Celebration

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Our oldest turned 39!!  We felt like Oprah… you get a pizza and you get a pizza and you get a pizza.  Bryon introduced HIS kids to “The Last Starfighter” and we all dug into the pizza of our choice.

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Ice cream for dessert and the evening was a success.  Cards and gifts were opened and wishes made.

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Father and son…a birthday filled with laughter, fun, mugging for the camera and making good memories.

 

Amazon Prime Madness

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“Try it FREE for a month…..”

Six most dangerous words online.  “Try Amazon Prime,” they said.  “You’ll love it,” they said.

Well, dang it, “they” were right and I may now be hooked.

I started my month timidly, making sure I was ONLY getting what I would otherwise buy.  Three weeks in, I’m LOOKING for things to buy.  Lord, have mercy.

It started with Divina Dolmas, the best stuffed grape leaves I have ever eaten.  One 4.4 lb can makes four meals for Hubs and myself.  Add a salad, and there ya go!  The shipping for a can a month would pay for Amazon prime (so I told myself).  What a deal.

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While searching for more goodies, I found a six pack.  I mean, who does not need 26.4 lbs of dolmas.  I sure do.  Amazon probably thinks I am part owner of a Greek restaurant.  So now I have cans stuffed around closets, etc. since our pantry can only hold one can.

The box came with 3 straight cans, two with dings, and one soundly smashed.

Will I continue Amazon Prime after the 30 days.  I do not know.  But I have enough dolmas to eat while I think about it.

Eagle Creek Fire

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Photograph and poem by Emily Bittel

Eagle Creek Fire  2017

I breathe, and smoke fills my lungs.

The forest I love is burning –

The place we first backpacked together.

The senseless loss is staggering.

 

What will be left when the burning is done?

We will shuffle through ash

Shake it from our socks into little piles on the floor of the tent.

 

Perhaps our grandchildren’s children

Will gaze up with wonder

At the lofty heights of the douglas fir

Through the filter of vibrant vine maple.

 

I pray for rain as the ash drifts down from the sky

Flakes of a forest I once knew

The last time light will shift through its leaves.

Head in my arms, I cry

 

Maybe, just maybe, my tears will water the desolation.

 

I thank Emily for sharing her personal poem.  Below is a picture from katutv, a split screen of what the Bonneville Dam looks like normally, and now during the fire.  My heart goes out to all those working the PNW fires, the critters who make the forests their home, and the forests themselves.  Photo: National Coast Trail Association

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Eclipse Totality

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Lucky to be in the line of the solar totality, my iphone slowly moved across my face causing a partial selfie-clipse.

Robert and I set up in the back yard for the August 21, 2017 event.

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We tried a variety of ways to take pictures of the event, including Robert using his phone inside his welding mask.  Sadly, we ended up with forty or so pictures of … the sun.

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Our most successful pictures were those using a pinhole in foil and shining that image on paper.

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I was most eager to experience the totality, since I have seen several partial eclipses in the past, but never one with direct coverage.  I was not disappointed.

Some of the things I had hoped for didn’t really happen: birds stopping their song, crickets singing, total darkness.

What did happen in our back yard: a neighbor narrating the event to a disinterested toddler, a couple loudly saying “look at that” over and over again, a neighborhood of viewers cheering during the moments of totality, and several people setting off fireworks.  The crickets didn’t have a chance.

I guess what surprised me the most was the temperature drop, and drop it did.  I also admit I cheered seeing something so dramatic and rare in the sky.  I understood the mechanics from science class (and the endless tweets and FB pages).  Yet, I could not help to be awe-struck by the majesty of the event.

 

House Arrest

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This could be called “Roofing, Day Two” but I like my title better.  The roofers were still hammering away on top of us.  We had grand-kiddo day care, but couldn’t leave the house.  The kids couldn’t play outside because of the falling tiles/nails/etc.  Plus, we didn’t want to leave because my husband is vital when any technical questions arise.

So….what to do…what to do??

N and I decided (after parents approval was received) that we could try my henna kit and do some hand painting.  It took a very long time….but was fun.

J and hubs were in the other room doing all kinds of buildings with jenga blocks.  They set up dominoes type designs that would fall over.

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Sure, we could have had the TV on or handed them electronics, but they only get a couple times a day to do that.

When the workers left at 3:30, we jumped in the car and they got 30 minutes of running around an arcade.  It was still 103 deg. and the yard was not yet cleaned up.  But they needed to run and jump and play a few games of air hockey.

Now if you are reading this and live in an area where you can not leave the house for days on end…my hat is off to you.  As it was, we did quite well.

Hot Time in the City!

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Living in “the valley,” our Oregon temperatures are relatively mild, which I like.  We get a few hot days in the summer and a couple of snow storms in the winter.  The rest of the seasons, we joke, include hot, warm, cool, or cold rain.

If you are having your home re-roofed, you want to pick a time that is dry, but not too hot.  The heat advisory in triple digits coincided with our re-roofing.  I worried about those guys, but they cheerfully showed up around 7 each morning and worked until 3.

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Let’s just say that the fine folks from Valley Roofing didn’t need a gym membership.  They exercised, did weight lifting, and had a sauna all in one job.  My husband would take them out cold water during breaks and ice cold watermelon and grapes during lunch.

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We appreciated their hard work, all in tripel digits.

Once I saw that they were all tethered to the roof, I no longer had visions of them fainting and rolling off. However, the noise is what got me.  I don’t know if I would survive in a big city with constant construction.  It was not just the hammering, but the compressors and the ‘bang’ when shingles fell into the truck.  By the end of the three days I was on my last nerve.

But now that it’s done, we don’t have to worry about it for 20 or 30 years.  ALLELUIA!