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Sunday, July 7, 2024


A week ago tonight, my sister and her husband's home in Terrebonne, Oregon burned to the ground. Fire Marshalls still do not know the cause. My sister's son was visiting and in the guestroom. All 3 got out OK, plus one cat. The other cat (Sherman) was lost in the fire.

The entire home is gone, except for a small part of the master bedroom. The fire department managed to save the garage and shop. My sister's car was severely smoke damaged and covered with soot, that cannot be washed off. 

They were all asleep... no smoke alarms went off. Thankfully, her husband was sleeping in a recliner in the living room when the sounds of crackling flames and the smell of smoke woke him up. He got up and ran to the master bedroom and called for my sister. By then, the flames were encroaching on the living room and guest bedroom. My sister ran to get her son out. They all ran out the back door with only their phones, as by then, the entire 2 bedroom wing and kitchen were totally in flames up on the roof and under the house. In fact, my sister didn't even get her phone as it was in the kitchen amidst the flames.

I'm so thankful they are all alive. I don't know what happened with the smoke alarms. I don't know what would have happened if her husband would have been asleep in the master bedroom.

I'm still in shock. I haven't been there yet. My sister is so busy taking care of things like getting new credit cards, debit cards, cash (they had cash that burned in the fire), dealing with insurance, cars needing repairs, etc. that she wants me to wait to come when I can help when they begin to go through the rubble to see what can be saved. The Fire Department, bless their hearts, did save a few of her precious photo albums. That's about it.

This is the front entryway to their home.

My other sister, Linda, has set up a GoFundMe account here:

Any donation will be immensely appreciated. They are learning that there are many expenses not covered by their homeowner's insurance! For example, they will need to rent a  home (they are currently staying in a motel), and insurance does NOT pay the deposit for the rental! They have spent their own funds buying new clothes, shoes, toiletries, and other expenditures made every day and not covered by insurance (food, dishes, pans, silverware, household items). This is a real eye opener! People, check your homeowners' insurance!

Thank you for any help  you can give.

Hugs.... Marilyn


Monday, June 24, 2024

A Slice of Heaven

I've found a slice of Heaven here in the little community of Svensen, Oregon, where I've moved to! I'm 8 miles East of Astoria.

Path to a sweet little picnic area on the John Day River.

HUGE trees everywhere!

BEWARE.... Photo heavy post!

I thought I'd post some of my photos I've taken in the last couple of months, as I've wandered about exploring. I make sure and always take my regular camera, besides my phone. My camera takes much better distance photos. 

This area reminds me of where I lived northeast of Washougal, WA which I absolutely loved. I feel like I'm "home" again.

Sunset by Chinook, WA just north of where I live. I take advantage of every sunny day that I can, and get out there to take pictures!

Little cabin by the John Day River. I wish I could rent it! There is a HUGE rhododendron bush in front of it by the road.

John Day River as it meanders here and there.

Meadow by the John Day River, with the sun making a quick appearance.

I'm smitten with the John Day River! Can you tell?

Very historic Fort Clatsop.. where Lewis & Clark expedition stopped and built their living quarters, and then trekked on to the ocean.

Lots of places to hike in this forest!

There are so many wonderful places to explore. In my area, east of Astoria, there are mountains, trails, logging roads, rivers, creeks, camp areas, woods, vistas (on top of Mt. Wickiup by where I live, but haven't gone up there yet), Columbia River views, and little communities along the Columbia.

That is just MY area of Svensen. If I go into Astoria and head south, there are more mountains and waterfalls and Elk, oh so many Elk!. If I head west and then south, I am at the ocean, and can drive down to the touristy town of Seaside, Oregon.

If I drive North, and cross the Astoria Megler Bridge into Washington, there is another enormous area to explore! I have driven up there to the little towns of Chinook, Ilwaco and Seaview. My first photo (above) is a sunset by Chinook.

Elk Reserve south of Astoria.

Did I say I LOVE IT here!

Astoria Megler Bridge in the background... this is the Columbia River in Astoria. The Megler Bridge is 4 miles long and travels North into Washington State.

Looking across the Columbia River to the mountains in Washington (another whole big new fun area to explore!

And of course, there's the ocean!

My and my son, his fiance and her son on Mother's Day. What a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day!

More to come! More to explore! 



Saturday, May 4, 2024

Feeling more at home.....

I've been here three months now (hard to believe).... and have been working VERY diligently trying to make this mobile home feel more like a "home". I've come a long ways from the day I moved in and every room was packed full of boxes!

As the saying goes.... "I've come a long way baby"!!!!!

My living room felt really bare without any carpeting.

I finally bought a new carpet and it looks OH so much better! It's warm and cozy now. What a difference a rug makes.

I looked online and at several stores. As a last ditch effort, I tried the Home Depot here, and found ONE only that I liked and had the colors I wanted. I was about ready to give up.

My son went and picked it up and helped me lay it. 

I would have liked it to be a little larger, but that's all they had in this design. I think it's a 9 x 11.

I love all the colors.... beige, gray, navy blue, burgundy, pink, teal and gold.

I wanted matching hallway runners, but they didn't have them. I couldn't order any either, so chose a different design with similar colors. I'm not happy with them.. they are too thin and slide around, but will do for now.

I found some off white carpeting for my bedroom. I had to get two smaller rugs.. one this lovely off white and cream, which I love (but the cats do too!).. and a similar rug which is a little more cream for the side of my bed (not shown).

This rug is so soft and cozy.. I splurged! I know this color won't last that long, but I'm enjoying it while it's still clean!

My bedroom was quite a dilemma has to how to decorate the walls. I just didn't know where to start. I have alot of framed family photos, like the ones where you can place 4 to 6 photos in the frame, and many many many! smaller framed photos.. I'm still not sure what to do with those, as I have no more surface areas. 

I kept the frames and pictures that I had in my Madras house, on the floor in my bedroom, hoping something would inspire me.

Then last week, I had gone to my chiropractor and was in the town of Longview, WA, about an hour from my house, and I stopped at my favorite fast food joint, Burgerville, for lunch! I have loved that restaurant for years and that one is closer to me than any other has been for the past 12 years! So I stopped, and right across the street, was a JoAnn's Fabrics! Of course I just HAD to go there and check out the paper crafting section.

And of course, I had to buy myself two new pads of beautiful papers..... on sale of course, and in wandering around the store, I found a wonderful home decor department, full of "beachy" throws, pillows, pictures, soft goods and other decor. I saw a canvas print that really caught my eye... then wandered some more.. then saw a throw pillow that caught my eye, and I thought hum.m.m. that sure matches my new colors (golds, peach, teals) and also it matches that picture so well.

Long story short.. after wandering, and going back to that one picture over and over, I decided to go ahead and get it. It was half price so what the heck!

And here is the finished product.. the one picture wall that I stressed over for almost 3 months! 

My "inspiration" picture is the vase and flowers. I love it! And that ruffled pillow matches so well!

When I first moved here, I decided I was tired of my pink walls and all pink in my other house bedroom, so wanted something with a brighter feel, so opted for a gold checkered quilt and shams, and also a white and gray striped quilt, and there is another one underneath that is a fluffy white. The gold in the pillow matches as if it were made to go with the set!

I like the darker tan of the walls.. it's a nice change from pink! I also put up my mom's cup and saucer rack and have found in various tubs and boxes, all of my china teacups and saucers, and they are showcased nicely there. I hope to paint the rack white this summer. I'll believe that when it happens......

To the right of my bed are two cream colored frames with photos of me and my parents, and me and my two sons... the tall skinny one is blank for now. I haven't decided what to put in as photos.

Three of my mom's china's plates are to the left of my bed, up high, and the white framed picture with pink and gold  under it (see below). My gold bicycle picture says "Life is a Beautiful Ride" and it surely is. I have tiny lights strung around it, for nighttime coziness.

I love this picture with the white frame, the wicker chair, flowers and pretty pitcher. I think it has enough gold in it to match my gold checked quilt. The pink surrounding it is the wall of my house in Madras, Oregon.

Here is my teacup rack, up close.... teacups I've collected since I was a child.

I still have more unpacking to do, and I'm running out of space! I knew that would happen. I'm using up every nook and cranny in this place!  I just finished yesterday, totally cleaning out my storage unit. I am so relieved! That was too expensive to keep, so everything is here now and most of it put away. 

I have a few more boxes to unload, which are currently sitting in my spare room, and in my closet. I'm also looking for one more bookshelf to put in my spare room, to add much needed storage area. I hope to find some matching tubs or baskets to place on the shelf, to put the rest of my treasures in. 

The spare bedroom is still a work in is my porch and my garden areas. I have a few flowers planted in the pots I brought, but my outdoor spaces have a long way to go!

I hope I can go out and play pretty soon! The next day I wake up to sunshine, I'm going to be out and about. It is SO beautiful here, and every time I drive to town, I'm in awe of the beauty of the Columbia River, the mountains to the north in Washington State, and the mountain just south of where I live.

Hugs all... Marilyn