Saturday, March 17, 2012
Reflections on Being Home
It has been a while since I have posted something on our blog. I wanted to share a few thoughts I have had lately. We have had three couples visit us from our past travels abroad just in the last two months. Bryan and Lana from Canada, Jordan and Jessica from Colorado, and Marcia from Portland. Two things I have noticed. Living in the USA is easy. Good Friends are nice to have. Here are some highlights of the last few months.Last weekend we went to MacDonald Forest north of Corvallis for a leisurely Saturday afternoon stroll. Gordon brought his camera stuff and we saw some big trees, some nice old growths, and sat on some cool benches (thanks to the OSU Forestry Club) just taking in the wilderness. Oregon is such a nice place to just be. I came home one afternoon a little earlier than Gordon expected me to, and I found him doing this to our garage wall- building a climbing wall (inspired by our friends Chris Borodenko and Lauren McCoy). We brought back five climbing holds from Nigeria that we made with these friends of ours, and then Gordon used up about four drill bits making more holds from granite rock and other stones collected from our local Santiam and Willamette Rivers. Oh yeah- and the motorcycle on the right side in this picture is new as well. Our newest toy. An R1100GS BMW touring bike, it was be awesome for this summer. Gordon bought me (us) an tasty vegetarian cook book for my birthday last November and we have been planning our weekly meals and grocery shopping. Above is an edimame fritata. We decided to make a fritata after watching the movie called Morning Glory, where Harrison Ford is a grumpy old man who makes a delicious signature fritata. Anyhow, the recipe turned out wonderfully. And, we even got to use this excellent cast iron skillet we picked up at a garage sale last summer. We are still waiting for our daffodils in our garden to look this good. Our friends Marcia and Geoff brought these down when they had lunch with us yesterday. Our daffodils were planted a little late. We dug them up from my mom's garden last summer. In February we went to my Dad's house a few weeks after a big storm to help him clean up his driveway and yard. He had two big trees fall across his road. If he had been one minute quicker, the trees may have fallen on him or his truck as he was going down to his shop to get the generator. Oregon has had some good storms this winter. Last weekend there was 10 inches of snow and they were out of electricity for five days because of 80 mile an hour winds. Gordon and I were very sore for days after splitting, loading, and stacking almost three cords of firewood. It was four pick up truck loads of wood and we did three loads on Saturday and one on Sunday. Gordon, me, and our friend John ran a few races together this winter. Just some 5km races, one at Cook Park in Tigard and the other at Mount Taber Park in SE Portland. We have registered for the Hood to Coast Relay Race in August, our team's name is Sneaker Wave. There are twelve people on our team and each person will be expected to run three legs of about four to eight miles each, with varying levels of difficulty. We are super excited about it. Every Saturday night my Dad and Debbie go play music up at a neighbors barn which has been converted into a nice sound room. The locals show up and bang and strum and hum for hours. When we go visit them, Gordon sometimes joins my Dad. We love making big breakfasts on Saturday mornings. Gordon is an expert pancake maker. Gordon's sister Lisa and brother-in-law Greg made some tasty grape juice which complemented our breakfast well. Some of our favorite toppings are homemade raspberry and blackberry jam, fresh ground natural peanut butter, and homemade apple sauce. Also for my birthday, Gordon bought me a decorative pie making kit. And, we froze about fifty pounds of apples this fall, so it has been a great winter of baking and eating. During Christmas Vacation we got to hang out with my niece and nephew for a few days. They were loving to use the apple peeler, and eating the peel at the same time. Stuffed bell peppers is one of our new favorite dishes we have been cooking. Not only are they colorful and visually pleasing, they are tasty as well. I have been digging through collections of photographs at my parent's houses. I found these in an old photo album and decided to begin scanning some of the best classics. I think this is my favorite one, and the most memorable. I love the outfits.