burned, whether you are cooking inside or out.  One quick and easy Christmas gift you can make for an avid cast-iron cook is some potholders.

I started with scrap fabric.  I didn’t want to use anything that cost a great deal, because cast iron can be very messy, especially if you are cooking over a fire.

I cut 10 inch squares of fabric.  Other sizes would work fine, that’s what I had.  I also thought it would be big enough to grasp a pot or pot handle.  I cut a back and a front from fabric, and a layer of Insul-Bright.  The Insul-Bright is a batting that has a layer of heat reflecting material.  It is supposed to protect the user from getting burned.  It is not recommended for use in a microwave.  I plan to give these as Christmas gifts to those who need to grab a pot, so it will work fine for me and keep the heat from seeping through the fabric and burning anyone.

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Once I had them cut, I layered them.  I put the 2 main pieces right sides together, and the Insul-Bright on top and pinned all around.FullSizeRender

I sewed around all 3 layers with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving  a gap, as shown in the picture.  I clipped the corners and trimmed.

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I turned them right side out, pressed, and pinned the hole shut.  I topstitched all the way around.  Then, to hold all the layers together, I topstitched from corner to corner, making a big “X” on the potholder.

Cost breakdown:  Fabric–free- Mine were scraps from previous projects years ago.  You could use old jeans, or other used clothing.  You could ask people who sew for scraps, they usually have lots and would love for them to be used.  Insul-Bright–I paid around $5.50 for a yard. I got mine at a quilt shop, but JoAnn’s also carries it. I think I can get about 12 from this yard (I used some for another project, so I’m guessing a little).  Thread–I had some.   For me:  Around 50c per pot holder.  It would be more if you purchased new fabric.

Time used:  About 15 minutes per pot holder.

I plan to make some more.  I’ve decided there are a few people that I want to remember at Christmas.  They are quick and easy and they look very nice when finished.

Bring the Outside In

IMG_1776One of the ways we like to decorate for the holidays is to use branches from outside.  On Thanksgiving Day, my niece, Rachel, arranged some holly from her mom’s holly bush on my mantle.  The holly will hold nicely for quite a while, even without water, so the branches that are sitting out, dry, will look good for a few weeks.  If they dry up or shrivel, due to their proximity to the wood stove, we can go get some more to replace them.  The branches in the vase have water on them, so should last even longer.  It’s another way to enjoy the beauty of nature all year ’round.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

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We would like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Rob made a turkey on the grill, and plans to do a ham as well.  The turkey is already all cut up and ready to warm, and the bone broth has been cooking all night in 2 crock pots, making the house smell warm and cozy on this cold morning.  We are having about 26 family members over for a meal later today.  Yesterday, several family members came over and helped clean and set things up.  We plan to have a great day.  We have so much to be thankful for!  I hope yours is full of thankfulness, family, and joy.  Happy Thanksgiving!