Before & After- Deck Side

This is what the deck side of our house looked like when we moved here in 1998.

First change out was the stairwell window. The porch you see to the right in this photo has been enclosed and is now our family room with french doors onto the deck.

Dear built a temporary platform to be able to hoist the window up and get it set into the opening.

Next he built the deck in anticipation of Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner in August of 2001.

The deck got an extension sometime after 2001 so we could reach the garage from the house on decking. The house got a facelift with new horizontal siding.

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Our deck covers changed over the years, too. These two are serving us very well currently. This photo shows the extended deck and the difference between the horizontal siding and vertical siding to the left of the deck.

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Here’s a shot that shows the house with the completed horizontal siding.

One more addition this summer is this privacy fence we put in.

Here’s a view from our house without the privacy fence.

And this is the view with the privacy fence.

We really are enjoying this new privacy fence. It gives this whole area a more finished feel and we aren’t totally open to the surrounding neighbors anymore.

Some reflections…

Our two sons born almost exactly 2 years apart were married 14 years apart, one in 2001 and the other in 2015. So our 3 kids were married in 2001, 2011, and 2015.

July 2015 was a tough month for me. It was as if someone had let the air out of my tires. I’m happy to say that I’m getting back to my old self now in August!

I also have to admit that summer is probably one of my least favorite seasons. Even though I was born and raised in Southern California enjoying the beaches and spreading coco butter on my body to sunburn tan, sitting in the sun does not give me pleasure anymore. I enjoy the sunshine while sitting in the shade or under an umbrella. These days my favorite time at the beach is in the winter.

How’s your summer going?

S is for Snail’s Pace or Full Speed Ahead!

Before I move on to ABC Wednesday, The American Sniper DVD Giveaway winner is announced here.

I’m adding some sunshiny photos from my walk yesterday east of Seattle at Juanita Bay Park that have nothing to do with snails or speed!

Life at this old house is speeding ahead and moving slow at the same time…

Our son’s wedding is just 40 days away. Things are speeding ahead with all the plans and things that need to get done before that day. We are headed to Eastern Washington soon to wrap up some things we need to do for the wedding.

Dear’s last day at his current job is on May 29th. That seems to be moving at a snail’s pace along with the prospects of his next job. The company that bought Dear’s company decided to let his department go. Dear has been at his last conference for this employer in New Orleans and the time he is away has moved at a snail’s pace. There is a possible job out there that needs results from some trials that seem to be moving slowly for us, too. Time will tell if we need to speed up the job hunt process.

The road ahead for us is in the hands of our creator. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)

My soft food diet is moving ahead at a snail’s pace as far as I’m concerned. I really enjoy biting into things that need some good chewing. But…I am very thankful for the ease of this procedure I had before our insurance runs out.

I’m past the speedy part of dropping pounds in my de-fluffing program. Now the pounds will continue to drop off but at a snail’s pace. So…I still need to count out the chips to have with salsa that I allow myself to enjoy at our weekly date at the local Mexican dive. Sad but true, chips will have to wait for a little while longer until my mouth completely heals but I can eat the salsa!

I’m ready to sink my teeth into something like this next dish.

In the meantime this could be included in my soft diet…Sangria!

Lots of the letter S in this recipe!

Sooner than I know and a few days before the wedding I will leave my fasting time behind and embrace the feasting time that a wedding celebration brings. After the wedding we will have family staying on for some vacation time at our home and my sister’s home in the Seattle area. That will be a time of feasting and celebrating, too.

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday  originated with Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and the ABC team. Thanks!

If you came here looking to see who won The American Sniper giveaway on my blog click on American Sniper or scroll down one post!

 

Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done

IMGP0992In my junior high and high school years I spent a week in the summer at Hume Lake Christian Camps. We would sing the chorus/refrain of this song at the Friday night campfire when someone would testify that they had been saved that week at camp. We would insert their name like this “Hallelujah, ’tis done, Ellen believes on the Son; She was saved by the blood of the crucified One;”

Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done!

’Tis the promise of God, full salvation to give
Unto him who on Jesus, His Son, will believe.

Refrain

Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One;
Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One.

Though the pathway be lonely, and dangerous, too,
Surely Jesus is able to carry me through.

Refrain

Many loved ones have I in yon heavenly throng,
They are safe now in glory, and this is their song:

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Little children I see standing close by their king,
And He smiles as their song of salvation they sing:

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There are prophets and kings in that throng I behold,
And they sing as they march through the streets of pure gold:

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There’s a part in that chorus for you and for me,
And the theme of our praises forever will be:

Refrain

Words and Music: Philip P. Bliss, 1874.

This was an great story that goes along with this song that I copied from Cyberhymnal:

“A minister from England, in telling of a certain meeting, says: Among the converts was a man somewhat advanced in years, who was very anxious about the salvation of his wife, and expressed a wish that I should visit her. I did so repeatedly, and explained to her in very simple words the plan of salvation, but she could not comprehend the meaning of my message. Every time I left, however, she would express a strong desire that I return. One day I went in just before dinner, and talked to her about Jesus, but no light seemed to dawn upon her mind. Then the thought struck me to sing something to her, and so I commenced, ’Tis the promise of God, full salvation to give. When I was through the chorus, she exclaimed Sing it over again. I did so, time after time, and when I asked her to assist me, she joined in very heartily. The light dawned on her dark mind while we were singing, the big burden of sin was removed from her heart, and her face was lighted up with holy joy as she exclaimed Hallelujah, ’tis done! I do believe in the Son; I am saved. Just then her husband walked in for his dinner, and she shouted out to him, Ah lad! I’ve got it! Hallelujah! ’tis done! Their hearts were full of joy over the wonderful discovery she had made, and I was grateful to God for a sinner brought to Christ by the ministry of holy song.

The Here and Now…

Last night or I should say early this morning our two cross country travelers arrived home to roost for a while.

Visitors 010Thankfully they have their own key so I didn’t have to get up and let them in.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 107We thank the good Lord they made it safely through the rainstorm that was quite intense over the pass last night.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 103Things will be a little different around this old house while they settle in and start the process of looking for an apartment. They are breaking in the new but not completed bathroom, too. Yes…the saga continues on the bathroom.

Pictures18In the meantime we’ll enjoy this next chapter in their adventure called life!

Fresh News

Do you need a fresh new sandwich idea? Click over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog for this sandwich combination.

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P1050567I still can’t show you our finished bathroom…because it’s not finished. OYE! In fact after they wrap up today and clean everything up they will still need to come back in a couple weeks to finish up because of some boo boos. Part of the flooring needs to be redone and of course it’s on back-order and 2 cabinet fronts need to be replaced. We have come to the conclusion that we are not good candidates for hiring out work. In the meantime, I have found some nice accessories to go in the updated bathroom like that brushed nickel soap dispenser above.

P1050573Other news from this old house…apples are falling off the tree.

AugustAnd these beauties are brightening up the yard and deck.

What’s new at your place?

Looking Back ~ Buster Brown

Seajack 6 pentax-001 The Bellefontaine Cemetery had a great system for finding all the notable famous and fascinating people buried on their grounds. There was a clear white line in the middle of the road that you could follow and then each of the 58 notables were marked with red markers. Black markers showed Civil War notable people.

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When I heard that George Warren Brown (1853-1921) the maker of Buster Brown shoes was buried here I wanted to see his grave site. When we were young my siblings and I would be taken to a shoe store in Montebello on Whittier Blvd. that carried Buster Brown shoes. Even though we always struggled to make ends meet my pop was determined we’d have good shoes to wear. We would get our new Buster Brown school shoes every year and a pair of shoes for church.

Bellefontaine 122George’s brother Alanson (1847-1913) is buried across the road.

Bellefontaine 124The Journey Through History book we bought at the front office at the cemetery gives the history of all the notables buried on the grounds. It was worth the $5 to purchase it. Here’s what is written about the Brown brothers…

“Traveling to St. Louis for a church convention, Alanson Brown found the city centrally located and populated with ambitious citizens. Seeing opportunity, Alanson decided to invest in a new wholesale shoe business in St. Louis.

His brother George Brown worked as his star salesman but found the shoes he had to sell did not meet the needs of his customers. When George could not convince Alanson to manufacture shoes in St. Louis, George set up his own company making shoes, including the still popular Buster Brown children’s line. Recognizing George’s success, Alanson’s company also began manufacturing shoes in St. Louis – then a city known for shoes, booze, and news and last in the American League.

Both brothers supported St. Louis institutions and focused on improving the lives of others. George’s widow set up the George Warren Brown School of Social Services at Washington University.

With parallel lives, the two brothers rest across the lane from each other at Bellefontaine – Alanson in a 1910 domed mausoleum by World’s Fair architect Isaac Taylor and George in a 1928 hexagonal tomb by the St. Louis firm of Mauran, Russell, Crowell.

I put out the call to my friends from Montebello on Facebook to help me remember the name of the shoe store on Whittier Blvd. in Montebello. They pulled through big time with more information than I ever knew about the couple who ran this store. Here’s how the conversation went…

To my Montebello friends…does anyone remember the name of the shoe store on Whittier Blvd. (on a corner) that sold Buster Brown shoes??? My brain will not bring it up.

Lana: Was it Kinney shoes?

Nancy: I can see it but I can’t remember the name!

Nancy: Lana would remember since she”s MUCH younger than us!!

Randy: It wasn’t Kinneys,that was up on 20th st and Beverly Blvd. Sorry

Judy: Was it Sandlers? It just popped into my head so it may be totally wrong.

Lynda: That sounds right Judy.

Ellen: Yes..Judy thank you!

Anne: It was Sandlers! Judy is right!

Tania: thanks for shaking up my brain Ellen. Maybe when it resets I can remember some of this stuff.

Gloriya: Sandlers sounds correct.

Steve: Sandler’s Shoes was on Whittier & I believe 5th Street, right across the street from the Deluxe Cafe. They had one of those old X-Ray machines where you put you feet into a slot and and Mr Sandler could see if my toes were touching the end of the new shoes in the mid 1950’s. Needless to say, the poor old man died of cancer in the early 60’s, which we now know was radiation poisoning from that machine X-ray device.

Ellen: Steve, thanks for the info. That is so sad about Mr. Sandler. Did his wife work along side him. My dad remembers a man and woman team in the store. They always commented to my dad that he only bought shoes for his kids never for himself…

Linda: I also remember my mom taking me to Sandler’s store to get Buster Brown shoes. She had my feet x-rayed there and trusted that the shoes fit better than anywhere else. She instilled on me that need. I have never had bunions or crooked toes thanks to her.

Steve: Ellen, yes there was a blond lady that worked there, that was probably his wife. Linda, I always wondered why my toes would glow in the dark when I was younger – LOL

Facebook bugs me in a lot of ways but when I can interact with old friends and get good memories like these it redeems itself for me.

Do you use Facebook and have you found some good ole friends there? Did you wear Buster Brown shoes when you were growing up?

Roozengaarde Display Garden

Besides the great experience of strolling through the tulip fields during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival there are garden options for touring, also. These are some shots from the Roozengarde Display Garden.

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2014-04-07 Tulips14After we were done at the tulip fields and gardens we drove a short distance to the picturesque town of LaConner for lunch at Seeds Restaurant. We also did a little shopping at Re- Feather Your Nest right next store to Seeds. That’s where I bought this little sign…

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This is my last post from our tulip excursion this year. It really is something that I enjoy taking the time to see every year. As I said before, if you are ever in the Seattle area in April this would be a worthwhile side trip.

Meanwhile back at the ranch this old house…

Suitcases line the entryway. Piles of clothes neatly folded to go into said suitcases are on our bedroom floors. Emails are exchanged back and forth about possible meet ups with blogger friends along the highways and byways. Tears pool up from the stress of planning so much for the 25 days I’ll be gone from this old house. I don’t mistake those tears for anything but what they are…my body and mind are on overload. My heart is content. I’m looking forward to the unexpected traveling mercies from my loving God along the way and the joy of new sights and sounds. I do wish I had a medium sized suitcase instead of just small and large.

What’s on your mind?