Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The New Library

I took Beverly to see the new library today. Bill and I got a glimpse of it a few months ago at a Chamber of Commerce event before they started putting bookshelves, computers and artwork in and I was impressed with it then. Seeing it completed was even more impressive.

The first floor includes a big community meeting room, a computer classroom, lots of computers to use for looking for books or the internet, a teen center with that includes video games, youth books and computers, and will have a coffee shop. The third floor is the children's floor and includes a really cool children's museum/play area and a children's activity room. The fourth floor is the non-fiction floor and the fifth floor is fiction and biographies. There are also meeting rooms on the fourth floor and a large reading room with a fireplace on the fifth floor. The best part is the large patio deck on the fifth floor that has views of downtown Vancouver, the Columbia River and beyond.

My only complaint is that the fifth floor has doors that aren't wheelchair compatible. None of the other floors have them so I don't know why they put them on the fifth floor. But now that I have a handicapped person to haul around with me, those things mean a lot to me. And there isn't near enough parking for the number of people that are going to end up using it.

But all in all it is a beautiful and well planned building. Quite an asset to our community.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Basque Dinner

Bill and I went to a Basque dinner last night. We bought seats to it at the Rotary Christmas auction. I was a little worried. We woke up to pouring down rain so I hoped we would be eating inside. Luckily, the rain quit by dinnertime and we also ate inside.

We have been to Basque dinners and restaurants in Nevada before so we were really looking forward to it. The Basque people come from northern Spain and part of France and were primary sheepherders. They migrated to Idaho and Nevada for the most part because it was like home.

Julia Anderson from Rotary hosted the dinner on her property. It was about a 40 mile drive for us out past Woodland, Cedar Creek Grist Mill and the Green Mountain School. She has 20 acres of property out there and the part that she lives on is very wooded. She is originally from Idaho and although she isn't Basque, she "adopted" the Basque food for serving her dinner.

The dinners that we have been to before were several courses of things like a stew and T-bone steak. It has been awhile for me so I can't remember what all was served. So last night's dinner was slightly different than I expected but it was excellent. They cooked the lamb over a spit for about 5 hours. So the pictures are of the cooking and carving of the lamb. They also served a wonderful salad with apples and cheese in it, green beans, and a bread kind of like a crescent but it was stuffed with seasoned potatoes (and that was so good that I had three of them--such a pig). Dessert was a chocolate pie with chocolate graham cracker crust, whipped cream and espresso beans. Everything was wonderful and we had wonderful dinner companions as well.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Samurai-The Birthday Guy

Tom turned 22 this week. We celebrated as a family Monday night before he had his wisdom teeth taken out on Tuesday morning. He did his usual routine of taking the biggest knife out of the butcher block to cut his cake--which always sets Grandma Bev off. He loves to get a rise out of her about it every year on his birthday. A friend said we should do it with a real Japanese sword next time. Chris has one but I have never thought of it. But that definitely would give her something to protest about.

Lake Chelan Flyout

CAA put on a flyout to Lake Chelan and Bill decided he wanted to go. It is really beautiful there so it definitely wasn't a hardship. The flight going over was a little rough so I was very happy to get on the ground.

On Friday, we went winetasting at four of the wineries on the Manson side of the lake. They each had their own unique personality and charm which made them fun places to go. I loved the spectacular view from the Benson Vineyards. And we had a very nice lunch at Vin du Lac.

On Saturday, we most just hung out in our room to work and read but we did go down to the lake to see a few of our friends go up in these little trike planes which are essentially ultralights on floats. They had a little trouble getting started in the morning because the water was so rough and it was so windy but they eventually got people up in the air. We took the trolley into town to have lunch and walk around a little bit. And then in the evening we took a two hour dinner cruise up the lake a few miles.

We came back on Sunday morning and had a very nice day to fly. We took a route between Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens that we had never taken before. It was great being able to get so close to Mt. St. Helens.

It was a very nice relaxing weekend and it was great to get away for a bit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sing 4th

The only real 4th of July activity I went to was the Sing 4th competition. It is a vocal competition for Clark County high school students to compete for prizes and scholarships and this year's scholarships and prizes were very generous. I have gone the past four years and I have to say that it is my favorite part about the 4th of July--even better than the fireworks and we have a pretty awesome fireworks show and other musical entertainment available all day long at Fort Vancouver. The kids are so talented. It seem like most years there are two gals that end up singing the same song and that was no exception this year. Both the winner-Lydia Moynihan--and the third place winner sang "The Girl in 14G" and both were very impressive. I had never heard the song before but it is wonderfully funny. Kristin Chenowith sings it in this YouTube video but I think even Lydia did a better job at it--The Girl in 14G. And I always love hearing Kyra Smith--the cohost--perform. She is only 18 but she has been a professional singer and celebrity in this area for over nine years with Disney radio.

The rest of our fourth was spent taking care of Beverly and then trying to sleep in our typical war zone of fireworks by almost all our neighbors all at once. After three hours of non-stop booms, pops, whistles and whatever other noises fireworks make, it was bliss to finally have some quiet after midnight. I know a lot of people get into it but I dread the whole week of 4th of July having to listen to it every night. It is really causes problems for animals unless you sedate them all week.

So anyway--that was our 4th. Hope you all had a wonderful one.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Long Road Home

Beverly had her open heart surgery more than six weeks ago on May 18th. The hope was to be home about a week later and resume a normal life six weeks later. But when she woke up from her surgery, we realized that she had had a stroke during her surgery that affected the left side of her body. She spent about two weeks in ICU and stepdown ICU--even making a one day stay in inpatient rehab before having to return to stepdown ICU because her heart was acting up. Eventually she was ready to go back to rehab again even though she was having some issues with her heart there too. They just decided to keep her there and keep an eye on it. She had four weeks of intense occupational, physical and speech therapy--at least three hours a day. The goal was to get her to a point that she could go home.

It was a frightening and anxiety producing event for all of us but especially for her. She is so frightened of falling. She is unsteady enough that it is a real concern for all of us. And the thought of how much care she needs can be a little overwhelming at times even though she has made great strides in the time that she was in rehab. She needs 24 hour a day care so Chris is living with her and we spend a lot of time there helping her, cooking meals, etc. We did get an agency to come in one hour every morning to help her get bathed and dressed in the morning so that Chris doesn't have to do it. It is a big undertaking but hopefully she will continue to improve over the summer with more outpatient therapy so that she can get to the point that she doesn't need someone to be with her all the time. So it has been a long road for her just to get home and it will continue to be a long road to continue to improve but at the moment, she is just happy to be back in her own home.