Monday, January 17, 2011

January 2011 Visit to Klamath Falls

Gary and I decided to visit our mothers in Klamath Falls, and being January, decided to take the train so we wouldn't need to worry about travel conditions.  The trip down was in the dark.  Comfortable and quiet.  I loved how the snowy landscape shone in the moonlight as the train pulled into town.  It all went pretty well except for the cab ride home from the train station for Gary.  I had a quick pleasant trip up the hill, but we had to share the cab with two others and Gary was the last one dropped off.  He was subjected to some political opinions that raised his blood pressure.

I have a friend from high school, Colleen.  Her husband James worked as a truck driver for my dad's logging company.  He said he had a lot of respect for my father, which of course made me feel good. Coincidentally, they purchased some firewood from Gary's mother.  On impulse I decided to invite them all to my mother's house for a little social gathering.  And invited my friends Shirlee and Sam as well.  Shirlee, who I know from the Portland area and volunteering with Operation Shoebox, now teaches nuclear medicine technology at OIT.  I can't believe it has been 5 years since she moved there!  Here are Shirlee and Sam:

The social gathering went well.  I didn't have any dress up clothes.  The geothermal heat keeps the house so warm we sweat without any layering, so we don't take many clothes.  My sisters and I have learned not to even take turtlenecks to wear there - too warm.  But my mother pulled out some fun garments that made us feel festive - Bippity Mega Bibs - created and marketed by my cousin's daughter Alice.  (See   Here is a photo:

The gathering went well.  We got some wonderful bread pudding with whiskey sauce from a local bakery.  I made some jam-pastry squares from ingredients I found there.

I was really touched with the interest that James showed in all the photos in my dad's office.  He said he wished he had been able to talk with him while he was still alive.  That was sad - I could have arranged it if I had known his time was so short.  Sigh.  But my dad did some writing about his life as a logger, so I intend to copy to send to James.  Here is a photo of Colleen and James:

Gary's and my mothers are both from Oklahoma.  They have the same birthday, one year apart.  They are both doing pretty well.  Here they are, Theresa Kennedy on the left, and Jennie Haworth on the right:

We felt happy we had this little party.

Gary and I enjoyed some spectacular scenery on the way back.  Evergreens draped with snow, and open views of the snowy coastal mountain range.  We came back, predictably, to the gray skies of the Willamette Valley.  I have to say I do love the many clear days that Klamath Falls enjoys.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Playing Bridge in Corvallis

I signed up for an Intermediate Bridge class at the senior center - partly because I'd like to play better and partly to meet people with common interests.  They told me it was full and put me on the waiting list.  I just showed up and was grateful there was room for me.  The class consists of an hour of lesson, and an hour of practice.

I sat at a table with a young couple.  The woman, Asian, had a badge that showed she is a Med Aide and was headed to work tonight, like me!  She said she first played bridge in middle school.  The young man who must be a friend of hers showed up at a "duplicate" game (normally quite competitive), never having played before.  They are both obviously bright.

We used "duplicate" materials, which I've never played before, so I needed a little help with what to do.  The young couple were really nice to me, showing me what I needed to know.  The instructor made our "fourth".  They told me about other opportunities to play, including at the Elks Club where you can get hammered on $2 mixed drinks.  Ha, ha.  They seemed very welcoming to me, it was great.

Monday, January 3, 2011

OSU vs Arizona Basketball game

Someone gave Gary tickets to an OSU basketball game, happening last night.  I told him of course I would go with him, more to be company for him than being excited about going.  Our neighbors Kelly and Dana also wanted to go, so that made it more fun, for the four of us to go.

I got caught up in the excitement pretty fast - it was fun to see so much orange in the auditorium, and there was good hip hop music playing as we entered..  Later, I really enjoyed the pep band, I thought they did a wonderful job on the national anthem, and other energetic numbers whenever there was a break.  I do know about college music students, and know that some of them will pursue music careers or at least have music as a life long interest and gift.  My mind wandered, to thinking how interesting if we could know about the future for each one of them, and the future for each of the athletes.  Here is a photo of the colliseum including the band:

It was also entertaining to watch the cheerleaders and dance team.  The women were saucy and athletic.  The men mostly waved megaphones around and held cheerleaders up in the air by one foot.  Then dropped them into their arms.  Over and over.

Now for the game.  I was a little worried at the start.  Arizona was favored, and they looked big and intimidating, to me.  OSU plays kind of tossed the ball to one another as if they were afraid to move in and shoot.  It was a shakey start.  But number 22, Calvin Haynes, started moving FAST and maneuvering and all of a sudden there was a game (or that is how it seemed to me).  He and Jared Cunningham were incredible.  Here is the play that ignited the crowd:

I also loved seeing Craig Robinson - very, very cool to have Michelle's brother here. He is (tiny) in this photo.  I have only been using my iphone lately for photos, so there is no zooming.

Anyway, it was a very close game and so extra thrilling that OSU won.  I think I will want to go again.

Lord Willing and the Creek Don't Rise

Recently we had heavy rains in the Corvallis area.  One particularly dark and rainy evening Gary put on his farmer jacket, cap, and with a shovel in his hand said "It is flooding out there, water is covering the gardening and is out across the lawn.  I need to dig out an area to try to release some water".  I felt like I was in a TV episode of Lassie?  The Waltons?  Not sure which one.  But it felt very dramatic and almost life threatening.

When I headed to work, Gary said "If the road by the house is flooded when you get back, you might need to park down the road a ways."  It occurred to me that all I had were my nurse clogs - no boots.  Luckily, over night the water receded and I didn't need boots.  But the next day I went to Good Will and was happy to find these, so I'm prepared if it happens again.

Once the sun was out I had Gary give me a water tour.  Part of it is he has a pond.  It is fed by water that travels from nearby hills, and through an underground culvert.  There are two small culverts that can redirect water to a creek if it gets too full.  Open them up was part of the flood control.  There is one more source of water that flows around the property, also from the hills, also goes into a creek.  This was the place that gets clogged and needed some digging out.  These creeks flow into Soap Creek and on into the Luckimute River which flows into the Willamette. (

It was a beautiful day while we were out.  I knew he grew hay for horses and was curious where it was.  He told me I was standing on it.  I said "It looks like grass."  He asked "What do you think hay is?".  He planted a combination of Timothy and Rye, and here is what it looks like:

Geese have been hanging out in Corvallis instead of flying further south, and it is causing problems as they eat away at fields.  Thousands of them.  Gary has his share on his pond, but Lola loves chasing them off.  Here she goes:

And here are the geese in flight, from Gary's pond:

Today was so cold they were sunning themselves in the field instead of swimming.  But warmer weather and rain will be coming back soon.  Maybe I'll get to wear my new boots.