Saturday, May 10, 2014


It's up and running now but it was clearly a disaster when Norm and I tried putting this up by ourselves.  We got it about half way up.........trying to connect the two swung, it swayed, it swung again, and swayed and crashed down with a mighty roar!  Barely missing hitting us on the way down.  These are steel beams........light steel, but still would have left us seeing stars had it landed on our heads.  Within a few days, help arrived in the form of Clayton and Danny.......Angels from Umpqua.  The directions said it was "easy to put up......only taking a couple of hours.  Ha!  It took 4 of us, at times and about 3 hours to get it done.  But, it's up and now nicely shading our little patio.  I think eventually it might look nice to have wisteria growing over the top.  But that's a project for another day.  And I might want to wait until the many, many things I've planted lately, start filling in so I don't bury ourselves in greenery and blooms.  

And speaking of blooms, the rhoddies and azaleas in the front are just gorgeous!  They were here when we moved in and have a number of years growth.  Big and lush.........with hydrangea starting to bud.

Seems like some good spring showers have graced our areas lately.  And in a couple of days the temperatures are supposed to go shooting back up into the 80's again.  Good........I ordered a half a dozen Virginia Creepers to plant.  I see them on the freeway overpasses, and saw them in their autumn beauty while in Scotland.  Seeing them growing up on century-old castle walls is something I won't forget anytime soon.  And I expect nothing less for here!!  So......I'll get them off to a good start tomorrow when it dries up a little and hope they grow quickly.

I went with a friend the other night to the Roseburg Unity Church.  They have A Course In Miracles group and I've very much missed being a part of a study group since I've moved over here.  Those of you who know me, know that this is very much a passion of mine.    What a great bunch of people.........I know I'm going to love it......I already do and it's like a part of me 'coming home'.

So.......all in all, life continues to slowly evolve with Norm and I.  He still has very little voice from a medical procedure of a couple of months ago.  This week we see an ENT doctor to see what he thinks of it.  Obviously, Norm is not a happy camper regarding this.  Hopefully, he'll feel better later next week.

I hope all you Mom's out there have a perfect Sunday..........My own has passed on but not a day goes by that I don't think of her and miss her.  And in gratitude I thank her for her love.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


 It was our friend, Karen, from Port Orford!!  After a number of delays we had a lovely visit..........and it was a thoroughly delightful couple of days.   After Karen arrived and after showing her our new home, we traveled north a few miles to Oakland.  Had a good lunch at Tolly's.  If anyone get  over that way, they should try to stop by....even for just a look at this great refurbished business.  It was once a pharmacy although it looked like it was more.  Done in old Victorian decor now with a gorgeous winding staircase to the dining room upstairs.  They have some very good art hanging on the walls, cupboards of beautiful old china and dishes, lots of vintage old photos of past business, homemade pies and cakes, bread, quiches, and all kinds of other yummy foods.  I think the chatter with Karen never stopped as we caught up on all the old, new and future news.
My photo album on Facebook held all my photos of our remaining afternoon as we toured by foot, Oakland.  All the spring blooms were out along with the sun.......the fragrances, the charms of old well kept Victorian homes and cottages........surrounded by cottage gardens was a joy to the senses.  Dogs, birds, kitties, alleys that reminded me of the French Quarter in New Orleans and lots more.  It was a great afternoon and my camera went crazy with the clicking.  If you want to see anymore of Oakland, take a look    

Our next day we went to a park that I've been wanting to check out for quite while.  Lots of all kinds of water birds.  So.........even though my forte is not photographing birds, there were enough and they were tame enough that even I couldn't miss!  And I saw my first nutria...........not the most beautiful of animals, are they?  But that Mama loved her baby that was hidden (sort of) in the reeds........Mama kept a close eye on us for quite a while.  and we kept our lens on her....All in all, it was a long overdue and wonderful visit with Karen.  I had traveled with her on a cruise to Alaska a couple of years back and we dream of a trip to Ireland some day.

I can hardly believe I'm half way through my VA Hospice training already!  It continues to be fascinating.  Last week was particularly a good one......on Spirituality.  My opinion is that spirituality encompasses the entire Hospice concept.  There are so many various aspects, feelings, and emotions that are drawn from that one topic and everyone in our group had something to add to the training.  It was said that when any of us, as volunteers, come across a possible spiritual need of our patient, that our own experiences (or lack of) pertaining to that need, will tell whether we can actually relate in a positive and meaningful way or not.  That might be anger, guilt, fear, etc.   And that really applies to any of us, I'd say.  And there is the difference between truly wanting to help the patient and coming from the heart or talking so as to boost our own egos, just wanting to fix things that aren't ours to fix.  Lots to ponder......letting our own experiences and discoveries from those experiences do the teachings.  Things that can't be taught from a book.  I love this training!!

Well, Easter is just around the corner and I wish you all a Happy One!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


 We had a pair of our long time friends from Port Orford stop by for lunch last week.  So good to see them again!  We caught up on all the coast news.......unhappy though a lot of it was.....I sure don't miss that negative atmosphere, but all our friends.......ahhhhh.  Like a breath of fresh air.  The lovely couple above is Jim and Karen Auborn.........Karen has a lovely art gallery and is a marvelous artist.  I have a number of her paintings, which I treasure.  Karen has also done wonders in working for the Main Street Project in Port Orford.  Jim is mayor and I believe will be next year's Rotary president.  His plate is full!   Both are dedicated to working for the good of the city and it's citizens.  And I hope we see more of them on their way between Port Orford and Portland.........
 These last photos are sort of an experiment of setting flowers in ice and trying to get some interesting effects.  I don't know.......I think it needs a bit more work!   I got the idea from another photographer whose work I follow on Facebook.  His name is Mo Devlin, in case you want to look up his photographs.  I think you'll be impressed.....
The planting in the back yard is proceeding quickly......we had nice day the other day where I found out I still have some arthritis in my back..........But I got a number of seed packages planted......and 4 plants that I ordered from Michigan Bulb.  Those plants did not arrive in great looking shape.  If they don't make it, I'll be sending them back.  This has happened before so I should have known better than to order from them again.  But, who knows, they might make a beautiful comeback and be the best in the garden.

I've had my second week of VA Hospice training.......third coming up on Monday.  It's really a lot more different than civilian hospice that I've been in before.  But just as fascinating.  And the other day I had to have the VA Police try their hand at getting my fingerprints.  In case any of you might remember, I went through 6 different Curry County deputies, each trying to get acceptable fingerprints about a year luck!  So, I expect the same will happen here.  They still need to send them in to where ever they go, to give me a number, then I'm sure I'll be hearing from them again asking me to come in for ink prints........which will again be an effort in futility.  But who, I ask, would have the same scars along with what's left of my fingerprints??  It just seems very silly to me and a waste of least all these multiple attempts.  The saga will continue.......

Part of my Hospice reading was this tome for HIPPA.  It's dealing with the Federal laws protecting privacy and security of patients.  After reading it 'forever', I'd deem it an excellent replacement for Ambien.  Boring, boring stuff..............Thankfully, that's over and the rest will be great.  The other volunteers in training all seem to be really nice people.  Some are already involved the health field and others have had family in need in the past.  They now want to extend their knowledge and experience in a meaningful and very much needed way.  Like I said.......Really nice people~!

Well......the weekend's coming up and I hope you all have a good one.  With enough in between possible rain showers to give you a breath of spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Happy spring, Everyone.........we're almost there and in a few days it will be official.  In announcing the happy weather, here is a photo of some beautiful tulips that my niece Lauren brought me when she and her girls came for the weekend.  They're looking too nice in my living room right now for me to plant them outside yet.  That will come soon enough.  The daffodils below are our of the first garden blooms from some bulbs that I just barely got in before it was too late in the season.  Other plants are poking through the soil or bursting out into leaf, depending.  It shows great promise.  We're already making some of our own changes in the back yard without going too crazy.  But my visions for the future garden are inspiring me to forget the aching back and get out into the midst of it........I'll probably "Cry Tomorrow".....
 This below photo was my proud find while I was doing some weeding.  The prized black morel mushrooms!!  I've never had them but the mushroom books all say they're highly valued among mushrooms. We have a ton of them coming up under a dead oak tree whose has some branches that drape over our fence.  The others are too little just yet to pick but you can depend on me checking them daily!  And into the frying pan they go!
Had a wonderful time over the weekend visiting Ashland for my first time.  I definitely need to go back to check out all the area we didn't get to.  There were street musicians on every corner as well as a lot of colorful characters walking the streets and in the shops.  There was a lovely little park that we walked through on our way into town complete with bubbling creek and duck pond.  The park was so well used with a lot of families and little kids running all over.....enjoying the warm sun and the bagpipes, or fiddles that were playing by more street musicians.  I enjoyed the bagpipes..although normally I can only take it for so long.......the bagpipers were dressed in their kilts, of course.  Always makes me wonder...........hmmm??

Norm has had a bad couple of weeks but is feeling much better now.......although he still has laryngitis.  Doctor said that he aspirated stomach acid into his bronchial tubes and lungs during a medical procedure.  This is a new area for us and of all the things I'm alert to and making as sure as I can do to prevent, this, I didn't expect.  Anyway, it never did get into anything like pneumonia, thankfully so I see the way all-clear ahead now.

Well, while the sun is still out and the day is balmy, I'm going back out to rustle around a little more in the garden..........Hope you're all enjoying...........

Saturday, March 8, 2014


 Well, what a sight for sore eyes!  My dear friend and ex-neighbor, Nanci came by for a visit today.  And the  beautiful orchid below is from her.....We talked and talked non-stop, catching up on all the old news, new news and everything in between.  It was an extra special treat since this past week has been pretty rough for Norm.  He had a medical procedure that left him in worse condition than before.  Apparently, he had saliva entering his lungs and developed a type of aspiration.  A lot of pain, coughing, coughing and more coughing plus laryngitis.  And anyone who knows Norm, knows that he doesn't sit around all day in front of the TV, but that's pretty much all he did the past week.  To say I've been worried is an understatement, but I do think he's moving forward now.  And Nanci's visit was just the perfect boost.
We're both looking forward to Nanci and Ray coming back over and stay longer so we can go

It looks like our drought is over here on the west coast.........we've had lots of rain with more promised.  I read that another El Nino might be developing.  I remember when we moved to Port Orford there was an El Nino to end all El Nino's!  1998, I think.  A woman who lived in a cute little beach cottage with a nice slope down to the water's edge ended up with an abrupt cliff with logs outside her window being tossed up in the air like matchsticks.  She was getting ready to have the house move the house not the furnishings, take her home out of harm's way.  Then I guess the storms subsided.  Just one of the reasons I never wanted to live right on the water.  I liked a nice healthy buffer zone.

Norm and I continue to plan our garden.  I haven't received in the mail yet the climbing roses, jasmine or clematis I've ordered and I'm getting impatient.  Especially since I have some gardening magazines that are inspiring me.  We planted some new lawn where the heavy equipment tore things up when we had our back yard and fence boosted up.  In order to not encourage the birds in eating the lawn seed, we stopped putting out birdseed.  Now we set up the hospitality wagon again and the juncos and finches are returning.  I never see any squirrels or chipmunks, though.  We have oaks around so I'd think that the little critters would be seen........course we do have a few kitties around.......That might explain  things, huh?    The Little Darlin's........

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  More rain coming tonight and tomorrow but here in the valley we're looking at sun later on in the week.  So........everyone enjoy the hints of spring coming.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Yesterday I heard the best story and wanted to share it with all of you.........A friend of mine, who is VERY pregnant had a flood in the basement of her home.  (who says we're having a drought?)  My friend, Lynn, kept her bunny, along with her dogs, in the basement when they were away from home.  Lynne's husband is in the military and away from home most days of the week but close enough to come home at odd days.  They have two young daughters, one from each other's past marriages and the girls immediately bonded when they came together........a nice family unit.  And like I said, a new little one coming along soon to join in the fun.  OK........back the the flooded basement.  After Lynn found the flood and that the bunny was in need of a little 'clean up', all seemed well.  The next morning Lynn's mother (Mom and Dad also are part of this close knit family life), told Lynn that she'd better check on the bunny "Whiskers" because he wasn't moving.  Lynn was devastated to find Whiskers had died.  The home was an older place and the basement was a mess (her words not mine) and who knows what had been down in the basement to float around in the flooded water.  Very likely something like rat poison.  That had Lynn worrying about the dogs, too, and whether they might have drunk some of the water.  Lynn called the vet and learned what signs to look for if the dogs were in any kind of trouble.......and thankfully that never became an issue.  But the bunny's passing was going to be hard news to break to the girls, also.  So they weren't told until later.  
While Lynn was crying her heart out about Whiskers, she called her husband and told him what had happened.  Lynn's husband, Roger, was really upset that Lynn was taking this so hard.  ( I expect the pregnancy hormones were alive and well).  So, Roger consoled her as best he could via long distance phone calls.  
The next day, Roger was home and when Lynn got home from work, he told her to check in their closet for his Valentines Day gift to her.......(Feb. 14th).......AND to NOT bring the girls with her.  Lynn naturally thought that it might be a slightly "naughty Valentines gift" so she went in alone.  She went to the closet looked around, and seeing a pet cage on the floor of the closet, leaned down to find a new bunny in the cage.......a cute little lop-eared female.  Seeing this new addition, Lynn promptly broke into a fresh wave to tears.  Roger is frantically asking if these are tears of good or bad???  "It's too soon!!!"  cried Lynn.........And of course, Roger, felt terrible.... telling her that he can bring back the new bunny until the passing of Whiskers had reached become a more manageable emotion.  Roger had looked all over the south coast area looking for a bunny to bring home to replace the missing hole in her well as the girls when they got the word about Whiskers.  Lynn realized what an exceptionally sweet thing that Roger had done and the effort he had put into this loving act.  She told him that she did intend to keep the new bunny and realized what this all meant in the larger picture.........
When the girls came home from school they told them to go in their closet and take a look at Daddy's Valentine's Day gift to them all.......From the other room, Lynn and Roger could hear the shrieks "ITS a BUNNY!!!".    They still hadn't been told about Whiskers and that was to be shared with them when the girls came back from playing a bit with their new discovery.  There were some wet eyes at once, and one of the girls asked if they could name the new bunny Whiskers, also.  Roger said he wanted to name the new bunny Valentine, since it was his gift to all of them on Valentines Day.  So, Valentine is now a happy addition to this beautiful loving and growing family.  
I think what really touched me was Roger's desire to fill in the feelings of loss that all "his girls" were or would be feeling.  The pain of loss rarely is as long lasting as say, a family member, but still a loss of a beloved pet still hurts acutely in it's initial stages.  This story just moved my heart.   

Today, I drove over to the Roseburg VA and scouted out the building where I'll be meeting the administrator of the VA Hospice program.  I've been thinking along these lines for a while and when our local newspaper listed that they were in need of more volunteers.......well the timing was perfect for me.  It's been many years since I've been to the VA campus and the new housing they have built for some of the veterans is so nice!  Nice, neat, comfy little barracks here, thankfully.  I'm sure I'll have more news about some of my experiences in my future ramblings....

The above photos are of a few spring flowers that Norm and I recently purchased.  We're definitely starting to look forward to spring and warmer weather.  I have a number of vines, shrubs and plants coming.  We have a much smaller garden area now, but there's enough room to make it "our own".  Put our own stamp on it.  All we have to do is wait out the continuing least they've started again and this is Oregon, after all!

Enjoy your winter days and dreams of spring........