Friday, December 2, 2016

Swimming in the Hot Springs

Greetings!  My sister Denise, Gracie and I went swimming at Bonneville Hot Springs on Wednesday.  The water was extra warm and it felt nice as my feet were kind of cold, the weather was rainy and chilly.  My sister snapped some photos in the lobby while I brought the car around.  The lodge staff were involved in decorating while we were there.  Below is a cute Santa.


The fire was blazing in the lobby.

The tree was up but not decorated yet.

When we drove over the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks from Oregon to Washington, we enjoyed seeing several lighted displays leading to the bridge.  On the way back it was getting dark already so I snapped a few photos.

I just got these two, but there were many more clever lighted scenes, skaters on a frozen pond and even salmon jumping up a waterfall.  :-)

My son and his friend went sturgeon fishing yesterday afternoon in Ernie's boat.. they did not catch a fish but my son did catch this image which I thought was kind of cool.

Yesterday we attended the Portland Women's Forum meeting which was fun, we exchanged gifts, sang Christmas Carols, had a great lunch and had a white elephant sale.  Then we came home and waited for the furniture delivery man.  They took away our old sofa and love-seat and brought in the new antique red sofa and a chair.  It's a lot roomier in the living room now.  I'm going to decorate in there today and will try to take some photos for my next blog post.

Do you decorate for Christmas?  Do you do it minimally or go all out?  Here's to a wonderful weekend!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

 *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Upgrade and Tree Up

Greetings my friends!  My Hibiscus has been blooming quite a bit lately, it was mad, I think, because we'd hung a hanging basket outside where it sits in the dining room window cutting off it's light.  When I asked Dayle to move that basket, it thanked me by putting on buds.  :-)

Dayle and I were out running errands all afternoon yesterday.. and we came upon this fabulous public art installation by our light rail max station.. I just love this thing!  In the day it's amazing but at night it really puts on a show, the colors change and move.  I put my phone out the window.. yes I did.. and snapped this image.  Isn't it fun?  I went to the dentist, we went out to lunch, bought dog food and went to look at a new sofa and chair for the living room.  Our old set was all scratched up by our cat, Lucy, and needed to be replaced.  We did find a set, can't wait to show you, it should be delivered tomorrow.

My big news is that after waiting for a LONG time.. a new MacBook Pro was brought out by Apple.  My 4 year old laptop was pretty filled up and Dayle needed a newer one, so of course I had to get a new one so he could have my old one.. right?  I ordered one right after the announcement and then impatiently watched the process online as my order was received, prepared for shipment and finally shipped.  I eagerly watched the tracking - it started out in Shanghai, China. Then on to Japan, Korea, Anchorage, Alaska, Nashville, Tennessee and finally it was on the truck for delivery!!  It came on Friday.  Exactly one month to the day I put in the order.  Then began the (to be honest, painful) process of transferring data and programs and photos, etc.  I finally had to call Apple tech support and talked to "Eddie", my new best friend.  I used the "migration assistant" and via bluetooth the data was transferred overnight.  

THEN.. trying to figure out how to turn on the thing.. lol.. and I was missing a bunch of stuff.. oh EDDIE.. turn on the cloud to get the stuff I didn't have.. buy an update of QuarkXPress so that would work.. load MS Office 2016.. etc, etc, etc.  But after toiling away over the weekend I'm in business.  Sheesh.  I got the Space Grey color as they didn't bring out gold or rose gold (fie on you, Apple!).

We have the tree up!  I will be working hard this weekend to decorate the tree and everything else.  More on that soon.

I saw this image on Facebook.. it's not mine and I'm not sure whose it is.. but I borrowed it.  If you know the photographer, please let me know so I can give credit.. but isn't this gorgeous!  Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge at night with a sky full of stars.  I am getting the pull of my heart to go up and visit soon.

We're off to the hot springs today.. before it closes and becomes a rehab facility.  :-( . What are you up to, today?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Hello friends!  We sure did have a good Thanksgiving day yesterday.  I hope you had a good one if you celebrate.  If you don't have Thanksgiving where you live, you might want to start.. LOL!  It's a day to have a feast to celebrate all the things you're thankful for.  Each of us went around the table to say what we are grateful for, it was nice.  Mainly it was for each other.  :-)

I put on a fresh tablecloth and had my tall son hand me down my turkey dishes from the cabinet above the fridge.  I found my fall napkins and set the table with candles, crystal and silverware.  I wish you could smell the house right then, the aroma of roasting turkey with sage dressing.  

For this photo I set a few things on the turkey platter, my pilgrim couple and my 2 majolica ceramic turkeys.

I saw one of these turkey plates on a blog a few years ago and thus began a search for some.. and found a set on  It's called "His Majesty" by Johnson Brothers.

Dayle is our turkey chef.  He chops onions, celery and parsley and sautes it butter, then adds organic chicken stock and dried dried bread cubes, pepper, salt, poultry seasoning and lots of rubbed sage.  Then he stuffs what he can into the turkey and puts the extra in baking pans.  He had begun to carve the turkey before he remembered we hadn't taken a photo.. lol.

I put my son in charge of the green bean and french fried onion casserole.. it takes a math major to convert the ingredients by two and a half.  :-)  Plus, he needs to learn to make this stuff.  I was the "overseer".  He also peeled the fresh yams and potatoes and put them on to boil.  When the yams were almost done, we drained them and put them into one of my Dansk red enameled steel baking pans and I cut butter and dotted them with it and sprinkled that with brown sugar and shook some "cinnamon plus" over the top and then spread miniature marshmallows over that and baked it.  While those were in the oven I mashed two batches of potatoes with half-and-half and some salt.  I put those in my red Dansk pot and covered them to keep them warm.. after adding a chunk of butter on top and sprinkling them with paprika.  

I then made a slurry of water and flour, added some more broth to the turkey drippings and whisked it all together until it thickened.. and the gravy was PERFECT!  Here is our dinner all set to savor each bite.  :-)

Now it's the day after, we're watching a good movie on TV, by the fire and working up an appetite for.. LEFTOVERS!  LOL!  This scene is behind me.

I will close with a poem I wrote years ago when all my siblings and their children came to the farm for Thanksgiving.  We've all had our families grow with grandchildren and now have separate dinners - but this one will remain in my memory as one of the best times in my life.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

The Heart of Autumn

Memories -- they roll through my mind.
All the years of Thanksgiving celebrations.
I remember them, with family & friends,
Different places, different faces.

Now, our home is where we gather.
It is because it is so right here.
The big old farmhouse, the barn,
The big oak tree obliges with leaves of red.

The family arrives, Dad brings ice cream.
Mom brings the pies fresh from her oven.
Robert, my only brother, brings his
Family from afar. Thank you brother.

As I open the door to our farmhouse
Welcoming Sister Roberta and her clan.
We all walk into the warm, steamy fragrant room.
Drinking in the smell of roasting turkey and sage.

Baby sister Denise brings her young ones,
What would the day be without them?
Thanksgiving day, we have always come together
The family draws tight as if by an unseen magnet.

The table is set with my finest china,
Napkins are folded like sculptures.
Goblets await cider, candles are alight.
The preparations reach a crescendo.....

Then, Dayle pulls his perfect creation,
The biggest turkey he could find,
From the oven, and the room quiets.
We all gather around, and glory in the scene...

A family, full of love and cheer.
This is the true America, our pilgrim
Ancestors would be proud, of what
Their brave adventure has wrought.
And we are filled with thanks.

Copyright 1995 by Teresa Kasner

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Wow, it's amazing how things can change in one year.  This photo is from our Thanksgiving dinner last year.  This year there will only be 6 of us around the table.  At least we don't have to add 4 leaves to the table!  LOL!  If you are new to reading my blog, our daughter and our two granddaughters live in Ohio and do not spend the holidays with us since they moved 5 1/2 years ago.  Our son and his family have moved to California and my son is now a long haul truck driver and will not even be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  :-(  

But we will have a turkey and all the fixing and I'll set the table with our turkey dishes, silver and crystal and we will feast and be happy and toast all our blessings and the year ahead.  I hope those of you who celebrate will have a great day with friends and family and a delicious meal.  I will have photos on Friday of our day tomorrow.

I noticed that there were a few flowers on the back of my Christmas Cactus in the bay window behind our easy chairs.  I asked my son to turn the pot around for me and lo and behold.. there were lots of flowers in bloom on it!  I had consolidated 3 different plants into one pot and so you will see 3 colors of blooms, white, coral red and one from my mother's room that I rescued right before she passed away - it's a magenta pink rimmed flower with a white center.  Isn't this neat!  

Kristi snapped this photo of Simba - he's all curled up on a chair.  She feeds him treats that he loves.  Our little wild cat.

I've been a homebody for a few weeks.. trying to absorb things.. we have a fire in our pellet stove which warms and soothes me.. I immersed myself in the Country Living Christmas issue while my warm little dog sat in his place on my lap.  I'm already thinking of packing away my little ceramic turkeys and bringing out the Christmas decorations.  :-)

In this issue they had their real estate section as usual but this time it was all red houses in honor of the season.  I've been campaigning with Dayle for years now to paint our house red to match our barn.  I showed him this one, which is similar in building style to our old farmhouse and lo and behold he said maybe!  That's better than in the past.  :-)  (The photo is blurry, I snapped this with my phone out of their magazine.)

I wanted to thank all of you who sent good wishes to Dayle and Kristi.  Dayle perked right up after some rest.  His back is better and no more dizziness.  Kristi is not doing well and has been taken to the doctor by our son, please keep her in your good thoughts.

And so.. I will wish you a wonderful day tomorrow and hope love and joy are in your heart.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Life's Ups and Downs

Greetings.  My friend Gracie came over for a visit on Friday and we had a long talk.  She brought some flowers for Kristi to cheer her up after a long surgery and a tough recovery - and for me too.  I'm so enjoying the sunflower's happy face.  Kristi is having a very painful recovery.  Poor thing.  

Her mother, sister and BIL came over on Saturday for a visit.. her mom brought this pot of gorgeous orchids for her.

I am enjoying the lime green and purple of these flowers.

Dayle has put his back out and this morning took some meds and got dizzy and fell on his way to our bedroom.  I helped him up but he almost collapsed again trying to get into bed.  Goodness sakes.  

I used to wear a two-strand bracelet of turquoise rondelles and it broke, I tried to restring it but seem to have lost some of the rondelles and could not make a double strand again.. so.. I found some Sleeping Beauty Mine beads from Arizona on eBay and now they are here.  Time to restring my double strand again.

I am part Native American.. I wonder if that is why I love beads so much.  

I am still worried about the future of our country, it feels like all the social progress that has been made up until 2 weeks ago is being eroded.  It feels to me like our country has lost 100 years of progress.  I'm still concerned about the appointments the P-E has chosen.  Many of whom are known as a questionable choice for their position due to past stances on issues.  

It was called to my attention that Steve Bannon was not a white supremacist - in an effort of fairness I spent several hours researching his past.  What I found out was that his wife accused him of abuse, that he refused to allow her to put their children in a certain private school because there were Jewish children there. He took over Breitbart news after the death of it's founder and turned it into a vehicle to help the P-E get elected.  He calls women the "C" word and the website is a vehicle for alt-right.  So, after my research I stand firm that his appointment will not be a fair and balanced choice for our country.  

NOW... sorry for continuing my political statements but this is America and so far I still have the freedom to say what I think.  

I need to go check on my husband.  I'm worried about him.. OH.. and Paul Ryan is trying to abolish Medicare - which is our health care insurance.  Then what will we do?  ::sigh::

OK.. talk soon.. Teresa

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Parade, Crochet Progress and Trying

First let me thank you all who read and commented on my last post.  Yes, I probably surprised a lot of you for speaking out like I did, I really appreciate those who supported me and even for those who did not agree, but expressed their disagreement in a civil and thoughtful way.  I actually have received a few mean comments over the last two days which I did not post.  It's my blog and I have decided to keep things civil.  :-)  Now.. life has gone on over the last week even though I know I'm in a pretty deep depression.  I'm afraid for the future of my country.  

But some good things have happened too.  On Friday Dayle and I decorated our Ford Flex red car to drive in the Veteran's Day Parade in the Hollywood District of Portland, Oregon.  This high school band marched by us while we were waiting to pull out into the parade lineup.. I just noticed that these young people show what America is, a melting pot of diversity, and I'm proud of that.  

Our Sons, Children and Daughters of the American Revolution posing together.

Our SAR group marched ahead of our car and I must say, it was pretty neat to follow them in the parade.  My sister Roberta organized us all for the parade and her husband Teddy is a member of the SAR, he is a descendent from Daniel Boone's brother and he's in the buckskins on the left.  They were very popular with the people watching the parade.

I was charmed by these kids who painted their own signs as we passed and Dayle snapped a quick photo of them with his iPhone.  How cute are these kids?

I drove this year and I have to say it's kind of fun to drive down the middle of the street.. :-) .. I was waving a flag out my window and driving, too.  Smiling at the people wishing us a happy Veteran's Day and thanking Dayle for his service.  I had a magnetic sign made for his side of the car telling of his service and showing the medals he earned in the Vietnam war.  On my side I had a sign about DAR and the Portland Chapter.  We also had banners of flags down both sides of the car flapping in the breeze.  A nice day.  

I was surprised to see my new Camellia bush in bloom!  I'm so happy to have finally planted a Camellia on this old farm place, it's about time.

I hope it blooms again in the Spring.. do you know if it will?

I've been trying.. trying to accept the new normal of America.  But it's hard to do that when the president-elect is adding to his team one bad person after another.  First was Steve Bannon, a well-known white supremacist. How am I supposed to accept "him" if he is surrounding himself with a cadre evil people?  And each addition is as bad as the last.  So, I crochet.. and pat my warm dog, I asked Dayle to get the pellet stove started so we have the flames next to us to warm our bodies and our minds.  I remind myself to breathe.  I restrung my turquoise bracelet that had broken.. 

I gave my younger sister Denise 2 skeins of the yummy yarn I'm using in the Stained Glass colorway.  This is how far she's gotten, she took this photo and it shows her beautiful backyard.  

A closer look at the colors in her shawl.  This is a C2C pattern - Corner 2 Corner.

I had to show you the big bowl of crab and Dayle and Kristi picked out of the shell, she froze it in bags so we can have crab salad all winter.  :-)

I thought you might enjoy a photo of Buddy as he found a patch of sunshine the other day.  There won't be much of that today, it's only 44 deg. out!

We got a nice surprise yesterday, Gracie came for a visit with her son Tim and two of her darling granddaughters.  They brought us dinner!  They worked together as a family to make meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and a green salad!  She knew that Kristi had a 5 hour surgery on Monday and was having a painful recovery.  She also gave her a card signed by the whole family and a jigsaw puzzle, and the same for me too.  Isn't that wonderful and nice?  And we all enjoyed their delicious meal.  Thank you, Gracie and family!  And so.. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.. sending love from the farm here.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Bye Bye, Miss American Pie

Hello friends.  I am going to speak honestly today.  I may lose some friends or readers, but I want and need to go on the record about how I feel.  I believe in being idealistic and progressive.  Up until last Wednesday morning our country was known around the world as a place to look up to.  The progressive candidate won the popular vote.. the other one will be president.  I could not do my wednesday post because I was too shocked and depressed.  I did not do my Friday post because I was still too crushed and hurt.  I've been told.. "Oh well.. he won.. get over it.." And I say.. no.. not yet.. maybe never.  

Last Wed, my sister Denise and I who are of the same mind about this election,  went swimming together.  We spent the drive there and over lunch trying to understand how this country could elect a man who is so obviously ill-suited for the job.  We cried.. we railed.. we lost hope.. together.

The man who will be president spent his campaign inciting hatred of minorities.  He called Mexicans "rapists and murderers", he said he was going to deport Muslims and anyone else he wanted.  And guess what?  His election has unleashed a rash of hate crimes against anyone who isn't white across this country.  He gave the thumbs up for racists - and school kids are taunting brown kids in lunch rooms chanting "Build that wall, build that wall!"  Women wearing scarves on their head for religious reasons are being told to hang themselves with that scarf.  Black kids are being told they will be hung and killed.  Gay people who had finally gotten acceptance in this country and many who have gotten married and have families are now crying and scared that they'll lose their rights to marry.  The man who mocked a handicapped man, who mocked a man and his wife who's American born Muslim son was killed in the line of duty while serving in the military - this is who is our president now.

I've asked people who voted for Trump.. why?  They say - "He's good in business."  I beg to differ.  He lost a billion dollars in one year 30 years ago and has not paid federal taxes in 30 years as a result.  You're telling me he's good at business?  So.. those of us who work making a modest living and those of us who are retired who still pay federal taxes.. we pay for "his" roads and airports and services.  They say, well it's legal and the law.  That does NOT make it RIGHT.  Warren Buffett is a billionaire but he still pays federal taxes because it's the right thing to do.  The president-elect's companies have gone bankrupt 4 times, he's defaulted on numerous contracts and refused to pay those who built his buildings.  The people who do the most menial of his jobs, the maids in his hotels, say he won't pay them fairly, won't give them medical or retirement.  This is not a sign of a good businessman.  

I feel sorry for Melania Trump as I doubt she is happy about any of this.  But the thought of her as our First Lady and how she might "redecorate" the White House.. the thought of those two living in that historic home fills me with despair.  She was a nude model and photos of her are readily available on the internet.  How can I look up to her as my first lady?  How will "he" be able to use a bathroom without a gold plated toilet?  :-)

He is appointing his staff and advisors now, not with progressive and open-minded people, but with old school buddies that he owes a favor to.  His choices are the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rudy Guliani, Chris Christie, etc.  Lovely.

His gang vows to close down Planned Parenthood - do you realize that this is where those with limited means go to get birth control, family planning, much needed women's health care?  Men also can get care there, too.  

And lets just talk about his history with women.  His first wife claimed he raped her while married to him.  He bragged about walking into the dressing room at one of his beauty contests he owns, boasting about seeing the young women with no clothes on.  He crowed about being able to do whatever he wanted to woman, "grabbing their pussy" because he's "famous".  A string of women have come forward to tell their stories of his abusing them.  There is an actual legal case against him for raping a 13 year old girl at a party of his good friend Jeffrey Epstein who was convicted and served time for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.

So, I'm saying here in plain English.  It shocks me that any woman would vote for this man.  I'm saying that when you did you gave permission to every racist to taunt and beat up immigrants and gay people.  You gave permission to every man or gang of boys to grab women to grope and assault them.  

Where do we go from here?  I'm not even sure.  But I refuse to accept this "man" as my president.  I am on strike for 4 years.  If he's elected for a second term.. I may die before hope is restored to this country and I will die with a broken heart.

If you don't know what to do - here is what we can do - wear a safety pin on your shirt - it's a sign that if someone is in trouble, you will try to help.  You can smile and say hello to minorities.  Let them know that the GOOD people of this country will not hurt them and devalue them.  Donate to Planned Parenthood.  Volunteer to help with those less fortunate.  Write your elected representatives in government and make sure the country remains a place where all people of all colors exist together without fear.

So there it is.. I truly am sorry if I upset you with any of this.. but if good people don't make a stand and say what they're concerned about, we might all be lost.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Crabbers, Trees and Mantle

Hello there!  Well, my husband Dayle, son Travis, grandson Caleb and my son's work friend Ernie had a successful crabbing trip on Friday and Saturday.  They drove over 2 hours to Garibaldi on the Oregon Coast, and launched our boat in Tillamook Bay.  Each of them were allowed 12 crabs and they got 25 "keepers" on that first day.  They actually caught several hundred but you have to measure them and can only keep ones that are 5 3/4s inches across, so they had to toss back most of them.  Here is one happy crabber with a big one.

7 year old Caleb is a natural at this!  Here he is measuring one and as you can see it is much bigger than the legal size!  Look at that face.  :-)

They filled our big cooler with sea water and put the keepers in there until they could clean and boil them.  The guys brought a large stock pot with them, and bought a propane burner there at the coast and cleaned and cooked all 25 of the crabs in the hotel parking lot that night.. LOL!!  They were the center of attention there, that's for sure.

The first day was fair and sunny and warm but they spent the night there and were back on the water early on Saturday - here is our little deck hand - he's all warm in a coat and waterproof slicker - his life jacket is under there too.  He kind of looks like an Eskimo, doesn't he?

I asked Dayle to have Travis drop him off at the dock and get some photos of the boat on the water.. which he did.  :-)

This was all of their first time of crabbing on our boat, I was very proud of our son Travis who got the crab pots and figured out how to do it all.  They used 6 crab pots (traps) and used them all to great advantage.

They caught 7 crabs on the second day - they tried a different spot - putting in at Netarts on the Nehalem Bay and found that it wasn't nearly as good a place for catching as Tillamook Bay.  Live and learn!

Our boy at the helm of Sea Wolf.

When it was time to wrap it up Caleb got to toss out the leftover bait which was chicken parts and the sea gulls were loving that!

I made some Continental Cocktail Sauce for the crab and it was tasty.  Here are the last 7 crabs after being cleaned and steamed.  Kristi fixed up a bowl of fresh salad greens and put out bowls of olives, mini corn, tomatoes and dressing for us to have crab salad.  My sweet husband picked (shelled) a few crabs for my salad for me.. and I had a perfectly ripe avocado on mine, too.  She also got some bake-and-serve scissor rolls which we had hot with the meal.  It was divine!

Yesterday my blog friend Kathy texted me to ask me if I wanted to drive over and pick up a couple green leaf Japanese Maples that she didn't want any longer -- so off we went.  She had this big huge Jade plant on her deck.. covered with flower buds!  

Her husband was in his airplane hangar working on his new plane.. a piper.  While we were visiting a couple small airplanes took off from the grass runway behind their house, very exciting for me.. I love planes.

Here is the large maple tree in her front yard, the mother of the small trees she gave us.  It was quite a feat to get those two trees in my Ford Flex.  And even harder to get them out.. lol.  

I put the one glass fishing float on the mantel so I thought I'd show you a photo.  I have 2 vintage brass ships lanterns there and a print of 2 tall ships in a race by Captain Lars.  I actually traded website work for this print and picked it up at Captain Lars house in California and had a nice chat with him and his wife.

Our living room doesn't have much natural light, that's why we "live" in the family room with a nice bay window at our backs.. :-)

I'm off to swim this afternoon.. you won't believe this.. I was informed when I swam there on Friday that the facility was closing for a month and a half for remodeling, not to open until after the first of the year.  Are you ready for that?  Now what?  Harumph.  We're having a sunny day today which is lovely.  

Tomorrow is election day.  I voted by mail.  I hope she wins.  :-)  Back on Wednesday with a report on that front.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)