Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Oktoberfest & the Abbey...

The best Oktoberfest in the PNW is held in Mt Angel, Oregon. 

 Friday, my SIL & BIL took me. They have hardly missed a year in twenty five years (even in years that my BIL was at sea, SIL packed up the kids and went). It was my first time, and hopefully far from my last.

On the way down from Vancouver we passed beautiful old barns, and neat farms.

On arrival we had a few local brats & beers then parked my BIL in the big beer garden...

 My SIL, who knows much of the history of the region proceeded to give me a walking tour of Mt Angel. Starting with St Mary's.


We listened to two harpists playing inside St Mary's. It was magical.
After a bit of a walk we boarded a wagon pulled by a tractor for the trip up the hill to the Abbey.  Winding our way through the big trees, past the beautiful stations of the cross tucked in among them. After arrival at the abbey my SIL told me a bit of the history of the abbey.
This beautiful and peaceful monastery/seminary was started by Benedictine monks who migrated from Switzerland around 1882. It is located atop Mt Angel which is an approximately 500' butte. There is a beautiful church,

 a world class library that contains over 200K books including rare and hard to find ones, a museum, a retreat house, a bookstore and a coffee shop. The monks have opened a brewery where they handcraft "Black Habit" beer. The brewery is called the Benedictine Brewery. It was nice having my own personal guide as she had many stories about the abbey. 
 We met a group of Benedictine monks and chatted with them for a while. Quite the characters they were.

After a ride back down the hill, we hooked up with my BIL and some friends of theirs. An old family to the area. They have a restaurant in Mt Angel and some family members play music in the beer garden. The beer garden crowd was having a good time.

I have no idea who this fellow was, but he was happily waiting for the chicken dance to start...

Flowers were everywhere.

What a wonderful venue: clean, neat small town with great brats, beer, and friendly people.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fall is in the air...

Fall is in the air here and as GrannyMid would say the shadows are growing longer...

I have no tales of daring do or adventure to share, just life. 
We have the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, Yay! I know the guy across the street is dying to know what I'm putting on it...  I fill the hopper in the backyard so he doesn't know what it is, which is not very nice of me...
Sean has been away on one of his mill projects for almost two weeks.  Sent him some pics of travel trailers for sale. He commented back that because of his OCD he didn't care for any of them. I thought he might have gotten that trait from the Cowman... til I took an OCD test and scored a 100% in record time, no less. Damn!

JC, Sean's oldest daughter, has spent the summer with us.  Working and playing and pulling her act together.  She has decided to live with us and go to high school here for her senior year.  Big change, but she is doing well, and only needs half day classes to get enough credits to go on to college or trade school. She works the other half of the day.  
There is a boyfriend in the picture.

He's a good guy, hard worker, very respectful of JC's granny (me) and has been warned by both Sean and his dad (Sean's best friend) that he is to be very good to JC or else it will seriously not go well for him. 
Miss B (Sean's youngest) came and spent a week with JC & I. We did some shopping for school supplies. Her auntie took her clothes shopping as she knows all the cool places. 

 Being just the opposite in personality of JC she is very quiet, but smart as all get out and an old soul. She starts her sophomore yr of HS, and will be back to spend as much time as possible with us. 
No matter how much planning I do God seems to send me where I'm needed.  As the house is full of kids, the smell of cookies baking, loud country music, and laughter I'm good with that.

Thursday, August 23, 2018


One of my favorite pieces of music is "Ashokan Farewell". Jay Ungar composed it in 1982. I listened to and loved it before it became a famous part of Ken Burn's Civil War series.

 For the back story on this beautiful music: 


Monday, August 13, 2018

The salmon creek journal...

Went to the NatureScaping Wildlife Botanical Gardens in Brush Prairie with my sister-in-law, last week. It has many themed gardens, it's kinda rustic, but gives you a good idea of what you can grow here.

 The gardens are just across the road from a working dairy. 

Who would think I would miss the smell of hay fields and cows.  I sure do and liked it when I saw springers in one of the barns.

I didn't know about the botanical gardens til I was out early early one morning weeding in the front yard. Having wandered out front so early I plum forgot I was still wearing my sparkly slippers (a present from one of my SIL's who thought I needed more sparkle in my life). The next door neighbor came out to see what I was up to. Soon we were talking gardens while we pruned one of Sean's shrubs. She told me about the botanical gardens. Oh, and that she loved my sparkly slippers.

On Saturday night we took the big & small kids to the Clark County Fair and watched the Tuff Trucks. Lots of hoot'n & holler'n & foot stomp'n. Tuffest truck was the one that lost forward gear near the end of the course, put'er in reverse and finished!  Then the littlest wanted to go on a ride so off we went to the flying machines.  

Sunday was early mass for me, while the rest of the crew was in recovery mode.  In the afternoon Sean hooked up the boat, loaded up all the kids and took them to the river for wake boarding and tubing.  I stayed home to finish making a rice salad, and a fresh peach salsa for dinner at Sean's friends.   They fixed Mahi Mahi, Halibut, & Beef tacos.  Super tasty. 

Today, Sean worked from home. After he was done we took the "new to me" ride to several RV places to look at travel trailers. I don't want anything too big or fancy. We found a couple that might work for me. It was good to have Sean along, he's a big tall guy, so he tested shower, ceiling, & seating spaces, as well as asked pertinent questions of the salesmen. 

The estate stuff goes on and on and on...  My brother didn't sign the release that he received his transfer of funds from the estate's bank account. The estate attorney asked me to get verification from dad's bank, so they could take it to the court and have the estate signed off on and closed. I contacted the bank and they can give me proof that the transfer was completed. So as soon as that gets here I can fax it back down there... and maybe...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Old school...

Slough School circa 1893-1960

I started school in this one room school house. Most days I rode my bike, with several other farm kids, the three miles each way.

This is what it looked like when I was a student there.  All eight grades were taught in that one classroom. It had those wonderful old roll up maps of the United States and the World, and a big globe.

 On either side of the front of the building were small vestibules. They had places to hang your coat & lunch pail, and a sink to wash your hands in. There was a soap dispenser, with the nastiest tasting soap ever.  Don't ask...
There was a small shed to the right that housed the boys & girls restrooms.  The restrooms where always cold and full of spiders. Mostly daddy long legs, with the occasional black widow.  Other critters were visitors as well.
 The baseball field and swings were to the left. The swings were the huge old metal ones, that we were constantly trying to swing over the top of. You had to hang tight, cause soft landings were not an option.  There was a merry go round that one could get going fast enough to throw off the unwary.
Here is a picture of the entire school: students, teacher, & superintendent.  This was the last year I attended there.  If you spot the girl with short, curly, (once blonde) dark orange hair (another of mom's experiments with perms and haircuts)... keep it to yourself... lol

 It still stands along with the row of palms that line the road. Now it is private property, and a house was built on the old ball field some years back.