Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Time with William

My goodness a lot has happened since I last posted. With all the frozen snow outside our window, it's hard to believe I was talking about the pretty flowers a week ago. We have managed to stay warm, and enjoy the deep snow from our windows.
To get back to Julie's visit... we had a wonderful time with grandson William for a week by himself. The insurance man took a little time off, and we went camping in the Fort Rock area of Eastern Oregon. It was dry and dusty, after a dry summer.
 
But the blue skies and pine trees were beautiful anyway. We chose an un-improved camp site, and mainly had it to ourselves.
This allowed for William to drive around the camp unhindered on our ATV.

He got the hang of it quickly and had fun on Saturday, getting faster.
 Until Sunday morning, when things went awry. He turned the wrong way into a barbed wire fence, and then into one of the pine trees. He walked back to the trailer to tell us about the accident. Our first question was "Are you alright?" After ascertaining he was, we walked back to the site to inspect the damage. 
 Proclaimed un-driveable!
 Papa and William fixed the broken fence, and sustained a few scratches.William a few more from the crash through it.
 They brought over the pick-up and managed to get the ATV pushed up onto the bed to haul home. God was so good to let that happen safely, as there was no help in the immediate area.
 William is showing me that he is sad that the accident happened, but that he is happy he was not hurt!
 
Our campsite was right next to an abandoned Forest Service Ranger Station at Cabin Lake. People lived and worked here in the 1940's, and it was then converted to a summer guard station and there are still six rustic buildings left on site. The Forest Service closed the site for good in 2002, but it was added to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1985. William and I hiked over to inspect the buildings while the insurance man prepared things to travel home.
 
Head Ranger's Home in the 1940's
Bunkhouse


 William decided to leave a mark of his passing....
 
While Will was at our house, he set out to accomplish this mighty jigsaw puzzle. Quite an impressive goal, considering how little we were actually home. He was working on it, right up to the time that we left for Portland and the flight home to West Virginia. He almost made it, and so Papa and I finished the final few pieces when we got back and Will, here it is. The final finished product. Windsor Castle complete.
What a treat, to have time with a very special young man.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Flower Blessings

 I planted this Helleborus or Lenten Rose last spring to have a growing cycle before blooming spring 2015. To my surprise, as I was raking leaves, I came across all these beautiful blooms just peeking out through the dead leaves. After pushing the leaves away, I have a beautiful plant to enjoy in November. Even as the foliage is dying, the blooms are breaking forth. It's been an amazing autumn for us, the longest and brightest in recent memory. I have a number of plants still blooming, as of today November the 6th.  
Reluctantly, I cut this beautiful double hollyhock down as I was doing my fall clean-up yesterday. You have to understand, we usually get our first frost about the 3rd week-end of August. So all this flower goodness in November is just incredible. I for one am loving it!
*Next post I will finish up Julie's trip to Oregon

Thursday, October 30, 2014

So Good!

 We had a lot of fun during Julie's visit, beginning with fun times at home.
Singing on the back patio....
 Cooking good meals....
 Hanging out and visiting with Mr. Neal....

and just generally smelling the flowers. So good to have them here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

3 Members of the Jones Family Come to Visit

In September, we had a wonderful visit from Julie, William and Bronwyn. William came to stay for two weeks, and Julie and Bronwyn thought they would accompany him on his way to Papa's house. We all had such a good week together.

One morning miss Bronwyn had on my apron, and had her sippy cup. But she found Grammie's big one in the cupboard.
She is queen of "I can do it myself, please". So she tried to use the water in the door of the refrigerator to get a drink. Then with the top on, she was all set to go.
Success, and a happy girl!
Can you tell Grammie was delighted to have her visit?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I was 22 that autumn....

 
 I was 22, newly released from Fall college classes due to morning sickness earlier that spring. We were expecting our first baby, I was in my 3rd trimester, and feeling great. I had a lot of free time on my hands, with my husband working night shift, and finishing his undergrad classes to graduate in December. The weather was warm and sunny, with beautiful blue-sky days. I often spent my mornings doing chores, then sorting and re-organizing my stash of baby clothes and things, smelling each precious sweet item before folding it and laying it away.
After lunch, I went walking along the sidewalks in LaGrande, under big leafy trees bright with their autumn colors against the vivid blue sky. John would sleep in the afternoons, and being a light sleeper, I left the apartment so he could get his rest.
 
I ate a fresh crisp apple every day as I walked, and I was amazed how healthy and good I was feeling. I had been told how miserable pregnancy was, and how swollen and awful I would feel, yet none of that happened. I canned jars of golden peaches in our small apartment, and John helped me make applesauce from Rome Beauty apples on the weekend. We even made bright red apple jelly from the apple peelings. We had so little, and we had so much. Each day seemed golden and blessed as they blended one into the other that autumn.
 
 Then came the early morning on November 4th, that John got home after getting off work at the hospital. I was sitting up in a chair as he came in and found out that we were going to have our baby two weeks early. Later that day, our lives changed and so did the weather, as our beautiful daughter Joy Emily was born in the middle of a huge snowstorm. I remember holding my new daughter tight, all bundled snugly in a new blanket, and watching the snowflakes whirl and swirl past the hospital window. Autumn gave way to winter and the two of us gave way to life's new season.
 
 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Yellow Pine, Idaho

 While we were visiting the Cascade/McCall area of Idaho, my brother-in-law wanted to show us a remote area close by where he lands his small plane and camps with others of like mind. It's only open a few months during the summer, and was closing up Labor Day week-end after we visited. The closest 'town' to the airstrip is this, Yellow Pine. We drove around and checked everything out, and saw the few hardy souls who call this place home. Again, most of the people and business's were packing things up and leaving for the winter. We did find one cafĂ© open, so were able to have lunch there.
 
 
Honestly, it was the worst burger I've ever had! Burnt, dry and tough, but enough to get us by and quiet the stomach rumbles. I don't think they get many customers. Nice enough place however. It was a fun day's trip driving up through the mountains and seeing some beautiful county.
 
Back in Cascade, we stopped by some friends who own a Dodge dealership and enjoyed their Dodge Ram made out of barbed wire. You know you are in the backwoods when their sculptures are barbed wire....
 
and that night we enjoyed a movie at their old theatre. It was all fixed up so cute, and the doors and handles are made to look like old-time movie reels. Inside it's decorated all red and black, with tile floors and cute bathrooms. Who cares about the movie??
 
 


Monday, September 29, 2014

A Treasure in Cascade, Idaho

On Labor Day, the insurance guy and I took a trip with my brother and sister-in-law to the McCall Idaho area. They usually fly in there, in their small plane, but they had discovered a treasure that they wanted to share with us, so we all drove in one vehicle. The treasure is called http://www.theashleyinn.com/and is in Cascade, Idaho.
 
A front porch like home greets you as you enter.
This is part of the lobby, and there are small sitting areas all around, complete with china tea cups and saucers. My eyes were huge as we entered and I saw all the beauty of this special place. It is full of wallpaper, and I am a huge fan! I thought wallpaper had all gone away in favor of paint, but it has all gone here (big smile!) Another special feature of the lobby is soft music playing 24-7, basically instrumental hymns and classical string quartet music.
This staircase right out of a fairytale leads you upstairs to their three floors of rooms. Our room had been reserved and was on the 3rd floor.
This loveseat was out in the hallway across from the alcove where our room door was located.
Room address outside each door...
4-poster beds in each room, gas fireplaces with a mantel, small desk, bay window alcove with another loveseat....
 
and white wicker table with tray for late night snacks? and did I mention the beautiful wallpaper?
 The bathroom was another huge room, complete with white shuttered windows, a jetted spa bathtub, and this cute sink.
 
The next morning we came down the staircase for breakfast, which was in this special breakfast room. You can only see the one bay window table here, but it is a huge room with lots of seating and food all around 2 sides of it. They have homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, homemade cheese and egg casseroles and lots of other fruit and cereal and pastry choices. It was delightful.
 Outside there is a large deck where you can eat when the weather co-operates. In our case we opted for this window seat as it had rained all during the night. They also have a lovely white gazebo, of course, with seating, and complete with a small waterfall.

 In the evenings they serve fresh baked cookies with coffee or milk for a bedtime snack. Wow! This is my cup of tea! There is lots more I could say about this treasure, along with the rates are just great, but that's enough for a tantalizing bit. If you're ever in the area...