hot dog!

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This was not your typical hot dog stand. No no. It was an EVENT!

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These girls and their parents advertised well, worked hard, and it paid off with a large turnout! And what better cause than to help build a house for a deserving family in Juarez?

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The food was great and we got to see all the local family except Linsey (whose weekends are busy with showing and selling houses because who wouldn’t want to live in Oregon?)

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If you want to watch a fun video of last year’s build, CLICK HERE for John Macy’s time lapse. It’s too wonderful for words.

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This workshop was offered just one day too late for me. I’ve done the “staying healthy” part. I passed my annual wellness appointment with flying colors, even with accolades. But that didn’t help much on Wednesday morning when the side of my shoe caught in a small lip in the pavement of the office parking lot as I turned from a conversation to go back inside. My body kept turning, but my foot did not! Gravity took over and I went tumbling down: palms instinctively went first, then knee, then ribcage/arm, and finally, temple. George Fox University Serve Day was just underway, so the potential was high for an audience (which no one wants in moments of such grace) but I was glad our custodian, Brent, was nearby to give me a hand back to my feet and to watch as I assessed the damages. I hobbled inside and sat down. My ankle hurt a little and started to swell, but my attention was focused much more on the set of ribs on my left side. Whoa! They would give me trouble!

The office was abuzz. Carolyn reminded me to elevate my foot; Julie found ice for the swelling. Mauri brought comfort: his own plus a hot chocolate from Coffee Cottage. Lisa encouraged heat/ice alterations for my ribs. She moved my car when those assigned to powerwashing the parking lot got too close. And Brent was appropriately attentive, checking in on me while he directed the students’ work.

As the shock died down, I grew more and more bummed. My job has returned to 40-hour weeks because there is so much to do these days. We try to fight the sin of indispensability, but in some ways I truly am indispensable. The church is counting on me in a variety of ways — right now! So I stayed through 1pm, the end of office hours, then went home to lick my wounds and my withering spirits. At 4pm I dug through old meds and found a Vicadin. From 2011. I’ve kept it for such a time as this, so, yes, I swallowed it with some water. And became oh so happy.

At 6pm I took the encouragement of several to see a professional, and Mauri drove me to the ER.

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Since I had zero pain in my ankle, I was very surprised and dismayed to learn it was broken. Of course it wouldn’t be anything like the damage I did in our blowout 11 years ago. It’s only a small break and will hopefully heal fast.

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I went home in a splint and will remain hopeful that in a week I can go immediately into a boot rather than a cast.

But my ribs! Another matter entirely. They are furious about what I did to them and they make this known every time I move.

Which means neither crutches nor walker turn out to be very useful as transportation.

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Ta-da! Meet my lifeboat! Cathie Jo, the owner of this little beauty, has become my sweet soul sister in recent months. I’m pretty sure she hides wings under her clothes. She stepped up to “man” the office in my absence, says “I can do that!” to every need, and asks “what else can I do?” A true God-send. On top of that, having just recovered from an ankle break herself, she offered this to aid my mobility.

So I’m not the indispensable one after all. Mauri and Cathie Jo and all the other good people helping me are the heroes. And I’m grateful.

Posted in 514, in the neighborhood | 2 Comments

a rose by any other name

We decorate the neighborhood every year with our streetside rose garden. It’s a satisfying “effort.” I put effort in quotes because the effort expended has nothing to do with me, beyond the money we spend to have it maintained and watered.

I’m home from work today (Labor Day) and took a minute to walk out the front door to check the air (we have smoke and heat). Our roses are clearly fading, having done their due diligence, especially through an extra hot summer. I haven’t cut a single one to take inside, so today was the day.

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The white ones in the first picture grow from the spot we buried Paul’s cremains 23 years ago, the memory of Margaret-Rose only a few feet from there.

I did a search on this site to see if I’ve ever shared the 55-word story I wrote about this rose garden. I had——in 2007, ten years ago. Maybe it’s OK to share it again, since it’s on my mind and fits my thoughts only days after the 29th anniversary of MM-R’s death:

Love, Continued

They had met long ago. Only letters spanned
the intervening years. Nothing romantic developed;
their hearts belonged to others.
“I wish you’d known him better,” she said.
“I wish you’d known her better,” he said.
No jealousy exists as the two watch
from some celestial porch.
“They remember us in those roses.”
“And our children.”

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coffee anyone?

In my last post I included a little story about Cassidy and why she and her mom accompanied Dusty to South America on a business trip. Our children live exciting lives, full of travel and adventure, and I don’t often share their pictures. But today I’m making an exception because, well, because Quinn sent story-telling pictures and because I can!

Here’s how their day (yesterday) went:

“We picked coffee beans today in the Andes Mountains, no big deal. (Except to us, it was a big deal!!) Once in a lifetime experience… @ Cumaca, Cundinamarca, Colombia”



Dusty was sure I’d want this picture in my collection. Can you see why? (I’ll save the answer for another post.)


Considering the altitude . . .












I asked how it tasted: “Delish. Your granddaughter ate five freshly roasted beans before we cut her off. It’s in the genes.”

Posted in family matters, grandkids, travels | 1 Comment

birthdays and more

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The prelude to Declan’s second birthday was to face his carseat forward, as state law permits or requires. He’ll have a whole new look at the world from now on.

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I doubt he remembers anything about his first birthday, so every part of the celebration of his second year of birth was exciting.

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He won’t likely remember his second birthday celebration when he turns three, but I could be wrong.


Daddy forgot to buy candles, but crayons make a more memorable cake, since Declan loves to color. Lighting them might have been a challenge, though. His great aunt Debbie arrived the day before to help Taylor and Beth with the twins, and caught this shy birthday smile.

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Speaking of helping with the twins, you can see that Declan is starting to help too. This is Avery.

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And this is Emery.

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Their one-month pictures. Avery . . .

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Emery. They’re growing. She’s more than six pounds!

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The very next day, this girl—Cassidy Laine—turned 14! And she spent the day traveling to and celebrating in Bogota, Columbia, South America! Here’s the story, in short. The Andersons, preferring to gift their children with experiences, decided to take Cass out of school in order to accompany Dusty on a business trip to Columbia. It was an opportunity too good to pass—happening on her birthday and a trip to South America! Not long ago Cassidy realized she’d told people that South America was on the list of continents she’s visited, when in fact she’d been to Central America. “My whole life has been a lie!” Turns out her own parents had led her astray, thinking Guatemala was in South America. So parental error. 😂 But now, she’s officially been to four continents! Cass is a young woman of integrity, and that’s why this mistake bothered her so greatly.

And just look at that newly braces-free smile! Dusty has nice teeth too, but given his recent health scare, we focus more on the fact he can work and travel and live life almost to the full (his knee not entirely healed).

[As I wrote this post, Quinn texted some pictures of their time in SA. I’ll add them at the end so can see part of their adventure if you want. She knows how much I enjoy being part of their adventures through pictures.]

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These fun boys, Will and Lincoln, were my charges last night, so I snapped some pictures of them playing together in their backyard. They are a kick in the pants!


Darcy Girl isn’t our grandkid nor is it her birthday, but yesterday was National Dog Day, which should count for some mention, don’t you think? Here is her reaction to learning about the national notice she received.



On their way up to Monserrate.





The end (for now).

Posted in family matters, grandkids | 1 Comment

“how can i minister to all these people”

I had no idea how geeked I’d be about the eclipse. My interest in it had gone far enough to order three pairs of eclipse glasses (which were refunded by Amazon for safety and probably litigious reasons), but I wasn’t even sure I’d go outside, knowing I’d see plenty of pictures of it.

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I printed off this time chart just in case.

At around 10, Mauri walked down the street to the office to join me. I didn’t even take my phone with me as we strolled around the church parking lot, noting changes in the atmosphere. Why would I need a camera?

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Thankfully, Mauri had his and could snap this picture of the darkness at 10:18 a.m.. We didn’t have a total eclipse but it came very close, as you can see. It was dark enough to trigger the security night lights of the church.

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I value my eyesight too highly to take any chances on inferior protection, so even for this picture my eyes were closed. But I opened them for a moment a couple of times to see it for myself.

It was very cool—cool in the current vernacular but also cool in temperature without the sun to warm the air, even for one minute.

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The moon had started to pass through, but even the edges of the sun put out lots of light.

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See the crescent-shaped shadows? If I had a camera I would have taken a picture of my hair and earrings, very different from their normal shadow.

Post after post after post on Facebook were pictures of my friends wearing eclipse glasses or of the sky.


One friend posted a picture of the traffic going through our area, which we chose to avoid.

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But another friend, a blogger who write for an Oregon newspaper, posted this picture with the following story.

“Never in the history of the world has there been this much traffic on our little country road. I thought, how can I minister to all those people? So I made iced tea and lemonade and handed it out for free. One lady needed a bathroom.

“Of course.

“So I hung up a ‘restroom available’ sign and soon we literally had a line of people out the back door. They kept coming and coming. We used up all my ice cubes and lemonade mix, so then we gave away water. And I’m guessing 100 people used the restroom.

“It has been an amazing day.”

An amazing day, indeed. What an example she sets (in more than this way; I highly recommend reading her blog on a regular basis)!

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on a roll


First, these came along a month ago, two at a time.

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Last week I cooked up my current favorite lunch, and twin yolks came along two at a time.

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Last night I broke two eggs to make French toast, and both contained twinners!

I’d say I’m on a roll! (You might think I’ll stretch to any length for an excuse to post a picture of the Carlson babies—and you might be right!)

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