Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cowboy Life Wisdom

I know that it's been said that friends don't let friends listen to country music. Whether or not that's funny certainly depends upon who's reading it. Though I don't listen to a lot of country, I have been listening to it a bit more than usual for a couple of weeks.

The links that I've provided on this particular post go to Youtube videos and I'm hoping that you'll not only take a look at each of the videos but come back and read the rest of the post. Better yet, just read through the post and then come back and watch the videos. (If you have little kids, make sure you watch the Rodney Atkins song.)

I don't know that the post is particularly life changing but the thoughts are important to me and I hope you'll share them with me this time at least. I appreciate you all and thanks for taking a few moments to reflect with me.
Here it is the last day of the year. Wow! That's almost hard to believe. The passing of time is a remarkable phenomenom. A life seems like a long time. A year does too and even a month. Strangely enough though, a month is just a collection of a few days which is another collection of a few hours. We are often pretty cavelier with seconds, minutes, and hours but in what seems like no time at all a complete year of our life is over. It might be a good idea to start to take some account of the time God has granted us. Just sayin'.

For instance there is a song by a group called Alabama. I think it's called "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why). Tell me if these lyrics don't ring a little true.

I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why.

Thankfully, God has been gracious and given health to me and the people close to me. However, a prudent person might want to take the opportunity of a new year and evaluate the way that they live their life.

I love the lyrics to Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dying .

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Perhaps it's a bit late for me but anyone reading these words with young moldable minds might want to take note of Rodney Atkin's song "Watching You" .

He said, "I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We like fixin’ things and holding momma’s hand
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do; so I’ve been watching you"

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug.
Said, “My little bear is growin’ up.”
And he said, “But when I’m big I’ll still know what to do.”

I have to say, those are some pretty powerful words.

Another song along those lines is Love Without End, Amen from George Strait.

And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

You know it is the end of a year and the start of a new one but every moment is a good time to re-evaluate one's life. I hope that you'll take the time to take a look at your life and perhaps make a few valuable changes going forward.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monticello Antique Marketplace Old Fashioned Christmas Show 2011

Wow! As always the days immediately preceding the show are grueling. However, I think that once again, the rewards will be worth the effort. Tomorrow is the show opening so if you're interested, you'll want to be around at 8:00am. That is when the doors will be opening.

I've had an opportunity to look through the various displays created by the different vendors and I am confident that those who find themselves here tomorrow will not be disappointed. Let me just tease you with some images from our space at the show.

Now it's time to hibernate for a while.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Will There Be Pizza In Heaven?

Do you know the song The Devil Went Down To Georgiaby the Charlie Daniels Band? Click on the link to listen to the song or let me tell you the abridged version. As the story goes the Devil is a little short on souls so he ventures down to Georgia and comes up on a fiddler named Johnny. The Devil decides to wager his own skill as a fiddler against Johnny's ability. The bet is a golden fiddle against Johnny's soul. As the story goes, the Devil puts forth an outstanding performance but Johnny comes back with a rebuttal that is beyond outstanding and the Devil admits defeat and relinquishes his golden fiddle.

Let's just pretend that the wager is not playing the fiddle but instead has to do with the construction of a wonderfully palatable pizza. Now that is a contest almost but probably not quite worth someones soul.

Anyway, I have been working on constructing an outstanding pizza that can be built at home without any influence of the local pizza parlor. That has been a challenge that traditionally, the Devil might have had an easy victory.
Recently, however, I have come upon a significant breakthrough that could even up the playing fields as it were. I give the credit to two major break throughs in my culinary discovery. As it turns out, I have no knowledge regarding a palatable pizza crust. I mean that is the foundation of the pizza. In my book, no crust, no pizza. Simple, sad, but true.

Ok. Enter the pizza crust offered by Grand Central Bakery or even New Seasons Market. I've used both and had outstanding results. The next most important ingredient is the sauce. As it turns out, that isn't that difficult. I just take any can of tomato sauce and add appoximately a tablespoon of dried parsley, a tablespoon of basil, and perhaps a tablespoon or so of oregeno. The secret ingredient is umami. Google that word. I'll make it easy for you. One ingredient that is pregnant with umami (don't forget to google the word; it's important) is anchovie paste. I add some anchovie paste to the tomato sauce. A tablespoon or so to a can of tomato sauce is sufficient to blow your tastebud's minds. After the crust and sauce, the rest of the pizza is completly subject to your own imagination. I have made a number of remarkably outstanding homemade pizzas and am convinced that the secret to pizza is number 1, the crust, number 2, the sauce, (look up the importance of umami) and number 3, your imagination.

Dude! Tonight included two more blow your mind pizzas.

Oh yeah, the simple answer to the original question? Heck yes!!! There's going to be pizza in heaven and like it or not, there is going to be anchovie paste in the sauce. Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Three Stranded Cord Is Not Easily Broken

Let me just bluntly state that though I am wholeheartedly in favor of marriage, I am not necessarily all that keen on being in attendance when they happen. I appreciate the stamp of approval that God and the State puts on the relationship but having to hang out during the ritual is kind of a bother to me. I go when I need to in order to encourage the new couple. I believe with all of my heart and mind that the vows are sacred and meant for a life time. You know, till death do us part. Anyway, I've been to two weddings this year, both of which were performed at Applegate Christian Fellowship in Ruch, Oregon. They were each involving family members. Unlike so many other weddings that I have witnessed, these were kind of interesting. The first one happened in July.

The cool thing about this wedding was that it was done in about 15 minutes. I don't know if the preacher just forgot or if he knew it would be a quickie, but he never even had us sit down after we rose for the bride coming down the aisle. You know what? I was cool with that. In fact, I appreciated it. Now the second wedding was just this last week. This one took just a little bit longer but it was still short as some weddings go.

I wanted to share some thoughts from this last wedding. I always describe this family as being a bit like geese. You know, we mate for life. My father remained married to my mother until death parted them. My wife's parents have remained married and faithful to each other from their wedding day until now.

The official at this last wedding referred to the ancient text from Ecclesiastes 4:12 "A chord of three strands is not easily broken."

The inference is that a relationship of two people with the active involvement of (the third strand) the Holy Spirit, is a relationship that can withstand any of the stresses that life can throw at it. He also profoundly spoke of the idea that once a person chooses to marry the person they love, it is time for them to forget all of that and choose to love the person they married. That is an ideal that I agree with wholeheartedly. I plan to choose that path for myself.

I was brokenhearted this week when I heard of a relationship that I had believed was scribed in stone had been shattered by selfish indulgence. Somehow the two strands of that marital bond and carelessly begun to ignore the third strand and the bond was allowed to break. It is a tragedy for which I grieve this evening.

Let me just implore you to not forsake the importance of that third strand. It will make or break the bond between you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life and All of its Ups and Downs

The month started out with a great couple of days off down in Southern Oregon. I even got a chance to get some fishing line wet on the Rogue River. It would have been fun to actually catch a fish but alas, that wasn't to be. It was a beautiful day on one of the finest rivers in the country.

I did see a lot of evidence that the kings were in the water and even saw some other guy catch one. What I got was memories, (Brother-in-law Terry and nephew Wyatt)

poison oak,

and pictures!

Life was about to change significantly.

We got home and had to start setting up our space at Monticello for the Fall Show. For no apparent reason Debbie was experiencing significant pain in her neck. She saw the doctor who prescribed a mild narcotic but that had virtually no effect. The next day a significant pain killer was prescribed and again almost no effect on the pain. Suddenly, I found myself with her in ER.

That doctor prescribed a opiate called Dilaudid that probably would put most people under the table. It apparently did take the edge off and Debbie was finally able to sleep but she must have some serious resistance to pain relievers. She must have a serious resistance to pain as well because she quit taking the pill pretty quickly.

We still don't know what the origin of the pain is but fortunately, it has subsided significantly.

Anyway, we were able to get the space at Monticello set up and it has been a sucessful show so far. Let me leave you with a few images of our portion of the show. Check out the Monticello links that I've provided earlier in this post or come by in person for a more complete view of what's going on over there.

This is kind of an adendum but I have to mention that today would have been my mother's birthday. She is still survived by her husband, four adoring children and more grandchildren than I care to count this late at night. You need to know that we still love and miss her and want those of you who knew her to remember as well.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are You Telling Me Those Hands Are Mine?

Today I'm in a restaurant and my dining companion asks to borrow my phone for a picture. Well, she took the picture that I expected but when I downloaded the pics, I discovered this one that I didn't know had been taken. I have to say, these hands are starting to look a little aged. Yikes! I have a rather physical day job and my hobby income job also takes a toll on my body but this image is still just a little shocking.

Here's another image that was downloaded from my phone today.

Oh my goodness! I'm finding that I can barely see anything without cheaters anymore. Oh well! Clearly, I really am getting older and though the evidence was there, I couldn't see it without additional lenses.

Ok. I can age gracefully. Today is the first day of a vacation for me. I mean I don't have to show up at my day job for at least a week. I think I will try to find a peaceful spot on a river somewhere and enjoy the fact that though I am showing some wear, I still have the ability to enjoy the finest blessings life has to offer.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Happened To July?

Man! I can't believe how sometimes time just gets away. I just noticed that it had been nearly a month since my last post and that I haven't had a single post in the month of July. Remarkably, this has been one of the more "happening months" this year. I actually had a week off from work. We had a significant family member get married another had a baby. I spent a week at one of my favorite places on earth. I needed to do a post.

The first day of my vacation was kind of tough. We needed to get down to Medford for the wedding on the following day but Jon had a job and wasn't able to leave till 8:30pm Needless to say, we didn't get out of Portland till late and finally arrived in Medford at 2:30am on the day of the wedding. We checked into our room and crashed for a few hours. We woke mid-morning and headed to Jacksonville which is near where the wedding was going to take place. We were able to grab a bagel and some coffee and and estate sale as our normal Saturday would allow. From there it was a quick drive to the location of the wedding reception where we had a lot of work to do.

We spent another quick night at the motel and then it was back to Portland to pack for our annual campout at Detroit Lake. I'll just let you in on a little secret. I never got my camera out of its little pouch this year. Thankfully, My sister and her family joined us this year and her husband Marvy took a ton of pics which I was able to pirate. Whew! That was a relief! Here is a quick preview of this years events.

In addition to my sister and her family, we were pleased to have Kurt who is my brother's kid down here from Alaska. In the normally chaotic life we live, we are always blessed when family members unexpectedly show up to experience life along side us. Thanks Kurt for being present this year. You enhanced our lives for a few days and we hope that we made an impact on you. Well, this post has been a whirlwind but I think I made it before the month of August showed up. At least there will be a record in future years of the events of July 2011.

Monday, June 27, 2011

On This Day In History

On June 27, in the year 1950 the US government decided to deploy troops to the Korean war. Some years earlier, a child had been born who would some day be a part of this confict. This child survived this war and married my mother. His name is John Bartlett. He is my father and the father to each of my two brothers and my sister. For some reason, I don't have many good pictures of him so I borrowed one from my sister. (sorry for not asking Sis, hope you don't mind)

Anyway, today,of course, is his birthday. I'll call him in a few minutes and he'll probably tell me how old he is. (Ok, he's 79 years old today.) After I post it to this blog, I'll hopefully be able to remember from here on out. For now, however, I will shout in my loudest blogger voice, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD. I LOVE YOU! I HOPE YOU HAVE MANY MORE BIRTHDAYS TO CELEBRATE!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Fifth Flavor?

Have you heard of the four elements of life? I'm not sure which basic philosophy these come from but Google it and you'll discover that some one thinks that there are four basic elements and that they are air or wind, fire, earth, and water. It has also been generally excepted until recently that there are four basic flavors. These, of course, were sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. In 1985 a fifth basic flavor was recognised. It was called Umami. The word is borrowed from the Japanese language and it means "pleasant savory taste".

Now there are some basic food ingredients that contain the "flavor" umami. Some of these are fish, shellfish, cured meats, and certain vegetables like mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, and spinach. Also incuded in the foods containing umami is aged cheese and soy sauce.

Tonight for dinner I prepared what might be considered artisan pizza.

There were two different pizzas. They each had the same dough from Grand Central Bakery and the same sauce from The difference between them was the first had only salami, pepperoni, and sausage. The second had those three ingredients and also mushrooms, shallots, and fresh tomatoes. They were both very good but the second was really outstanding. Notice that it contained two umami ingredients that the first did not.

What I didn't tell my other dining companions was that there was a third important umami ingredient that they wouldn't have appreciated if they'd have known. That ingredient was in the sauce. Make sure you get some and hide it in your refrigerator. It adds remarkable flavor but most Americans don't want anything to do with it. That secret ingredient is anchovie paste. Who would have thought? It might not taste that great by itself but it adds a world of flavor to other foods if used in moderation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary Debbie! It's been 26 years and I still do!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Looks Like I'm In The Vintage Lighting Business

This was a big weekend in the junkin' business. There were sooo many sales and fortunately, a lot of the competition was out of town sellin' junk at an event called Farm Chics in Spokane. That, however, was a perfect opportunity for us. Debbie is off work for the summer so she bribed Jonathan to hit the circuit with her on Friday and they happened upon a jackpot of chandeliers. The only catch was that we had to return to the sale at the end and take them down.

Not a problem! Generally, this kind of lighting is very dificult to find and when one does, it is expensive. I mean, for example, I saw a chandelier at an estate sale this weekend for $325.00 and another for $575.00. I mean, get real! I can't buy that and expect to resell it for a profit. The sale that Debbie happened upon, however, had a number of chandeliers at prices that we were able to buy and expect to be able to resell them. I think she got a very nice variety. They all need to be cleaned up and tweeked a bit. (We usually rewire them enough to be able to plug them in so that they can be shown lit up.)She got eight in all

and in addition, there was a really cool lamp.

It, too, needed a bit of work but I already have it up and running.

I have to admit that I think that a lot of this green, recycling stuff is a lot of bunk. However, I truly love being able to take an item that is fully 70 or 80 years old and turn it back into a useful and even desirable product.