South Falls at Silver Falls State Park

South Falls at Silver Falls State Park
South Falls at Silver Falls State Park

Sunday, April 24, 2022

04-20-2022 A Sweet April Part 1

At last I am getting back to writing about the beautiful month of April.  What I call “Green Leaf Day” burst in its full backlit glory on exactly April First.  The skies were gorgeous early in the month and Mo and I spent several days mowing, weeding, trimming, hauling, and enjoying the beautiful weather.  


Deb and Mo in the Expo court yard at the Oregon Cheese Festival

We began the month of April with a fabulous visit to the Oregon Cheese Festival in nearby Central Point at the Jackson County Fair Expo.  The event has been cancelled for the last two years because of Covid, and in previous years it seemed that we were either traveling, or caught up in something and too busy to attend. Searching the memory banks, I discovered the last time we attended the festival was in 2012!

This time we went with Daughter Deborah and had a great time. In addition to artisan cheeses from all over Oregon, there were wineries, breweries, and distilleries, offering tastes of their specialties.  It was a lovely, sunny day, and I purchased a ridiculous amount of yummy cheese, but Deborah bought even more than I did.

Then on April 9 the snow came, not just flurries, but real snow that actually stuck and turned everything white.  Since that date, the days have been many variations of cold, wet, rainy, a little bit snowy, blustery, and not conducive to doing much outdoor work.  Mo still manages to keep busy with various repair projects around the place, either in her wood shop or in the RV shed.

This part of Oregon has seen more rain this month that we received throughout January, February, and March.  It is a blessed relief to hope that maybe the hot, dry, scary days of summer will be a bit delayed and maybe, just maybe the fires might not come as early as they have in the last few years.  I am writing this on May 10, and we have yet to spread the gravel we ordered at the first of the month or begin setting up the sprinklers.  Last year at this time I was irrigating daily.

We have no problem entertaining ourselves when it is damp and cold.  I spent time quilting, making some placemats for friends.  My favorite part of quilting is playing with my stash of fabrics, deciding what I want to put together into something useful.

I decided to try a mail order meal program called, “Hello Fresh”, and had great fun cooking.  I cook a lot, but like most cooks I have a style of my own.  My tendency to repeat certain seasonings and flavorings and ways of cooking is no doubt similar to most cooks.  I also get bored sometimes with trying to come up with something for dinner…again. 

With the Hello Fresh program, I chose 3 or 4 meals for a week for not much more than it would have cost me to shop and purchase the ingredients.  It was a kick, and I learned some new cooking techniques and alternative seasonings and sauces.  If nothing else, it got me out of my cooking rut.  I won’t continue much longer, but in the mean time, so far, Mo has enjoyed every one of the meals we have chosen.

I let myself get lost in puzzles again, wondering how I spent 75 years of my life without getting addicted to this simple, but engrossing pastime. 

Just before Easter, I got a call from Daughter Deanna, who lives in northern Washington State.  She and husband, Keith, needed to drive south for a quick overnight to pick up some equipment for her company in Central Point.  It was a quick trip, without much time for visiting, but we managed to get all of us together for a delightful afternoon at the local Applebee’s.  Daughter Melody drove south from Eugene for the get-together.  It was the first time in a long time that I have had all three daughters together.  Even for only a few hours, over margueritas and a good meal, it was a special time for me.

The next day the deck chairs that we had ordered from Home Depot arrived.  They turned out beautifully, but thank goodness Mo was around to manage all those screws and bolts.  What a project!!  We are happy to have nice, sturdy, comfortable chairs to share with guests when we dine on the deck in the future.

With the dreary weather I wasn’t inspired much to bring in all the Easter décor, but once I did I was glad I had done it.  All those bunnies and the cute pastel stuff can make even a dreary day seem like spring.

Easter was simple, with our friends Maryruth and Gerald joining us with Daughter Deborah,  and Grandson Matthew.  We made a very traditional meal, with a wonderful ham from our local meat specialty shop and the traditional green beans with bacon and scalloped potatoes.  Deborah made a yummy lemon cake that was so good.

Other sweet times for me included my bi-weekly Tuesday morning coffee date with friend Kristin and her adorable daughter Ruby.  It’s kinda nice when a sweet little girl greets me with big hugs and hellos.  I met Kristin through the book club, and while there are many nice ladies there, Kristin has become a true friend, a delight.

The entire month of April was filled with the fragrance of our huge, old lilac bush.  I have no idea how old it is, and I am sure that it has never received any irrigation or much care over the decades.  I have started attempting to trim the suckers from the base each year.  The long, chilly spring was good for the flowers.  The lilacs lasted for weeks, the tulips opened, and stayed fresh and full without blowing out from the heat as they normally do. 

The grass grew fast enough I had to try to find time to mow in between rains at least once a week and Mo managed to mow the pasture a few times as well.  I am grateful for the cool, moist rains, but I am also very ready for some sunshine and warmth.  The gardens are waiting, the gravel needs spreading and the sprinklers need work!


9 comments:

  1. I loved this blog post! Beautiful photos and cheerful, upbeat writing! We too are welcoming the moisture we've had since returning to Montana. Our flowers are a long time from blooming although my lilac bush does have leaves. Our morning temps are very chilly--it was 25 degrees yesterday morning and 27 degrees this morning--not conducive to flower planting! Your Easter decor is lovely!! A friend keeps sending me Hello Fresh emails--I haven't taken the plunge yet as Mike is such a picky eater. Again--such a happy post to brighten my morning!

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    1. oh, I knew it would be cold there in Montana. We had snow here on Sunday, so of course Montana is still very cold. Nothing before Memorial Day up there no matter what, and maybe into June. I laughed at your comment about Mike being a picky eater. Mo is as well, and I wasn't sure it would work, but I choose well and so far she has loved every single meal. It might be ok for you to try it for that first free week that you get from friends. All you have to pay is shipping and I think your get four meals. It is easy to quit, I just haven't yet because I am enjoying it. I can't tell you how much YOUR comment on this post brightend MY morning! LOL I always think these chatty around home posts are kind of silly, but then I remember how much I enjoy yours. So you inspire me to write them even when I have a bit of writer's block.

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  2. I am jealous of the lilacs. Grew up with a delightfully smelling hedge I played under. Nice to see the family get togethers. Also happy to hear you're getting moisture to hopefully stave off the summer fires. Wonder if there's a service that sends the food and the cook as well. ;)

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    1. Funny about the food with a cook to put it together...and pretty sure in our income level we couldn't pay anyone to do it. In fact, Maryruth didn't like the service because she likes to cook and decided that if she had to cook the stuff, she might as well do her own thing. So far so good for me, I am still learning new techniques and flavors, but I do imagine that will eventually wear out and I'll quit the service. I, too, love lilacs. It wasn't cold enough for them in Southern California where I grew up so when I left in the 60's I was so happy to live in a world where lilacs and peonies thrived with the winter cold.

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  3. Such beautiful, colorful flowers to add to your delight in spring. Lilacs are one my favorites. You guys sure kept busy and I bet it was a thrill to have all three daughters with you ... even if for a short time. I said before on Facebook that I love that puzzle ... it brings back great memories. We have two puzzles from during the height of the pandemic that Mui wants to frame and put up behind the bar ... waiting for a reasonable frame-pricing sale to do so. Enjoy your deck furniture. I'm going to play around with our set-up here ... switch the table and lounge chairs so that the loungers are in the shade. Not sure it's going to work, but I'll try anyway.

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    1. I can see why you might want to lounge in the shade rather than that brilliant Colorado sunshine! It is funny, we work on the puzzles, finish in a big flourish, taking turns as to who gets to put in the last piece. We look at them for a minute, I take a photo, and wham! Time to pick the whole thing up and put it back in the box. A fun thing is that Maryruth and Gerald also like Eric Dowdle puzzles so we each have bought several that we then share. I think they framed a couple before they realized that wasn't going to work. We have no wall space left, so puzzles don't get framed around here.

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  4. Kind of weird to have a dry winter (Jan-Feb-Mar) and then a wet April ... and May! But that's what we in NorCal and Oregon had. At least we have plenty of things to do inside when the weather is frightful, or at least not very nice! I love your quilting, your work is wonderful, the colors you choose fantastic. Lucky you to see all your girls in one place at the same time. Know that had to be special. Here's hoping the summer isn't too hot or smoky.

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    1. Yes, the wet spring was definitely a surprise after three months of no rain. Not complaining in the least, just wondering as usual what the summer will bring. It is a wait and see for sure, there is no predicting even with the wet springs. Glad you like the colors. As I said, that is my favorite part of quilting, that and sharing the goodies with people I love.

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  5. I don’t understand how I missed this post but better late than never hopefully. A LOT of people at the cheese festival. So like what happened here to see your lovely spring flower pictures followed a week later by snow. Really hoping all your rain and snow will protect you through the dryer days.

    Your quilt work is really lovely. Lucky friends. I’m very intrigued by Hello Fresh. David was the cook during our travels so I’m out of practice and motivation. I hate coming up with ideas and shopping and cooking. But don’t want to eat trash either. Interesting to hear you say that you ordered 3 or 4 meals for not much more than it would cost you for the ingredients. I’m going to look into it. Thanks for the info. Hope they aren’t all meat. My cholesterol numbers won’t like that.

    I CANNOT believe the puzzles you two do. 500 pieces is my max and if it’s something like the two beagles Carrie gave me, black/white/brown, even that takes FOREVER and I lose motivation. Such a WONDERFUL picture of you and your 3 lovely daughters. I can’t even imagine raising so many children but you are definitely getting the pay off now.

    I love your deck chairs. They are so attractive. Envy you having Mo for assembly. Great Easter decorations and a wonderful sounding meal with good company around the table. I had a beautiful and very old lilac bush at the farm that I loved but somehow the person taking care of the property while we were gone let it get overgrown and it was impossible to save. I’m still so sad about it. Wonderful to see yours so healthy and I can imagine how it smells divine.

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