Saturday, December 24, 2022

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OREGON

Merry Christmas to everyone! The special day is almost here, and the birthday of Jesus that we all look so forward to!


I just want to do a quick update on my injuries from my fall on November 17th. I'm hanging in there and doing better! I've gone from a cast on my wrist (I broke my WRIST, not my thumb as I first was told) to a brace that I can take off now and then (for showers, etc.).......and that stays on for about 3 more weeks. Boy was it a relief to get that cast off! I do have a little more flexibility now.


I finally got in to see a neurologist. He took xrays again that day right at his office. He did confirm that I have a T8 vertabra fracture (it's squished) "nondisplaced". That means it hasn't really moved outward and he could see no sign of pinched nerves, so he didn't order an MRI. 

It is feeling better and I'm not taking pain pills, or even Advil for the most part..... that makes me feel good. But I do need to take Advil if I overdo, which it's hard for me NOT to do! I'm not supposed to lift more than 10 lbs. or twist and turn, and just be careful overall. I'll have another set of xrays done on January 9th and then "see" him on Jan. 10th via zoom meeting. I'm so glad I don't have to drive to Bend again, which is 100 miles round trip! He wants to make sure it doesn't squish down further. If it has, I don't know what he'll want to do. Say your prayers for me please? that it doesn't get any worse.


We had our first "more than a skiff" snow on December 10th.. about 6 inches. I was worried about driving to Bend 3 days later, but fortunately the roads were mostly clear. It's been VERY cold here, so that same 6 inches is still mostly on the ground 12 days later! We've  had down to about 5 degrees some nights, others maybe 12 or 14.. but I'm very happy to see that our town is keeping the roads nice and plowed.

And let me tell you.......I'm walking VERY carefully when I got outside! I'm paranoid now about walking anywhere that it "might" be icy, even if it looks like it's not. I do have to tromp in the snow sometimes... can't be helped when going out back to feed my community cat.. he lives in a little shed that I heat with a heat light, just for him.. and he also has a heated water pan! I always wear my heavy coat and carry my phone with me!

Snow on top of snow!


The snow was so beautiful... always is.. but at this point, I'd rather have rain! 

We are in the midst of the "big storm" that has moved down from Canada and is innundating the mid-west and northern states with below zero temperatures and high winds... and lots of snow in some places. I'm so so thankful that Madras is just on the edge of it, and we are only getting residual cold temps.. and a little snow (I may be speaking too soon as the snow has just started as I write this!).  It's "only" 10 degrees now so I'm a happy camper.

I so feel for my friends, family and blog friends, who live in the path of that storm. 

Before my fall, I got some crocheted leaves finished for my Autumn decorating and as gifts. I had wanted to make a few more, but with my hand in a cast, no way could I crochet. I still can't.

I hadn't made any of my Christmas cards, and I did manage to get them all finished and mailed out. It was not easy making cards one-handed. I know many of my readers have probably, at one time or another, had a surgery or injury to where they could only use one hand, but it never is easy. It was hard enough when my husband was there to help me out........ it's much harder with it only being me now.

I had both of my wrists done (carpal tunnel surgery) over the last couple of years, but I at least could use my fingers (and I had help from my hubby)......... but with the cast, I could not use them or bend anything!

Here are a few cards from Christmases past (just showing them because they are so pretty to look at!):




...........and a few recent ones from this year.........




I didn't decorate my house, other than my tree, which was a real stretch......and I put a wreath over my mantel and a few little things on my dining table in a wood tray. I'm happy that I at least got my tree up! My son was here for 10 days after my fall, and he kept saying, when are we putting the tree up? and I just really wasn't in the mood, being in pain and all. I'm glad he did set up for me. But then (after he left of course)... I found out that none of the lights worked! I ended up having to go buy lights for it and string those on, one handed of course. 




I do enjoy all the twinkling lights, and I did put up a few of my little fairy lights around the living room, here and there. 

I'm using a table I had put together for my yard sale, as my "wrapping" area and a place to display my cards. It sure has come in handy. I "was" going to sell it at the sale, but decided to keep it, as it's nice and heavy duty. Glad I did.



Once I could craft again (without pain or overdoing it), I managed to make some hot cocoa and apple cider packs, that I took to the shop here in town, where I sell my items. 



I've done a little baking... made some pumpkin bars... who craves pumpkin this time of year? I sure do! I had a store bought pumpking pie at Thanksgiving (spent alone), and now want to make a real pie. I played around with making some mug cakes... this was a gingerbread mug cake - oh so good!


I also made a chocolate one. They are so easy. I just mix up the ingredients right in the mug, and microwave it for around 90 seconds. Quick and easy and no mess!

One more thing I had started, but not finished, was a Christmas Planner. I've never made one before, but decided I would this year, so all of my lists could be in one place! So I finished it up just a couple of weeks ago, and am happily using it!

I love the Shabby papers and colors, and I made it to cover a 5 year period. I'm going to enjoy looking back each year to see what I did.








Won't be  using this section this year! I'm not doing much meal planning!


As I write this, it's Thursday, December 22nd. I'm still busily finishing up a few things, and wrapping a few more gifts for family I'll see on Christmas. I'm enjoying the feeling of being "almost" ready for Christmas Day.  

I may or may not spend Christmas with my sister and her husband. They live about 30 miles away, and it depends on the weather, plus he has been sick. I'd just as soon stay home and not catch any germs! I've bought a small ham just in case, plus a yam, cranberry sauce, cheese spread for my celery, and will make deviled eggs. Hopefully, I will also have a homemade pumpkin pie!

I'm not going out anywhere tomorrow (Friday) as it's supposed to snow or ice all day! (Update: on Thursday night, we only got about 1 inch of snow.. and got down to 4 degrees. Easy peasy! Was expecting way worse weather!)

I'll be happy and cozy inside. I pray none of you are too hard hit with this big storm. I know alot of it has hit the midwest states already.

May each and every one of you have a Blessed Christmas, and I'm wishing you love, joy and happiness. I pray this country, that I so love, will find some peace and "coming together" in 2023. I don't doubt our people.. there are SO MANY wonderful and loving people in this country.. it's the government that I pray for. 

~Marilyn~


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Monday, November 21, 2022

I went and did it......

I'm so mad at myself! I went and slipped on black ice last Thursday, Nov. 17th and landed flat on my back! I can't believe I didn't check the driveway better as I started to walk down to get the mail

Duh, it was 28 degrees out and we had had freezing fog the night before! But the sun was out and it looked totally dry.
 They should call it "invisible" ice, not black ice.

This is short.....am typing on my cell phone as can hardly use my keyboard....I fractured my left thumb at the base. Hand is in a temporary cast and have to go in a week to have it x-rayed again and maybe recasted. This is the first time in my life I've ever had a cast!


I went to ER on the Friday after the fall, as hand was really sore. My back hurt too. I also hit my head on the cement so wanted to be sure I didn't crack my hard head......I was pretty sure I was ok from that as I had no signs of a concussion.  Funny thing, my back didn't hurt that



much for the 1st two days, so I didn't get any pain meds. The doc offered but I thought, oh I'll do fine with Advil. NOT!!!

They did do X-rays at the hospital, and said no fractures that they could see.......but.....I just found out today that they did NOT x-ray my mid back area, which is where I told them I hurt the most, so I hope I can go have X-rays done for that area, once I can drive.
 I can't drive now as hurts too much getting in and out of the car.
Why they didn't do X-rays there I have no idea .

I've had horrible pain for the last 2 days. I finally gave in today and took a half of a pain pill I had left over from my gall bladder surgery 3 years ago! 

It did help...wish I taken it sooner......ah ah ah.....sweet relief.

And by the way, from now on, whenever I go outside, I'm carrying my phone with me and wearing a coat! It was no fun laying there on the cold ice, with no coat on, wondering how in the heck I was going to get up or get help! What do you think I did?????

***Marilyn***



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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Fossil, Spray... roadtrip fun


Are those town names? Oregon has such unusual names of little towns, especially in central Oregon!  Fossil, Shaniko, Spray, Dufur, Antelope, Burns, Hereford, Halfway, Alfalfa, to name a few.

When my son and his fiance visited me at the end of August, he and she wanted to take a long day trip, and explore some of these strange named little towns! I was so glad to oblige them...... and off we went! It was a gorgeous summer day, but VERY VERY HOT! Thank goodness for the A/C in their car!

Here's a map of the loop we made - it was around 250 miles and we didn't get home until dark!  Grab your coffee or tea as this is a long post!


First town: Antelope
This is pretty much a ghost town now.. there are only a few residents left, population 47!









The town used to be a stage station, originally incorporated in 1901. The height of its population was 249 in the early 1900's, down to about 39 in 1980. This little town has ALOT of history! Even if you live far away from Oregon, you may have heard about this town being taken over in the early 80's by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers. It made national news, and what subsequently  happened in The Dalles, Oregon concerning food poisoning of many of the residents of The Dalles, eventually shut the Rajneesh down! (I later lived in The Dalles in 1995 to 2000, so heard all about what happened).

From Wikipedia:
In the early 1980s, hundreds of members of the Rajneesh movement moved in and built a small city in previously unoccupied land they purchased. The Rajneesh cult members effectively took over the government of the city by outnumbering the original residents with new voter registrations. On September 18, 1984, a vote was held, and the city was renamed Rajneesh, Oregon. By 1985, after several of the Rajneesh movement leaders were discovered to have been involved in criminal behavior (including a mass food poisoning attack and an aborted plot to assassinate a U.S. Attorney), their cult leader fled the country as part of a negotiated settlement of federal immigration fraud charges, and the Rajneesh commune collapsed. On November 6, 1985, the city voted to revert to the name Antelope.

And so it is now Antelope again, and too bad it's such an abandoned little town. It is in a pretty location and far away from the crowds. I remember going therer a few times back before the Rajneesh came, and the town seemed quite lively and populated, with a cafe, store, gas station, post office and school. I always thought it would be a neat place to live if you wanted to live far away from any larger cities!

Next town: Fossil
What a funny name for a town right? But it is very close to the John Day Fossil Beds... very historic and well know throughout the Pacific Northwest. I, in fact, have never been to the fossil beds.. and we didn't stop by then either, as was so hot out.

On our way, we crossed over the beautiful John Day River which was a welcome respite! There was  hardly any traffic. Who says there aren't any areas left that are unpopulated? Well. this area of Oregon is VERY unpopulated.

It's quite desolate country and yet there are rock outcroppings and rivers and canyons that make up for the otherwise dry landscapes.

Was very hot here! We had bought some sandwiches from Subway, in Madras, so chose this spot (under the bridge) to eat our lunch.


In Fossil, we stopped at the very old cemetery. I walked around for a good 20 minutes in 100 degree + temperatures, but it was really fascinating. Some of the headstones were dated back to the early 1800's.

This is the usual landscape around Fossil, Oregon!


Withstanding time.



Such beautifully carved and intricate headstones!

The actual town of Fossil is population 473, so a little bigger in size. We had hoped to stop for ice cream, but nothing was open! It was a Monday.. so most things were closed, even the one small cafe. I've always wanted to spend a night in Fossil at the historic Fossil Hyatt House Motel, but we drove all around the town and couldn't find it!


I also wanted to check out the Wilson Ranches Retreat, which is about 8 miles northwest of Fossil. It's a dude ranch that is on my bucket list to visit.  But you know guys.... right? my son didn't want to go out of his way to go see it!  It was not on our route!

Photo compliments of Wilson Retreat Ranches website.
 Next stop Spray:

The drive from Fossil to Spray was actually quite beautiful. I had been that way years ago, but forgot how you go UP into some forest areas, and see wonderful big trees, firs and cedar, etc. Unfortunately, I didn't but one picture as we headed out of the forest (below), but it WAS beautiful. And then we came back out of the forest area, and followed the John Day River again for a few miles before we got to Spray.




I was sad to see that the usually WIDE John Day River, was really narrow and shallow on most of our drive along it. I can remember the last times I drove there, the river was way up the banks and flowing very swiftly!

In the town of Spray, which is not very populated (160), with just a few stores and a motel, we went to the river park, and spent a few hours at this very beautiful (and empty!) campground along the John Day River. My son and his fiance are genuine rock hounds, so she spent the entire time searching for unusual rocks and stones. She said she found petrified coral!

Petrified coral.

Brave young men jumping off the rocks across the river!


Beautiful clear water with a sandy bottom.. no rocks!


It was SO HOT! I just had to go in!

On to Mitchell and the Ochoco Mountains:
The rest of the drive was through some wonderful vistas.. up and down we went, around curves, into canyons and valleys, then back up to the top of the world it seemed! We drove past the "painted hills" (another well-known monument of that area), but I didn't take pictures, as it was by then starting to get to dusk. We were on a mission to get into the Ochoco Mountains before dark, as my son had never seen them!



Forest fire area by Mitchell, Oregon. So sad.

The town of Mitchell is just a wayside along Hwy 26.. a little store and gas station.  We stopped at a wayside a few miles further, as we were driving through the Ochoco's..... to take in the beauty there!






It was nice to be in the big trees again!


And onward back to Madras!
The drive back along Hwy 26 was nothing short of beautiful, gorgeous, stunning views, lots of trees and sky views. I had been that way a few times, but I always forget how wonderful it is! Compared to Madras, that is "big treeless", this was such a treat.

We went through the town of Prineville, which I really do like. It's a little bigger than Madras, and has more shops, restaurants, trees and rivers. It has a big fairgrounds and arena, that hosts rodeos, horse shows and bull riding events... and the Crooked River runs right through the town. I would love to have lived there instead of Madras, but I guess it was not in the stars, as my husband and I never could find a place there that we liked, in our price range, when we were looking to buy again back in 2015. So Madras it was.....

As we drove west towards the sun and home, the sky and mountains put on quite a show for us!




It was good to get home.  We had a very wonderful and memorable day! 


I'll cherish this day with my son and Terra. It absolutely goes into my "best memories" bank!

~Marilyn~































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