Friday, November 28, 2008

Green flower, cotton, take one.

I finished my sweater (a couple of weeks ago, actually--just hadn't gotten around to posting about it yet). I wore it to church and got Doug to take some pictures for me afterward. This is the first pattern I've done from the Japanese books that I got.

I've decided I really like charted patterns. The construction of this one was kind of complicated, but once I got started it wasn't too hard to figure out. (I still managed to mess up a couple of rounds and had to tear them out, just from not paying close enough attention to the chart.)

It came out a little smaller than I was expecting, after seeing Catheryn's. I asked her about it and she said she used the sport weight rayon Petalspun, and not bedspread weight after all. Maybe I'll try that later. (It looks like it hangs nicer, too.)

I've already ordered some more books. Yikes.

Giving Thanks

We went over to Ross and Cathryn's house for Thanksgiving, and had a lovely meal and a nice visit. Kate had a great time playing with their youngest daughter. After dinner we sang some Thanksgiving hymns and patriotic songs, and then we cut out paper snowflakes with the girls. Thanks for having us over!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Coming Home

We took the train back Wednesday morning. Brian and Rachel were on the same train with us, going up to Portland, so we had breakfast together in the dining car.

We'd had to get Kate up early to catch the train, and she was pretty droopy during breakfast. We thought she might take a nap afterwards, but as soon as we got back to our seats she perked back up and was bouncing off the walls again.

There was a lot of snow in the mountains, and a lot of trees that looked like this right next to the train track:

It was so pretty! Kate was impressed. She was sitting looking out the window and making up a song about Arctic animals.

We went through a lot of tunnels and snow sheds that we hadn't been able to see at all on the way down, because it was so dark. We were in the last car of the train so I took a few pictures out the back window. The window was really dirty, as you can see, but the pictures are kind of cool.

There were lots of neat misty areas too.

Somewhere between Chemult and Eugene the snow ended. I completely missed the transition, since I was downstairs at the time, getting Kate into a new shirt after a mishap.

Kate plays with her dinosaurs in the dining car. ("Ah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")

I did a lot of crocheting, finished reading A Girl of the Limberlost just in time for book club, and started on The Hero of Ages. We like the train! We'll have to do it again some time. (Hopefully for a happier occasion.)

Snow and a Funeral

The morning of the funeral, this is what we woke up to:

About four or five inches of snow. (Okay, Doug says it wasn't that much.) We were quite unprepared but bundled up as best we could. The man whose trailer we were staying in shoveled a path for us.

Kate had fun making "pootfrints" in the snow.

We were worried about what the weather was going to be like at the cemetery, but once we got out of the Round Lake area and onto the main road, it looked like this:

Surprise! (That's the snow on the hood of the car, down at the bottom of the picture.)

The funeral was at the Keno branch chapel. (There was some snow falling during the service, but not really any on the ground.)

Doug's mom made this sign to go with the greenery arrangement during the viewing. I wasn't able to get a really good picture of the arrangement. It looked really nice on top of the casket for the service.

I remember Doug's dad once telling me that he didn't want to retire because he felt like if he stopped working he would die. He was at work when he had his heart attack. Drew's closed the store down for a couple of hours for the funeral, leaving someone behind to answer the phones, and everyone else came.

The service was very nice. All the kids spoke (Doug read his poem). Kate fell asleep on me, which was a surprise. She must have been really tired. We had a nice lunch afterwards. Doug and I sat with a couple of guys from Drew's and enjoyed talking to them.

The cemetery was just across the border in Dorris, California. Al was buried next to his in-laws (Doug's Grandma and Grandpa Henry).

Doug helps the bagpiper tune his drones. (He didn't know "Dark Island" so he just played "Amazing Grace").

At the graveside.

It was cold!

Six kids and Mom. Craig, Al (Jr.), Brian, Doug, Erika, Mom, Melody.

I know everyone was concerned about how Mom would be after we all left. I'm sure it's a difficult time. Melody stayed on another week to help with the transition. Al was instrumental in getting her set up with a cell phone and internet access and everything, so we could all keep in touch. She'll be coming up to stay with us for a while when the baby's born.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flowers for Grandpa

While looking at caskets and floral arrangements (this was before we got there), the family members on site decided that, in addition to being froofy and overpriced, the flowers just didn't seem quite right for Dad. So someone hit on the idea of taking the grandkids out in the woods to gather things that reminded them of Grandpa, and putting together an arrangement from that.

The excursion happened the day before the funeral. Doug was fighting a cold (which Kate and I caught after we got home--oh joy) and Kate wanted to stay with him, so I went along and took pictures of Melody's kids and Erika's kids.

We went to an old-growth area just a few blocks away from the house. The kids had bags of various sorts to put things in. It was kind of cold and damp, but not actually raining right then, which was good.

Uncle Brian carries on the "pitch wood" tradition.

Maddy helps her little brother Grayson.

Sabin likes stomping on rotting logs.

Cousins Chloe and Maddy.

Melody's oldest, Taylor, who once took a nap on my stomach when he was about nine months old. It's rather unnerving to realize how much time has passed.

Maddy again.


Back at the house, we had to wait till after dinner to clean off the kitchen table and spread everything out and get to work. Doug's mom ended up doing most of it herself, with a lot of kibitzing from some of the female contingent.

Margit (Al's wife) and Shellee (Craig's wife).

Craig oversees.

Nadine and her mom.

I had to take Kate to bed and wasn't around for much of the process, and didn't get to see the final result till the next day at the funeral. It did turn out really nice, and I thought it was a great way to have the kids contribute.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


(I was planning on having this all done some time ago--Kate and I have both been sick and cranky. Not fun. Anyway, here's more from Oregon.)

Doug's mom lives in the Round Lake area outside of Klamath Falls. Family converged from Portland, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Southern California. Everyone was there. Doug's sister Melody mentioned that it was the first time all six kids had been together since her wedding, which I think was about fourteen years ago. It was wonderful that everyone was able to come, though unfortunate that it had to be for such an event. (And, ironically, we'd been talking about having a reunion next summer.)

There was a constant stream of food through the door, brought over by neighbors and friends from church, and they even contributed trailers for people to sleep in. I think there were three trailers in the driveway, and Doug, Kate, and I ended up sleeping in a little trailer in a neighbor's back yard across the street. It was really a great thing to see so much sympathy and support.

Kate enjoyed playing with Grandma's toys (especially Hungry Hungry Hippo) but she was rather overwhelmed by having so many cousins around, so it was nice to have a quiet place to go.

Cousin Lonnie and his wife Martha drove down from Puyallup with 7-8 pounds of Alaskan halibut, which they fried up for dinner. It was so good. (Kate just gobbled it up and kept asking for more.) Lonnie is about the best cook ever. When I heard he was coming down, I said, "Can we get him to cook for us?" Mmmmmm.

The group shot (taken on Brian's camera. I really need a wide-angle lens). Six kids and their families--fifteen grandkids and three great-grandkids. The youngest great-grandchild isn't in the picture. I think she was at her grandma's house that evening. Unfortunately we didn't get a shot in which Kate wasn't either looking away from the camera or looking possessed.

Family picture! Awwww!

Melody and her youngest, Jarom (another December baby). Melody is my age and served a mission in Japan while I was in Korea.

Nadine's little boy Tyson (one of the great-grands) crawled up behind Kate a couple of times and tugged on her hair, at which she turned and hollered, "Hey! Don't do that!" and I said, "Better get used to it, kiddo!"

Friday, November 07, 2008

All Aboard!

We caught the Coast Starlight (Amtrak) at 10:30 Saturday morning, headed down to Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Doug and Kate on the platform, watching the train approach.

We boarded at station 11, so we got Kate to find the 11 for us. On the way out she "found" all the other numbers, too, and read them to us as we pulled out.

I took Kate up to the lounge car so I could point out Titlow Park as we passed. When we go to the park it's always a big deal when the trains go by. Now we've seen it from both sides!

Going under the Narrows Bridge. We'd been under once in a boat a few years ago, when there was only one bridge.

Mist near Olympia.

I did a lot of crocheting on the train. Yes, I caved and started one of those Japanese patterns, even though I haven't finished my painting. (The painting would have been much harder to take along.)

Lunch in the dining car, near Portland.

Kate was kind of bouncing off the walls, and finished eating before we did, so our waiter brought her some crayons so she could draw on the paper table cloth. This was my contribution, from a Korean train song. I know I spelled it completely wrong.

After Portland Kate finally conked out and slept for a while. She gave up naps a long time ago, but will still occasionally succumb to the lullaby of the moving vehicle.

This was my first time on Amtrak. It was nice to be able to get up and move around, and check out the different parts of the train. The seats were pretty comfortable, too (we liked the leg rests). And it probably would have taken us about the same amount of time to drive it. Once it got dark, though, going through the mountains, it was completely pitch black outside and looking out the window became considerably less interesting.

We got into Klamath Falls a little before 10:00. Doug's mom and his brother Al picked us up at the station.