Downpour Rainbow At Library

I attended my first genealogical society meeting for Lebanon at the Lebanon Library. There were several people present, some new, who were older as myself. The topic presented was by one of the individuals in charge of the Linn County Historical Museum in Brownsville.

His presentation was on cemeteries, tiny small up to larger known. He visited all known cemeteries, wrote a description about the cemetery and had photos of the graves and setting. He sold a thumb drive that holds all this information for interested parties. Since my family are early pioneers in the county, I bought a thumb drive.

I am eager to view photos and info on Powell Berlin and Providence Cemeteries. My parents and maternal grandparents are buried at the Lebanon IOOF Cemetery which is the main one here in Lebanon.

As I was leaving post-meeting, a downpour of rain was happening at the library. As I got settled in my car, the rain clouds had moved north and left a full rainbow wrapping over the library (photo shown).


Cougar Sighting on Camera

We have two trail cameras on our 40 acre property. We will look at the camera cards periodically. They do take photos and videos. Look at who we caught on photo near one of our property lines on January 23rd. Here, kitty kitty.

Haying Rules

Our two fields of grass hay have reached the cutting phase and were mowed yesterday. Raking tomorrow and then baling. Hoping to get it all sold. We have a good crop this year after spraying for weeds and fertilizing. In all of this, two of my cousins reminded me of a saying my Dad used to use and is burned in their memory. "If you cut your hay before the 4th of July, you deserve to get it rained on." A Wolfenbarger rule I'd say.

haying rules-7-18-20

First Big Snow Visible

We are getting snow on the Peter Mountains and Snow Peak. Here is one of the most striking. Nothing close to the Valley floor yet.


Frosty on the Trees

It has been cold with frost on the ground and trees often. For some parts of the day, we sit in fog though it is better since yesterday afternoon till now. One can look at the trees and see the frost on the tops of the Douglas fir trees on tops of hills, buttes, and mountains.


Snow and Ice in Berlin

We got about 2 inches plus snow overnight or early yesterday morning. Then on top of that with the cold, we got freezing rain too. My fountain is full of snow and an ice block.The gargoyle does not look happy.


Storm Clouds

We had a thunderstorm sneak up on us rather quickly, more in town, than out here in Berlin. I could look off the direction of town and see the storm clouds gathering and moving partly our way.


Honey Crisp Apples

Our apple tree gives us absolutely sweet delicious honey crisp apples every year. We do love this tree. We also get Fujis and Pink Ladies but not as many.

Elk and Corn

Bob and I had a big surprise this morning when we drove on our driveway past his garden. The elk had moved through over night and had a field day eating corn stalks and corn. Even squash plants. The driveway was disturbed and big hoof prints in the dirt. The following photo is an example.

Strawberry Shortcake

I love this time of year where we have fresh strawberries from the garden and one can make homemade shortcake from Bisquick. Yum.
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Carnival Coming To Town

Bob and I followed one of the carnival rides coming to town on Monday after leaving the birthday party. Getting ready for the Strawberry Festival.

Fencing the gaps

Since I saw a pickup driving fast across our hay field to leave the property and the gates were closed, Bob has started fencing off the areas near the little barn where the fencing is down and needed to be replaced. Here is the work today.

Up and Running

Bob got my fountain that we brought from California up and running after the winter's break. It is pleasant to hear the sounds of running water. I love the fountain but it does not run as often since it gets plugged with bees and leaves. It still is a pleasure.

Unexpected Snow

We woke up to a bit of unexpected snow on the ground. Not a lot but it was cold and there was white everywhere. We did have a break in the clouds and the sun came through to shine up our world.



Public Service Award

Bob and I were surprised and humbled this evening to receive a Public Service Award for our efforts with Neighborhood Watch. Deputy Don Messick read out the award and why we were receiving it. Our Neighborhood Watch Council established in 2005 is the only one in the United State plus we also have a fairly efficient list serve going for our neighbors. What a lovely recognition of our community here in Berlin.
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Snow Day

What to our amazement is that we had snow coming down here late morning. It did not stick but it made an interesting sight. This is not due to a dirty lens but are snowflakes.

2015 Berlin Holiday Gathering

Tonight we had our annual Berlin Community gathering at the Fire Station. We had some Christmas goodies to eat along with decorations. We collected our usual donations for the troops and Safe Haven. Extra special tonight was getting together to hear about a possible company to deliver internet service out here in Berlin. The company is called Alyrica.

Approaching Storm

There was a rain and wind storm approaching today from the South. The morning looked quite sunny and bright but that soon was to go away. Here is a great sunrise look at the approaching storm clouds.

Doe and Fawns

The trail camera memory card was brought to the house for the latest round of pictures.
Here is one of a local doe and her two fawns (hiding in the grass).

A Buck A Day

The trail camera caught this great photo of an older buck on a sunlit day. His rack of antlers seem to frame the picture well.



More Little Free Libraries

I have wanted to organize a group of neighbors to build a Little Free Library here in Berlin. The Thayers could certainly provide a number of books for sharing. I just need to get myself going and find neighbors who would help build it. We have the plans for one.
It sounds like some towns and communities don't like having them around and are cracking down on them. Check it out here.

Cougar Reservoir

Here is a view from a viewpoint near the top of the earthen dam of Cougar Reservoir. This is a pretty deep reservoir since the canyon for the river is quite deep, a long way down. No boating noticed so not a fishing lake though people did camp at certain areas near it.

Sunset Anniversary Style

A sunset photo I took the evening of our anniversary. The sun was setting quite uniquely in the West. Lots of cloud shapes and color.

Wind and Rain

We finally seem to have broken the dry spell for once. Our county commissioners had declared Linn County a drought emergency. At least today we started with an almost autumn like storm with wind, gust up to 40-45 mph throughout the Valley and Portland area (more on the coast) followed by some rain storms.

45th Class Reunion

They say it is hell getting old. Yup, it sure feels that way when one attends their 45th high school class reunion. I remember going to my 10th class reunion and then Bob's the next year. I enjoyed his much more then. My class mates are nice people but I have lost touch with most and I tend to want to focus on who we are now, they want to go back to who were together then. My memories don't go back to those days to much of a degree.
The Class Reunion Picture

The Protection Squad

I got a good photo at the end of the evening with Bob, UnderSheriff Yon, and Capt. Dan Hartman. Wrapping up a very nice National Night Out in our Berlin Community at Fire Station 35.
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National Night Out 2015

Tonight was National Night Out for the community. We had between 35-40 people show up for our root beer float fest at the Fire Station. It was a fun, tasty and pleasant evening. Ryan certainly thought so as he contemplated his root beer. He wanted his PaPa to get it together and give him his float.
NNO-2015-small 8-4-15

Adult Elk

The cow elk came through the camera zone just before the calf. Here is an example of a well fed elk from our nearby herd.

Elk Calf

We got the memory card from the trail camera. Unbelievably, we had 246 photos on it and almost all were just of the area in front of the camera with no wildlife. Must have been set off by wind or a moving branch near by caused by wind. How disappointing.
We did get some elk photos, one of a younger calf. It looks like a pony here.


Fire Prevention

Our Neighborhood Watch had a meeting tonight on Fire Prevention for here in the country where we have a lot of forest land around us. The weather has been very hot and dry lately. Chad Calderwood of ODF came and spoke to us. Good information and it seemed to go over well with the neighbors. Interesting thing is that they had to leave right after to deal with fires from lightning strikes with a storm just passing on the edge of us. I tried to get photos but no such luck.


Bob cleaned out my fountain and got it running. I like the sound of running water in a fountain.
This fountain trekked from California with us. The movers hated me since it weighed so much.

Intense Rainbow

With a bright sun break through a heavy rain shower, we got a beautiful and bright rainbow showing up toward the mountains.
rainbow-5-2015 5-26-15

Rhododendron Splendor

Our white rhododendron with slightly yellow highlights is looking spectacular as always. Here is a view of it in full bloom at the time of the party.

High Waters

A pineapple express came across the Pacific Ocean and also poured rain from the clouds over this weekend. The high water mark was supposed to occur on the South Santiam River this afternoon. We took a short ride down to the Waterloo area, especially the park to view the river. The river was rushing past high and fast. The water was swirling and eddying as it headed toward the small falls near the bridge. Here is an example of the river rising near the park.

2014 Holiday Donations

We had our 2014 Berlin holiday donation drive today. As usual, lots of good treats were available. Bob made his maple-apple crisp dessert that he found recently and finds very good to eat. We had about 12 people including ourselves come through and collected a number of good things for Safe Haven shelter, the military and toys for local children. Here is Mr. Thayer sitting quite comfortable and enjoying the afternoon.

Family and Friends

We went over to our friend’s and neighbor’s home, the Winterboers, for their annual holiday dinner for neighbors.  It was fun and good food as usual. The number of interesting stories from our lives made me wonder if we should have a Berlin Tales section to anything related to Berlin, on our Facebook page, etc. Hammy.

Meanwhile, back at the other Thayer’s homestead, some were gathered around the Christmas tree getting it decorated. We could use their help here. Happy

2014 Wreath Making

The Jantzis were hosts again for the holiday wreath making. Phyllis Copeland was able to make it this year again. Renee and her friend and co-worker, Sandy Williams, came to join in the festivities this year. Everyone made some lovely wreaths and Renee was as creative as always. Randy Jantzi was good enough to take a great photo of this group of holiday wreath makers and their creations.

Those Sunrises in Berlin

A few weeks ago, we woke to one of those great winter sunrises with lots of color across the sky. I wish they could last longer since they are so wonderful and bright.

More Festival Time

Nicolas got a space alien to enjoy while waiting for the parade to start.

Ryan got to walk on his own at his first ambulatory adventure at the parade. Let me at them!


Strawberry Night Fever Parade

Bob walked in the Strawberry Festival Parade with the Fire Dept. representation. He walked alongside the big truck driven by our neighbor, Dan Hartman. The fire truck is located at Fire Station 35 right across the road from us. It is one big truck. The parade was nice and a great thing for the kids to enjoy. It was a pretty good sunburn gig for the rest of us. Here is Bob doing his civic duty in the parade.

Rest In Peace, Josi

We learned that one of our neighbors and good acquaintances out here in Berlin passed away last night. She collapsed at home Sunday morning. We became acquainted through neighborhood watch and she was always interested in keeping her area of Berlin safe and up to date on serious issues. Bob and I last spent time with her at an Easter Passover dinner in April. It was a nice evening of chatting and sharing. May she rest in peace in our Lord’s hands.

Earthquake Felt

We learned this morning that there was a 6.9 earthquake about 50 miles off the coast near Eureka, CA. The earthquake happened last night about 10:18 p.m. Now I am usually a heavy sleeper about that time. Bob on the other hand was awake and he said that he noticed the curio cabinet holding my Toby Jugs was rattling and shifting for about 30-45 seconds last evening. He wondered what was going on to cause that disturbance and Oscar the cat was also upset at the unusual noise. So it appears that it was felt all the way up here in Lebanon OR which is quite a distance. One can read about the earthquake here.

Winterboer House Sunrise

I posted a photo yesterday of the brilliant and large sunrise. Today I will post a photo of how the sunrise extended even toward the north and colored the sky above Berlin Ridge and the Winterboer’s house. It was unusual and quite pretty to see the sky so pink at that time. It did not last long though so the photos had to be quick and without a tripod.

Surprising Sunrise

We have had fewer sunrises than usual so far this fall and winter. This morning it surprised us with a truly bright spectacular and large sunrise. Large in meaning because it extended along the eastern mountains toward the hills of Berlin Ridge Rd. The colors covered a large area of the horizon, more so than usual.

Portland Versus the Rest of Oregon

Surveys can often prove what you know in your “gut” to be true. So it is with the publicizing of a recent survey of Oregon residents. The survey compared the political views of Portlanders to the 3-county region and than the rest of the state of Oregon. It confirmed that Portland was quite a bit more liberal in views than the rest of Oregon. In fact, the rest of Oregonians are pretty moderate, middle-of-the-road people. Much like I remember the state being when I was growing up..........very much on the independent side, “go our own way”. Linn County is pretty much a red county in voting, right up next to blue counties of Benton and Lane. To read a bit more about what this state is really like politically, check it out here.

Happiness and Oregon

From what I am reading, Oregon is supposed to be measured on how “Happy” the current occupants are with their life and surroundings, not based on how much better they should be doing in these economic times. I guess it is a way for our current worthless politicians to be able to pacify the masses and skate by on platitudes. Other than a few bright spots probably up by Portland, the state is doing marginal at best. This area of the state certainly struggles to build and grow business and offer better jobs for those who live here. I guess we are supposed to sit back and smell the Douglas Fir scent and feel the rain on our faces as the way to glory in that Happiness. I think we could do that in the 1970s and still enjoy our state and be happier with a more solid economy. I guess to get a better understanding of what we are missing and don’t know it yet is found in this article.

Tree Damage

I went out at the end of the snow and ice storm to document the tree damage around the house. The worst and most obvious are the 3 branches lost from the west side of the cherry tree. This tree is most likely older than me and maybe close to 100 years old. It can really produce great Bing Cherries. It is sad to see it damaged. It is majestic to me and provides a lot of shade to the house and that part of the garden. It acts as a corner piece of established garden in relationship to the house and garage. This photo is from the IPhone. I have others taken with the Nikon. I should get a view from the driveway since the damage is more striking.

Christmas Eve with Neighbors and Friends

A big day of cleaning and readying food. We had an open house for our Berlin Community neighbors and friends from 3 to 5:30 pm. David showed up with Nicolas and Ryan. Both boys were good troopers for it all. We had 15 people stop by and with our family members, there were 20 people all together. We had a lovely time serving up food and beverages to everyone. The Starbucks Christmas coffee blend went over well, Bob made 2 pots. It was a true to joy to share our Christmas Eve with such nice people and good neighbors.
Awhile after all had gone home and clean up was done. I was scanning the internet and came across the link for this 1977 Johnny Cash Christmas TV show. What a second joy to behold to see such wonderful artists and music for this Christmas Eve. We need a return of such talent and artistry. Behold!
Christmas in 2013, a look at early morning lights

Holiday Donation Drive

The annual Berlin Holiday gathering and donation drive was held yesterday at the Berlin Fire Station. Due to the snow, we did not have a large turn out though we had a lot of goodies and good cheer. We spent a lot of time chatting about what we have been doing and our plans for the holiday. Eleven people showed up including ourselves and we gathered some nice items to donate to the troops and Safe Haven. Here is a photo of some of those who were there.
Here are our decorations and the tables for food and beverages. Connie Hartman did a nice job with decorations.

fs-holiday-table-bottom-12-8-13FS holiday table


Let It Snow

We woke up to a deep cold morning where it had started snowing about 4:30 a.m. You can see how we have such a nice wintry feel to our local countryside with the early morning view of my cousin’s house below. It makes one want to snuggle in and keep warm. It looks like we might end up with about 3 inches plus of snow with the forecast of a very, very cold weekend, colder than we have had in possibly 40 plus years.

Wreath Making

Another annual community tradition, wreath making in the basement of the Jantzi’s house. I tried to make door handle bell hangers and ornament hangers for our hall oak stair case. I hope they all work out well. Here is Diane Winterboer working hard on one wreath, though it ended up she did not have enough ribbon for this form. Diane is in her Moose Munch mode. Happy

Short Excursion

Bob and I took a short excursion to Springfield and Eugene to look for other possible leased space in the I-5 corridor. We did find a few likely spots to investigate for other options and farther away from downtown Eugene. The most likely is in the Gateway area which is growing in business to a fair degree.

Wind and Rain Damage

The heavy rain and wind caused an old apple tree by the garden to topple over. It was loaded with rain wet leaves and heavy apples. The tree was located next to the area where my grandparent’s home had been before it burned. The tree was older than I am. Even though the apples are very tart, they were part of the place and loved by deer to eat as they dropped.

Rainy Weather Again

One other surprise we had on the trip was how when we left the weather report was for a relatively nice weekend. Both Bob and I got notification alerts on our Apple devices about a major storm that was headed to Oregon for the weekend. We monitored the weather radar and it looked to be bad. We did miss a big wet, windy storm while gone. We lost an old apple tree that was older than I am in age. Loaded with tart apples that mostly the deer loved to eat. Still what a shame.


A sad day in Washington DC. There was a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in southeast DC. This area is close to the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium. I have not been there though Bob and David did see a baseball game there.Twelve people are dead and then the shooter was also killed in a gun battle. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families.

Unusual Weather

Today was full of calls and computer work. The weather started out hot this week and cooled some last night with rainclouds noted in the distance last night. Today is started cloudy and then warmed to be muggy and still at night. Some of the clouds are moving up from Northern California and cycling north. We have been seeing more of that lately. Here are some of the unusual clouds in the evening and sunsets.

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Bow Shoot

Our friends and neighbors, the Winterboers, had their annual Bowshoot and BBQ at their house tonight. They invite members of their church and a few neighbors. It was a night where the kids got to enjoy a shooting competition. We all ate first, with lots of Tritip and sides followed by desserts. Hard to believe all that food got almost finished off. We don’t shoot so our role was to watch and chat with neighbors and others. Mike had the fake deer target up and plenty of backup bales. Interesting show all the way around. Mike and Diane have their home and garden looking well on the way to great. I love the gazebo patio; it will be a great place to entertain when all done.
Mike setting up the target
Bob and Dan Hartman enjoying a chat and the festivities


Root Beer Float Day and National Night Out

Tonight was National Night Out for communities and Neighborhood Watch around the country. Our local community likes to get together and help recognize the day. The plan was an ice cream social with root beer floats. Interestingly enough, it was Root Beer Float Day too and I did not know it in my planning. It worked out well. Many root beer float aficionados in the group. We got to meet two new families to the area who either stopped by before the gathering or were at the Fire Station. Good to meet nice new neighbors and talk with long time other ones.
My root beer float……….Yum!
His first root beer float……..double Yum!



Detroit will undergo Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The largest city in the USA to undergo bankruptcy. The Motor City was at one time one of the largest, most thriving cities in the country. It has lost more than half of its population from 1950. This would not be something I would normally focus on in my blog though this article in Powerline Blog about the scenario includes several photos from a book called The Ruin of Detroit. The photos are shocking on the state of a number of formally impressive buildings. These buildings deteriorated due to a lack of money and care, not war. The photos are just an example of a few of the 78,000 abandoned houses and commercial buildings in Detroit.
United Artists Theater

Lightning Strikes

Earlier in the day, about 1:30 to 2 a.m. we had a fairly fast moving thunderstorm move over the house and mountains to the east of us. One lightning strike seemed to start on our right, as we sat on the balcony, off the bedroom, from over the trees to along the hillsides and tops of Green Peter. It was followed by a really loud, rolling clap of thunder. If we had not already been awake and watching the spectacle, it would have roused us out of bed quickly. This morning is cloud covered, so we shall see how soon the sun and heat come back. I expected some storms as possible. It was 83 degrees when we went into the Pioneer Villa in Brownsville at 6 pm and it was 68 degrees outside when we left 2.5 hours later. A real temperature drop.

Softball night

David has been playing softball this summer for his church in their league. His usual position has been first base as it was when he played in Little League. He does seem to enjoy it. We went to watch tonight which was the first time for me to be a sideline supporter. It is though a great evening for the kids to get outdoors and use up a lot of energy playing along the sidelines too. Here is Nicolas and a friend checking out the play of the other Grandpa Bob.
Nathan at the ballgame. His shirt reads--“If Mom’s having a bad day…call 1-800-Grandma.”


Potluck Baby

Ryan got to attend his first Berlin Community Potluck at the Fire Station. Of course, his parents came to the potluck a couple of years ago on an early date together. Here is Ryan and his Mama.

Another Community Potluck

Another year, another community yard sale, and another community potluck. It is always good to get together with the neighbors and family.
Barbecuing at the Berlin Fire Station and all new community photos
Gathering with family at the community potluck today



At one point during the fireworks last Thursday, I was able to catch a photo of fireworks going off directly overhead. They were so close some of the particulates from the fireworks would land on my head. Here is one photo of a direct shot overhead.

Independence the American Way

The 4th of July, Independence Day is supposed to be a day of family, leisure, barbecues, and fireworks. We seemed to take it all in though Bob was out mowing down the remaining grass in our hay field during the day. Later in the afternoon, we followed the usual prescription and had 4th of July celebration at the Lewis household.
Ryan’s first 4th of July and he is all decked out.
Nicolas and Nathan getting down to the business of fun.
And then the fireworks!! (too busy eating to add in a photo of food)


Old Vancouver Homes

While visiting with Marybeth, we took a drive around east Vancouver and our old neighborhoods. We got photos of our former houses just to think of the memories from that time.
We did have an interesting experience with the female homeowner who is at our first home. She marched out and asked us what we were doing and why we were photographing her house. I don’t think she believed our story that we had once owned the place and our oldest son was born at the hospital and brought home here. Oh well.

At 4215 140th Ave. in Vancouver WA

At 15208 SE Evergreen Highway, Vancouver WA



For one part of this afternoon, the rain came down so hard and long that it was like a huge bucket of water was poured over us. The wind helped blow the rain sideways and through an open window. It was a big rain cell and one I hope not to see again soon. So it is better to see some sun and hope for a rainbow with it.

Friends Abound

Being up in Seattle, it is very special to see so many old friends who we haven’t seen for awhile or that we see only once a year or so.
Joanna, Margaret Horstmeyer, John Daugherty, Michael Johnson, Justin, Letrisa, Steve Bailey, Deb and Rick, Phil Peterson, Margie and Jim, and more. I miss the old days when we would go for a big networking dinner and all around gab fest!

How We Talk

A number of years ago when we lived in Walnut Creek CA, we went shopping at a local grocery store for a few items. At the checkout counter, we put the items on the conveyor belt and as they were being scanned I commented to Bob about getting pop. The young clerk at the counter was surprised and wondered what I was referring to. He knew it as soda. He asked me if I was from elsewhere like the MidWest. No, I am not though some of my family roots are from Nebraska.
It is interesting how people will say words differently from what you personally will do. Friends from Illinois would say “Sol-mon” for Salmon (S-al plus mun). Or hambooger for hamburger. We are just different. If you want to know how different and what those differences are, here is an article on the different dialects found around the United States.

Boston Bombs

Sadness and fear today. Two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon just before 3 pm ET. There were some killed and numerous serious injuries. A large majority were to lower extremities due to the bombs possibly being placed in garbage cans. The first terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9-11-01. Our hearts are with those affected in Boston.

Neighborhood Meeting

Tonight is was our Neighborhood Watch meeting and we had a good turnout of about 25 people. Jim Lepin, a volunteer at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, presented information about suspicious behavior and how to report it.

911 is for immediate emergencies

541-967-3911 is for reporting non-emergency issues to the LCSO. Please program this number into your phones (consider adding the Oregon State Police number to your phones too).

All land line phone numbers are part of the Reverse 911 system. You can go on the website of the Sheriff's Office----- and select down the left side Linn-Benton Alert Emergency Notification System to register emergency notification to your cell phones too. Please take the time to do so!

April Fools Day

Today is April Fool's Day. I often like to play a prank though this cold I have is the April Fool’s joke on me. We did have 7 deer out nibbling on grass near our garden this afternoon. That is until Dervish decided to play Tough Dog and chase them across the pasture before I could get pictures. We saw the white tails flitting as they bounded over the edge of the pasture.

Early Grant

Last night, Richard and Josi Lewis, our neighbors here in Berlin, invited us to dine out at Red Lobster in Eugene. We had a lively discussion. They are readers and book lovers too. We ended the evening at Barnes and Noble where I purchased as one of 3 books, an biography of Grant. I told them of a recent blog article of the Ohio Congressman, Thomas Hamer, who helped Grant get into West Point in one of the last slots he had available to give. The story of Thomas Hamer’s influence on history and what his loss might have meant to our country is found in the article here.

General Thomas Hamer

Rural America

An interesting article today on how rural America covers a large part of the United States yet they are becoming less and less relevant to government and the political arena. The larger cities and major government centers have control of the message and numbers. Rural Americans have to live at the whim and decisions of the metropolitan regions.

A Little Bit of Sun

The sun did come out this morning and it feels so nice. Yesterday was a gray, gloomy day. David came out with Nicolas yesterday and Nicolas, the Pirate Master, had fun playing pirates and swords with Grandpa Bob. I was beaned a few times during the battles. Now, I need to wonder if Oscar the Cat is doing any plotting based on what was noted in this following photo.



Another day rising to see a brilliant winter sunrise. I may have the largest collection of photos of sunrises there are in the world. We just seem to get a chance to see a number of them over the Peter Mountains out our bedroom door.



Mornings on Christmas Day

Last year, there was the most spectacular sunrise on Christmas morning here. It was so bright that the picture windows of one house about one mile down the road looked on fire at one point. I was able to get some photos of the beautiful morning show. We were on the way to Deb and Mike’s house in Sodaville area. Each Christmas morning, they open their home to friends who wish to stop by to eat and talk with others. Deb makes the best cinnamon rolls. Savoring one of those with a good cup of coffee leads to a relaxing Christmas Day for us. Today, the weather was way too rainy and gray. A day that is hard to get motivated to accomplish much. We should get some days of sun next week. We do need to see blue sky for longer than a few hours.

Sunrise on Christmas Day, 2011


Deb Fell-Carlson frosting her Christmas cinnamon rolls.

Getting Close

Relaxing and fun last night sharing Tri tip steak and potluck items at the Winterboers with other neighbors. We tried a new dish that was Creamed Corn with Bacon. It was good and a nice mix with the other food there. There was a lot of talk of family, books, trips, neighborhood oddities……….. it is a good group of people to share with. I didn’t take a camera to capture the holiday look of Mike and Diane’s house. Here is a wintery look toward their house from ours from last March.



No snow today though we are still looking at blustery wind this afternoon. Some sunshine would help lighten the mood. Here is a look at the snow from yesterday morning again.

With all the TV shows, movies, and comic book focus on zombies, there was an interesting article discussing how parasites take over parts of the brain and activity of their host. There are a number of parasite types that can do so.
The article can be found here. Wow, I wonder what we can learn about zombifying techniques. Cool word, zombifying.

Visions of Snow

With visions of next week’s sugar plums dancing in our heads, we woke up to a few inches of wet snow on the ground. In fact, there is a flurry of small flakes present while I type this post. I like to look for the interesting picture and one that can be used for email Christmas cards or future cards to order. Here is one I got of across the road in the early morning of my cousin’s home. The garage light in the snow looked very “winter wonderland”.


Stormy Weather

The real blustery, stormy weather is starting this weekend. Tonight we have a high wind warning with sustained winds up to 40 mph and gusts almost to 60 mph with rain. This could mean some power loss or trees down around the area. Snow levels have been getting close and will again tomorrow night. Here is a photo from the other day with the first major snow on the mountains across from us. We did get a little sun peaking out. It is just a little of what we have seen of sunshine this month.

mountains-12 16-12

Christmas Program

Parents and other family members got to sing Winter Wonderland and Silent Night along with the Kindergarten through 5th grade students of Cascade Elementary School. The main auditorium of the River Center was packed to SRO. I have never seen the parking area so full of cars and people except when the site used to be a Walmart (before it moved). Girls in bright dresses and many boys spiffed up in good clothes. There was a little bit of naughtiness in watching some children yawn and fold their arms………..we are not enjoying this. Then, there was the little boy who poked a girl on the face as he was leaving and she said “Ow”! A boy tormenting a girl? Heavens, how does that happen? ☺

Christmas Tree Ceremony

Bob and I hoped to catch up to family members last night at the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Ralston Square in Lebanon. It got too rainy and windy for the kids to stay longer and we ended up staying home and eating homemade ham and bean soup. Nice on a cold, damp evening.
David sent on this photo of Renee and Nicolas while they were waiting for ceremonial functions to start.


Berlin Christmas Cheer

Yummmmmm………………….made two batches of brownies. One double chocolate and the other was turtle variety (caramel swirled through it). The brownies made a trip down to the Berlin Fire Station for our annual Berlin Christmas party and donation drive. We collect supplies for the troops in Afghanistan and also supplies to take to Linn County’s only private shelter, Safe Haven. The gathering was for 2 pm to 5 pm. We had a nice group of neighbors stop by to chat, listen to Christmas music, and eat goodies while drinking coffee or cocoa. It just reminds us that we can share and do go things in the world, even in small amounts. Plus we have a good group of neighbors.

On another note, we had a lot of rain last night and a couple of really strong gusts of wind last night. One gust slammed the house and seemed to just rake the house like it was knocking many things over outside. It definitely was a surprise. Some of the neighbors heard it and others did not. We sure did since both gusts woke us up.

Christmas party-tree-top-12-1-12

Our Berlin Christmas party tree, courtesy of the Hartmans.

Buck Windom, Era Lewis, and our friendly holiday Moose.

Holiday Greenery

Yesterday was the annual local group gathering of Christmas wreath makers. All in good spirit of getting ready for the holiday and making the outdoors festive with greenery. How about a little of the cedar? Where is the rosemary? Watch the holly, it is prickly! Boy, do I need some of the glittery stuff or who is the best ribbon maker (not me)? Throw in some cocoa and tea (Annapolis Royal Ice Wine tea) and it is festive. It is fun to see and chat with friends and neighbors. It is also cool to see what beautiful wreaths, swags, and table decorations can come from a big pile of cut trees and bushes mixed with pine cones, ribbon, ornaments, and other oddities (my black and white spotted cow that Noel Storms gave me in a swag).
Here is my friend and neighbor Diane Winterboer getting the festivities and her wreath off to a “silly” start.

This is my table arrangement. Arlene Jantzi was kind to share the base since I showed up with little to start with.

My laughing cow swag from Noel. It has a cute black hair fringe. We did have a good time. Let’s do it again next year.



Fall Leaves

We are not New England though we do get a bit of fall leaf color in the Pacific Northwest. Many trees have some brilliant red color to the leaves. I caught this old fruit tree below our house that has an interesting golden contrast against the green trees.
fall color-11-5-12

What is Community?

There is so much sadness and devastation following Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast part of the United States. One community so very hard hit is Staten Island, one of the burroughs of New York City. They claim they are the least appreciated and that most likely is correct. There has been a recent article about one woman who took photos of the community of Staten Island in the 1980s and what life was like there. It is an interesting look at another part of the country and across the continent from Oregon. Such a difference in weather and life experiences in many ways. While here, we had another intriguing sunrise where the clouds are highlighted differently with early morning light.

Fall Sunrise

The sun is out again. Wow, today started off with a beautiful, colorful sunrise. It was amazing to see and does not last long enough.

Fish Hatchery

Out near the Larwood Covered Bridge is the Roaring River Fish Hatchery. It is a small place yet isolated and fun to visit. I enjoy going there to just see the different tanks of trout they are raising to release in the lakes. They have a range of smaller fish to larger fish that are about 2 feet in length. They certainly get agitated when one throughs bits of fish food into the tank. Lots of swirling and splashing. Splish, splash!



Here is where I do not have a good photo to use. It is really strange to say that when we live in “rain country”. We have had enough rain since last Friday to exceed the total rainfall for October since about 1903. It definitely did rain quite a large amount and is still pretty wet tonight. We are staying at home watching the free first episode of the third season of The Walking Dead. While this might look like me after too much time on the computer, I don’t use makeup.


Patriot's Day

Today is Patriot’s Day or the day of remembrance for 9-11. It has been eleven years since that terrible day. I will never forget our loss and I hope that others will not either. There seems to be an effort to minimize or bury the significance of that day. We must not let that happen. We must remember that regular people went to work that day and never came home. They suffered, their families suffered and still do, and we all suffer for the loss. We also must remember those who put their lives on the line every day to protect us and our way of life. Our community has a Dining for the Troops day today where proceeds from certain local restaurants will go to aid our deployed troops. We will be eating out to give our support.


Early Moon

Here is an early morning look at the full moon as it sets over Binegar Butte range. It also gives a great look at our pasture and patch of Douglas Fir trees on the side hill.
On another note, it is incredibly sad to watch the distress and heartbreak of this mother who lost her military SEAL son in war while our Commander in Chief(s) worry more about the impact of it going wrong for them than our soldiers.


Blue Moon Tonight

After a day of editing audio for podcasts, I had to sit outside around 7:45 p.m. to watch the Blue Moon come up over the mountains. It is always a treat and the weather has been warm and sunny. I love a full moon even if it means the werewolves will be out. Certainly the coyotes were out in force with a serenade across the valley shortly after 9 p.m.


At a distance….

Up close….
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