The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

iHeart downtown

She claimed to be bored.  
I knew I had to get her out of the house and away from her electronics, so I offered some suggestions...

Do you want to go to the park?
Do you want to go to the lake?
Do you want to go to the mall?
Do you want to go to the movies?
Do you want to go to the club and swim?

Sigh.  School starts next week.  I think I am excited about it...

I decided that I would just do my thing and take her along.  I'm on a hunt for the "perfect" bookcase for my new house, so today was the day to hit up three Goodwill stores, seven or eight antique/vintage/re-store shops, a furniture store, and Walmart.  No luck.  We did end up downtown, however, which offered up its own share of interesting sights.  

For instance, someone knitted a neck warmer for one of the street signs.  Who does this?  I mean, despite the few indicators of the approaching autumn, it's not even that cold out yet.

I have no idea how this thing got attached to the pole.
While driving around, we spotted quite a few of these sculptural hearts downtown.  Apparently, there were 30 fiberglass hearts created to raise awareness of heart disease.  They will be auctioned off in September to help fund a heart center at a local hospital.  They are 6 feet tall- each with its own themed decorating job.

Then we did go see the new main library.  It's been open for over a year now, but we never get downtown so it was still new to us.  It's 5 stories, with a great children's section and even a room for teens to hang out, read, and play video games.  We saw three of my former students there- must be a fun place to be!

The lobby of the library was huge and very cool.

The fifth floor has a nice outdoor space with a great view of downtown and even across the river.

The children's area was more like a children's museum place space.  It's only for ages 0 to 7 - with a parent, and parents are asked to leave all electronics out of the area and leave cell phones off.  
I guess parents these days have to be taught how to engage with their kids.
This is the teen room.  Today the kids were learning to crochet.
There were four boys and three girls in the group, but I didn't get faces in the picture because of privacy issues.
Tomorrow and Thursday I have meetings all day.  Here we go!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three cheers for Mr. & Mrs. B!

These people attend my church.  They look like your average, mild-mannered seasoned citizens, but they have a secret super-power...

They babysit dogs.

They consider it their ministry to help people who need their dogs boarded.  And... AND they don't charge for it.


Who does that?

Seasoned Citizen Super Heroes.

They have had my dog for three months now.  There's no fenced yard at my parents' place, so good old Friday (the black one) has lived with Mr. & Mrs. B and their dog.  (I think their dog had better manners before hanging out with our scoundrel, but they put up with Friday anyway.) We go visit about three times a week to take one or both of the pups for a walk.  It is obvious that our dog has been treated well and feels at home with them.  He is so much better off than if we had to put him in a kennel.  It has been such a load off of our minds for the summer.

And not only have they been our dog-sitters this summer, but we have had time to visit and get to know them- they have become our friends.

Words are not enough to thank them for this gift they have given us!
What a blessing to know these folks!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


So... we have a verbal acceptance of my offer on the house.  Woo-hoo!  While I am not going to count my chickens until they have hatched and walked across the dotted line, I am slowly making plans and purchasing a few items that are needed/wanted for the new place.

It's my goal to not buy new- but get almost everything from garage sales, thrift stores, and craigslist.

So far, so good.

I have two $80 bar stools from Pier One that I got for $15 each on craigslist.  Win!

I also have six dining chairs- the kind I have always wanted- $250 for the set on craigslist. Win!
Now, you can get this kind of chair brand new from Emeco for $470 (Yes, that's ONE chair!), or from other vendors for around $200 each, but these were used and a great bargain at just under $42 each- gum included.  Yup.  They were quite grungy and some had years of icky splashed stuff and gum on the undersides, but they cleaned up nicely and are ready to be moved into the new abode.
The back ledge- full of dust and grease.
Underneath.  Can you spot the white gum?  Some chairs had 3 chunks of gum in a variety of colors!
My awesome dad had fun getting the grunge off with his power washer.  
I think these will be excellent replacements for the Ikea chairs that were doing temporary duty in the dining room.

Maybe next week we can get into the place and start taking measurements!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Getting my craft on.

So, we've been living with the folks since May 24.  All my craft stuff- paper, glue, photos, paint, glitter, fabric, etc. is in storage.  The back of the storage unit, not near the door.

Part of what makes a summer great is that I have time to make stuff.  I was missing my crafty things and moping about mom's sewing room when I spied it- the only craft project that escaped the moving van...

An unfinished quilt.

It's a machine-pieced quilt that I started at mom's about 13 years ago.  It's been sitting in a shoebox ever since- just waiting for me.  Don't judge- I've been busy since then.  What have I been doing?  Well, I went to China and bought a kid, and then, uh, I've been, uh...

What was the question?

Anyhoo, I got a paper-piecing refresher course from mom and then started sewing, ironing, and cutting again.

Here's what the finished product will look like:

And here's some of the steps and progress so far:

I have 19 more small stars to piece together and then some borders and then the quilting!

It's very motivating to see it almost completed!  It's motivating enough to get me back to the sewing machine to do the worst part- piecing the stars.  I can't go on auto-pilot, I have to think about each bit before I sew, and then I have to pray that the machine will be kind to me and not run out of bobbin thread mid star...
I don't like sewing.  My other quilts were pieced by hand.  It's slower, but not nearly as frustrating as battling the machine.

I'll post more pics when the top is completed and when the whole thing is quilted.  But don't hold your breath- school is starting soon!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What and what and what? Oh my!

One morning, we explored the town a bit.
There is something ahead... a sign, something else standing there...
Ah, the sign says ice cream wi-fi.
(I prefer ice cream sundaes, but... whatever.)
And the thing standing there... it looks like... could it be...?  
A bear!
A baking bear.
A baking bear with "beary" good pie!!!
Ice cream and wi-fi and BEARS!  Oh my!

The bears are a part of a fund raising effort from Evergreen Federal Bank, and there are more to explore...

After their bear experience, the girls decided to become pirates on the high seas. 
We hope you enjoyed our time on the southern Oregon coast as much as we did!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

There are no bears on the beach

We headed through the smoke of several wildfires to the southern Oregon coast to meet up with some friends last weekend.  Our relationship started in China in 2002 when we were part of seven families in the same adoption travel group.  Since then, we've been able to see each other about once a year.  Sometimes we go to our adoption agency's annual reunion, sometimes we go to the beach.

This year, we chose the beach, and it was such a nice relaxing time!  The girls explored and imagined and collected driftwood.  The adults breathed and visited and took pictures.

As you can see, there are no bears on the beach.  The thing is, life is unpredictable, and you never know where you will meet a bear...