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The Road to Vernonia…home of the Ax Men, Ring of Fire, and a charming little town!

One Sunday we  took a leisurely drive from our St. Helens home near the Columbia River to the historic town of Vernonia. Winding our way from the flat lands up towards the gossamer clouds it would be easy to pretend we were entering  Misty Mountain territory from Lord of the Rings.

It takes about an hour to travel the twisting thirty-one miles into tall-tree country. (That is if you don’t stop for pictures)

Vernonia’s history is rooted in the timber industry. Magnificent giant trees dwell on hillsides like skyscrapers dominate downtown San Francisco.

Vernonia’s famous Big Gun Logging team is part of the History Channel Ax Men series.

And the 1961 film Ring of Fire, starring David Janssen and Frank Gorshin, was partially filmed in Vernonia.

 

 

Arriving in this charming town, with a population of a little over 2,200, we were greeted by a winsome old hip-roofed barn.

 

I am crazy about bridges, and could not resist getting a photo of this stalwart structure…..

 

 

Imagine this gallant framework resisting the menacing floodwater of the Nehalem river….

 

The Nehalem River did jump it’s banks and flooded this quaint little town in December of 2007. 

 

We found parking next to a grocery store that is definitely “parent friendly!” I’ve NEVER seen this before. I’m impressed.  How accommodating…how touching….how thoughtful!

 

We strolled down the sidewalk to the Black Bear Coffee Company on Bridge Street.

 

Our delicious hamburger was only outdone by my fantastic Bloody Mary…and it was true, as one of my friends noted, “there’s a salad on top of your drink.”

The service was terrific and the atmosphere delightful. We’ll be returning to the Black Bear Coffee Company.

 

Leaving the carpets of ferns….

 

….and the moss covered tree trunks….( Was that an elf darting into that opening?)

 

….felt like we were leaving a fairy-tale world….

….but I know that the road leading out of Vernonia, can take me back anytime I want!

 

 

Author’s Challenge….a fun game for writers….

My Chiweenie, Duke, loves to help me write!

There’s a writer’s game being played on Facebook….and one of my author friends invited me to participate! I was thrilled since I haven’t an agent, or a published book yet. Here’s the game and my contribution. Thanks for stopping by my Author Page!

Author friends! My contribution to the 7-7-7 challenge, a writers’ game where you go to page 7 (or 77) of your latest book or work in progress. Count down 7 lines. Then copy and paste the next 7 lines in your status. Then you tag 7 more writers… My friend writer Author Cindy Martinusen Coloma tagged me in this game and I tag it on to you.

This is from my just-finished manuscript-a Sweet Tea Mystery. After revision’s I’ll be sending my proposal to an agent.

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“Come to complain to my Grandfather? Does he know you’re here? Guess, you just couldn’t forget it, could you? What? Do you think you’ll get something out of my Grandpa for damages?” Emmy smacked her hands on her hips, jerking Duke’s leash, causing him to spring forward and upward.

“Whoa…lady! Slow down. You ask more questions in one second than a hound has ticks, but you don’t give a fellow a chance to answer.” He frowned.

Grandpa pushed open the screen, carrying two glasses of iced tea. “Well, Wyatt, I see you’ve met my granddaughter Emmy.” Grandpa handed him a glass.

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I’ve enjoyed reading all my author friend’s 7 lines…I’m so intrigued and can’t wait to read their books! Hope you’re excited with this little taste of what’s coming!

Kathryn

A Few…..A Lot

We’ve been staying at our St. Helens, Oregon home for about a month. Waiting for the birth of our fourth grandchild!

Snow in St. Helens

It snowed.

We’ve had lots of rain, some foggy mornings.

Some foggy days.

And more rain.

A little sunshine….

….and more rain.

I needed a mood-lifter.

Just a little something to cheer up the day.

Not chocolate and not wine…not food or drink.

Something to look at…

I asked My Sweet Husband to pick up a few fresh flowers at the local grocery store.

Now, we’ve been married 45 years (on January 28th) and we’re still struggling with definitions.

He calls this a few:

Is this a few or a lot?

I call this a lot!

But, we have several vases filled with lovely flowers.

An uplifting gift of cheery colors and aromas…..

And we had a good laugh!

 

 

New Year

As we head into the New Year my hope for all of you is that 2013 will be full of abundant joy and many blessings for each one of you. Thank you so much for journeying with me on this blog….and I look forward to connecting with you all through the year!

What Happens at Nammer’s House Doesn’t Stay at Nammer’s…It Gets Shared on Blogs & Facebook….

This is what happens when grandparents babysit right before the holidays!

An unsuspecting daughter and son-in-law dropped off their eight month old son so Grandpa and Nammer could watch him.

The old couple conspired to have a little fun….they stripped the little guy down to his diapers, drew circles on his tummy while he rolled and giggled. Added a little red circle on his nose. (All  with washable markers) Found a black top hat, retrieved a red scarf, grabbed the camera and had their own photo shoot…

And then…Nammer shared the pictures on this blog and on Facebook…

May your Christmas be merry and bright and may you be blessed….

Nammer

Help for Parents Grieving the Loss of a Child…

I am the mother of a first grader who bounded down the steps of the school bus on the first day of December and within minutes was killed in a hit and run. The murderers were never found.

 

This was over thirty years ago…but NOT a day goes by that my heart and arms don’t ache to hold him once again.

 

Listening to reports of the recent school shooting tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut my heart feels as if it’s being shoved through a paper shredder over and over. I go about the day misty eyed…

 

…knowing and feeling the gut wrenching, inexplicable physical pain of losing a child.

 

…knowing the journey of grief is long, grueling and never really over.

 

…knowing grief is a very personal journey…there is no right or wrong way to ride this rollercoaster…(unless a coping mechanism becomes unhealthy and inflicts suffering on another).

 

…knowing emotions are unpredictable…the anger, the despair, the fear, the tears for hours on end.

 

And, yet, “my heart in its sorrow rejoices,” recalling the kindnesses, the gentleness and the support of so many…family, friends and strangers reaching out with their reassurance of love and understanding.

 

The world is full of caring, loving people who want very much to help but are often unsure about the best way to show their concern.

 

I remember a few precepts that were and still are especially meaningful and offer them as a guide to those reaching out to grieving parents:

 

1. Please don’t ignore my painful loss. Saying nothing hurts worse than saying the “wrong thing” with sincerity.  Some helpful phrases: “I’m sorry.”  “I don’t know what to say, but I really care.”

 

2. Let me talk about my beloved, if I want to. Let me talk about how he died.  Don’t be afraid to say his name. Share a memory if you want to.

 

3. Sit with me in silence. Sometimes words are absolutely useless. Squeeze my hand, hold my hand, pat my shoulder…give me a hug…cry with me. Look me in the eye…please don’t be afraid of my sorrow, of my tears.

 

4. Please don’t tell me you know how I feel! No, you don’t! We can never know how another feels…but ask me how I feel. And don’t tell me it’s part of God’s plan or that he’s in a better place.

 

5. Certain times of the year will always be hard for me….like all holidays! Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And most every family milestone tugs at my heart…births, children’s birthday parties, graduations, and weddings.

 

 

It’s true…. love never dies…memories of my child are alive and well in my mind and the hole in my heart will only be completely mended the day I am reunited with my beloved child.

 

But I have been encouraged and sustained by your friendship, your care, your support and help. May you be blessed!

Kate

 

 

 

Resources:

 

http://www.tcf.org.uk/leaflets/lehelpingbp.html

 

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/helping_grieving.htm

 

http://www.journeyofhearts.org/kirstimd/booklet.htm

 

 

Wonderful song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqwomT5YSiw

 

 

 

 

Key Lime Bread….for tea-time!

Perfect with a cuppa your favorite tea!

 

I wandered around the kitchen with my cuppa tea, opening a cupboard door, staring at the contents inside. I gently pushed it closed. I opened the refrigerator. Examining the shelves, pulling open drawers, searching for what, I wasn’t sure.

I was wishing for a little something “special” to have with my cuppa.

Searching in an old magazine,  a great quick bread recipe and photo grabbed my attention. I made a few changes, mixed, stirred and baked… and voila…the answer to my craving came out of the oven filling the whole kitchen with a delicious aroma.

This key lime bread is sweet and slightly tart, perfect with a nice cup of English Breakfast. Hope you enjoy!

 

Key Lime Bread....for Tea-Time!
 
Delicious slightly tart lime bread that goes well with a cup of your favorite tea!
Author:
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons grated lime peel
  • 3 Tablespoons Key Lime Juice or fresh lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour~all purpose flour works great
  • 3 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped nuts: pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • GLAZE:
  • ⅔ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Key Lime Juice or fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add lime peel, lime juice and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk. Fold in nuts.
  3. Spoon batter into two greased 9 x 5 x 3 in loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack.
  4. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely. Enjoy one with tea, freeze one for later!
  5. Happy Tea-Time!

 

Cut it up, make a cuppa, take a break & meditate….

 

My new all time favorite quote…and I made it up myself after a particularly harrowing week….

 

When life hands you a lemon, cut it up, make tea, take a break and meditate!

 

So, you probably guessed that my day/week/month was less than auspicious . I’m sure you’ve had those days, weeks, months….hopefully not years…when “it” goes from bad to worse.

 

When no matter how much or how hard or how long you’ve prayed, “things” just aren’t working out. That proverbial lemon drops from the sky, misses your skull, but lands in YOUR lap …uninvited, unwanted, and uncompromising.

 

 

Now, a whole lemon is only useful for decoration or zesting.


And if not consumed, deterioration ensues.

 

My solution: Cut it up…make a cuppa tea….take a break….and meditate.

 

 

A sliced lemon bursting with tartness suggests possibilities.

 

A problem carved up, divided, chopped and diced reveals solutions.

 

Tea is my respite in life. The ritual of boiling water, placing whole tea leaves in an infuser, steeping and then sipping the brew is my hiatus from chaos. In suspending reality for moments, the impossible is diluted, the possible clarified and I remind myself there are better days ahead! 

 

Have a tea-lightful day….and remember…cut that lemon up, make a cuppa, take a break and meditate!

Kate

I had to share this adorable video…..Maddie Grace Sings Lemon Drop

My Chai-Tea Smoothie…2 Ways…

If you love tea like I do, you’re always on the prowl for fun ways to enjoy tea! I like to experiment with blends of teas and fruits..dried fruits, tea in recipes and tea in beverages!

Smoothies~the homemade or handcrafted variety are especially adaptable and can be HEALTHY too!

I tried one made with Chai tea recently. Light and refreshing…and of course, I immediately thought of other ingredients to test with this tea in making a smoothie. Let me know if you’ve found some great tea smoothie combinations!

 

My Chai-Tea Smoothie…the “skinny” version:

 

 

My Chai-Tea Smoothie…the “not so skinny” version:

 

 

 

Recipe for My Chai-Tea Smoothie:

 

1 cup         Chai tea~~ steeped and chilled

1/2 cup     milk~~my favorite is Almond Vanilla milk

but you could choose another kind or use what you have on hand…

1/2 cup    Greek yogurt…I like to use Vanilla or plain

1               ripe banana…fresh or frozen

Optional…Whipped Cream….

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Light and refreshing..and you get to have your tea too!!

 

Happy Infusions,

Kate

 

 

Sunday Morning Scones….

This morning, I just needed scones with my tea. I tweaked our Traditional Scone recipe

 

and came up with these Blueberry-Sour Cream Scones…so perfect with my Assam tea…outside on the patio…

 

a perfect Sunday Morning!

 

Blueberry-Sour Cream Scones with tea on the patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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