Friday, December 25, 2009

A Delightful Christmas Morning

It is a beautiful Christmas Morning in Ruch, OR 2009. We are spending the holiday with Debbie's sister and her family. I got up a little late today. It was sometime around 8:00 am. I've already forgiven myself though because yesterday I was up at 4:00 am so that I could get my eight hours of work in by 1:30pm. I ended up having to work a little late but was home by 20 minutes after 2:00 and on the road to Grants Pass by 2:30.

Unfortunately, the traffic combined with poorly timed road construction, added at least an hour to the trip. I was fading a bit by Albany, so Debbie took over and drove all the way to Grants Pass. I then re-took the wheel and drove the final leg into Ruch.

I'm sure that I was far worse company last night than normal. Today, however, after a full nights rest, I feel far better.

They have a beautiful noble fir which they harvested up in the woods. The needles are a bit longer than the nobles we normally find in the woods near our place in Portland. It has a little nicer color as well. I love the look of a wild noble fir. Here, enjoy it with me.

We have been fortunate enough to be part of this family which continues to grow and in which each of the members loves each of the other members, hence the mountain of gifts at the base of the tree. It is refreshing to watch and listen as they each interact with each other about the gifts and the thoughts that went with them.

Let me share some pictoral highlights.

Oh my goodness! I wish I'd taken a picture of the huge pile of crinkled wrapping paper and empty boxes. You should have seen it!

There is something else that I wish you could have experienced with me. There was a lot of gratitude going around. Many "Thank you" responses and sounds of appreciation. Often, in todays society, there is too little thanks. It is great to be in the same room with a number of people who don't just do this one day a year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sometimes Its Just Good Enough To Be Alive

Ok. Sometimes life just doesn't offer nerve tingling sensations. Sometimes it is just a new day with the kind of events that one normally expects. This week has been full of those kinds of days. I think it is good, however, to go ahead and report even when life seems to go ahead normally.

It is the Christmas season and though I'm not really feeling particularly consumeristic, I did visit a couple of malls this week. I found nothing that really pushed any of my buttons and left without making any purchases. My condolences to all of the vendors out there competing for the few dollars in my pocket. We visited Clackamas Towncenter earlier in the week and discovered it to be noticeably lacking of patronage. If I had actually been in the mood to buy, it would have been the perfect opportunity to get some shopping done. We finally left the mall with a couple of cups of coffee and virtually no inspiration.

I needed to visit the DMV and discovered that they have an office at Lloyd Center that is open on the weekends. Yesterday, we decided to head down there so I could take care of my business. Our experience at this mall was completely different. To begin with, there was extremely limited parking availability. We finally found a spot on a nearby street that was available on a pay by the quarter hour basis. Boy, was this experience different than it had been earlier in the week. The mall was packed with barely enough spare oxygen for me to remain calm.

On top of that, this particular DMV office didn't offer the service that I needed. What a downer! We visted Starbucks

then wandered around for a short while, dodging the myriads of bodies and finally, to my relief, headed back to the vehicle for the trip back home and the welcome lack of nameless faces. Oh my goodness, how good it feels to be in my own quarters with only familiar people around me. Whew!

Today it was a pleasant church service with a bit of a twist. The service was a bit different in that there was a Christmas pagent in lieu of a sermon. Our seventeen year old, Jonathan, had a part and we were proudly watching during his performance this morning. I think at the last minute someone had dropped out and he was able, with very little prep time, to stand in with some significant speaking parts. You've got to love that!

Our church offers two services and between services this morning we offered a free breakfasts of all you can eat pancakes, sausage, yogurt with granola, and peaches. Jonathan's mother, Debbie, and I, helped serve up the breakfast. Debbie's father, Hans, was kind of ramrodding the outfit and we happened to be volunteers by association. It wasn't that bad. In fact, it was kind of fun but don't tell him. We'll just kind of keep that our little secret.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who? Me? Sick? Never! Well, Maybe

Did I ever tell you that I never get sick? Well never is kind of extreme. I actually have recently been influenced by some sort of virus. You know, a cold. It has been a couple of years since I have had any trouble breathing through my nostrils. Tonight, however, I have chosen to take a couple of DayQuil capsules. You know, just something to keep my sinus passages clear enough to breath through. I think I'm feeling better already. I love anti-decongestants.

I suspect that the busyness of my life in recent weeks has played significantly in my current condition. Normally, I cook with a lot of garlic and other healthy ingredients, and can expect perfect health. Last week I endured a number of "fast food" episodes, and am considering consulting an attorney regarding the health effects of Burger King. Ok, that was a joke! Please don't tell the King.

I think I told you previously about a piece of furniture that was spending significant time in my driveway awaiting my attention. Well, a couple of nights ago, Debbie and I huffed and grunted it into our kitchen (our cold weather work area) and I started to give it some much needed attention. Tonight, I put some final touches on it and tomorrow evening, you will probably have an opportunity to purchase it for yourself at Monticello Antique Marketplace. I suppose that its next owner will have to have the same love for Shabby Chic that we have, but I am very pleased with the final outcome. Let me show you a few images before we take it to the shop.

Originally, we acquired this piece with no top or drawer pulls. We had a collection of drawer pulls to contribute to this project and went to the Rebuilding Center for some tongue in groove flooring to add to the top.

I hand rubbed some linseed oil to get this delightful effect.

These were some really great drawer pull that significantly enhanced this cabinet.

I believe that this was a very old display piece from some sort of store. Oh my goodness! Is that a ghost? I hope that the new owners don't experience any unwanted apparitions.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Food, Fun, and Frolic

Tonight we had a kind of special event at Monticello. We combined a dealer work night with a potluck dinner party. There was far too much food to be able to try it all. It all looked wonderful and the items that I tasted were delightful. I made a batch of sour cream enchiladas which was a favorite from my mother's repertoire. Jonathan contributed chocolate truffles, and Debbie added some lemon pound cake. I probably should have taken pictures of our contributions but unfortunately, I didn't.

Debbie was at the space all afternoon and had it in pretty fine order but due to another new feature this year, she'll probably be back tomorrow to spruce it up again. This is the first year that I can remember that Monticello allowed dealers to make purchases among ourselves prior to the actual opening of the sale. I'm not quite sure how sales were this evening but I am confident that there were some sales and there really is no greater compliment than to have ones competition choose to spend their hard earned money on items from your inventory. Very cool indeed.

Here is a glimpse of our space.

Here's a peek at my sister's space. Debbie appears to be exchanging ideas with her. Her business name is Colby Cottage.

The show opens on Friday the 4th. We hope to see you all there!