Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Gifts

It's a white Christmas in Central Oregon...a beautiful Christmas Eve. Here are two links to something special as my gift to you. (Click on the gray lines to access the links.)

The Word goes forth in a wonderful way...God is still at work in America

This is a video, so scroll down a bit until you see the photo and then click on the arrow in the red box. Watch all the way to the end, and have a kleenex handy!

WWI Christmas Truce 100 Years Later...

One disclaimer here: this is an advertisement, albeit a wonderful one. It was done by an English chocolate company, Sainsbury's, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion. It's really worth watching. If you want to know the history of the historic WWI Christmas Truce go here: This lady has done the research, and written out the story well.

Merry Christmas, and Lord willing we'll meet again in 2015!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Final photos from Julie's Trip

A last group of photos from Julie's visit...remembering it has been a lot of fun!
We drove to Burns to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa while Julie, Bronwyn and William were here. On Saturday, the men got up early and left for breakfast at the truck stop and a trip to the High Desert.
Meanwhile us girls went to the annual Cowbell Breakfast, which was a fun treat. Julie had not done this since childhood. The cowboy ranchers cook and serve the breakfast, consisting of a hearty beef steak, pancakes and eggs (with a shot of whiskey on the side : )
We went inside to eat, and Bronwyn is patiently waiting for her breakfast.
 Grandma is always happy to go and visit with her friends as well as enjoy the coffee.
We enjoyed a good day together, which also included the Burns Parade, and a visit to the Harney County Fair. The men got home later that day, and they arrived none the worse for wear, just a little dusty.
 The insurance man loves to visit the desert on the land of some friends, and was eager to take Will along.
 They had a good day, and were fairly successful. Always a good day in the insurance mans' book.

We all enjoyed a good church service on Sunday,
 and then a good family dinner together.
  One of the reasons Julie particularly wanted to visit on this trip, was the fact that Grandma and Grandpa were moving after 50+ years in the same house. She got to see the old house and show William, before they moved.

 Grandma and Grandpa were ready for a smaller house and a little more retired style of living at 93 and 92 years of age.
 They moved basically just around the corner later that month, and are very cozy in their new little home.
We all had such a good time together, and we were all glad that Julie could make it. BTW, Julie is due with her 9th child, a boy, in mid-January.
A trip back to the Portland airport, and a little time with sister Joy in Woodland, Washington before flying home for Bronwyn and Julie. Will stayed with us for an additional week before he too flew back to West Virginia. Such a treat to have him alone for a week with Grammie and Papa. It's quickly becoming a favorite memory.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Thanksgiving Feast

My heart is full of gratitude this week, with the anticipation of a table full of loved people enjoying a wonderful meal together (not to mention a Seahawks game). However, my mind constantly returns to the reason we celebrate, our Great God who rains down blessings on His creation. I read a post that says it better than I could, so if you need a mind reset, or a little break, follow the link for a small moment of blessing. The Thanksgiving Feast    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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

 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.