Monday, December 29, 2008


I'm looking forward to watching as many bowl games as I can this week. I really like to watch college football, but don't really like pro football much any more. It is always nice when both of the Oregon PAC 10 teams are playing in bowls. Back in the 90's and before it was a rare occurrence when either Oregon or Oregon State were playing in the post season. Of course, that was before the proliferation of bowl games. Here's hoping that Oregon can break their recent history of losing in post season and that Oregon State can continue their string of bowl wins.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Snow and more Snow

It has snowed off and on for the past week. We had accumulated about a foot of snow in the back yard up through Saturday and I really got a good opportunity to test my new snow blower. When we got back from Canyon City on Christmas Day it had snowed about 4" and the wind has built some interesting drifts. I just had time to clear out the walkways before we went to Char's for dinner. I used the snow blower every day since we got it until today. It warmed up and didn't snow so I got a break from snow blowing. I'm really glad we got it. It still takes some effort to use it but it is much less tiring than using a snow shovel.
The snow level in the back yard has gone down to about 8" and fortunately it is melting slowly, so we shouldn't have any trouble with flooding. Most of our trouble with high water in this area comes with a sudden melt of the snow pack.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Jean and I went to Canyon City yesterday to do a Christmas Eve service at St. Thomas. We left about 3:30 in a snow storm and drove in snow all the way to Canyon City. We got there about 5:30 their time and all the restaurants were closed except Subway, so we had Subway sandwiches for dinner.

The service was super! The original 1876 oil lamps along with the altar candles were the only lighting and they provided the perfect mood. The singing was great and there were about 40 people present including the pastor of the Ukiah Presbyterian Church. The people of St. Thomas are well aware of the jewel that they have in that little rustic church and it's heart warming to see the way they work to keep it up. (In the 1870's there was a carpenter/priest named Ruben Nevius and he went through Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington building churches. He would build the building and stay long enough to get a congregation started and then move on. All told, he built over 30 churches and many are still in use. In Eastern Oregon there are at least 5.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Blower

I picked up my new snow blower this afternoon. As soon as I got it home I read the instructions, filled it with gas and oil and fired it up. I works just fine. I was blowing snow all over the neighborhood. It was more work than I had anticipated, since it is not self propelled I had to wrestle it through the deep snow. It is a lot easier than using a shovel. I will now find myself doing snow dances so I can use the machine. Need your sidewalk cleaned? Give me a call!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

I started snowing yesterday evening and has continued all day today. It is a very light fluffy snow, it's amazing how it has piled up, we have 8 to 10 inches on the ground. It has stopped now, but I think it's supposed to start again and snow through Tuesday. I'm hoping that it stops before Wednesday afternoon because Jean and I are going to Canyon City to hold a Christmas Eve service with them. We have to go over two mountain passes to get there and the snow can get a little deep up on the top. Not to fear, I have studded snow tires on the car and it will go just about any place I'm brave enough to take it.

I broke down and bought a snow blower today. I can't get it until I put the snow tires on the pickup and I'm sure that all of the procrastinators like myself will be at the tire store tomorrow wanting their snow tires put on. It used to be fairly simple because I had my snow tires mounted on their rims so all they had to do was to take the highway tires and rims off and put the snows on. I bought a number of sets of snow wheels which never fit the new car so I had to get new tires and rims. It got expensive so I stopped buying rims and just had them remount the snows on the same rims. Problem is that now they charge $60 to do that. You just can't win!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Cold Snap

The temperature has plummeted this evening. We didn't quite get above freezing today, but it was fairly nice. Then this evening as soon as the sun went down, so too did the temperature. It is now 6 degrees F, about as cold as it has gotten here in a number of years. When we first moved to far Eastern Oregon the winters were bitter cold. Always a few days of -25 degrees F. each year, but we haven't had that kind of cold for many years. Makes me happy that we have a down comforter on the bed. Sophia doesn't spend much time outdoors now, it's out and back in as soon as her business is done. Same with me, the only thing sticking out from under the covers is my nose. Just the same, I'm much happier here than in Arizona or Southern California. I like the four seasons, besides, when it is cold, it is clear (no snow).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Music

I hope that you enjoy my music list. I have become a great admirer of Iz, the guy who does the Somewhere over the Rainbow that I have listed at the top. I always felt that Judy Garland was the consummate singer for Over the Rainbow, but Iz's interpretation is so different that there is no basis for for comparison. I still love Judy's rendition, but I love Iz's too. It's too bad that he died so young; there is a wealth of golden oldies that would sound good in his style without detracting from the original. I think he could have done wonders with "Danny Boy". (my favorite song)

Friday, December 12, 2008

First Snow

Well, it started snowing this afternoon, the first snow of the season. I was pleased to see the snow coming down and quickly covering the ground. If it's going to snow, I want it to be a real snow storm, not some wimpy stuff that doesn't even get the lawn covered. However, I did have some misgivings because I no longer look forward to shoveling snow. If it's very deep, snow shoveling soon gets to be real work. Jean has offered to let me get a snow blower but I'm not sure I want to spend that much money on something that I may use once a year or so. It might be cheaper to give some kid $10 to do it. It would probably take at least 20 years of snowing to match the cost of a snow blower. I think I can take care of the snow by myself for a while longer. I don't think I'll be making any snow angels though. To my friends in the South enjoy the snow, it's really neat stuff.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Day of Infamy

Today is December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, "a day which will live in infamy", in the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States in 1941. I wasn't aware of the date until I fired up my computer and looked at the date on my blog. I had completely forgotten the date. I had seen nothing on TV or heard anything on the radio concerning the attack on Pearl Harbor Naval base which plunged the United States into World War II. It certainly changed my life, at the ripe old age of 2 I lost my father for the next 4 years while he went to war. Had the war not come, I'm sure Pa would have stayed in the sawmill until he retired and we would have remained in Bend until we were out of school. We might have even gone to work in the sawmill until we retired. As it was, when Pa returned from the South Pacific in 1945 he was restless and unhappy with his job at the mill and we began an oddessy that took us all over the state and ended with Pa losing a leg in a logging accident. I think that my brothers and I saw that there was a better way to make a living than working in the mill or the woods. So we all went to college and got degrees and jobs where we used our brains instead of our brawn. It may seem that I have drifted away from my title, but I'll get there.

We seem as a nation to have forgotten Pearl Harbor and have replaced it with 9-11. That's understandable since Pearl Harbor was 67 years ago and 9-11 was only 7. Who knows what disaster will replace 9-11 in our minds, I only hope that it's 60 years or so from now. I hope our wounds will have healed by the next one.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Great Poem

I stole this from Graham at Digging A Lot who
got it from

How to Hide Jesus by Steve Turner

There are people after Jesus

They have seen the signs.

Quick, let’s hide Him.

Let’s think; carpenter,

fishermen’s friend,

disturber of religious comfort.

Let’s award Him a degree in theology,

a purple cassock

and a position of respect.

They’ll never think of looking here.

Let’s think;His dialect may betray Him,

His tongue is of the masses.

Let’s teach Him Latin

and seventeenth century English,

they’ll never think of listening in.

Let’s think;


Man of Sorrows,

nowhere to lay His head.

We’ll build a house for Him,

somewhere away from the poor.

We’ll fill it with brass and silence.

It’s sure to throw them off.

There are people after Jesus.

Quick, let’s hide Him.


I always forget how quickly Christmas follows Thanksgiving. It's December already and I'm just now thinking about cards and gifts; and I know that even though I am thinking about cards and gifts Dec. 20 will be here and I will still be only thinking about cards and gifts. (That last sentence looks like St. Paul wrote it) I know that it is a sign of ageing to find time flying by and that, to a child, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is interminably long. I guess that I just won't dwell on the passage of time, there certainly isn't anything that I can do about it.

I think I'll get the fake tree out this weekend and get it decorated. Artificial trees are good when you want to have your tree up a long time. You don't have to worry about them becoming a torch. A priest friend calls trees put up before Dec 24 Advent Trees because the 12 days of Christmas begins with Christmas Eve and runs to Epiphany. Few people whom I know leave their trees up that long. Generally they're gone before New Years.