Nicolas' Apple Tree

We went to an Oregon Farm Day a few years ago with David and Renee and the boys. There were free plants and Nicolas received a free apple tree for planting that was probably only 6-8 inches tall at the most. Here is a comparison of growth from 2014 to now with Nicolas and also the tree.

President Garfield

One historian and author has written a book on the premise that President Garfield was not assassinated so much as killed by medical ineptness and malpractice. His doctor was more a poor practitioner and a charlatan. This story is fascinating but sad because it sounds like he may not have had to die. Alexander Graham Bell had devised an invention to find metal such as bullets when hard to locate in the body (no radiographs in those days). The doctor did not follow Bell's instructions and essentially sabotaged the use of the invention.

Firepit Season

The David Thayer family got their fire pit loaded with wood and had a nice sit around the fire get together. There were lots of cute selfies with some boys but here is a photo of the fire in the dark of the evening. Wish we could have one out here.

Scottish Whiskey Heritage

Scotland is set to open a several million pound museum to honor their illegal whiskey heritage. This will have a visitor centre. I would love to visit since we have been close to where this will be in the Cabach area in the northeast. We have been on the Whiskey Trail south of Inverness and along the eastern coast to different distilleries. Read about it here.

Phantom of the Opera Version

One of my favorite musicals is Phantom of the Opera. The songs are spectacular and soaring. I came across this version with Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson, both who are wonderful singers. Enjoy!

Pioneer Girl Marked

One of the TV shows I watched for the past few years was "Hell on Wheels" which was based on the building of the transcontinental railway. One of the characters was named Eva whose life was impacted by tattoos placed on her chin from when she was kidnapped by a Native American tribe when she was a child. The character was likely based on this depiction of Olive Oatman, whose retrobituary is here.

Storm Clouds

We had a thunderstorm sneak up on us rather quickly, more in town, than out here in Berlin. I could look off the direction of town and see the storm clouds gathering and moving partly our way.


Sunset Today

The sky was very colorful off to the west tonight past the garden and trees. Very striking.

Quakers and Spies

My ancestors were Quakers right up until my great grandparents on my mother's mother's father's side of the family. They split from the Quakers at some point likely in the late 1800s but they came over to America with the Quakers. It was interesting to read this book review about on of Stalin's American spies who was a Quaker and a true believer in Stalinism, even when he was arrested and kept in prison in the USSR.

Scott's Firepit First Phase

Scott and Bob work on the fire pit and surrounding patio today. Here is an example of the first phase of the patio. There will need to be more stones placed to fill in the corners.

Most Addictive Songs

In a scientific study, the most addictive song is "We will rock you" by Queen. The second one is more recent which is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. See the rest of the list which I would agree with a number of them.

Fashion Museum Display

I came across this fascinating video of women's fashion/dresses over time morphing from one style to another. The display is from the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. I cannot speak Dutch and the site is written in Dutch. The video and pictures are worth viewing though here.

Chocolate Milkshake Day

Today is Chocolate Milkshake Day! A good one to celebrate…

Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry

Star Trek as a TV version and later as a series of movies is part of our culture now. There are a lot of Trekkie fans out there, very dedicated and die hard. The person who conceived Star Trek and is considered the inspiration behind it is Gene Roddenberry. From this article, he was not necessarily a nice man and often others were the individuals who gave the series the uniqueness and great scripts to carry it forward. An interesting story to learn a supposed hero is not so heroish in reality.

DNA Of The Plague

It appears scientists have found the DNA of bacterium left behind by London's great Plague in the 1660's. While it appears it is not likely to be active, hopefully they keep the bacterium under close wraps. The scientific find and historical nature make this very interesting to learn from. More of the story here.

The Falling Man

Today is the 15th Anniversary of the horror and attack to our country on 9-11. One of the most iconic images and the story behind it was of The Falling Man. More on this unforgettable story here.

Jesse and Dervish

Ryan and Jesse came to stay with us for a good portion of the afternoon and evening. Jesse is fascinated by Dervish and wants to pet and kiss him all the time. Dervish is such a good dog with it all. Here is a close kiss.

Old Time Radio

In trying to clean up and move some items from the garage, Scott was willing to take the old time radio/78 phonograph cabinet to his house as furniture. I restained it and he was going to give it a polish. He plans to see if it can be made to work again. It looks quite nice and I hated to leave it in the garage to continue to deteriorate.
It still has buttons for old radio stations in Portland like KGW.

Apples Nibbled

Ryan likes to take our beautiful large Honeycrisp apples and nibble around the middle where they aren't as edible for others.

Honey Crisp Apples

Our apple tree gives us absolutely sweet delicious honey crisp apples every year. We do love this tree. We also get Fujis and Pink Ladies but not as many.

Annie Oakley

We have all heard the legends and myths from the Wild West days. One name that stands out on the female side as a sharp shooter is Annie Oakley. A figure in Wild Bill's Wild West Show but little known of her life. This trivia piece gives nice coverage to the person behind the legend, Annie Oakley.

50 States, 50 Landmarks

Well it would be nice to be able to visit all the states and see a landmark there. At least one can keep track of at least one landmark in each state here.

Spider, Spider

It is well known that Scott does not like spiders. He had the nickname by Mr. Corrigan of being called "Spider-boy". I had to take this photo of a large spider in a nest hanging on our glass railing for him.

The Soviet LifeStyle

Bob and I have a number of history books about Russia and the period of communism as the Soviet Union. One knows of the horror of communism as it was put upon the Russian people if you delve into it. Sadly the horrors of Nazi Germany and Hitler are taught more with the horrors of Stalin is glossed over. The books of Robert Conquest of "The Great Terror" and "Harvest of Sorrow" will set you correct. The detail is horrifying to say the least. This article goes on to summarize the worst of totalitarianism.

"Ninety-nine years ago, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, and, after a few months of weak parliamentary rule, the Bolsheviks seized power. We call that seizure the Russian (or October) Revolution, but it might better be designated the Bolshevik coup d’état. A party of 10,000 people gained control of an empire occupying one-sixth of the earth’s land area.

From the start, they made up for their small numbers with outsized violence. If at first their executions of liberals, socialists, workers who showed independence, and peasants from whom grain was seized at gunpoint seemed like a short-term necessity, it soon became evident that the violence would never stop. In fact, it was to grow, with Stalin proclaiming “the intensification of the class struggle” when Bolshevik control had long been total."

Ryan and Trains

We got to babysit Ryan today for part of the day since Nicolas was in school and Jesse was sick with a fever (probably teething). Ryan was so cute of running up and hugging Papa Bob on the leg and saying, "I love you". Ryan loves trains so while he was in his car seat saying, "I behind you, Papa", we had to stop for the Albany and Eastern train to cross in front of us. Ryan got a treat.
ryan-train-engine-top 9-2-16


43rd Anniversary

Today is our 43rd anniversary. We are coming up on knowing each other for 45 years having met at WSU when I was a floor rep for Coman Hall and Bob dropped off a friend and neighbor who was going to be a resident. We had a "blind" date a few months after that and got engaged one month later. The rest is history. We did have a lovely anniversary dinner at Tucci's Ristorante in Lake Oswego. Good Italian food. Homemade pasta with sauces - spaghetti carbonara for me, starters of olives and a good cheese with bread, beet salad and finished with a chocolate torte. Enjoyable dinner.
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