We enjoyed a weekend of looking after two little grandgirls. We’ve now transferred care to their other grandparents, having accomplished the main goal of keeping them alive while their parents enjoy some time away.


This one was rarely seen without her purse, the contents of which varied from a “phone” (actually a calculator) to a camera to some miscellaneous jewelry to a hair clip. Just whatever fit in there.


Big sis regularly saw the need to supervise. We learn a lot about these things from our older sisters.


A girl can never have too many purses, don’tcha know?

Posted in family matters, in the neighborhood | 2 Comments

two at a time


Quinn and I met at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, airport last Thursday for a two-part adventure. The first part involved our Ben, who for the entire summer made his home on his boat. You could call him homeless, but that might make you feel sorry for him.


Ben lives for summer, which doesn’t last very long in Michigan. So when his condo’s owner needed to sell, Ben moved his stuff into storage and settled into the temporary comfort of his boat. Emphasis on temporary. With winter on the way I don’t need to worry about my homeless son; he’s already lined up a place. I guess he knew, though, that his sister and mom weren’t looking for that much adventure, so he booked us into a nearby motel. Thanks, B!


The next morning we took off on part two—a drive down to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, to attend another Beth Moore conference. We had all day to get there so moseyed through our old stomping ground, which included several former residences, schools, an office, and the like. (Mauri and I were married in this college chapel.) We skipped Pinery Park this time, since I had done a thorough exposé of it on my visit last September.


But one simply cannot pass an opportunity to reexperience Marge’s Donuts. We have many stories that need revisiting.

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For old time’s sake she even requested the special chocolate frosting. Yes I ate one too and yes she took a picture of me, but only one of us has mastered the let’s-look-attractive-while-we-bite-into-a-donut pose.


We enjoyed 3.5 hours of travel, enough time to have an actual conversation, which is a rarity in our busy lives. I almost hated to arrive.


Once again we managed to get the most coveted of all 11,000 seats at Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live event. Call us crazy, but if we were the first in the doors, we’d climb up all of those levels and park ourselves at the very top of the highest aisle.

This was a simulcast with a total of 190,000 participants, including friend and coworker Michelle, who was attending locally. If you want a taste of the teaching, here’s a link. Also, here’s the video recap.


During the lunch break. . . (Which one lives in Arizona?)

Beth gave us lots to talk about on the drive back to Ben’s Saturday night.


It doesn’t get much better than this.

Posted in family matters, travels | 2 Comments

around the bend

We thought a weekend in Bend sounded appealing, and now that we have weekends free we asked Linsey’s parents if we might use their beautiful townhouse for a few days. So I took a couple of days off work and off we went.

The drive to Bend took us through Salem, where our adventure began.

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Here’s a hint. Has word reached you about Word of Mouth Bistro? Well, now it has and it’s not a restaurant you’ll want to miss.

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Mauri ordered the famous “Flying Biscuit” and managed to stretch his leftovers out for two more meals!

Fear not; this post will not be about food, though you can be sure we didn’t go hungry, not even for a while. But before we move away from the topic altogether, let me show you how my man travels.


He isn’t fully settled in anywhere until his coffee paraphernalia is in order.


The Inschos’ townhouse is part of a remarkable neighborhood. I’ll include some of its perks later on.


You can see it is lovely on the inside as well.

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OK, so now that you know we were comfortably accommodated——I’ll share a few of the standouts of our weekend, which was truly delightful. Driving along on our way up the road I caught a glimpse of a most unusual tree. We had to double back to get a picture.

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We were headed up toward Smith Rock State Park, a nostalgic return from 20 years in our past.

Smith Rock_Snapseed

We were just kids, newly engaged. (Taken on my film camera, set by timer.)

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We found a nice level path for hiking and had a look around. And when I say we had a look around I mean we were looking around for rattlesnakes. I was, at least.

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Here’s what my camera could see.


Here’s what Mauri’s camera could see.


It’s a golden eagle’s nest.


Check him out.


The rocks attract many climbers. Can you see the line strung between the two peaks?




Yikes! That’s what i have to say.


We did see a little bit of harmless earthbound wildlife doing his best to blend into the landscape.

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Our outdoorsy quota fulfilled, we headed on up the road to see if we could find some kin.

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I spy Mount Jefferson in the distance.

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Cousin Richard greeted us at the Macy homestead. Turns out he wasn’t at all surprised by our surprise visit. His son James had spotted us in town and called ahead. Small town life.

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Richard showed us around to see all the changes that have taken place since our last visit (there were many).

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I’d like to return when the sun is right to get a shadow-free shot of this. I think it would make an exceptional jigsaw puzzle. This is painted on the door of one of their semis. You can see it’s been around a while. And Richard pointed out that the words “MACY RANCHES” were painted over on the top. If you stare at it long enough, you’ll see it.

It was just wonderful to see Richard and the Macy operation. We’ll have to schedule a return when we can see more of the Macy clan.

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Here’s one of the cool advantages of the neighborhood. Every Friday night they show a movie in the park. So Mauri and I snagged two of the Inschos’ chairs and walked up to watch “Sleepless in Seattle” at the neighborhood walk-in. (That’s the moon shining through the tree.)

On our walk home in the dark we could see some garage-sale signs, prompting some morning plans.


He’s been looking for one of these! But before I wrote the check, he did a little research on his phone to make sure he could buy the needed axle adapter to attach it to the back of his recumbent bike. (If his plan works, you’ll see more about it in some upcoming post.)


We walked it home, then headed out again to the neighborhood Farmers Market. Among the many booths, we found


something of interest.

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My man has always loved beautiful wood, and I was drawn to this woodwork as well.


Scott Allen explained the process of his work. The fir comes from a barn that’s more than a century old.

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This picture will speak for itself. (Happy 20th anniversary to us!)


That purchase called for a celebration, don’t you think? We took another walk along the Deschutes River and around the town of Bend.

Our friend Deborah, who introduced us to Word of Mouth Bistro and joined us earlier, recommended the Pine Tavern.

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Can a newly retired pastor walk into a restaurant called Pine Tavern?


We decided it would be OK, then enjoyed a pleasant meal out on the patio. Can you see the pine tree growing through the roof?

You’re probably wondering how we got all of our purchases home, so I’ll remind you that Mauri drives a van, a.k.a the dogmobile. We were eager to see how our new table and bench would fit in our cookin’ room. We haven’t had a functional table for a long time. (Our house has a dining room but we use it as a music room for the piano.)


We love how it looks and even how it fits.



I snapped these before we had finessed the lighting, but I had to take advantage of the natural light. You know how that is.


That’s original paint, two colors, sanded and coated four times with matte finish Rustoleum polyurethane. Our dinner was cooked by Ixtapa (local Mexican restaurant) but eaten at our new table. It works great!

Posted in travels | 2 Comments

nobody cares what you ate for lunch

I own a book about blogging by that title. It’s true, no doubt, unless your blog is about food. But a blog titled “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” can get away with just about any topic. Including food.

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Farmer Arnie brought a bucket of tomatoes from his garden to the office today. I guess I dropped enough hints about how much Mauri wanted to make his mother’s traditional fried tomatoes. One beauty, a pink accordion tomato, Arnie explained, stood out among the other more traditional-looking tomatoes and made its way into my lunch.

Posted in in the neighborhood | 1 Comment

arm art

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Several months ago I was given a writing assignment—a handwriting assignment. Write “all things. . .” Quinn had finally decided on the tattoo she wanted, and she asked for my participation. I have several handwritings, so I needed to give her options. Once she chose which handwriting she liked best, I gave her another full sheet of choices, since she’ll be looking at it the rest of her life.

“all things. . .” is taken from a verse in scripture that has come to mean a lot to Quinn. Romans 8:28 (NIV)— “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Today’s date 8-28 adds significance to the timing of this post. (You’re right, there’s no helping some people.)

She took her time. The sheet of options rested on a table at the Andersons’, and now and then someone would offer an opinion.

Quinn and Tera up to no good 6-26-14

Then one day this selfie showed up on Facebook. Its caption: “Quinn and Tera up to no good.”

Quinn's wrist - before

And a few minutes later this showed up on my phone: “Before”

Quinn's wrist - after

Then: “After”

final tattoo

All healed and looking just as she’d hoped. Good thing, huh? Tattoos have the element of permanency, and it’s right where she’ll see it. But, then, that might be the point.


Marissa made this “amen” for her mama.

I’m still curious about Tera’s permanent expression*.

- – – -

Dusty's tat

Here’s Dusty’s.

T's tat

And Taylor’s.

(Not all of our family ink is sharable.)

*Tera posted her tat for me on Facebook.


Posted in family matters | 2 Comments


He was just standing there, started to lose his balance, overcorrected with a twist, and went down on his knee. That’s all it took for sweet Will to break his femur. Not just a break but a diagonal spiral break requiring an operating room at the fabulous Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland and a lovely green spica body cast.

Will in cast

This was his fourth popsicle, but I’m guessing there was no limit. I could only imagine the angst his parents experienced as they looked on, exhausted, relieved, anticipating …

Thumbs up

Thumbs up for the wagon ride to the hospital playroom before bed. After two l o n g days, Pete and Linsey got to take their son home (in a specially designed car seat).

And today (!) we got to go for a short visit.


On the way we stopped at Critter Cabana to buy a parentally pre-approved pet for our nearly immobile grandson. We resisted the urge to get him a puppy, which we were certain would be more entertaining than a fish.



She even built the bowl for us.


“I got hurt!” He’s a heart melter.


Played a bit of Velcro catch with his Gum.


We wonder what he’ll name his new buddy.


Will’s getting the taste of a turtle’s life; at least turtles can walk.


Mama doses the pain meds while Daddy loves on his boy.


They’ve been through the mill, but as Linsey says, “We can do anything for four weeks.” She noted today that they’re already halfway through the first week!

Posted in family matters | 4 Comments

another monday afternoon

Several weeks ago we attended a wedding on a Monday afternoon. While I realize there are no rules that require weddings to happen on weekends, it seemed, well, out of the ordinary to be invited to another Monday afternoon wedding, as though we are experiencing a new trend in choosing a wedding day.

Fans were offered guests—and we both accepted one. Ninety degrees are more manageable with a breeze.

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The groom sang an original tune as his bride walked the aisle on her dad’s arm. Living in one place for 20 years blesses me with moments like this, as I remember Alison as a young girl, now grown up, about to become a married woman.

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I’ve watched her brothers grow up too. I remember meeting Austin, on the left, at around age 1.5, sitting in his mama’s shopping cart seat at the local Fred Meyer. And Aaron, on the right, recorded the narration for several of our Wee Sing projects. We consider their parents dear friends. I’ve worked with Mike on many’a print project. Mauri calls Deanne “Boss” because of their years of working together with Young Friends Singers.

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And here we are to witness this big event. We feel honored to be included.

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The McCrackens, other dear friends, with their daughter Abbie and her husband, Andrew. Abbie is the bride’s lifelong friend, also matron of honor.

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Traditions! (They both behaved.)


And a new(er) tradition. . .the Photobooth.

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They fed us, yes, indeed, but we were only blocks from Podnah’s, and who can resist world-class BBQ ribs and brisket on a full stomach on a Monday afternoon?

Posted in in the neighborhood | 2 Comments