Sunday, May 31, 2009 favorite 2 1/2 year old

Last weekend Arlene was able to bring Jadyn to Cove with her again. (Her mommy and daddy had to work. Too bad!) We thoroughly enjoyed this impish little girl.

Early Saturday morning--not quite awake yet.
"I do it." (Filing her nails.)
Hopping down the steps to the back yard. She'd hop, then giggle and look back at us.
Playing with the Fischer Price house while we planted flowers.
She discovered that the old lilac bush out in front was the perfect "tree" for her to climb.
What a tease--she'd take a spoonful of Arlene's dessert, act like she was going to feed it to her,
then pop the spoon into her own mouth and giggle.
Great-gamma's "pool" was a lot of fun.
Climbing once again.

Thanks Steve and Coryn for sharing your sweet little girl with us!

...sunsets and graduates

There was a beautiful sunset Friday night--one of the perks of living in the high desert of NE Oregon. This was the view from my back patio.Graduation was Saturday morning, and three of my favorite young men are moving on. They look so serious here, but they have such joyful spirits. I will miss them.

...Scott's to Scott's

Every year Scott sponsors a customer appreciation ride from his store here in town to his store in Kennewick, and back again.Normally, it's about a 75 mile ride via Clodfelter Road on the return trip, but this year CR had just been chip sealed and was toooo bumpy, so we just did an easy over and back--about 65 miles. That was ok with me--it was close to 90 F by the time we got back. The hill out of Kennewick just about got the better of me. Lots and lots of water from the SAG wagon at the top saved the day.The descent into Kennewick was wicked fun--clocked at 41.7 mph. Yeehaw! Scott didn't ride the whole way--he was busy getting our lunch taken care of--so I let him pull me in the last few miles.My buddy Gonzo was right behind me.
A good ride, good friends, and an awesome lunch. Thanks, Scott!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

...a ride around the valley

I love to ride when I'm visiting my folks--the Grande Ronde Valley is beautiful. Last Monday I got up early and headed out. It was an easy ride of about 36 miles, and I managed to beat the heat.
I wasn't quite quick enough with the camera, and should have gone back for a better picture. This old house has always intrigued me--it has two front doors! Grandpa Mel told me that it was built by a Mormon for his two wives. I wonder if that's true?
A look back (west) at Mt. Emily.
Looking north at Mt. Harris.Just past Hot Lake--looking towards Cove.Hot Lake--my Grandma Irene danced here in the 20s when it was a happenin' place. It has recently undergone a renaissance--a bronze sculptor has purchased it and is renovating it little by little.The first winter after we moved up from San Diego I was out driving with Grandpa Mel. There was a skiff of snow on this hill--I was so excited that I wanted to hike up to see it. Gramps convinced me that there wouldn't be much to see and to be patient for a real snowfall.This goat made me laugh. He was reaching through the fence to nibble on the lilac bush. When I stopped to take his picture he indignantly turned to look at me and didn't resume eating until I moved on.The road to the first place we lived in Cove--the Lewis Ranch. We were waiting to find a house to buy and all our furniture was still in storage. We camped out in their ranch-hand house for a few months. The Lewis girl who was my age asked me, "I have an aunt in San you know her?" San Diego...San Bernadino...what's the diff?Ahhh...Mt. Fanny...lovely view.The second place we rented..still waiting to find "the" house to buy. This great old house had a tiny room at the top with generations of scribblings on the walls. At least one signature was from the 1800s. There was also a ballroom on the top floor--now the master bedroom.
The sign to High Valley Road--where dad was born in his grandmother's house.
Cove Public library--open on Thursdays when I was a teenager. Now open Tuesdays and Thursdays! Staffed by volunteers like Mrs. Goodson.
What a fun ride--lots of time to "remember when" and enjoy the beautiful valley. I think it will be seeing lots more of me this summer.

Friday, May 29, 2009, flowers, and more flowers!

This year for mom's birthday/Mother's Day gift Arlene and I promised to plant all her flower pots for her. Last Saturday morning we piled in dad's truck--after convincing him that yes we needed the truck. How else would we carry four women (my sister-in-law Vickie came along), a toddler in a car seat, pick up chicken feed and have room for all the flowers??

One of the nurseries had a sand box and Jadyn couldn't have been happier. She played the entire time we were there. After several stops we finally had a good mix of flowers with lots of different colors, heights, and textures. Time to head for home, have some lunch, and get to work. A shady spot for our work station was a must.We got quite a bit done that afternoon before we totally pooped out. It was hot!Sunday morning while the folks were at church, and a little monkey climbed the lilac tree, Arlene and I got busy again. (Look how high she got! She was pretty fearless until it was time to come back down--then she needed some help.)By early Sunday afternoon all the pots were filled. Jadyn helped with the watering. She also got her grandma good with the hose!Belated Happy Birthday and Mother's Day, mom! Let's do it again next year! :-) of my favorite places

One of my favorite places in the world is my mom's back porch in the early morning. I love to watch the sun come up over the mountain. This past weekend I was up before anyone else, got coffee in "my" cup, and enjoyed the early morning quiet. (There used to be a full view of Mt. Fanny, but the trees have really grown.) I did have some company to start--this little guy wanted to be on my lap, and Chasse was at my feet. He was rather fickle though--once Dad joined us he wanted nothing to do with me!Next came Arlene and her little snuggle-bunnie....Soon, the sun was up and it was time to get dressed. We had a busy day ahead.
It was a day for planting flowers...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

...setting a goal

I've had my beautiful cobalt blue and black road bike for a year and a half now. A year and a half of riding with my buddies from Scott's. I've graduated from the slow group and, once in a great while can hold on to the fast group, but I usually hang out somewhere in the middle. And I seem to have reached a plateau. My average speed appears to be stuck at 15 mph. So. I have nothing, nothing planned for this summer except to ride my bike. (Well I do plan to visit my folks--and ride my bike, visit Katie--and ride my bike, visit my sister--and ride my bike.) My goal is to move that durned average speed number up a few notches. How about 20 mph by the time my two year anniversary rolls around in late August? I'm not even sure if that's a reasonable goal--but I'm sure going to have fun trying! And bad news...I missed the Tuesday night ride due to my flat tire adventure so didn't learn until tonight that Ivan crashed and broke his collar bone. Poor guy! He didn't have to have surgery, which is good news, but ohhh to be off the bike for the summer?! Torture!
Friday night update: I hung out at the shop this evening before it closed (yeah, what else is there to do in a small town?) and chatted with a young guy who has been riding for several years. I told him about my goal and he thought maybe 17mph would be more reasonable. Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

...a flat tire, part 2

So...after school today I immediately went to Les Schwab, had a new tire put on, and the spare returned to its home under the truck. Then I went on a search for a wrench so I wouldn't ever be in the same pickle I was yesterday. First to one wrecking yard. Nope. Then to another wrecking yard. Nada. But, the kind man gave me this and told me to get a box wrench and a length of pipe for leverage and I'd be set. So, next stop, Ace Hardware. The clerk was a little puzzled by my request--the longest 3/8 inch wrench he had in stock and a piece of pipe. I came home feeling good that I had gotten everything taken care of and started putting things away. I opened the compartment where the jack resides. But wait--what's this?? I reached down inside the well...and guess what?
The lug wrench was there all along!!! The bag was shoved down so far and covered with so much dust that I didn't see it yesterday. Oh dear. Nothing to do but laugh at myself.
I returned the wrench and pipe to Ace and have the lug wrench on the front seat--ready to return to the good-hearted man at J and J's wrecking.
So what's the lesson here? First, don't panic and double check. Triple check. Pull everything out and check again. Reach down into dirty, ugly dark holes and check. Second, and most important, be grateful for all the very kind people who were willing to help me--the man and his son who got the spare tire down, Robert, Heather, and Jaidon who changed the spare and were so friendly, the grandfatherly man at the wrecking yard who gave me advice and a wrench, my dad who was willing to drop everything and drive many miles, and my brother who would have driven many miles if he hadn't been at work. Thanks, everyone!