Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Holiday Parties

Our parties this year seem to be front loaded to the beginning of the month and Christopher's work party was in November.

The mission took their employees out on the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler for a dinner cruise on the Willamette.  Someone he works with offered to take his shift that night so he could go.  He had a great time meeting people from the mission that he never sees since he works night shift.

Bill and I went to the Southwest Washington Contractors Association party.  The theme this year was "Baby It's Cold Outside" and the attire was ugly Christmas sweaters.  We bucked that and just wore regular party attire.  We don't own ugly Christmas sweaters and didn't want to buy any.  They had a llama there which was fun.

Friends invited us to their home to watch the Army Navy game.  We had a toast to an Army victory with moonshine.  Army sang second again this year!  It was a hard fought game but Army ended up winning 17-10.

After the Army Navy game, we headed down to the flying club for our party there.  Nice meal with friends.

No more parties that I know of anyway.  So just waiting for the big day to get here to celebrate our Savior's birth.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was spent with friends.  Since we invited a vegetarian and some with a gluten intolerance, we changed up the menu this year and tried some things that Christopher found on the internet and had prime rib instead of turkey.  We had a really nice time spending the evening with friends.

I have much to be grateful for including family and friends.  It is always good to remember that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Veterans Day Weekend

It seemed strange not to be celebrating Veterans Day at some sort of event celebrating veterans this year.  I usually like to go to the Veterans Day ceremony and parade but Bill doesn't like to go and he wanted to go see the opera so I did that with him.  For the past several years we have been invited to dinner by friends to celebrate with other veterans but that didn't happen this year either.  Bill and I decided to take advantage of a beautiful weekend and spend the night in the Gorge.

The weather couldn't have been more beautiful.

We stayed at the Best Western in Cascade Locks which is right next to the Bridge of the Gods.  I got a room with a view of the river.  It was great to be able to look out at the beautiful view from our room.  We have never really spent much time there.  We usually just drive through.  We had dinner at a brewery that night. 

I wanted to take a walk at sunrise to get some photos. 

And my favorite veteran came to walk with me on Thunder Island.

It was cold but beautiful.

The mountains were beautiful in that early morning glow.

Never get tired of this.

And it was fun to have a view of the river at breakfast too and see this small cruise ship coming up river from our breakfast perch.

We had a great weekend together.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Another Catch Up Post

Where does the time go?  I guess I must be busy.  I keep up with scrapping my photos but getting the blog posts done seems to lag behind.

I had a great birthday festival again this year.  I went out for dinner with my friend, Denise, on Wednesday night.  We went to 6th Ave. Bistro.  It was my first time there.  On my actual birthday, I got lots of birthday wishes via calls, Facebook and Skype.  It was Give More 24 that day so Bill and I went to a cocktail party and donated money to some non-profits.  How nice of them to throw a party for me LOL.  Christopher's gift to me was cooking dinner for/with me on Friday night.  On Saturday, I took Colleen shopping at The Difference.  We both spent too much money there on clothes, makeup, skin care and boots.  She wanted to see a movie so we had dinner at Twygs in Lake Oswego and then went to see "Crazy Rich Asians".  We had a long but fun day together.

I went for a walk at the Reserve on a beautiful fall day and took pictures in the garden and apple orchard at Ft. Vancouver.  I made this layout for a challenge and was pleased to be picked as a Gallery Standout for that day.  Certainly made me smile when I woke up to that in the morning.

Bill's brother, Chuck, came to visit us for a few days.  We went to the ribbon cutting at the Black Pearl when he arrived and enjoyed some appetizers and wine there but the guys were still hungry so we headed to Growler USA for more food and beer afterward.  We took Chuck to a couple of fundraisers we were invited to that week.  We went to the Vancouver Symphony performance on Saturday before heading to their gala and fundraiser. 

We also took him and Chris to Soup's On-a competition to raise money for Share homeless services.  Bill had a table and we invited other friends too.  There were 13 soups made by local chefs which were all really good.  It was hard to choose.  The chef from Nom Nom won both the Chef's Choice and the People's Choice with his Laotian soup.  He was so excited.  And a lot of money was raised for the homeless too.

It was an Indiana Jones theme this year which was really fun.  This was the only photo we got with all four of us together-the one at the photo booth.

Chris accepted a position at Portland Rescue Mission.  He has gone through orientation but hasn't officially started work yet as he took a week long Peer Counseling course in Bellingham between orientation and actual start date.  He will be working night shift four nights a week at the Burnside Mission in downtown Portland.

I have been wanting to go to Northwest Trek for a long time.  I finally got to go with my friend, Suzi, and her family.  Tucker loved going down the slides at the playground there.

I got to meet Brynn for the first time.  We saw a lot more animals than this but some of them were shy and it was hard to get good photos of them.

On Sunday, the "kids" came back to the apartment to watch the Seahawks game and have brunch.  They were all wearing their Hawks gear so had to get a photo of that.

While I was in Puyallup, Bill ran the half marathon in Vancouver for breast cancer as a Pink Brigade guy.  He had a time of 2:19:33. 

Bill and I enjoyed some home alone time this week with Chris up in Bellingham taking a Peer Counseling Certification class.  We went out to eat a few times and enjoyed seeing opera together.

Well--that is this month's wrap-up.  Hopefully it won't be quite so long before I post again.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Busy Busy

I have had such a busy month of travel that I thought I had better catch up with a new post.  

Tom had his 10 year high school reunion in August.  How is that possible?  He was able to get leave and come home for it.  It wasn't very well attended-only about 40-50 out of a class of nearly 500-but he had a good time.  He and Bill did some hiking together and we all went shopping and out for beer and lunch at 54-40 Brewing in Washougal.  He also spent some time with friends.  Otherwise it was a pretty low key weekend with him.

I was on call for our anniversary so we didn't plan anything very exciting.  We had pizza and wine with Chris and re-enacted our marriage toast.

The next morning I headed to Salt Lake City for some girl time.  Krystal invited me to join her there while she was visiting her sister, Diane.  The plan was to do lots of rubberstamping of cards but we fit in some sightseeing as well.

Krystal wanted to take me to Park City.  We had no plans so we stopped at the visitors center for some ideas.  We were convinced to at least spend a little bit of time at the Utah Olympic Park to see the museum and watch some bobsled runs and ski jumping into a pool.  It was interesting to visit there.

We also found out about a walking history tour and were there at just the right time to go on it.  As it turned out, it was the last one of the year so we were especially lucky.  It was interesting to learn about the history there and about some of the buildings.

Renee lives north of SLC by about an hour and a half.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to visit her so I didn't make any promises.  As it turned out, she was having a BBQ for some friends on Saturday afternoon and invited us to come up.  Worked out so that I could go see her and her family and home which was a bonus.

After Krystal and I got back to SLC, it was time to head downtown to visit Temple Square and have dinner out.  We enjoyed walking around the square and seeing the visitor centers before having a very interesting meal at a place called Eklektik.  Very unusual decor and menu but enjoyable.

I flew back home on Labor Day while Chris and Bill were making their way up Mt. St. Helens.  Several years ago, Bill and Chuck made an attempt but they only got about half way up before having to turn back.  This year, Bill was determined that he was going to be in good enough shape to make it. And he did.  Unfortunately, Chris got sick about 2/3's of the way up and had to stop.  He sat at a monitoring station while Bill finished his hike up before they headed back down.

Chris celebrated his actual birthday with Bill by making a steak dinner.  He requested Coq au Vin for his birthday celebration with me after getting back from the mountain and we had chocolate cream pie too.  Hard to believe he is 26 years old already.

The next weekend we flew to Santa Rosa to spend time celebrating Chuck and Suzanne's 35th wedding anniversary.  Mark and Vickie (Suzanne's sister) invited us to their home in Sebastopol for the celebratory weekend.  The anniversary was actually in July but it was the first weekend that we could all workout in our busy schedules to get together.  We had a great weekend that included wine tasting at the Coppola Winery.  Fascinating place.  It is like a museum, water park and tasting room all in one.  We stopped by Ferrari Carano to do some tasting as well. Such beautiful grounds and gardens there.

The next morning, Mark took Bill and me on a tour of his four acre pinot noir vineyard in their backyard.  We enjoyed the little walkabout and learning more about the grape growing business as he has learned it.  Next up was going to the Charles Schulz Museum and other buildings on the complex.  We had a very informative tour guide which was nice.  We stopped at the Warm Puppy Cafe, the skating rink that Charles Schulz built for the community and the Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop.  After lunch we rested up before heading to Sonoma for dinner at La Salette-a Portuguese restaurant.  Wonderful food and company.

Sunday morning we flew home after a lovely brunch and stroll around the neighborhood.

We were home for three days and then headed down to Ashland for a flyout.  We went to a cocktail party at an old Victorian home that is now a restaurant our first night there.  Friday morning I headed to Lithia Park in the morning for a walk before we went to the activities of the day and came across several deer and turkeys.  I subsequently went every day to saw them and kept trying to get pictures of them.  I was particular surprised to see so many turkeys.  I have gotten used to seeing deer in town at so many of the places I have gone to recently but not turkeys.

These are some of the better photos that I took.  My favorite is of the deer crossing the creek.  There were actually three does and three fawns that I followed for several minutes.  After they crossed the creek, they stopped traffic until all six of them crossed the street.

And I loved this fountain in the park and how it looked in the morning light.

Unfortunately there isn't anything really that you can take photos of that are Shakespeare Festival related as no photography is allowed at any of the theaters--even on the backstage tours.  But I did take this photo of the outside of the Elizabethan Theater.  We went on the backstage tour which was fascinating.  Hard to believe there is so much technology involved in plays.

We saw "Henry V" in the Thomas Theater which was very well done.  After the play, we went out to dinner at a French restaurant as a group.  I got to sit next to Amy Kim Waschke at dinner.  She is the niece of one of our members and is currently playing in "Othello" and "Snow in Midsummer".  Her husband played the Dauphin in "Henry V" so that was a fun connection as well.  It was also fun to learn that she is from Bellingham and actually told her about a place that I love there that she had never heard of or been to.  She is going to play Lady MacBeth and the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland" next year so it peaked my interest in maybe wanting to go next year having gotten to know one of the performers.

It was a surprise to learn that we were all invited to attend a wedding on Sunday morning before we came home.  We met Bruce and Maiza last year at a flyout and became reacquainted this year at the Sunriver flyout.  Maiza is from Brazil and recently moved to Portland to establish her 90 residency so that they could get married.  They have been trying to get married for over a year but plans to marry in Brazil fell through.  They got married in the Japanese Garden at Lithia Park at 0900 on Sunday morning so that we could all attend before we flew home.  We think it is a first to have a wedding on our of our club flyouts and it certainly was a beautiful way to end our time in Ashland.

So there you have it.  A quick recap of the past month or so.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Shiny New Addition to the Family

I have been contemplating getting an Instant Pot for awhile now.  I have seen recipes that I wanted to try on the Skinnytaste Facebook page but wasn't sure that it would be a practical purchase for us because it was only the two of us and we mostly eat prepackaged meals on our HMR diet.  Since Chris came home to live with us again, we are cooking more.  I saw one on sale, polled my friends to see if they felt it was worth it and bought it.  So far the only thing I have felt like has turned out well was cooking rice.  I made a red lentil chili that was pretty good but most everything else I have made so far has totally overcooked the vegetables in what I was making.  So we shall see.  Hopefully it won't become on of those things that ends up collecting dust. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Family Reunion in Wisconsin

Falkner and Snowberry reunions were some of my favorite childhood gatherings.  We had them pretty much every year.  With the passing of my grandparents, great aunts and uncles, the increasing size of our families and the distance many live away now, those gatherings have gone by the wayside.  My aunts decided last year that they wanted to plan one for this year.  They gave the date in enough advance that we could get our vacations and plane tickets planned.  When I planned on going, I thought it would be just Bill and me going.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that both Tom and Chris would be able to join us but it worked out that they both could come too.  It made me so happy to have both my boys on a family vacation with us and that they could see my family for the first time in 11 years.  We flew into Minneapolis and met up with Tom there to drive to Tomah.

Thursday morning was all about the Monroe County Fair and seeing Mandy's goats.  We spent a few hours at the fair seeing Mallory and Mandy during the rabbit judging, looking for their arts and crafts exhibit entries, looking at all the animals and seeing the antique tractors.  We did it as a family to support our nieces.

We watched Mallory do her showmanship and both girls looking on as their rabbits were judged.
Sherrill loves cows so I had to get a picture of her with the Holsteins.  And there were so many cute Holstein and Guernsey calves to see.  Jeff loved seeing the antique tractors.  We saw one of our mom's second cousins who graduated from high school with Sherrill and got our picture taken with her.  We hadn't seen her in more than 30 years.

Mandy's goats are at her Grandma Chapman's property so we drove out there after dinner Thursday night to play with the goats.  Dane got me to ride on his ATV that he keeps out there. 

Friday morning we headed to the Elroy Sparta Bike Trail to do some hiking.  We planned a hike that would include all three railroad tunnels on the trail but Bill didn't want to do the whole 18 miles from Kendall to past Tunnel No. 3 so he tried to figure out some spots to drop off and pickup near the highway.  I was the road crew doing the driving while they all did the hiking.  It worked out for the most part but learning point-there is no cell service or internet in that area to try to coordinate with.  They ended up hiking around 11 miles of the trail.  I did about six while waiting for them or trying to meet up with them.  I parked in Norwalk and started walking toward them and met up with them about a mile down the trail and walked back to Norwalk with them.  Then I headed to our last pickup point and parked on the highway.  I hiked to and through Tunnel No. 3 on my own without a flashlight.  Kind of scary as you really aren't supposed to do it without a flashlight but I just kept my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel and hoped for the best.  I did almost fall into the little ditches on the sides for the spring water to drain a couple of times.  That tunnel is the longest on the trail at 3/4 of a mile and it took me about 20 minutes to get through it.  I kept hiking a little more on the trail and met up with the guys again and all of us walked through the tunnel together--this time with their flashlights.

We had the Snowberry Reunion at the Vista Royalle Campground in Bancroft.  Most of the family camped but several of us came for just the day.  Bill and I consider ourselves Best Western campers so we got a motel in Plover to spend the night.  All of my first cousins were there which was wonderful.  We were only missing seven of the younger generations so we had a great turnout.


It was great visiting with family-some I haven't seen in a really long time.

We missed having Graham with us.  He had to be at the Air Force Academy for training but it was great to spend time with the rest of our family.

Tom enjoyed playing the various games that they had setup with my brothers and cousins.  And there was a lot of great food too.

Sherrill needed a sweatshirt so we went to the Cash Store to buy one and was able to find an Indian sweatshirt.  Tomah's mascot is the Timberwolves now but apparently there is enough of a demand for Indian clothing that a few of the stores still get them.  I went straight down there as soon as I saw hers.  I had to have one too.

After saying our goodbyes to the family Sunday morning, we headed back to Minneapolis.  We made a pit stop in Eau Claire so I could show the boys where I went to college.  Then we went to the Mall of America for a little while to wander and the boys decided to ride one of the rollercoasters. 

Bill, Chris and I caught a very early flight back to Portland on Monday morning.  Tom decided to stay in the Twin Cities and extra day to see the sights.  He went to the Minneapolis Sculpture Park and went to the Twins-Indians game in the evening before heading back to Wichita.

So good to get away to my "home" and be with family.  And extra special that I could share it with both my sons.