Friday, December 26, 2008

Road Trip - Part 1

Snow was falling on our magical Christmas morning in Astoria. This is Riff packing the suburban for our road trip to Wyoming. He is decked out in his winter gear, wearing his pi****, well, I won't tell you what we call this hat. It's quite impolite. Here we go, are you ready?

There was a liitle bit of debris in the road...Oregon Highway 26 between Seaside and Portland was absolutely gorgeous. A Winter Wonderland though the highway resembles a small one lane country road right now.

HUH?! Mighty big car it would take to park in the designated area behind this snowdrift. Tickled my funny bone.

A tree laying across a powerline on Highway 26. Lots of tree's down, but this is the only powerline we saw that was effected.

Riff and Blackie romping in the snow at a rest area in the Columbia River Gorge.

OOPS! Somebody in the ditch. Took us just one second to decide to stop and help. Kevin hopped out, hooked up the towrope and after several tries, and me yelling' "Stop! We're sliding in too!", Riff got the right angle and pulled him out, back onto I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge.

On we went, down the slick icy road with a stop at the worst Burger King ever in Pasco for a gourmet Christmas dinner, then on through the now thick, pea-soup fog to Ritzville, Washington were we decided that was enought of the fog and it was time to sleep.

This morning it's still foggy, but it is at least light outside. Part 2 coming up. Spokane, Washingto to Cody, Wyoming....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When Christmas came, quite young trees were cut down, trees which often were not even as large or of the same age as this Fir-tree who could never rest but always wanted to be off. These young trees, and they were always the finest-looking, retained their branches; they were laid on carts, and the horses drew them out of the wood.
"Where are they going to?" asked the Fir. "They are not taller than I; there was one indeed that was considerably shorter- and why do they retain all their branches? Whither are they taken?"
"We know! We know!" chirped the Sparrows. "We have peeped in the windows in the town below! We know whither they are taken! The greatest splendor and the greatest magnificence one can imagine await them. We peeped through the windows and saw them planted in the middle of the warm room, and ornamented with the most splendid things- with gilded apples, with gingerbread, with toys, and many hundred lights!"
~Hans Christian Anderson
The Fir-Tree

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Pennie Pocket Christmas

I'm in love with this cheery red and green pennie pocket from my friend, Monica, and it's even better that my name is on it! The Happy Zombie had posted these on her blog awhile back and I was sure hoping one of those sweet pockets had my name on it. It came filled with candy canes and santa chocolates and I love it. Did I say I love it??
Have last minute gifts that still need making? Hop right over to Monica's site and grab her free pattern for these sweet Pennie Pockets, then join her flicr group to show off your handywork. Think Valentine's day, May Day, what-have-you these guys will be perfect!
A Happy Pennie Pocket Christmas to one and all...

Monday, December 22, 2008

The door is on the latch tonight,
The hearth-fire is aglow,
I seem to hear soft passing feet~
The Christchild in the snow.

My heart is open wide tonight
For stranger, kith or kin;
I would not bar a single door
Where love might enter in.

-Author Unknown

Happy, happy week of Christmas. I hope you're all bundled up and warm in these beautiful winter days.

(Update: There was no mail in our snow-covered mailbox today. I think the postman couldn't get his little jeep up our steep ice-covered hill.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Card Tree

I went out the other night in a winter windstorm to cut some bare brances for my Christmas-card-tree and was nearly blown down the hill, but it was worth it. I got the idea for this tree in the latest Sunset Magazine and really loved it. Just so happens that I had a clear glass vase and some vintage ornaments hanging around, all that I needed was the branches and, by golly, there was a few of those haning around in my backyard as well. I'm really tickled with the tree. It's really a fun decoration and simple as pie to put together.
If you look close you can see an incredibly cute homemade Christmas card on the tree from Ali at Willa's Way and also one from Mary at Mary's Writing Nook. I'm horrible and have yet to get out a single card this year. There's still time ~ it's not over 'til it's over...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day

Snow doesn't fall on our little rain forest world very often so when it does it is certainly time for fun and games. I was doing some cheery Christmas baking this morning when I happened to glance out the window and saw Dustin and his friend Lydon in a snowball battle. Actually, what caught my attention first was the thunk! on the window as a renegade snowball missed it's intended mark. (Or was it such an accident? That window is awfully high. Now that I think about it....) The war raging outside was just to cute to miss, those big teenage boys giggling and racing around the snow covered yard just tickled my fancy. Cuter still was the teenage girls that were soon walking up and down the street, giggling and tossing snowballs lightly at each other.
May you all be blessed with a white Christmas...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived a mommy and her three little ones. The two sweet little girls were joyful and kind. They loved to sing and play, and they loved their tiny baby brother. That little brother was just a baby, but a very sick one indeed. He was a happy boy, laughing and cooing at his sisters even though he lived every day with high fevers and could only sleep sitting up in his infant seat or he would stop breathing altoghether. His mommy took him to the doctors office several times a week for more testing and to try to keep his temperature and his breathing under control and to try to find out why, at 6 months old, he still only weighed 9 pounds. She could no longer work because that sick little baby could not be left with a babysitter. Their was not a daddy in their lives anymore, so the mommy was the only support of this little family. One chilly November day, the mommy picked up the biggest sister from kindergarten and they went home from another long day of medical testing. Pulling into the driveway, the mommy turned off the car, the doors opened and the two giggling girls fell out, laughing at each other as they tumbled their way into the old trailer house. The mommy unbuckled the baby man and his infant seat, pulling it out of the backseat of the car and wearily trudging up the stairs to the front door, the diaper bag banging against her side as she walked. "Mommy, look! What's this box", greeted her from the two little girls as she approached the front door. Tears filled her eyes when she gazed upon the box of groceries that had been left on her doorstep from the local foodbank. What a relief to know that her children would go to bed with full tummies, at least for the next several nights. Someone, maybe at the doctors office or at the little girls school, had put this families name in to have some thanksgiving food delivered. In the box was also a gift certificate to the local grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings. When times are so tough, their is no more beautiful a feeling than that box of groceries brought to that young mommy.

The young woman in this story was me, 16 years ago now. It put hope in my heart and fed my soul.

Last night was the annual Food Parade in my neighborhood. The food parade is an annual event here in Astoria. For three nights the fire department is out in different neighborhoods until they cover the entire town. The fire trucks are decorated with Christmas lights, Santa can be seen riding and waving from one truck, Christmas music and singing can be heard all over as they slowly make their way down the darkened streets. The volunteer firefighters and their families walk behind the trucks, collecting food for our local food bank from the people in the neighborhoods. It's something I look forward to every year, perusing the newspapers until I see the announcement, then making sure that I'm home and have a couple of bags full of groceries to add to the mix. The food banks, at least here in Oregon, have been dangerously low the past year and need our help to fill them so that less children go to bed hungry on Christmas Eve. As long as I have an extra can of anything in my cupboards, I will give to the food parade, or to any of the food collections that are around this time of year, giving back just a little bit of the blessing that was given to me and my family those many years ago.

Is there a charity or program that is near and dear to your heart this holiday season?

Christmas lights and cheerfulness fill our street. You can expect no less on "Pleasant Avenue"! Our house is the white one in the picture by itself and the other two are across the street from us.
May your streets be filled with Christmas cheer and your cupboards be full...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December 1st to Christmas
Is the longest time
of year.
Seems like Old Santa
will never appear.
Untie one treat
every night
when the Sandman
casts his spell;
Christmas will be here
By the time you reach the bell.

This little poem was on a long felt advent calendar type thingy-ma-bobber that we had when I was a small child. It was a long red felt strip that ended in a bell; the poem was on the bell. There were 24 ties down the strip of felt that every year Mom would tie 4 lifesavers to each of the ties. (There were four of us kids at that time). Every night, starting December 1st, before bed we took turns reading the poem and untying the treat. I loved it when it was my turn ~ not only did I get to read the poem out loud, I also got to choose my lifesaver first. Butter rum was my favorite, with the green one's coming in a close 2nd. The wintergreen lifesavers were always fun, not that I liked the taste a whole lot, but when you put your head under the dark covers and crunched them, they would spark a little bit. We looked forward to this fun Christmas tradition every year. The grandbabies are just little guys this year, but I think I'll make duplicates of our bell for them all next year. Passing on our childhood traditions.

What Christmas memories do you have that you looked forward to every year?