Friday, September 1, 2017

Thanks Again Goodwill

As charitable organizations go, Goodwill has had some bad press mostly due to the high prices they charge for items that they receive free from donations and the very high salaries managers are paid. Years ago our eldest son told us about his lucrative trips to the Goodwill Bins. We until that day were only aware of the stores, which we had gone to if we needed an inexpensive vase to give away with a bouquet of flowers. Our son would look for items that he would then sell on EBay. It is a large warehouse that is filled with long rows of bins on wheels, each bin is waist high and about twenty feet long and filled with .......junk. Until one makes it a treasure. Pushing a shopping cart one loads items in and when finished pays by the pound. Every once in a while that treasure just lands in your hands. On a recent trip I found  such a treasure........

19th century Anglo/Indian bone & ebonised sword stick.

The carved bone was the bit that caught my eye from under the pile of junk on top of it. And as soon as I brought it to the surface, three other hands tried to claim it as well. With the look of death I shot round, sole ownership was restored.

There obviously is a fare amount of wear and tear on it. I perused a few auction sites and found one with the starting price of £250. GB

But even if I don't sell, it looks rather nice with my other walking sticks.

Monday, August 21, 2017

In 1979 we had a total eclipse but it never made the press like this one. Oregon they say has been invaded by a million more people who will add to the gridlocked roads. No this old gardener and his lot will not be party to that nonsense. We will be watching it all from the safety of our front porch. Our five beautiful grandchildren came to join us Sunday night for food and fun. They will stay the night and we shall all wake in the morning, dawn our goofy glasses and return to the porch to be a part of history.

Don't know what sort of card game the three eldest had going on the other side of the porch but it involved lots of giggling.  

The two youngest were content to chat it up with MeMa and Poppi 

MeMa feeling a bit tired but looking beautiful in the evening light.

We had a bit of a panic when our Sophie disappeared. She is totally deaf so calling for her is useless. We had earlier made up an air bed in the guest room with mountains of soft blankets. Look who thought this was just for her.

In the morning while the grandchildren slept MeMa and I had a few moments to sit on the porch by ourselves and have a morning cup of coffee.

Our driveway lined up perfectly with the eclipse event, so it was not long before neighbors started arriving with their chairs.

If you want to see great photos of the eclipse don't look here.
Everyone wore their eclipse protective glasses 

The whole event turned out to be quite fun and the unexpected crowd made it even more fun.

MeMa and Poppi and our beautiful grandchildren sporting their official eclipse approved glasses

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Testing Our Sea Legs

MeMa was very skeptical about receiving a sailing excursion as a retirement gift from friend Andrea. Her idea of water activity is walking in the rain. 

Sails up, we are doing this.

Portland is the city of bridges, there are five in this shot.

The houseboats were amazing.

And some very odd

The youngest passenger proudly took the wheel while our captain manned the sails 

All sort of water traffic.

Ross Island Sand and Gravel 

She will forever be the captain of my ship.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Our Sophie at 15, totally deaf and unable to walk any distance. She spends almost the entire day in one of her many plush beds. This one is kept near the front door so when we have our morning cup of coffee on the front porch she can sun herself. 

And every so often she will muster enough energy to roll out of her bed and make sure the neighborhood is behaving itself. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Busy Lady, Busy Kitchen

MeMa was a very busy lady yesterday and thankfully we will not be running out of her spicy dill pickles. She also made sweet pickle chips as well.

She also made an apple pie, not her usual pie. The crust was a new recipe she found that was made from those frozen cinnamon rolls that come in a tube. She took one look at it and said, "She would not be eating any of it." I thought it was delicious with my morning cup of coffee.
Besides pickles and apple pie she froze green beans from the garden and the rest of the apples were layed out on the food dehydrater. A very busy lady.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Drum Beats

You know those kids that we say " March to the beat of their own drum"? That would be our granddaughter Lucy. Doesn't your mail delivery happen in pj's, hard hat and Mickey Mouse face mask?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Vivian And The Third Generation

Brooklyn asked if he could take his cousins for a spin. "Don't worry Poppi, I will treat Vivian gently".

I have posted several times about Vivian our beloved Volvo. I told MeMa, pregnant with our first born and a non driver that I would buy her any car if she would get her license. I was about to start my new career which would leave her home alone with a newborn. She said she already "picked her out". Enter Vivian. She made so many trips to the family cabin that she could probably make on her own. She made every soccer and little league practice and games for both of our sons, family holidays, fishing trips. You name it she has hauled it. Since my retirement she has become my transportation, so the bond has strengthened between us. 

Brooklyn was quite surprised when I handed him the key and said, "Keep her under forty." Turning away, I then told him, "Someday I might even open the garage door." That look on his face is priceless.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pleasantly Stepping Into The Past

Fairley's Pharmacy is a pleasant step back into our past when most pharmacies had a soda fountain. Patrons could indulge in sinful delights such as the milkshakes  MeMa and the "Little Terrorist's" Lucy and Taeya are sampling. Sad, when establishments like this disappear making it harder for us to give a glimpse of a simpler time to the younger generation. I remember plopping 25 cents and getting the same size drink that I just paid $3.00 apiece for. But if that keeps this dinosaur around for my grandchildren to enjoy, then sign me up!

Monday, August 7, 2017

MeMa's Retirement Party

Parties at Menagerie Manor require MeMa's talent in flower selection and design.

Beds received fresh black compost after being meticulously weeded

I prayed to the garden gods that MeMa's favorite agapanthus would hold their blooms for the party

They did and they tossed in my favorites, hydrangeas. 

I can't have too many, my entire collection were all started from cuttings. And they put on a radiant display.

I broke my promise of not buying any more plants but couldn't pass on this new variety of lambs ears.

Plants tumbled out of the greenhouse into the many pots and containers waiting for their moment to add to the festivities. 

So many pots 

So so many 

Banners to be hung.

Color in every corner.

All the work finished, the party girl grabs a few moments to herself......

....guess she meant it.

The caterer arrived about ten minutes before the first guest arrived 

MeMa made the first cut 

"Her is to slow" according to little Lucy, so the duty was transferred to quicker hands.

Taeya approved cake

Eldest granddaughter Aungelle and my gathering of carnivorous plants sat and caught flies.