Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Cultivate by Lara Casey

A good book with questions and exercises to help you on your path to intentional living.  One of my favorite take aways from the book is in the chapter on friendship. When forming connections with others, go beyond the superficial and ask the second question.  Invite the person to open up and take the conversation deeper with questions like, "How was that?" or "Can you tell me more about it?"

Eleanor Oliphant is absolutely fine by Gail Honeyman

This was a fun read!  Eleanor is a quirky character, and as you get to know her more, she is dealing the best way she knows how after a tragic event in her past.  A loner, she sets out to improve herself physically, which is a riot, and to find love.  She finds it in an unexpected person and gets freed from her lonely existence.    Note:  I heard Reese Witherspoon is making this into a movie!

In Conclusion, Don't worry about it - Lauren Graham
Tiny little book with a big message - find joy in what you're doing!

Some Form of Grace by Dee Dee Chumley

A fictional work by a local author bringing to light a very real issue for those coming out of prison.  Starting fresh in a Christian apartment complex with lots of rules, it's the story of Gracene and how she fakes Christianity to stay in the program and get a fresh start at life on the outside.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


My personal opinion, of course...or maybe just the feelings of a parent who's done plenty of amusement parks!

I noticed on our recent road trip how much I enjoyed some things and others not-so-much.  Portland - that don't impress a me much - in the words of Shania!  It was like a crazy amusement park to me.  The traffic and all was a big turn off.  They do have some good restaurants, though!  I'm sure if there are grandchildren in our future it may include some amusement parks.  But my choice right now is to spend my free time in more peaceful, natural settings.  Places off the beaten path, places without crowds of people, and finding beauty in the simple things are what draws me.

Several times I found myself alone because The Hubs was working on this trip too.  One day I biked in Eugene, Oregon through a park.

Another day at Crater Lake National Park I drove about 15 minutes to the Pinnacles Trail and got to see these amazing fumaroles!

It was early in the morning and I had the place to myself.  It was a great time to just meditate and think about how powerful and wonderful our Creator is!

Finally, I realized all this when we got to our final destination, South Lake Tahoe, California.  My expectations were elevated because I've heard so many say how beautiful it is. We stayed in a Marriott, which we usually do if possible, and it was right by Heavenly Ski Village.  Steps from our hotel was village of restaurants, shops, a movie theater, and a huge gondola to ride up the mountain.  It was chaos of noise and people.  Again, like an amusement park! And I found myself angry, on vacation!  How absurd was that!  I tried not to let my disappointment show to The Hubs.  It just wasn't for me, I guess. Only when we took an expensive ride up the mountain in the gondola was the beauty of Lake Tahoe visible.

So I guess it's good to reflect and know what feeds your soul.  I will continue to try and enjoy whatever situation I'm in, but I really know what's best for me, now.  It reminds me of the words of Paul in Philippians 4:11, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


The Rehearsal Dinner.  My last chance to make a good impression on the bride and her family!
Patrick's Hawaiian Cafe was recommended as a caterer by Aunt Barb, the aunt of the bride.  Anything in Portland was not recommended because of Friday afternoon traffic.  Aunt Barb and Uncle Bill were the hosts for both the Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding on their beautiful farm just across the river from Portland in Ridgefield, Washington.  They had hosted events like this before so were great to offer their place once again.  So, not having ever been to Oregon, I went with Patrick's to do the catering.

The Menu:

Teriyaki Chicken
Kalua Pork
Macaroni Salad
Green Salad
Yakisoba Noodles and Vegetables

 I had decided to decorate with a pineapple theme.  I brought some decorations with me, but decided the best thing to do would be to buy greenery and pineapples there.  We also bought additional pineapples to cut pineapple boats to sit on the tables for the guests.  On the catering menu, the meal included Haupia for dessert.  I didn't know what that was, but it was described to me as a coconut jello square.  Needless to say, I wasn't sure about it, so I made my mind up to find some really good pies to add to the meal.

So as soon as we arrived, I began the PIE TASTING.  I visited three places:  Pie  vs. Pie in Gresham, Shari's Cafe and Pie in Vancouver, Washington, and Larson's Bakery in Vancouver.  Shari's Cafe and Pie was okay, but all I tasted was sugar, not much chocolate flavor in their chocolate pie.  Larson's had a beautiful presentation but I tasted a hint of artificial flavor in their banana cream pie.  Pie vs. Pie won out in presentation and flavor both! We ended up ordering Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, 2 Chocolate Cream, a Macadamia Nut Pie, and the bride's favorite, 2 Marionberry.

The day of Rehearsal Dinner there was a lot of picking up people from the airport and I went for a blowout so I wouldn't have to do my hair for a while.  We picked up the pies and headed out to the farm two hours before the Rehearsal was to begin.  The Hubs and my DIL made tea and the pineapple boats, while everyone else helped me decorate.

The evening went well.  After the Rehearsal, we gathered in the backyard and we played the Meeting Game, the same one we played at our other kid's rehearsal dinners.  We had special name tags to fill out and Jenga pieces for the group to write a message to the bride and groom.  The Hubs lead a prayer and we ate some good food and the pie was a hit!  I didn't get to taste the Marionberry, but the Macadamia Nut Pie was great! (I'm a Pecan Pie fan and it's similar) All my research paid off.

Just let me know if you ever need someone to do some Pie research for you.  :)

Sunday, August 5, 2018


Groomsmen's suits✔
Groomsmen's ties and suspenders✔
Groom's suit✔
Wedding ring✔
Honeymoon clothes✔
Rehearsal dinner tablecloths✔
Rehearsal dinner decorations✔
Rehearsal dinner clothes✔
MOG dress✔
FOG suit✔
Grandmother's dress for wedding✔
Clothes for hiking, biking, etc.✔
Golf clubs✔
Computer and chargers✔

My youngest son and I loaded up, ready to hit the Oregon Trail!  The Hubs was on a business trip and would meet us there.  I'm not sure my son and I had ever actually traveled anywhere, just the two of us, except maybe Boy Scout camp, long, long ago.  Here was my chance to spend some quality time with him right before his wedding ceremony!

We had a great three days, talking, listening to music, and listening to a book on CD.  We ate in some good and not-so-good places.  We stopped at the giant Van Gogh mural in Kansas, saw a movie in Denver, ate at a funny diner in Wyoming, saw Shoshone Falls in Idaho, and enjoyed the beautiful drive on Hwy 84 along the Columbia River in Oregon.  We even saw a base jumper off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls!  I was kind of hoping that we would get to witness that, and it happened right as we got to the viewing area.

We talked about everything - relationships, college, marriage, music, and just life.  I got to share a few stories with him that I thought he knew...but he was willing to listen to again.  We didn't worry about time, we just left when we got ready in the morning.  It was usually early, since our bodies were still on Oklahoma time.  I found out he's a very agreeable guy.  Just not crazy about the amount of pictures I like to take.  :)

I think he'll make a good husband!