Off To The...

We are off on a 12 day trip to see the family and grandchildren in South Dakota. A bit of a reverse trek for our families who in part came from the area or places in the MidWest.

Now a fun fact about the Oregon Trail since I had both sides of my paternal grandmother's side of the family come on the Oregon Trail in 1844 and 1852.

"It’s often thought that the Oregon Trail was made easier by the covered wagons that have become synonymous with the grueling journey, but that’s only partially true. Those wagons weren’t actually for people, who walked most or all of the trail’s 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. They were for the supplies that hopeful settlers deemed necessary for the trek, pulled by mules and oxen. Indeed, people who were ferried by wagons had a habit of falling out as the vehicles didn’t have springs and thus bounced around a lot; some folks were even run over by other wagons or trampled by beasts of burden after falling. As for those walking, many of the children didn’t have shoes.
So while we often romanticize that months-long journey as being emblematic of the “American Dream” and westward expansion, it was above all else a brutal quest that many did not survive."

Axe Throwing

With Ryan's birthday and our trip to see them in South Dakota coming up, I had a soft-made axe throwing set from CostCo sent to them for outdoor fun. Hopefully it will get them out of the house and active. Also, it might develop some extra skills of strength, accuracy, and coordination. Here is a photo of the set out in their front yard today.
axe throwing

Ryan is 11

Our grandson, Ryan, is 11 today. I wish we could be there to help him celebrate his birthday. We did call and sing Happy Birthday to him, even if off-key. We have some nice gifts to send his way and bring on our trip to South Dakota. Of course, it is much more fun to share your party with your buddies from school.

Ryan is 11 and David

A Historical Surprise

I visited again the Genealogy Room at the Lebanon Library to learn about how books are categorized there. It was an interesting few hours and a good learning experience. One task we were asked to do was to find a book using the cataloguing technique. In addition to finding a book on the Early Families of Berlin, there was a book about the Petersons of Peterson Butte. I flipped open to a middle page and right there was a photo of my paternal great-grandmother and grandmother. Neither I had met since they died before I was born. What a special surprise. Please enjoy the photo I took with my camera phone of the photo of them in earlier days.


What Is A Name

What is a name? My great-great-great grandparents moved from east Tennessee to Missouri and then on the Oregon Trail in 1853 here to the Willamette Valley of Oregon near Lebanon.
Their name was Powell, Joab and Anne, and they had 14 children, all who were living came with them to Oregon.
Yesterday I saw a description of the derivation of Powell. This is similar to family history information.

The Powell's surname is Welsh in origin, not Irish. It is derived from the Welsh name Hywel, with the Welsh prefix ap appended at the start in the same way Mac or O would be in other parts of the Celtic realm, indicating son of. The name Hywel means, we are told, something like eminent.

Our Girls

The girls, Vada and Victoria, wanted a picture a few days ago taken with Grandma and PaPa.
They were hamming it up for the picture. They are growing up fast.


Signs Rejuvenated

Scott and Olisha found a number of older signs on the property from prior times. They cleaned up and refurbished them to where the signs look closer to new. They certainly stand out. Scott took a photo of the signs placed on the new garden fence and can be seen as people come up the driveway. Background on each sign:

Thayer Copper Sign - was given to me by a cat owning client in Walnut Creek, CA who came to see me at Civic Feline Clinic. The nameplate he said came from the C.A. Thayer sailing ship located in the Alameda harbor. He had done work on the ship and acquired the sign. He gave it to me and we have had it located on our front deck here on Berlin Rd. since the new house was built.

Lansberry-Wolfenbarger "The Bonanza"- was a sign that was made and bought at the Oregon State Fair. It was the name of our 1 acre property and cabin located on Day Rd. In LaPine OR. This was a special getaway spot for my parents and maternal grandparents who bought the property and built the cabin. There was a lot of hunting and fishing recreation in that area.

V.L. Thayer, DVM - was a sign made for my first location at Civic Dr. for Civic Feline Clinic in Walnut Creek CA. The practice is still operating though on Broadway Dr. in Walnut Creek. It was a profitable and still is growing, active cat practice. I am so proud of what I did and it has become.

Monowi Memories

I often come across in travel info emails about Monowi, NE. It is a town with a population of one. We have visited there and my great-grandparents, grandparents, and mother lived not far from Monowi. They homesteaded the area in the 1890s.
From what I understand it was a small thriving community at one time with over 100 people living in the town. I have a photo where the population was listed as 6 in the 1980s when Mom and Gram went to visit.
One can stop at the Monowi Tavern and have a burger and a drink. I would not recommend using the bathroom facilities since they are pretty primitive and no plumbing.
I would love to come across any remaining relatives there but we shall see.
Here is a short blurb about Monowi in this article.

Christmas Quilts

I was able to give some of the quilts I have been working on to some of the grandkids. It is great to be able to see the final product and that they can enjoy and have these for the ages.
For Ryan and Jesse, the quilts are heavy enough to keep them covered and warm for those cold winter nights like today.
Ryan and Jesse asleep under their matching quilts.

Vada with her purple accented unicorn quilt.

Prime Apples

There is a lot of catching up to do on this blog with trips and lots to tell. It has been difficult to get time to sit down and focus on writing up information and sharing photos.
The girls love their fresh apples and our Honey Crisp apples are prime samples this year. Lots of them and so juicy to eat.

Vada is 5

We hurried home from our trip up to the North Cascades, highway pass country, and Central Washington State around Lake Chelan. Today is Vada's 5th birthday and she is feeling quite grown up. She got an Elsa watch for her birthday and is one of the coolest things ever to her. Watch now!

50th Anniversary Day

Today is our 50th Wedding Anniversary Day. It is a day that has seemed long in the future yet it is now here. We were such young people then, 20 and 21, and just in the middle of college years. Last evening, we had dinner at an upscale restaurant, Sweet Reds Bistro, in Albany. The wife half of a lovely couple celebrating their 22nd anniversary took our photo and we found later they had covered $100 toward our dinner. It was a special end to a special evening leading to a special day next.

Bob-Vicki wedding 9-1-1973 small


Party Birthday Party

We had a combined birthday party for the girls on the 27th. A number of their family friends from the Robbins Way neighborhood came to share presents and play on the playground structure. The playground and pool got a work out. The Yellowjackets made their presence known (got stung on the back of my right arm). The snack food was good and a wonderful time was had by all!

Two Eager Faces

We spent 5 days traveling down to Walnut Creek, CA to see Civic Feline Clinic for the 40th anniversary of the clinic's opening. We came home last Friday, the 25th. The next morning we were greeted with two smiley faces of two lovely granddaughters.

Boys At The Fair

The David Thayer family bunch went to the Brown County Fair (South Dakota) yesterday. From the pictures it looks like it was fun. School starts up again for them tomorrow. The photo in this post is of Ryan and Jesse (the two to the right) with one of their best friends. Miss them dearly.

Monowi Nebraska

My mother and grandparents (Mom's parents) came to Oregon from northeast Nebraska in the mid-1930s. My great-grandparents (Grandma Vada's parents) had homesteaded in Monowi, NE in the late 1890s and built a home on land just outside Monowi. In those days, Monowi had over 100 people there, now it just has one. I have pictures of the population sign stating 6 that was taken in the 1990s when Mom and Gram visited the area. Here is the current story about Monowi and why it is unique. We have met Elsie Eiler and a current picture of the Tavern follows.

Monowi Tavern
Monowi, Nebraska, population one, might be the strangest little town this side of the Mississippi. Elsie Eiler, the town’s only resident since the passing of her late husband, Rudy, is the librarian, mayor, treasurer, clerk, and of course, the sole bartender. This is the only incorporated town in the U.S. that only has one resident and the town’s infrastructure reflects this. There are only two public buildings in Monowi — the Monowi Tavern, owned and operated by Elsie herself, and Rudy’s Library, a personal collection of 5,000 books and magazines. You can still check them out on the honor system.
When you drive into Monowi there isn’t a post office, school, or police station. Even stop signs seem pretty pointless in a town with only one local. The only movement is the wind blowing through the prairie grasses and Elsie manning her station in the Monowi Tavern’s kitchen or bar. Monowi wasn’t always so desolate though. In fact, it was once a bustling town on the Elkhorn Railroad in the 1930’s when 150 people called this pipsqueak city home.

Sesquicentennial Thayer Farm

We did it!!!! I applied for the Farm Bureau's Sesquicentennial Farm status here in Oregon. It was a lot of work and research. Thankfully, there were and are family members who have kept track of Joab and Ann Beeler Powell's history from the mid-1800s from East Tennessee to Missouri and over the Oregon Trail to Oregon. Their 4th child, Peter Powell, brought his wife, Nancy, and the children born by 1852 to settle on a donation land claim of 320 acres. This piece of property has descended to me through Peter to Rachael Arminta Powell Peterson to Goldie Peterson Wolfenbarger to William E. Wolfenbarger then to me. We should receive a sign and certificate plus the award given during a ceremony at the Oregon State Fair. I am so glad that all the work culminated in the family recognition.

Girls Going To A Wedding

Vada and Victoria like to dress up and act very stylish-girlish. They were caught on camera in funky colorful clothes while wearing their funky shaped sunglasses. It is in the attitude.Goingtoawedding

Memorial Day 2023

Memorial Day is almost over. The sun is setting on a warm, dry sunny day. Often Memorial Day is windy and rainy, usually cool. This year is different. Due to a longer dry spell and the hay has been ready to cut. Tomorrow it will be baled. This is the earliest we have seen the haying season start. Usually it is after the 4th of July or if earlier, mid-June and still likely to get wet from rain.

The lawn furniture is out and comfortable. We placed the flower arrangements on the graves and will need to pick them up this week. Summer so far is starting early since we have a batch of strawberries that have been canned already though these are from California. I need to get some local Oregon berries. Yum!

Hay 2023

Our Own Little Space Alien

We stayed overnight at a Holiday Inn Express on May 4th in Bismarck, ND. A very neat and busy state capital city. It was a tiring day and we were looking for dinner close by. The recommendation was to eat at the Space Aliens Restaurant. They had figures of space creatures and aliens on the walls plus people serving in costume at times. As we left I had to buy Ryan a the-died T-shirt for his 10th birthday at the checkout counter.

Here is a photo of our own little space alien, Ryan. We love and miss him plus Jesse and Nicolas.

Ryan space alien small

Googley Girls

The girls just finished up another round of swim lessons this week. They are trying out their "Googley Glasses" as I call them.

Playground Structure Fun

Today got up to a record 91 degrees F. This was about the second or third at least 70 degree day so far in 2023. It has been a cool and wet spring so far. It felt wonderful to soak up some sun and heat for a change. We got the playground structure completed just in time for this nice weather. The girls already enjoy it.


Easter and The Bunny

Today is one of our religious holidays, Easter. Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion on this day about 2000 years ago. May all see peace and have a blessed Easter.
Along with Jesus has risen, we also look for the Easter Bunny to shed some cheer to the children. Vada and Victoria found their hidden Easter baskets fairly quickly. Along with chocolate bunnies they had a small stuffed cat and a stuffed unicorn to enjoy. More family relations will come shortly this afternoon.

Easter Bunny

Love and Affection

In researching family deeds over the years for this property, I came across a deed as my Great Grandmother, Rachel Arminta Peterson, granted property to her daughter, my grandmother, Goldie C. Wolfenbarger. The deed was dated October 30, 1915 and is held in microfiche at the Linn County Courthouse here in Oregon.

It was very sweet to read the line completed for the sum for property consideration where it says,
"For the consideration of the sum of Love and Affection and Ten Dollars"…

RA Peterson deed to GC Wolfenbarger

New Years Eve Tradition

Another New Year's Eve and one that is a Saturday night. For several years, we have made our Mexican Corn Chowder with shrimp. We made a double batch tonight and with a loaf of homemade artisan white bread to go with it. It is better to be off the roads and at home. I am watching movies and the New Year's celebration on Fox News. I'm looking to see Cole Hauser there who plays Rip on Yellowstone. (Yes!!)

Upwards To 170 Years

I am finally going to take the initiative and explore getting a Century Farm designation for our piece of property. I am a direct descendent of Joab Powell's 4th son, Peter Powell. The family migrated from Missouri to Oregon in 1852. Peter Powell applied for a donation land claim in this part of the Willamette Valley of Oregon. We have 40.2 acres remaining of that claim as a descendent. I have located the coordinates on a geographical map and will explore with the city and state to get more information toward an application. For now the information on a deed map of our property is:

Sec.36 T.12S. R.01W W.M. 
Linn County, OR (MAP !2 1 W 25)

S.W. Cor. A. J. Alley CT. 4431
Interior Corner of Peter Powell NOT.2507

The Week Before Christmas

I have neglected adding to this blog. I missed sharing during the trip to South Dakota in mid-October and later to a meeting in Pittsburgh. Here I am a week before Christmas and I have not kept up to date with comments and photos.

I thought I would add some thoughts on a TV show I have enjoyed for the past 4 seasons, now on season 5. The show is Yellowstone where it is set in the Bitterroot Valley of SW Montana. The scenery is spectacular. The acting and actors draw you in. The writing is by Taylor Sheridan who is a former rodeo participant and a lover of the Old West, horses and the cowboy way of life. This has become a TV phenomenon. This series is being spun off into other series, one show is 1883/season 1, which shows how the Dutton family came to locate in Montana. At the end of this series, the location is picked by the 18 year old daughter, Elsa, who picks where she will die and be buried following being shot by an arrow that creates sepsis. The next spin-off is set at 1923 and we shall see how the family handles adversity in that day and age.

We drove on the way to South Dakota along I-90 which follows much of the Yellowstone River. We saw the beauty of some of the Yellowstone Country. I am adding here a photo of the Little Bighorn River near the Crow Agency and GaryOwen, MT where Custer's last stand and battle occurred for the 7th Cavalry - a story in itself.

Little Bighorn River sm

The Next Few Days

Later this afternoon we will be setting out for travel by plane and car we haven't done for almost 2.5 years. The pandemic has had its impact on seeing new places or getting together.
We will be flying through Seattle early tomorrow morning to Minneapolis then rent a car to drive to Aberdeen, SD. This allows us not to sit in an airport for hours with masks and we can then also see what the countryside looks like in western Minnesota and eastern South Dakota.
It will be so nice to see David, Renee, Nicolas, Ryan, and Jessie. A bunch of boy hugs will mean a lot to us. It will be hard to say how long before we will be back there again.

Older Family Memories

Bob and I are hoping while we are visiting South Dakota in March that the weather will be good enough that we can take a day trip directly south to NE Nebraska to see where my grandparents and mother moved from in 1932. My great-grandfather had moved to the area between Monowi and Verdel NE to homestead with his children. My grandmother was born there and the youngest of 11 children. When she married my grandfather, they lived on 100 acres just south of Lynch, NE along Louse Creek, south of the Niobrara River. My mother was born in the area and I grew up hearing stories of life there. My great-grandparents and some of their children are buried in the Alford Cemetery just south of Monowi and north of the Niobrara River.

In much homework, I did come across this photo of Gram's that is of a house and she wrote "Home" on it. Which of her homes there, as a Masden girl, or a Lansberry wife I cannot tell.

Cousins Together

Vada had her delayed second birthday party yesterday afternoon. She had four of her boy cousins including Ryan and Jesse. All the kids had fun together playing hide and seek. It was especially fun watching Vada open her presents and everyone test them out. One can see how much cousins can mean to each other with the three Thayer cousins in the backyard swing.


The Funky Cool Kid

One sweet little Princess named Vada is 2 years old today. She can wear the funky, cool look well. I made this my cover photo for Facebook. We couldn't celebrate today her birthday since it was work, work, work yet mainly because it is still terribly smoky and the air quality is awful outside. We will celebrate at a later date yet I'm sure she is celebrating all the time.


A Cornhusker

Our first batch of "Got To Have It" corn variety is available for eating. Here is one happy Ryan posing for the camera and eating on an ear of corn. Of course, it was to get to the real treat, being able to have ice cream.


When Papa and Vada Speak

Olisha caught a cute moment the other day where Vada and her Papa Bob were sharing while sitting on the stairs. Was Vada telling about the kitties upstairs or asking about picking corn? Maybe she just wanted to enjoy being at the farm or sharing some of her goldfish snacks… Whatever it was, it must have been interesting.


Watermelon Girl

I was able to capture this photo of Vada eating a watermelon piece offered by her Dad. She loves fruit and vegetables like her boy cousins. She is so cute with her baby bird look here.


Dressing Up Bigly

Lots of fun last week with watching Vada two nights of the week. She loves trying on big people's clothes, example PaPa's, to see if she can go out on the town. Check it out!

Vada-dress- up-8-3-20

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

Happy Ryan

Ryan's got his tractor love going lately. Between the swing set with lots of swinging and wanting to drive the lawn tractor himself, he is a happy boy this summer (as long as he gets his way, if not, then he pouts). In this he got to act like he was going for a drive.


Vada and First Tractor Ride

And here is Miss Vada checking out how this lawn tractor works.

Vada lawn-tractor-drive-7-13-20

Tractor Fascination

When the grandkids gather, it seems that they are fascinated with getting their tractor rides. On the big John Deere tractor or more often, the John Deere lawn mowing tractor. Getting rides with PaPa on his lap or in the trailer pulled behind. Ryan is especially focused on tractor rides and now Vada wants to check it out. She went from nervous due to the noise to let's get this going because we can't let our cousins do more than she can.



Tree Cutting

Scott wanted a tree cut down behind his house. The chainsaw artist, Bob, brought his chainsaw and ear muffs and brought the tree down alongside the canal. Timber!!




Vada Posing

After so many weeks of being cautious and stay at home, stay away from others during the coronavirus pandemic, I finally got to babysit and spend time with Miss Vada at her house. She is an apple-loving, posing little girl who can be quite silly. It is fun right now to hit on grandma and then giggle or laugh. What fun! And Oh, to have two such cute pigtails in the mix too.

Vada posing 5-21-20


Yes, we like Oreos in this family, chocolate and vanilla ones. We have to hide them from the grandkids sometimes. I have to get my share before Bob or he will eat them all. Evil man that he is.

Where did the Oreo come from? This article will tell the story. Bet you like Oreos too and would like to know.

Nicolas and Bob the Builder

Nicolas is ready to go out for Halloween trick or treating in his Bob the Builder costume. He built his own mailbox.

Scott and Halloween

Get the fashion police out and after Scott what with wearing this outfit around Halloween.


Red Robin Party

The Lewis clan and the older Thayers got together with David's crew to celebrate David's birthday at Red Robin (two days late). It was a raucous and boisterous bunch for lunch.

Ryan Loves His Fruit

Ryan loves to eat strawberries and most any kind of fruit. Here he is trying to get the strawberries from David's fruit drink at the Red Robin birthday party.

Jesse's Ready

Jesse's ready for his Daddy's birthday with a big smile.

Nicolas' Apple Tree

We went to an Oregon Farm Day a few years ago with David and Renee and the boys. There were free plants and Nicolas received a free apple tree for planting that was probably only 6-8 inches tall at the most. Here is a comparison of growth from 2014 to now with Nicolas and also the tree.

Firepit Season

The David Thayer family got their fire pit loaded with wood and had a nice sit around the fire get together. There were lots of cute selfies with some boys but here is a photo of the fire in the dark of the evening. Wish we could have one out here.

Scott's Firepit First Phase

Scott and Bob work on the fire pit and surrounding patio today. Here is an example of the first phase of the patio. There will need to be more stones placed to fill in the corners.

Jesse and Dervish

Ryan and Jesse came to stay with us for a good portion of the afternoon and evening. Jesse is fascinated by Dervish and wants to pet and kiss him all the time. Dervish is such a good dog with it all. Here is a close kiss.

Apples Nibbled

Ryan likes to take our beautiful large Honeycrisp apples and nibble around the middle where they aren't as edible for others.

Spider, Spider

It is well known that Scott does not like spiders. He had the nickname by Mr. Corrigan of being called "Spider-boy". I had to take this photo of a large spider in a nest hanging on our glass railing for him.

Ryan and Trains

We got to babysit Ryan today for part of the day since Nicolas was in school and Jesse was sick with a fever (probably teething). Ryan was so cute of running up and hugging Papa Bob on the leg and saying, "I love you". Ryan loves trains so while he was in his car seat saying, "I behind you, Papa", we had to stop for the Albany and Eastern train to cross in front of us. Ryan got a treat.
ryan-train-engine-top 9-2-16


43rd Anniversary

Today is our 43rd anniversary. We are coming up on knowing each other for 45 years having met at WSU when I was a floor rep for Coman Hall and Bob dropped off a friend and neighbor who was going to be a resident. We had a "blind" date a few months after that and got engaged one month later. The rest is history. We did have a lovely anniversary dinner at Tucci's Ristorante in Lake Oswego. Good Italian food. Homemade pasta with sauces - spaghetti carbonara for me, starters of olives and a good cheese with bread, beet salad and finished with a chocolate torte. Enjoyable dinner.

Scott's Walkup

Scott has gotten his house pretty well painted, new light out from and the newer screen door on. He just needs to finish the foundation around the sides and back. Too bad water is so costly to water the garden and lawn.

Bob and Wine Birthdays

We went out to dinner tonight with Scott at the 1847 Bar and Grill. We had some good salads and food. Bob was happy to get his glass of cabernet.

Cake for Jesse

Mom went all out and made a gummy bear cake for her little gummy bear, Jesse. He looks pretty comfy here in his little chair.

Jesse's Pizza Party

Jesse's more official birthday party with the rest of the family was this evening. Pizza and cake. We got to stop by after Bob's procedure at the Lebanon hospital.

Jesse and Papa Bob

Here is a cute one of Jesse having fun with Papa Bob on the "new" sofa at his new home. He is a smiley puss.

Jesse First Birthday

Today is Jesse's first birthday and he got to have some bacon and his own colorful pancakes. Here he is enjoying a bite with Mr. Ryan eating right alongside him.

Moving Day

Today was moving day for David and Renee. We rented a UHaul truck and got pretty much everything from the place on Denny School Rd. and their storage over to the new house. Here is Jesse getting ready to go to move.

House Painting

In the midst of surgery and all of this, Scott and his friends Deanna and Dan have been painting his house. Here is an example of the front walkway and the new colors of the house. The foundation needs painting since they got a lot of green before on it and it doesn't go with his house color.

Jesse Too

What a cutie! He is at that very curious and I am going to get into everything phase Ryan (all babies seem to) went through.


While out visiting today, Jesse is showing he is standing and close to walking. While he is at it, he feels the place needs a good dusting.

One Big Appetite

PaPa does a great job with taking care of his boys. When Jesse got hungry after exploring the house, he finished off one jar of squash fast and was very upset there wasn't more food right there and PaPa had to get more. He does like to eat and makes it a task that he tackles matter of factly and finished.

Jesse The Mimic

One reason I said Jesse was a mimic is that he enjoys mimicking actions of his brothers. Ryan likes to chase the grandparents with the fly swatter. Jesse likes to wave it at us too.

Water Fights

Today was a very hot day for the first part of June. I had to drive to Sherwood for the Volunteers Brunch for Cat Adoption Team. The Strawberry Festival held their parade today and the afternoon was a second birthday party at Century Park for Nicolas. The kids were soaked with cold water using water pistols or water pumps. Ryan though he could just dunk his pistol in the water to fill it but he had a blast.

Watermelon Boy

Ryan does love his watermelon and fruit to eat. Here he is eating a wedge of melon while watching TV. Ah, the life!
watermelonboy 6-3-16

Birthday Cake

Nicolas had an Odd Squad birthday this time around. His cake was purple which is his favorite color and had the Odd Squad badge on top. Here he is blowing out the candle.

Nicolas' Ninth

We celebrated Nicolas' ninth birthday this afternoon at David and Renee's. The family was present and had BBQ, chips, fruit and cake. Nicolas of course enjoyed opening his presents.

Ryan Using Chopsticks

At Momiji's last night having sushi for dinner. Ryan trying out chopsticks on the strawberries we brought for the kids to eat.

The Strawberry Kid

The first strawberries of the season from our garden. We figured some urchins would love them for dinner as we went out to eat at Momiji's. The baby bird look.

The Bobble

Bob in Scott's back yard on a nice sunny evening, last night in fact.

Ryan Turns Three

The big 3 came for Ryan and everyone gathered at David and Renee's home for the celebration. Ryan was hyped up with excitement and sugar. There were lots of presents to go around, along with cake and sugar.

ryan-third-birthday top 5-9-16


Anniversary of a Passing

Today is the 10th anniversary of Mom's passing. This was such a difficult day for me and everyone. The story is too sad to share. She will be missed by those of us she touched and loved.

Student of the Month

Nicolas got a Student of the Month Award yesterday at the grade school assembly. Most improved behavior for the month. Good for him. We attended and watched the awards. Nice little program. Interesting that the students learned to clap with applause just once for each award. It does keep the amount of time involved down. We should do it more often. Here is a history of why and when clapping started.

Happy Birthday Scott

Today Scott is 33 and has his own house. Proud of him doing all of this and getting his house in better appearance and working order. He has a pleasant place now and it will be better as he goes along.

A good place to be at 33 in this day and age with an economy that doesn't allow as many to get ahead as they did in past years.

We went out and had dinner at the 1847 Grill at the Boulders Inn. A good place for dinner and happy hour.

Birthday Dinner

David and Renee hosted the Lewis and Thayer families at their place for chicken enchilada dinner with rice and beans on the side. Of course, birthday cake was available too. The kids/cousins all had fun playing and racing around the house. Jesse just looked at us like what is all the hub bub, Bub.

Breakfast With Family

David and Renee did one of their breakfasts with the family all invited. We hadn't seen the group for awhile so it was nice to spend time with the kids. Here is my Jesse time at the start.

Valentine's Day 2016

We went to 1847 Bar and Grill late this afternoon for our Valentine's Day dinner. I enjoy going there. I got 2 nice cards, one from Bob and one from the cats and dog. How thoughtful. I also got a set of colored pencils to go along with my adult coloring book I bought at Costco yesterday. At the end, I had there wonderful cranberry/orange bread pudding. Yum.

Jesse Betrayed

Of course, Jesse went with Dad and Mom to the class. Doesn't he look betrayed kept from staying with his brothers and grandparents? He wanted to stay behind too.


Brudders Together

We were asked to kidsit late this afternoon and evening for Nicolas and Ryan while David and Renee had a class. They both came in and sat down together on a chair as buddies to watch the "Odd Squad". Quite a cute pair.


Looking Up

The painting is slowly getting someplace. The living room, dining area, and kitchen is close to being done. The red wall and kitchen area need a second coat. The Greige in the living area is done and looks nice. We will keep plucking away at getting the place looking much better.


Lavender Room

One room of the house Scott bought has a pretty completely painted lavender colored room, walls and ceiling. Even the shelf was painted lavender. This will be his office so he does plan to change this and it will need flooring too. Hard to live with this color.

Scott's New House

Scott took possession of his new house last night. Here is a picture of it from the street. It is 1565 W. Oak St. in Lebanon.

When You Are 64

Today I hit the big 64……….."When You Are 64". Pretty quiet day of working as usual but Bob and I did go out to eat at the 1847 Bar and Grill where we had a great dinner, tasty and relaxing. Some of the courses were off timing yet it didn't ruin the evening. A good start to my year.


The start of a new year with the New Years. Pretty quiet day of trying to get some work and relaxing done for the day. It was a beautiful, sunny, cold day. David, Renee and the boys came to visit and say an early Happy Birthday!

Our Boys

We got a lovely present from David and Renee. Sandee and Bob got something similar but more photos and a photo blanket. Here is a canvas print of a nice photo of our three grandsons.

Tablet Toys

Ryan got a tablet type toy for Christmas. He seems to like to push the buttons and play along. He does know how to recognize his alphabet, numbers, colors, etc. He is a sharp boy.

Monopoly Winner

On the 26th, Bob and I watched the two boys while David and Renee had a "date night" with Jesse. Bob played a round of Monopoly with Nicolas. Nicolas had a great time and actually beat PaPa Bob. He was ecstatic to say the least.

David and Renee Together

Got a nice photo of David and Renee together at the time of Jesse's Dedication. With their arms around each other.

Holiday Tree

Here is one photo of our Christmas tree for 2015. We went this morning over to Sherwin Williams and Lowes to look at paint samples and flooring for Scott's new house. I think we found some possibilities.

Jesse's First Christmas

Christmas Day dinner at our house too. Prime Rib roast again, slowed cooked with rosemary and garlic. Yum. Scalloped potatoes too. Hard to beat it. Here is a photo of Jesse with Uncle Scott for his first Christmas.


Christmas Eve 2015

We had Christmas Eve at our house with pizza and salads with dips. The kids opened presents with us. Bob, Sandee, and Great Grandma Kay came to celebrate. Here is a good photo of Nicolas and Ryan in their Minion jammies.

Christmas At School

Nicolas had his Cascade Elementary school Christmas pageant last night. They broke the evening into two sections and we attended the second section. Unfortunately, Nicolas' class ended up on the other side of the stage from where we sat. We did not get the opportunity to see his class sing as well. Afterwards though Ryan seemed to feel the fake Christmas presents under the Christmas tree were his to try and take to open. Here is PaPa Bob rescuing the package from Ryan.

Ham Or A Dead Pig

Here is a bit of the holiday spread we had for dinner. The attractive spiral ham that Scott loves to have yet Nicolas does not. As he would say, "Who wants to eat dead pig?" I guess the rest of us do. Happy


Ryan Loves to Eat

Yesterday, we had a less than common gathering for dinner at the house. David and family will come to eat here but catching Scott available to join us is rare. I guess it was the ham dinner offering. He does love a good spiral cut ham to eat. Now Ryan, he likes to dig into Grandma's jello with lots of whipped cream.


Jesse At The Christmas Bazaar

Renee had a table at her church to sell her different items for Christmas. What a "crafty" person she is. Little Jesse was there to help but then had to dose off due to the heavy work load he had.

Jesse and a Friend

Jesse was Ooo'd and Ahh'd over at the Thanksgiving feast. Much like he should be. He did find a friend that I was able to snap a photo of.


Thanksgiving 2016

Some of the Lewises, Fouts, and Thayer families met at the gym building of the Church of the Nazarene to have a potluck Thanksgiving. It was close to 50-50 children and adults. The kids were having a lot of fun running around and playing with lots of small balls they threw at each other. There was lots of food and Ryan was caught enjoying some of the cranberry salad in a small cup. That kid loves to eat.

Sunsetting On My Day

Some days start out great and one can feel happy. They can turn on a dime and not end up being a happy day at all. My day today was very much sensated.

Samwich Partners

Do you think they are related? Do you think they like to eat their Samwiches? Maybe while glued to a TV show?


Brothers For Sale

Renee posted a cute photo online. This is from a recent photo shoot at Waterloo Park of the family. I doubt Ryan wanted to cooperate but Nicolas likes to be in photos. Maybe Ryan didn't want to be sold. Here is Nicolas offering up to sell Jesse how seems like "what's happening?"

Serious Bob

Here is Bob out working and spreading apples from the old trees on the property back where the deer congregate around the trail camera. It is serious work.

Happy Jesse

David posted a photo today with Jesse in his carrier. A very happy boy and he is now responding by smiling when we interact with him. 12 weeks old now.

Breakfast with the Family

It starts that it is a dark and stormy night. It actually is a very dark and stormy night, rainy too, for Halloween. The newer version of Halloween, the movie, is on. It is Ok, blah. Not like the Jamie Lee Curtis version.
Part of the family went out to breakfast this morning at Korner Kitchen.
I was able to capture these photos.
David and Jesse

Ryan (with Jesse's cap) and Renee


Happy Birthday, David

The boys seemed to be having fun while at the Pumpkin Patch playing with the plastic duck spillways. Nicolas and Ryan seemed to find a way to get very wet. David was getting into the action for awhile too.
Today is David's —th birthday, so Happy Birthday, son.


Nathan and the Pumpkins

Nathan also had a great time and posed next to the large pumpkins.

King of Straw Mountain

Ryan certainly liked getting up on the top of the big pile of straw and shouting. This was a great place to look and be bigger than everyone else.

Pumpkin Patch

The Lewises and Thayers headed out east of Albany to the Bose Pumpkin patch and maze. The kids had fun checking out the fun areas while other family members wandered the corn maze. Here is Ryan and his buddy, PaPa Bob, getting ready.

What a Pair

A cute photo Renee posted of Ryan and Jesse together. Ryan is like "let's get this over with, I'm bored" and Jesse is looking startled or "what are they having me do?". Fun picture.

Jungle Boy

The trail camera caught Ryan out helping PaPa get the trail camera card near the deer crossing. The area is overgrown with grass and brush so Ryan looks like a Jungle Boy.

Three Little Owl Hats

One of my favorite pictures of the boys. Renee ordered three owl hats for them to wear. Nicolas is a ham, Ryan thinks he has the best fashion statement, and Jesse looks hurt. I guess little Jesse was very tired right then. What a great photo!

A Ryan Day

We had Ryan stay for the day while Nicolas went on a field trip to OSU with his Mom. Jesse went to Dia's for the time being. Fun to have the crazy little one which shows in the picture where he likes to ham it up.

Ryan and the Pumpkins

Another cute picture with Ryan showing off the pumpkins. Too bad PaPa's legs were in the background.

Pumpkin Boys

David and Renee brought the boys out for part of the afternoon. The two older boys picked out pumpkins to take home. Nicolas strapped his in with a seat belt. Renee got some cute photos of the 3 with the pumpkins and placed on Facebook for Fall photos.


Jesse among pumpkin…

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Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Art Linkletter had his show "Kids Say the Darnedest Things". We had dinner with David, Renee and their boys Sunday. We like to have challah bread from the local bakery. Nicolas, the 8 year old, was not wanting to eat his dinner. In encouraging him to eat his bread, he deadpanned, "Save your money".

Spectacular Boys

Beyond the other photos of Jesse in his Handsome clothes. Here he is hamming it up with a bigger "ham", Ryan, the big brother.


Apple Tree

Renee posted a photo of the apple tree Nicolas got as a start at the AgFest day last year. The tree has grown and of course Nicolas is growing. Here is a photo from last spring.

Train Boy

There is a little boy who loves his Thomas the Train pieces. He will steer and crash his train over and over again. Now he is trying to build bridges for the train to cross. Go, Engineer Ryan.

Being Cool

I have my newest Facebook cover photo. Where did this kid get the "cool" gene when none of the rest of us can seem to find it in the family. I hope it stays with him and does not go to his head. Better than the scowl he can deliver.

Family BBQ

Went driving today on the Aufderheide Dr. which is Hwy. 19 between Hwy. 126, the McKenzie Hwy. and Hwy. 58 the Willamette Hwy. running through Oakridge. More photos later. We went over to David and Renee's place for fruits, veggies, and a BBQ with them and the Lewises. An end of summer family BBQ American style.

David and Renee

A very nice photo was taken of David and Renee at the Meet Jesse party. I have to add it here.

State Fair

David, Renee and the boys went to the State Fair today. Wish we could have gone with them but too much work to still catch up on. It looks like Nicolas had fun with the Legos though.

42 Years

Today is a big 42 years for our marriage and an anniversary of the day two young people stood together at the Lutheran church on 5th St. here in Lebanon. Soulmates! Happy Anniversary, dear.
It was a quiet one of a couple of appointments, getting our TSA pre check applications submitted. A definite easier way to travel. Now we have to hope for our documents to come soon.

Off to a Night in Portland

A busy day of work yet we got time to break away at 4 pm to leave for Portland. Bob had reserved a room at the Shilo Inn tonight. Dinner at the Shilo Restaurant seemed the best bet after a tour of the Ikea store nearby. We were able to buy some towels and bath mats at the store. Dinner was good and then it was time to nod off to sleep from too much food.

Jesse's Party

David and Renee had a nice house party this afternoon for people to come and meet Jesse. Jesse was a dream for a baby, Nicolas was having fun with the other kids, and Ryan was acting goofy. I did get a nice photo of cousin Nancy holding Jesse (who made a lot of arm visits for the day).

Baby Cake

Renee posted this neat photo of a John Deere themed cake at the baby shower her work mates at the hospital held for her. It looked like a very nice gathering. Cool cake welcoming Baby Jesse.

Boys, Boys, Boys

Renee posted a cute photo of all 3 boys together with smiles or close to smiles if a little baby can smile much surrounded by 2 big brothers.

Happy 62nd Birthday, Bob

It is the Bobble's birthday today. Both of his sons did stop by to say Happy Birthday which is a very nice thing for an old man. We pretty much had a quiet day and went for Thai food for dinner in Lebanon. What a couple of old people.

Jesse Hard at Work

Jesse came home from the hospital late morning today. It has been a hard job getting those parents trained to his every need. Exhausting in fact. So exhausting that he had to take a long nap in his battery operated swinging bed. Such is the tough life of a new baby.


Family Pics with Jesse

Here are a couple of nice photos of family pictures of Jesse from yesterday. A great family group photo and also one with a proud PaPa Bob holding Jesse.

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Jesse Lewis Thayer is Here

Jesse Lewis Thayer made his introduction to the new world at 8:48 a.m. at the Lebanon Community Hospital. Welcome to the family little Jesse.

Ryan and First Ear of Corn

We had the first ears of 2015's crop of corn from Bob's garden. Yum. A bit on the early side but still great to have. Ryan let us know that he didn't want his corn stripped off the cob but to eat it on. Here he is enjoying the garden bounty and with a big smile.
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111 Degrees

We went out to dinner tonight just after 5 pm. The Subaru thermometer read 103 degrees as we pulled up to the Schmizza Public House parking lot near BiMart. After dinner around 6:15 pm, we drove downtown the thermometer read 111 degrees as we drove on Park Street. Amazingly, it was at least 10 degrees cooler out in the Berlin area. Thankfully, we were hot but not baking hot.

Mixed Up Twins

I came across this article about two sets of identical twins who were mixed up at the hospital between both sets and each set grew up thinking they had a fraternal twin not an identical twin born with them. Until they found out the truth. A fascinating story about genetics, epigenetic, environment and also how one must feel when they look at their life and wonder what it would have been like if they had lived in their true parental family.

Ryan Determined

Ryan is funny when he sees his play fort and also being out at the farm. He walks or runs from place to place enjoying each spot. He can be a determined little boy, or big boy as he likes to think.

Best Fort Around

It is a quiet and recuperating 4th of July at our house. We did spend time with David, Renee, and the boys in the early evening barbecuing. The steaks were great. Before we got to that point, Nicolas and Ryan enjoyed some time on their new play fort. Or it seems like the perfect fort for them.
It is very funny to see Ryan sit in one of the small chairs and pat the bigger one for his "Papa" to join him in the fort area.

Playset Almost There

Bob has been working hard on the playset for the kids. It is all painted and set up except for a new slide. We will order that later. It looks pretty cool and has its chairs for a fort underneath for some kids to hang out. Or is that Grandpa to do so?

Play Structure Construction

Bob has been hard at work trying to finish the play structure/swing set/fort. Here he is hard at work trying to put more of it together after some of the painting he has done. Ryan and Nicolas like the climbing ramp.


Bob has moved the play structure and swing set out to the farm that used to sit in Scott's back yard for Melissa's kids and those she had in daycare. He is putting it back together and painting it Clover or our door accent green. It does seem like a good color. Ryan found it right away and was fast up on top.

Jumping Bean

Ryan was having too good a time jumping on the mini-trampoline. He does seem to like to bounce up and down.

Cantaloupe Lover

Ryan loves to eat his fruit and here he is stuffing a big piece of cantaloupe in his mouth at the BBQ tonight. He probably can't wait until he gets his Grandpa's garden grown cantaloupe.

Young Baseball Fan

Ryan is going to take after his one Grandpa and show that he likes going to baseball games. Here he is at the Corvallis Knights game over near Reser Stadium with his parents.


Bob and I had to do one of the hardest things last evening in saying goodbye to an old friend. Also, one of the hardest things to do as a veterinarian to be the person who has to make that goodbye happen. We said Goodbye to our old dog, Blackadder. He came to us as a stray roaming the countryside looking for friends and we didn't want harm to come to him, so he was ours. Over the years, one of his favorite things to do was to go with Bob on the tractor, sitting on his feet. When that got too hard, he rode in the trailer behind (photos from last December). Goodbye old friend, the family will greatly miss you.

From better days out in McDowell Creek…….

Eight Years Old

A busy time was had by all along with pizza at Nicolas' 8th birthday. Here he is showing off some of his loot such as "Captain Underpants". What a silly book.

Memorial Day 2015

As many people have commented while approaching this holiday, Memorial Day is more than just a holiday. It is a day of remembrance, honor and service. This came home to me in prior years when Bob and I had the opportunity to be in Washington DC on the Memorial Day holiday weekend. We saw Rolling Thunder come into the city. We went to the War Memorials and also Arlington Cemetery. One cannot forget being there and the importance of these places after having gone.
I came across an article that discusses our soldiers, their sacrifice and our disconnect from understanding their heroism during war…………especially our Medal of Honor recipients. The article can be found here on Powerline, the best blog out there on the internet.
Speaking of Arlington Cemetery, a place never to be missed in one's lifetime, the history of origin of this fascinating and humbling place can be read here.



David and Renee found a litter of kittens (a kindle) hiding out in their burn pile. They found 4 at first and then a fifth. There may be a sixth still with the Queen. They appear about 5 weeks old or a little less. They are eating some soupy canned cat food which is good. Mom was taking good care of them since they appeared very healthy. Here is a photo of three of the group.

Readying the Gravesites

Bob and I loaded up and set out for the family gravesites at Powell and the IOOF cemeteries to be ready for the Memorial Day holiday. All the flower sets looked beautiful and made each spot stand out. We try to place flowers by my great-grandmother and great-great grandparents too at Powell Cemetery.

Cupcake Train

Some more evidence of fun.

Ryan says "Hurry up and get this train on track for the candle lighting and then eating"
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Here come the candles!

Best 2.0 Birthday Evah

After all the food, birthday presents, and lighting of the cupcakes, it was the best 2.0 birthday evah! for Mr. Ryan who had a very busy exciting day. The weather could not have been better for a family gathering.

Cheering PaPa On

Some of the family gang showed up to cheer the hearty runner on to the finish line. Here is Ryan, David, and Nicolas near the finish line waiting for PaPa to get through the final race wrap up.

Near The Finish

Here is the big runner, coming in to the final stretch near the finish line. This looks more tiring than I think it really was for him this time around.bob-at-run-end-5-3-15

Bob At The 5K Run

Bob went and ran his 5K Cheadle Lake Run today. He hadn't been able to train for about one month but he did better than last year and did not seem tired. Must have been the better shoes he had this time around.

Choo Choo

Ryan came to play yesterday and he had his older brother's "letter" train set. He was very cute sitting on this rug with the train pieces pretending they will pull across the rug. "Choo Choo", he says.

Easter and Family

Today is Scott's birthday and also Easter. He and Melissa could not join us for Easter Dinner. We all met for dinner last night at Momiji. We did have David, Renee, the boys, and Renee's parents, Bob and Sandee. Caught Ryan enjoying his plate of grapes since he loves his fruit and veggies.
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Apartment Burning

April Fool's Day was not a good one for a number of people locally. A major arson fire was set at the cafeteria of South Albany High School. This whole building part of the school burned to a crisp. It serves as a cafeteria and meal center for a number of local schools and a band center too. What a shame. Then later in the day while David, Renee, Nicolas, and Ryan were out here at the farm, their old apartment they lived in until last October burned inside. All the units in this section were affected with smoke and water damage beyond this one. It was comforting they no longer lived there and no fire started while they lived there and were upstairs. The stairs were narrow, and steep with an angle. Not a good way to get out from a fire below. Supposedly the later tenants were moving out and had leaned a mattress against a heater starting the fire. Sad if true.
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How Does That Work?

Ryan is having fun with one of Nicolas' toys today. He is checking it out carefully. He may ask "How does that work?' but he will figure it out.

Coloring With Grandpa

While I was off seeing the ultrasound of the newest Thayer rugrat, Grandpa Bob was entertaining Ryan. I caught a few moments of the two coloring together. I missed the photos of them trading color crayons with each other. Silly boys!

Ryan, Little Flirt

With it being Palm Sunday, we were invited over to David and Renee's house to have an early afternoon breakfast brunch. I was able to capture the kids outdoors on the play set on a nice afternoon before we ate our brunch. Ryan didn't want to swing yet he did like the slide. He has always enjoyed trying to slide. Here is a cutesy pose like he is a little flirt

Dinner with Relatives

The other night we met with Bob's brothers and some of the younger members of the family. Mitch was returning to his infantry unit at Ft. Benning, GA by plane later in the evening. We met at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Southcenter Mall at Tukwila. The area is now like a large town on its own. Much bigger than when we stopped there in my youngish days. It was good to see family and have dinner together. They all looked and sounded good.

Mick, Janet, and Lindsay

Lindsay, Kathy, Jim, and Bob

Bob, Kim, and Mitch


Birthdays at 63

Well, the big day of the year for birthdays has come. We have made our way to Seattle for the Hotel Andra to stay for the weekend. Our first dining experience out was at Serious Pie (where else) where we had one of the wood fired pizzas and their famous dessert of coconut cream pie. Yum. Then it was off to see the last episode of The Hobbit which was non-stop 3-D action.
Fennel sausage, peppers, and provolone cheese pizza

So good the fork didn't want to get out of the way.



New Year's Eve Home Cooking

Did our traditional Mexican Shrimp Corn Chowder for New Year's Eve. Yummy…….one additional item over prior years is that I made Artisan Hearth Bread with the loaf pan I got at Java Depot in Lincoln City on a prior visit. Homemade bread is even more yummy. A really basic recipe and the loaf was wonderful with the chowder. Great flavor.

Family Over 40 Years

I came across this interesting article about a man who photographed his wife and her 3 sisters every Christmas holiday for 40 years. Each picture with each year is chronicled in the article. We enjoy our families and photos are such memories. Many have shared these memories across the internet cloud through media like Facebook. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to maintain such a photo journal or history in such a manner. My hat is off to him for doing so. Check it out.

Dual Use Bike

Someone whose first name starts with a B now has no excuse to wish for a bike to ride around on his property and the nearby roads. He now has a new Trek bike to enjoy. May he live long and prosper.

Christmas Day, Round Two

More food, more presents for Christmas Day. Scott and Melissa made it out here for the second round. David and the boys joined to share the prime rib and more presents.
Ryan got to see what more goodies came from the other side of his family.
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Christmas Eve, Round One

The adults ate lots of good food with chants in the background of "I want to open my presents first". The Christmas wrap did not stand a chance of long survival. Nicolas tore into the paper with gusto for a "Spunky the Cat" debut and Ryan, our little builder, had a happy time pounding on his building blocks…when he wasn't racing Flaming Frankie the car and Donnie the Driver at the seat.



Christmas Presents 2014

The tree is all decorated, has been for awhile, and the stockings are not stuffed. Milk and cookies are not out for Santa, trying to watch the sweets. Ready for Christmas 2014, like it or not.

Bob Can Fly

Is Bob trying to mimic the seagulls that are close by on the Oregon beach near Lincoln City or is he just acting goofy for the camera? I will leave that for the viewer to decide…..


Our 2014 Christmas Tree

With Bob’s and grandson Nicolas’ help, we got our Christmas tree up and decorated. It isn’t as large or has as many ornaments as last year. They both did a super job and now the tree is on records for this year. Getting ready for Christmas is never an easy thing to accomplish for the Thayers.

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.

Battleship Kid

One minute you are 18 months old and watching how the bigger kids play Battleship….

The next minute you are ready to take over the world with your own Battleship, go Ryan…



Ryan and the Big Bed

Ryan came to spend the day today. Upstairs he saw the steps to our big tall bed. Up he went and enjoyed the view sitting in the middle of his grandparent’s bed. Happy

Duchess of Devonshire

A recent article covered the death and some history of the Duchess of Devonshire, Debo, as she was known. Debo was a Mitford. To read about an example of the upper British class and some of its oddities, you have to read about the Mitfords. Especially the Mitford sisters. The author of this piece evidently knew the family and has written about them. Enjoy reading about a different world from ours. Are they privileged or damaged?

Grandma's Work Clone

There is a little man out there who seems to have picked up Grandma’s work habits of late. I seem to spend a lot of time on the computer and someone is also learning the same. Maybe not such a good thing.
Ryan at the computer desk at his home

Breakfast at the Other Thayers

David and Renee invited the whole family over to their new place to cook and serve breakfast at their new place. They certainly have more room than they did in the small apartment. The kids sure had fun racing around the placed and down the hall. We were shot by many a stick and soft ball at the end. Pow, Pow, Pow!
Ryan at the breakfast table when all is said and done.

Aunt Doris

My Aunt Doris passed away today. I regret I did not see her in her final good days. I left it too long and that was my fault. Too wrapped up in trying to keep up with work unfortunately. We had a lot of good times going out to dinner. I like to think of her when I saw her best last fall versus this last spring and she was not doing as well. Talking to her kids, my cousins and cousin-in-law, they miss her. I put a nice photo I got of her and Nancy, her daughter-in-law when Renee had her baby shower. Good memories.

Tired Little Boy

David, Renee, the boys, and her family flew back to St. Louis via Atlanta 2 days ago to spend the last days with Renee’s grandmother. It is a long way to go with a full family to take and 2 active kids. Travel is exhausting as Ryan demonstrates in this picture....
the sleep of the innocent.

Mowing Weeds

Bob and our neighbor, Dan Hartman, went over and mowed down a lot of tall grass and weeds around the place. One can now see where the yard is and at least enjoy it to a fair degree. Much cleaner view. In visiting, I didn’t go in because David was feeling sick and I did not want to get exposed.
I did grab some McDonald’s food to eat since I was a bit hungry. To know how the McDonald in McDonald’s is, check it out here.

Moving Day

David, Renee, and the boys had a major move today to a mobile home over on Denny School Rd. It offers a bit more room for them as far as the kitchen, dining and living room. The boys have a fair sized room or area to each of them. One big attraction is that it is less expensive so that will be helpful for them at this point. Bob was involved in helping move all the big and little stuff with Renee’s family helping.

New Cowboy Boots

The smallest wrangler and farm boy of the family, Ryan, got his first cowboy boots. He seemed to do a good job of clomping in them around the house. He certainly can run and motor really well with those boots. It is the cutest thing with his Major Cutie shirt, shorts, and cowboy boots. None of the rest of us could pull that off so well.

Ryan Hello Speak

Thanks to Renee calling this evening, we heard that Ryan was unhappy that he couldn’t talk to someone so she called us. We got to hear his first telephone hello to Grandma and Grandpa. I hope he made his bedtime soon after. We certainly enjoyed the special hello from this little bundle of Ryan energy.

Nicolas is a Cat Veterinarian Trainee

David and Renee took the boys today to the Gilbert House in Salem. The house is set up for kids. It was founded by the man who developed the erector set and he was from Salem. Here is Nicolas set up to do a cat examination as a veterinarian. Renee has video of his giving an injection to the poor kitty. The technique needs refinement to say the least.

Dueling Birthday Cakes

Sunday Denver and Shasta had their belated birthday party at River Park. It was a warm pleasant afternoon and a good time for all. The kids had fun and both Denver and Shasta had their own birthday cake to highlight their interests--dancing and “boy-type stuff (weird eyeballs)”. Here they are with their dueling cakes and candles.

The Watermelon Kid

I think Ryan is going to go down as “The Watermelon Kid” much like there is “The Cisco Kid”. That boy does like to eat watermelon and also cantaloupe. Happy

The Shirtless Bunch

The young boys yesterday were having a lot of fun near the end on the swings and slides. Even more fun when Grandpa Bob Lewis wets down the slide. All of them went shirtless for the end of the day fun.


Watermelon Loving Boy

We were invited over for late afternoon today for a Lewis backyard barbecue. It was also Michael’s birthday too. Really nice evening being sunny and warm, not too cool nor too hot. The Thayers brought produce from their garden. The hard grown spoils of Mister Thayer. Can you tell from these pictures that his grandson, Ryan, loves his watermelon?

What watermelon are you talking about?


This watermelon!


A Birthday for Bob

No, I won’t say how old he is. Not that he would care that much. It was a good day for him. We had breakfast with Scott and Melissa in town which is not a frequent occurrence to eat with them. He also got a lot of birthday wishes throughout the day from any people. Of course, Facebook facilitates a lot of “contacting” among friends. His new computer has arrived and is at the computer repair place to get all his info transferred over to the new one. He should be excited when it all comes online.

Speed Baby

A picnic on a hot day outdoors. Thunderstorms in the evening. It is fun to watch Ryan race around to explore his “world”. He had a blast today scrambling up and down the deck stairs. He has also learned to open the pantry door to get at the food. Ah, the joys of a grandparent’s home.

Tug of War

Ryan was having fun tonight and almost 15 months old he is getting pretty playful. He enjoys a bit of silliness. David caught him in this picture having a back and forth tug-of-war with Dervish’s frisbee toy. I understand it was quite hilarious to watch.

Popsicle Boy

A kid with some pretty blue eyes which I think he inherited from Grandpa seems to enjoy his popsicles just like Grandpa does. He is a cutie, the little one I mean. Happy


The Fourth

This fourth of July was observed more quietly and with more work catching up than usual. No fireworks viewing on our end. We were still in jet lag and wanting to go to bed early. It was a day of spending time with David, Renee, and the boys here at our house BBQing chicken and hot dogs for lunch. We had a wonderfully sweet watermelon Bob got at a produce stand on the way home from the airport. Renee made a nice cheese and fruit tray to snack from. Our interlude of family time and away from tasks was short-lived yet so very nice to have.

Mr. Tumbles

I don’t think I would have recognized our Nicolas as Mr. Tumbles in the photo. We did snag this photo off Renee’s Facebook page since it was so good and colorful, too. Good job, Renee. It looks like Mr. Tumbles had a fun time as a Clown for the Day!

Super Heroes to Rescue

We went to watch the newest Godzilla march across the movie screen, the world and our cities while attacking the Motas (new version of Mothra). I learned a few things from watching the film: it is a good thing we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area, some families have trouble follow them everywhere, when mega monsters fight they create a mess, you still need a good story with the special effects to make a good movie. Considering the number of Godzilla movies we watched while David and Scott were kids and big Godzilla lovers, this one was better than many.
This is why we need little super heroes who can attack the big bad monsters in this world before they destroy our backyard swing set.

MiniMe Pirates

The Dread Pirate Robert has a Mini-Me version. The Mini-Me version has a truly great curl of the lip and way of saying that pirate, ARRRGH! Check it out.

Dread Pirate Robert

The Dread Pirate Robert made a trip from The Princess Bride to come and terrorize the Super Hero gathering for Nicolas the Bold. Ryan the Hostage to the Dread Pirate Robert was not excited to be approached by strange pirates and he was not sure he wanted to be held by the man with the eye patch. The sword of fury got past around among the Super Heroes to test for its ability to intimidate but few could match the Dread Pirate Robert and his eye patch.

Super Hero Birthday

The super heroes were out in force today. It was Nicolas the Bold’s “super hero tea party” birthday. Most of the super heroes seemed to have superman costumes or logos. The bad guys were chased away or sprayed with silly string. The birthday boy had plenty of cool presents to open and play with. Here is one view of a happy boy in the middle of goodies.


Nicolas the Bold


Super Hero Tea Cakes

Babies, dogs and balls

Our dog, Dervish, loves his ball. He loves chasing his ball, especially if thrown by a family member. Dogs also seem to think that if someone has the ball, it is meant to be shared, to be thrown. Ryan thinks the ball is for chewing with his new teeth. Both believe the ball then is meant for their use though sharing can occur. One can see from the following picture how this can be done.

Nicolas the Bold

In shooting photos of the family, the light was fading due to approaching rain clouds. We went out along the retaining wall as a good backdrop for the family and to use better light there. Nicolas did not want to pose for photos very much and if he needed to, it was more to make grimace faces. I do think I got a good one here with him standing on the retaining wall with the sky as a backdrop. He had the look of being the boss or Nicolas the Bold, overseeing his domain.
nicolas-the-bold-small 5-11-14

First Birthday Party

Ryan had his first birthday party today. The gang or is it gaggle of family gathered around to eat BBQ and dump truck “dirt cake and gummy worms” for the afternoon. I could put a birthday type photo here though I think one of a happy boy who enjoyed the attention on his birthday is best. The birthday types can be used on later dates. Here he is in all his smiling glory.

Birthday Boy is One

Ryan is one year old today. The family group went out to eat dinner at Pizza Hut to celebrate his birthday. He seemed to sense it was a big day for him and he was in a good mood with plenty of shouting and jabbering. He even did his longest stretch of walking, the side-stepping sort, while he was there. Everyone had plenty of food and a good time. Here is the Birthday Boy, Ryan, getting a birthday kiss from Great Uncle Rod.

Two of a Kind

I think David realizes that he is more likely to have his picture show up if he mugs holding Ryan. Here is two of a kind, father and son, while waiting for Grandpa Bob to round the 5K track back to the finish line.

Nicolas the Pirate

While Bob was off running his race yesterday, kids were getting their faces painted. Nicolas was no different. He went with the pirate look and had a black eye patch painted on. Here he is looking tough, or at least tougher than usual.

Lebanon Race Day

Bob was signed up for the past month to run in the Cheadle Lake “Build Lebanon Trails Fun Run”. It was a mix of a kid’s dash, 5K, 10K, and walk to the Finish. He registered for the 5K and has been training on the treadmill to do run 5Ks. David, the boys, and I went out to cheer him on from start to finish. It was a bit windy and cool with the threat of rain. He started well and was dragging a bit at the end. Here is the Bobble headed off with the rest of the 5K pack.

Stroller Babies

While Nicolas was blazing around the AgFest trying to see everything he could, even for a little bit of time, Ryan was having fun in his stroller watching everything around him. Of course, he had to keep Mom and Dad in sight. Grandparents, eh, who cares. Happy

Kids and AgFest

The outing today out of the house was up to Salem with David, Renee and the boys to the Oregon AgFest. It appears that the AgFest is a way to expose people and especially children to agriculture. It is a great idea and other than the slow entry gates, it was a well done affair. Many do not understand where milk and eggs come from or how we grow our food. Oregon has a great agriculture background and it needs to be promoted. First up was the Petting Zoo area where kids could see all types of livestock and poultry. They even had sheep shearing demonstrations. I do remember how to do that since my days of raising sheep.

Nicolas at the alpaca area
After this area, we went to the Pavilion where they had booths for kids to learn how to graft apple trees, grow grass seeds, grow vegetables like tomatoes and how to raise bees. It was a sensory overload for Nicolas through the whole visit.

Easter Eggs and Little Boys

Little boys do love to do their Easter egg hunts. Two little boys got plastic eggs with silly faces painted on them. Ryan seems to enjoy playing with his egg and ignoring his Dad on Easter.

Easter 2014

A quiet holiday. We did not have any major plans for the day. It is a day with family so we went to the Lewis’ house to share a meal with David, Renee, the boys, and her family. It was a BBQ type of day so it was burgers, chicken and hotdogs for the crew. Afterwards, we all sat down and watched the movie Frozen. I saw it on the plane coming back from Newark a few weeks ago. It is a nice animation though I don’t think it beats out Brave as far as I am concerned.

Dancing Baby

Only a sweet baby boy would be dancing this day and age to “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. Ryan put on a pretty good bouncing to the beat show this afternoon. At 10 months of age, he has much better rhythm than his Papa Bob shown with him in this picture where he was bouncing to that "achy breaky" beat.


Today would have been my father’s 97th birthday. Sadly he passed away in 1979. So long ago. He was a good guy and well liked. He was good to his friends and loved to talk to anyone, especially hunting and fishing. Here is a scan of him in the driveway of my grandparents home along S. Santiam Highway in Lebanon. The intersection is so different now. No store across the way for one. There is a gas station where their house stood. It is a 4 lane road and busy. Here is to you, Dad!

Starter Marriages and Happiness

Getting married at an earlier stage of life before you have built a career and home has it challenges. It also can build a strong relationship, friendship, and marriage. To read an explanation of the Advice for a Happy Life by Charles Murray, it can be found here. I would say that this pair of Thayers fit the article well. We married when we were 21 (me) and 20 (Bob). We have been friends and soul mates. It has been a good relationship and full of good laughs. We have many mutual interests and can go on vacation together without getting bored. Many cannot say the same.

Jasmine is a Trackie

We did something different today. Jasmine has joined Junior High track and they had their first track meet this afternoon. She is competing in long jump, high jump, and high hurdles. The schools all competing were Philomath, Linus Pauling, and Lebanon. Bob, Nicolas, and I met David with Ryan there and then sat with Melissa, Denver, and Shasta. Jasmine was up and about before she went to her competitions. Scott showed up later. Jasmine ended up not running the hurdles so she could practice more. We all had fun watching the kids do their best and it was on the Lebanon High track which is in great shape. We will have to do it again. Snapped a photo with David holding Ryan.

Tractor Work

Bob and Nicolas were out today, working in the afternoon sunshine. Bob has been trying to pick up a lot of the broken tree limbs due to the snow/ice storm of last month. Lots of work to do. Even though this was a bit of a distance for the IPhone, I had to hurry to get outside and take the photo of the two of them on the tractor pulling the trailer with the limbs.

Renee's Birthday

Today is Renee’s birthday, just two days after her Dad’s birthday. The daffodils should be coming out more so a great flower to share the day with. Here is Renee with silly bug, Ryan.

Birthday Parties

Bob Lewis is having his 60th birthday today and Sandee had a surprise birthday party for him at their home. Family and friends came to share. His sister from St. Louis had traveled the day before to participate. Unfortunately, I did get to meet her at the party. It is also St. David’s Day in Wales, so another good tradition to celebrate too. Bring on the daffodils. Here is Ryan’s take on birthday parties.

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.

Valentine's Day 2014

Today is Valentine’s Day. The weather is a bit wet and windy, therefore gloomy. It is nice though to be able to go out for a pleasant, good tasting dinner as part of this romantic holiday. There are not a lot of sit down, nice restaurants in this area. Usually one has to drive 30-60 miles to get to the better ones. Bob made reservations at The Point in Sweet Home. It looks out over the Foster Reservoir and does a decent job with food. The fellow who owns it works hard and does appreciate his customers. He tries to provide good and friendly customer service. It was quite fun to have my hubby give me a Love Bear during dinner. Mr. Love Bear sat on the table and oversaw what we ate--shrimp cocktail, shrimp and steaks as the main course.

Jazzy Jasmine

Bob caught a photo of Jasmine dressed up with Nicolas’ hat and my goofy cat-type glasses. With her colorful socks, she struck a “jazzy” look. She looks like she will be off to the clubs, leaving the family hicks behind. Too bad we can’t be so cool. Winking

Another Day, Another Smile

A day of baby sitting Ryan and bringing Nicolas home after school. Ryan is getting much more adventuresome and checking out the neighborhood. In the picture, below a person can see one of our video storage drawers pulled out from Ryan testing the drawer rollers. He is a boy with a happy smile (when he is not tired or hungry Happy ). I think I can see a little bit of Grandma Connie in that smiley look. She would be very happy if that were so.

Men Time

You know the air inversion is happening and the fog has set in all day. The “guys” are all interested in the antics of SpongeBob Squarepants and Ryan is all happy just from being able to stand at chest side and slap his hands in merriment. It is a guy thing, what can I say?




Long Day

The majority of today was spent at Corvallis Samaritan Hospital lending support to Scott as he went through back surgery. Or as he put it in other succinct terms, “A way to spend $22,000 for a surgery to be able to get $1 warming socks with grippers”. After waiting 4 hours from check-in to when he went into surgery, it all went quickly to clean out the ruptured intervertebral disks near his spinal cord and nerves. As I commented to one nurse, I was not sure which is worse, riding on a long airplane flight or sitting in a hospital room. She did have a reasonable point to consider in that one probably sees a lot more interesting people while flying. Scott is home now and happy to be there.

Getting Stronger

Someone is getting stronger in their activities and I think his name is Ryan. Renee has been posting video of Ryan standing in his crib and crawling after interesting objects on her Facebook page. Since we had an afternoon and evening visit from the family, we could see Ryan crawling toward fascinating items that would not be the best for him to play with (power cords and dog balls). He also was standing for quite a period of time next to a chest table while eating on rice cereal. Would you say that face below is ready for baby mischief? Happy That is a pretty good Dr. Evil imitation!

Birthday Coastal Trip

We made an early drive over to the Oregon Coast today. We went by way of Highway 20 to Newport and then up the coast to Lincoln City. It was a day to see some sun, beaches, shop, and have lunch at Kyllo’s. Kyllo’s is the better seafood place in Lincoln City as far as I am concerned. We split a salad, a yummy shrimp cocktail, halibut and chips w/prawns, and a scrumptious coconut almond ganache pie. It was just great to get over to see some sunshine. It was warmer there and the wind was not blowing. It really seemed like a calm day at the coast. Good to have a relaxing day for a birthday. Here is a photo I got of a lovely home at the edge of Depoe Bay.

Sitting With Grandchildren

We had our first experience of grandchild sitting from David’s side today. The boys were good and it was entertaining to watch. One can start learning their patterns and interests with time. Ryan likes to explore the ground he can scoot over and Nicolas wants to play computer games, Minion Rush is the big one. The Minions are definitely strange looking critters. I’d hate to be chased by them.
Bob did a great grandpa job with both of them. He had Ryan for a short time trying to do a little standing, even if wobbly, on his two little legs.

Jasmine's 12th Birthday

It would not be a Christmas if I did not post a picture of Jasmine too. She had her 12th birthday today. Of course, she is growing into being a young lady with her own personality. She is a favorite of Ryan’s and does a good job entertaining him...........not that this picture shows it since he just was waking up from a nap. He did shortly after put on his bright smiley face and make noises at her in return. Happy Birthday, Jasmine.

First Christmas with Ryan

Rising early, we got right in and got the prime rib seared and into the oven. Fruit salad and herb rolls, here we come. Soon the boys and families arrive. We settle in to eat a wonderful meal of goodies. Way too many things to snack on. The children went more for the Popcorn Chicken and french fries. Foolish young’uns. They don’t know what they are missing. Soon, it was present passing and opening. I think all went over well with the group and everyone should love what they received.
Ryan’s first Christmas in Berlin

Shasta, Nicolas, and Denver are IPod movie watching
The adults are all settled in for Christmas dinner in 2013. Yum!!!

Still a Blondie

We had family time late yesterday afternoon and early evening. Ryan was a mix of smiling and flirting to clingy to Mom and Dad. No ugly old grandparents would do. Big tears would erupt if he got dumped on their laps. He is all smiles in this photo where he is in his crib. It makes it light colored hair look even more blonde for the moment.

2013 Christmas Concert

Last night was Nicolas’ grade school, Cascade Elementary, Christmas pageant. The girls were dressed like little dolls and the boys were a mix. Nicolas’ grade is a large group of kids. They did a fine job and I got video of that section of the show. He was dressed up very well. Ryan seemed to have a fun time until he got tired and wanted his Mom near the end. Here is Ryan with Papa Bob T.

Kids and Storybook Land

We did not attend though we heard a lot about the opening night of Storybook Land at the Linn County Expo Center in Albany. It appears that Melissa and Renee with their kids made the stroll around the center looking at exhibits and the kids told their wishes to Santa. I am hoping for a photo of Ryan with Santa. The best I could download was with him bundled up in his stroller, Jasmine pushing, and Melissa and Renee tagging along. Christmas is coming!

Family Gathering

A later Thanksgiving dinner was held at the Lewis’. Lots of good food and desserts were present. I made another batch of yummy Apple Caramel Sweet Rolls to take. Bob was a hit with the kids in reading books and playing legos with them.
I just tried to take it easy and relax after a morning of baking the sweet rolls. Renee did post a cute photo of the boys. She gets good ones at candid moments.

Post Thanksgiving

People are off rushing to the stores on Black Friday. I got my new IPhone which I like a lot. Now I have to get it set up with all the apps that I like. Made some apple caramel cinnamon rolls which went over like crazy. Yummy! We got to see the little Ryan man this afternoon and the photo is from the new IPhone 5s.

Six Months

Ryan is 6 months old today. David, Renee, Nicolas, and Ryan all came out to visit and have dinner with us. It was great to see everyone’s smiling faces. Ryan has a cute baby’s smile that lights up when he sees you. He is sitting up more though I sense he would like to stand more than that. I hear he is rolling over a lot. He gets frustrated when he cannot get his shoulder out of the way to do it more often. It takes so much work!

New Cousins

We saved an image from the other Thayer’s Facebook page of the other Grandpa Bob holding two cousins new to each other. This is a great photo with Ryan, PaPa Bob Lewis, and Jeremiah at the family gathering in Seattle this last weekend. I am sure Bob is in 7th Heaven holding these grandkids.

Remembering Mom

The anniversary of my mother’s birth. We all still miss her very much. Too bad she is not here to laugh with us and keep us on the straight and narrow. She would certainly have her thoughts about all the politics and negative discourse between people of different beliefs.


Tigger Tigers

More lectures and learning. I have gotten to see and laugh with a number of old friends from the cat practice networking days. I participated in the silent auction and bought a nice fleecy blanket with Tigger tigers on it for grandsons to have for Christmas. Hate to spend the money though well worth it to help the Foundation and something for the kiddos. I attended a nice dinner and awards ceremony in the evening. It is fun to watch the live auction at the end. Dr. French was a hilarious auctioneer. What a performer!


What is Faux?

We have had to listen to a drum beat of voices saying that those of us who had our individual health insurance cancelled that it was faux insurance. We are rubes, schlubs, and ignorant people who don’t know what is good for us in deciding our health care. Even though it has been around for awhile and we were satisfied with it. Certainly more satisfied than our premiums going up around 70%, deductibles which were already high almost doubling, and co-pays cut almost in half. We will be paying for insurance that will probably not help us and most likely economically hurt us.We have a government that lies to us and won’t accept responsibility. We lie for your benefit. Too bad, so sad. We lie since you are too stupid to know what you need. I hope this backfires on them and the Democrats suffer politically for this. For all the hurt they do to us, I hope it triples for them. We did not need to break 9 eggs to coddle 1. That is my mantra and I am so angry and frustrated on how this whole health care and insurance issue has gone.

David at 34

Today is David’s birthday. He is 34 and head of his household. We dropped a birthday card by his apartment last night since we left for Portland to attend a seminar this morning early. It was a shame not to be able to spend some time for his birthday together. He and Renee went out to dinner at Red Robin last night. We had a nice evening going to Pastini Pastoria restaurant at Bridgeport Village in Tualatin. Nice to see some other scenery.

40th Anniversary

Today is our 40th anniversary. What a milestone and miracle. I remember worrying about making our 25th due to concerns about my health. We did it. It started a beautiful morning with the sun shining brightly in Bandon. What a perfect day for photography! Here is my earlier morning photos of the Coquille Lighthouse with the sun from the east highlighting it.
Coquille Lighthouse at Bandon


One thing I did not emphasize enough yesterday was how thoughtful Renee was to have planned an anniversary party and have some nice touches with the decorations, cake, food, and picture slideshow. I guess I was not helpful with letting them know what our music was for the wedding. Sadly, I cannot find our wedding program. Announcements, newspaper clippings, napkins, just not the program. I do remember two songs………”Love Can Make You Happy” by Mercy and “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters. The photo is me saying Thank You to Renee for putting it all together.

Thanks for the Memories

Our children sprung a big surprise on us this afternoon and held a 40th Anniversary Party at the Church of the Nazarene. Most of the work was done by our daughter-in-law Renee. Her family and Scott’s significant other, Melissa, also helped out. It was a wonderful surprise and great to have my aunt, Doris, and cousin, Allen, with his wife, Sally, there too. They played a wonderful DVD slideshow of photos of us getting married, having kids, and growing older to the song, “Remember When”. The colors were in Yellow and White and we got to cut the cake (which was great to taste) and actually still be able to eat it. A very nice time was had by all. Happy
Another “Papa Bob” with Ryan.


Turning 60

Bob hit the big 60 today. He said he feels not a day older than 59. Happy
Here he is with Ryan and Nicolas. Scott and Melissa, David and Renee, and our in-laws, Bob and Sandee, came out to BBQ and celebrate his birthday. Just a busy day with getting ready, eating lots of good food, and family on a sunny day. Nicolas had been eating strawberries that are still getting ripe in the garden.

A Trailer Full of Kids

The dogs sometimes get displaced from riding in the trailer of the lawn mower. This is a trailer full of instant grandkids……..(from the left) Shasta, Nicolas, Jasmine, Denver, and Dervish the Dog. Grandpa Bob gets all the fun toys and kids.


Bob has been spending a lot of the last week trying to get our 25 year old trailer in shape for a weekend Bible camp out for David and Renee. The trailer once cleaned up looks fairly decent though there are some significant wear and tear spots and areas that need work. It still functions for a camp out one way or another.
Here is Ryan watching while his Dad and his Grandpa are getting the last minute preps done before driving to the campground.
Grandpa Bob and Ryan after trailer is set up.


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.

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)



Off to spend time in Costco to buy replacements for home electronics that seem to quit on their own. I wonder what is next to break down since it is always in 3s. Well, at least I will put a good photo of Bob with Dervish in this spot.

Family Teriyaki

We finally got out of the house again and took David, Renee, Nicolas, and Ryan out to dinner at Lebanon Teriyaki. I think that is close to their favorite place to visit for dinner. Ryan got passed around for holding to Dad, Grandpa, and Grandma before Mommy was the better deal for dinner. Conversation, of course, did settle for the men around softball and baseball. Just a look at the ballpark area in Seattle. The white domed field on the left is for the Seattle Seahawks and the dark domed field on the right is Safeco Field for the Mariners.

Hunkered Down

One of the “catch up all the work on hold” days. I had to spend most of the day from early morning until evening hunkered down over the computer getting Winn Feline Foundation materials ready for the board meeting and answering emails. It might be a more pleasant thought to consider the Seattle skyline from the waterfront.

Father's Day

Now it is Father’s Day or Grandpa’s Day at this point. Gramps has had a few Happy Dad’s Day comments from his sons. His wife has been less enthusiastic due to trying to recover from the trip and meeting in Seattle. Such days are always “catch up” days. Bob did get a good gift for his Father’s Day……..the newest World War II book and last of a trilogy by Rick Atkinson. Such reading should keep him busy. Here is grandpa meeting his new grandson, another version from May 9.
Ryan in wrap up-6-16-13

One Month, One Year

Today Ryan is one month old and it is the one year anniversary of David and Renee. We went over and shared a crock pot meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes and corn. We brought along a Schwann’s frozen creme pie that had candy chunks and caramel. Yum! Ryan is able to hold his head up a bit stronger. David and Renee seem relaxed and happy as a family.

Here Is Hoping

Grandma always loves being appreciated and having a number one fan. It can bring a smile to know that Ryan recognizes that Grandma likes a supportive audience Happy
grandma fan-6-6-13


When all your activity meets up with an overload of allergies, sometimes a body crashes asleep to make it up. Nicolas has crashed.
Nicolas crashed-6-5-13

Water Gun Wars

If it isn’t Grandpa stirring up trouble, one of his sons brings water guns to the picnic and there were water fights. One rule is you never shoot the Mamas (not if you want to live). Jasmine and Shasta are in the process of ambushing and watering the rest of us (plus each other).


The Bike Teacher

Just as he did with his own sons, Grandpa Bob was out helping Nicolas learn how to ride a bike with training wheels. Steady as he goes there, Grandpa! Nicolas was able to peddle across the cul-de-sac on his own at one point. Cool bike helmet!

Backyard Birthday Bash

The weather is getting dry and mild. People are in the festive mood, Strawberry Festival that is. Today we celebrated Nicolas’ birthday in his parent’s backyard with burgers, hotdogs, chips, beans, and homemade ice cream. The highlight for Nicolas was getting to open presents. What child does not like to be the center of the universe for a period of time. Here he is opening his Sponge Bob talking birthday card from us.


This came over the wire. I think we may have a hitting streak going of Ryan Scrunch Face. Or his he chillin’ like Mom suggested? Hmmmmm……………

Grumpy Cat Child?

After a long, stressful day of volunteer involvement, we went to the Lewis’ home in the evening to celebrate Grandma Sandee’s birthday. Barbeque burgers and hotdogs with lots of salads was on the menu. It was fun watching Nicolas play the Wii and being able to hold the Ryan child too. Here is his scrunchy face look………….or is this Ryan imitating Grumpy Cat?


Brothers to the Core


Nicola and Ryan sleeping

Grandpa Referee

Bob is the official kid’s play person in the family. I thought it would be good to buy this T-shirt that announces he is the Official Referee for Grandkids. Especially when he has a bubble maker in his hand………..that Troublemaker!

Ryan or Bear?

Since he isn’t much bigger than the bear he is sharing his bedding with, Ryan seems pretty buddy-buddy with his blue bear. A good photo of him since he is often snuggled in blankets because he likes the warmth.

Bubble Making

A further demonstration of big bubble-making, Michael Lewis is creating a big bubble with Nicolas waiting in anticipation to grab and pop it.
Then a big highlight for a Mom times Two to the second degree (Grandma) and Ryan


Mother's Day

It was supposed to rain today and put a “wet kiss” on Mother’s Day. Other than some mist at the start of the morning, it actually was warm, a bit muggy, and the sun did come out for awhile. Enough to enjoy the outdoors in the afternoon. The Thayer and Lewis family gathered to celebrate Ryan’s arrival and Mother’s Day with a quickly gathered potluck.
To entertain the kids, a large bubble maker was brought out. Most popped pretty quickly though a “double bubble” did float over the house and was caught “on film”.

Like Father, Like Son?

After looking at David’s photo from yesteryear, here is Ryan showing his displeasure of nurses who unwrap a nice, warm blanket and try to take your temperature with a stupid thermometer. Who would do that to a little baby! Sad

Father and Son

Maybe it is the “all babies look alike” syndrome, though I think Ryan looks much like David did as a baby. I will lay out some evidence. Now to stroll down memory lane………..
vicki-and-david- -top-5-10-13
Vicki and David at hospital

David, shortly after coming home. A close resemblance to Ryan?
Note the strategically placed arm to make this photo acceptable for all audiences.

David, the proud and happy father!

Big Brother

Grandpas helped to introduce Nicolas to his new brother, Ryan. Since Ryan goes home from the hospital today, Nicolas is learning from the start how to be a big brother in caring, protecting, sharing, and loving Ryan. He vacillated between “Yes, I think I like him” to “No, I am not sure if I do”.
grandpas002c-nic-and-ryan- 5-10-13
Two Bobs, a Nicolas and Ryan

”Let me show you”

Ryan Dale Thayer

Ryan Dale Thayer made his slow but sure entrance into this world today at 3:41 pm. Mother and Father were tired and happy. Grandparents all around were pleased. He weighted 8 lb. 8 oz and was a bit of a sleepy fellow unless poked and prodded by the nurse. Bob said to Renee she did good today. David could finally relax after being stressed a bit. Ryan was doing a bit of snorting (fluid in his upper air passages) so he may need to be nicknamed “Snort”.

Ryan and Renee
A beaming Grandpa and Ryan

Seven Years

It has been seven years since we lost my Mom so abruptly. As Bob said the other day, we still miss her. One could still see her outside with her baggy work shirt and straw hat on while she removed weeds from the flower beds. She did love working in the flower gardens. So here is a photo of better times while on a trip to New Orleans. She did love that town and the food you could get. Happy
Bob and Mom

Me and Mom

Christian Closet

It has been disturbing to read about the bullying and free speech (and thought) suppression of Christians going on in this country. It feels as if the anti-religion crowd, especially ones opposed to Christians (Catholics, evangelicals, etc.) are trying to suppress, change, and even charge Christians for their beliefs. The Defense Dept. is using a atheist consultant to advise them on religious tolerance who believes anyone who speaks out on their Christian beliefs should be tried for treason and sedition. Charges as such could lead to prison or the death penalty. So, Christian are being pushed into the “closet” and others are being applauded for coming out. One such description is here. Says a lot for tolerance and diversity doesn’t it?

Barbeque Night

Last night we had the first of what we hope is a more frequent occurrence. We were invited for dinner, more specifically a barbecue at our son David’s apartment. We had steaks to barbecue for us and good potatoes, they had chicken. He and Renee are anxiously awaiting Ryan’s arrival (they hope soon). Nicolas had fun with Grandpa playing garbage tag and lava flow (kid’s terms). David did a great job with his barbecue skills and tools. He is a Thayer male in that area. Renee was tired from work though held up well. Here are some photos from last night.
BBQ night-top-4-28-13


Happy 30th

Today our youngest joins the “Don’t Trust Them” generation. He turns 30. I remember the rush to the hospital to deliver this “rug rat” after about 1.5 hours of labor. He was eager to be born and still likes to make his presence known. We love him and even though he has to work today, we hope he has a great birthday. Here is Scott Thayer.



Jesus rises today and give us his blessing as God’s children. It is Easter, a holy day for Christians. I say this as one can still say it in the United States as of now. I am concerned what the future holds for Christians here. It is a beautiful day and at least hope Springs eternal as they say.

Grandma Love

One other photo from the baby shower is one of Sandee, Renee’s Mom, reading from a book on God’s love and instructions for a new grandchild. Great grandma Kay is sitting next to her.


Part of what made the recent baby shower special (in addition to what it means to David, Renee and Nicolas to have Ryan coming) was seeing my Aunt Doris present with cousin Bob’s wife, Nancy present. We do not get enough opportunity to see each other or at least take the opportunity to do so. We are going out for dinner together this Friday evening and it should be a good time to reminisce about family and older times here in Berlin.
Uncle Raymond and Aunt Doris

Aunt Doris and Nancy

Eyes on the Prize

Nathan, David’s nephew, is always a fun subject to photograph. The John Deere decorated cake was a huge attraction for a little boy. At one spot, I thought he would plant a finger or hand on the cake to check it out before we all got a chance to get a piece. So it was fun getting him peeking over the edge of the table to have his “eyes on the prize”.
Welcome Cousin Ryan from Nathan



Family Time

The Lewis Family had a nice baby shower at their home for Renee and David. The guys went off to walk around Cheadle Lake while the ladies stayed behind and viewed gifts and ate cake. It was great to have a large part of the families together. Lots of cute clothes and coverings for a little boy. Renee looked very nice with her pigtails and the polka dot black and white dress top she had on.
Renee and Melisa


Showers for Baby

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day. So many people were walking and jogging along country roads. It was as if you could breathe in the sunshine. The day was also one for Renee to have a baby shower held for her and Ryan over in Albany. It was a pleasant experience and Renee was looking lovely. Ryan got a haul of lots of fun onesies and socks and toys.




Boys and Tractors

John Deere is part of this family since we have a John Deere tractor and a John Deere lawn tractor/mower with trailer. Grandpa Bob is showing Nicolas how to drive the big tractor and you can see it is a lot of fun. Nicolas has his own battery powered riding tractor and I imagine Ryan is going to use it someday. It is stored on the Thayer Family Farm.

Small Accomplishments

Neighbors have invited us out to eat dinner in Eugene. It felt good to be able to say Yes and go out after getting some projects done. I have started the priorities Excel list I needed to do and also got started on ABVP case review work. I am starting to feel more in control of what I need to do.

February Organizing

We did a bit of early organizing and tossing out of old papers and items. Just small steps in that area though it helps to feel we are making a start. More to do as we go along. A bit cloudy and depressing outside today, so a good day to try and get this started.


Wow, a sunny day today. I may be catching up on items that need to be done for Winn and can start on personal management. Later on, we are going to the House of Noodles to eat a Valentine’s Dinner together.

God Made A Farmer

The Super Bowl is over for this year. The Forty-Niners ended up losing. Bob was very disappointed with the refereeing at the end that may have affected the final outcome. I just ate until I was too full. Common for us to do. Of course, the Super Bowl is also full of commercials that are launched that people have to pick their favorites. One that seemed to really resonate was a Dodge Ram commercial that used a vignette from Paul Harvey. The title is “So God made a farmer”. A commercial like this resonates in the Thayer household since we both came from farming or agricultural backgrounds in our own way. More vegetable farming in Bob’s, more beef and forestry in mine. Enjoy an outstanding commercial here.


Today is a big 61 for me. A quiet day at the coast going down to Depoe Bay to get fudge and salt water taffy. Later after lunch we drove up to Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda. It is always beautiful there. Sunny today though windy and cold when out on the beach. The rock is so iconic for the Oregon coast. The end of the day brought Les Miserables, the movie. What a sad joy the story and music are. One Day More………….I Dreamed a Dream…
Cape Kiwanda-top-1-2-13
Cape Kiwanda

sunset through waves-bottom-1-2-13
Sunset through the waves

Knox County Nebraska

In more exploration of my grandmother’s birthplace and home of her youth, it sounds like the homestead was off Hwy. 12 on the north side in the county of Knox, close to Verdel (population: 30 people). The homestead was sold after her brother, Artie, was killed in a car wreck in 1959. Some of her older sisters and brothers were born in the area of Council Bluffs, IA and Tilden, NE. Tilden is located south of the homestead closer to central Nebraska at the eastern edge of Madison county. A lot of this area is sparsely populated. I always think of Nebraska is having more people than Oregon in a large part of the state yet that does not seem likely. I will have to look into more of this history and the area as the blog continues. The Ponca Indians lived near by and Ponca Creek is named for the tribe. There is a monument to them on private land in the area. The following is Ponca Creek which drains into the Niobrara River between Monowi and Verdel.

ponca-creek-ne -12-29-12

Boyd County Nebraska

Putting away the Christmas ornaments and removing the tree. Sorting through the photo albums of my mother’s to label them. I came across information and clippings about my grandmother’s early years and family in Nebraska. She grew up in Monowi which now has a population of 1. Her 1922 Commencement book had a graduation class of 5. The incorporated town (which is the smallest in the United States) is owned by the 1 inhabitant, a woman in her 70s. People moved away from the area in the 1930s as my family did. My grandfather, Ed, moved there from central Nebraska, the town of Fullerton, to teach school. He fell in love with my grandmother, Vada, the youngest of 11. They were married 51 years, until he died on April 13, 1976, their 51st anniversary. They were a love story the whole time together.


Christmas Memories

As we started eating Christmas dinner yesterday, I brought up the subject of what was a favorite memory from Christmas. I know my most memorable Christmas was as a child going out to dinner in town on Christmas Eve. When my parents and I got home, they showed me into our spare room (next to my bedroom) and there laid out on the floor was a train set on a plywood base. I remember that engine and rail cars with a figure 8 track. I am sure my Dad had fun getting it all put together without me knowing about it. It was a surprise and it was special. There are lots of Christmas gifts we treasure though that particular Christmas has stood out over the years. It does emphasize the need for doing something memorable yet having those family traditions that mean so much.


Early Christmas

We had Christmas celebration 2 days early so other families could get together too in the next few days and Renee has to work on Christmas Day. Both David and Scott’s families could come and eat with us, plus share presents. It was fun getting ready while listening to traditional Christmas music from one of the TV channels. Listening to Karen Carpenter who had one of the clearest singing voices ever do her holiday song. Sooooooo good!
Renee’s parents, Bob and Sandee, came to join us for dinner and that was a very nice addition.
Here is the table set for guests and a 2012 Christmas.

Renee, Nicolas, and David


Shasta, Melissa, Denver, Scott, and Jasmine



Little Hobbits

Bob and I went to see “The Hobbit” last night. We enjoyed the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy so we were interested in this movie. It was not up to the viewing pleasure of the LOTR trilogy though it could have been handled worse. It is a complex story that would be difficult to bring to the screen. I think if it had been handled with the care and less child oriented look to it, the result would have been better.

Just want to share the look of two of our little hobbits in the extended family. Nicolas and Nathan displaying their musical talents while waiting for William and Elizabeth’s wedding. What little gentlemen in their suits.

End of an Era

Surprises come, even at the holiday time. My former business partner at Civic Feline Clinic in Walnut Creek CA, Dr. Josie Thompson, has announced in the hospital’s newsletter that she is retiring. She is planning on focusing on photography, travel, and her new granddaughter, Savannah. All of those are good places to start. As one of our clients we had together titled a forwarded email announcing the retirement, “An End of an Era”. Certainly, it is for both of us. I started the practice in 1983 on August 23. David was 3 years of age and Scott was 4 months old. Josie joined me as an associate in 1987 and partner in 1988. We were partners for 15 years at Civic Feline Clinic. We built a good business. Our sons were of the same age and grew up together though went to different schools. Lots of memories from over the years……………..lots of cats and clients to cherish.


Memories of 25 years of Civic Feline Clinic in 2008……….



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.


It's A Boy

The ultrasound results are in. We are told the baby will be a boy, Ryan Dale Thayer, when he makes his entry.We saw some ultrasound results though they were not as clear as expected. David and Renee are very excited and Nicolas was the one to pronounce the results.


Wedding Daze

Today was spent lending support for William and Elizabeth’s wedding. William is David’s brother-in-law and Elizabeth is his bride who came from Indonesia to marry him. I was asked to take video of the pre-wedding and wedding procedures. I set up the Canon HD10 camcorder I have and got well over an hours worth of different video shots. Elizabeth was dressed in beautiful Indonesian fabric colors and the wedding was a mix of American and Indonesian wedding culture. I did get a picture yesterday of Bob helping set up the backdrop to the ceremony. A picture of William and Elizabeth is projected on the back wall.

Wendy,William and Elizabeth working on the the music presentation during the ceremony with slides.


Babies All

How can one describe the comparison between attending a joyful school Christmas pageant with the unconscionable killing and loss of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Last night, we attended Nicolas’ Christmas program at the River Center in town. It was packed with excited, loving parents waiting to see their child sing Christmas carols with their classmates. Innocence on display. Today we are witnessing the loss of that innocence in the shooting of our babies. Our hearts weep and not nearly to the level of the parents’ who lost a child or a family’s loved one. They won’t be home for Christmas ever again.(A Moment of Silence)

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? ☺

Trimming Christmas Trees

After three or four years of neglecting to put up a Christmas tree and place decorations around, we have made the effort this year to do our part for holiday cheer. With more kids around the family, we had our own version of Santa’s elves to help trim the lower half of our tree. It all looks lovely this year and you can see who helped make it so.



Last night was our first time at attending the volunteer fire fighters’ holiday dinner. It was held at Station 34 near Cheadle Lake and was a barbecue/potluck. There was probably about 100 people present as a mix of families with children. The children were enjoying the games and toys available for them. We sat with our next door neighbors the Hartmans and also another couple from Fire Corps, Ron and Jackie. Ron and I spent a bit of time talking about books, reading, and history. He was quite impressed with “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is the basis for the movie out now, Lincoln, which is getting good reviews.
There was a white elephant gift exchange. Our gift of a P-Touch labeler was traded a few times, so it was popular.We ended up with a book, “How Mrs. Santa Saved Christmas”. We will probably give that to Jasmine or one of the families to enjoy. All in all, it was a nice evening had by all.

Today is also December 7, the day that will live in Infamy--Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. In memory of all who we lost that day.


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.


Waiting for the Meal

Part of the plan from the holidays was to show some additional photos taken on Thanksgiving.

David’s nephew, Nathan Lewis, is such a good photographic subject. Here he is, waiting for his part of the Thanksgiving meal. In the end, I think he wanted to play more around the house than he wanted any part of the good food.
Nathan- thanksgiving-11-29-12

Black Fridays

Today is a Black Friday, one of the best, craziest, and busiest days for shopping. I try to monitor the sales and get items that are useful and less expensive. We were off to BiMart, Radio Shack, and Costco to buy items and get money back on items where the price is lower now. It also seems to be “spot an interesting bird day” around here. Bob believes the recent logging of older trees nearby has destroyed the birds habitat and they are moving to other quarters. We saw a Pileated Woodpecker at the top of the birch tree by the garage. I tried to get a photo and he flew off too soon. According to our Birds of Oregon book, they like to nest in older timber about the size of 100 acres. This is the basis for Bob’ theory. We did have an owl (not sure if a barn, horn, or spotted) sitting on the top of one of our Douglas Fir trees. I got some shots of him there though they won’t show detail because it was getting too gray and rainy (dark) to get detail. It was cool to see him though since they are not out as much during daytime. Here is a photo of father and son playing cards last night. It has been awhile since we have had time to just be playful. Bob as always is serious about winning and beating David.


Family at Thanksgiving

We spent the morning making hot homemade dinner rolls for the Thanksgiving get together. There was also an interesting recipe to make an apple-cranberry cobbler. So I put it together to take for the meal. It probably was not needed since there were 2 pumpkin, 1 pecan, 1 French Silk chocolate, and 1 lemon meringue pies for dessert. The cobbler still tasted great and was something different to bake. The pecan pie was very good and I had not had that kind of pie for a very long time. I truly cannot like or handle being around lemon meringue pie, one of my least favorite foods.
It was special to get together with others for Thanksgiving. The first time in several years where I did not do the meal at home. It really was a strange feeling to not be responsible for a whole production……..lightening the load though those leftovers are nice to have handy for other meals. This is the first year shared with a new daughter-in-law and grandson. Just part of being thankful on this holiday. David and Renee here just before the sitting down to dinner.


Great Classic Movies

Holiday time is rolling around again and it is the season for TV to play the classic movies. One such movie playing tonight is “Gone With The Wind”. I have a few Margaret Mitchell souvenirs. I have visited her home and museum in Atlanta. She was a relative of Doc Holliday of Tombstone Arizona fame. From all I have read of her, she was a stickler to get her facts and dialogue correct for her book. The book is one of the all time greatest selling books in history and the movie was a huge fan favorite and spectacle in the late 1930’s. I have always liked Vivien Leigh in an emerald colored dress so this photo fits well here on the blog.


Happy Halloween

As usual, a quiet Halloween here at the Thayers. No trick or treating occurs in our country community. Too far up the driveways and dark for the young “treaters”. It is scary movie time of the year and I enjoy being able to watch the all the good scary movies on television.
Nicolas was dressed as Captain America and it was a very cute costume (as shown).


World War II Remembered

There was a recent online article that reminded one of the action in World War II. The authors had photos where soldiers photo images were superimposed over locations past and present of action during the War in the European theatre. The superimposition gives the impression in a way of ghost soldiers, much like the sensation as you walk the Korean War Memorial in Washington DC.
My father joined the Army before the war started and was stationed in Central America on Trinidad Island and Panama. Dad was in Panama from what I understand when the war started. He spent the War stationed at the Pentagon where he claimed he was a clerk. I like to think he knew secrets that helped win the War for the Allies.

Special Rocks

Last month while sightseeing with friends, we stopped at the Larwood Covered Bridge. The river was low due to no rain for several weeks. The riverbed was more exposed and our one friend wanted to find that special rock. She wanted a rounded, certain-size rock that could be painted artistically. Bob scrambled down to the river’s edge and found that special rock. Here he is in a photo, captured for eternity, rock hunting and doing a good deed.

Garden Bounty

We have learned over the past several years as we plant a bigger garden and add fruit trees that our bounty of food types keeps increasing. This year we have done less in the canning arena and more in freezing. Currently, we have gotten out the Excalibur dehydrator and started dehydrating fruit. Kathy showed us how she dehydrated watermelon so Bob has worked at getting a batch done. I like the results. He also worked at doing several trays of Fuji apple slices. Dehydrated apples are a great treat. The biggest issue is the time needed to cut up the items into the right sizes. It can be tedious and we need to find easier ways to do it quicker.
On another note, I am adding in a photo taken just outside Goldendale of an old, unoccupied house. The surrounding ground was interesting and there was a squirrel sitting on top of the chimney too.


River Sculptures

Women can have an uncanny knack of driving the men in their lives a little bit crazy. One tool we can use if the desire for men to get “somewhere” and not stop the car for anything except an emergency (one they would deem an emergency). “Pedal to the metal” is Bob’s mantra and he will do it. I have learned over the years I need to stop, not that I want to or I might want to. Too wishy-washy for “driven” men. Happy
I did make Bob and Scott a bit perturbed on our trip back from Quincy WA last Sunday when I asked to stop to take a photo of an interesting art sculpture on the Columbia River at a park next to Vantage WA. “Really, you have to stop to do this?” Sarcasm really ups the ante and makes one dig in their heels. So, off I went to get my photo before the sun set in the West shortly after. I think the photo was worth it on multiple levels.

Gals and Guys

Yes, I know that it is usually Guys and Gals. We will just let the women go first today (and every day). After eating yesterday, it was quite interesting and funny that the women and men split into conversation groups like olden days. The guys were in telling war stories and farming tales. The ladies were talking a range of items of food, family, work, current affairs, and education. A very nice time was had by all. It was sad to have to leave shortly after 5p.m. for the drive home where we made it to bed around midnight.

Here is Kimberly, Kathy’s mom, Lou, and my sister-in-law, Janet, holding down the discussion.


Family Salute to a Soldier

Long day today and worth it. We all agreed who were fortunate to make the drive and back. Bob’s brother, Jim, and his wife, Kathy, invited family to their home for a barbecue. The occasion was to see and spend time with our nephew, Mitch. Mitch is due to be deployed to Afghanistan in the Army the first part of November. Our son, Scott, made the trip with us. Unfortunately, David felt he and his new family could not due to the long hours up and back. We left at 7 a.m. and it is an almost 6 hour drive to Quincy WA. Kathy, proud mother that she is, put on a great spread of food for all of us. Here is Kathy putting away food after we had made great inroads into the bowls and platters of goodies. Thank you Kathy and Jim for the great hospitality and family sharing! Jim is a proud Dad too.


Mitch in his uniform with his sister, Kimberly. Kimberly is getting a master’s degree in food quality assurance at Washington State University (Go Cougs!). Very impressive uniform and status for Mitch!


Quiet Day

Taking a quiet day today. I am definitely feeling the effects of the cold I have been trying to fight off. I think it would be a good day to again highlight the work of Laura Seeley. Karen and Tim have left behind the art Bob and I purchased from Art for Cat’s Sake. I will have to get it all framed and up on the walls.




Men's Lives

It has distressed and frustrated me to see over the past 9 months the “War on Women” theme come from the Democratic Party. This is a phony war and I see that women are strong, talented, intelligent………we are not the dependent creatures that this political buy-out would make us out to be. I have grown in a career where I was in an essence an early pioneer of women working publicly as a veterinarian. I was the first woman to work in Clark County Washington as a veterinarian, so I have seen how much women have gained in stature in the last 40 years. I came across an interesting article written to highlight the marriage and partnership of her parents. The mother and the father worked together to enhance each other’s lives, not dismiss the other as unworthy due to what their sex is.

Here is a photo of my mother and father together. This article makes me think of the example they set for me and how they helped make me the strong woman I am. I do not feel I am being “warred upon” other than my intelligence by a political party that wants to get ahead.


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.


Homespun Missionary

Yesterday, while I was looking for some other books, I located a small volume I inherited title, “Joab Powell, Homespun Missionary”. It was copyrighted in 1935 and gives an overview of his life though the primary focus was really on his influence establishing a Baptist church network in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Uncle Joab as he was called (and he is my great-great-great grandfather) was born July 16, 1799 in the hill country of NE Tennessee. He married Ann Beeler and had 14 children, two who died young. They moved from Tennessee to Missouri, just outside Independence. When the Baptist church in the region went through a division in the early 1850’s, he moved with his family to western Oregon on the Oregon Trail in 1852. The family settled in different parts of the area and even one son near Prineville OR. I am descended from their son, Peter Powell, who had a donation land claim here in Berlin. Uncle Joab was fairly illiterate though had a great memory and with Ann reading scripture, he could memorize passages to share. He established Providence Church which is between here and Scio, Oregon. He and Ann are buried next to the church.

Joab Powell



Moon Rising

Right now, as I sit and ponder what will I write about today on the computer, I can see a bright half moon in the sky at dusk. I always feel we have wonderful opportunities for sunrises here in Berlin and also the rise of the moon over the mountains. On many a clear night, I will sit outside and wait………wait for an increasing glow showing above some spot on the mountain ridge. Slowly, slowly, it will get brighter. Until one can see the start of a glowing full moon. It is a miracle in so many ways. A lodestone holding us to this piece of ground and the view we have here.


Land and Family History

Every now and then, one reads an article that tugs at one’s soul. It is bound up in your DNA and “institutional memories”. The current article in question is one from Victor Davis Hansen. VDH, as he is called, is a scholar, author, classicist, historian, and current affairs blogger. He is of a similar age to myself and probably holds many similar views on life, history, and politics. I love to read his work and respect his body of work (and him). He wrote an article about the history of the land where his family farm is located near Selma, California. Much of it covers the trials and tribulations of farming and what time and each generation faced due to change.

My great-great grandfather settled this area in 1852 when he came with his parents and siblings from Missouri over the Oregon Trail. This was a donation land claim. We now have 40 acres left of the original land claim and one always wonders if that can continue due to the challenges of family, work, and taxes. Is change so inevitable? Is there a way to ensure such history carries on? Or should one accept that change happens and may be for the best? All I know is that I am proud to state that my dad, grandmother, etc. were born and raised here. The family came to find new land and a place to practice their Baptist religion. Below is a picture of the house my Dad grew up in. It unfortunately burned down sometime around when he went into military service.


A Big Book Sale

The blog would not be complete without showing another child who seemed to enjoy the pizza party the other night. Nathan, David’s new nephew, is about 16 months old now and growing. He is usually a happy fellow whenever everyone gets together. He certainly had fun mashing the pizza pieces around. Happy

I can’t pass up the opportunity to mention a story that really hit my interest in books. The author, Larry McMurtry, has owned 4 used bookstores in the town of Archer City, Texas. Each building has thousands of books!
He recently held what he called the Last Book Sale to bring the numbers down as he closes up the bookstores. The books were sold in boxes of topic or interest type. Powell’s books seems to have left with scores of boxes of auctioned books. Mr. McMurtry hoped to turn this town into another Hay-on Wye, which I have visited three times in Wales (just over the border from England). It is the book lover’s paradise. His idea never panned out for Archer City. It would have been a wonderful dream and experience to attend this Last Book Sale. I just go to the modest ones here in Lebanon, though the sales at the library branch in Walnut Creek could be crazy with book buyers grabbing all the best books they could haul.

Kids Like Pizza Too

Just to show that Bob wasn’t the only one having birthday fun. Nicolas was enjoying pizza and marinara sauce (which he eats like soup) when he wasn’t playing with the big gaming machines and chasing zombies.


A Bobble Birthday

Today is Bob’s birthday. We usually don’t have any big birthday shindigs and they are often quiet.

Bob didn’t know until later in the day, though Mr. Suspicious KNEW that something was up. Renee’s grandmother’s birthday is tomorrow and the family planned a reunion get together at James Gang Pizza for family. We joined in since it is Bob’s birthday. It was fun and it was nice to have both David and Scott and extended families there to spend time with us. Renee got a raspberry creme cake and it was finished by all present. Very thoughtful of her to do this since I could not and try to keep hiding the surprise part (which never is with Mr. Suspicious).

All in all, we hope Bob had a good birthday and you can enjoy some cake too!



Today was another day of getting odds and ends done.

I must say I was proud of taking care of the odds and ends. I had to get the new-used Kodak photo printer I got at the yard sale up and software loaded and working on my HP laptop. Then, a 2 TB back up hard drive that I used for my Macbook laptop stopped reading. So that required a replacement and switching hard drives to accommodate all the computers. It pays to have a back up after the Macbook went “poof” a few weeks ago. Time Capsule worked great as a backup and way to look at what my original drive was like. Whew!

Really hot today, should be up to 100 degrees or better. Most likely the hottest day of the year. I like the sun though it makes it hard to sleep at night. Harder too for the dogs to be comfortable outdoors. When it is this hot, people are out splashing in water fountains like this scene from St. Louis last July.



This is a day I have been hoping to reach for the past month. The people contracted to cut our hay grass started cutting later in the afternoon. Due to the long dry spell, the grass in many areas was very dry, not green. We were worried about it being a fire hazard due to either an errant cigarette or a possible lightning strike if thunderstorms occurred. Plus, it always looks and feels cleaner to see the short grass. I like to be able to see the road and who may be coming up the driveway.

I do have fond memories of haying season when I was a youngster. My father would mow the fields with a side mower, rake it, and then bale it. Equipment was always tricky to keep running. It could be hot and dry work, usually dusty too. We would eat our lunch or take breaks out under the oak or fir trees. Dad would get his pickup or a tractor and trailer to pick up the bales with a hay crew. Bales would be cross-stacked 3 to 5 rows high, brought back to the barns and stacked in the lower floors or up the hay conveyor to the attic floors.

It is getting harder to find people to do this and especially the field around the house. We should think of other ways to use the land since this is less optimum year after year.


Fire Station and Fire Corps

I sat down with Bob Thayer to discuss the importance of Fire Corps to our community, city, and county. Fire Corps is led by Kathy Fitzwater, a Berlin Community neighbor who lives on Upper Berlin Rd. To learn more about Fire Corp and its benefit to all of us, please click on the following podcast link and allow a little time for it to load (or right-click on the link to download it to your computer to play).


Fire Corp volunteer, Bob Thayer

Our local Fire Station is the center of our community. Captain Dan Hartman (one to the right) keeps this local fire station in tip top shape. He and his wife, Connie, make the station as accessible as possible to community gatherings. The fire station and volunteers help protect our homes, lower our insurance rates, and offer that gathering spot. Our volunteers, like Jared pictured with Dan, make this system work for the safety of all of us.

To demonstrate the importance of the Fire Station, the following is a photo of the local fire truck leaving the station to attend a fire call in Lebanon. There was an electrical fire under a house’s porch and the owners were fortunate to be home to see the smoke and call in a fire emergency. Here are our hard-working volunteers headed out.


Community Sale and Potluck

Furniture, tires, old farm tools, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, kid’s things……………….all came together for the third annual Berlin Community sale. We followed up with a potluck. Bring your grillin’ and a side dish. Lots of good food to go around, good company and conversation. Throw in a few fire trucks with a fire call…………think of lights, horn, and burning dust as the truck peels out. This is exciting for the kids and even the kidults present. If you want to see more pictures from that day.

Community Sale

Potluck Table

Wedding Photos

Well, today was a day of resolving “bad” appliance and electronic problems. The microwave would need a new control panel that costs as much as a new microwave. The dishwasher had a failed valve so we got a new one and planned to replace the one on the lower drawer portion too. My laptop’s new memory module failed and will be replaced so it could have been worse, like a new hard drive replacement.

Who wants to dwell on boring news. A number of the wedding photos have come back for David and Renee. It was a lovely wedding and the photos have turned out very nice. I would like to see more of how our place looked after all of the hard work undertaken for the wedding. We think it all went well and people enjoyed themselves while here. One can be proud of everyone’s efforts in all of this and the outcome.

David, Renee, and Nicolas

County Fair

This weekend has been the time for our annual Linn County Fair. Bob has been a trooper and agreed to help again this year to feed the volunteers. It takes pretty much a full day’s worth of hours to drive back and forth and serve the food. They have been able to work out good menus of getting food from CostCo to make sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and BBQ burgers and hot dogs that seem to go over well. They have also found that the pasta meals from Pizza Hut with their breadsticks goes over well and works out quite well for a dinner.

Me, I like to wander over to the “fair food” section and scope out the “not good for you” goodies. The curly french fries, the brick of fries, corn dogs, elephant ears, and had a sample of deep fried apple slices-- Yum! I made a quick trip around the exhibits, mostly the photography part, just to see what I can aspire to. I didn’t make it out to the animal barns or to the pig races.

It is great to see faces you know and talk to neighbors while there.I used to exhibit sheep and cattle at the fair when in high school so I get very sentimental with all of this. A sense of community is important........especially noted after the Aurora CO gun attack on a movie theatre the same day. That city is pulling together and supporting each other. Living in a small community does give that sense of closeness. That is also why we have tried to stay active in Neighborhood Watch and promote the program at prior Linn County Fairs (see photo).


America's Birthday...Happy 4th of July

To all our Family, Friends, and Neighbors in the States..................Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!!!!

I found a few photos from a trip to Maryland. My way of celebrating from the land of the Canucks.


And now to say again...........HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!


O' Canada

Now that I have better internet access, I am going to work on catch up for the blog. I will probably enter days or interests in different blog entries so it does not get too long.
Sunday, July 1, was Canada Day. We decided to participate in the local town’s festivities (Annapolis Royal). We first went downtown to visit the shops and see the local museums. The first one we visited, Sinclair Museum, was small yet interesting. It was an example of an Acadian tavern from the 1700’s that showed the wood and stone structure through cut-outs of the walls and floors. Just outside we saw one of the town cats strolling the sidewalk greeting people.


Or observed two Westies and a Scottie checking out the wooden boardwalk with their owner.


At 11:30 a.m., we were at the town hall steps listening to the Town Crier and his two young apprentices, along with the Mayor of Annapolis Royal, read the Canada Day proclamation. We joined in to wave Canadian flags and sing O’Canada. While I respect the Queen and wish her all health, I cannot sing God Save The Queen since we did have a Revolution to not have royalty as our head of government. Bells were rung, proclamations unfurled, and a flag raised.


We followed the crowd from the city hall along the path to Fort Royal to the Canada cake cutting and hot dog grilling area. The local band played several wonderful songs under the shade trees near the battlements. In another area, there were try outs for a future town crier. “Hear Ye, Hear Ye, my name is “Oliver Stephen Bonnington” was firmly shouted while ringing the bell.


The people were very friendly and as we were leaving, Oliver’s Dad came over and wished us a wonderful rest of our vacation. It was very special to see how this little ceremony demonstrated the pride and enjoyment the Canadians have in their traditions. They were supportive of each other and their community. We visited Fort Royal’s museum before we left the festivities and learned about its function as a military fort for the area. There had been 13 major battles there and the fort had changed hands 7 times over its history.

Later that afternoon, we ventured off to the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. The Gardens are highly regarded and a wonderful place to view. The roses were so fragrant, especially one variety, the Mrs. John Laing, from 1887. It had a tangy, sweet smell.

Mrs John Laing rose

New Additions

During the first week of June, we got a call from my cousin across the road asking if our dog, Adder, was loose. They had a black Lab-type dog in their yard. We could see him from our bedroom window. Over the next 36 hours, we kept seeing this same dog running up and down Berlin Rd. He was frantic and would not allow us to come close. We could hear buses and trucks honking at him along the road. Eventually, Bob and another neighbor got him to approach and they could put a leash on him. Over the following two weeks, he fit into our family and was neutered, licensed, vaccinated, and microchipped. His name is “Whirling Dervish”, “Dervish” for short, since he was so active and panicked when he joined us. Welcome to the family,“Dervish”.


Powell-McKinney Reunion

Today we went to the Powell-McKinney reunion at Providence Church. The founder of many Powell descendants and the Providence Church near Lacomb is Joab Powell. He was a well-known Baptist circuit preacher in Oregon. He, his wife Ann, and his children (14 in all) traveled the Oregon Trail from near Independence MO to this part of Oregon in 1852. I am descended through his third son, Peter (Nancy Cyrus) Powell, through Rachael Arminta Powell (David H. Peterson), through Goldie Peterson (Richard E. Wolfenbarger), through William E. Wolfenbarger (Edith Constance Wolfenbarger), then to me.

The church is now the Vineyard Providence Church and it makes a nice gathering place for the annual reunion. Inside the chapel, there is a lovely large wood cross with a draped red robe across it.
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