Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Sunday, June 30, 2019

06-30-2019 Small Town Times in Grants Pass Oregon

Current Location: Sunset House in Grants Pass on a clear summer day with temps in the 80’s

May is probably the most perfect month in Grants Pass, when the rhodies bloom

You probably noticed the giant gap in my writing between our return home from the cross country trip to Florida and our early May camping trip to Nehalem.  I know that I would notice in a year or two when I tried to find out what we were doing and there is nothing but empty space on the blog.  Ah well, I do have my calendars, both paper and Google, and the google calendar has a LOT of stuff in there. 

I always wanted a doublefile viburnum and here she is, growing great, even though bloomtime is short

I read that google calendar went down yesterday for a few hours.  Lucky for me I was busy elsewhere so avoided the complete panic that might have ensued.  Lately it is the only way I can begin to keep track of all the doctor, dentist, eye care, car repairs, hot tub installations with orientation, and other myriad appointments that seem to be filling up all our days.

We actually managed another camping trip in the midst of all this, just 2 nights at a local lake, but I will have to write about that one in a separate post.  This time I am going to try to recreate all the “stuff” that has kept us so busy for the last couple of months.

April was chilly and rainy, but it didn’t stop us from spending a lot of time and energy on cleaning up almost 3 months of winter and early spring debris in the yard.  I love our oaks, but they do drop a lot of “Stuff’.  We managed several dump loads and by Easter everything was clean and fresh and flowers were blooming. 

We also spent some time working with Jared, probably the most amazing tile setter around, who managed to install our antique tiles on the backsplash in the kitchen.  It was amazing to see the tiles go in, and Jared charged us quite a bit less than his original bid because we did all the arranging and planning ourselves and all he had to do was stick them to the wall.

I got to use some of my quilting experience and quilters might notice the repeating nine-patch design, including borders.  The most amazing part of the entire process is that those tiles fit exactly in the 18 inch space between the granite and the upper wall, no cutting required.  We also decided to follow the new trend of not grouting between the tiles. 

Love the look, and Jared was delighted that he didn’t have to try to wipe grout from all those carved intricate tiles. The backsplash really made a difference in the look of the kitchen.  One more thing checked off for completing our Sunset House.

No, it isn’t really curved like that, but I wanted a shot of the entire thing, and the distortion is from the panorama

Another addition to Sunset House that has been waiting for the right time is our hot tub.  We needed to have an additional deck built adjacent to the bedroom to accommodate the tub. We are lucky to have a good relationship with the subcontractors who worked on our house, and when we called Joel about building the deck, he found time in his very busy schedule to come and build it for us. 

We had the same luck with the painters, and Eric and Ian showed up in record time when the deck was completed to get it stained in time for the hot tub delivery.  The entire process went smoothly, and within a week from starting the deck, we had a hot tub bubbling just steps outside the bedroom door.  Ahhhhh…..we had a hot tub in Rocky Point, but when that house sold in late 2016 our hot tub evenings were no more. 

Nothing like a good soak before bed to ease old joints. The pink light is reflected from the sunset view that we have from the hot tub.  Stars are more rare this time of year since we don’t often stay up late enough to see them.

In the midst of house and yard projects, we enjoyed some good family times.  For some reason, Easter is the family holiday where almost everyone manages to make their way to Sunset House for our family time.  We invited the neighbors as well, and instead of our usual brunch we cooked a traditional ham dinner with a ham from our local butcher shop. 

Melody’s guy Robert made his famous deviled eggs again, and as the years go by, it has become a family tradition to enjoy Robert’s eggs with our family dinners, but definitely they are perfect for Easter.  The only hard part was keeping everyone from eating them before he could get the halves filled with his yummy, savory egg stuffing.  They are very popular here!

Jeanne from Vermont just happened to be here visiting on Mother’s Day weekend, and while our time together was short, it was precious.  Jeanne didn’t want to intrude, but I convinced her to stay around for Mother’s Day brunch. Deborah and Matthew shared the day with me this year, and instead of our usual outing for a Mother’s Day brunch in town, Deborah offered to make brunch for me right here at home.  She came over early on Sunday morning with her incredibly yummy eggs benedict casserole and enough hollandaise sauce to keep us all happy.  She also roasted some fresh asparagus with bacon and seasonings that was the best I ever had.  Yum.

After brunch, we sent Deb and grandson Matthew off to do some projects around his place and Mo and I wandered downtown to enjoy the 25th Annual Native American Arts Festival & Mothers Day Pow Wow at Riverside Park. We learned that this is an annual event and the largest native event in Southern Oregon. The biggest surprise was that in addition to traditional dancing and drumming, there were Aztec Dancers from the Bay Area that were incredibly good.  I hadn’t heard of Aztec Dancers before this and discovered that much like Tribal Belly Dancing, performed by people of many cultures, they are people who are dedicated to preserving the traditions and rituals of the pre-Hispanic culture through the expression of dance and ceremony. They perform at various special events throughout the year and regularly at powwows.

Three of the basic forms of Aztec dance were performed; ceremonial rituals, concheros (a rhythmic and slow dance performed to the music of armadillo shell guitars), and warrior dancers, which are very colorful and energetic. It was a new experience for us and incredibly entertaining.

Memorial Day doesn’t have quite the effect that it used to when we were working and treasured the long holiday weekend.  Now in retirement, we tend to avoid camping on those big holidays and lay low.  This year, however, we decided that it would be fun to check out our local Memorial Day Parade.  It was a perfect day, not too hot, and beautifully clear.  The parade was everything a small town Memorial Day parade should be, with bands, and kids, and flags, and lots of different kinds of displays to honor the military.  We took our folding chairs and parked them right on the sidewalk to watch the parade.  Arriving only an hour early got us great seats.  It was a fun day.

Just a few days later, on my Saturday morning foray to the Farmer’s Market I happened on the annual car show that is held in conjunction with our local Balloon Festival.  We had decided to skip the balloon fest, with no need to fight the crowds to see a few balloons.  Instead, when I saw how great the cars were at the downtown show, I went back home to get Mo and we wandered the streets together oohing and ahhing at all the great old cars.  These vintage bikes in the back of an old Ranchero were my favorite!

A couple of times we made our way 15 minutes south into the Applegate Valley to enjoy Friday night wine and wood fired pizzas with live music on the patio.  We love Schmidt Vineyards, not so much for their wine, which is Ok but not our most favorite, but the gardens and parklike atmosphere is just wonderful.  The wood fired pizzas are really great, too. Driving down the Applegate Valley in late afternoon so beautiful and this is one of our favorite places to be on a Friday evening.

One evening in June, as we were settling in I got a text message from Gayle and Wes, our friends who live in Arizona, letting us know that they were going to be in town the following Tuesday and were we going to be around.  I was so glad they let us know ahead of time because we had planned our camping trip for Tuesday and it was easy to postpone it and have a nice time visiting friends. 

This time they didn’t stay long enough for a meal, but I managed to put out some of my favorite little cheesy tartlet things that were a hit.

We also had some surprise visits from friends Maryruth and Gerald from California.  They decided that it was time to leave Oroville and the scary fires that have plagued the Sierra Nevada foothills for so many years.  Their home is in the midst of dry oak woodland, and they have been evacuated 3 times in the last 2 years.  After both of them living their entire lives in California, they have decided to come to Oregon.

I totally forgot to take photos because we were so busy trying to look at houses, but here is a photo from their visit last year when we drove over to Brookings

It was nice that they could stay with us when a house appeared on the market that they wanted to see.  The process was agonizing, with most properties being sold literally overnight, and we all were losing hope that they would find what they need and want.  Finally it is a done deal, and my lifetime friend of 56 years will be living just a mile away from me by the end of August.  Maryruth and I look at each other and shake our heads.  We had no idea that this would ever happen.  I am really looking forward to having them in town and happy that we all get along so well.

Another small town activity that I had read about in years past and never managed to attend was our local Grants Pass Porch Fest. In one of the nicer historic neighborhoods of town, people open up their porches to local musicians, the streets are closed down for walking, and there are food and craft vendors as well.  The music was typically folk and bluegrass type music, but there were also jazz and blues bands, vocalists, guitarists, and other kinds of musicians.  It was fun, although sometimes it was a bit disconcerting to be hearing 2 or 3 bands playing at once from different directions.  Again, it was a gorgeous day, cool enough for walking and yet warm in the sunshine. We enjoyed it thoroughly, the best of small town life and entertainment.

The photo above captures the feeling of that day, with old friends meeting each other and laughing, kids running around playing, and everyone having a great time listening to the music.

Somehow in the midst of all this activity, we managed to attend to an ongoing list of appointments for all sorts of things.  I went to Eugene to see my daughter, my friend Joanne, and to see my urologist checking up on my surgery from 2015.  Mo managed to get successful cataract surgery for both eyes, and we counted a total of 12 different appointments to get that process completed, including the pre and post op visits.  Sheesh.

Neither of us is “sick”, but the mechanics of things seem to be wearing out and time for some repairs. Between the two of us, knees, wrists, ankles, hips, and the like have kept us busy visiting all the various specialists.  I still can’t figure out why a wrist orthopedist is different than an ankle orthopedist, and from a knee doctor.  Sheesh!  Sp many appointments!  I think we are almost done for the time being, except for carpel tunnel surgery scheduled for Mo next month. We should be good to go after that for a few more miles I hope.

The apartments were a bit more charming before the EPA took out all the vegetation

In the midst of all the appointments, Mo decided that it was time to sell the apartments in Klamath Falls.  The EPA project is completed, the papers are signed and the property has been certified safe and good to go.  We thought it might take a bit of time to get it on the market and sold, but to our surprise is sold for cash in just 2 days.  Surely were happy about that, although we did have to pack up the last of our leftover stuff that was in Apartment B and bring it all home to Sunset House. 

Last Day at the Apartments

Last view up Old Fort Road from Apartment B

Finally we are completely through with moving.  It was a process that began in 2015 with the sale of my house in Klamath Falls, in 2016 with the sale of Mo’s house in Rocky Point, in 2017 with the demolition of the Cottage and building of Sunset House, and then finally this year with the sale of the apartments.  We now have only one home to manage.  Finally. 

As I sit here writing, I can see why I might have let the blog slip.  The days sort of run together until I actually look at the calendar and the photos and realize that we have been on the go much more than I realized.  Time to slow down and enjoy the summer. It’s a dog’s life for sure.



24 comments:

  1. Loved your catch up blog! I’m thinking you guys have been busier than the two of us!

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    1. Well, we both have been pretty busy, and I am enjoying all your forays into the mountains that you write about in gorgeous Montana. Good to hear that you are having time to do fun stuff as well as work stuff.

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  2. Wow! Great catch up post! Lots of interesting things happened.

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    1. Thank you! I actually didn't realize there were that many interesting things going on until I actually tried to write the catchup blog!

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    1. Thank you Pat, nice to know you are reading. Like you, I do miss the old google plus days, although I wasn't nearly as prolific over there as you were.

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  4. With all your wonderful traveling tales...there's no place like home.Fantastic job on Sunset House!

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    1. Not sure if this is you, Clancy, but if so, thanks for reading. Love seeing your photos of New York on Facebook, and I do hope I am talking to the right person!

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    2. Sorry Sue,I'm not Clancy...I'm Rick following you from Florida and Maine.

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  5. So nice to hear from you again and glad you are enjoying life, Love you new home now that you are finally settled.

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    1. Thanks, George. I do try to keep up at least a little bit. It is great to be settled in.

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  6. So happy to hear from you two and what you have been up to. One of these days I am coming to visit --Grants Pass is one place I have never been----my goal is to go from Pendelton to Portland along the Columbia and down I 5 to just inside the California border and all the way up 101 through Oregon and Washington to the San Juan Islands----I will let you know when I will be in your area---

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    1. Hmmm...wish I knew who you might be. Wracking my brain....

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    2. Followed you for a long long time-- i used to have a blog called elevenfootrv -- i dont write to you often but follow you every time you post!!

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  7. Whew! Busy weeks and months for sure. I often wonder where time has gone when it seems like we have not been doing much. Then I look at the calendar and I have an "aha moment." This post will be your "aha moment" when you look back on this time.

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    1. We have become queens of the catch up post. I'm glad no one seems to mind. Definitely an aha moment looking at the calendar.

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  8. lots and LOTS going on!!! had to laugh at your google calendar not working.... that is how i keep track of things now. I had a nitemare the other nite, woke up all sticky, sweaty.. my purse had been stolen and the thought of replacing all of that stuff!!! THEN i thought of my phone and calendar and tried to think in my head what all my appointments were.... took me awhile before i realized, my purse was right where it was supposed to be, i did not loose it, it was NOT stolen, i did not have to replace anything, did not have to try to remember all of my appts!!!! SOOOOO i know how u felt at the prospect of it being off line for even a tiny little bit!!!!

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    1. Sure am glad that was just an awful dream! Amazing how we have come to be so dependent on this computer stuff. Mo keeps a paper calendar, so basically I am always covered, at least as long as she writes stuff down.

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  9. Seems that sometimes life gets in the way and just keeps us busy. Don't know how I'd keep track if I didn't write on the calendar, journal daily, take photos and blog. Love the tiles, and the tea kettle. Would love to have a hot tub and even looked at portable ones but they are just too heavy and bulky. Wonderful to have family and friends time at your beautiful home. Pow Wow is always fun. I have seen Aztec fire dancers. Small town festivals can be fun if not too crowded. Great catchup post. I hope to be a fall visitor.

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    1. That is exciting news, Gaelyn! I hope you are a fall visitor as well, just not between late September and early October since we will be at ABQ for the balloon festival. Any other time is great. You can even tryout the hot tub

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  10. Yup, same here. Nothing going on, but everything's going on! Between doctor visits, precious two-year-old granddaughter overnighters, hiking to stay in shape, and yard work, etc., etc., where do the days go? Plus, I lost my Iphone (oh no!) and today we're going to the Verizon store to buy a new one. Curious about the Batchelder tile -- if you don't grout between the tiles, how do you keep the crud out?

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    1. So glad you got a new phone. As far as grouting goes, if it were in an area with water it would need to be grouted, but since the sink is in the island, I don't get crud on the backsplash. If anything would happen to get up there, a gentle wipe would handle it.

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  11. I loved reading this post and seeing your photos. I know I've said it before, but you two live well. :-) Those hometown celebrations look like fun, and make me miss the celebrations in Ashland. I have to remember that Porch Fest!

    Your home and gardens are so beautiful. And the tile backsplash is fabulous! No tile cutting and no grout?? We need to put up a new tile backsplash in our kitchen and I hope we'll be that lucky. I didn't realize that no grout was an option. (Love tile, hate grout!)

    Happy summer!

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    1. The only reason we didn't have to grout is that there is no water anywhere near that backsplash. The sink is in the island and the stove has a back to it that protects the wall. So no icky stuff can get to the tiles. I don't really do anything messy in that part. Maybe a little flour by the baking section? LOL We were pretty excited about the no grout thing for sure! Thanks for commenting, and travel safe. Curious where you are about now, but sooner or later I'll find out. Big hugs from us.

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