Gingerbread Houses

Olisha and the girls (plus Olisha's sisters) invited their former neighbors to the house to decorate gingerbread houses. The children seemed to enjoy and get into the spirit of Christmas. This is the third year for gingerbread houses. They all seem to be colorful, different and fun. See for yourself.

Thayer Farm Sesquicentennial Sign

We got our sign for the Oregon Farm Bureau program the other day. This morning the sign went up on a post near our driveway and the Berlin Rd. It announces our status of being established in 1853, therefore a Sesquicentennial Farm here in Oregon. WooHoo!!Thayer Farm sign

Monowi Nebraska

My mother and grandparents (Mom's parents) came to Oregon from northeast Nebraska in the mid-1930s. My great-grandparents (Grandma Vada's parents) had homesteaded in Monowi, NE in the late 1890s and built a home on land just outside Monowi. In those days, Monowi had over 100 people there, now it just has one. I have pictures of the population sign stating 6 that was taken in the 1990s when Mom and Gram visited the area. Here is the current story about Monowi and why it is unique. We have met Elsie Eiler and a current picture of the Tavern follows.

Monowi Tavern
Monowi, Nebraska, population one, might be the strangest little town this side of the Mississippi. Elsie Eiler, the town’s only resident since the passing of her late husband, Rudy, is the librarian, mayor, treasurer, clerk, and of course, the sole bartender. This is the only incorporated town in the U.S. that only has one resident and the town’s infrastructure reflects this. There are only two public buildings in Monowi — the Monowi Tavern, owned and operated by Elsie herself, and Rudy’s Library, a personal collection of 5,000 books and magazines. You can still check them out on the honor system.
When you drive into Monowi there isn’t a post office, school, or police station. Even stop signs seem pretty pointless in a town with only one local. The only movement is the wind blowing through the prairie grasses and Elsie manning her station in the Monowi Tavern’s kitchen or bar. Monowi wasn’t always so desolate though. In fact, it was once a bustling town on the Elkhorn Railroad in the 1930’s when 150 people called this pipsqueak city home.

Love and Affection

In researching family deeds over the years for this property, I came across a deed as my Great Grandmother, Rachel Arminta Peterson, granted property to her daughter, my grandmother, Goldie C. Wolfenbarger. The deed was dated October 30, 1915 and is held in microfiche at the Linn County Courthouse here in Oregon.

It was very sweet to read the line completed for the sum for property consideration where it says,
"For the consideration of the sum of Love and Affection and Ten Dollars"…

RA Peterson deed to GC Wolfenbarger

The Week Before Christmas

I have neglected adding to this blog. I missed sharing during the trip to South Dakota in mid-October and later to a meeting in Pittsburgh. Here I am a week before Christmas and I have not kept up to date with comments and photos.

I thought I would add some thoughts on a TV show I have enjoyed for the past 4 seasons, now on season 5. The show is Yellowstone where it is set in the Bitterroot Valley of SW Montana. The scenery is spectacular. The acting and actors draw you in. The writing is by Taylor Sheridan who is a former rodeo participant and a lover of the Old West, horses and the cowboy way of life. This has become a TV phenomenon. This series is being spun off into other series, one show is 1883/season 1, which shows how the Dutton family came to locate in Montana. At the end of this series, the location is picked by the 18 year old daughter, Elsa, who picks where she will die and be buried following being shot by an arrow that creates sepsis. The next spin-off is set at 1923 and we shall see how the family handles adversity in that day and age.

We drove on the way to South Dakota along I-90 which follows much of the Yellowstone River. We saw the beauty of some of the Yellowstone Country. I am adding here a photo of the Little Bighorn River near the Crow Agency and GaryOwen, MT where Custer's last stand and battle occurred for the 7th Cavalry - a story in itself.

Little Bighorn River sm

Older Family Memories

Bob and I are hoping while we are visiting South Dakota in March that the weather will be good enough that we can take a day trip directly south to NE Nebraska to see where my grandparents and mother moved from in 1932. My great-grandfather had moved to the area between Monowi and Verdel NE to homestead with his children. My grandmother was born there and the youngest of 11 children. When she married my grandfather, they lived on 100 acres just south of Lynch, NE along Louse Creek, south of the Niobrara River. My mother was born in the area and I grew up hearing stories of life there. My great-grandparents and some of their children are buried in the Alford Cemetery just south of Monowi and north of the Niobrara River.

In much homework, I did come across this photo of Gram's that is of a house and she wrote "Home" on it. Which of her homes there, as a Masden girl, or a Lansberry wife I cannot tell.

Painted House in Part

While a bit on the dark side since I took this in the evening as the sun was going down, here is the main body of Scott's house in a darker gray color.

Bob Painting

The major project of Scott getting his house painted started this weekend. I got a picture of Bob putting on primer. The green color is the old color of the house.

July 4th

We had a quiet July 4th and it was a beautiful day. We saw a little bit of everyone today and BBQed but Renee had to work so there was not much time to enjoy grandkids and party with family. It can be good to have a quiet day out of all of this.

Bob at the Beach

Cool Bob at the beach last week and the Hotel Del in the background. I wish we could do this more often.

Svetlana's Story

I am currently reading about Stalin's role in the Soviet Union's Great Terror. He was a horrible, evil man. He loved his daughter though, Svetlana. I remember when she defected to the United States and I read her book, Only One Year, which made her a household name. Jay Nordlinger brings her presence back to life in describing her role as a memoirist for her life and her father's.

Author's Of Our Own Fate

It is sad to read an article that is a good demonstration of what a large portion of the world is headed to in direction. People who make poor choices in life and live off the spoils and generosity of government in the role of father or parent. One can make good choices and raise themselves above this lifestyle or do little and continue down the same path of victimhood. I realize this is not P.C. in current times yet it is reality as I have seen it around me in others. A very interesting read.

More Festival Time

Nicolas got a space alien to enjoy while waiting for the parade to start.

Ryan got to walk on his own at his first ambulatory adventure at the parade. Let me at them!


Two of a Kind

I think David realizes that he is more likely to have his picture show up if he mugs holding Ryan. Here is two of a kind, father and son, while waiting for Grandpa Bob to round the 5K track back to the finish line.

Easter Eggs and Little Boys

Little boys do love to do their Easter egg hunts. Two little boys got plastic eggs with silly faces painted on them. Ryan seems to enjoy playing with his egg and ignoring his Dad on Easter.

Teenagers in Medieval Times

What does a person do with their teenager? Or is it troubled teenager? In these times, most do nothing, others take away privileges (driving, money, video games, etc.). Not very suitable punishments usually. Well, see what they did in medieval times in Europe to the young in their homes, usually the young men. They were apprenticed or indentured to others to learn skills or new trades. Maybe it was to get bad attitudes out of the home and sent somewhere else. Check it out here.

Renee's Birthday

Today is Renee’s birthday, just two days after her Dad’s birthday. The daffodils should be coming out more so a great flower to share the day with. Here is Renee with silly bug, Ryan.

Birthday Parties

Bob Lewis is having his 60th birthday today and Sandee had a surprise birthday party for him at their home. Family and friends came to share. His sister from St. Louis had traveled the day before to participate. Unfortunately, I did get to meet her at the party. It is also St. David’s Day in Wales, so another good tradition to celebrate too. Bring on the daffodils. Here is Ryan’s take on birthday parties.

Christmas Eve with Neighbors and Friends

A big day of cleaning and readying food. We had an open house for our Berlin Community neighbors and friends from 3 to 5:30 pm. David showed up with Nicolas and Ryan. Both boys were good troopers for it all. We had 15 people stop by and with our family members, there were 20 people all together. We had a lovely time serving up food and beverages to everyone. The Starbucks Christmas coffee blend went over well, Bob made 2 pots. It was a true to joy to share our Christmas Eve with such nice people and good neighbors.
Awhile after all had gone home and clean up was done. I was scanning the internet and came across the link for this 1977 Johnny Cash Christmas TV show. What a second joy to behold to see such wonderful artists and music for this Christmas Eve. We need a return of such talent and artistry. Behold!
Christmas in 2013, a look at early morning lights

Thanksgiving and War

A quiet day of Thanksgiving for just the two of us. We made an awesome meal with plenty of food though toned down on the fats and sugars for a change. We watch some TV, a lot of the Godfather series since it was featured. At the same time, I can across this article on this peaceful day which contemplates “Why should we study war?” Why indeed. Let us hope we can avoid such a calamity though with the diplomatic furbelows and misunderstandings of the current times, I don’t know if I hold my breath for peace. We shall see.

Brother's Photo Re-creations

Two brothers have given their mother a wonderful gift by re-creating photos by posing at their current older age in a similar place and manner to childhood photos. It is a hoot and would have been fun to do. Not only in the similar vein of posing but also in being able to visit the same locations as before. Some places have changed in exterior look, such as in the buildings. It just shows what a little fun and ingenuity can do.

Softball night

David has been playing softball this summer for his church in their league. His usual position has been first base as it was when he played in Little League. He does seem to enjoy it. We went to watch tonight which was the first time for me to be a sideline supporter. It is though a great evening for the kids to get outdoors and use up a lot of energy playing along the sidelines too. Here is Nicolas and a friend checking out the play of the other Grandpa Bob.
Nathan at the ballgame. His shirt reads--“If Mom’s having a bad day…call 1-800-Grandma.”


Old Vancouver Homes

While visiting with Marybeth, we took a drive around east Vancouver and our old neighborhoods. We got photos of our former houses just to think of the memories from that time.
We did have an interesting experience with the female homeowner who is at our first home. She marched out and asked us what we were doing and why we were photographing her house. I don’t think she believed our story that we had once owned the place and our oldest son was born at the hospital and brought home here. Oh well.

At 4215 140th Ave. in Vancouver WA

At 15208 SE Evergreen Highway, Vancouver WA



Wow, a sunny day today. I may be catching up on items that need to be done for Winn and can start on personal management. Later on, we are going to the House of Noodles to eat a Valentine’s Dinner together.

Christmas Tree Ceremony

Bob and I hoped to catch up to family members last night at the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Ralston Square in Lebanon. It got too rainy and windy for the kids to stay longer and we ended up staying home and eating homemade ham and bean soup. Nice on a cold, damp evening.
David sent on this photo of Renee and Nicolas while they were waiting for ceremonial functions to start.


World War II Remembered

There was a recent online article that reminded one of the action in World War II. The authors had photos where soldiers photo images were superimposed over locations past and present of action during the War in the European theatre. The superimposition gives the impression in a way of ghost soldiers, much like the sensation as you walk the Korean War Memorial in Washington DC.
My father joined the Army before the war started and was stationed in Central America on Trinidad Island and Panama. Dad was in Panama from what I understand when the war started. He spent the War stationed at the Pentagon where he claimed he was a clerk. I like to think he knew secrets that helped win the War for the Allies.

A Bobble Birthday

Today is Bob’s birthday. We usually don’t have any big birthday shindigs and they are often quiet.

Bob didn’t know until later in the day, though Mr. Suspicious KNEW that something was up. Renee’s grandmother’s birthday is tomorrow and the family planned a reunion get together at James Gang Pizza for family. We joined in since it is Bob’s birthday. It was fun and it was nice to have both David and Scott and extended families there to spend time with us. Renee got a raspberry creme cake and it was finished by all present. Very thoughtful of her to do this since I could not and try to keep hiding the surprise part (which never is with Mr. Suspicious).

All in all, we hope Bob had a good birthday and you can enjoy some cake too!


Powell-McKinney Reunion

Today we went to the Powell-McKinney reunion at Providence Church. The founder of many Powell descendants and the Providence Church near Lacomb is Joab Powell. He was a well-known Baptist circuit preacher in Oregon. He, his wife Ann, and his children (14 in all) traveled the Oregon Trail from near Independence MO to this part of Oregon in 1852. I am descended through his third son, Peter (Nancy Cyrus) Powell, through Rachael Arminta Powell (David H. Peterson), through Goldie Peterson (Richard E. Wolfenbarger), through William E. Wolfenbarger (Edith Constance Wolfenbarger), then to me.

The church is now the Vineyard Providence Church and it makes a nice gathering place for the annual reunion. Inside the chapel, there is a lovely large wood cross with a draped red robe across it.
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