Hidden Lake
Hidden Lake

As if there’s not enough snow, I keep painting mountains.  If I could paint today I’d go for a cheerful floral design.  Spring is just around the corner, around the next snow storm.  What a time to be moving!

It’s been awhile since I actually painted.  The water damage to the house is quite extensive. Flooring has lifted and is warping in several areas, and the hot water heater is gushing hot water.  Apparently the dishwasher froze and is leaking.  The kitchen floor is maple salvaged from the Old Pilot Butte Inn’s dinning room, and it will have to be removed.  Today the plumber is coming to deal with the gurgling hot water heater, and Service Master will show up sometime this afternoon.  I’m waiting to see when I have to evacuate to make room for the reconstruction.  March 8th is the closing date on the house, and I thought that was pushing it.  Maybe this week?  Oh, I hope not.  I’m tired, but what can I expect?  I’m a little old to be tackling this single handedly.  One step at a time.

I’m so grateful to my friends and family who are offering assistance and hope.  Along those lines, I want to thank so many of you for your good birthday wishes.  Terry, Hans, and Flora took me out to lunch on Sunday.  It was so fun.  My family is a delight, and I appreciate them immensely.  Hans and Flora are off to China Thursday.  Terry and Renee will head to Canadian Rockies for 10 days of powder skiing on that same day.  I wish them well being and safe keeping.  Wish I was going with them.  Plumber’s at the door.  Blessings and Love.

Fort Snow

If you’ve ever been to Fort Rock in the Central Oregon Desert, you’ll remember that it is formed of jagged lava rock that has taken the shape of a crescent.  It’s dry and desolate, to me.  So now, I seem to be existing in a near replica which I have named Fort Snow.  (Not dry but maybe a little desolate.) The photos attached will tell you the story of the enormous snow load I am dealing with and some of the havoc it has raised. The inside has some significant damage caused by snow melt that crept silently down beams, under flooring, and into the main crawl space under the kitchen .  It’s not the end of the world, but just one more thing to deal with as I pack to move and try to find a place to live.  What a time for Bend to come up with an unprecedented snow dump.

Here’s the story behind my pictorial essay: lots of snow, piles so high I don’t have to think about anyone looking in my windows – or me looking out, tractor heading down towards my front door, Fort Snow forming, dogs going crazy with fun, and at last a fond farewell to my 1990 Subaru Legacy.  She’s off to become a KLCC radio program.

Out my front window.  Huge chunks from ice dams, too heavy to lift.
Out my front window. Huge chunks from ice dams, too heavy to lift.
Saving the roof, Josh was careful with the roof - did a great job.
Saving the roof, Josh and Richard were so  careful with the roof – did a great job.
I can still see the roof…but not much else.

By the way, it’s my 78th birthday, and I so appreciate the many, many birthday wishes that showed up on m Facebook page this morning.  I really needed that kind of support today, and it helped me to remember who we all are – just a bunch of good friends and family who know how to reach out to one another.

Kind and generous neighbor at work - headed toward the front door.
Kind and generous neighbor at work – headed toward the front door.
Fort Snow, West wall.
Fort Snow, West wall.
Isabella and Josh's dog Dusty.  Played hard all day.
Isabella and Josh’s dog Dusty. Played hard all day.
Subaru.  Can't you tell?
Subaru. Can’t you tell?
It took an act of congress to get her out of the snow.
It took an act of congress to get her out of the snow.
She's on her way over the pass to Eugene buried in her favorite stuff, snow.
She’s on her way over the pass – to Eugene – buried in her favorite stuff, snow.

 

Enough’s Enough

There’s been a change from my last  post.  My Ooo-ing and Awe-ing over the beautiful snow and bla bla bla are over.  It is lovely but it’s turned into a dangerous affair.  Two nights ago after watching news bits featuring the collapse of the gym at the historic Kenwood grade school, seeing the old Ray’s Market fall in on itself, the FedEx building die a slow death, and Hooker Creek’s huge vehicle garage all go down under the weight of this unprecedented snow and ice storm, I became highly motivated to save this house.

Fortunately my son found two very strong, able-bodied professional contractors who knew their stuff.  They were very careful with the roofing, chipped away all the thick ice dams, repaired damaged gutters, and kept most of the snow from the roof back off the house’s siding at ground level, but now – guess what?  It’s pouring down SNOW AGAIN and another 8 to 12 inches are accumulating as we speak.  Just emailed the guys to invite them back for another round.  If we keep ahead of the storms their work will go faster and easier.  I am enormously grateful to them for their kindness, great attitudes, and all the very hard work they did.

Stay tuned, there will be more to follow.  Stay warm, be safe, and eat lots of chocolate chip cookies.

Josh on roof
Shades of Glacier Bay on Friday. Looked like the roof was calving.
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Chunks of ice covered with the morning’s snow. They are as big as baby whales and took two men to lift them.
Isabella loving the snow.
Isabella loving the snow.
Isabella perched on bank, now about 4 feet above the driveway.
Isabella perched on bank, now about 4 feet above the driveway.

January 2017

This is my birthday month, and I have been gifted with so much beauty.  Exactly what I ask for, snow.  It’s so deep and cold I really haven’t ventured out much – no skiing, no walking.  I’m playing “elderly” and mostly looking out of the windows – especially at night.  Its full moon and the reflection of moonlight that comes off the snow is stunning.  Last night I awakened around 1:00am and thought my neighbors were shinning their headlights in my window.  Good to see it was simply the natural grace of the night.

All over Bend roofs are collapsing.  Early this morning Kenwood School’s gymnasium roof came down, Hooker Creek, and FedX too, so all schools are closed for inspections.  Now the kids have had an entire week off because of the best weather ever.

 

The Art Studio
The Art Studio
The Pump House - not a pub
The Pump House – not a pub

I”m wishing you warm fires,

a cup of something warm,

and a good book…or an episode of Poldark.

 

 

Christmas tree at sunset just before the big storm
Christmas tree at sunset just before the big storm

 

 

 

It Doesn’t Get Better

Just as I put the last piece of wood in the wood stove this morning, I looked out the window toward the road and noticed two little ski hats bobbing above the snow berm in front of my house.  It was my granddaughters who were enjoying a “snow day”  and out touring the neighborhood. (The temperature is 8 degrees.)  They turned into my driveway, came to the door and ask, “Do you need wood hauled grandma?”  This is life at its best.

They live two houses away from me, are the sweetest, funniest, most beautiful girls and have been a joy since their birth.  As babies they crawled around my floor, as toddlers were, well toddlers needing constant care and companionship, and have been a consistent presence in my life for almost fourteen years.  Ellie will be fourteen in March. We can only dream of how our little ones will merge their personalities and abilities into the different phases of their lives, but never I could have known one day they’d come to my door asking if they could help me – haul wood.  They are two reasons I am not looking forward to my move away from my neighborhood, but then in six years or so they might be leaving too.

Granddaughters hauling wood for grandma
Granddaughters hauling wood for grandma
Blurry Ellie
Blurry Ellie
Hi Grandma
Hi Grandma

Less than an hour later my oldest son, plow and all, comes to blow out my driveway.  What a family!

My oldest son in his John Deere.
My oldest son in his John Deere.

Christmas Day, 2016

It’s Christmas morning and 5 degrees above zero.  The mountains pink and inviting reflected in the sunrise.

Sunrise
Sunrise

Wishing us all a day of peace, joy, and understanding.

Peace Throughout the World
Peace Throughout the World

 

Oh Christmas Tree…Your Branches are so Lovely

This year Christmas decorating took back stage to the cleaning/showing routine I’ve fallen in to.  Our house remains UNsold, although it showed last week for the 31st time.  No greens or reds or Christmas colors can be found inside, but that which nature is offering OUTSIDE cannot be outdone.  Yesterday as the sun was setting I discovered just outside my window a beautiful flocked tree with tiny lights nestled amongst its branches.

This morning as the sun came up over the ridge, there is was more flocking and my tree                 gleamed  brilliant with new light.img_5469 img_5490

Today is Christmas Eve
Today is Christmas Eve

BLESSINGS TO ALL ON THIS CHRISTMAS EVE DAY.

Christmas Wishes

Earth Light
Earth Light

 

Yesterday’s ice is hiding under new snow, and east of the mountains a white Christmas is on the way.

Wishing everyone the little gifts of life that are so often, as Rumi implies, closer than breathing in and out.

Finding Little Gifts
Finding Little Gifts

Family Having a Merry Early Christmas

Ms. Santa Paws
Ms. Santa Paws

 

December 19th was our family Christmas. Santa DogClaws and Mrs. Paws were there, along with the Skjersaa boys, wives, and kids.

Santa Claws
Santa Claws
Dad Skjersaa
Dad Skjersaa
Kid One
Kid One
Wife One
Wife One
Granddaughters One and Two. Kid One's beautiful, fun, funny girls.
Granddaughters One and Two. Kid One’s beautiful, fun, funny girls.
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Judy and Flora

 

Kid Two and Wife
Kid Two and Wife