Friday, March 19, 2021

No idea!

Hi friends,
Did you notice the title??? Well.. I have NO IDEA as I start this post, what I'm going to write about! I haven't really done a "real" post since Christmas! But I do want to stay in touch with my sweet blogging friends out there so here goes...........


This is a photo I took last November when I was visiting my sister's new place in Terrebonne, Oregon. As I was going home, I drove down a side road that I had wanted to explore, and came upon this gorgeous canyon! Wow it was amazing, and bits of snow were sprinkled here and there. Of course I had to get out of my car and take pictures!

I miss going on photo shoots just for the fun of it - visiting different areas and exploring. Didn't do any of that in 2020 (well hardly). I don't call going to my sister's house as a "photo shoot" but there IS some stunning scenery there, if you look for it!


I may have already posted this photo (above) that I took last summer in July. That little trip was the highlight of my summer of 2020! My son and his fiance had come to visit, and we went for a drive into the mountains (Cascade Range) west of us, and went for a little hike along the Metolius River. Oh that was so wonderful to see water and big trees! I so miss that in Madras where I live.




Really, there just hasn't been much to blog about for 2020, and not much for 2021! Like most of you, we just haven't gone anywhere other than to a grocery store, doctor's visit or post office or library. I feel kind of like my blog is based on sharing awesome photos with you, of places I've visited, or of my home and yard. I kind of  have "nothing" to share!

I DID actually take my first trip out of my town for almost a year - and that was a visit to Portland to see my great nephews. I rode along with my sister who lives here, close to me (the one who lives in Terrebonne).  Now I finally have some pretty photos to share!

We drove on the mountain pass that goes by Mt. Hood, and it was a gorgeous sunny day, and the mountain was just stunning. This first photo is Mt.  Hood in the distance, as we are driving in the "dry" country to the east of the mountain. I've grown up with this mountain and I love it!


Now we are driving into the forests and trees - so nice to be in the deep dark forests.

A close up shot... it was hard to get good shots of the mountain as we were driving and a view would open up for about 5 seconds, and then we would be in the trees again!

We only made a day trip, but accomplished alot in that one day! Went to visit my "niece in law" and her twins (my great nephews). Here's my sister and me with the little cuties (below). They are not identical twins and each have such a different personality. Love them both to pieces! We also drove by the old house we grew up in, in Portland, went to the cemetery to "visit" our parents, stopped to see another friend of my sister's, and managed a take out lunch from Subway!


Anthony, in the back (below), is a little mischief maker. He is trying to grab his brother's head! And Andrew, in the front, is the little mellow one... very laid back.

Andrew is happy to entertain himself:


So far, this has been 2021's highlight. I have been constant in my paper crafting, and even a little sewing. I've been making a few "spring" face masks to add to my wardrobe. Not very exciting but is something I've wanted to do for weeks and finally got started on them (only one made so far!).

I've made quite a few little mini albums since Christmas, and they are now at a little shop here in town that just reopened after a year and a half of moving to a new location. 


I love this little "My Treasured Scriptures" album that I made. There are pockets inside that hold tags to write your favorite scriptures on. It was fun to make and I want to make some more!


In January, I took a "mini class" from a gal at the little quilt shop here in town. I had bought some pretty fleece, and the owner was holding it for me until I could come and pick it up. The day I went, her friend was there doing some sewing in the back room, and I asked her about the darling ponchos she had made, that were hanging around the store on the walls. She said, oh they are so easy to make, I can show  you right now if you want! And I said YES.. and we sat down and she helped me make mine in about a half hour. Now that was fun!


I really HAVE been pretty busy.. and like to keep busy so I don't dwell on the current state of affairs in our country.

Oh... I did have tons of fun making some Hershey Bar Pockets for the little gift shop. I had made some Christmas ones that I sold at the craft fair I participated in last October, so I thought some Spring ones would be pretty.




Oh I so loved this lavender paper from Prima Marketing! I have been hoarding it for two years, but thought I'd better use it. For 2021, I am at least going to try to use up some of the gorgeous scrapbook papers I've been hoarding......... that is my goal anyway.

I know this is a long post, but I wanted to get caught up, so I can post more often, and shorter posts. I hope that coming up will be some Spring gardening and yard posts. At least we got most of our hard (big) work done last  year when we laid down all those heavy tarps and 10 yards of gravel! We still have one side of our house left to do, but that isn't such a daunting job.


Hopefully this spring and summer will be more fun projects, though I do hope we can (build/buy?) some larger raised bed cedar boxes for some vegetables. I also want to find some more of these nice cedar boxes for flowers (above). Last year, our local Bi Mart did NOT have any in stock! I was so disappointed. I looked everywhere for them.  I'm so tired of all the plastic tubs we have been using (see that blue one?) that are old and cracked and falling apart. They were supposed to be "temporary" but you know how that goes.........

Hope you are all staying well and finding things to bring  you joy!









Sunday, February 14, 2021

Friendship and love...

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO EVERYONE!

I'm so sorry I haven't posted for awhile. I hope to get my blogging mojo back soon! I'm posting this wonderful, beautiful music video for your enjoyment.... Inka Gold..... their guitar and flute music is just so soul soothing, which we all need right now. This is a special concert they did today from their home in New Mexico, for "friendship and love". 



Put  your earphones on..... relax... listen.... enjoy......send your love out to everyone you can think of!

Hugs to all!

~Marilyn~




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PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOS AND IMAGES INTO YOUR OWN POSTS WITHOUT FIRST LINKING TO THIS BLOG AND MY NAME.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

MERRY CHRISTMAS, GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN.


Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends and family!

I managed to decorate my house a little bit.... not much.... but enough twinkly lights to move me into the spirit of Christmas. 

I hope everyone has a nice Christmas and will have a chance to spend some time with family and friends. I pray that 2021 is a better year......... I am sad for the families who have lost loved ones this year, whether from the virus or from other causes. I take this moment to celebrate and honor our loved ones in Heaven.





















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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Can you believe it?

Can you believe it? Christmas is only two weeks and two days away???????  No no no! It was just Thanksgiving! Why is the time racing so fast? I feel like I'm being dragged by a runaway train. Do you?

I've spent the last few days loading some new items into my Etsy shop.. things I made for the bazaar in October. I also added a new header/banner to my shop that I just love. It's so ME!

 I've added some new tab dividers, custom made Christmas cards (some gorgeous ones!), Christmas gift tags (even some buffalo plaid checks and deer antlers - all the rage now I guess)... and a few new vintage gift tags. 




New vintage card added.





There are also a couple of new envelope folios that would make a great gift. They will hold coupons or recipts or gift cards, cash or special letters or note.

And of course, some of my photo albums and little tiny mini albums are still available.

Please go take a look if you would! My Pink Paper Cottage

Maybe you'll find something you just love!

Happy two weeks before Christmas!

~Marilyn~







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PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOS AND IMAGES INTO YOUR OWN POSTS WITHOUT FIRST LINKING TO THIS BLOG AND MY NAME.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Best gluten free banana cake EVER!

Hi Friends and Family!

A couple of weeks ago, I made the BEST BANANA CAKE  ever! ever! ever! that I have ever eaten!.......... and it was gluten free.... but you never would have known it. So if you need to eat gluten free, try this one (and even if you don't have to eat gluten free, try this one!). I got the recipe online from I know not where (more below on that).


I used a yellow cake mix from WOW Baking Company. I just discovered them a  year or so ago. Our local Bi-Mart (in Oregon) carries them  now. It is even non-GMO ingredients! And the price is so much cheaper than the "name brand" gluten free cake mixes.


Their website is WOW Baking Company  and their business is in Kent, Washington, not too far from where I live! Awesome! The package says they have recipes, but I went there to search and didn't find any. I'll have to give them a call or email, as I love recipes from the different gluten free companies.

Here's the lovely, soft, fluffy and very tasty (with just a hint of banana) cake.

Did I say it was the BEST ever???????

Of course I had to make my own home made butter cream frosting. 

Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup soft butter
Dash of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 cup milk for desired thickness
  (I used just a splash of milk as didn't want the frosting runny)

And here is the recipe. I didn't look at the website I got it from and though the site name usually prints out on the recipe, it didn't this time, so I have no idea where it came from! I just searched for "cake mix banana cake recipe" and found several, and chose the easiest one with the least amount of ingredients (and I was in a hurry to find one, so didn't take time to write down the site). And of course, I tweaked it some.



The last 4 ingredients are their frosting, but I made mine instead. It sounds similar to mine. I added an extra cup of a gluten free baking flour mix (Pamela's), didn't add the baking soda or baking powder, as it was in the flour mix, and only added 1 large mashed banana, not 4. I think 4 would have made it too soggy. Gluten free things can't take alot of moisture.

I used an 8x8 glass pan rather than 9x13, and baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Gluten free usually takes a little longer.

If you use a regular cake mix like the recipe calls for, then I would probably add the baking powder and baking soda.

And voila!!!!!!!!!


 Happy Thursday all........

~Marilyn~





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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

No road trip!

Hi Friends and Happy November!

Since my last post about getting our Van ready for a road trip, I'm sad to say I never did get that road trip. My husband took it hunting up in the mountains east of us, and it worked great for him. The two batteries ran his CPAP machine (he needs it for night time sleep) and he said the bed, though a tad hard, was pretty comfy. We planned to take that road trip once he got home from hunting.


Unfortunately, he came home after 3 days there, very sick! He never got to do any more hunting, and I've spent the last 7 weeks being nursemaid to him and two of our cats that also got sick and needed vet visits. Needless to say, NO ROADTRIPS in the Van. And now the nights are just too cold to be out sleeping in a Van.

(NOTE: As of this writing, my hubby IS feeling about 75% better.)

We thought he might have caught the Covid virus from someone up hunting, so he was tested as he had many of the symptoms, but it came back negative. We were very thankful but he was very sick with bronchitis which aggravated his asthma. It was not pretty.

On a fun note, I finally got to mark something off of my "bucket list"!! 


Can you guess????

I have owned  horses all of  my life, since I was 13. The last one I owned was back in 2006 and that was the last time I rode, after I sold him. 

This is me and my "Buddy" in about 2002, riding up by Mt. Adams in Washington.

I had decided that owning a horse, besides being expensive, was a commitment to giving him the best care possible, and providing a "pasture mate" which he didn't have. I wasn't hardly ever riding anymore, so with much sadness, I leased him out for a year, and then sold him, when I realized I really didn't miss riding that much. I DID miss just having a horse around, but that wasn't fair to him.

Anyway.. that's the last time I rode... and over the years since then, I've yearned to ride again... I've really missed being around horses and riding, though I didn't miss the work and expense involved. 

Riding in "the dry country" when I lived in The Dalles, Oregon.

Visiting my sister one day in September (she's newly moved to a home closer to where I live!), I just on a whim suggested she and I ought to go riding one of these days. Every year, we say we will, but then we just don't for one reason or other. One reason is that the hourly rates are just horrible now! I used to ride for maybe $10 an hour, now it's up to anywhere from $55 to $95 an hour! Ouch.

So we decided to just do it! She called me later in the week and said we could ride at a stable by Sun River, Oregon (where I used to live) as she knew a gal who worked there. So we made plans to meet the next Sunday, which was October 4th. That was so fast! I really had thought that we'd end up not going. I didn't hardly have time to stress about it or worry that I wouldn't be able to get on a horse again! 

I spent that week before we went, walking every day and doing some exercises to strengthen by legs! As I've gotten older, my legs have gotten so out of shape and weak.... I was afraid I wouldn't be able to even get on a horse, let alone ride for very long. 

This was the bucket list I made in 2013. All this time, I could have sworn that I had "ride a horse again" on it! But when I went back to look at it after I had ridden (so I could cross it off!) it wasn't there! I guess I've just had that wish in my "mind" all these years.

As a note, I've only managed to do TWO things on that 2013 Bucket List!

But for ME and the "bucket list in my mind", I just had to try it. I figured if I couldn't ride, the worse case scenerio is that I either wouldn't have been able to get on, or I'd have ridden for 10 minutes and needed to get off, and could have just walked back to the stable, leading the horse. So I went for it.

It was a wonderful day! Gorgeous weather, warm and I managed to get myself up early to meet my sister at 10:30. I'm NOT an early riser! The stable was awesome, more of a training facility, but they keep a few horses for private rides. 

My mare was 25 years old! Just what I needed!

Me and my steed.


And after all my worry about being able to get on..... the gal used a step stool for both of us to get on! I think I could have managed it without one, but she said they do it for everyone, for safety sake.

And off we went... and rode through the woods and trees and it was wonderful to be in some "woods". We followed some nice trails and rode over by the Deschutes River. I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to... wish I would have. I took alot of my sister though!

My sister, Barb.


Ready to head out!

It felt so funny to wear a helmet. I've never worn a helmet before when I rode!

Deschutes River - so beautiful, but low this time of year.


It was so much fun...... we even trotted..........and I did just fine. All my worries for nothing. And.... we rode for 1-1/2 hours! I'm amazed I was able to do that, and I wasn't hardly saddle sore the next day! It's a shame I put it off for so long.

(NOTE: The getting off was HARDER than the getting on!)

I've been pretty lax about posting here. I have things I want to share, but with this virus thing and with my hubby and cats sick, I've kind of been in a slump........ plus I had a 2 week bout with vertigo... which didn't help matters. That is better.... for now anyway.

I hope to post sooner as have a few other things to share.

I hope you are all well....and that you each and every one and your families have a nice Thanksgiving. We were going to travel to my son's house in Astoria, Oregon, but have decided not to, due to the Covid and suggestions not to travel. I've actually figured out how to use Zoom and we are going to have a "Zoom Thanksgiving"!!

Hugs for now!

~Marilyn~



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PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOS AND IMAGES INTO YOUR OWN POSTS WITHOUT FIRST LINKING TO THIS BLOG AND MY NAME.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

She's ready for a road trip

Hello all on this beautiful Fall day!

Well, it would be a beautiful day if it weren't for the smoke in the air, but it's better than it was last week, so one must be grateful right?

I promised some photos of our (somewhat) finished Van project - the bed anyway - and I'm happy to say it's done and ready to go!

Here's the "before" the bed went in............


And here's the "after"!!!!!!


All I can say is HURRAY... and I'm so happy and relieved it's done......

The mattresses fit side by side perfectly and are very comfy and firm the way we like it....

We used two twin sized foldable memory foam mattresses that I bought on Amazon - very good reviews on them.
We used two foldable memory foam mattress pads that I purchased from Amazon - they had very good reviews.
A queen sheet fits (almost).  The two mattresses make this about 5" larger than a queen bed! I'm so happy! We're used to a king bed.
Rudy likes it!

The bed is made up with nice soft sheets - this lady does NOT like sleeping in sleeping bags! I want my bed to feel like home. I mean, we will take one in case we need it for extra warmth on top of us, but I wanted our bed to not feel so much like we are camping. 

I sanded all the plywood and drilled holes in the end to hold it on the frames, so it won't slide around. The plywood on the frames is also in 3 pieces, so that we can, if we need to, remove one of the mattresses, and fold over the blankets and slide the middle piece to one side, so that we have an "aisle" down the middle to walk, or sit on the beds. 

I bought a large flannel sheet and a quilt from the thrift store, to put under the mattresses. The quilt was too narrow, and had scalloped edges, so I cut some quilt batting (4 layers) to fit along the side, so it would all be level. No lumps for me!

And voila.. it's ready!

Our heads will be at the end by the back doors, and there's just enough room at the foot of our bed (up front behind the seats) for stowing a few things, like our ice chest, water jug and porta potty (yes... we HAVE to have a porta potty!)  Doesn't give us much room, but it works.

We both use CPAP machines, and those will have to sit under the bed at our heads.. and the cords will run up front to where the two batteries and inverters are. We've had two extra heavy duty batteries installed, that are hooked up to the Van battery, and they will charge every time the Van is running. That way, we can be "off grid" if we want to or need to be. I'm anxious to try them out. 

They take up alot of room, but I think it'll be worth it. This way, hubby can take the Van hunting and park and sleep out overnight where there is no power. 

So........she's ready to go. There are nice blinds on the side windows and I have made curtains (temporary ones) for the back and side door windows. They are only temporary.. I made them last summer on the fly using some fleece blankets I bought, so that we'd have curtains when we (attempted) went camping in the Fall. 

My next project is to (somehow, not sure how to) put hooks in the Van to hang things on. I'm afraid to start drilling into the frame, but hooks are a great plus in such a small space........ I also need to buy some little baskets or tubs that will fit under the bed frames, to hold our things like food, clothing, toiletries, tools, etc. There's lots of room under the bed frames.  I actually have some Dollar Tree baskets that fit perfectly!


See the  foot stool? Of course we have to have a stool to get up into the Van.. and down again!

So she's ready to go... just not sure when WE will be. There's still alot of smoke here from the fire west of us.. and I think all of Oregon is under smoke, as hundreds of thousands of acres of forest land are still burning. It's so sad to hear about all of the beautiful forests that have burned up, towns gone, land burned, houses leveled, businesses gone, and people have died in the fires. 

Our moods right now aren't the greatest for wanting to take a trip, but I do hope we can find it in ourselves to at least try her out for one night, before the snows hit. It would be nice to find somewhere without smoke hanging over everything, but right now, I think that might be impossible. There's still lots of do to winterize our house which takes first priority.

But now I can at least mark one more thing off my "to do" list - "get Van bed done"!! (it only took me a year.........)


I'll let you know if/when we hit the road.........





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PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOS AND IMAGES INTO YOUR OWN POSTS WITHOUT FIRST LINKING TO THIS BLOG AND MY NAME.
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