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Sunday, August 4, 2019

July was full as usual.  The 4th of July has become my family holiday. The Salem Dixons stayed the night and extended the party.  Ariel's Mother was here from the Dominican Republic and it was fun sharing our traditions with her. Emily and Matthew both had to work, so we missed them this year. Mom and Dad and Lindy and Wally and Sandy and Jack and new pup, Sunny, came too. Lindy is still recovering from her foot surgery.  Dennis, Abby, Gabe and Daniel went to Italy with his work, so they didn't get to be with us this 4th.

 Josh was proud to show off his new car.  In the pic below, Josh and Josiah are waiting for firework time.  Not an easy thing to do for the kid who wants to light them.

This was the smoke from our firepit, it made pretty cool rays.
 Emily and Matthew were working on the 4th but came up for brunch the next Sunday. These two newlyweds are off to Europe for a whole month starting the first of August!
That afternoon, I went to celebrate my nephew David's marriage to Jennelle.  
 Rosibel and Jimmy and her new mother-in-law and her friend came out and made tamales.  They are made the Central American way of wrapping them in banana leaves instead of the Mexican way of using corn husks.  The leaves add moisture and flavor.  They are filled with meat, vegetables and rice.  We spent the morning putting them together and by early afternoon, we were filling our stomachs with them.
It has been a cloudy month.  Even though it has not been a rainy month and it has been warm, the clouds are usually covering the mountain for at least part of the day.
I don't care if they are weeds, the dandelions were so gorgeous by this fence I had to stop and get a photo.

 One of the few times we saw the mountain this month.
The flowers have been amazing this year.  Each new plant that blooms is loaded and such pretty color.  I decided to make a flower rainbow from some of them.
My morning porch time has been full of humming birds.  The come and go, some are so noisy with their clicking, and wings propelling the air, others come and go almost silently.  Then there are the fighters.  Sometimes they almost hit me as they dart around each other.

 I posted the red head one last month.   Here is the same bird, a whole different color, just by turning his head.
This little guy decided to have a little bath in the wet hosta leaves.  
Hummers are not the only morning visitors.
There is at least one rabbit.
 A few chipmunks and squirrels...
 and even a deer came for a visit!
 A lady bug 
and a few spider webs.

Somehow, I have ended up the class reunion organizer for three reunions.  This year was our 45th.  We had a fantastic turnout!  85 people attended, 50 of those were from our class. I delegated most of the work, saving my favorite part of table decorating for myself.
Jessi had to make an unexpected trip to the Dominican Republic for open heart surgery for her host father.  He was also superintendent for the school she was a nurse in when she lived there.  Alberto is a very special man in her life and there was no way she could stay home.  She flew down to be with his family for the surgery.  Ariel stayed home for work and that meant I got to have the kids off and on for a week!  Three overnighters even!  We had a fun, busy time together.
 My morning porch time was shared with the girls.
Earlier in the month, Arianna discovered how much fun paper dolls are when she found my old ones.  She played and played with them.
So I found some new paper dolls for them to cut out and play with of their own.  It was so fun sitting with them, cutting them out.  They did a really great job of cutting them out.
 We hiked down to the river for Josiah to fish, picking flowers along the way.
 Lina pulled off the daisy petals...he loves me, he loves me not...until the end...HE LOVES ME!!!
 Of course, it would be best to catch a fish, but he really doesn't seem to mind as long as he gets to try.  He brought along his new fly rod and seems to have it all figured out.
 Here is how I found the dresser after the girls put the Barbies away.  
 We went to the cheap matinee for a movie.  Josiah ate a whole large bucket of popcorn!
Here are a few random shots from our hike to the river.

 Deep Creek meets the Sandy River.
 Straight up from here is our house.

Friday, July 5, 2019

And just like that...June is gone.  Wow.  What can I do to slow things down?
The yard is amazing as always this time of year.  So many flowers!  For some reason, it seems like there is way less time working in the yard.  I guess I have the water in place still from last summer and the plants are doing great where they are, no need to move anything.  I go out about once a week and find a weed or two, do some pruning and sit back and enjoy my iced latte while I look at it all.

The mountain as always...gorgeous.

I love it when after the kids have left and I find a picture left on the easel.  Arianna did this one of her and me.  I love it that she even made us holding hands.
We took the kids on the 1 mile hike down to the river from our place.  Of course Josiah took his fishing pole.  We had a little picnic lunch and walked back.  It is a little steep coming out, but not as bad as the girls made it look as they collapsed on the living room floor once we got home.
Giant bubbles are always a hit.
One day, we delivered something into Jessi's place.  Josiah managed to sneak into the truck and came home with us for the afternoon.  Grandpa introduced him to wings and jojos from the corner market.  They were a hit!  I always love having the kids here, but it is special once in a while to just spend time with them one on one.  
Josiah felt bad about Bazzel dying.  He is worried about too many mice since Bazzel is not here to catch them.  he drew me a diagram on how we should set up a trap.
 Another afternoon, we took them to the park by the high school.  Once again, Josiah had his fishing pole.  This time he shocked us all by catching a HUGE bass!  Grandpa taught the girls how to make lizard catchers from grass.
They all had to take a turn riding their bikes down the huge hill by the park.
 And just when I stop missing my cat...I find one more item of his that makes me miss him all over again.  It is so unexpected and random that these little reminders jump out at me.
Since Bazzel is not here anymore, the little critters have been showing up.  So many little chipmunks now.  There is even a little bunny in the front yard.
 There is a hummingbird around that I have not noticed in the past years.  This guy has a totally red head that looks like he is wearing a hood.  His body is so dark it looks black. When he sits in the sunlight, I can see he is actually dark green.  From what I can figure out, it is a Anna's Hummingbird, just a little differently marked form the normal ones.
I have a feeder in a new place this year since we rebuilt the deck and moved the feeders to a new spot to keep the feed from ruining the new deck.  This little guy has decided to use my weather stick as a perch to guard the feeder.  The weather stick is a pretty cool thing.  My friend Irene had one and it was pretty fascinating.  In sunny weather it points upwards and in rainy weather it is down.  Just overcast, it is straight out.
There have been some strange clouds out in the canyon.  The photo on the left sure made me think of a funnel cloud. And that rainbow with the bolt cloud above it was pretty cool too.

The road crew left behind a pretty cool surprise after they raised the overpass on Hwy 26.
 Beautiful pink wildflowers!  I had to take my camera and get some photos one evening.

For our 45 anniversary, John and I went to Eastern Oregon and hiked into a few waterfalls that I have been wanting to shoot.  We had our anniversary dinner at the Pine Tavern in Bend.  The names on the rock were not put there by us, but I took the photo for the kids, they thought it was pretty funny.
The water on our hike by Sisters was so amazingly blue! 
Bear grass, also known as Indian Basket Grass
The first day, we hiked into Tamolitch Falls.  It is also known as Blue Pool  I can not believe that we had not gone here before.  It is a flat easy 2 mile hike into it.  I could not believe that there were not a zillion people there!  So gorgeous.  It is one of those times when I feel like I should take some of the color out so that people don't think I added color to it.  A woman there told us that the water coming over the falls is not normal, it has been extra rainy and it is the first time in 4 years that the water has flowed oved the falls.  The other water comes from underground springs and that is normal.
From there we drove to Sahalie Falls.  It didn't require a hike, you just get out of your vehicle and it is right there.  But we hiked on to Koosah Falls.

This is Koosah Falls.
The next day we went on to Tumalo Falls near Bend.
Once you get to the top of the falls, you can continue on up and there are a bunch more falls as you hike along.  It was beautiful.  We finally turned around because of all the mosquitos.  I had read about them online, but thought it was just somebody being wimpy and complaining. But we found out there were so many that it was annoying to even stop and take a photo, let alone have our lunch.  Next time, I will pay attention to the advice online and use some repellant. 
I always like it when they use natural things around to make bridges and keep things simple.
I arrived home to 45 red roses and one pink for the next year.  John started regretting that he had begun that on our first anniversary.  They were really getting expensive, and then Jessi told him about Costco roses.  Now for only 36 dollars he even got 2 extra!  And I don't mind at all arranging them in a vase.
We found this wind spinner in Sisters.  Just the thing we needed for the back yard.
and on to July!