Sunday, August 28, 2011

Early Sabbath Morning

"O Lord,

I commune with thee every day,

but week days are worldly days,

and secular concerns reduce heavenly impressions.

I bless thee therefore for the day sacred to my soul

when I can wait upon thee and be refreshed;

I thank thee for the institutions of church

by use of which I draw near to thee and thou to me;
I rejoice in another Lord's Day

when I call off my mind from the cares of the world

and attend upon thee without distraction;

Let my rest be devout,

my conversation edifying,

my reading pious,

my hearing profitable,

that my soul may be quickened and elevated.

I am going to the house of prayer,

pour upon me the spirit of grace and supplication;

I am going to the house of praise,

awaken in my every grateful and cheerful emotion;

I am going to the house of instruction,

give testimony to the Word preached,

and glorify it in the hearts of all who hear;

may it:

enlighten the ignorant,

awaken the careless,

reclaim the wandering,

establish the weak,

comfort the feeble-minded,

make ready a people for their Lord.

Be a sanctuary to all who cannot come,

And do thou bestow upon me:

forgiveness towards my enemies,

peaceableness towards my neighbors,

openness towards my fellow-believers."

From: Book of Puritan Prayers

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Waiting For an Updated Kitchen

It seems that every summer we get the itch to do another 'project'. I am so enjoying last summer's project, which was a new seating area and rock flower beds out in the garden. This year we decided to have a few upgrades done to our 1980 kitchen.

This is how it looked last week-end after I emptied out all of the cupboards. We are having our cabinets refinished. The doors are all in the shop to be sanded. Strange to see it all empty.

What a good opportunity to clean out the kitchen cupboards! We are also getting new counter tops, and this photo shows the tile we have enjoyed for 20 years now, just before it got torn out. The grout was never done right, and would not stay in the cracks, where it belonged. But I did want a 'just for the memory' photo of it.

We decided on moving the refrigerator over to the far left, and are having a new deep cupboard built for the right of the frig, and over the top of it. I am thrilled with the new storage space, and can't wait! This also shows the wallpaper that we are leaving on the walls. We stripped off the top paper and old border, and are painting it a light creamy yellow. It will simplify the look considerably.

Of course, the insides of the cupboards must go somewhere... why not in the living room? The insurance man told me I sure had an awful lot of stuff! and of course I told him that all women do, it's just normally all stuffed and hidden.

We had our old light fixture removed (which took up almost all of that ceiling), the drywall patched and new can lighting installed. The light is SO much better : )

Now the counter top man has arrived, to cut the new stone. We decided on 'Quartz', which is made from the tailing's of granite, with the same qualities, but much cheaper.

Here is one photo of the quartz counter top. No grout to mess with or clean. I'm going to like that.

And this is what it looks like today....a GIANT mess. They are doing the sanding and staining of the cupboards. We are hoping to darken the oak a bit, and remove the yellowing that happens to oak as it ages. I think those dry boards will just soak up the new stain and finish.

I can't wait for the finished product, and for the chance to post some 'post' kitchen work photos. Stay tuned....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Original Tour Photos

Ah....those were the days!

Several have asked me questions about the insurance man's tour with the Choralairs. And since our reunion last week-end, we now have many original photos shared by all the members, so I have some to post. The Choralairs were put together by a man from Yakima, Washington named Tex Yearout. It started around 1960 and lasted until 1967. The insurance man toured and sang with them on their last trip. Tex would find musically talented teens from all over the U.S. and even Canada, and they would travel in the bus in the photo above, all summer around the United States. It involved a small choir of voices, and a live 'band' of instruments, often including such things as a harp and marimba. The teens were all Christians, and sang and shared their faith in many venues, but mostly in churches.
Of course, after seeing that bus, you would know that it broke down OFTEN. Many of the stories shared at the reunion were about the broken down times, out in the heat of the mid west or east coast. In this photo, the insurance man says that the van following the bus had broken down, and they were transferring music equipment that they would need that night for their concert into the bus.

Here is a photo of the choir in their performance clothes, and the insurance man is the guy on the top right, with glasses. Guys had bow ties, and girls gloves! They actually had three different sets of clothes to wear for performing; two formal and one informal.

Here is the other formal set. The guys changed jackets, pants, ties and pocket handkerchiefs, while the girls had shorter dresses, and wore black gloves and shoes this time.
The insurance man is on the end nearest the trombone. In these photos you can't really see the instrumentalists.

The guy in the tan jacket was the 'narrator', who did no singing or playing, but most of the talking. The insurance man is waiting his turn to give his testimony of Jesus in his life.

This is a photo of the insurance man's friend Wayne Field, who sang and played the trumpet. With him is Barb, but the insurance man doesn't remember what they were holding up. (It's only been 44 years!) Barb was at the reunion, but unfortunately Wayne wasn't able to make it due to work commitments.

Of course there was time for fun too, and goofing off. The insurance man is on the bottom right in the print shirt, and Wayne is on the 2nd row left in his 'shades'.

The kids got to see America first hand, and 1967 was a turbulent time. The insurance man was in Detroit during the riots there, and saw many Viet Nam protests at colleges all across our country. I think the tour was instrumental in many of these kids' lives in helping them to grow up and develop character, in learning to accept responsibility, and cement their faith. It has remained a wonderful memory for the insurance man, and now we both have wonderful memories of the reunion, and in seeing first hand what God has done in lives as a result of the Choralairs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another Fun Trip

In 1967, at age 17, the insurance man toured the United States with a singing group called the 'Campus Choralairs'. This past week-end we traveled to Renton (Seattle) Washington, to attend the first-ever reunion of those teenagers,,,,44 years later.

This is not the whole group that toured, but a good amount of them. There were about 80 people in attendance, and it included tours from 1961-1967. We had a wonderful time, singing and sharing on Friday night and Saturday. Then, on Saturday night we enjoyed a very nice salmon/steak dinner on board a ship that left from the Seattle waterfront, and toured Elliott Bay and Vashon Island. The weather was perfect, and as we returned the full moon rose and the lights of the city emerged. A memorable experience.

The boat was very comfortable, and I loved seeing Puget Sound first-hand once again.

John and Jaque Colombe were there from California. John was the Pastor's son in Burns, when the insurance man was just a small boy. In fact, the insurance man informed him that John gave him his first black eye. Not on purpose of course! On Sunday we had a wonderful brunch, and worship service before leaving.

Next, we drove through Seattle to meet friends Martha & Dan Vanderpool in Edmonds for lunch on the water.

We caught the Kingston ferry from Edmonds, so we could visit the insurance man's sister Beth over in Paulsbo. Another beautiful day, and it's always fun to ride a ferry : )

Beth & the insurance man, catching up a bit. We had a great visit with her, and were so glad we stopped by. She wanted us to take this photo of her cat 'Henry', but I didn't know he was licking his chops at the time.

A very nice kitty, is Henry. After leaving Beth, we drove down the Olympic Peninsula, then back to I-5 below Olympia, and on down to Joy's for the night. It was a memorable trip, and we were so glad we went. God's abundant blessings were everywhere!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This is the way we think of August, isn't it? Ice cream, barbecues and hot weather. But this year August is not usual here in Central Oregon. As I type this, it's going on 10 am in the morning, and it's only 59 degrees outside. I have been cold for days (like putting on socks before bed, closing the windows and piling on extra blankets) but determined not to put on the heat. It's unnatural to turn on the furnace in August! After a very cool and wet July, I just kept hoping that summer was around the corner and would come out in August. Hm....a couple of days ago our paper reported the following temps for the day: 86 high and 39 low. Yikes, that's a swing of 50 degrees! The 86 degree part felt good, but my body and my garden just didn't know what to do with the 36 degree part.

I have these beautiful blooms on my peas right now....along with my fall mums putting on their buds. Nature is very understandably confused.

I have several big flower pots, both hanging and on the ground, looking pretty showy considering, but the problem isn't how to water enough (like a usual summer) but how to dry them out! One big pot just sits there soaking, even though I haven't watered it in weeks. Weird.

Coreopsis and Lamb's ear. The flower garden looks pretty good as it enjoys the cooler weather. But oh my, the veggies! I'm pretty sure there will never be enough sun to ripen my squash, tomatoes and beans. They are just now blooming with the peas. Oh well, another failed gardening attempt in Central Oregon. It won't be the first. But this summer is a first in the 27 years we have lived here.

The hummingbirds have finally showed up, just in time to enjoy the hollyhocks before frost! I am enjoying my garden, but it's not been warm enough to sit out yet at night. I am going to have to soak up what sun I can for winter.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thank you!!

I don't even know who took this picture. I was looking through the group of images that I just uploaded and found it. But the fact that it was taken, along with a lot of other evidences, point to one thing: the girls LOVE the new cupcake set that Mom sent them! These wooden cupcakes have plastic "frosting" tops, wooden candles that attach with Velcro, sturdy muffin papers, complete with wooden muffin tin to hold them. But that's not all. The best part, which is a huge hit with the girls, are the special markers included that resemble a tube of icing. The markers are used to decorate the plastic tops, adding sprinkles or other designs. They wipe away with a paper towel to be redesigned again later. Seriously? This has been hours of delighted fun for them. Ingenious toy, made by Melissa and Doug, among their many other ingenious creations. Ingenious Grammy for picking it out. :)