Thursday, August 16, 2012

She's a Beauty ...

Things are rapidly coming together since the flooring was finished. The refrigerator arrived yesterday and she's a beauty!
We still need to install the stove, refrigerator, faucet/garbage disposal and tile the backsplash. We will then be able to "move" back in to our finished kitchen. Just in time to head back to work. I don't think I could have survived this if it had been scheduled during the school year. So thankful for employment that provides summers off.
This has been quite a journey ... what a ride!

And It's a Wrap

Our weekend was dedicated to getting the wood flooring installed since the refrigerator delivery was scheduled for Wednesday.
Pierre arrived bright and early Saturday morning and got us started on "Flooring 101." He stayed over eleven hours helping us with the hardest parts of the job. He is an amazing project manager!
Brian, Michelle and the kids stopped by to drop off the tiling saw and probably never expected to be flooring sorters, measuring and carrying wood pieces around the kitchen ... for many hours. We were so grateful for their help and it saved us countless hours and trips to the "stacks" to find just the right piece.
Installing flooring was a new learning experience for us but now we feel pretty good about it. We still have the landing and a L O N G hallway to finish but I'm confident we will get it done as quickly as possible.
We are so very thankful for this huge push in the construction schedule. We are getting so much closer ...

Friday, August 10, 2012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ...

Here we go again ... one room leads to another! I have had the grandkids's room on my to-do list for several summers. It just never seemed to get done BUT this year with most of our upstairs rooms torn up ... hey, why not? The more the mess ... the merrier : )
As the kids are now both in school, it was time to put many of the Fisher-Price toys back in the attic and bring down more Legos and Matchbox cars. Not to fear ... I am investing in some girlie things too!
It all started when I found a trundle bed on Craigslist. The toddler bed was getting even too small for Calleigh and I really didn't want to invest in a bunkbed set. The idea of a trundle bed would work great for grown-up guests too, so the wheels started turning and plans were put in motion.
When we moved here 23 years ago this room was darling ... for a GIRL. We had 3 young boys so the girlie wallpaper needed to come down just 36 hours before we moved in. The previous owners had sanded the texture off the walls and we didn't have time to repair it. So ... flash forward several decades ... I wanted to do it right. The first step was to patch the walls from all the sports posters and pendants hung over the years ... hhmmm ... that was really most of the room! We bought a tool to texture the walls and put on a coat of fresh paint. Next we found new bedding and accessories and ... WOW! it feels much larger now with a new configuration!
We also filled the desk with new art supplies, drawing and watercolor tablets, fresh playdoh and even a set of Barbie paperdolls. The grandkids love creativity, art projects and all-things-imagination. Hoping they find that when they come to visit Grandma and Grandpa's house!
O.K. ... now that's off the summer to-do list. I feel a sense of accomplishment!

Summer Gatherings with Former Co-Workers

Summer is always a fun time to get together with former co-workers. As soon as school ended, I met the Templeton ladies at La Provence for a fun breakfast. We used to eat lunch together every day and have continued to meet off and on since. Two ladies still work there, one has retired and I'm in another bldg. I always enjoy a time to get caught up with these ladies.
In early July the Media Assts. gathered at Rosemary's house for a mid-morning brunch. Most of us never worked in the same bldg but had contact through meetings, phone and email. Our initial gatherings were to support one another through our frustration with our employer and the unemployment process. Now we've "healed" from that and moved on to other jobs, interests, or retirement and find joy in our current life adventures, what we're reading etc. You always leave this group uplifted.

And recently I had the opportunity to be with the Sherwood "Lunch Ladies." We were the trio that managed the middle school cafeteria. Donna is still there after 18 years and Mary retired a few years ago. Good memories ...
Always fun to gather with those you share history and good times.
This afternoon I got an early recall to return to work in August. I have missed my current co-workers and look forward to hearing how their summer went.
I have been truly blessed over the years to work with so many wonderful ladies!

Mt. Pines Adventure Golf

Several years ago the Matterhorn Village sold and the new owners updated many things, including an 18-hole miniature golf course. Last year we watched the construction on this site as we licked our delicious Mt. Huckleberry waffle cones.
Now, miniature golfing is right up there with playing Pinochle ... a least favorite activity but I wanted to give this a try and found that I was delightfully entertained with the course. It's so nice to have this new activity added to our camping experience ... fun and affordable!
If you're ever in this area, give it a try!

Hiking Determination

I love to hike and for the past ten years we have attempted the Chief Joseph Trail (at Wallowa Lake) several times but with each adventure we were turned back without reaching the top. The reason this trail is so difficult is due to the 2003 BC Creek bridge washout. The U.S. Forest Service has of yet to replace the bridge and many have accessed this trail near the falls by navigating over a "log" bridge. (Note: Crossing the waterfall is life threatening until late in the fall. Then it is extremely dangerous and the Wallowa Lake Lodge does not recommend crossing). Due to these conditions, the best access to the trail is to climb up above Section A ... and I mean CLIMB ... straight up. In some areas we had to walk on all fours grabbing tree limbs to pull ourselves up.
We set out on our journey at 7 a.m. and it took awhile just to reach the trail above Section A. After Walt directed us on the wrong trail we had to backtrack to the correct trail, losing time and energy. Hardly anyone uses this trail so it is overgrown, hard to follow and steep ... but the views are amazing.
We made it to the open meadow and started toward what I call the "Oz" forest. It's usually dense and dark and many times this is where we have turned back due to time or weather. I was shocked to see the devastation ... it looked like Mt. St. Helens ... greyed trees forced to the ground. The entire forest GONE. We tried to continue on the trail through the devastation but finally turned back due to a large tree blocking the path. It was disappointing to not reach the top again but we were hot, tired and wanted one last day at the lake.
The next day while packing up to head home we realized how sore we were from the hike! Not good for a packing/traveling home day!
My goal is to train for a hike to Aneroid next year for my 60th birthday. It has been 18 years since we tackled that trail and I want to see it one more time!

59 is Fine @ Terminal Gravity

What a fun evening celebrating the last year of my 50's at the Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise. I love the setting in their outdoor "dining room" ... a quaint farm house with a stream running through the property ... lots of trees and beautiful plants. The food was delicious. I ordered a Rancher's Steak Pita Sandwich (red and yellow onion, red and green peppers marinated in a spicy oil then seared with tri-tip steak and served on a grilled pita with melted jack cheese) that was the best I've tasted. Nancy recreated the recipe after we returned home and it's one of the first things I will cook in my new kitchen.
The best part of the evening was the story behind the cake Michelle ordered. She made many calls to this eastern corner of Oregon looking for a bakery or someone who decorates cakes. After ordering one, Michelle made a "cake deal" in the parking lot in town! We enjoyed a good laugh when she told us the cake story. I was so touched by how much time and energy she invested in making sure I had a birthday cake while camping at Wallowa. Thanks again, Michelle!

A I On Tour

We were late-comers to American Idol, but since we started watching, we have been loyal fans. We love following the contestants ... their music styles and stories.
This year we had many favorites and Phillip was one of them. I liked his unique style and sound.
We joined Don, Paula and Tim for dinner and the Rose Garden concert celebrating Tim's graduation. What a fun evening ... great music! This year the top ten were very talented and it was fun to see how they have grown as performers. We always enjoy a fun evening with the Petersons no matter what the venue!

Backing Up a Bit ...

Donna is such an amazing party planner. She coordinated the perfect birthday celebration. Our evening started at Otto and Anita's Schnitzel House This is a place we have been talking about trying for quite a few years. The food was delicious and we had to try the dill pickle soup ... fabulous!
Our next destination: Timber's game at Jeld-Wen field against LA Galaxy. What a treat to see Beckham play.
We completed our evening with dessert at Pix P√Ętisserie in Southeast Portland. It was close to midnight and the place was packed inside and out. While perusing the display case it was hard to make a decision on just one dessert. I ordered the Shazam! Rich and creamy caramel mousse, salted almonds, dense chocolate almond cake, and more caramel. It looked like a chocolate paper bag brimming with yummy goodness. They are moving to 22 and East Burnside if you ever want to experience dessert heaven : )
Thanks to Donna and Pierre for an extremely fun evening ... so many new and delicious experiences!

Moving Forward

It's been a month since I last posted and we have made drastic changes in our remodeling project. Despite taking a vacation and attending many social events we have managed to get to this point. Now it's time to dig in ...
install flooring
tile backsplash
beam, columns and molding up
have the electrical finished
... all the details before moving back in.
It has been a LONG eleven weeks but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm Type-A and it has been hard to live in chaos and dust for such a long period of time. I think it wouldn't bother me as much if I worked during the construction period, a chance to get away each day. I am so grateful we have been able to do this but, to be perfectly honest, it can wear on you after awhile. I am most looking forward to eating home cooked meals again : )
Tomorrow we start the flooring ... nice to be moving forward!