Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pride In His Work

Our youngest son Ian works for Oregon Memorial, one of about eight people in the nation who are proficient at laser engraving on memorials and monuments. Glass art is another aspect of the job as well, where every color of the rainbow can be added to the memorial giving those left behind a stunning memory of a loved one who has passed. 
We have always been very proud of our two sons as I am sure most parent are, but one thing that always strikes me proud is their old fashioned work ethic. Strong work ethics in today's youth is sorely lacking. I will get off my soap box here because that is not the idea of this post.
Ian climbed quickly in the company not just because of his work ethic but mostly because of his artistry. He was given some of the most prestigious jobs and a crew to go with it. MeMa and I decided we would take advantage of an open day and head out to see some of the work our son did. First stop was Springfield and the Vietnam Memorial the city commissioned.
Vietnam Memorial -  Springfield Oregon
Click on the photo to enlarge, the detail of the soldier is amazing, as though he is standing in front of you

Glass art
Our next stop was the state capital, Salem and the World War II Memorial.
World War II War Memorial

Oregon State Capital building
The Cherry trees are stunning at this time of year
A beautiful day out with my love.
Our last stop was Silverton and a small city park dedicated to the citizens of Silverton who gave their lives during the Wars.
Silverton War Memorial

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Road Trip - Day Four Sliding Into Five

Day four was for the most part, spent preparing for our return to Portland and taking my brother in to see his primary doctor. Later my father treated everyone to a wonderful meal at Blue Water Grill.
Very scrumptious seafood
 Day five started out early after saying goodbye to my brother Don and saintly family friend Don G. who has been taking care of everything while my brother has been ill. We could not have left for Portland if it were not for our confidence in his management of the whole situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Don.

Right after this thank you my computer decided it had enough and just quit working the rest of the trip. I was unable to comment on any blogs I follow as well as completing any posts. We are home now and life for the most has returned to normal except for this miserable chest cold that I brought back to Portland with me and promptly shared with MeMa.......sorry, love.

When we left Arizona we left blue sky and a desert that had not dried out yet from 100+ temps. So as you can see there is still green in them thar hills.
Joshua tree - Yucca brevifolia
Believe me there is no shortage of these odd looking trees
After traveling many miles, we felt we needed to treat ourselves at some of the local Casinos
MeMa made me promise we would not eat at the boring and unhealthy chain restaraunts so.....Zingos is not a chain or fast food establishment. The food was surprisingly good. 
With record rainfall in California the hills that are normally golden brown are as green as any hill in Oregon

We quickly went from blue sky and dry pavement to heavy snow and very little pavement.
I truly enjoyed my trip, sadly unable to spend quality time with my twin brother but happy to have been able to spend some time alone on the road with my father. Thanks Dad for always being ready to travel that next roadway.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Road Trip - Day Three

The day before I arrived here in Phoenix my twin brother was preparing one of the upstairs guest rooms for my stay. He was trundling a box of books down the stairs when he had a severe asthma attack and blacked out a fell down the stairs. It has been three days and the only time he has been able to leave his bed is when I through a fit yesterday and told him he was going to get into the car and go to urgent care. They are treating him for the asthma but also a lung infection. So loaded up on antibiotics he will continue to be bed ridden the rest of my stay. Today I planted four hanging baskets of annuals, removed some flowering plants in his desert landscape that triggered his allergies, planted some lavenders and some gorgeous perennials called kangaroo paws and did some light pruning. This is the first physical labor that I have done since my surgery and I feel wonderful.

It was a morning well spent before the temperature reached 98

The pond got a bit of a facelift with some new plantings of lavender and kangaroo paws 

Kangaroo paws? Not in Oregon 

The bougainvillea is in full bloom 

I removed several large blooming Arizona yellow bells because my brother is very allergic to them.
I was quite surprised to find a nice cactus that I planted several years ago.

My twin brother is a collector, one is nice but more is better

 Front entry

 Rooms are filled with art
And books and more books


After working hard in the yard my father and I with long time family friend Don drove to Cave Creek for a delicous lunch at our favorite Mexican Restaraunt.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Road Trip- Day Two

Today we drove to Jerome, an ancient copper mining town that survives today on the tourist trade. It is also home to the "Haunted Hamburger ".

The atmosphere of the restaurant was as much fun as the food was great

Direction was simple and direct

After lunch we walked around town visiting a few of the many galleries and shops. We happened across this wishing well. Click on the photo you will be able to see the many coins around the toilet err wishing well.

The Arizona scenery was beautiful as well as the 95 degrees weather

Arizona wildlife 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Road Trip - Day One

My father who has been staying with my twin brother at his Arizona home decided he would like to return home to Portland.......great......fantastic, except he bought a car. So flying home is out of the picture.

This old gardener planted his feet on the famous PDX airport carpet.

Actually this trip came at a good time as the previous week I underwent surgery number four so a little recuperating in the Arizona sun will speed the process. I will stay a few days then my father and I will test drive that new car back to rainy Portland. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Checking On The Cabin

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit (not a spot of snow left here in the city), I have been able to get out in the gardens and get a few things cleaned up. Back in the ice and snow I took a nasty tumble, not breaking anything but evidently bruised or twisted somthing in my right shoulder. So after a bit of gardening, that shoulder really starts to scream at me. I have done a pretty good job of ignoring it and plan on spending all of tomorrow in the garden -  shoulder be damned.
Today however, we rose fairly early and headed up to the cabin which has been left unattened since October. It has been a bit of a worry but since the high elevation of that area has seen much more snow than we did here in the city, it was imposible for us to reach it.
So after loading a few things into the back of the car that might come in handy, we stopped and got some coffee and breakfast sandwiches and off we drove. Once we left the freeway and started climbing, we could see a bit of snow along the verges but all the roadway was clear and dry for the entire drive. I don't know what I was expecting, but everything was fine at the cabin. We did have to clean piles of leaves and debris off the decks and reposition the cover over the deck chairs and table. While MeMa tidied things up inside, I refilled bird feeders and loaded things back into the car. When I had my head in the car, the neighbors came to see if I had anything for them......
Showing this charming young lady what a "selfie" was, but she was more interested in a good ear nuzzle. When I attempted to continue a conversation, she grabbed hold of my shoulder and snorted spittle and putrid deer breath into my ear.
Then I realized she was only sweet talking me whilst her spouse attempted to empty the freshly filled bird feeders.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Night time snowfall 

Like his garden this old gardener has been.........dormant, yes that is how I shall describe my absence.
I have received some very kind inquiries as to my well being, my being is doing well at this time. Having gone through a third surgery for bladder cancer, a dose of chemo when they removed the third and hopefully last tumor. This experience sort of knocked the wind out of me and found myself slowing down a bit, ignoring the gardens and greenhouse. Winter has set in and even tonight as I sit here typing snow is falling, expected to cover everything with four inches of snow that will shut us indoors for yet a while longer since the last storm that brought the whole city to a halt.

Monkey Puzzle tree covered with snow

In the morning light we soon discovered the expected four inches had grown to twelve inches of snow. After my morning cuppa the first line of duty was to refresh the frozen hummingbird feeders.
As I stepped out on the walkway the little Anna's hummingbirds scolded me for keeping them waiting. Some things never go dormant.

It's so amazing how quiet the world becomes with a blanket of snow.