brass players


This morning I got to listen to these brothers express their appreciation for parents who made it a priority to provide them with quality instruments. Each one still plays and enjoys the trombone (Mauri) and cornet (Howard) their folks bought them lo those many years ago.

All these many years later the brothers M still play together along with three other brass players who make up “Newberg Brass.” They rehearse every Tuesday evening and get to play on a semi-regular basis. Their next gig happens next Tuesday night at Bauman Auditorium for the evening session of Northwest Yearly Meeting.

But my real purpose here is to show you what I came across at a nearby thrift store. It appears to be an original watercolor. $3. Sold!

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Mauri notices “it’s not on the mark racially, but our physicalities are well represented.”

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hodgepodge limited

I’m glad I didn’t make any promises on regularity or content when I started posting Hodgepodge. I have collected a whole file of ideas for fun videos, but my attention span for the researching the links fell very short. I haven’t dismissed the idea that it could just be commonplace laziness.

If the latter possibility is true, here’s a short Hodgepodge of easy-to-share JPGs I find entertaining.

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Is icon the right word for what Mickey Mouse is to Paul Carlson? Maybe trademark is a better descriptor. Whatever is the right word, all these years later we can’t think of one without the other.


For years we gave him Mickey Mouse stuff, and he was never seen without his Mickey Mouse watch.


We finally had to dedicate a room to display all the Mickey stuff.



We still have these.

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I wish I knew who baked and decorated this cake for Paul’s memorial reception.

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Dionna dressed appropriately for the day.


Ben wore Mickey cufflinks when Quinn got married. Their dad was represented.


And Taylor gave all his groomsmen Mickey watches.

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Beth gave T this Mickey cake.


Bailey knows how to make his mama happy honoring Grandpa Paul’s memory.


Declan . . .

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And again Bailey. Life just keeps moving forward as it should, but Mickey helps us keep Paul’s memory alive.


Ben saw this post and sent me this picture with the note: “This guy sits on my desk at work.”


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diy – closet boxes

Cassidy came to visit soon after we’d wrapped up our painting project at 514 (a.k.a. our house). I’d accomplished Phase One of reorganizing my part of our closet with Phase Two still just a ruminating idea. Even though Cass and I shopped the entire Container Store at Bridgeport with all those tempting baskets and boxes, I stuck with my plan to transform this:

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into this:

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Before you scroll down to the next picture, let’s establish your level of interest in this post. If you can’t tell the difference between the first picture and the second picture, you are excused to move on to the other blogs in your reader. However, if you noticed those cool boxes on my shelves, stick around and I’ll show you how to make some for your own closet.

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Common sense is nearly all you need, since that’s all I had to work with other than these ingredients. I ordered a set of 12 bankers boxes from Amazon, and while I waited for them to arrive I collected everything else I needed. The leftover fabric I used to make the screen was already in my car, destined for Goodwill, when I realized there would be enough to cover quite a few boxes. So it came back in the house. Lucky me, the boxes turned out to be brown, not the usual white, and they complement the fabric perfectly.

I cut a pattern with butcher paper and laid it out over the fabric, using pinking sheers to cut eight long strips. I pressed the wrinkles out, but only because this fabric had lived in a box in the attic for many years before I found a use for it with the screen.

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Assembling the boxes is a one-hand-snap operation. Here you can see I “tried on” the fabric to make sure the ends matched up right.

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Then I flipped it over to look like this. Oh, you might be able to tell I chose a dry enough day to be outdoors. That spray adhesive can be toxic, and I even wore a mask to protect my lungs and throat.

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Now just flip the fabric on one side back to expose the box. . .

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. . . and spray away. Generously. Because why not? Lay the fabric over the glue and smoothe it with your hand.

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Do the same with the other side.

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Work your way around all the other sides until it looks like this.

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Snip the corners on the bottoms side.

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Let the flaps hang out like this.

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You knew just what to do, didn’t you? And now do something similar to this side.

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It’ll look like this when you finish.

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Stack your boxes somewhere, outside if possible, to dry. The strong glue smell doesn’t last very long, and you’ll soon be able to start filling them with all the good stuff you want to store.

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I took a picture of the fabric and on my computer created these labels that would fit on one edge of the box for identification.

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A good old-fashioned glue stick did the trick.

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I had just enough fabric to cover these eight boxes, but now that we don’t need that privacy screen anymore, I can do the other four boxes and use them in other closets. Actually, there might even be enough for yours!

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some people have all the luck

Hazel:Mahlonwedding copy

Seventy-four years ago on this very day, Mauri and Howard’s parents — Mahlon and Hazel Macy — said yes till death do they part.


Fourteen years ago on this very day they celebrated their 60th anniversary with us at The Rheinlander, a favorite spot for Mom and Dad. We recently learned the restaurant would soon be closing so thought the four of us might honor their memory with one more meal there.

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I made a reservation for earlier this month and close enough to Howard and Margi’s 50th anniversary (the 10th) to combine our purposes.

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Pictures don’t lie. It appears we were assigned the very same table/booth we occupied fourteen years ago! I mean, some people have all the luck and don’t even know it until we see the evidence.

We enjoyed an exceptional meal while telling stories about the folks and being serenaded by the singer and accordionist. Here . . .

. . . have a listen.

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“. . .add some french doors over there. . .”

<so I don’t forget how to do this>

You already know we watch and enjoy Chip and Joanna Gaines fix up houses in Waco, Texas. We can’t help being inspired by their work. With each fixer-upper they show the future home owners, Joanna describes what she would do to that pathetic, run-down, closed-in domicile to make it more livable and enticing. She uses phrases like “knock out that wall” and “take down that popcorn ceiling” and “add French doors on that wall.” We live in a house built in 1905 (I called the county tax assessor to find out). Mauri and Margaret-Rose bought it in 1980 from its first owners, two sisters who grew up in it! Through all these years it has been updated regularly enough that it never reached the point of being considered a fixer upper.

Still, a sliding door we installed when the West Wing was built 22 years ago gave up the ghost many years ago.

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The window went cloudy like that ages ago.

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We’ve always used this privacy screen, rescued before it hit the trash pile at Newberg Friends Church, instead of drapes. I’ve changed the fabric inserts to coordinate with the color of our bedspread at the time. (I guess it won’t matter to you that it is upside down in this picture.) So the only time we noticed how bad the slider looked was on those occasions we sit on our back deck (now and then).

We’ve been doing all this other fixing up lately (updated cookin’ room, paint, new flooring); maybe we should replace that sliding door! But wait! I say, channeling Joanna Gaines. We should install French doors!

Off to Home Depot! Because surely they make standard French doors the same measurements as standard sliding glass doors. Yes, we were told. But when Ezekiel came to measure, he was quite certain we’d need to have doors custom made. Which also meant we had to wait.

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Installation day finally came—yesterday! It took most of the day . . .

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but Ezekiel kept at it until

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everything was in place (except for the carpet). Those mini-blinds are between layers of glass and we’re going to hope will never need to be cleaned! No need for the big dark screen anymore and a much more spacious feel.

Hmmm. Something I didn’t consider until this moment. We won’t be “cracking the window” for fresh air anymore, will we? Unless we don’t mind being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Oh well, you gain and you lose.

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once upon a time

On our drive home from visiting brother DK up in Winthrop, WA, we drove the Columbia River gorge on the Washington side. Turns out the road took us though the town of Camas, former residence of the Mahlon Macy family when Mauri and Howard were just kids. Mauri was old enough to remember certain landmarks, enough for him to find the church his dad pastored and the parsonage across the street.

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They lived either here . . .

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or here. I took pictures of both houses so Howard could clear up the mystery. While Mauri’s memory might be iffy in identifying which house they lived in, the stories are crystal clear. He remembers his mother on a rainy day hanging clothes in the attic to dry when she missed one of the floorboards and one leg fell through the floor, which was the ceiling on the level Mauri stood as a witness. “Go get your dad!” he recalls hearing her shout to her sons.

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Here’s Mauri telling another story about being watched by the neighbor (while his parents were at the hospital with Howard, who was having his tonsils removed) and playing outside in the sprinkler. He looked up in time to notice a car, independent of its driver,

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coasting slowly down this hill and interrupted on its wayward journey by a parked car.

Without insinuating I’m married to an old man, I’ll simply be amazed at his memory of these events that happened a long long (long) time ago.

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