Saturday, February 26, 2011

These tires and wheels are really nice to look at.
I do remember driving on snow with tires like these.
They were terrible.
Say what you want about modern cars, but the tires are infinitely better than they used to be!


We drove over the passes where there was the most likelihood of problems.


Earlier in the day the freeway had been closed down for three hours after a set of tripple trailers tangled up on a slick section. It was dry when we went through.

But Friday down along the Columbia Gorge, we came to a big backlog of cars and trucks. It was below freezing, had snowed the day before there was serious ice.

Parts of that road are in the shade, most of the time, and without the sun shining on the dark pavement, it did not melt.

I sped along in the fast lane at 30 mph. At one point I passed a car going about 20. The driver was hunched over the wheel and I could tell he was terrorized. There were others too.

But we made it safely.

Today the temps have warmed up a bit over freezing. People who do not get a lot of cold weather find freezing to be really bad. Places that regularly get near zero find temps in the just freezing level a good day.

I fit in neither category!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

There should not be this much snow, I hope!

The new pantry is fairly small (5 1/2 wide and 16' long).
It should serve us well, though.

road again

Today is travel day -- again!

My best friend David (I have a lot of friends named David!) has two sons and the younger is getting married this weekend.

The wedding is near Vancouver Washington, which is across a bridge from Portland, Oregon.

We will spend the weekend with daughter 4 and granddaughter Emily. They live in downtown Portland.

But today, and just to make it easier, we will stop to see daughter 2 who lives a couple of miles off the freeway half way to Portland. So, we will drive there tomorrow and then go on Friday.

By the time we get home the trip will be about 900 miles. A 19 or 20 mpg rig is not my idea of a perfect ride, given the daily raising price of gas. I could save a bit by taking the car, but it is 19 years old and it does not take much in line of problems to negate the difference.

And there will be new snow. It can get pretty nasty, but Oregon is good at keeping the road open and keeping it plowed and sanded. So I am not overly concerned. And I do have tire chains if I need them.

Yesterday I finished work on the new pantry. I have not moved all the bulk food buckets in place yet, or set up the grain mill, but those are easy to pull off, but the canning jars are organized and stacked in nice rows.

There is so much good feelings getting a project like that finished.

And, I can travel with a clear head

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My "winter garden" has included sprouts.
They are easy to grow, tasty and I healthy (I am told!).

at night

At night I hold her close. I warm her cold feet and hands.

For a while I pretend we are newly married and are full of the love and passion of youth.

I love you, I tell her, she snuggles close.

For a while, lying there before we go to sleep, I pretend that all is well and all is what it always was and what I always wanted it to be.

“I love you Bertha, I say,” using her middle name.

“Good,” she says. Yesterday she added: ”Stay with me, stay with me until I die.”

I promise I will, and I will if I have any say in the matter.

Monday, February 21, 2011



Since she retired and was diagnosed with AD, jigsaw puzzles have been big in Miriam's life.

She was not fast at putting them together, but she worked with the same resolve she has worked at other things in her lifetime. Stubborn, yes, but this is the upside, I think.

Daughter 1 gave her a very nice 1000 piece puzzle for Christmas. Miriam worked diligently on getting it together. She would do little else all day, putting in 9 or 10 or more hours a day.

But it got together eventually.

A week or so ago she began a smaller one. 500 pieces and smaller in size as well. However that meant that the pieces are smaller, sometimes a good bit smaller.

To begin with she would work on the puzzles in what was her studio. But winter made that space hard to heat and she is not warm blooded by any measure. I suggested she set up a card table in our smallish living room and work there. She refused, but I persisted.

I came in from the shop last night and the table was gone. She said she was tired of working on the puzzle and put it away.

There is no way I will scold her, I would have burned the whole thing about 3 hours into the project. I am more like the commercial photographer I read about many years ago. He said he had 45 minutes of patience, and if a project could not be done in 45 minutes he would take 6 months figuring out a way to do it in 45 minutes.

He had me figured out, except for the 6 month part.

But not my Miriam.