Friday, October 27, 2017

All Things Cozy in Late Autumn

I love to find seasonal photos on Pinterest and save them. I put them on my computer screen as wall paper, and then rotate them every few minutes to enjoy the scenes. I thought I would share a few of my mid-to-end of Autumn photos. I can't give all the photographers credits here, but they are some creative and talented people. 

Where I grew up in Seattle, we had a whole street lined with gorgeous chestnut trees. This was the season to pick up the pods that had split open and gather the nuts. There is a brown hard shell, with the chestnuts inside. Then there is a papery covering. My mother used to roast them over a fire in our fireplace, with little x's carved into the skins just like the photo below. Those would curl up and be easier to peel off. The chestnut inside was so worth the efforts, as they have an amazing buttery goodness!

I think it would be SO fun to live on Punkin Blvd, don't you?

That's what it smells like when you scuffle through the dried fallen leaves on the ground.

Have a delightful week-end, celebrating Halloween, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and all things cozy in November.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October: Snow, completed projects and gorgeous fall color!

 Well, October 2017 brought snow! That's early even for us. It snowed right on our fall colored trees and bushes. It was so much fun to watch, because they were wet, warm big snow 'bunches' as opposed to snow flakes. Nothing actually stuck, which is why that kind of snow is everyone's favorite.

 Other news of interest to my grandsons, is that Papa finally finished his shed, paint and all. He built it from his head and scrap materials, and it turned out so nice and holds lots of storage stuff.
 This was a sign that the grandsons gave him, and he's been saving it for just the right time. It now tells everyone who this shed belongs too! Looks great guys.

 This is the other shed, which we cleaned out and turned from a junk shed to a garden shed. Great to get these projects done!
 I will just leave you with a little fall color in the yard. The sedum which is lovely in the fall, and just keeps coming back each year in it's planters.
 A red wing maple tree, that is my favorite!
And a burning bush...which really looks like it is burning in the sunshine.
Have a great rest of October everyone!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sculpture Along the River Bank

 There is a wonderful sculpture in a park here by the Deschutes River. It is fascinating and so well done. Worth a mention here in my blog.
It is depicting our logging days here in Bend, with a draft horse...
pulling two logs behind it. Of course you can see it is made from metal, but what you can't see is that it is all made from old reclaimed metals items from the past.
Now, you can begin to see some of the things inside the horse...
and here even more. If you click on the image to expand it you can see even better. There are over 100 items in this horse, most I could recognize and some I still can not. There is a listing on a sign close by that lists the items, and it is really fun to stand here and try to find everything. It is like a puzzle. There is a lot of old farming equipment, saws and wood working tools, but some domestic items too like an old sewing machine and vacuum. The logs behind have the same, their insides filled with other items. There is an old chain saw in there. 
What a fascinating sculpture it is, and what a wonderful idea by the artist, Greg Congleton.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Colors and Textures of War

I have been reading a book about pharmacists and pharmacy tents in W W II, watching a bit of the documentary on Viet Nam on PBS, watching a movie about the sinking of the Indianapolis in W W II, and then the finding of the ship Indianapolis on PBS. My thoughts have turned to war, a hard topic. So I am going to write down a bit of my rambling thoughts today.

Colors of War
  • The GRAY of rain dripping off the rim of a helmet, rain blocking out the forms of hills, mountains and valleys, rain pouring onto tanks, guns, ship decks and tents, muffling everything and everyone.
  • The BROWN of mud squelching up over boots of marching soldiers, the sand and rocks of beaches under bombardment and of foot lockers, locked.
  • The khaki GREEN of uniforms, clean or dirty, the rusted metal of gun turrets, hand grenades whistling silently through the air, gas masks, and sloppy food.
  • The deep RED of bloody wounds, tongues hanging out of screaming faces, dripping blood, the Red Cross crosses on white tents, and sunsets through the smoke.
  • The SILVER of heroic medals, of officers stripes, of bullets piercing, of bombs dropping from silver enemy planes, and ocean swells topped with navy cruisers.
  • The YELLOW of another sunrise, a nurses curls, flashes of lightening, or a stray flower in the dirt and grimy mud.
  • The BLUE of dress uniforms, ink on endless paperwork, the wink of a blue eye, or the calm in the storm.
Textures of War
  • The SHARPNESS of shrapnel, the corners of mess trays, of Sargent's barking orders, the edges of torn off limbs, bugle notes piercing the darkness of morning, barbed wire topped walls, and the taste of fear.
  • The ROUGHNESS of rocks being scaled, of a thin wool blanket, of choppy seas and heaving stomachs, of crawling on bellies in the dirt and flying blind through thunderstorms. 
  • The WETNESS of tears, of a puddle in the bottom of a foxhole, the rain drumming on tent tops, wading ashore, and never having dry feet.
  • The SOFTNESS of a hand clasp or a salute, free moments to write home, sucking mud in the the bottom of trenches, wet clothes, marching through snow and canned green peas.
  • The CROSS HATCH of confusion, exhaustion, moral turmoils, disrespect, fear, blind orders, singing, comradeship, buddies dying, loyalty, principals and duty.
  • The SMOOTHNESS of a flag lifting in a breeze, a swallow of brandy, a team effort, a bomb being released or the arc of a shell in the sky. Smooth decisions handed down from politicians and officers, and smooth words from home to soften hardened hearts.

Thanks for listening to me release some of my pent up thoughts. Is there any answer to war? Many people much wiser than I have never reached a conclusion. May God have mercy on us.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Kids and Grandkids


I have a couple of photo boards around the house and change them up as I have time. This one is right over my dresser, where the insurance man and I see it every day. I thought it would be fun to be seasonal this time, and so I searched for for fall family photos through the years. I am loving it. So fun to see different grand kids at different stages. I think they will have fun seeing it too.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Pretend First Day of Autumn!

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
George Eliot

I am pretending that today is the first day of autumn, instead of tomorrow. It was so beautiful this morning. Crisp and chilly, bright blue skies and sunshine, and a hint of wood smoke in the air. A few bushes and trees have a touch of turning color. 
I put on some beautiful music, and proceeded to decorate the house with my autumn things. It was wonderful and I even had a second cup of coffee to celebrate. I enjoy the cooler weather, and we do have beautiful fall days in Central Oregon.

In the afternoon I got a cup of tea (with a scone of course) and got out my Brambly Hedge book for Autumn and re-read it. Such lovely stories, drawings and books. I also put out my Brambly Hedge Autumn plate, tumbler and teacup and saucer. A great thing to do on the first day of autumn, don't you agree?
 Crab apple limbs in front of the pine trees.
A little pinkish red, which I can see from my front window.
And gorgeous plum colored crab apples, that the birds haven't got hungry enough to to find. 

Happy Pretend First Day of Autumn!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Country Scenes and Children's Dreams

Like I promised, we are at the edge of the arena at the fairgrounds in Burns. The insurance man took the day off and we went and took his mom to the fair. We started by looking at exhibits and seeing the theme of the fair in every one's handiwork. The theme was ' Country Scenes and Children's Dreams', a theme I really liked. We visited with friends, had some hamburgers with grilled onions, and then we decided to go into the grandstands and watch horse roping and some horse races as well.
Here are all the cowboys all lined up on horses, waiting their turns to rope a wild horse. Harney County is still one of the cowboy capitals of our country. Lots of ranchers here.
Just waiting for the next riders. 
They rope in teams of two, one around the neck and one to capture a back leg.
They are pretty good with their ropes, but only a few teams actually got their ropes around both the neck and leg. Beautiful horses. I especially liked the gray and black horse in this photo. Enlarge the photo to see it better.
While their Dads and Grandpa's were roping, some of the little cowboys were having a grand time in the dirt. Complete with hats and boots.

We had some fair food while we watched. Mom had an ice cream cone and the insurance man and I split a root beer float. We also ate some 'funnel cake fingers' and split an order between the three of us.

There are also plenty of cowgirls out there too.They are very good at their horse skills. 
We watched two or three horse races, and enjoyed that before going out to look at the 4H animals. 
Really cute calf that came along with his mama, so that she could be judged.
We decided we were tired, so went home and fixed dinner before relaxing for the evening.
On Saturday morning, we got up early and went to the 'Cow Ladies' breakfast. The ranchers grill steaks, flip big pancakes and fry eggs on outdoor grills, while the we follow the line and end with an offer of brandy. (Too early in the day!) The breakfast was yummy (love that steak) and it's all for a good cause, college scholarships for the 4H kids. My mother-in-law loves to visit all the people who have come into town, and a good time was had by all. After that, full and stuffed, we went downtown and put up chairs for the Fair Parade. A friend of ours was named Grand Marshall of the parade, and there were children in droves, exited to pick up the candy. This family was next to us, and the candy they snagged should keep them going until Halloween.

The insurance man and mom, the empty chair is for the lady snapping the picture!
The honor guard came first, and we all stood to recite the pledge of allegiance. You gotta love small town America, where there are no protesters in sight....
Then we all sang the National Anthem while some old cars went by. Beautiful.
And the parade was wonderful, with a visit from Smokey the Bear, no less. 

Another great fair to celebrate!